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 2018.

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

Nuit Blanche Concorde 2006

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. At the end of October, the FIAC also attracts art enthusiasts who come from around the world to see the work of some 1,500 new or experienced talented contemporary artists, exhibited in different places around the city. 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 spectacular sight at the start of September, head to the town of Saint-Cloud which is the stage for Europe’s biggest fireworks display. 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.  Then every two years, car and motorcycle enthusiasts can attend the renowned international Paris Motor Show to discover all the latest models.

Salon du chocolat © DR

For good food fans, autumn is the perfect opportunity to treat your taste buds! In late September, chefs take to the streets for the Goût de France event and propose the best of French gastronomy via picnics, wine tastings and gourmet events throughout Paris. This is closely followed by 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

In 2018


Joan Miro DR

This autumn, there is a bumper line-up of exhibitions in the capital. Admire the masters of Cubism at the Centre Pompidou or the 200 or so sculptures and drawings by Austrian artist Franz West. This year, the Fondation Louis Vuitton throws the spotlight on Basquiat and Schiele whilst the Musée d’Orsay presents a collection of paintings from Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods. And the Grand Palais is the place to go to see paintings by Miro, artworks based on the iconic singer Michael Jackson and the exhibition Magnificent Venice! Venice: Europe and the Arts in the 18th century.


femme sur une chaise de cabaret

As to shows, Paris offers a particularly eclectic selection of events. Lasting 3hrs20, the eagerly-awaited tragic opera Traviata, by Verdi, comes to the Opéra Bastille (surtitled in both English and French). A number of great musicals will also have Paris audiences singing along from September onwards: Chicago will be playing at the Théâtre Mogador and the Fashion Freak Show at Folies Bergère. If you are a fan of circus acts, the Compagnie les 7 Doigts de la Main returns with the show Cuisine et Confessions, a savvy mix of acrobatic acts, theatre and culinary art. Finally, the new show by Bartabas, Le Sacre de Stravinsky, mixes equestrian art, dance and symphonic music at the Seine Musicale.


Jazz à la Villette 2018 © 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 ? The event Rendez-Vous à l’Atelier is the opportunity to visit different artists’ workshops in Paris and discover the world of Delacroix, Moreau, Scheffer, Dubufe, Rodin, Bourdelle and Zadkine in the space of a weekend. 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. This year, the coveted Ryder Cup is being staged for the first time in France, an opportunity for golfers and golfing fans in the Paris region to see the best European and American players. And for 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.


Totem Cirque du Soleil

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? The exhibition T-Rex includes workshops for children and the largest T-Rex skeleton ever exhibited in France; and to find out all there is to know about Fire, head to the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie. Kids and adults will love Totem et Plume, two magical shows filled with acrobatic acts, music and lights. Finally, don't miss Kidexpo, the big event for families.

> More information on « What to do in Paris in September ?
> More information on « What to do in Paris in October ?
> More information on « What to do in Paris in November ?

Nuit Blanche in Paris

from 05 October 2019 to 05 October 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

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

European Heritage Days

Exhibition | Celebration
September 2019
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Discover or rediscover Parisian museums and monuments over one exclusive weekend

Jazz à La Villette

Festival | Jazz music
August - September 2019
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

A line-up featuring the most innovative artists in all styles of jazz

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

from 05 October 2019 to 06 October 2019
Hippodrome de 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.

Autumn Festival in Paris

Festival | Show - dance | Show - miscellaneous | Show - theatre
from 10 September 2018 to 13 February 2019
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Every year, the public can discover almost 50 shows in various venues and institutions in Paris and around the Ile-de-France regio...


Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show
Novembre 2019
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

The big family event at the Porte de Versailles.

Halloween at Disneyland® Paris

October / November 2019
Disneyland® Paris - Disneyland® Paris, Marne-la-Vallée

Encounter Disney goodies and baddies at Disney’s Halloween Festival

FIAC, International Contemporary Art Fair

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 17 October 2019 to 20 October 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

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

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

November 2019
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

The 9th edition of this top autumn festival.

Techno Parade

Celebration | Modern music
from 22 September 2019 to 22 September 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

This mega festive event attracts a large public who come to parade through the streets of Paris to promote electronic music cultur...

Paris Chocolate Show

Trade fair, trade show
from 30 October 2019 to 03 November 2019
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.

MaMa festival

October 2018
Quartier Pigalle - Place Pigalle, Paris

A new edition of the MaMa festival will take place in the 18th arrondissement: join in!

Comic Con Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 25 October 2019 to 27 October 2019
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

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

Goût de France

from 21 September 2019 to 23 September 2019
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Goût de France is all about food and cooking

Le grand feu de Saint-Cloud

Show - miscellaneous
September 2019
Domaine national de Saint-Cloud - Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud

The biggest fireworks display in Europe.

Tous au restaurant

october 2019
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

The great gourmet food event is back in Paris for an 10th edition. The prospect of discovering new flavours!

Paris Fashion Week

Festival | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 21 January 2019 to 24 January 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Paris, more than ever the fashion capital!

Mondial de l’automobile (Motor Show)

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

In 2018, this international motor show returns to the Parc des expositions at the Porte de Versailles.

Miró. Retrospective

from 03 October 2018 to 04 February 2019
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris

Surrealism takes hold of the Grand Palais

Michael Jackson, On the Wall

from 23 November 2018 to 14 February 2019
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris

The Grand Palais is paying homage to the King of Pop

Fashion Freak Show

Show - miscellaneous | Musical theatre, musical
from 18 September 2018 to 21 April 2019
Folies Bergère - 32 rue Richer, Paris

Jean-Paul Gaultier will be launching his Fashion Freak Show at the Folies Bergère on 2 October 2018

Jean-Michel Basquiat

from 03 October 2018 to 21 January 2019
Fondation Louis Vuitton - Bois de Boulogne - 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris

Jean Michel Basquiat comes to the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Rendez-Vous at the Studio

October 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Seven artists' studios from the 19th and 20th centuries open their doors for one weekend

La Biennale Paris

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show
september 2019
Nef du Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

The Grand Palais hosts some one hundred exhibitiors for the Biennale Paris