The days are shorter and the air is crisper, and an increasing number of Paris activities, museums, and tours are opening up. With any luck, you'll be able to catch the last of the summer spectacular fountain shows at Versailles, and perhaps see the gardens in bloom at Claude Monet's Giverny.
So, as Paris opens up following Covid-19 we'll be keeping the information on this page updated with best things to do, places to eat, and the greatest ways to explore and enjoy the city we love. Meanwhile, you can imaginatively plan your next summer visit by browsing through our our recommendations below for the best things to do in Paris in October… a normal October, that is!
|The Top Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Best Ways To Visit Versailles|
|The Best Food & Wine Activities||The Hottest Events In Paris||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? That's what we thought. 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.
From central Paris you are driven to the banks of the Seine to board your dinner bateau. Champagne and a multi-course French meal follow as you drink in the amazing views along the river. The night further unfolds as you zoom up the Eiffel Tower to take in the glorious city lights beneath your feet. But it's not over yet — the evening is punctuated with a classic cabaret show at the iconic Moulin Rouge — with champagne, of course!
One of our favorite evenings in Paris was on this tour, beginning with a twilight river cruise where we gazed at the sights while sipping champagne in a VIP area at the front of the boat. (You knew there was going to be champagne involved, didn't you?) Back on the dock our guide led us past the long lines at the Eiffel Tower to a priority-access gate. Soon, we were up on the Tower, gazing at the lights of nighttime Paris.
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 where your guide leads you past the lineup to the priority entrance and then up to the top of the tower. Since availability at the Tower changes, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check with the Skip the Eiffel Tower Lines link below. Also see, Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…
Of course, the best time to see Paris from on high is at night, when the city is all lit for your viewing pleasure. This popular Eiffel Tower tour lets you do just that!
Remember what we said about our favorite way to visit the Louvre? Well, for the same reason 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.
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…
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 hotel to take you to the front steps of the Moulin Rouge, where you're led to your table to dine on a traditional French 3-course meal, 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…
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!
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!
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, starting off with an aperitif. Back on dry land, your driver zips you across town to the Moulin Rouge and its iconic cabaret. The night includes hotel pick-up and return.
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.
Sans souci means "carefree, without worry" and it's guaranteed that's how you'll feel as you sip a glass of wine at a private table on a boat on the Seine while dining on a luxurious multi-course French meal. Just outside your window the best of Paris passes by. And that's not all — after dinner it's over to the Champs-Elysées to Lido de Paris for what we think is the best cabaret show in town.
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 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.
From central Paris your driver takes 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.
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 right from your hotel.
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.
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.
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. During this 75th-anniversary year, sign up for this popular small-group tour that 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.
Even better than a Mont Saint-Michel day trip is spending two leisurely days exploring Normandy. You not only visit fairytale island of Mont Saint-Michel, just off the coast, there's a full day in the Loire Valley, where you tour two of chateaux — Langeais and Chenonceau. While you're in the valley, you taste its world-famous wines. Everything is included — tickets, guides, most meals, accommodations, and a guided tasting of Loire wines on day two.
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 Europe.
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. 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.
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.
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.
From tasty tapenades to award-winning macarons this Insiders tour guarantees you will experience French culinary classics that you might otherwise miss on your trip to Paris. 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!
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.
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.
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. 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, revelers enjoy a free breakfast compliments of the Hôtel de Ville.
• October 5, 2020
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 30 to November 3, 2020
• Opening Night October 29
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 9 to 13, 2020
A world of wonderful contemporary art displayed at the Grand Palais — and it's free! Since 1973 this annual art fair welcomes a selection of the most important galleries from the international art scene. This year, the art fair is joined by five internationally recognized galleries renowned for their contemporary art expertise — Jousse Entreprise, Galerie Kreo, Downtown Gallery, Eric Philippe, and Galerie Patrick Seguin.
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.
40,000 runners gather for a 10 km fun run in the Bois de Boulogne.
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.
This is the exhibit we've been waiting 500 years for, the show that will bring together a singular group of artworks only the Louvre could pull off. Pre-purchased, timed tickets are mandatory for this exhibit. You can buy them online using the link below, then clicking in the red box on the right of that page. (Like most things about Paris museum websites, the ticket-purchasing procedure barely functions, so be patient.)
• Hall Napoleon, Louvre
• October 24 2020 to February 24, 2020
The first exhibition to examine Degas' passionate relationship with the Paris Opera of the 19th century.
Get an overview of the life and work of Pablo Picasso in the Mediterranean. With an innovative audio-visual show, you can understand his life from the landscapes he painted in Malaga, Barcelona, Antibes and the sun-drenched Midi.
This exhibition focuses on his collection from his travels in Africa and Oceania.
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