47 Glorious Things To Do In Paris – The October 2021 Edition

The days are shorter, the air is crisper, and Paris is back in the saddle with an increasing number of Paris activities, museums, and events newly opened. If the October weather holds, you'll be able to enjoy Paris park experiences at Jardin des Tuileries and Luxembourg and perhaps see the gardens in bloom at Claude Monet's Giverny at the end of its season.

As Paris opens up following an historic pandemic lockdown museums are welcoming visitors and many of the special exhibitions have been rescheduled from 2020. There are an increasing number of activities to sign up for, all with safety & sanitary measures in place. We'll keep the information on this page updated with best things to do and the greatest ways to explore and enjoy the city we love.

The Most Popular Activities

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

Everything looks better from a boat cruising down the Seine. On this relaxing watery ride you see Paris from a different perspective. All the famous landmarks pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal. We recommend you choose the 8:30 PM sailing and the Service Privilege option for the best seating, best meal, and the ultimate experience.

Skip the Line at the Louvre Museum

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Guided Tour

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 would you rather 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 what we thought.

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Another Louvre Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

As things return to a post-pandemic normality museum tours availability may change. To give you another Louvre priority access option, here's an activity that we also like, with up to three daily departures.

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

This is our personal favorite way to cruise the Seine — made even better by a flight of three champagne tastings. We think you'll agree that this is the best way to see the sights of Paris — gliding past the monuments while sipping bubbly under the tutelage of an expert sommelier. Highly recommended.

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Priority Access

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tours

By now you know that we hate to waste time standing in lines. There is no attraction more popular than the Eiffel Tower, which means there are always lines. That's why we love tours that allow you to bypass the lineup, go directly to the priority entrance, and then up the tower. This morning tour gets gives you the option to go up to Level 2 or all the way to the summit.

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Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours

In these unusual times, the schedule for tours of the Eiffel Tower can be a bit uncertain. So, we suggest that you also check this compilation list of Tower activities, and search it for your Paris dates.

Ghosts & Mysteries Night Walking Tour

Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends

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. Ooooo.

Night Bike Ride + River Cruise

Paris Night Bike Tour

On a crisp autumn evening in Paris follow your experienced guide as you pedal down the ancient streets of the city. Cruise past the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and along the Champs Elysées. Visit the the iconic sights of Paris. Then hop on a river boat for a nighttime cruise on the Seine. A glass of wine is included, of course!

Dinner Cruise on the Seine + VIP Eiffel Tower

Dinner Cruise on the Seine + Eiffel Tower Visit

We're happy that this Paris 2-in-1 activity is back. It's one fantastic night that includes a dinner cruise and a priority-access Eiffel Tower visit. From the banks of the Seine a glass-walled bateau heads our for a scenic dinner cruise, past the iconic monuments of Paris. Next, another once-in-a-lifetime activity at the Eiffel Tower where your VIP ticket gets you skip-the-line access for birds-eye views of Paris.

Catacombs of Paris with Priority Access

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

You might not expect one of the eeriest attractions in Paris to also be one of the most popular, but that's the case with the Catacombs. It's truly a unique experience to descend 130 steps to visit the final resting place of six million historic Parisians. The only way to avoid the long lines is to book this skip-the-line tour with an expert guide who also explains the history of this dark landmark. Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge Cabaret

Dinner Cruise & Moulin Rouge Cabaret with Champagne

Here's another activity we're happy to welcome back, post-lockdown. It's a 3-in-1 evening spectacular that combines the magical best of Paris, starting with a classic French dinner on a bateau on the Seine. Next stop is the Eiffel Tower for priority access to the 2nd floor. Finally, you are zipped across town to the iconic Moulin Rouge, for an evening cabaret show… with champagne, of course!

VIP Twilight Tour – Champagne Cruise + Eiffel Tower

VIP Twilight Tour

Sunset. Champagne. Eiffel Tower. Put the three together and you get a memorable evening in Paris. The fun starts as you're led VIP-style onto a bateau where a glass of cool bubbles await. As you sip, you'll glide by the best of Paris landmarks riverside. Back on land, the climax is skip-the-line access to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower. It doesn't get better than this!

