It's not yet autumn — all the gardens are still in bloom. September in Paris means la rentrée, when thousands of Parisians return from their long summer vacation and transition back to city life. The "back to school" feeling in Paris is palpable – tout le monde are talking about what they did on their summer vacation and looking forward to a new period of activities and events. The Paris cultural season begins with a stellar line-up of ballet, opera, dance and theater events.
We think it's one of the best times to be in Paris. Take advantage of the season by organizing day trips from Paris, walking city tours, and evening concerts at the great churches of Paris. With so many events and so many things to do, yours will be a memorable month to be in the City of Life! One more thing — for readers of Paris Insiders Guide (that's you!) the Paris Pass is offering a 10% discount when you use Paris Insiders Exclusive Discount Code: INGUIDE10.
|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|
When we're in Paris we don't want to waste time standing in line. That's why we choose skip-the-line tours, especially at sights as busy as the Eiffel Tower, where there is always a long lineup. Breeze past the line and follow your guide up the tower while she relates tales about the the most famous tower in the world. This tour gets you you to the very top — the third level.
Eiffel Tower skip-the-line tour schedules tend to change and to sell out. If you can't find your date on the above tour, consult this complete list of Eiffel Tower tours. To go to the very top, choose a "summit" tour.
Here's an iconic activity that's a complete night on the town. It starts with an evening dinner on the Eiffel Tower. After a classic French meal, you stroll to the banks of the Seine for an evening river cruise. But the night's not over! Next up is the famous Moulin Rouge to enjoy the show — while sipping champagne. All the details are taken care of.
Travelers love this nighttime dinner cruise, and it's easy to see why. It's fun, it's romantic, and everything's taken care of for you – starting when your driver meets you at your hotel. At the Seine you board your bateau for a relaxing cruise and 3-course French meal. Watch the lights of Paris pass by while sipping wine. When the cruise ends, your driver will be waiting.
This is another magical evening in Paris. Dine at restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel, on the tower it's named for, then cruise the city's famous river when the lights of Paris are bright. Your priority-access tickets let you bypass the line at the tower, for a classic 3-course French dinner at a restaurant with a fabulous view. Hotel pick-up and return is included.
With nearly 10 million visitors a year, the Louvre Art Museum is an über-popular site in Paris, which again means long, long lines. Another great insiders tip is to book a guided tour of the museum, which leads you past the lines and right to the most famous works of art, also allowing you plenty of time to wander. Another tip — these tours sell out, so be sure to book early.
The days and nights are still warm, so what better way to celebrate your stay Paris than a champagne-fuelled cruise down the Seine — the most romantic river in the world. You'll discover this is the very best way to see the sights of the city as you glide past the monuments on a bateaux while sipping bubbly.
A great way to end the summer is this 2-in-1 tour. Follow your guide as you cycle around the countryside near Versailles — through forests and pastures — and then picnic in the gardens of Versailles. After touring the grounds you use your VIP skip-the-line pass to explore the magnificent Chateau de Versailles. It makes for a wonderful day, but it's likely to sell out.
No need to worry about how to get to the cabaret, your driver meets you at your Paris address. In Montmartre, at the Moulin Rouge, you dine on three traditional French courses and view the famous show. Moulin Rouge regularly sells out weeks in advance, so book as early as you can.
Louvre + Seine River Cruise + Eiffel Tower. With this combination activity it is possible to see most of the best of Paris in just one day. Since everything is included — entrance fees, lunch, river cruise — this is perfect for first-timers and for those short of time. No senseless dawdling or getting lost. At the Eiffel Tower you see the city from restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel. But you're not done yet — visit Notre Dame Cathedral on the picturesque Île de la Cité.
Visitors to Paris seem to love this (somewhat) creepy nighttime tour. Follow your knowledgeable guide along the winding streets and the hidden alleys to visit the little-known spots of a city with over 2,000 years of history, mysteries and legends. That makes for an action-packed evening. You'll learn about the slightly darker side of the City Light. Ooooo.
