La Rentré is always full of events as Parisians return from their month-long vacations, so check back throughout the month as events are added.
The 8th edition of Les Traversées du Marais is a free three-day cultural festival with 37 special events — dances, film screenings, concerts, etc. — taking place in museums, art centers, libraries, mansions, and galleries throughout the Marais district. See the website for the full program mapped out, or simply wander around the Marais over the weekend and follow the music!
The Hasard Ludique, a reconverted train depot on the Petite Ceinture that now hosts a bar, restaurant and cultural, welcomes you this Saturday for Afroland, a food and artisan market featuring African entrepreneurs from noon-9pm, and a fashion show 5:30-6pm of Céline Nse’s hand-crafted, upcycled clothing designs. Free entry.
There will be a 1pm screening at the Cinema Saint Andre des Arts of the documentary film, “Fighting for Respect – Des Hommes de Valeur” explores the plight of African-American soldiers who fought in World War I, receiving the military decoration of the Croix de Guerre from France, while struggling against discrimination and hatred at home in America.
Through September 7
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.
Through September 7
The open-air rooftop Bar à Bulles at the Machine de la Moulin Rouge (nightclub next to the famous cabaret) is holding weekly open-air cinema nights on Wednesdays from 9:30pm, free with reservation (includes headphones), wait-list from 8pm the night of the screening if you can’t get a spot in advance. Films are in their original versions with French subtitles. See the schedule here.
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. And all dishes are under €10! There are seating areas to sit and enjoy your food or you can order to go. From 6-10:30pm.
Fête de l’Humanité a music and political activist festival in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, a bit like a French Lollapallooza. For the 87th edition (!!) there will be three days of live music (60 acts including headliners Dutronc & Dutronc, Sexion d’Assaut, Selah Sue, Benjamin Biolay, Laylow, etc), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L’Humanité, whose motto is “Envie de Changer Le Monde” (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it’s quite a leftie-leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in a new location, Base 217, in the southeast suburbs, and three-day passes are €39-€55 (camping and parking also possible). Free for kids under 15.
The Chamber Orchestra of Paris is performing three open-air concerts in the courtyard at the Gobelins Mobilier National in the 13th arrondissement. On the program are Mozart, Dvorak, Bruch, Strauss, Stravinsky, with tickets from €5-€10. Reserve your spot here: https://www.orchestredechambredeparis.com/en/
Check out 60 of the best food trucks of the Paris region at the 6th annual St-Maur Food Truck Festival (Place des Marronniers in Saint-Maur-des-Fosses). Yes, you have to cross the Paris ringroad to the suburbs to get there, but it’s worth it! Bring a big appetite. Open Friday 7pm-midnight, Saturday 11am until midnight, and Sunday 11am-6pm.
“Under the Cobblestones, the Sea!” is the theme of the 3rd annual Festival de l’Odysseée along the waterways of Paris and the Ile-de-France. This culture and sports and nightlife festival takes place at locations all along the Seine and the canals of northeast Paris, both in and on the water, with events such as boat cruises, tours of factories, watersports, nautical races, dance parties on the quay, péniche concerts, parades on the water, and many more strange and wonderful things. The closing party is at the Palais de Tokyo as part of their Bodies in Alliance Festival (see below, September 18th).
The “plant well-being” company Sowvital has a pop-up store and event space in the north Marais this week (62 rue Charlot, 3rd), not just to introduce their plant care products, but also to work with local artists and artisans for some interesting ateliers open to public such as Botanical Origami on the 19th, “celebrating the plant world through the Japanese art of origami. We will be using Fedrigoni paper. In between refreshments and canapés, created by Marie Meon, you’ll have the opportunity to construct a variety of elegant paper sculptures under the guidance of origami expert Coco Sato.” Sign up for your spot on their website here: https://sowvital.com/en-fr/pages/paris
Attention street art lovers! The District 13 International Art Fair takes place at the Hotel Drouot auction house all week long. “District 13 wishes to reflect the various subcultures evolving around Urban art. With a refined selection, District 13 will host about 30 international galleries, among the most important and representative of this scene.” Entry €10 for one day or €15 for a 4-day pass. Open 11am-9pm (last day 10am-7pm).
