Nuit Blanche guide & tips – save me for 2014

Nuit Blanche: sphèrelose yourself in the beauty of Paris and discover the eccentricity of its artists at this year’s Nuit Blanche. 

Every year for one night in October, Parisians and tourists alike stay out for all hours to appreciate awe-inspiring art. This year make sure you’re a part of the festivities Saturday 5 October.

Born in 2002 as a celebration of contemporary art and artists, Nuit Blanche offers a glimpse into the Paris de vos rêves.

With events taking place all over the French capital until the wee hours of the morning, Nuit Blanche is locally referred to as an all-nighter. Not only limited to paintings and exhibitions, Paris comes together to revel in music, dance, film and theatre.

Marvel at spectacular light installations, experience a unique performance and be inspired by belle Paris and the talent of her artists.

So, how can you get the most out of your Nuit Blanche? Follow our ultimate guide for all the tips and tricks.

5 must-sees

Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont : " Nuit Blanche " Rune Guneriussen 2009

The city of Paris is usually divided into five zones for the night. Each zone has it’s own guide for the scheduled avant-garde events. You can find maps at the central point of each zone that highlight the area’s attractions.

1. A great starting place is the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, where you can get guidebooks for the evening. These guidebooks can also be found at the other major locations en route.

2. If you want some entertainment you must check out Palle Nielsen’s interactive sculpture. You can find this exhibition at the Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad. Les enfants are invited to jump and play on this enorme playground, and after 11pm it’s the adults turn.

3. For the biggest bang of the night, head to the Seine to see the Chinese artist and pyro technician who was responsible for the fireworks at the Beijing Olympics. You can see Cai Guo Qiang’s ‘Ode to Love’, an orchestrated pyrotechnic celebration of all that is love.

4. The Seine is going to be one of the most happening places at this year’s Nuit Blanche. Be a part of one of the key exhibitions when DJs and artists turn the riverside into an open-air boite de nuit.

5. For an unforgettable experience head to the Place de la République. You’ll be mystified when you see Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculptures. See this iconic area cloaked in a curious cloud of mist.

5 top tips

Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Nuit Blanche : Noël Dolla " Chauds les marrons aux Buttes Chaumont, 1789 - 2009, 220 années de rêves "

1. Some events are held in locations usually closed off to the public, so make the most of this night and explore some of the city’s little-known treasures. Our top picks are the Carreau du Temple, which isn’t scheduled to open to the public until 2014. You can also visit the Communist Party’s HQ to see Kristin Oppenheim’s installation.

2. Be prepared for large crowds: the whole city will be out in force. The same goes for public transport, try to plan your route so that you can walk to your hotel at the end of the night.

3. To enjoy the festival comme un vrai Parisien, take a relaxed approach to discovering the curious and quirky things on display. Make sure to plan a rough route and highlight a few events you don’t want to miss along the way. That being said, don’t be afraid to leave the rest to Paris; let the city show you what it has on offer.

4. Try not to lose your night waiting dans les lignes; take a break or two at bar along the way.

5. And rug up, il fait froid in Paris at this time of year.

Don’t be put off by crowds at St Michel and Chatelet, to get the full experience of Nuit Blanche you must drop by!

Will you be out and about for Nuit Blanche? What are you most excited to see or do? Join the conversation in the comments box below.

Image credits:
1. Nuit Blanche, sphère, by Xavier Vilallongue via Flickr.
2 & 3. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, & Chaudes les marrons aux Buttes-Chaumont, by Vincent Desjardins via Flickr.

About the Contributor

Kristie-Lee Clifford

I am a writer and recent journalism graduate from RMIT. After spending a year on student exchange in France I fell in love with French language, culture and cuisine. Find me on Google+ or check out my work.

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