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.
European heritage days
Boasting such iconic buildings as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Cœur Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral 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 (20 to 22 September). A number of events are organized on this occasion to enable visitors to see little-known facets of familiar venues or to discover places that are usually closed to the public, such as the Élysée Palace. For this 2018 edition, cultural heritage and the art of sharing are in the spotlight!
More info about Paris, a fabulous heritage
In the autumn, Paris museums will be spotlighting British art. The second Francis Bacon retrospective to be held in France will open on 11 September at the Pompidou Centre. No fewer than 79 paintings and 7 working drawings by one of the 20th century’s greatest British painters will be on display for 4 months (from 11 September 2019 to 20 January 2020). Another major exhibition titled L’âge d’or de la peinture anglaise (The Golden Age of British Painting) will also open on 11 September at the Musée du Luxembourg. It is a veritable ode to the painters who gave such prominence to 18th-century British painting: Gainsborough, Turner, Reynolds and Constable.
French art is also on the agenda, with a focus on Edgar Degas’s fascination with opera, a recurring theme in his work throughout his career. His numerous paintings depicting scenes at the Opéra de Paris – the dancers, the dressing rooms, the orchestra, the audience members – will be on display at an exhibition titled Degas à l’opéra (Degas at the Opera) at the Musée d’Orsay (from 24 September 2019 to 19 January 2020).
September is your last chance to see two of the year’s top exhibitions: La Préhistoire (Prehistory) at the Pompidou Centre (until 16 September) and Berthe Morisot at the Musée d’Orsay (until 22 September).
The summer season continues, The Festival d’Automne has the most eclectic offering, with top-quality events in various fields: dance, cinema and theatre. For fans of jazz and swing, Jazz 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.
In September, the Kiosquorama eco-citizenship and arts festival occupies bandstands in gardens and parks throughout Paris Region for a month. A programme of free events open to all, including concerts, installations, workshops and educational games.
Design and fashion
During Paris Design Week, the City of Light turns into the world’s design capital (5-14 September). Each year the event draws more than a hundred designers from around the globe who come to Paris to show their latest creations. Save the date, Fashion Week returns on 23 September with women’s ready-to-wear fashion shows (until 1 October).
On your marks, get set, go! It is race time again with La Parisienne, the all-women’s race (8 September). This year’s theme ‘Far West’ while the legendary Paris-Versailles draws some 20,000 participants on the last Sunday in September each year. The 42th edition will start from the foot of the Eiffel Tower on 29 September and the runners will cover a distance of 16 km all the way to the Château de Versailles.
In 2019, with the European Volleyball Championship being held in France, sports fans will be busy discussing serves and forearm passes. AccorHotels Arena is to host the third-place playoff and the final on 27 and 29 September: two exciting games to look forward to!
In September, DJs, record labels, radio stations and music lovers take to the streets for the Techno Parade, a celebration of electronic music in all its forms. On the concert scene, the end of the month looks full of musical surprises, but patience, the programme for September is still under wraps!
As for concerts, there will be some great events in store as the month draws to a close, notably at the Palais Garnier, where La Traviata will be staged anew from 12 September to 16 October. Verdi’s masterpiece has been revisited by the talented young theatre director Simon Stone.
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. 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.