Montmartre Private Evening Tour – Bites & Sights

Montmartre Private Evening Tour

If you've never been to Montmartre you're in for a treat. This private tour is garnering rave reviews for its stellar combination of local landmarks as well as it's culinary offerings. You'll see where Picasso and Renoir lived and worked as well as Moulin Rouge and locations from the French film classic Amelie. Along the way, you'll stop for refreshments a la Française.

Insiders Guided Tour of Musée d'Orsay

Insiders Guided Tour of Musée d’Orsay

Sorry to burst your bubble but the lines at the d'Orsay can be as long as the Louvre. To avoid standing there waiting, take our advice and book this small group tour that takes you to the best of the Impressionists without missing a beat. Soak up the beauty of van Gogh, Manet, Monet and Degas while your guide enlightens you about the era and how the train station was transformed into a mecca of art.

Bateaux Mouches Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Gliding along the Seine at night, with the lights of Paris drifting past, is a memorable activity. And to do this while dining on a traditional 3-course French meal makes it absolutely magical. What with wine & champagne included, it's no wonder so many travelers love this activity. Departure time is 8:30 PM, seven days a week.

Paris in One Day – Eiffel Tower + Louvre + River Cruise

Paris in One Day

This action-packed tour takes you to the best of Paris with skip-the-line access bypassing the crowds. It all kicks off at the Eiffel Tower for a trip to the very top. Next, head to the Seine to hop on a bateau to watch the city monuments drift by. But your day in Paris isn't over yet! Also on the itinerary is the Louvre for a guided tour of the world's most famous museum. Everything is included, from transportation to guides to full access.

Airport Transfers

Airport Transfer

Of all the Paris travel advice we give, this is perhaps the most appreciated — arrange for transportation from the airport into central Paris before you leave home. We find it's comforting to be prepared and to know what's going to happen when you arrive. An easy and affordable option is book a shuttle van service right to your hotel. Our favorite is a private airport pickup in a luxury sedan. It's the only way to do it!

The 7 Best Latin Quarter Hotels

7 Best Latin Quarter Hotels

The historic and charming Latin Quarter of Paris is also home to some of our favourite hotels in the city. You'll be right in the center of things as well with so much in easy walking distance, including the Seine, the Pantheon, Notre Dame, Saint-Germain, and even the Marais just across the river. Discover our top seven picks of the best hotels in the best quartier.

The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Best of Versailles – Including Lunch + Transportation

Versailles Guided Tour & Grand Canal Gourmet Lunch

From central Paris your are driven 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 tour that includes the best of Versailles. There's plenty of time to stroll through the gardens. The full-day tour includes visits to the Grand Trianon & Marie Antoinette's farm.

Half-Day, Priority-Access Tour of Versailles

VIP Versailles

If you're short on time, another good way to see Versailles is this half-day tour that also includes priority access with an expert guide. It's a small-group with transportation from Paris to Versailles and back.

Versailles Bike Tour with Chateau Visit

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

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.

More Great Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Loire Valley – Castles + Wines

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Castles + Wines

This is visitors' 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, then descend into centuries old cellars for special wine tastings. Everything is arranged for you on this day trip from Paris, including pick-up at your hotel. Limited dates in October, check the link for availability.

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Three Magnificent Loire Valley Chateaux

This intimate, small-group tour concentrates on the castles, spending time visiting Chenonceau, Cheverny & Chambord, the three most spectacular chateaux in the valley. Runs on Mondays, but private tours are available daily.

Monet's Gardens Small-Group Day Trip from Paris

Monet's Magical Gardens at Giverny

October is the last month of the year to see Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny, a small town only about an hour from Paris. It's incredibly uplifting to spend time in the house and gardens of this Impressionist master – the very places where he painted those iconic canvases. A half day is the perfect amount of time for this art lover's experience. A private tour is also available.

Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

A Day In Champagne

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. The Champagne Region is just over an hour from Paris and it's easy to get to with day tours that start out in the center of the city. You spend the day focusing on the bubbly as you visit both small producers and grands maisons. Includes lunch and transportation.

D-Day Tour – Remembering WWII

D-Day Tour

The landing beaches of Normandy are undoubtedly the most famous battle sites of World War II. Sign up for this popular small-group tour that takes you to the most important locations — the beaches, the monuments, the museums, and the dedicated cemeteries. This all-inclusive day trip also includes lunch and a tasting of the region's famous ciders.

