Cultural events and festivals abound in Paris in the wake of summer.
September is a great time to visit the French capital and enjoy the pleasant autumn weather. After the summer holidays, Parisians gear up for a variety of cultural and festive outings. Autumn brings a host of vibrant events to match the spectacular array of colour on trees.
Boasting such iconic buildings as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Cœur Basilica and the Arc de Triomphe, Paris has a wealth of heritage. On the third weekend of September each year, numerous monuments in Paris region open up to the public for the European Heritage Days (16 and 17 September 202)3.
On this occasion, many one-off activities and tours are organized to enable people to discover (or rediscover) well-known venues and visit places that are usually off-limits to the general public, such as the Élysée Palace. This is your chance to go behind the scenes at some of the most amazing places in the capital, such as the Cirque Bouglione (the world’s oldest circus), the striking Closerie and Villa Falbala by the artist Jean Dubuffet at the Foundation bearing his name, the restoration workshops at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace aerospace museum and the oldest basketball court in the world at the YMCA Union de Paris.
More info about the European Heritage Days in Paris
New exhibitions are a major feature of the back-to-school period in September.
On 12 September 2023, the Petit Palais opens a major exhibition of the rich and diverse works held in its collection of engravings. Entitled Trésors en noir et blanc, the exhibition presents a comprehensive panorama of engravings from the 15th to the 20th century, including a selection of prints from grand masters such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Rembrandt and Goya.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso, the Musée du Luxembourg turns the spotlight on the life of Gertrude Stein, examining her friendship with Picasso and her links with the Paris arts scene. The exhibition Gertrude Stein and Picasso. The invention of a language (provisional title) will run from13 September 2023 to 21 January 2024.
A high point of the autumn programme is the major retrospective devoted to Nicolas de Staël at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris from 15 September 2023 to 21 January 2024. A master of abstraction, de Staël, who drew his inspiration from light and colour, is without doubt one of the greatest – and also one of the most mysterious – artists of the 20th century.
The Cluny Museum, France’s Museum of the Middle Ages, presents a highly original exhibition devoted to rock crystal, the transparency of which has been a source of fascination throughout history. Voyage dans le cristal de roche (Journey into rock crystal – provisional title) celebrates this variety of quartz to which many properties have been attributed and which has inspired numerous beliefs as well as beautiful works of art.
As we approach the run-up to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the Museum of Decorative Arts unveils an exhibition that explores the links between Sport and Fashion. Featuring a carefully chosen selection of clothing, accessories, photographs, paintings, posters and more, the exhibition retraces the history of sportswear from antiquity to the present day. See some iconic items such as the famous Lacoste polo shirt and the yellow jersey of the Tour de France! The exhibition runs from 20 September 2023 to 7 April 2024.
You still have a bit of time to see some of the major exhibitions that you might have missed during the first half of 2023. Catch up with Marc Chagall - Paul Klee at the Atelier des Lumières (until January 2024), Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs at the Grande Halle de la Villette (until 6 September 2023), Cheveux et poils (Hair & Hairs) at the Museum of Decorative Arts (until 17 September 2023), and L’argent dans l’art (Money in Art) at the Paris Mint Museum (until 24 September 2023).
Book your tickets for the exhibition Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs
Book your tickets for the double exhibition at the Atelier des Lumières
Book your tickets for the exhibition Money in Art at the Musée de la Monnaie
The summer season continues,...
For fans of jazz and swing, Jazz à La Villette is a must-see – all the more so as it’s now a family outing, including a kids’ version of the festival : Jazz à la Villette for Kids.
Foodies take note: as in previous years, the Omnivore Food Festival will be held at the Parc Floral de Paris, and some of the best young chefs in the world will be there. Round table discussions, demonstrations, tasting sessions and masterclasses on 10, 11 and 12 September 2023 will give gourmets plenty of food for thought.
Unusual, to say the least! The world’s first film festival focusing on sharks, the Paris Shark Fest, returns for its 4th edition at the Club de l’Etoile on 14, 15, 16 June 2023. The programme includes previews, documentaries, short films, talks, and other events.
Watch out for your eyes, Fashion Week returns (September 25, 2023) with its ready-to-wear catwalk shows (until October 3, 2023) – an opportunity to find out the key trends for next season.
From 29 September 2023, the Première Classe show devoted to fashion accessories will be held in the Jardin des Tuileries. Created in 2019, the Impact show is devoted to sustainable, ethical and socially conscious fashion (from 2 to 4 September 2023), with brands such as Le Slip Français, Emmaüs, Ekyog, etc.
These fashion events in September are also an ideal opportunity to discover – if you don’t already know it – the new design and artistic crafts community venue Galerie du 19M, installed in a building designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti in the Porte d’Aubervilliers district (19th arrondissement).
Electronic music culture is also celebrated by the Techno Parade which will bring together all those involved in the electronic music scene for a joyful parade through the streets of the capital in September 2023. The Dream Nation Festival and the Peacock Society Festival (held in the Parc de Choisy in Créteil) are the two other major electronic music events this autumn.
The Nocturnes Electro (electro party), with its famous DJs (programme to be announced), will be back in the gardens of the Château de Versailles on September 2023, for an unforgettable evening!
Each year, less than 45 minutes from Paris, the Fête de l’Humanité, a festival founded by the newspaper L’Humanité in 1930, attracts established artists and emerging talents to its many stages. This must-see Paris musical event has played host in the past to big-name performers such as Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill and Jacques Dutronc.
Another big music event in Paris this September is the Louise Attaque concert. The famous French rock group is scheduled to round off its tour of France at the Accor Arena on 9 September 2023.
And lastly, acclaimed French horse-trainer Bartabas offers a new take on Mozart’s requiem in a stunning show at the Seine Musicale from 14 to 17 September 2023. The Grande Seine, one of the largest music venues in France with a capacity of up to 6,800 seats, will be transformed into an equestrian arena for the occasion. This grandiose, majestic show features 12 members of the children’s section and 60 choristers from the Radio France Choir, 13 horses and 9 artist-riders trained at the National Equestrian Academy in Versailles and includes a new solo performance by Bartabas.
La Parisienne, an all-female race through the heart of the capital, takes place on Sunday 10 September 2023. This 7km and 10km race winds up a three-day outdoor show devoted to running, yoga and wellbeing. More than 30,000 people are once again expected to take part this year.
The 44rd edition of the Paris-Versailles race will be held on 24 September 2023. The Grande Classique, as the race is known, draws 25,000 runners each year. The 16-km route goes from the Eiffel Tower (Quai Jacques Chirac) to the Château de Versailles.
To get some fresh air and make the most of the late summer days before the kids go back to school, head for La Fête au Bois de Boulogne (formerly known as the Fête à Neuneu) which takes up residence in the Bois de Boulogne in early September (dates to be confirmed). The fair has been delighting young and old for more than 30 years, with rides and attractions for all ages, including merry-go-rounds, mini-roller coasters, swing carousels and a Big Wheel.
Amusement parks and theme parks will of course stay open as autumn begins in September.
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