The 50 Best Post-Pandemic Things To Do In Paris, September 2021

September in Paris means la rentrée, when thousands of Parisians return from the long, August summer holidays, and transition back to city life. This year, as lockdowns lift, Paris city life will slowly be returning to a semblance of normality. With the museums open, there are exhibitions to take in.

As Paris continues to open up and la vie return to normal, we will keep all of our information updated — the best things to do, places to eat, and the greatest ways to explore and enjoy the city we love. Meanwhile, here are our Insider recommendations for the glorious things to do and see in Paris in September.

The Most Popular Activities

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

Bateaux Parisiens VIP Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

Travelers love this nighttime dinner cruise, and we agree with them — it was our best dining experience on the river. It's fun, romantic, and everything's taken care of for you. At the Seine you board a glass-walled dinner boat for a relaxing cruise and 4-course French meal. Watch the lights of Paris pass by while sipping wine and enjoying live music in the City of Fun. Choose the 8:30 PM sailing and the Service Privilege option for the best seating, best meal, and the ultimate experience.

Louvre Without the Line-Ups

Skip the Lines at the Louvre

The Louvre Art Museum is a very popular place, which means line-ups even in slow tourism periods. But, a perfect Paris 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, while also allowing you plenty of time to wander at your own pace once the tour is completed. Morning and afternoon tours available.


Louvre Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Museum tours are slowly opening up and availability may be a bit spotty. So, with that in mind, here's an alternative priority-access Louvre guided tour that we've liked, with three time choices daily.

Night Bike Ride + River Cruise – 2 Tours in 1

Paris Night Bike Tour

In France it's called a velo and visitors go oh la la ! for this night bike tour because it combines two great activities in one fun evening. Follow your expert guide cycling around ancient and modern monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Champs Elysées. Then, hop off your velo and onto a Seine river boat for a nighttime cruise — with a glass of wine, of course!

VIP Twilight Tour – Champagne Cruise + Eiffel Tower

VIP Twilight Tour

If we had to choose one evening activity this would be it. A beautiful combination of a champagne-fuelled sunset Seine River cruise followed by skip-the-line access to Level 2 of the Eiffel Tower. From there, the city unfolds in a dazzling vista beneath you. Here's what we love: you're treated like a VIP with no waiting, no jostling, just pure Paris fun.

Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge Cabaret

Dinner Cruise & Moulin Rouge Cabaret with Champagne

It's back! This 3-in-1 nighttime extravaganza combines the magic and wonder of Paris during an unforgettable evening that starts with a classic French dinner on a bateau cruising along the Seine. Your next stop will be the Eiffel Tower, where your skip-the-line ticket will give you 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!

Eiffel Tower Guided Tour with Priority Access

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tour

When we're in Paris we don't want to waste time standing in line. That's why we always book skip-the-line tours, especially at sites as busy as the Eiffel Tower. On this tour you meet up with your guide to breeze past the line and go directly up the tower to Level 2 for what we think are the best views of Paris. Also see, Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…


Skip the Line & Go to the Very Top of the Eiffel Tower

For the ultimate high in Paris this priority-access activity gets you to the summit (the 3rd level ) of the Eiffel Tower and includes a tour of of the 2nd level with an expert guide. When you get to the top, buy a a glass of bubbly from the Champagne bar to toast the City of Light spread out beneath you.

Dinner on the Seine River + Eiffel Tower VIP

Dinner Cruise on the Seine + Eiffel Tower Visit

Here's one more fantastic night in Paris that includes a dinner cruise and skip-the-line Eiffel Tower visit. On the banks of the Seine you board your dinner boat for a scenic cruise, viewing the iconic monuments of Paris while savoring a classic French meal. Next, combine that once-in-a-lifetime activity with another one! At the Eiffel Tower, where your VIP ticket gets you skip-the-line access to the second floor to enjoy birds-eye views of Paris. Sailings everyday.

Montmartre Private Evening Tour – Bites & Sights

Montmartre Private Evening Tour

Get an Insiders perspective of Montmartre, one of the prettiest quartiers in Paris. See where Picasso and Renoir lived and painted, go past Moulin Rouge and see locations from the classic French film Amelie. As this is a culinary journey, you'll have time to stop for a glass of wine and to taste local specialties. Not convinced? Read the glowing reviews from other travellers. Offered daily.

Insiders Guided Tour of Musée d'Orsay

Insiders Guided Tour of Musée d’Orsay

Please don't just show up at the Musee d'Orsay and expect to waltz inside. The lines can be very long and tedious. Take our advice and book this small-group tour that takes you to the best of the Impressionists. While you soak up the masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Degas and Van Gogh, your guide will enlighten you on the history of the stunning museum that was once a train station.