The Top Food & Wine Activities in Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Sailing along the Seine on a relaxing lunch cruise just about beats anything else to do in the world. It all starts with a crisp glass of champagne, followed by an exquisite French classic three-course meal. As you sip your wine, you'll admire the majesty of Paris landmarks, so close you could almost touch them. Best tip? Book the Service Privilege option to guarantee a private window seat.

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese & Wine Tasting

In a fromagerie in the Marais you meet an affineur (expert in aging cheeses) and descend into the private cheese cellar where you learn all about the proper way to age cheese. Seven classic French cheeses will be presented along with wines and baguettes. The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you!

The Food & Wine of the Marais

Food & Wine of the Marais

This is the original food tour that takes you through the Marais, visiting the top food & wine shops in the historic quartier, while tasting the best of French foods like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine. You start your tour at the oldest food market in the city. This one continues to garner high praise from satisfied travelers.

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

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. You're able to choose between strolling through Saint-Germain or the Marais.

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Wine Tasting

In the most knowledgable wine bar in the city, only steps from the Louvre in central Paris, a professional sommelier will guide you through an extensive tasting of wines from the most iconic vineyards of France — from Champagne to Sancerre, Bordeaux to Burgundy, Alsace to the Rhône. We recommend the 2-hour Grand Cru wine tasting.

Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

Any calories you consume will be burned off during this 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. Alternatively, you can choose the tour to visit the gourmet shops of Montmartre. It's a gourmet's dream hike!

Romantic 9 PM Dinner Cruise with Window Seating

Dinner Cruise with Marina de Paris

We wanted to mention one more dinner cruise option that we think you're going to like. Paris Seine is well known for its fleet of glass-walled boats that give diners the best nighttime views. And so you will be seated at a private table, admiring the beauty of the Paris as you glide over the water. Sailings available Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays in October.

What's On at the Museums

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Picasso – Rodin

Picasso – Rodin

This clever and much-anticipated exhibition is showing at both of the museums dedicated to the title artists — the Musée Picasso in the Marais and the Musée Rodin in the 7th Arrondissement. It demonstrates (perhaps for the first time so graphically) how the two artists, in their own ways, heralded a turning point in modern art.

• Musée Picasso & Musée Rodin
• Ends January 2, 2022
Information

Augustin Rouart – Painting as legacy

Augustin Rouart

See an impressive collection of Rouart's major works along with pieces by Maurice Denis.
• Petit Palais
• Ends October 10, 2021
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Colombet/Monet – Painting Like the River

This dual-artist show follows the life and work of contemporary French artist Vicky Colombet who, like Monet, sees something new in landscapes, a surpassing of places. Displaying works by these two painters who each saw something different in the scenes they painted is truly a special event. Staging the event at the world's foremost Monet museum is perfect.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson – Revoir Paris

For its first exhibition after the long closure and renovation, Musée Carnavalet has partnered with the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation to highlight the works of one of the greatest French photographers of the 20th century.

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Victor Hugo – Dessins/Drawings

Who knew the Hugo, in addition to being a writer of fame, could also draw? This exhibition presents a unique collection of drawings by the creator of Quasimodo, the maker of Les Misérables, the man himself, Victor Hugo.

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Dalí – The Endless Enigma

Be immersed in the surrealistic and metaphysical landscapes of the world of Salvador Dalí. Paintings scattered around around the world are featured in this dazzling digital exhibition, including works from the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation at Figueres, the Dalí Museum in Florida, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, and MoMA in New York.

  • Atelier des Lumières
  • 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11e
  • Ends January 2, 2022
  • Information

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The Narcissus Theorem – Jean-Michel Othoniel

Contemporary French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel is taking over Petit Palais' museum and garden with his art installation. It's his biggest solo show since his retrospective at the Pompidou.

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Maro Ura – A Polynesian Treasure

The exhibition traces the history and cultural importance of the feather belt, one of the most prestigious objects of the great chiefdoms of the Society Islands. Related to worship of the god 'Oro, these sacred belts were used during commemorative ceremonies.

