There’s plenty to see and do in Paris in November, including the Salon du Chocolat, Paris Photo and Beaujolais Nouveau (but you’re not really going to drink that, are you?!) But that’s not all!
October 29 – November 3
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo – Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14.20 (€39 for families, €34 for opening night). You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you’re a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes.
October 31-November 10
Celebrate Le Jour des Morts (aka Dia de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead) in Paris at the annual art exposition and offering at the print-making gallery and artist atelier, the Association pour l’Estampe et l’Art Populaire (49bis, rue des Cascades, 20th arr.) Come see the traditional altar, and artworks celebrating the dead. The vernissage is October 31st from 6pm. The exposition is open daily 3-8pm. Free entry.
November 1st is a bank holiday in France (Le Toussaint, aka All Saints Day aka Day of the Dead)
Celebrate all things spooky — whether it’s Halloween or Day of the Dead — at Nuits Macabres aux Grands Voisins, with horror films, themed food and drinks, a DJ dance party, activities for kids, and face painting for those who don’t come already disguised. Free entrance, open Friday from 12:30pm until 10:30pm, and Saturday 2:30pm until midnight.
Japanese culture is at the center of the three-day festival C’est Bon Le Japon! at La Halle des Blancs-Manteaux (48, rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th arr). Come check out the Japanese food, tea, saké, decor, kimonos Friday 3-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm. Entry €1.
The 44th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 560 stands selling everything organic you could imagine: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €10, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010.
Don your outdoor gear and enjoy some fall color on Sunday’s hike out to Rambouillet with the Abbey Bookshop: “Weather doesn’t look so bad for Sunday after all: As a result, we plan to hike 16 to 20 km through the Rambouillet Forest, by passing through the park of the chateau of Rambouillet. If you don’t already have a pass, buy a round trip to Rambouillet, and at 10am meet us at the beginning of the platform for the train leaving at 10:09 from Montparnasse Station, -the express train takes only about 34 minutes. We can return by train at 17:19 or 18:16. Don’t forget your water and picnic lunch!”
Through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV’s Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: “An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!” The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.
November 5 – February 1
Learn all about how Paris has been feeding its citizens since it was just a tiny fishing village on the Seine at this free exposition “Nourrir Paris: Une Histoire du Champ à l’Assiette” (Feeding Paris: A Field-to-Plate History) in the Bibliothèque Fourney, aka Hôtel de Sens, the cool medieval residence of the Bishop of Sens). Open Tuesday-Saturday 1-7pm.
Time to stock up on original Christmas gifts “Made in France” at the 8th annual MIF Expo at the Porte de Versailles (expo hall 3): “MIF Expo offers a showcase that allows French industry, innovation and creativity to meet consumers.” There will be gourmet goodies, toys, home & decor, clothing, beauty & hygiene products, and technological innovations. Get a preview of the show on this video. Open 10am-7pm, get a free invitation on the website or pay €10 at the door (reimbursed with your first purchase).
November 8 & 22
Newly reopened after two years of renovations, the Théâtre de Châtelet is back, and so are the lunch concerts with the Paris Chamber Orchestra! There are two hour-long lunchtime concerts this month at 12:30pm for just €15 (bring your own sandwich): on the 8th is George Benjamin’s Duet and Mozart’s L’enlèvement au Sérail; on the 22nd is Fazil Say’s Symphonic Dances and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Get your tickets in advance online or try your luck at the ticket office an hour before the opening.
November 11 is a bank holiday in France (1918 Armistice Day)
November 14 & 28, December 12
#ExploreParis is hosting a “Midnight in Paris Movie Tour” in English to discover the locations that inspired the Woody Allen film as well as the luminaries of the Latin Quarter during the Roaring Twenties: “Meet the legendary writers and artists that lived in Paris at that time: Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and many more.” This 2.2 hour walking tour costs €15/person, regster directly on the website.
Although it’s rather low-key in France compared to the hype it gets in America, the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival takes place in wine bars throughout Paris today. You can find events at almost any wine bar in Paris, but if you’re hurting for ideas this article from Time Out in 2017 should still hit the right spots.
November 28 – January 1
Back by popular demand (and winner of 4 Tony awards), An American in Paris is back at the Théâtre du Châtelet (1st arrondissement) where Gershwin’s music was first adapted to the stage by Christopher Wheeldon in 2014. Show in English with surtitles in French. Tickets €13-€119.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Rungis, the world’s largest wholesale market located just outside of Paris, now is your chance to join a guided tour in English with #ExploreParis: “Rungis International Market Tour” Starting at 4am (yes, the market operates at night!) a private bus will take you to the market for a three-hour guided tour of the market pavillions (fish, meat, dairy, produce and flowers), and finish with an authentic market breakfast of fresh “terroir” products. The fee is €85/person, and the group meets the bus at Place Denfert-Rochereau. Get more details and register online.
Through December 29
The 15th-century Tour Jean Sans Peur (20 rue Etienne Marcel, 2nd arrondissement) celebrates 600 years of existance and 20 years as a museum open to the public with two expositions, “Crimes et Justices au Moyen Age” (Crime and Justice in the Middle Ages) and “Crimes et Rapines: Petits et Grandes Affaires de l’Est Parisien, 1880-1914” (Crimes and Abductions: Small and Large Cases in Eastern Paris, 1880-1914). Open Wed-Sun 1:30-6pm, tickets for the tower and the expos €6.
Through January 26
Calling all French Revolution history buffs and Marie-Antoinette fans: the Conciergerie is hosting a new exhibit this fall and winter, Marie-Antoinette: Metamorphosis of an Image: “Only a handful of historic figures have been the subject of such an abundance of representations: Marie-Antoinette is one of these, both during her lifetime and more notably after her death on 16 October 1793. Even today, this queen-turned-icon is still a key emblem in popular culture. The exhibition will illustrate the many representations of Marie-Antoinette through almost 200 works, artifacts, heritage and contemporary archives, never-before-seen interviews, film extracts and fashion accessories, and shine a light on this worldwide phenomenon of media overkill through both a historic approach and a critical and comparative examination of forms.” Get your tickets in advance on the official website here.