The days are shorter and the air is crisp, yet Paris events are heating up for the fall season. The Paris Opera & Ballet companies are starting out their new season with a bang with performances at Opera Bastille & Palais Garnier. Also popular in October are classical music concerts at the newly refurbished stained-glass wonder, the Gothic church of La Sainte Chapelle.
October is also a great month to explore beyond Paris to Versailles or the Loire Valley to see the French landscape in its autumn glory. It's the last month of the season to catch the spectacular fountain shows at Versailles, and to see the gardens in bloom at Giverny. One more thing — for readers of Paris Insiders Guide (that's you!) the Paris Pass is offering an additional 10% discount when you use Paris Insiders Exclusive Discount Code: INGUIDE10
|Our Fave Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||Our Top Food & Wine Activities|
|All The Best Events in Paris||Classical Music, Opera & Ballet||New Exhibits at the Museums|
By now you know that we hate to waste time standing in the long lines at the major Paris attractions. There is no attraction more major than the Eiffel Tower, which means there are always lines. That's why we love tours where your guide leads you past the lineup to the priority entrance and then up the tower. Check the Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours for other options.
You only live once, make sure one of your days includes the best of Paris nightlife — dine at the Eiffel tower, Seine River cruise, and a cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge. The evening starts with dinner high above the city at restaurant Eiffel 58, then to the river for an illuminations cruise. Finally, Moulin Rouge for champagne and the hit cabaret. Hotel pick-up is included.
Everything looks better from a boat cruising down the Seine. On this relaxing ride you see Paris from a different perspective. All the famous landmarks will pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal. Another nice thing about this activity is that it includes hotel pick-up and return.
This is another combination activity that makes for a great night out in Paris. You start out with dinner at restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel, located on the tower it's named for. Don't worry, you have priority-access tickets so you don't have to worry about the lines at the Eiffel Tower. You close out the evening with a night cruise along the Seine while the city lights are bright. Hotel pick-up and return is included.
This 3-part activity makes for an action-packed day in Paris. You get to bypass the ticket lines at the two most famous attractions. At the Tower follow your guide past the lines while relating fascinating facts. Also included are tickets for the Louvre and for a river cruise, which you can take day or night.
It's no secret that the Louvre is the world's most popular museum. Do you want to wait in line to see the best art in the world? Or do you want to zip ahead of the long line with fast access tickets and join a fascinating walking tour where your expert guide will personally take you right to the highlights — Venus, Mona, Nike, and other influential pieces.
That's right — you cruise down the city's famous river while sipping champagne, all under the tutelage of an expert sommelier who leads you through a flight of three tastings. Even better, you have priority seating at the front of the boat where the views are the best. While gliding past the sights sipping bubbly you discover that perhaps the best way to see the City of Lights is on a bateaux.
You're in luck! In October you can still join up with this 2-in-1 tour. Cycle the countryside near Versailles — through forests and pastures. Shop at local markets, then lounge in the gardens of Versailles eating grapes, nibbling on cheeses, while drinking in the history of the place. After le picnic, use your VIP skip-the-line pass to explore the Chateau de Versailles.
The evening kicks off with your driver meeting you at your Paris hotel. That's always a good sign! At Moulin Rouge, at the foot of Montmartre, you're led to your table where you dine on three traditional French courses while viewing the famous cabaret. Moulin Rouge usually sells out weeks in advance, so be sure to book early.
This fun, active tour covers Paris in just one day! It packs a wallop, taking you on a Seine River Cruise, a Louvre museum tour (where you skip the lines), plus lunch on the Eiffel Tower. From 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant you see the city laid out beneath you. Refreshed after lunch, you head to Notre Dame on Île de la Cité. Everything is included — lunch, entrance fees and river cruise.
Bundle up a little from the slight nip in the air — and from the chills you'll get during this tour of the ghostly, the eerie, and the downright creepy! Your guide leads you down cobblestone streets and winding alleys as you learn about the darker side of the City of Light. The Black Plague, the Nazis, and the unexplained.
