NOTE: Clocks in France turn back one hour on October 30th at 3am for Daylight Savings.
The 20th annual Nuit Blanche (“White Night”) is a free contemporary art festival taking place from 7pm until 5am in locations all over Paris, with three “parcours” (itineraries): North, South, and Center. The website with the schedule and locations is mostly in French, but this year there’s a “Practical Info” section in English here.
September 23 – October 2
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 103rd edition of the Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particularly pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-des-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €7.
Through October 1
The magical Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte are back! Open every Friday (July 8th-Aug 26th) and every Saturday (through Oct 1st) from 2pm, 2000 candles are lit at sunset, and fireworks show before the 11pm closure; reservations required. Due to Covid, the shuttle from the train station is no longer running (reserve a taxi or come by car, free parking). Read the Secrets of Paris article about it here.
September 29-October 2
One of the last artist open house for Parisian artist studios of the season, don’t miss this weekend’s Portes Ouvertes des Artistes de Ménilmontant (20th arrondissement) featuring 100 artists in 45 studios. The main gallery has maps and examples of different artists’ works, Ménils8, 8 rue Boyer, 20th, metro Gambetta. Free entry, lots of events around the neighborhood during the festival.
September 26-October 4
It’s Paris Fashion Week again, Women’s Prêt-à-Porter for the spring-summer 2023 season. Mere mortals can’t attend 99% of the shows, but you can enjoy the free show on the streets of Paris (especially around the Tuileries/Louvre/Palais Royal areas and along the Rue St-Honoré) where fashionistas will be trying to outdress each other to attract photographers. Do keep in mind that if you’re in Paris during this time it will be harder to get reservations at the trendiest restaurants (or get into the stylish bars/clubs).
Head up to Montmartre for the 89th annual Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival (yes, there is an actual little vineyard in Montmartre, just behind the Musée Montmartre and across from the Lapin Agile Cabaret). This year’s theme is “The 18th Celebrates Equality”. Here’s the description: “Through more than twenty artistic, cultural, gourmet, sporting and participatory events, the different districts of the 18th arrondissment will share with us their vision of equality. People coming from the 18th arrondissement, from Paris and its suburbs, from Ile-de-France or from all over the globe, are welcome to take part in this joyful and festive “rendez-vous”, in order to celebrate our differences and to pay tribute to the richness of diversity.” There will be grape stomping, food and wine tastings, a parade, live music, a dance party, and all kinds of fun throughout the “Butte“. Many events are free, some you have to reserve a spot, so get to the website or stop by the little Montmartre Tourism Office at 21 Place du Tertre (18th).
Time for the annual Fête des Puces (Flea Market Festival) in the Parisian suburb of St-Ouen, the largest flea market in France. This year’s theme is Puces Fantastiques (Fantastic Fleas), and for five days the stands of the 15 markets — including Vernaison, Dauphine, Paul Bert, Biron, Malassis, and Serpette — will be hosting live music, dances, and artistic performances while putting their finest wares on display. It’s free and open to everyone (although if you want to attend the Thursday opening night party from 7pm-midnight you’ll need to print out the invitation here).
Through October 10
Photographer Alexis Duclos presents his black and white photos of Paris in his latest show, “In the City” at the Durev Gallery (56 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, 7th, open Tues-Sat 10am-7pm). The vernissage is Thursday the 15th from 6:30pm.
In October LVMH (Moët-Hennessy-Louis-Vuitton) is hosting Les Journées Particulières with 27 events in and around Paris (and other locations around the world). Most of the events are already filled by September, but give it a try anyway. You can search via the map or the list, then just scroll down and click on “program” to see what each visit entails (especially since most of the locations are already open to the public, but there may be a special workshop, cooking demo, artisan, etc).
October 15-February 12
CAPITALE(S) is a free exposition at the Hôtel de Ville (4th) celebrating 60 years of Paris street art, featuring the most influential artists, including Invader, Miss Tic, André, Swoon and Banksy. In the Salle Saint-Jean at 5 rue de Lobau, free entry with reservations online, Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm (Thursdays until 9pm).
The annual Nuit des Châteaux (Night of the Castles) takes place this evening in historic châteaux throughout France. Aside from the magic of being able to visit these castles all lit up at night, there are special tours, events, concerts and candlelit garden tours…check out the official website for the participating châteaux and their programs. The tickets vary depending on what is presented, but start as low as €1. You’ll need a car, none of the castles are in Paris or accessible on public transport.