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, Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre, El Greco at the Grand Palais … 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, the 5th of October, contemporary artists take over the City of Light from dusk till dawn. For the 18th 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 the ‘contemporary art week’.
The art fest gets off to a start with FIAC (17th of October until 20th), 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 (YIA Art Fair, Art Élysées, Outsider Art Fair, 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.
The Grand Palais will revive the Bohemian ethos of late-19th-century Paris with an exhibition of paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (from 9 October 2019 to 27 January 2020). This retrospective – the first to be held in France on such a large scale in 25 years – pays homage to the era’s cabaret dancers and ladies of the night, as well as the balls popular with bourgeois Parisians on Montmartre Hill, a creative hotspot for artists back then. A must-see.
From 16 October, the Musée de l’Orangerie will be unveiling the second instalment of a series of exhibitions featuring works amassed by the collector and politically engaged art critic Félix Fénéon (1861-1944). While the opening instalment (at the Musée du Quai Branly) will be devoted to Fénéon’s remarkable collection of ‘primitive’ art (from 27 May to 6 October), this exhibition at the Orangerie focuses on his efforts to promote innovative movements such as Neo-Impressionism and Pointillism (from 16 October 2019 to 27 January 2020).
In October, Renaissance enthusiasts will have an opportunity to admire the sublime paintings of El Greco, on display for the first time at the Grand Palais (from 21 October 2019 to 20 February 2020).
And the Louvre will be hosting what will undoubtedly be one of the landmark exhibitions of the year: Leonardo da Vinci (from 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020). The Italian master – a painter and architect who also dabbled in civil engineering – revolutionized the Renaissance era in Europe. To mark the 500th anniversary of his death (he died in France in 1519), the Louvre is organizing this truly exceptional exhibition – an excellent opportunity to view (or admire anew) the artist’s mysterious portraits, not least the most talked-about one of them all, the Mona Lisa.
At the end of October, foodies will be in for a treat at the 25th Salon du Chocolat (30th October-3rd 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 (23 to 27 October 2019).
Gamers congregate en masse at the Paris Games Week that takes place during the last week of October. Considered as one of France’s biggest video games events, the last editiondrewmore than 300,000 visitors!
Festivals, celebrations and music
Calling all fans of comics, film, TV series, gaming and cosplay… An event not to miss is the festival Comic Con Paris that returns to Paris, in late October to the Grande Halle de la Villette (25-26-27 October 2019).
Also at the end of the month, Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, the indie music festival, also returns to the Grande Halle de la Villette for another edition that promises to be full of surprises (31 October - 2 November)!
On stage in concerthalls : the Opéra Bastille will be presenting Les Indes galantes (The Amorous Indies), an opera/ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau (from 25 September to 15 October).
In October, the traditional Montmartre Wine Harvest Festival brings a festive atmosphere to Paris’s most famous district (9-13 October). The programme includes parades, concerts, exhibitions and tastings. Treat your taste-buds to Bavarian food and drink at OktoberFest Paris (dates on coming), 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 41th edition of the 20 km de Paris, which draws more than 25,000 professional and amateur runners each year (dates on coming). The Rolex Paris Masters, one of the leading tennis events, is to be held at the AccorHotels Arena (26th October-3rd November). If you’re a fan of equestrian sport, don’t miss the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 5th and 6th October at the Paris Longchamps racecourse.