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Top cultural events in Paris this autumn

This autumn, the Paris calendar is bursting with new events! Plays, exhibitions, concerts, festivals, ballets and operas – there’s something to suit all tastes.

Although summer is over 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 huge offering of festivals, trade fairs, plays, and exhibitions throughout the capital.

Must-see exhibitions in Paris

New exhibitions are opening in the capital after the summer. From 18 October 2023 to 15 January 2024, a major retrospective of the work of Pablo Picasso is being held at the Pompidou Centre with the exhibition ‘Picasso, Dessiner à l’infini’ (Picasso. Infinite Drawing), featuring a thousand works and documents of the great Spanish painter. The Louvre is staging a large-scale exhibition devoted to Notre Dame Cathedral, titled ‘Les trésors de Notre-Dame, Des origines à Viollet-le-Duc’ (The treasures of Notre Dame: from the origins to Viollet-le-Duc), from 19 October 2023 to 29 January 2024, comprising some of Notre Dame Cathedral’s most beautiful liturgical objects. The cathedral is scheduled to re-open to the public in December 2024. The exhibition ‘Van Gogh à Auvers-sur-Oise’, from 3 October 2023 to 4 février 2024, at the Musée d'Orsay examines the last few months of the painter’s life, a delicate period during which he experienced one final burst of creativity, and comprises 74 paintings and 33 sketches.

The immersive exhibition ‘Océans’, from 20 October 2023 to 7 January 2024, at the Atelier des Lumières, plunges visitors into some magnificent underwater scenes by the famous photographer Brian Skerry.

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Concerts and shows in Paris

Plays, musicals, operas, ballets and concerts – the cultural calendar opens in full swing in Paris’s best-known theatres and concert halls!

Theater in Paris

At the Palais des Glaces, the comedian Pablo Mira, who is known for his biting wit, casts a sardonic eye over the way our society is changing in his new show ‘Passé simple’ (Past Simple) (from 29 September 2023).
La puce à l’oreille’ (A Flea in Her Ear), a farce by Georges Feydeau, returns to the Comédie Française staged by the Swiss actress Lilo Baur from 19 September 2023 to 1st January 2024.
The actress Adèle Haenel, who is known for several of her film roles, has returned to the stage. The winner of the César award for best actress in 2015, she will be onstage at the Théâtre national de la Danse from 22 to 29 September 2023, with Julie Shanahan. An adaptation of a story by Robert Walser, the piece in which they star, ‘L’Étang’ (The Pond), questions social issues and family relationships. The voices of the actresses change as they portray multiple characters.
Film stars Sophie Marceau and François Berléand are onstage together at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens performing the play ‘La Note’ from 21 September 2023 to 19 November 2023.

Musicals in Paris

The very popular French musical ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ is making a much-awaited return to the Palais des Congrès de Paris from 15 November 2023 for its 25th anniversary.

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Another classic in the genre, ‘Starmania’ – the first Francophone rock opera – returns to the Seine Musicale for a second season starting from 14 November 2023. This cult show sweeps the audience up into the futuristic world conceived by its creators Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon.

At the Théâtre Mogador, the African savannah is the setting for the famous musical which has drawn 100 million spectators, ‘Le Roi Lion’ (The Lion King), which returns from 1 October 2023 and will run until 31 December 2023.

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The cult musicalWest Side Story’ is a highlight of the season at the Théâtre du Châtelet, from 20 October to 31 December 2023. This American classic, which was turned into a hit movie, features two rival gangs in New York’s Upper West Side in the 1950s. Lonny Price, a famous Broadway director, has brought a fresh perspective to the musical.

Operas in Paris

The Opéra Bastille is staging one of Mozart’s masterpieces, ‘Don Giovanni’, during its new season (from 13 September to 12 October 2023). Other notable productions this autumn are ‘Don Pasquale’, with more contemporary staging by Damiano Michieletto, at the Palais Garnier (from 14 September to 13 October 2023), ‘La Fille de madame Angot’ (Madame Angot’s Daughter) (from 27 September to 5 October 2023) at the Opéra Comique, and ‘La Cenerentola’, a sparkling adaptation of the fairytale ‘Cinderella’ at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (from 9 to 29 October 2023).

Classical concerts

At the Philharmonie de Paris, the season opens with the chorus of the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Klaus Mäkelä, with compositions by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff (on 6 and 7 September 2023). The Seine Musicale is staging a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (on 29 September 2023). The Théâtre des Champs-Elysées for its part will be hosting Vladimir Jurowski and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester playing Schumann and Mahler (on 21 September 2023).