Explore Montmartre, the neighborhood that inspired legendary artists. See where Van Gogh lived, the Montmartre windmill that Renoir painted, and Moulin Rouge that inspired Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings. The tour ends with stunning views of the city from Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Also includes skip-the-line entrance ticket to Musée d'Orsay where you will see their paintings, up close and personal.
Here is one of our best and most appreciated Paris tips — know what's going to happen when you arrive by pre-arranging transportation from the airport into the city center. A popular and affordable way is to book a shuttle van service from the airport right to your hotel. It's convenient and cheaper than a taxi.
An even better tip — and a real Insiders secret — is to arrange to have the driver we personally trust the most meet you for a relaxing, private transfer in a luxurious Mercedes S-Class. We appreciate the comfort and peace of mind after a long flight. Therefore, we always have our Paris pal, Manu, meet us at the arrivals gate and whisk us into the city. Honestly, it's the only way to do it!
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.
Meet your driver in central Paris and head off to the royal estate where you use your priority, skip-the-line tickets to avoid the throngs. Head directly inside to experience the grandeur of the chateau on a guided tour that includes the state apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen's Chambers. Afterwards, stroll through the equally-stunning gardens at your leisure until you meet up for lunch on the Grand Canal. Later, there's plenty of time to visit the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's fantasy village farm.
The beautiful and world-famous Champagne country is only one hour from Paris. Spend the day focusing on the bubbly, with guided tours and tastings at some of the most famous champagne houses. In between, enjoy lunch at a boutique winery. Sample as much as you want, your expert guide is doing the driving!
Yes, you can get from Paris to to the splendid chateaux of the Loire in a day. This tour not only takes you on leisurely visits to the magnificent castles on the banks of the River Loire, it also includes sampling the spectacular wines of the region. September is a superb month to see the gardens, mazes and moats of the Renaissance castles.
In September, the gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny are spectacular — and less crowded — and should not be missed. Your driver/guide picks you up at your Paris hotel and whisks through the lovely French countryside to Giverny, where you'll have plenty of time to wander among the gardens, flowers, Monet's house and the pond. Includes Paris hotel pickup.
The most famous battle sites of World War II are found on the landing beaches of Normandy. On a small-group tour you visit the most important sites on a day trip from Paris, and return to your hotel the same day. On the beaches and at the monuments, museums and dedicated cemeteries, remember those who fought here. It's a powerfully emotional experience. Includes Paris hotel pickup.
We've just scratched the surface of what you can see from Paris in one day. Read our complete guide to learn about visits to historic Mont-Saint-Michel, to the World War I battlefields, Disneyland Paris, and even London!
• Essential Day Trips in France…
There are many stunning Gothic churches in Paris where classical music is performed performed. But, without doubt, the top venue for classical music is the acoustically-perfect Saint Chapelle in the dead-center of Paris on Île de la Cité. There, surrounded by stunning stained glass windows, with vaulted arches towering overhead, you're swept away by the music of some of the greatest composers who ever lived.
For one day only this month you can hear music of Bach, Charpentier, and Fauré in the spectacular atmosphere of this famous Gothic church.
• September 5, 2017
This is a very special event. Experience opera under the stars. The Marriage of Figaro is one of Mozart's most performed opera and for good reason. The opera buffa is full of plot twists, deceptions, and misunderstandings. The special performances are held in the Cour d'Honneur, the courtyard of the Hotel des Invalides.
• September 7, 8 & 9
• Les Invalides
As we've said many times, you don't want to miss a performance in this stunning (and stunningly restored) Belle Epoque palace. The performances will be magnificent, and you'll find that the Palais is stunning!
Viennese waltzes, mazurkas and polkas! This opera bursts with intrigue and revolves around the possible marriage between Hanna, the beautiful, rich widow and the dubious Count Danilo. Performed in German with French and English surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• September 9, 12, 16, 20, 22, 24 & 30
Debussy's landmark five-act opera premiered here in Paris in 1902 and is the only opera he ever completed. The love triangle centers on Prince Goulaud, his mysterious wife, Melisande, and the prince's half-brother Pelleas. Performed in French with English surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• September 19, 23 & 27
First designed as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's achievements, the church of La Madeleine takes a commanding position on the place that bears its name. Today, it's also a popular venue for classical music concerts.