September 15-October 10
Photographer Alexis Duclos presents his black and white photos of Paris in his latest show, “In the City” at the Durev Gallery (56 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, 7th, open Tues-Sat 10am-7pm). The vernissage is Thursday the 15th from 6:30pm.
For lovers of the ultra-contemporary art scene in Paris, check out the Bodies in Alliance Festival at the Palais de Tokyo. “Unique performances, rhythmic dj sets, workshops of all kinds: for its 20th anniversary, the Palais de Tokyo is celebrating the pleasure of being together. For 4 days Marinella Senatore has imagined a unique festival bringing together more than 40 associations of professional and amateur artists and sportsmen. By impregnating the Palais de Tokyo with her participative art, the Italian artist creates a moment of active citizenship.” Tickets €12.
Franco-American painter Marcus McAllister’s latest show is at the Galerie 43 in the Butte aux Cailles (13th arrondissement) every day 3-8pm. The vernissage will be the 16th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Join the artist for tea on Sunday the 18th from 3pm, and celebrate the closing on the 25th from 4-8pm.
The French daily newspaper Le Monde is hosting its first 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, and cultural events open and free to the public throughout the weekend, including a DJ dance party Friday night from 7-11pm, yoga Saturday morning at 9:30am, a percussion concert Saturday at 7pm, and a huge swing dancing ball on Sunday from 6pm until 10:30pm.
Vinyl record fans won’t want to miss Le Marché au Vinyle des Particuliers at Le Petit Bain péniche today, where 25 private collectors will be selling their records, and special guest Zaltan will sell and play his own records as well as from his label Antinote. The event is free and open to the general public starting at noon, organized by Dizonord, a hybrid record shop based in Paris and Marseille, which is also a music label and producer.
Looking for a new bike or to repair the one you have? Check out the Fête du Vélo on the Place Jeanne d’Arc in the 13th arrondissement (metro Olympiades) from 10am 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.
Journées Européenne du Patrimoine – This weekend is the 38th annual Heritage Days. Over 550 historic sites will be opened to the public in Paris, many which are only open for this occasion. 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. The official website is a bit hard to navigate, but you can see some tips and a selection of our top sites to visit here.
La TraverSeine is a nautical race — with canoe, kayak, stand up paddle, pirogue or Dragon Boat — on the Seine from Port de Bercy (12th) to the Parc Nautique Sèvres (west Paris) divided into three groups (solo or in teams): 15k adults discovery, 26km professionals (they do a roundtrip), and 15k youth race. If it’s too late to sign up to participate, you can always cheer them along from the bridges of the Seine on Sunday at 9am at Port de Bercy (first arrivals at Parc Nautique Sèvres at about 10:15am).
Forget about the snobby Dîner en Blanc event and join La plus grande table du monde, which will attempt to break the Guinness worl record for the largest dining table in the world connecting the Parisian suburbs of St-Denis and St-Ouen along the newly-renovated docklands on the Quai du Seine. The 2.7 kilometer-long table is open to anyone and everyone starting at 11:30am. Bring your own dish to share, or enjoy one of the free tastings prepared by the local restaurant and chef partners: Le Septime (Bertrand Grébaut), Chloé Charles, Paloma (Marie Anna Delgado and Olivia Brunet), Bonne Aventure (Alcidia Vulbeau), Label gamelle, Madame Singe, Taf et Mafé, Le Refugee Food Festival, So Pizza, Le Recho, Chez Suzanne, Ernest, Les Restos du Coeur. Also helps to bring a chair if you have one! From 2:30pm there will be live music, dancing, workshops, etc. The community event is organized by the artist Yvan Loiseau to celebrate the end of the pandemic closures, and bring the community together. Access the event on metro lines 13 and 14 : Mairie de St-Ouen / Carrefour Pleyel or T1 and T8 Gare de Saint-Denis. Attention: RER D and train line H will be closed on September 18! See the map of the table here.