  • Musée du Quai Branly
  • October 19, 2021 to January 9, 2022
  • Information

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Chaïm Soutine/Willem de Kooning – Painting Embodied

Discover how Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943), a Russian painter of the School of Paris, influenced Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), the Dutch/American Abstract Expressionist.

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Cinema at Last! French Entertainment from 1833 to 1907

Discover 300 films and related paraphernalia by well-known artists from Pierre Bonnard to Auguste and Louis Lumière, the inventors of cinema.

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Marlene Dumas

To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), South African artist Marlene Dumas has produced a series of paintings inspired by his work.

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Petits Papiers du 20e siècle

Paul Destribats (1926-2017), was an avant-garde collector and scholar. This exhibition showcases 12,000 of his leaflets, posters and documents that have been donated to the Kandinsky Library.

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Paris to Athens – Birth of Modern Greece

To celebrate the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution, the Louvre presents an exciting exhibition that traces the artistic link between Greek and European culture; specifically focussing on Paris and Athens. The show concludes with works by the Greek group TECHNE, which exhibited in Paris in 1919.

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Signac, the Collector

Paul Signac (1863-1935), who with Georges Seurat invented the painting style called pointillism, was also a keen art collector. See his fabulous collection of works by Bonnard, Matisse, Fauves.

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David Hockney: A Year in Normandy

Celebrated British painter David Hockney has initiated a new chapter in his artistic journey depicting his house, his garden and the surrounding countryside of Normandy. In the form of a narrative cycle depicting the arrival of spring, this work was created during the Covid lockdown.

  • Musée de l'Orangerie
  • October 13, 2021 to February 14, 2022
  • Information

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The Manet Girl

This is the first exhibition dedicated to Julie Manet (1878-1966), the only daughter of the Impressionist artist Berthe Morisot, and the niece of Impressionist mentor Édouard Manet. One hundred works feature paintings, sculptures, pastels, and watercolors that retrace her life.

  • Musée Marmottan-Monet
  • October 19, 2021 to March 20, 2022
  • Information

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From Afar: Precious Objects from Elsewhere

Since ancient times, carnelian, lapis lazuli, ebony, and other precious materials have circulated along trade routes. This exhibition highlights these precious materials as well as exotic animals who have traveled between the continents since the Middle Ages.

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The Top Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2021

Nuit Blanche – White Night 2021

Nuit Blanche

This fantastic event is the brainchild 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. Twenty 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, revelers enjoy a free breakfast compliments of the Hôtel de Ville.
• October 2, 2021
Information

Salon du Chocolat

Salon du Chocolat

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.
• Porte de Versailles
• October 28 to November 1, 2021
Information

Fetes des Vendange à Montmartre – Wine Harvest Festival

Montmartre

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 6 to 10, 2021
Information

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FIAC Art Contemporain

A world of wonderful contemporary art displayed at the Grand Palais — and it's free! Since 1973 this annual art fair has welcomed a selection of the most important galleries from the international art scene. In recent years, for instance, the art fair was joined by five internationally recognized galleries renowned for their contemporary art expertise — Jousse Entreprise, Galerie Kreo, Downtown Gallery, Eric Philippe, and Galerie Patrick Seguin.

  • Grand Palais Ephémère, Champ-de-Mars
  • October 21 to 24, 2021
  • Information

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Foire d'Automne à Paris

Explore the good life in France through home decor, gastronomy, furniture & design at the Autumn Fair. What to expect? 300 exhibitors with practical workshops to teach you how to make your own decorative objects, DIY classes, artisans demonstrations, conferences and free meetings with architects and five Grand Prix Awards.

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Le Festival d'Automne à Paris

Founded in 1972, the Paris Autumn Festival celebrates contemporary arts and embraces all forms — visual arts, dance, theatre, music, and cinema. From September to December the festival features more than fifty events at venues throughout Paris.

The Annual Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon

The annual Paris Marathon takes runners from Champs-Elysées near the Arc de Triomphe to Bois de Vincennes, ending at the Bois du Boulogne. Take a peek at the map to see the complete route. When the Paris marathon began in 1976 it attracted only a small group of dedicated marathoners. Last time 57,000 there were runners from 145 countries. Usually held in March, for 2021 the marathon has been moved to October
• October 17, 2021
Information


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