5 must-dos for Paris in October

Britt Aylen - L'arc - My French Life™paris is like that great friend you’ve known for ages – the one who’s always busy, but always has time for you.

She never seems to need much sleep to be her vibrant, magnetic self. She will make space for anyone and everyone: foodies, fashionistas, music-lovers and art-enthusiasts.

This October, her schedule is full to the brim of fabulous things to see and do. We’re dying to introduce you… so, allons-y – it’s time to lose yourself in the City of Light this October.

Stay out all night

It’s that time of year again: Nuit Blanche! Be part of the fun on 5 October, and don’t forget to consult our ultimate guide before you go. Click here to read more.

For the chocolate-obsessed

Calling all gourmands: indulge in something a little sweet this month when the Porte de Versailles Convention Centre opens its doors to host the Salon du Chocolat.

Salon du Chocolat - My French Life™

This yearly event draws big crowds with its dedication to all things cocoa, from sweet treats to savoury. The exhibition even has a chocolate fashion show, and a tantalisingly tasty display of 180 European and international chocolatiers.

Treat yourself to tickets, but make sure you book before you go to avoid bitter disappointment.

Salon du Chocolat
30 Oct – 3 Nov
Viparis Porte de Versailles, Pavilion 5
Métro: Porte de Versailles

For wine-lovers


Profitez bien du vin, de la musique et de la cuisine parisienne as part of the 80th ‘Fête des Vendanges‘.

One of the city’s biggest events, the festival runs from 9 October until 13 October and showcases the only vineyard in Paris.

Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival
9 – 13 Oct
Butte Montmarte
Métro: Abbesses

For art enthusiasts

FIAC LogoIf you’re in the French capital from 24 to 27 October, you cannot miss the chance to immerse yourself in the International Contemporary Art Fair, or as the French call it, FIAC.

FIAC is a key event on the contemporary art scene and this year it will showcase work from more than 3000 artists from around the globe.

Drop by the Grand Palais to be in the centre of the action: 187 galleries will be presenting parts of their collections.

We’re especially keen to check out installations at the Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin de Plantes and the banks of the Seine!

24 – 27 Oct
Grand Palais, plus various locations around Paris.

For fabulous hats & fast horses

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Pour les sportifs, be a part of one of the most prestigious horse races in the world: the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This historique flat race takes place at Longchamp Racecourse and spans 2400 metres.

Soak up the unique atmosphere with crowds of almost 50 000 people. Expect fine fillies, exquisite fashion and flowing champagne as only the French can do.

Don’t miss the purebred entertainment from 5 to 6 October.

Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
5 – 6 Oct
Hippodrome de Longchamp
2 Route des Tribunes, 71156 Paris

For festival-goers

Running from 31 October until 2 November, Pitchfork Music Festival is your chance to rock out with the locals and break away from the typical tourist hotspots at two fantastic venues in the Parc de la Vilette.

You’ll have 28 artists to pick and choose from – we’re dying to see Disclosure, Jagwar Ma, Baths, The Knife and Hot Chip.

Pitchfork Music Festival
31 Oct – 2 Nov
Grande Halle de la Villette & Trabendo – both in the Parc de la Villette,
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris

Do you have anything to add to our list? Tell us in the comments box below, or join the conversation on Twitter: @maviefrancaise.

This month’s column was compiled by Kristie-Lee Clifford.
Image credits:
1. Britt Aylen.
2. Macarons, by PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast via Flickr.
3. Montmartre Vineyard, via Wikimedia Commons.
4. Winner of the Prix in 1920: Comrade, via France Galop on Facebook.

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife.org MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon - MyFrenchLife.org

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  1. Amandine Sevestre Oct 4, 2013 at 11:51 PM - Reply

    What about La Nuit Blanche this week-end ? It’s great way to discover things by night – with some interesting art performances / music and this year, pyrotechnics over the Seine….

    • Judy MacMahon Oct 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM - Reply

      Yes, Amandine La Nuit Blanche is an amazing event! In Paris there is always so much choice isn’t there? Did you enjoy La Nuit Blanche this year?

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