The 48 Greatest Things To Do In Paris In October 2020

The days are shorter and the air is crisper, and an increasing number of Paris activities, museums, and events are opening up. 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 Covid-19 most museums are welcoming visitors and many of the special exhibitions have been rescheduled from spring. There are a surprising number of activities to sign up for, and most have 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 2020

Skip the Line at the Louvre Museum

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Guided Tour

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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 what we thought.

Bateaux Mouches Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Dinner Cruise with Live Music

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. Departure time is 8:30 PM, seven days a week.

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. Since availability at the Tower varies during these pandemic times, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check the Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours… to find out what's available on your dates.

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

This is our 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. Highly recommended.

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

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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!

Exclusive VIP Access – Louvre & Eiffel Tower Plus Private City Tour

Artemis at the Louvre, photo by Mark Craft

This 3-in-1 full day activity gets you to some of the greatest hits of Paris. It all starts at your Paris hotel, where your driver picks you up for a priority-access tour of the Louvre museum. Next is a drive across town to the Eiffel Tower, where you once again enjoy VIP access to get up the tower and marvel at the famous views. Your driver then takes you to historic Île de la Cité to visit the island and Notre Dame Cathedral before heading up the hill to visit Montmartre. It's a full and satisfying day in Paris!

Paris Seine Dinner Cruise with Champagne

Dinner Cruise on the Seine

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

One of the best ways to spend an evening in Paris is by gliding down the most famous river in the world, watching the city all aglow, while dining at a private table. On this dinner cruise a 3-course classic French meal is served with wine, as well as a half bottle of champagne. Sanitary measures are in place. Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays in October.

Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour + Musée d'Orsay

Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

Montmartre was once a hilltop village on the outskirts of Paris. Today, it's a fascinating quartier of shops and sights with an artistic flair. This fun tour focuses on the history of the artists who once lived here. There's Van Gogh's house, the windmill cabaret painted by Renoir, the site of Picasso's early studio, and more. Also included is a skip-the-line ticket for the famous Impressionist museum, Musée d'Orsay.

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. There are a number of services we like, although 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 2020

Best of Versailles – Including 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

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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.

Monet's Gardens Small-Group Day Trip from Paris

Monet's Magical Gardens at Giverny

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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. Tours available mornings and afternoons (on some dates).

The Top Food & Wine Activities in Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2020

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese & Wine Tasting

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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 Saint-Germain and the Marais.

La Marina Lunch Cruise Along the Seine

Lunch Cruise on the Seine

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

This is a fun, casual, and affordable cruise along the Seine while dining on a classic 3-course lunch. A cruise down the river on a bateau is something you must do in Paris, so why not have lunch at the same time? Look out the window at the monuments of Paris passing by. Combine great dining with a tour of Paris… riverside. This lunch cruise is very popular, so book early, especially since this in only available on Sundays in October.

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!

Montmartre Private Gourmet Experience

Montmartre Gourmet Walking Tour

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

This personal, exclusive gourmet activity focuses on Montmartre for delicious tastes and artistic discoveries at every turn. Sample crusty baguettes, tender crepes, cured speciality sausages, and a glass or two of wine at wine bars along the route. As you taste your way around the neighborhood you'll also learn about the many hidden & artistic landmarks of Montmartre.

The 10 Tastings Private Food Tour

The 10 Tastings

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

From tasty tapenades to award-winning macarons this Insiders activity guarantees you will experience French culinary classics that you might otherwise miss. This highly-rated private food tour takes your tastebuds on a journey through France with 10 tastings, on a secret route through Paris. Your food journey starts at the best local food market in the city where you'll take in the intoxicating aromas of fresh flowers, artisan cheese and sun-ripened fruit. This tour is a winner!

More Great Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2020

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. Limited dates in October, check the link for availability.

Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

A Day In Champagne

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

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. Limited availability in October.

D-Day Tour – Remembering WWII

D-Day Tour

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

The landing beaches of Normandy have got to be 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. Limited availability in October.

Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

Covid health & sanitary measures are in place for this activity

Spend an autumn day exploring the fairytale island of Mont Saint-Michel just off the Normandy coast. Visit the Benedictine abbey that becomes separated from the mainland during high tide. This is a VIP private tour.

The Top Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris October 2020

Nuit Blanche – White Night 2020

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 3, 2020
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.
Postponed until 2021
• 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 7 to 11, 2020
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. Last year, 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. This year, though… it's cancelled.

  • Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill
  • Postponed until 2021
  • Information

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Foire d'Automne

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.

What's On at the Museums

Things to Do in Paris October 2020

The Advent of the Artist

Albrecht Durer

Rescheduled from spring, the Louvre's Petite Galerie features Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo and Albrecht Durer. Visitors are required to follow the museum's Covid-19 regulations — book a time slot, wear a face mask, and adhere to social distancing,
• Petite Galerie, Louvre
• Ends July 5, 2021
Information

Aubrey Beardsley

Cezanne

Although the British illustrator and engraver Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) died well before he was thirty years old, he left a legacy of work that has endured the test of time. A must for fans of Oscar Wilde, James Whistler, and 1890s London. Wearing a face mask is compulsory for all visitors to Museée d'Orsay.
• Museée d'Orsay
• Ends January 10, 2021
Information

Matisse

Matisse

To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), the Pompidou pays tribute to his artistic genius.
• Centre Pompidou
• October 21, 2020 to February 22, 2021
Information

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The Olmecs and the Cultures of the Gulf of Mexico

The Olmecs

Learn about the fascinating Olmec civilization and the little-known world of other pre-Columbian cultures of the Gulf of Mexico. The exhibition sheds light on this Mesoamerican civilization with rare items, shown for the first time outside Mexico.
• Quai Branly
• October 9, 2020 to July 25, 2021
Information

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Léon Spilliaert) – Light and Solitude

Witness the most intense period, 1900 to 1919, in the troubled Symbolist painter Léon Spilliaert's artistic career. Wearing a face mask is compulsory for all visitors to Museée d'Orsay.

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Global(e) Resistance

The exhibition examines the resistance of young artists from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and their political protest during decolonization and the collapse of the communist world.


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