The techno parade in Paris (philippe leroyer)

I have a lot of fond memories of Paris in September. It’s been a few years since I studied abroad there, but I distinctly remember the late-August excitement of leaving for my favorite place in the world, knowing I’d get to stay for more than a handful of days. There is a lively buzz around the city in September.

Everyone has just come off long vacances and is duly rested and ready for fall. I’ll be heading back to Paris in a few days, the same week I left for my study abroad program several years ago, and I may be as excited as I was then. Here are some of the events I will not be missing:

Leonard Chohen at l’Olympia & Gerhard Richter at the Pompidou ( &


Through September 24: Gerhard Richter at the Pompidou. Gerhard Richter garners a great deal of high praise; he’s been called the best living artist, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and the like, so it’s no surprise that this exhibition is a must-see. Richter was born in Dresden and lived in Germany during the time of the wall, escaping from East to West just before its erection. One of my favorite things about his work is the variety of mediums he takes on – he’s a bit of a renaissance man of visual art. He’s probably known most for his abstract paintings – like his “September” take on the 9/11 attacks – but he’s a sculptor, photographer and more. It is no wonder this is one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year.

The Alice Springs exhibition (, ©Alice Springs)

Through November 4: Alice Springs at Maison européenne de la photographie. We’ve all heard that behind every great man is a great woman, yes? Alice Springs, a woman of many names – we’ll get into that in a bit – was that and so much more for the famed Helmut Newton. She was his curator, confidante and often subject, but she was also a brilliant photographer herself. Né June Browne, Alice Springs’s photography career began when she stepped in for a shoot Newton was supposed to do for Gitanes cigarettes. Though the pair shot many of the same subjects and both styles are overtly sexual, Alice Springs brings a sort of tenderness and emotional vulnerability to her work. A trip to my favorite photography museum is certainly in order.

The Alice Springs exhibition (, ©Alice Springs)

September 28-October 1: Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers de Menilmontant: This is a really special one. So much of an artist’s work is tied closely to their personal life, so the chance to peek inside where the magic is made is a unique one. This annual event affords visitors the opportunity to step inside ateliers around the city, glimpsing into the inner workings of artistic creation.

The techno parade and Leonard Cohen ( & svennevenn)

La Musique

September 15: Techno Parade. Ah, the beloved techno parade. When I was studying abroad I had just gotten into electronic music a few months prior and fully enjoyed this rowdy march that seemed like it belonged in Berlin or Rio. Lines of floats will parade from the Place de la Nation to the Place d’Italie, covered in neon rave-appropriate decoration and blasting electro beats. The juxtaposition of the floats against the Haussmannian buildings lining the parade route completes the surrealist experience. Get to this event and you’ll forever be a part of its fans who – sorry for this – rave about it.

The techno parade (Mister Jack)

September 28-30: I usually prefer small venues, an intimate vibe…you know, concerts where you feel only a few feet away from the artist. But a large venue with a massive crowd all adoring the person on stage can certainly be a good time. Leonard Cohen is playing at l’Olympia and the show will definitely be one example of the latter. The Canadian singer-songwriter can really do it all – his styles vary greatly, but his gentle deep voice makes his tunes immediately identifiable and comforting.

La Femme (La Femme)

Various: I’m generally not keen on high heat, but I can’t help but adore all the outdoor activities Paris offers during the summertime. Food markets, street fairs, and, of course, concerts! We’ve talked about a handful over the past few months, but the fun continues into the fall at the Parc de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne. Some September favorites are La Femme, dancey fun pop, on the 15th and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anglo-French sweetheart, on the 16th.

Charlotte Gainsbourg (Bonnaf )

La Bouffe

September 22: Fete de la Gastronomie: The French are proud of many things, and food is likely one of the top. What better place to celebrate all the tasty things they’ve given the world than at this festival? This year’s focus is “French country cooking – tradition and creation” with demonstrations, tastings and more all across the country. One of my favorites? The week-long Tous au Restaurants – much like New York’s Restaurant Week, it offers affordable meals at favorite restaurants. What better excuse to go out to eat?

The Maison & Object expo ( & A……M……A)


September 7-11: Maison & Objet is a three-day expo dedicated to all things design at Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre. Some of the most enticing lectures include “Design-art galleries: how to make it on the international scene,” which talks through the boundaries of art and design and how they interact on an international stage. Also, “Hotels in…Fashion,” a discussion on haute couturiers taking on hotel design…is it a fad or the new norm?

Written by Erin Dahl for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Erin Dahl

Erin’s had a whimsical affair with Paris since her first trip as a wide-eyed teenager. She is Editor for the HiP Paris Blog as well as Co-founder of Content Coopérative, Paris’s first English-native content agency.

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