Top picks for the post summer holiday period in Paris

The top events on the Paris cultural calendar: exhibitions, shows, concerts, opera, ballet and trade fairs. Our tips to make sure you don’t miss out on the key cultural events in the autumn of 2019.

Summer is drawing to a close but the weather is looking mild and sunny for a few more weeks. An ideal time to enjoy the city indoors and outdoors, and discover the new events programmes. From September onwards, museums, theatres and leisure venues resume full service and there is a wealth of festivals, trade fairs, plays, and exhibitions throughout the capital.

Every year

Musée Carnavalet, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Topping the list of cultural events in Paris is European Heritage Days. Over one weekend, numerous cultural and historical sites exceptionally open their doors to visitors! This annual event is a rare opportunity to discover some of Paris’s most beautiful buildings. In October, the Nuit Blanche, on the first Saturday of October, attracts night owls for a cultural all-nighter as ephemeral art installations across the city offer a different offbeat and surprising view of the city. On the programme: a parade, races (running), museums open all night … October is undeniably the month for art lovers: the FIAC draws a huge crowd from all over the world who come to discover some 1,500 talented, new or established, contemporary artists exhibiting works in different  places in the city and attend the many fairs, such as  YIA Art Fair, Art Elysées, Outsider Art Fair... If it is pop culture that you are looking for, Comic Con returns each year to the Grande Halle de La Villette with new and exciting entertainment full of surprises and superheroes. Cosplay, science fiction, heroic fantasy, there is something for everyone.

> More information on contemporary art in Paris

Techno Parade 2017  © François Guillon

For a dazzling sight from the month of September, head to the town of Saint-Cloud for the event ‘Les Pleins Feux’–, the biggest fireworks display in Europe. An unforgettable show! Another kind of show and atmosphere in September is the Paris Fashion Week, which showcases the finest spring/summer haute couture collections. And for fans of electronic music, Techno Parade winds through the streets of Paris every year in mid-September.

The new post summer holiday period is also packed with trade shows and exceptional cultural events, starting with the Biennale de Paris, a major meeting of antique dealers where numerous galleries show the best in jewellery, tapestry and luxury furniture. And at the end of October, gamers gather at Paris Games Week, considered as the biggest event devoted to video games in France. 

Fête des vendanges de Montmartre 2019  © DR

For good food fans, autumn is the perfect opportunity to treat your taste buds! In October sets Tous au Restaurant, an event that enables you to enjoy good food at low prices: for each menu purchased, the second is free! In mid-October, don’t miss the Grape Harvest Festival to taste the unique local wine made in Montmartre. And chocaholics should head over to the Parc des Expositions de Paris for the Paris Chocolate Show, where pastry chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners reveal their best culinary secrets.

Finally, for thrillseekers, 31 October is the annual rendezvous at the chilling Manoir de Paris or enjoy the shows and attractions at Disneyland ®Paris after dark. A spooky spellbound atmosphere guaranteed!

> More information on Halloween in Paris


Jazz à la Villette 2019 © DR

Like summertime, autumn in Paris offers rich pickings when it comes to festivals. The Festival d’automne is probably the most eclectic of them all: featuring dance, cinema and theatre, it offers a range of diverse and high-quality events in 47 different venues in the capital and around. Are you an art enthusiast ? For nightbirds, MaMa Festival  is one of the top musical events of the new season with more than 120 concerts in 3 days. And for fans of jazz, swing and indie music, there are two not-to-miss festivals: Jazz à La Villette and the Pitchfork Music Festival.


La Parisienne Course Tour Eiffel© DR

Paris is a great stage for international sporting events. or running enthusiasts, there is the 20 km de Paris with its 25,000 runners, and La Parisienne – an exclusively women’s race over 6.7 km in the heart of the city. Not forgetting the Qatar, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a full weekend of horseracing events drawing the best thoroughbred horses and international jockeys. There is also the international race Paris-Versailles, attracting 25,000 competitors below the Eiffel Tower, finishing opposite the Château de Versailles. Tennis fans won’t want to miss the Rolex Paris Masters, the second most important tournament in France. 


Jardin d'Acclimatation - Chaise Volantes , Paris

There is no lack of things for kids to do in Paris ! For a family day out, head to the Fête at the Bois de Boulogne to enjoy this famous funfair. Why not have fun and learn at the same time? Finally, don't miss Kidexpo, the big event for families.

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Degas at the Opera

from 24 September 2019 to 19 January 2020
Musée d'Orsay - 1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris

For the first time, an exhibition is specifically focusing on the depictions of the Opéra de Paris in the work of Degas

Francis Bacon: Books and Painting

from 11 September 2019 to 20 January 2020
Centre Pompidou - Place Georges Pompidou, Paris

A much-awaited exhibition on the late works of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Leonardo da Vinci

from 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020
Musée du Louvre - Pyramide du Louvre, Paris

Drawing, painting, philosophy and science brought together in one man

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

Ghost, the Musical

From 28 september 2019
Théâtre Mogador - 25 rue de Mogador, Paris

The musical inspired by the legendary film on the stage of the Théâtre Mogador

Van Gogh, Starry Night

from 22 February 2019 to 05 January 2020
Atelier des Lumières - 38 rue Saint-Maur, Paris

An immersion into Van Gogh's greatest masterpieces!

Paris-London. Music Migrations (1962-1989)

from 12 March 2019 to 05 January 2020
Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration - Palais de la Porte Dorée - 293 avenue Daumesnil, Paris

A musical and visual exhibition on the link between immigration and music in the two capitals.

Ocean: Diving into the Unknown

from 03 April 2019 to 05 January 2020
Grande Galerie de l'Évolution - Muséum national d'histoire naturelle - 36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Paris

Discover the biodiversity of our oceans

Back Side/Dos à la mode

from 05 July 2019 to 17 November 2019
Musée Bourdelle - 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris

An exhibition that breaks the mould and shines a spotlight on the back