What to do in Paris in October

Paris pays homage to art with numerous events including FIAC, Nuit Blanche...

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 FIACNuit BlancheLeonardo da Vinci at the Louvre, El Greco at the Grand Palais … Art lovers will be spoilt for choice!

Nuit blanche in Paris

Nuit Blanche 2010, Hôtel de Ville de Paris  © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

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!

Art fairs

Foire internationale d'art contemporain, Grand Palais - Paris

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 FairArt ÉlyséesOutsider Art Fair8e Avenue). There’s something for all tastes!

More information on all the art events in October


Portrait de Félix Fénéon, Opus 217, en 1890

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). As for the Conciergerie, it is showing a unique exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest historical figures who has inspired the greatest designers. Marie-Antoinette, Metamorphoses of an Image shows the public different representations of the queen, including some of which have never been displayed before.

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.

See also...


Salon du Chocolat 2018

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

Comic Con -Groupe de cosplayers © Faust Favart Collectif

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.

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 


Qatar, prix de l'Arc de Triomphe © Scoopdyga

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.

Nuit Blanche in Paris

October 2020
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Installations, exhibitions, concerts ... explore Paris in a new way, at night

Comic Con Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition | Festival
October 2020
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

The Pop Culture trade show born in California is back at the Grande Halle de la Villette.

Outsider Art Fair

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
October 2020
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

The New York-born Outsider Art Fair stars in Paris

Art Elysées – Art & design

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show
October 2020
Avenue des Champs-Élysées - De l'Arc de Triomphe à la place de la Concorde, Paris

The fair returns to the Champs-Elysées

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

Festival | Modern music
October - november 2020
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

Three exceptional evenings to celebrate the10th edition of this top autumn festival.

Salon du Chocolat (Paris Chocolate Show)

Trade fair, trade show
October - November 2020
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

For over 20 years, the Salon du Chocolat or Paris Chocolate Show has been a real treat for chocolate-loving children and adults.

Qatar, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, horse racing

October 2020
Paris Longchamp - Bois de Boulogne - 2 route des Tribunes, Paris

The Qatar, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the most envied prize of all race-horse owners, trainers and jockeys.

Rolex Paris Masters

October - November 2020
AccorHotels Arena - 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris

After Roland Garros, the Rolex Paris Masters is the most important tennis tournament in France

20k Paris Race

October 2020
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

20k Paris Race is now a key running event of the autumn season


Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show
October 2020
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

The big family event at the Porte de Versailles.

FIAC, International Contemporary Art Fair

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 22 October 2020 to 25 October 2020
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

The latest developments in contemporary art, through works by some 1,500 artists.

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