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. 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.
|The Top Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Top Food & Wine Activities|
|All The Best Events in Paris||Classical Music, Opera & Ballet||New Exhibits at the Museums|
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. Also see, 3 Ways To Beat The Long Lines At The Louvre…
Our personal favorite combines two of our best-loved activities — fine wine and fine art. If you think it can't get better than that, listen up — you also get to skip the lines at the Louvre for an evening tour, when the crowds are smaller. Afterwards, follow your guide to a nearby wine bar to a guided tasting of a flight of French wines.
You only live once, make sure one of your days includes the best of Paris nightlife — dine at the Eiffel tower, cruise on the Seine River, and take in 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. Roundtrip hotel transportation is included. Also see, The 6 Best Evenings In Paris…
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.
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 to the top of the tower. Also check the Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…
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. Also see, The 6 Top Dinner Cruises in Paris…
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!
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. Also see, The 10 Best Walking Tours Of Paris…
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. Also see, Seven Ways To See The Hottest Show in Town…
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.
If you're new to Paris or want to refresh your memory or simply want to see a lot in a short time there's nothing more fun than the open-top, hop-on hop-off buses of L'Open Tour. Discover the iconic sights like Palais Garnier, the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more. We recommend the 2-day pass for the best value and use. Also see, Guide to the Open-Top Buses…
Montmartre was once a hilltop village just outside 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. This activity has hundreds of 5-star reviews, so be sure to book early.
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 and 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!
Our very own Paris Insiders Pass saves money & time — you get into the museums for free and ride the Metro for free. But the big advantage is bypassing the long Paris lines. If you've ever stood in line for hours at the Louvre, you'll appreciate how important that is. Even better, we've arranged special savings for our readers. Use the discount code INSIDERS5 for extra savings. Also see, Complete Guide to the Paris Insiders Pass…
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 quartier.
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.
On this day trip you concentrate on the castles and spend more time visiting Chenonceau, Cheverny & Chambord, the three most spectacular castles in the valley. Also available as a private tour.
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. Also see, The 3 Top Day Trips to Champagne…
This small-group tour takes you directly to the Land of Bubbly for a full-day exploration. Includes eight champagne tastings plus lunch.
From central Paris your driver 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 and a classic 3-course French lunch.
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. See also, The 6 Best Ways to Visit Versailles & Avoid the Long Lines…
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.
October is the last month of the year to see Impressionist master Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny. But, this 2-in-1 activity does even more than that — it also takes you to the chateau and gardens of the royal estate at Versailles. On this small-group tour of no more than 8 people (to ensure personal attention), you are picked up at your Paris address and driven to both locations for guided tours. Lunch is also included on this very popular day trip from Paris.
Speaking of chateaux and gardens, this next 2-for-1 activity visits two royal chateaux close to Paris. "The true home of kings, the house of all centuries," Napoleon said of Fontainebleau, one of the largest of French royal castles and still worth visiting today. Also on your agenda is Vaux le Vicomte, the stunning castle and gardens that were the direct inspiration for Versailles. Also see, Vaux-le-Vicomte Tour with Champagne and Luxury Car Transport…
The high-speed train now makes it easy to visit London on a day trip from Paris. Meet the tour leader at Gare du Nord in Paris and hop on the Eurostar to London. The day includes an extensive, open-top bus tour around London and guided walking tours, including The Beatles London Walking Tour. It's an exhilarating trip that gets you back to Paris the very same day.
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 and lunch.
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. Wander along the narrow streets, the shops, and the abbey's ramparts. On your way you drive through the picturesque Normandy countryside. Everything is included, even pick-up at your hotel.
The day trips recommendations we can fit on this page are only a few of the wonders within easy reach of Paris. We didn't yet mention Euro Disneyland, Bruges, or the World War I battlefields. It's always worth it to plan for a day or two to explore beyond the city gates to visit France Profonde or even elsewhere in Euripe.
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, revealing the sparkling glass windows! Combine a visit to the must-see chapel with a classical music concert.
That's right — experience classical music on the Eiffel Tower. The Orchestre Paris Classik will perform a stellar line-up of classical music while you sip champagne and gaze at the city below. Don't miss this one!
• October 21 & 28 only
Follow the tragic love story of Violetta, one of the most romantic heroines in all of opera. French director Benoit Jacquot takes inspiration from Edouard Manet's scandalous painting, Olympia. In Italian with French and English surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• October & December, 2018
Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde transcends the medieval legend with a metaphysical view of love. Philippe Jordan conducts this classic and timeless opera.
• Opera Bastille
• October 6 & 9, 2018
The amazing architecture and gilding 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 —
Église 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. This month hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,some classic Mozart, Chopin, and Schubert.
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! In October hear Bach's Suites for the Violoncello, Chopin by candlelight, Goldberg Variations, plus Erik Satie and Beethoven.
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?
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 a fromagerie in the Marais you meet the affineur (expert in aging cheeses) and descend into the private cheese cellar where you learn all about the proper way to age the cheeses of France. Seven classic French cheeses will be presented along with wines. Discover how cheese became one of the most important food groups of France, along with baguettes and chocolate! The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you. Also see, Five Top Cheese Tastings In Paris…
This new food tour walks you through the Marais to visit the top food & wine shops in the historic quartier , 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 is garnering high praise from satisfied travelers.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the most dynamic districts in Paris. There's so much so see and do here… and so much classic French food to be discovered at food boutiques. Follow an expert & enthusiastic food guide to 8 shops to learn about and taste the gastronomical wealth of the quartier. This tour keeps getting 5-star reviews!
This is a fun, casual, and affordable cruise along the Seine while dining on a classic 3-course lunch. A cruise 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.
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!
Up on the hill of Montmartre you meet your guide 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.
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 tasting session.
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.
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, 2018
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.
• October 31 to November 4, 2018
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
• First week in October, 2018
• Website (French)…
It's an event for the wonderful world of art — displayed at the fabulous Grand Palais.
• Grand Palais
• October 18 to 21, 2018
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, 2018
The first first large-scale collaboration between the d'Orsay and the Musée Picasso.
• Musée d'Orsay
• Ends January 6, 2019
The long-awaited retrospective at Jeu de Paume. This is going to be huge.
The Pompidou and Tate Modern present the work of Austrian artist Franz West (1947 to 2012).
200 never-before-seen works demonstrate the evolution of the Western perception of distant and not-so-distant populations, societies and territories.
Discover What's On When You're Here
• October 2018…
• November 2018…
• December 2018…
• Christmas in Paris…
• New Year's Eve in Paris…
• January 2018…
• Month-by-Month Calendar…
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