Visit the Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

Even though it's the eeriest attraction in Paris the Catacombs are immensely popular. It really is something different to descend 130 steps underground to visit the final resting place of 6 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. Available Saturdays and Sundays.

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

Paris in One Day

This action-packed tour is ideal for travellers who want it all. First on your agenda is the Eiffel Tower, with a tour and an elevator ride to the tippy-top. Then, hop on a boat on the Seine River to see the best of Paris landmarks, riverside. Back on land, you visit Île de la Cité, home to Notre Dame. You also go directly to the Louvre for a guided tour of the world's most famous museum. You'll rave about the skip-the-line access and the stellar itinerary.

Airport Transfers

Airport Transfer

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. 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 Best Left Bank Hotels

Top Left Bank Hotels

Who doesn't love staying on the Left Bank of Paris? Since Hemingway and the Jazz Age, the Left Bank has defined the essence of Paris. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, and so are the best of the hotels in the quartier. In fact, our collection focuses on the most highly-rated boutique hotels in the 6th Arrondissement and Saint-Germain-des Prés

The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

Best of Versailles with Priority Access + Grand Canal Lunch

Best of Versailles

Your driver spirits you from Paris to the royal estate, where priority access lets you skip the long lines and 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 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.


Half-Day Guided Tour of Versailles

Versailles really requires a full day to explore leisurely. But if you just don't have the time, we recommend this half-day tour that also includes priority access. We like that it's a small-group activity with an expert guide and transportation right from central Paris. A private tour is also available.

Versailles + Claude Monet's Gardens in One Day

Monet Gardens at Giverny

So much to see in France, so little time. But, this duo-tour helps solve the problem by combining two essential locations in one day — Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny and the dazzling chateau and gardens of Versailles. The small-group tour takes you from central Paris to Versailles, followed by Monet's gardens in nearby Giverny. In September, the gardens will be at the peak of perfection. A classic French lunch is also included.

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

A great way to end the summer is on 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 also likely to sell out.

The Most Glorious Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

Spend a Wine-Tasting Day in the Champagne Region

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Wine-Tasting Trip to the Champagne Region

The beautiful and world-famous Champagne country is only about an hour from Paris, so it's easy to spend a 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!

Loire Valley Chateaux + Loire Valley Wines

Chateaux of the Loire Valley Day Tour

On this tour you get from Paris to the splendid chateaux of the Loire and back in one day. It not only takes you on leisurely visits to the magnificent castles on the banks of the River Loire, it also includes a special tasting session featuring the spectacular wines of the region. September is a superb month to see the gardens, mazes, and moats of the Renaissance castles.


Three Magnificent Loire Valley Chateaux

Prefer to concentrate on the castles? Then choose this small-group tour in a luxurious Eurovan that whisks you to the Loire Valley for priority visits to the famed chateaux of Amboise, Chenonceau, and Chambord. Small group tours run on Mondays, but private tours are available daily.

The D-Day Landing Beaches

D-Day Tour

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. Lunch is included as is a special tasting session of the region's famous cider.

Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny

Monet's House & Gardens

Concentrate on Monet and his house & gardens in Giverny, with this affordable small-group afternoon tour that includes pick-up at your Paris address. The gardens will still be at their peak, so will the waterlilies on the idyllic pond where Monet painted for 43 years. Also available as a private tour.

Top Paris Food & Wine Activities

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of Saint-Germain

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

Now we're getting to the good stuff ! On this tour you wander between Saint-Germain'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!

The Food & Wine of the Marais

Food & Wine of the Marais

Everyone raves about this food tour of one of the city's historic quartiers. Start the tour at the oldest food market in Paris, then follow your food-expert guide through the historic Marais neighborhood to visit the top food & wine shops, tasting the best of French foods — cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine.

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese & Wine Tasting

Master the art of fromage in Paris in a hidden cheese cave with your own private cheesemonger at your side. Seven classic French cheeses will be presented along with wines (this is France, after all) to learn about the amazing history of how cheese became one of the most important food groups, along with baguettes and chocolate. The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you!

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Another Insiders secret is that the best place to see the dazzling landmarks of Paris is on a boat, on the Seine, sipping champagne while enjoying a leisurely classic 3-course French meal. What we like about this one is the menu is a la carte, with wine & champagne compris (included). We highly recommend the Service Privilege option to guarantee you a private window seat and a better menu.

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

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. Choose the Grand Cru Wine Tasting option for a chance to sample wines you rarely get a chance to try.