The 8th 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 18 (and prep dates 15th and 17th)
Everyone with a bike can join the musical bike parade, La Paride du Rentrée, taking place on Car Free Day. Just show up at the Point P meeting spot in Pantin suburb at 1:30pm on Sunday with your bike, tricycle, tandem, or other wheeled transport, and depart for Paris at 2pm in a noisy, festive parade, first stop Académie du Climat (the old Mairie du 4ème arrondissement) and second stop Place de la Concorde, followed by a DJ party with GOGO GREEN in the Parc de Belleville. Free to join, and if you want to “pimp your bike” you can join the workshops on Thursday 15th or Saturday the 17th at the Académie du Climat (Place Baudoyer, 4th).
Through September 18
The rooftop of the Hotel Paradiso (135 Blvd Diderot, 12th) is open every Sunday all summer from 4pm to enjoy the view and the bar before the free film screenings, accessible to all without reservation, at 9:30pm (there are only 30 seats, so get there no later than 6:30pm and bring a big hat if it’s sunny, as there are no parasols).
September 22, 26, 29 and October 14-16
In October LVMH (Moët-Hennessy-Louis-Vuitton) is hosting Les Journées Particulières with 27 events in and around Paris (and other locations around the world). But if you’re hoping to get one of the free spots you’ll need to book in September; bookings are open in three rounds on the dates above (and they fill up within an hour each time). You can search via the map or the list, then just scroll down and click on “program” to see what each visit entails (especially since most of the locations are already open to the public, but there may be a special workshop, cooking demo, artisan, etc). The actual events take place October 14th-16th.
The 8th edition of Art3f, the international contemporary art show in Paris, takes place at the Paris Expo- Porte de Versailles this weekend in Pavillion 5. Tickets €7 online in advance, €10 at the door, children under 18 free. Open Friday 2-10pm, Sat -Sun 10am-7pm.
Come celebrate the one-year anniversary of Paris Underground Radio with the podcasters, guests and fans, in the Cave of the After Room (14 rue Xavier Privas, 5th, metro St-Michel) from 7:30pm (dance floor from 10:30pm). There will be door prozes and a free drink with registration on the FB page.
September 23 – October 2
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 103rd 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 €7.
Get out your earplugs, it’s time for the 20th annual Techno Parade de Paris! It starts at noon (so far the location is a secret) and finishes at République for a huge party. Check out their FB page for better information on the practicalities.
The multidisciplinary artist Yoann Bourgeois presents open-air circus act in the Tuileries Gardens called Fugue / Trampoline to the music of Philip Glass’s Metamorphosis n°2, open free to the public Saturday from 2-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. “This revolves around a simple staircase of immaculate whiteness, laid out in the immense lawns of Le Nôtre’s garden. Under the subdued lights of the first days of autumn, the performance is interspersed between the flowerbeds and the curtains of chestnut trees in the garden, on a horizon line unique in Paris. The artist delivers an acrobatic and sensitive work between fall and balance that challenges the walker of the Louvre area.”
Unique, stylish, and environmentally-friendly fashions are for sale at the Revibe Upcycling Festival, an event entirely dedicated to upcycling fashion and emerging designers at La Caserne (12 Rue Philippe de Girard, 10th). There will be 25 designers from all over Europe, upcycling workshops, food and drink stands, live music and a DJ, and even tattoo artists (you never know…). Open 10am-8pm, tickets free in advance online (€2-€10 credited towards first purchase) or €2 at the door.
September 26-October 4
It’s Paris Fashion Week again, Women’s Prêt-à-Porter for the spring-summer 2023 season. Mere mortals can’t attend 99% of the shows, but you can enjoy the free show on the streets of Paris (especially around the Tuileries/Louvre/Palais Royal areas and along the Rue St-Honoré) where fashionistas will be trying to outdress each other to attract photographers. Do keep in mind that if you’re in Paris during this time it will be harder to get reservations at the trendiest restaurants (or get into the stylish bars/clubs).
September 29-October 2
One of the last artist open house for Parisian artist studios of the season, don’t miss this weekend’s Portes Ouvertes des Artistes de Ménilmontant (20th arrondissement) featuring 100 artists in 45 studios. 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.
Through October 1
The magical Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte are back! Open every Friday (July 8th-Aug 26th) and every Saturday (through Oct 1st) 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.