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Paris Events Calendar

What’s On in Paris – September 2023

The Louvre and the Seine


September 1-3
Les Traversées du Marais is a free, three-day cultural festival in 27 cultural centers of the Marais district. On the program, around thirty artistic formats of all kinds and for all audiences: mural art performance in the center of Mexico, musical naps at the CMN, a funfair at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, roller dancing with micadances, gastronomy at the MAHJ, readings at the poetry house and the Maison de Victor Hugo, open-air cinema at the Swedish Institute, exhibitions and many other proposals to discover. See the full schedule here.

Through September 2
The annual open-air summer concerts in the Bois de Vincennes’s Parc Floral include the free Paris Jazz Festival (with French and international jazz concerts), the free Classique au Vert featuring up-and-coming classical music ensembles and orchestras, and Les Nocturnes featuring evening concerts by some of the greatest performers in both jazz and classical music (tickets required for these, see the program). Even when concerts are free; entry to the park is €2.50. 

September 2-3
The Musée de la Grande Guerre in Meaux (an hour from Paris by train) is hosting its big historical WWI reenactment this weekend, with a demonstration of WW1 soldiers’ exercises, bayonet fencing, horseriding demonstrations, presentation and driving of a Saint-Chamond tank, hurling matches, parade of reenactors through town, and a hike in the footsteps of the troops of the Marne. The tickets are just €5 for one day or €8 for the weekend, and include entrance into the museum.

Through September 3
Paris Plage : grassy beaches, palm trees, volleyballs and ice-cream stands — on the Seine! This year it will take place along the Right Bank quays at the foot of the Hôtel de Ville, the Bassin de la Villette for water sports and the three swimming enclosures in the canal. As usual, Paris Plages will feature many fun sporting activities (especially in preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics), water misters, kids activities, live music, open-air dancing, pétanque, and even a little Seine-side library. Free entry, open from 10am until 10pm. Map and more details here .

Through September 3
The Centre Pompidou Library (BPI) is hosting a free exhibit on the private belongings of the late French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, “Le Mot Exact” (the exact word) to celebrate the opening of the new Maison Gainsbourg museum in September (tickets are already on sale, reserve yours online here). Open weekdays (except Tuesday) noon-10pm, weekends from 10am. Follow signs for the “espace d’exposition” in the BPI on the 2nd floor of the Centre Pompidou (downloadable brochure of the exhibit in English here).

September 3
First Sunday of the Month! Many museums and monuments in Paris and the Ile-de-France are free today, although you’ll want to check the website of the ones you want to visit to check if reservations are required (like at the Musée d’Orsay).

September 3 and/or 17
The Champs-Elysées is usually reserved for pedestrians the first Sunday of the month from 11am-6pm as part of the Paris Réspire project. However there seems to be a bit of confusion, as the Paris City Hall website says the next Journée Sans Voiture is on September 17th (same weekend as the annual Heritage Days). When I called the offices of the 8th arrondissement Mairie, they also seemed confused, but seemed to think it was moved to the 17th just for September. In any case, it might be both, but it’s certainly the 17th! To confuse matters even more, the City Hall website also says it’s open to all forms of non-motorized transport, including bikes, but I’ve seen other websites (albeit not official) saying bikes are not allowed on the Champs-Elysées on that day, because it’s just for pedestrians. Be sure to have the article open on your smartphone if you plan on biking. 😉

September 3
Check out the free classic cars on show, Vincennes en Anciennes, at the Esplanade du Château de Vincennes (the large parking area facing the Parc Floral; pass through the château grounds to the other side if arriving by metro). Classic car owners gather here every first Sunday of the month from 9am until noon, some owners dressed in period costumes, all happy to chat about their cars.

September 8- October 28
France is gripped with rugby fever as the hosts of this year’s Rugby World Cup. Matches are in stadiums all over France, but you can watch for free from the giant screens at Le Village Rugby erected on the Place de la Concorde, with space for 15,000 fans. It’s open to everyone for free every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the tournament from 2-11:30pm, and exceptionally on Thursdays September 14 and 21 (when France is playing). There will also be little events, photo stands, live DJs, meet & greet with players, and demonstrations at the Village. The first match between France and New Zealand is on Friday, September 8th.

September 8-10
Check out the 50 best food trucks of the Paris region at the 6th annual St-Maur Food Truck Festival. Yes, you have to cross the Paris ringroad to the suburbs to get there, but it’s worth it!  Open Friday 7pm-midnight, Saturday 11am-midnight, and Sunday 11am-6pm. Bring a big appetite.