This beautiful opera house is a national treasure, rivalled only by Palais Garnier. It has recently undergone a multi-year renovation and is finally re-opened. Salle Favart is one of oldest French drama and music institutions in Paris, founded in 1714 by Louis XIV. Come to see the magnificent restored staircases, chandeliers, mosaics, murals and to be dazzled by an eclectic and adventurous performance. Opéra Comique is located in the 2nd Arrondissement on Place Boieldieu.
Set in the Latin Quarter, this small church with tall ceilings makes for perfect acoustics. Add to that candelabras for atmosphere and you have the perfect ingredients for a magical night in Paris. Saint-Ephrem a classified historical monument of Paris. The current chapel is the third structure on the site, the first chapel was built in 1334. Three hundred years later, Irish priests converted it into an Irish College. In 1733, the current chapel was built. In 1925 it went through another transformation, becoming the the Syrian Catholic Mission.
Looking for a reason to visit the oldest church in Paris? Step inside this historic Gothic building to enjoy a classical music concert. Take note of the marble columns, the last survivors of the 6th-century abbey, and the colourful 19th-century frescoes.
Here we only have room for a few of the stellar classical music performances coming in September — there will be more this month at the Philharmonie de Paris, Opera Bastille, and more events at the grands opera houses. Be sure to check out what will be playing when you're in Paris in September.
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!
Now we're getting to the good stuff! On this tour you wander between the city's iconic chocolate & pastry shops to learn the secrets and techniques of each, while you sample all along the route. It's a small group tour with hands-on attention, and it goes at a relaxed pace. With only 8 people you get to sample a lot!
These fun wine tastings cover a lot of wine territory. Professional French sommeliers deliver (in English) an extensive tasting of award-winning wines — from Champagne to Sancerre, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, from Alsace to the Rhône. It all takes place in a wine bar steps away from the Louvre. We heartily recommend the 2-hour tasting.
On the Left Bank, the gourmet haven of Paris, walk with an expert good guide to learn all about the foods that France is most famous for. Start at a traditional fromagerie to learn about the country's cheeses. Sample there and move on to freshly baked baguettes. You'll also take in French wine and even foie gras!
Picture this — you & your loved one(s) overlooking the city of Paris while enjoying a traditional French 3-course dinner on the Eiffel Tower. It's the stuff of which dreams are made — if your dreams involve being treated like a VIP in Paris. Includes skip-the-line ticket for fast access.
There's nothing quite as special as cruising along the Seine at night, watching the famous sights drifting by, as you sip champagne before dining on a 3-course French meal. La Marina de Paris is your host, and their glass-walled boats allow for perfect viewing — Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre, and the islands of Paris.
Shopping, cooking, eating — they make for a great day of our fave food activities. Visit one of the best open-air markets, where the chef explains all about the typical French foods found at the markets. You shop for lunch and then move on to the cooking studio where you learn, hands-on, how to turn your purchases into a fabulous meal.
The Grande Classique is a…well, classic walk from Paris to Versailles. This popular annual event has been taking place for more than 30 years. It start at the steps of the Eiffel Tower and ends 10 miles (16 km) later at the gates of Château de Versailles. The Grande Classique is open to walkers over the age of 16, and, if you don't want to do the walk, it's fun to cheer from the sidelines!
• September 24, 2017
Visual arts, performance, theater, dance, music and cinema, The Paris Autumn Festival incorporates all of the arts. You'll find events throughout the city at 40 different venues starting in September and moving right through the Fall. Find out more information and how to buy your tickets at the website. Le Festival has been fostering the French arts since 1972.
The Paris Insiders Pass gets you free entrance to museums and lets you skip the long ticket lines! Plus, you get to ride the Metro & buses for free. Includes Seine River Cruise & hop-on bus pass.
Anders Zorn, 19th-Century Swedish Painter. This is the first Paris retrospective of Anders Zor (1860-1920). The exhibition showcases Zorn's work as a champion of Swedish folklore from the National Museum in Stockholm.
• September 15 to December 17, 2017
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