There’s lots to do in Paris in October. Here are some ideas for interesting outings. Besides fairs (Salon du chocolat, Paris Games Week...) concerts and sporting events (Rolex Paris Masters...) Paris pays homage to art with numerous events including FIAC, Nuit Blanche, Gauguin at the Grand Palais, Rubens at the musée du Luxembourg… Art lovers will be spoilt for choice!
Nuit blanche in Paris
October in Paris really is the month of contemporary art. For the Nuit Blanche event, on 7 October this year, contemporary artists take over the City of Light from dusk till dawn. For the 16th edition of the ‘Sleepless Night’, a night-time trail will take visitors through various districts of Paris, unveiling one surprise after another: huge artworks, light installations and sensory experiences. It’ll be a night to remember!
The art world meets up in Paris in the last week of October each year for what is commonly known as ‘contemporary art week’: seven exciting days during which the French capital turns into an art lovers’ mecca, hosting any number of art-related events.
The art fest gets off to a start with FIAC (19th of October), the prestigious and must-do international contemporary art fair, which brings together some of the most famous artists at Grand Palais. Alongside the main event, other fringe fairs are also organized in various parts of the city during FIAC. The YIA Art Fair embrace a wide spectrum of the arts, while other events are more specific: design and art at Art Élysées, digital art at Variation Media Art Fair, outsider art at the Outsider Art Fair and urban art at 8e Avenue. There’s something for all tastes!
More information on all the art events in October
This October promises to be an exceptionally busy month for art exhibitions.
At the Musée du Luxembourg, Rubens, portraits princiers, from 4 October, will reveal for the first time under one roof a spectacular collection of portraits of European monarchs painted by Rubens, dubbed the “painter of princes and prince of painters”. The exhibition will explore the connections between European monarchs and highlight Rubens’ role as a portrait painter and inspired diplomat.
Meanwhile, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais turns the spotlight on Gauguin, l’alchimiste from 11 October to 22 January 2018. A landmark exhibition retracing the astonishing career of Paul Gauguin, a major 19th-century French painter and one of the foremost precursors of modern art. A pictorial journey to the heart of Gaugin’s world, featuring his paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, ceramics and more.
Another major exhibition, Picasso 1947. Un don majeur au Musée national d'Art Moderne takes place at the Musée Picasso from 24 October to 27 January 2018, when the museum will show the ten masterpieces Pablo Picasso donated to the Musée National d’Art Moderne when it opened in 1947. An opportunity to admire great works like Atelier de la modiste (1926), La Muse (1935) and L’Aubade (1942).
The Louvre Museum will host the exhibition François I and Dutch Art, from 18 October, devoting the entire Hall Napoléon to the legendary monarch. While the King’s taste for Italian art is well known, this exhibition focuses on his lesser known interest in Dutch artists, shedding new light on François I as a patron of the arts.
At the Petit Palais, for the first time you will be able to admire a selection of almost 150 pastel works offering a panorama of the main artistic movements of the second half of the 19th century, from Impressionism to Symbolism. Pastel Art from Degas to Redon is an opportunity to (re)discover the subtleties of the finest pastel pieces in the Petit Palais’ collection, with works by Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas and more.
Great news for photography enthusiasts! The Jeu de Paume is hosting two exhibitions simultaneously, from 17 October to 21 January 2018, one on the German photographer and exponent of the New Objectivity, Albert Renger-Patzsch,and one devoted to the Turkish photographer Ali Kazma. From 21 Spetember 2017, the Grand Palais will have an exhibition dedicated to the American photographer Irving Penn. Considered one of the world’s greatest fashion photographers, he was also known for his portraits and still lifes.
Sculpture fans can look forward to two exhibitions. First, the Musée Zadkine, from October to March, is showing Ossip Zadkine’s stone sculptures to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s death. This exhibition pays tribute to the master of direct carving. Sculpture again at the Musée Bourdelle with the exhibition Bourdelle ou les dieux, le futur et l’antique offering a reinterpretation of the sculpture of Antoine Bourdelle and early 20th-century art more broadly.
Not forgetting the other exhibitions opening in October: Barbara at the Philharmonie de Paris, Fortuny a Spaniard in Venice at the Palais Galliera and La collection Marin Karmitz, étranger résidant at La Maison Rouge…
Foodies will be in for a treat at the 23rd Salon du Chocolat, from 28 October to 1 November. Children won’t be left out of the fun.For a fun family outing, don’t miss Kidexpo, the children’s fair, which returns to Porte de Versailles from 26 to 30 October.
Calling all fans of comics, film, TV series, gaming and cosplay… If there’s one event not to be missed, it’s the Comic Con Paris festival which makes its big comeback in October.
In October, don’t miss the hugely popular grape-harvest festival, the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre. The programme includes parades, concerts, exhibitions and tastings. Treat your taste-buds to Bavarian food and drink at OktoberFest Paris, where you can sample regional specialities and a host of different German beers. "Prost" as they say in Germany!
And, of course, 31 October is Halloween! To help you celebrate, various venues in Paris and the surrounding region, including Disneyland Paris, the Manoir de Paris and the Grévin Paris museum, have a spine-chilling evening in store.
To find out more, see Celebrate Halloween in Paris
On the sport front,numerous international events take place in Paris in the autumn. There are several international events on the Paris autumn calendar, notably the 39th edition of the 20 km de Paris, which draws more than 25,000 professional and amateur runners each year. The Rolex Paris Masters, one of the leading tennis events, is to be held at the AccorHotels Arena. If you’re a fan of equestrian sport, don’t miss the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 30 September and 1 October at the Chantilly racecourse.