September 11
The Cave Café (134 rue Marcadet, 18th) is once again hosting its Monday night open mic poetry with SpokenWord from 8pm. Tonight’s special guest is Lisa Pasold, and the theme is “itch”. Want to participate? Read more here.

September 13-24
French-American artist Marcus McAllister is showing his latest paintings at the Galerie 43 (43 rue Vandrezanne, 13th) in the Butte-aux-Cailles, Tues-Sun 3-8pm. The vernissage is the 14th from 6:30pm; live music by Humble Humans on the 23rd at 7pm.

September 15-17
The French daily newspaper Le Monde is hosting the Festival du Monde at their swanky new headquarters in the 13th arrondissement (Avenue de France, next to the Gare d’Austerlitz). Most of the events inside are debates, meetings with the newspapers editorial team, tours and workshops (all in French, and many already all reserved), but the square in front of the building will have free performances, shows, food trucks, and cultural events open and free to the public throughout the weekend, including a K-Pop Dance Demo Saturday night from 8pm, and a huge bal populaire with live orchestra on Sunday from 7:30pm until 11pm.

September 16
Looking for a new bike or to repair the one you have? Check out the Fête du Vélo on the Parc de Choisy in the 13th arrondissement (metro Olympiades or Tolbiac) from 11am through 5:30pm. There will be a market of used bikes, ebikes you can test, a guided bike tour of the 13th, cycling lessons for kids, and more.

September 16-17
This weekend is the 40th annual Journées du Patrimoine, or Heritage Days, with two themes this year: “Patrimoine vivant” and “Patrimoine du sport” (Living Heritage and Sports Heritage). Over 350 historic sites will be opened to the public in Paris, many which are only open for this occasion. See the full schedule at the website (an English version is available and clearly marked) Some of the obvious sites like the President’s Elysée Palace will have long lines, but many other sites are happily free to visit or participate in a free tour (some will need advance reservations through the website).

September 16-30
Street art fans won’t want to miss the 59th edition of the Murs Ouverts du Lavo at the Lavo//matik gallery and boutique (20 Bd du Général d’Armée Jean Simon, 13th). The vernissage is on the 16th from 2-7pm. While you’re there, you can take the staircase outside down to Spot 13 to see the latest murals.

September 17
The tiers-lieu, open-air guinguette and community garden space on the edge of Paris, Bercy Beaucoup is hosting a festive fall event, with a market featuring upcycled and second-hand items, illustrations, and other creations at La Javelle (the Guinguette).The market runs from 12 pm to 8 pm, with on-site dining and bar services from 12 pm to midnight. Next door, Plant B’s second-hand shop, dedicated to gardening, will open from 1:30 pm, where visitors can donate or purchase garden-related items. Free entry, as usual. Located at 5 boulevard Poniatowski in the 12th arrondissement, the closest transit points are Baron le Roy tram station and Porte de Charenton metro. Bike racks are available.

September 17
The 9th annual Journée Sans Voiture (Car Free Day) bans almost all car traffic in central Paris (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements) as well as the Champs Elysées and the Quartiers “Paris Réspire” which are usually closed on Sundays. From 11am-6pm. Enjoy the chance to enjoy the city’s streets on foot, skates, bike, skateboard, or however you’d like to get around without a car. Don’t forget the Avenue des Champs-Elysées is car-free every first Sunday of the month!

September 20-24
The annual Fête des Jardins takes place in gardens and parks all over Paris, including the Maison du Jardinage at the Parc de Bercy, the Maison Paris Nature at the Parc Floral de Paris (Bois de Vincennes), the Parc Monceau, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Parc de Belleville, Square du Temple, and the Ferme de Paris. More of a gardening festival than a garden festival, you’ll find stands at participating gardens with demonstrations on different gardening methods, advice by municipal gardeners, tours of communal gardens, information about biodiversity, flora and fauna, etc. You’ll find the schedule of free events for each arrondissement here (in French; most of them take place on the weekend, but also a few on Thursday and Friday.

September 21
Le Food Market is a monthly open-air food market in Belleville along the boulevard between metros Ménilmontant et Couronnes. Unlike most food markets, this one isn’t for purchasing ingredients to take home and cook up, but is a market of food stands with chefs from local restaurants. There are seating areas to sit and enjoy your food or you can order to go. From 6-10:30pm.