Romantic 9 PM Dinner Cruise with Window Seating

Dinner Cruise with Marina de Paris

Get the best view of Paris at the best time of day — at night, when the city's monuments lining the Seine are lit up for your viewing pleasure. From a window table on a glass-walled riverboat you will dine on the best of France while reveling in the sights of the City of Monuments — the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Musée d'Orsay, and much more.

The 10 Tastings Food Tour

The 10 Tastings

Butchers, bakers, cheesemakers — take a culinary jaunt through Paris with a local guide at your side to ensure you get an Insiders taste of the city's food scene. You start at one of the oldest outdoor street markets in the city where a cornucopia of fresh food stretches as far as the eye can see. There, your guide introduces you to artisans who will share their creations with you — rich, ripe cheeses; lip-smacking tapenades; and award-winning macarons.

Market Tour & Classic French Cooking

Market Tour & Classic French Cooking

Shopping, cooking, eating — they make for a great day of our favorite food activities. Visit one of the best open-air markets, where your chef explains all about the typical French foods found at the markets. 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.

Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

On the Left Bank, the gourmet haven of Paris, walk with an expert food 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 sample French wine and even foie gras.

At the Museums

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

Picasso – Rodin

Picasso – Rodin

This much-anticipated exhibition exhibition, featuring two masters and mounted in two Paris museums, continues in September. Running concurrently at the Musée Picasso in the Marais and the Musée Rodin in the 7th Arrondissement, Picasso – Rodin graphically demonstrates how these two artists, together and individually, heralded a turning point in modern art.

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

Augustin Rouart: Painting as legacy

Augustin Rouart

View twelve works, donated by the French Academy, by Henri Rouart, Henry Lerolle, Maurice Denis, and Augustin Rouart.
• Petit Palais
• Ends October 10, 2021


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.


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.

  • Musée d'Orsay
  • September 28, 2021 to January 16, 2022
  • Information


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.


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.

  • Musée de la Orangerie
  • September 15, 2021 to January 10, 2022
  • Information


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.

  • Louvre, Petite Galerie
  • September 22, 2021 to July 4, 2022


Soutine/De Kooning

In this exhibition you can see works by Russian painter Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943), alongside those of Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), the American Abstract Expressionist. The exhibition explores the impact of Soutine's painting on the American painter. At the end of 2021.


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.


The Blue Hour

Discover the works of Danish painter Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909). The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Musée Marmottan-Monet and the Skagen Museum, under the High Patronage of Queen Margrethe II.


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.


Storms & Shipwrecks – From Vernet to Courbet

Collected together for this tempestuous exhibition are sixty paintings, drawings, prints, and manuscripts by more than thirty artists of the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate maritime storms — from the unleashing of the elements to the dramatic consequences of shipwrecks.


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.


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 Lumieres
  • 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11e
  • Ends January 2, 2022
  • Information


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The Best Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris September 2021

La Grande Classique – Paris to Versailles Run & Walk

La Grande Classique

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. If you don't want to do the walk, it's fun to cheer from the sidelines!
• September 26, 2021

Le Festival d'Automne à Paris – The Autumn Festival

Le Festival d'Automne

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.
• 2021 dates TBA


Jazz à la Villette

A festival of soul, funk & jazz. The coolest event in September!


Maison & Objet

Decoration, design, furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances & tableware, all under one giant roof.


Paris Design Week

Discover the best in design in this annual week-long event.

  • Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design, and elsewhere
  • September 9 to 18, 2021
  • Information


Fete de l'Humanité

The Festival of Humanity has been celebrated in Paris during autumn since 1930


Croque Anime — The Festival of Animated Film of Paris

This festival of animated films brings to Paris directors and creates from around the world — and it's free!


European Heritage Days in Paris

You, along with all residents and visitors alike, are invited to explore inside monuments & buildings normally restricted, like the Senate, Elysée Palace, and numerous private mansions and hôtels. This is a very popular event among Parisians. Usually held in September.


Semi de Paris – Paris Half-Marathon

This running event usually attracts up to 37,000 runners. It starts from the Chateau de Vincennes. Normally held in March, for 2021 the fun run has been moved to September.

  • Chateau de Vincennes
  • Moved to September 5, 2021
  • Website


International Rare Book & Fine Art Fair

Two hundred antique book dealers and experts showcase thousands of artifacts representing European cultural history. Normally held in April, in 2021 the event has been moved to September.

  • Grand Palais Éphémère
  • Rescheduled for September 24 to 26, 2021
  • Information


The Peacock Society Festival

Music fans gather to celebrate electronic music and arts at Parc Floral de Paris in Bois de Vincennes. Normally held in July, the festival has moved to September for 2021.

  • Parc Floral de Paris, Bois de Vincennes
  • September 14-15, 2021
  • Information

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