After the long-awaited la rentrée—the return of Parisians to the city and the absence of the summer tourists, the autumn months are the best time to experience Paris like a local. The summer months are beginning to cool down and fall foliage arrives in October. It’s a great time of year to enjoy jazz festivals, fashion, food and fewer crowds at the main attractions in this cultural capital. Here are some of our must-sees in the city of light in the fall, this September-November 2023.
To experience this beautiful city like a local, you must be in the know like a local. Luckily, we have you covered. Remember, Daylight Savings Time in France ends on the night of Sunday, October 29. Be sure to set your clock back one hour and get ready for shorter days. Toussaint’s school holiday is from Sunday, October 22 – Sunday, November 5, 2023, meaning children are out of school in Paris. Expect attractions to be busier during this time. And if you’re planning ahead, the school holidays for next year are Sunday, October 20 – Sunday, November 3, 2024. The French also recognize All Saints Day on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, as a public holiday, and Armistice Day on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Many banks, stores, businesses, and some restaurants will be closed. But never fear; there is always something to do in the French capital.
Paris Events for September, October, and November 2023 | Best Things To Do and See
SPORTS + MUSIC
Rugby World Cup – September 8, 2023 – October 28, 2023
France is hosting this year’s Rugby World Cup. The tournament takes place every four years between the top international teams. As rugby is France’s second national sport, France was delighted to find their national team beat New Zealand at the tournament’s tip-off on Friday, 8 September. The tournament runs until the World Cup Final on Saturday, October 28 , at Stade de France, Saint-Denis, just outside of Paris.
Paris Autumn Festival – September 7, 2023 – February 11, 2024
The Paris Autumn Festival or Festival d’Automne is an international music festival that takes place annually from September to February. Hosting over 50 events to over 250,000 spectators, the Paris Autumn Festival exhibits contemporary creations worldwide.
Jazz Sur Seine – October 6-21, 2023
Jazz Sur Seine is back for its 12th annual celebration of all things jazz. Starting in early October, the Paris Jazz Club organizes this two-week festival, highlighting the jazz creation and popularity in Paris. Over 450 artists will play more than 180 concerts.
Rolex Paris Masters – October 28, 2023 – November 5, 2023
The best tennis players are coming to the Accor Arena for the Rolex Paris Masters this fall season. Known as the world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament, this is definitely a sporting event you want to attend. It’s the perfect place to spend Autumn’s rainy days.
ARTS + CULTURE
Paris Design Week – September 7-16, 2023
Paris Design Week shares the art of living, looking, and designing from 7-16 September. Designers, architects, decorators, fashion designers, and chefs display how the use of space brings everything we know and love about Paris to life. What better way to learn the ins and outs of Paris life than by Parisian professionals?
“The Poem of the Soul” by Louis Janmot – September 12, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Our beloved Musée d’Orsay is displaying Lyonese artist Louis Janmot’s crowning work, “The Poem of the Soul.” Imagining the soul’s initiatory journey to Earth, Janmot produced 34 compositions and a long poem from 1835 to 1881 that are included in this new exhibition.
Picasso and Gertrude Stein Exhibition – September 13, 2023 – January 28, 2024
In memory of the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, the Musée du Luxembourg organized a captivating exhibition. It explores the artistic friendship between Picasso and Jewish American immigrant Gertrude Stein. Titled “The Invention of Language,” the two immigrants transformed Paris’ art, literary, and theater scene forever, becoming prominent figures in the 20th century.
Tribute to Jane Birkin and Women of Paris Tour – September 15, 2023
L’Entrepôt Cinéma hosts a tribute for Jane Birkin, British and French actress, singer, and fashion icon, who passed on 16 July 2023. The movie theater will show Jane par Charlotte, directed by Charlotte Gainsbourg, first screened at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. There will also be a Women of Paris tour before the film at the cinéma.
Maison Gainsbourg Finally Opens – September 20, 2023
The long-awaited Maison Gainsbourg, just across the river from the Jardin des Tuileries, opens its doors on September 20, 2023. It was home to famous French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. The maison, is just a stone’s throw from the Latin Quarter. It is covered in graffiti and has been transformed into an official museum dedicated to Gainsbourg. Accompanied with a bookshop, café, and piano bar, online ticketing is now available exclusively online.
Paris Fashion Week – September 25, 2023 – October 3, 2023
As the world’s fashion capital, Paris would not be Paris without Paris Fashion Week. Catch a glimpse of Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 hosted at venues throughout the city. Some live streams have been made available to the public to view this exclusive event through their website.
Upcoming Artists: Art Show and Gallery – September 30, 2023
Only four times a year, Galerie d’Artistes is open this September. This is the best way to see emerging and established painters, sculptors, photographers, and print-makers hosted at Open Studios. Held in late September this event is free to the public. Browse original art and even purchase your new favorite piece to add to your art collection.
Asian Art Fair – October 19-22, 2023
Monnaie de Paris exhibits the 9th edition of Asia NOW. This Asian art fair will be spread indoors and outdoors on the Left Bank of the Seine, across from the Louvre Museum and the Bourse de Commerce.
120th Annual International Art Festival – October 21-23, 2023
Since 1903, Salon d’Automne, an international art festival, celebrates its 120th showcase. Founded by Frantz Jourdain, the event now occurs at La Grande Halle de la Villette in late October. It is a cherished artistic event loved by Parisians and tourists alike.
Halloween in Paris – October 31, 2023
If you are in Paris for Halloween this year and looking for ways to celebrate it, look no further. The Grand Rex movie theater presents showings of all the beloved Halloween films. See Dracula, The Shining, The Exorcists, Conjuring, and more on the big screen again on this one-night blockbuster extravaganza.