In the country that practically invented the art of scent, join an everything-perfume workshop led by an industry expert who also teaches at the Ecole Superieure du Parfum (school of Perfumery) in Versailles. First on the agenda is learning the basics of perfume including the characteristics of distinct families of scents. Then you dive in to make your own unique perfume to take home. How cool is that?
Of all the Paris travel advice we give, this is perhaps the most useful and appreciated. Simply, arrange for your ground transportation from the airport into central Paris before you leave home. Then, when you arrive tired and jet-lagged, you'll avoid the often long wait at the taxi stand. Readers like to book this shuttle van service right to their hotel.
But, wait a minute, here's our very best advice! It costs more, but it's just the pampering you deserve after a long flight. The Insiders Secret way to get from the airport is to have a private, luxurious Mercedes S-Class booked before you leave home. If you're like us, you'll appreciate the extra comfort of a private ride after the long flight. We highly recommend Manu, our Paris friend and professional driver, to meet you at the arrivals gate and whisk you into the city!
The Paris Pass saves money & time — get into the museums for free and ride the Metro for free. But the big advantage is bypassing the ticket lines. If you've ever stood in line for hours at the Louvre, you'll appreciate how nice that is.
We also have a special discount for you — 5% off on all 4-day and 6-day passes. What used to be just a good deal is now a great deal. And, since the clock doesn't start ticking on the Paris Pass until you first use it, you can buy it up to a year in advance. Use the discount code: INGUIDE10.
From central Paris driver/guide whisks you to the royal estate. Included in your dossier are priority, skip-the-line tickets. Go directly inside to experience the grandeur of the chateau on a guided tour that includes the best of Versailles. Stroll through the gardens until lunch on the Grand Canal. Aprés lunch — the Grand Trianon & Marie Antoinette's farm. Includes Paris hotel pick-up & return.
We may, as our pal Lorde says, never be royal, but we sure felt like royalty on this exclusive behind-the-scenes to parts of Versailles most tourists will never see. We loved Louis XVI's private apartments, his personal library, and especially the Royal Opera House. Opt for the morning tour and you get access to the Hall of Mirrors before the crowds arrive.
One of our favorite things to do while we're in Paris is to spend a day sampling champagne in the region it comes from. Champagne country is only an hour from Paris and it's easy to get to with day tours that pick you up right at your hotel. You spend the day focusing on the bubbly as you visit both small producers and grands maisons.
This is our readers' favorite way to visit the Loire Valley. Probably because it combines visits to the most magnificent chateaux with tastings of the best wines of the Loire Valley. See castles like Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau. Everything is arranged for you on this day trip from Paris.
October, and the gardens of Claude Monet are still dazzling, and less crowded than during the peak summer months. A visit to the lush gardens and sprawling mansion of this Impressionist master should be an essential on your Paris itinerary. At Giverny you wander to the lily pond, pause at the Japanese bridge and reflect on the artist's sublime creations. Includes hotel pick-up.
The landing beaches of Normandy have got to be the most famous battle sites of World War II. This popular small-group tour takes you to the most important sites — the beaches, the monuments, the museums, and the dedicated cemeteries. You may find it to be a powerful emotional experience. Includes Paris hotel pickup.
The day trips recommendations we can fit on this page are only a few of the wonders within easy reach of Paris. It's worth it to plan for a day or two to explore beyond the city gates to visit the D-Day beaches of Normandy, stunning Mont-Saint-Michel and other sites. Read our further recommendations for favourite day trips.
You'll certainly want to attend a concert fit for a king at this historic chapel in the heart of Paris on Île de la Cité. Built on the order of Louis IX in the 13th century, it has recently undergone an extensive seven-year, €9.5 million restoration to the rose stained-glass wall. The scaffolding is now down, revealing the sparkling glass windows! Combine a visit to the must-see chapel with a classical music concert.
