What to do in Paris in September in 2021

Cultural events and festivals abound in Paris in the wake of summer.

September is a great time to visit the French capital and enjoy the pleasant autumn weather. After the summer holidays, Parisians gear up for a variety of cultural and festive outings. Autumn brings a host of vibrant events to match the spectacular array of colour on trees.


Panthéon, Vue parties hautes, Paris © OTCP

Boasting such iconic buildings as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Cœur Basilica and the Arc de Triomphe, Paris has a wealth of heritage. On the third weekend of September each year, numerous monuments in Paris region open up to the public for the European Heritage Days (18 and 19 September 2021).

On this occasion, many one-off activities and tours are organized to enable people to discover (or rediscover) well-known venues and visit places that are usually off-limits to the general public, such as the Élysée Palace.

 More info about the European Heritage Days in Paris


Famille dans un musée, Paris

New exhibitions are a major feature of the back-to-school period in September.

The Musée Jacquemart-André is spotlighting one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli, and his workshop in the exceptional exhibition Botticelli, un laboratoire de la Renaissance (from 11 September 2021). This retrospective features about 40 of Botticelli’s works, together with those of other artists working in Florence during the same period. 

The Centre Pompidou presents a retrospective of one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, Georgia O'Keeffe. An exhibition composed of a hundred of the artist's works to be discovered from 8 September 2021.

The Musée de l'Orangerie is highlighting the two artists Chaïm Soutine and Willem de Kooning in the exhibition La peinture incarnée (from 15 September 2021). 

From 15 September, the Musée du Luxembourg will be exhibiting the atypical career of Vivian Maier, one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.

The exhibition Pour le meilleur et pour l'Empire - Sur les pas de Napoléon 1er (For the Best and for the Empire - In the footsteps of Napoleon I) will be on show at the Monnaie de Paris from 17 September 2021.

Book your tickets for the exhibition l'Empire - Sur les pas de Napoléon 1er

Another highly anticipated exhibition is the Morozov Collection at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (from 22 September 2021) as well as the Ultime combat at the Quai Branly (from 28 September 2021).

Book your tickets for the exhibition Ultime combat, arts martiaux d'Asie

From September 18 to October 3, 2021, the contemporary artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude will be dressing one of the most emblematic buildings in Paris: the Arc de Triomphe. Covered with a recyclable fabric for 16 days, the monument will be metamorphosed as part of the Arc de triomphe empaqueté project and will become a moving form under the effects of daylight. During this large-scale event, the Arc de Triomphe will remain accessible to the public, who will still be able to enjoy the city's most famous panoramic roof.

Book your tickets for the event the Arc de Triomphe wrapped by Christo

From September 9 to 12, the Grand Palais Ephémère will host the 23rd edition of the Art Paris Art Fair. A meeting of 140 international galleries not to be missed.

The return of the Parisian cabarets 

Le Moulin Rouge - Red feathers

September marks the reopening of the great Parisian cabarets. The public is invited to discover or rediscover original and flamboyant shows. 

Le Paradis Latin reopens on 3 September 2021

Le Moulin Rouge reopens on 10 September 2021

Le Lido de Paris reopens on 16 September 2021

Le Crazy Horse Paris reopens on 1 October 2021

Le Bel Canto reopens on 4 September 2021

Le Secret Square reopens on 1 September 2021

Not forgetting Au Lapin Agile (open), the Cabaret Michou (reopening on 3 September), the restaurant ReminiSens, Cabaret Baroque (open) and the Whisper Club Paris (open). 

Festivities and festivals in Paris in September 2021

Grand Palais Éphémère - Extérieur, Paris

The summer season continues,...

For fans of jazz and swingJazz à La Villette is a must-see – all the more so as it’s now a family outing, including a kids’ version of the festival : Jazz à la Villette for Kids.

Foodies are in for a treat! For several years now, the Taste of Paris festival has been delighting gourmets at the Grand Palais. During the closure of the Grand Palais for renovation work, it is the Temporary Grand Palais on the Champ-de-Mars that will welcome top chefs for visitors to find out more about the past, present and, in particular, the future of gastronomy, between 16 and 19 September. 

The Champs-Elysées film festival, a not-to-be-missed event for French and American independent cinema, returns for its 10th edition from 14 to 21 September 2021. A selection of French and American feature films and shorts are competing for several awards (jury, public, critics and best directors). During this week, the Champs-Elysées cinemas will host screenings of films in competition, previews and a selection of music.

More info on the Champs-Elysées film festival

Fashion and design events

S2S Group - Défilé mode Fashion Week, Paris

During Paris Design Week, the City of Light turns into the world’s design capital (from Thursday 9 to Monday 18 September 2021). Each year the event draws more than a hundred designers from around the globe who come to Paris to show their latest creations. What’s more, if the situation allows, the prestigious Maison & Objet trade fair will hold the physical version of its 2021 edition in conjunction with Paris Design Week. 

Watch out for your eyes, Fashion Week is back (September 27, 2021) with women's ready-to-wear fashion shows (until October 5, 2021).

Music events in Paris in September 2021

Elixir d'amour

Paris opera houses: the palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille go back to school in September! At the Palais Garnier: the opening gala on 24 September 2021, the ballet Play from 28 September 2021, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas from 1 to 4 September 2021... At the Opéra Bastille: Œdipe from 20 September, L’élixir d’amour from 28 September...

Postponed because of Covid-19 restrictions, Marie-Claude Pietragalla’s dance performance, La femme qui danse, is due to open at the Madeleine Theatre on 23 September and run until 6 November 2021.

Electronic music culture is also celebrated by the Techno Parade which will bring together all those involved in the electronic music scene for a joyful parade through the streets of the capital in September 2021.

Sports events in Paris in September 2021 

The Harmonie Mutuelle Paris half-marathon is due to take place on Sunday 5 September 2021. Marathon runners arrive from the world over to sweat through the streets of Paris and experience this must-do sporting event.

Every year, fans of vintage and classic cars flock to the main hall of the Grand Palais to admire, before the start of the race, the vehicles selected to take part in the Tour Auto Optic 2000. Usually organized in April, the 2021 edition is scheduled to take place in September (date and venue to be announced, due to the temporary closure of the Grand Palais).

Outings with children in Paris in September 2021

Fête au Bois de Boulogne © DR

To get some fresh air and make the most of the late summer days before the kids go back to school, head for La Fête au Bois de Boulogne (formerly known as the Fête à Neuneu) which takes up residence in the Bois de Boulogne in early September (dates to be confirmed). The fair has been delighting young and old for more than 30 years, with rides and attractions for all ages, including merry-go-rounds, mini-roller coasters, swing carousels and a Big Wheel.

Amusement parks 

The amusement parks have reopened in the summer of 2021 and will of course remain open for the new school year in September.

More infos on Disneyland® Paris

More infos on le Parc Astérix

More infos on Jardin d'Acclimatation

More infos on FlyView Paris

More infos on AccroCamp

Not forgetting the PopCorn Labyrinthe Paris Val d’Europe, the Sherwood Parc and L'Île de Robinson (reopening on 2 September).