Over the Rainbow: Centre Pompidou, until November 13, 2023
Since this summer’s June until 13 November 2023, the Centre Pompidou is displaying what they call “Over the Rainbow.” The exhibition highlights LGBTQIA+ artists and communities as they fought for recognition of their rights in the late 1960s in France.
Léopold Sédar Senghor Exhibition, until November 19, 2023
Musée du quai Branly presents “Senghor and the Arts Reimagining Universalism” until 19 November 2023 at the Galerie Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere. Reflecting on the achievements of the president of Senegal from 1960 to 1980, Léopold Sédar Senghor is praised for his reinvention and de-westernization approach to his cultural policies and diplomacy.
FOOD + WINE
Grape Harvest Festival – October 11-15, 2023
Fall’s famous Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival returns to the 18th arrondissement. Known to the locals as the Fête des Vendanges, more than 40 bars and restaurants participate in this popular event. Montmartre is not only known for the Sacré-Cœur basilica but also its famous wine. Enjoy a wine tasting, concerts, dancing, and exhibitions this long weekend.
Salon du Chocolat – October 28, 2023 – November 1, 2023
Held at the end of October until early November, an event that is a must for chocolate lovers is the Salon Du Chocolat. It is the world’s largest known event dedicated to all things chocolate and cocoa. Attend demonstrations from famous pastry chefs at the Pastry Show. You can also learn how to become a chocolatier yourself at workshops and watch models strut the runway wearing chocolate-made garments. Best of all, put your chocolate love to the test by enjoying tastings at the Chocosphere.
FÊTES + EXHIBITIONS
European Heritage Days – September 16-17, 2023
One of Parisians’ favorite celebrations in early autumn is their beloved Journées du Patrimoine or European Heritage Days. A weekend spent celebrating heritage, this 40th annual commemoration honors “Shine a Light on Living Heritage” and “Sports Heritage” as France currently hosts the Rugby World Cup and is preparing to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. During the European Heritage Days, which take place every third weekend in September in Paris, a variety of sites that are typically closed to the public open. As Paris is the ultimate artistic destination, it’s a perfect time to dive deeper into its history and heritage. Catch glimpses of town halls, private residences, former prisons, and even behind the scenes of the famous metro.
Car Free Day – September 17, 2023
Do not be alarmed if you cannot catch a taxi or Uber on Sunday, 17 September 2023. You may even notice how eerie it is because you will not see any cars on the road. This is because this day marks Paris’ annual Car Free Day. The city will be closed to car traffic and turned over to pedestrians and bike riders alike. The first four arrondissements have a car-free day every first Sunday of the month. You’ll notice less emission and noise pollution in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4tharrondissements.
Fête des Jardins – September 24-25, 2023
At the end of September, as the City of Light prepares for the appearance of fall colors like oranges, reds, and yellows, the 24th annual Garden Festival welcomes thousands of nature-loving spectators to its beautiful gardens. This autumn season, over 150 places will be open to the public, including a number of Parisian parks like Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement, Parc George Brassens in the 15th, and Parc de Bercy in the 12th. Many free activities will include gardening workshops, guided tours, and environmental and ecology presentations.
International Rare Books and Graphic Arts Fair – September 22-24, 2023
The Grand Palais hosts a book lovers event that we are very excited about in Paris. This occasion is among the most critical events for ancient books, autographs, and manuscripts. The program even includes a demonstration of bookbinding and restoration. Step into the world of the written word and discover the timeless beauty a good book has to offer.
Where to See Christmas Window Displays in Paris – November 2023 – January 2024
We know Paris is called the City of Light. But did you know Paris is also known for its Christmas lights and decorations? It’s never too early in Paris to prepare for Christmas or Noël. So, here are all the dates for the most iconic Christmas window displays in Paris during the holiday season.
– One of the first modern department stores, founded in 1838, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, will kick off Christmas early with their window display opening on October 28, 2023.
– Printemps Haussmann, an elegant department store filled with luxury and designer brands, will commence on November 8th at 5:30 PM.
– On the same night, November 8, 2023, BHV Marais (52 rue de Rivoli, Paris 4) will show its famous Christmas display.
– Arguably, the most famous department store in Paris, Galeries Lafayette, will wait to show their Noël decor on November 15, 2023.
Armistice Day in Paris – November 11, 2023
11 November marks Armistice Day, a statutory holiday in France honoring the fallen soldiers of World War I and other wars. Armistice Day is celebrated in Paris by a military parade along the Champs-Elysées, past the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Arc de Triomphe. On this day, many citizens wear black or dark clothes to mourn the loss of the many war causalities.
Paris Christmas Markets – November 2024
If you travel to Paris in late November, make time for the famous Paris Christmas Markets filled with the best hot chocolate, mulled wine, homemade decorations, and more. The three most significant and best Christmas markets include the Tuileries Garden Christmas Market, the Saint Germain Christmas Market, and La Defense Christmas Market. Typically, the exact dates of the openings of these markets are announced 3-4 weeks in advance. But, we were given word that the Tuileries Garden Christmas Market will open on November 19, 2023, the earliest date we have ever seen.
Christmas Lights and Décor in Paris – November 2023 – January 2024
Finally, the entire City will be decorated for Christmas from November 2023 – January 2024. Be sure to walk along the Champs-Elysées to gawk at its over 1 million lights and stunning decorations. Over 400 trees light up the famous avenue from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m each night.
- Catch Kimsooja’s stunning installation ‘To Breathe’ through the end of October, along with a host of other things to do at Galeries Lafayette Paris Hausmann.
- September is La Rentrée, a time when school starts and social life swings back to life.
- Créatures, the pop up rooftop restaurant, continues through October. Read about its celebrate chef Julien Sebbag and stop by for some of the best views and vegetarian food in the city.
Written by Kacie Frederick for HIP Paris. Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.