Ballets in Paris

The opening gala on 21 September at the Opéra de Paris places the spotlight on the choreographers Crystal Pite, Xie Xin and Marion Motin. Performances of their works will continue from 23 September to 12 October 2023: Crystal Pite’s creation ‘The Seasons’ Canon’ to music by Vivaldi, and ‘Horizon’ by Xie Xin and ‘The Last Call’ by Marion Motin, both modern creations for the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet.
The next item on the list of ballet events in the city is a tribute to Jerome Robbins, a major figure of American neoclassicism, with three of his works at the Palais Garnier from 24 October to 10 November 2023: ‘En Sol’, ‘In the Night’ and ‘The Concert’, works that express a sense of light-hearted discovery.

Concerts in Paris

There is a rich programme of concerts in Paris! The Zenith de Paris will be hosting an electro concert by Fred Again (on 20 and 21 September 2023), a rock concert by New Order (on 26 September 2023) and a show by French singer Zazie (on 13 October 2023). The programme of events at the Accor Arena features concerts by Icelandic singer Björk (on 8 September 2023), Louise Attaque (on 9 and 10 September 2023) and the former member of One Direction Louis Tomlinson (14 October 2023).
The Philharmonie de Paris programme features Brazilian music by musicians known for their political activism, Gilberto Gil (on 25 October 2023) and Caetano Veloso (on 23 September 2023). At the Seine Musicale, American R&B star Usher will be playing eight dates (from 24 September to 5 October 2023), while Isabelle Boulay pays tribute to the world-famous Parisian singer Edith Piaf in a concert titled ‘Piaf Symphonique’ (on 17 October 2023).

And fans of vintage smooth jazz take note: the legendary Portland band Pink Martini will be performing at the Grand Rex (on 12 and 13 October 2023).

Festivals in Paris

Autumn is also the season of an array of festivals. The Fête de l’Humanité will be back again this year in September (from 15 to 17) with concerts, shows, talks, debates and exhibitions. This year’s edition, the 89th, will be held for the second time at the Base 217 on Plessis-Pâté airbase not far from Paris.
The Festival d’automne is one of the most eclectic events to be held in the city each autumn. It is a collection of dozens of events taking place in various venues in the capital and its outskirts (from 7 September 2023).

Trade shows and exceptional cultural events in Paris

More than 1,600 events are organized each year in Paris, including more than 400 international trade shows open to the general public.

The fashion capital, Paris parades the finest designer creations at Fashion Week (from 25 September to 3 October 2023 for women’s fashion).

The not-to-be-missed Paris+ par Art Basel modern and contemporary art fair will be taking over the Grand Palais Ephémère from 19 to 22 October 2023, as well as the Tuileries Gardens, the Palais d'Iéna, the forecourt of the Institut de France, the Chapelle des Petits-Augustins des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Place Vendôme, with a free programme open to all.

A popular family outing, the Kidexpo show features a host of new toys, plus educational workshops and stands for parents at the Porte de Versailles, from 26 October to 29 October 2023.

A wealth of flavours awaits you at the Salon du chocolat, with displays of amazing chocolate creations and demonstrations by the finest chocolate makers (from 28 October to 1st November 2023).

The Fête in the Bois de Boulogne is a great opportunity for families to enjoy themselves, with plenty of roundabouts and attractions (from 1st September to 15 October 2023).

From 9 to 12 November 2023, the Grand Palais Ephémère will be hosting Paris Photo, which will showcase modern photography.

The Cultural Olympiad of Paris 2024 Olympics games

© Francisco Rodriguez Grijalva

A rich programme of sport-focused cultural events will be taking place in Paris in the autumn of 2023! The ‘Olympiade culturelle’ is a large-scale artistic and social programme launched by the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee to provide a connection between sport and culture. Among the highlights is ‘Arthlète’, a cultural festival focusing on the world of breaking, a new Olympic sport, from 1 November to 30 November 2023 at Le Plateau. Then there is ‘Hors-piste’ at the Théâtre du Rond-Point, in which the biathlon champion Martin Fourcade engagingly narrates his career, and the LRC World Festival of Electro Dance & All Style, an electro dance competition on 25 and 26 November 2023 at the Théâtre Chaillot, a major dance event.

Annual cultural events in Paris at the start of the autumn season

On 16 and 17 September 2023, the traditional European Heritage Days return for a 40th edition across the capital.

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