The amazing architecture and gold work in this stunning 19th-century opera palace is a wonder to behold, and alone worth attending a performance here. But the music is just as magnificent, with a calendar full of ballet, light opera, and music. Let's look at the concerts you want to attend this month —
The opera bursts with Viennese waltzes, mazurkas and polkas. There's plenty of intrigue revolving around the possible marriage between Hanna, the beautiful, rich widow and the dubious Count Danilo.
• Opera Bastille
• October 5, 9, 11, 15, 18 & 21
It's the only opera Debussy ever completed and its considered a 20th-century landmark. The opera centers on a love triangle between Prince Goulaud; his wife, the mysterious Melisande and Goulad's half-brother Pelleas.
• Opera Bastille
• October 1 & 6
Verdi's grand five-act opera covers politics, religion, and history and focuses on the life of 16th century Carlos, Prince of Asturias. Verdi tinkered and created many versions of his longest opera. Performed in Italian with English and French surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• October 19, 22, 25, 28 & 31
This classic comedy, based on Shakespeare, was composed by Giuseppe Verdi when he 80 years old. The story revolves around Sir John Falstaff, a portly knight who attempts to seduce two rich married women. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• October 26, 29 & November 1
This beautiful opera house is only rivalled by Palais Garnier. Recently re-opened after a long renovation, it's sparkling! Come to see the magnificent restored artwork, grand staircases, chandeliers, statues, murals and be dazzled by an Opéra Comique performance. Salle Favart is one of Paris' oldest drama and music institutions, founded in 1714 by Louis XIV and located in the heart of Paris on the Grand Boulevards.
Eglise de la Madeleine boasts a famous pipe organ, built in 1846 and still used today. The neo-classical structure, with its Grecian columns, reaches back to Napoleon, the French Revolution, and Louis XVIII, the last French king. Today it's also a popular venue for a classical music concerts.
The oldest church in Paris, the iconic St-Germain, is also a popular venue for classical music concerts. In October you can hear a performance of The Four Seasons and then follow it up with classic French dinner at a Left Bank bistro.
• VIVALDI'S THE FOUR SEASONS, VITALI & SCHUBERT + DINNER
• October 7, 21 & 28
This Latin Quarter church is a favorite for concert-goers. The acoustics are fantastic with its intimate size, high ceilings, and panelled walls. Originally built in 1331, Saint Ephrem was rebuilt in the 17th century and is a classical music concert venue excellente. Expect chandeliers and candlelight !
Paris is as much about music as it is art, fashion, and food, for that matter. Here we've presented just a few of the classical concerts being presented in October in venues throughout the city. It's a great time to give your feet a rest and take a break from the crisp autumn nights. And what better place than inside a classic Gothic church or a new, ultra-modern concert hall…in Paris?
Check with Booking.com to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!
How could we not like this one? Chocolate, pastries and Paris — together at last! And it's not just us, this is also one of our readers' fave food activities. They love getting behind-the-scenes in a world of sweetness and goodness — with plenty of sampling, including regional specialities. This is very popular, so book early.
In the most knowledgable wine bar in the city, only steps from the Louvre in central Paris, a professional sommelier will guide you through tasting of wines from the most iconic vineyards of France — from Champagne to Sancerre, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, from Alsace to the Rhône. We recommend the 2-hour tasting session.
Any calories you consume will be burned off by the 3-hour walking tour! You begin on the famous Boulevard Saint-Germain, the center of the Left Bank, at a traditional fromagerie. But this gourmet tour is about so much more than just cheese — freshly baked baguettes, fine French wine, chocolate, foie gras. It's a gourmet's dream hike!
It's hard to believe that you can actually dine on the Eiffel Tower, with the city of Paris spread out below you, its lights all aglow. But it's true, and this activity reserves a private table for you & your loved one(s). Of course, you have a skip-the-line ticket for fast access and, of course, you enjoy a traditional French 3-course dinner. And, it all takes place on the most famous monument in the world.
