Paris in October – what’s on?

MyFrenchLife™ - Paris in October - AutumnBy October in Paris, it’s definitely getting to that time of year where il faut sortir les manteaux et les gants. And even if you’re not quite ready to do so, the Parisians surely will be.

The beach chairs of Paris Plage have been packed away, and la rentrée has come and gone. On est certain that we’ll be much more likely to find you visiting some of these fabulous events that the City of Light has to offer. Vraiment, with all that’s happening in October, who even has time to miss the summer months?

1. The Autumn Festival: still well and truly underway

We brought this event to your attention in our last monthly round-up. But as we love the events so much – and thankfully, it continues on through December – we thought that we just had to share one of our new favourites for the month to come.

Tout d’abord… Rabih Mroué

MyFrenchLife™ - Paris in October - Rabih Mroué

This piece has been chosen given the relevance of its focus on the current Middle Eastern situation. Rabih Mroué was born in Beirut, and his work resists definition. It employs a strange mixture of elements from the theatre to breath-taking visual arts to portray the realities of Lebanon.

Through a performance piece, Mroué creates a space where the audience can discuss, learn and see a different perspective on the background, current torment and pain of the Middle Eastern identity today.

You can find more information about the performance here.

When: 14-18 October
Where: Theatre de la Bastille, 76 Rue de la Roquette
Metro: Voltaire

2. Paris célèbre l’art contemporain… avec FIAC

MyFrenchLife™ - Paris in October - FIAC

FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain or the International Contemporary Art Trade Fair) is taking place in Paris in October. Over the course of a few days, Paris will host environ 60 French and international galleries who specialise in contemporary and emerging art. As you can imagine, this will be rather extensive, and will cover an area spanning 3700m².

The event allows emerging talents to take a turn in the spotlight, and will consist of outdoor sculptures and installations, artists’ performances, and films.

When: 22-26 October
Where: Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design
Metro: Gare d’Austerlitz

3. La Nuit Blanche

MyFrenchLife™ - Paris in October - Nuit Blanche

This event should be instantly familiar. It has by now established itself as a classic on our calendars: La Nuit Blanche. It allows us to enjoy everything we so love about Paris all night long. There are countless Parisian galleries, museums, city halls (even swimming pools!) whose doors remain open to the public throughout the night. Even better, it’s all free…

Avouons qu’il y a peut-être un peu trop de choix – there may even be a little too much to choose from! But fear not, because we’ve even got an article on our favourite events (and a few tips) to help you profiter bien de cette soirée magnifique.

When: 5 October
Where: All over the city!
Metro: Changes according to event

4. Sade: Attacking the Sun

Given our great love of the Musée d’Orsay, we try our very best to keep up to date with what’s going on – because more often than not, there will be something to snag our fancy.

This month, the museum is home to un petit expo on the themes within the writings of the Marquis de Sade, a French philosopher, writer and aristocrat. He’s also famed for his exploration of the underbelly of Paris – think promiscuity, violence and excess – how intriguing! Such themes will be portrayed through the works of romantic painters such as Goya and Gericault, and artists of different inclination such as Rodin and Picasso.

When: 14 October – 25 January
Where: Musée D’Orsay
Metro: Solferino

5. Vendanges de Montmartre


Paris might be a bustling metropolitan hub, but it also retains some quaint, bucolic charm. En fait, there are still working vineyards in the 18th! To uphold the wine-making tradition, the Vendanges de Montmartre, or the Montmartre Harvest, has been celebrated annually since 1934. The festival lasts for five days and there is just so much to do and see, for young and old alike. Kids will love the costumes, the workshops and the fireworks. Grown-ups will no doubt enjoy a spot of wine tasting and sampling regional delicacies from the many stalls. Of course the parade dedicated to Bacchus (god of wine) and the crowning of the Harvest Queen are not to be missed.

When: 8 October – 12 October
Where: all around the 18th arrondissement
Metro: Abbesses

Are you visiting Paris in October? What have you got lined up for your trip? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credits:
1. Paris in Autumn, courtesy of Richard Tyler, via Flickr.
2. Rabih Mroué exhibition, courtesy of Manuela. 
3. Fiac balloon, via 
4. La Nuit Blanche, courtesy of Yann Caradeck, via Wikimedia Commons.
5. Marquis de Sade, via Wikipedia.
6. Fête des vendanges de Montmartre, by CedEm Photographies, via Flickr

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with 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 -

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  1. Elise Mellor Oct 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM - Reply

    La Nuit Blanche has really taken off around the world – we have it in Melbourne in February now.
    Can anyone tell me if it began in Paris, or did it start somewhere else?
    Also, February in Melbourne is the hottest month of the year, is October in Paris warm enough to stay out all night??

    • Ellen Burns Oct 6, 2014 at 6:25 PM - Reply

      I went to the one in Toronto last year as well Elise, which was around this time of year. It wasn’t quite warm enough…I’m glad the Melbourne one is in Summer! It definitely started in France but I don’t know if it was Paris. I insist on calling the Australian one ‘Nuit Blanche’ and some people look at me funny and wonder what I’m talking about…I guess White Night has a ring to it as well! 😉

  2. Jill Craig Oct 2, 2014 at 1:57 AM - Reply

    The Marquis de Sade sounds like such a fascinating character (although extremely misogynistic!). I’m reading de Beauvoir’s `La Deuxieme Sexe` at the moment and she certainly doesn’t approve of him…

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