September 22 – October 16
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 105th edition of the Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particularly pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-des-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €10 (free for kids under 15).

September 22-24
Les Arches Citoyennes
(3 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville) is hosting the 8th annual Syrien N’est Fait cultural festival celebrating the contemporary Syrian art scene with exhibitions, conferences, concerts, screenings, performances, workshops, and Syrian cuisine. Some of the conferences and screenings take place across the square at City Hall, but there will be food stands, a bar, artisans, expositions and Syrian cultural groups. It’s free and open Friday 6pm-10:30pm, Saturday 2pm-midnight, and Sunday 1pm-9:30pm.

September 23
Get out your earplugs, it’s time for the 25th annual Techno Parade de Paris! It starts at noon (so far, location is a secret) and finishes at République for a huge party. Check out their FB page for better information on the practicalities.

September 23-24
The Cité Fertile in Pantin is hosting its first Marché Végan (vegan festival), noon-8pm. Stands will be selling clothing, cosmetics, and food. Free entry.

September 28-October 1
One of the last artist open houses for Parisian artist studios, don’t miss this weekend’s Portes Ouvertes des Artistes de Ménilmontant (20th arrondissement). The main gallery has maps and examples of different artists’ works, Ménils8, 8 rue Boyer, 20th, metro Gambetta. Free entry, lots of events around the neighborhood during the festival.

September 29
The Cité Fertile in Pantin is hosting another karaoke night, Maxi-Soirée Karaoké from 7pm-1am. Free entry.

September 29-October 1
Intrigued by the French language, or others? Check out LinguaFest 2023, hosted by Mundolingua (the museum of languages in the 6th arrondissement) at the lovely Halle des Blanc Manteaux, 48 Rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th. The fair has 7 sections : 1. Publishers and bookshops : a large number of teaching methods, bilingual books, dictionaries, linguistics publications. 2. Immersion Travel : Now again possible, travel to discover and learn languages in situ. 3. Lecture and Events Space : A large collection, drawn partly from the monthly soirées at Mundolingua over the last 10 years including talks from some of the exhibitors, a games session, a multilingual reading of The Little Prince and more.4. Language Schools – for all ages. 5. Institutions : such as various museums, UNESCO (which has just launched its decade of indigenous languages, the new museum of the French language at Villers-Cotterêts. 6. Cultural Centers– roughly 30 languages will be represented, presenting their language and culture. 7. Various associations connected with languages, based in l’Ile-de-France, be they for the very young, still young or retired. There will also be spots for eating and workshops/activities, like: graphology, calligraphy, trying out languages, documentation, games. Open 10am to 7pm, entry €5.

September 30
As part of the 13th arrondissement’s Fête de la Lune (Chinese Festival of the Moon), there’s a special food market “Le Marché Treiz’Asiatique” celebrating the star ingredient in so much cuisine from Asia: rice. The market will be Saturday the 30th from noon until 10pm along the Boulevard Auguste Blanqui between Place d’Italie and metro Corvisart.

Ongoing Events

Throughout September
There are plenty of big music festivals in and around Paris happening this month. Check out the full schedule on the Time Out Paris website: https://www.timeout.fr/paris/concert-soiree/festivals-musique-paris

Through September 30
The magical Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte are back! Open every Friday (in July and August) and every Saturday (through Sep 30th) from 2pm, 2000 candles are lit at sunset, and fireworks show before the 11pm closure; reservations required. Due to Covid, the shuttle from the train station is no longer running (reserve a taxi or come by car, free parking). Read the Secrets of Paris article about it here.

Throughout September and beginning of October
Kiosques en Fête festival of free music concerts continues in park and garden gazebos throughout Paris. You can download the schedule here.

Through November 3
Visit the free, open-air exhibition of the Cité Universitaire’s 6th edition of “Gardens of the World in Motion ” festival, featuring six of the competition’s winning gardens spread around the 34-acre grounds of the university campus. “The ephemeral gardens fit harmoniously into the decor by interacting with the emblematic architecture of the City and by integrating sustainable development through the use of bio-sourced materials, the recovery of rainwater or the creation of ecological niches.” Free and open to the public during daylight hours. Cité Universitaire (17 Boulevard Jourdan, 14th).

Through November 5
Immerse yourself in the art of the iconic Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha at the interactive digital show at the Grand Palais Immersif (110 rue de Lyon, 12th). Tickets €6-€20. Reserve your time slot online.

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