What to do in October in Paris

by Ali Postma

The leaves are starting to yellow, days are getting shorter, and autumn is setting in. Some love the pretty fall months in the city, others mourn the end of the seemingly fleeting Parisian summer. Either way, October is a busy month in Paris with plenty of events to keep you occupied before the weather really starts to cool.

People sitting on the abandoned railway at the Hasard Ludique culture hub in Paris with graffiti-adorned walls.
Top: Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre – Christophe Raynaud De Lage/ Above: Fête de la Petite Ceinture – Le Hasard Ludique

Cocktail Street

Kick off the month with Cocktail Street from October 5-7 at the Grande Halle de la Villette. This festival is dedicated to not only mixology, but also street food thanks to a collaboration with Le Food Market. 

Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre

A poster for the Fete des Vendanges (grape harvest) in Montmartre (left). Green tentacles peeking out of a building during Paris's Nuit Blanche art festival (right).
Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre / Les Extatiques

October in Paris means one of my favorite events of the year: Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre. This annual five-day fête celebrates the grape harvest of Paris’s only remaining and working vineyard, Clos Montmartre. The event is like one big street party, featuring local and artisan producers offering a wide range of French wine and gastronomic treats.

There is wine and champagne of course, but also oysters, cheese, charcuterie, crêpes, and many other French delights. There are also exhibitions, concerts, parades, dance performances, walks, and talks. The 86th edition of the fête will be held from October 9-13.

Fête de la Petite Ceinture

Also in Montmartre is the Fête de la Petite Ceinture at Le Hasard Ludique. Every Saturday until October 27, 2000m2 of the abandoned railway lines that sit beneath Le Hasard Ludique will be opened for barbecues, cocktails, DJ sets, pétanque, and street art hunts for kids. 

People sitting on the abandoned railway at the Hasard Ludique culture hub in Paris with graffiti-adorned walls.
Fête de la Petite Ceinture – Le Hasard Ludique

Festival d’Automne

There is also Festival d’Automne à Paris, a multi-disciplinary festival bringing you contemporary theater, music, dance, visual arts, and cinema from all over the world. The festival is on until December 31st at various cultural institutions in Paris.

Les Extatiques

You have until October 6 to see Les Extatiques at La Défense. Les Extatiques is a contemporary public art walk at the Esplanade de la Défense. Nine artists have installed creations along the esplanade to create a walk through the different works. They each respond to this year’s theme, which is air and wind.

A huge pink lit-up flower (left) and a lit-up sign that reads 'Qui sème le vent?' (who escapes the wind) with the La Defense arch in the background.
Les Extatiques

Nuit Blanche

Another of the biggest events of the year in Paris is Nuit Blanche, which will be held on October 5. Nuit Blanche invites you to discover the city by night. See the city in a new light aided by contemporary art from both France and abroad, with installations, exhibitions, concerts, performances, and walks. An added bonus? Public transport will be open all night. 

People on the metro which has been adorned with green plants.
Nuit Blanche – Mairie de Paris

Biennale de Paname

From 17-20 October is the Biennale de Paname, a contemporary art exhibition that will be held in a 2500 m2 space located in the heart of Bastille. The Biennale is an exhibition of contemporary art in all its forms: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, performance, and new technologies. It is also an opportunity for visitors to meet the 25 artists presented, with conferences, readings, projections and more. 

A poster for the Cocktail Street event in Paris this October (left) and a poster for the Biennale de Paname art event (right).
Cocktail Street / Biennale de Paname – Léo Nataf

Immersive Art Festival

Meanwhile, at the ever-popular Atelier des Lumières is the Immersive Art Festival from October 18-24. The festival is dedicated to all-consuming digital and graphic design and will feature 11 competing artistic teams that will present a four-minute-long immersive show on a theme of their choice. The teams will be judged by a professional jury as well as visitors who can vote at the gallery.

A poster for the Immersive Art Festival at the Atelier Lumières in Paris this October (left). An immersive light and sound show (right).
Immersive Art Festival – Atelier des Lumières

Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC)

As always, the FIAC, or the International Contemporary Art Fair, will be from October 17-20 at the Grand Palais. 

The crowds exploring the art installations around Paris at night during Nuit Blanche.
Nuit Blanche – Mairie de Paris

Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre

And finally, the blockbuster exhibition everyone has been waiting for will open at Musée du Louvre on October 24: an homage to Leonardo da Vinci 500 years after his death. The Louvre holds the world’s largest collection of da Vinci’s paintings. Remember to book tickets in advance!

Related Links

Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

Related Articles

One comment on “What to do in October in Paris

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting

Join the HiP Paris Community
Receive our exclusive newsletter w/special offers, deals, giveaways, unique recipes from published authors plus insider travel tips and insights only for HiP readers.