For the ultimate Eiffel Tower dining experience, and for perhaps the most memorable meal of your life, choose dinner at Alain Ducasse's Le Jules Verne on the second level of the tower. The 6-course tasting menu will amaze you. It's only by following the link below that you can be guaranteed a window seat with the best views, plus receive some extra-special perks, like a glass of champagne and a copy Alain Ducasse's latest cookbook. Truly a night to remember. (Lunch is available as well.)
Another wonderful way to dine elegantly while viewing the lights of Paris is this nighttime dinner cruise along the Seine. Sip champagne and dine on a 3-course French meal as the sights and sites of Paris drift by — Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre, and the islands of Paris. The glass-walled boat allows for perfect viewing.
Instead of merely wandering around the Latin Quarter visit an historic outdoor food market with a professional chef at your side. Gather the freshest ingredients, then head back to the cooking school to whip up a fabulous 3-course lunch. Afterwards, relax and enjoy the classic French lunch that you've just prepared — with wine. A perfect Paris day.
Macarons have been around since 1930, when they were invented at Ladurée, but they've never been more popular than they are now. It's a new/old sensation. While in Paris, learn how to create these heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth confections in your own kitchen. Class size is limited to eight people, so you get lots of individual attention. And at the end of the class, you have own box of macarons to take home.
This fantastic event is the brain-child of former Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë. His idea was to create a Paris all-nighter with monuments, museums, and theaters kept open from dusk to dawn. Fourteen years later, Nuit Blanche is more popular than ever. Expect to be one of thousands that stay awake all night exploring the artistic side of Paris. At dawn, revellers enjoy a free breakfast compliments of the Hôtel de Ville.
• October 7 & 8, 2017
Chocolate lovers unite! If you're in Paris and a chocolate lover, this event will plug you into the latest choco-trends with plenty of tastings, demonstrations and symposiums. Meet the growers of cocoa, taste delicacies from the best Paris chocolatiers, and attend the famous Chocolate Dresses Fashion Show.
• Paris Expo Porte de Versailles
• October 28 to November 1, 2017
Vintage car enthusiasts gather round! Days before the famous annual race from Paris to Deauville begins, all the cars are on display at Place Vendome for a showing-off event. The ritziest square in Paris (it's home of the hotel) is transformed into an outdoor museum of vintage cars, coupes and cabriolets.
• Place Vendôme, 1st Arrondissement
• October 7 to 9, 20177
Join the festivities at Montmartre's town hall (Mairie) as locals harvest the annual crop of grapes to produce 500 bottles of Clos Montmartre. It's the last working vineyard in Paris, and Montmartians celebrate in the annual event with parades, tastings and wine-related festivities.
• Montmartre Mairie
• October 11 to 14, 2017
• Website (French)…
It's an event for the wonderful world of art — displayed at the fabulous Grand Palais.
• Grand Palais
• October 19 to 22, 2017
Explore how the French celebrate the good life in this event featuring home decor, gastronomy, furniture & design. .
• Porte de Versailles
• October 27 to November 5, 2017
This is a show we're really excited about. Due to the fragile nature of pastels, many of these works rarely see the light of day. View rare paintings by Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Mary Cassatt, and Edgar Degas.
• Petit Palais
• October 4 to April 8, 2018
Autumn 2017 in Paris is the time to see Monet's personal art collection on exhibit at the museum dedicated to him. You'll also get a chance to see some of his most important works, including Impression: Sunrise.
• Musee Marmattan
• September 14 to January 14
1932 was a banner year for Pablo Picasso, and the Paris museums dedicated to the Spanish artist is exhibiting the explosion of masterpieces created by Picasso in that year.
• Musee Picasso
• October 10 to February 11
Discover What's On When You're There
• December 2017…
• Christmas in Paris 2017…
• New Years Eve in Paris…
• New Years Day in Paris…
• January 2018…
• February 2018…
• Month-by-Month Calendar…
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