What to do and Where to Stay in Paris in October

If you want to know what to do in Paris in October. Enjoy our guide to what to do and where to stay


Art and Paris are synonymous the same way fashion and Paris is, or the Eiffel Tower and Paris, or Coco Chanel and Paris. In Paris, even the streets that you walk down are full of art.

From the buildings to the typeface on street signs and boutiques and the dozens of incredible street artists whose work you can see around the city, art and Paris are synonymous.

That’s one of the reasons we love it so much. At least, it’s one of the reasons we love it so much. (It’s hard to narrow it down.)

Art Festivals in Paris: The Lowdown

Plenty of artists have been inspired by autumn and the month of October. One can only imagine the inspiration comes from the varying shades of gold, red, and orange that, by October, has taken over summer’s greens in all of the parks in Paris. Claude Monet famously painted an autumn scene in Argenteuil - a town a few miles northwest of the city.

Besides being an environmental muse to one of the world’s greatest impressionist painters, ever since the beginning of the 20th century, Autumn has been the time for art in Paris. It all started with the Salon d’Automne in 1903.

Le Salon d’Automne

The Salon d’Automne is a historic art exhibition that’s been held annually for over a century. It has a colourful past and one that’s seen itself through the many different hardships that altered Paris last century. Taking place on the Champs-Élysées, the exhibition was created to offer opportunities to upcoming artists and to give a stage to the flourishing art of impressionism.

These days, the exhibition has been opened up to mediums of all kinds and the festival invites painters, sculptors, and photographers to sign up and exhibit their work for four days in October.

For more information about the next edition of the Salon d’Automne, you can see their website here.

Nuit Blanche

On the first Saturday in October, the City of Lights lives up to its name as Paris’s artists take over its streets for an event that will change the way you see Paris for good. With installations, live concerts, artistic trails, and exhibitions amongst other things, you can explore contemporary art hand-in-hand with the city that helped to put it on the map.


Public transport stays open the whole night for Nuit Blanche, inviting everyone to design their own artistic journeys with no worry about how long it takes.

Even MORE Art in Paris in October

The massive number of art fairs, exhibitions, celebrations, and festivals in October is pretty overwhelming. Overwhelming in the best way, that is! Here are some more artistic goings-on you might be interested in.

  • FIAC (Foire internationale d'art contemporain): International contemporary art fair that brings together the best of the best in art and design at the gallery in the Grand Palais. FIAC is one of the best contemporary art fairs in the world and a must-see if you love your art, and also inspires fringe fairs all across Paris.
  • Art Élysées: Contemporary interior design and modern art take over the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for a week in the middle of the month.
  • YIA Art Fair (Young International Artists): This contemporary art fair is the go-to exhibition to discover up-and-coming talents in the art world. 200 artists exhibit their wares over varying mediums from sculpture to video at Le Carreau du Temple.
  • Outsider Art Fair: Lovers of the abstract can see pieces from 30 galleries from all over the world that are showcasing their pieces during the FIAC, at the Hôtel du Duc.
  • Variation Media Art Fair: Showcasing visual media in all of its wonderful, vibrantly different forms, Variation Paris is an interesting and immersive collection of art.
  • 8e Avenue: Inspired by the works of artists such as Basquiat and Villeglé, the 8e Avenue Gallery aims to put the spotlight on a commonly neglected sector of contemporary art: urban art.

What Else is Going On in October?

Even if you’re not an art buff or if your other half is and you’re… just not, there’s still a tonne of stuff going on.

  • Salon du Chocolat: Easter isn’t the only time Paris’s chocolate gets its day. The Salon du Chocolat is a chocolate show of fine proportions. Every year, pâtissières, chocolatiers, and other artisans from all over the world take their sweet treats to the Parc des Expositions for five days of events, activities, and eating. 
  • Pitchfork Music Festival: Every music lover across the world knows Pitchfork and the renowned indie music publication takes its festival to Paris to the Grande Halle de la Villette towards the end of the month.
  • Montmartre Wine Harvest Festival: Montmartre is home to the last real vineyard in Paris, so it only makes sense that more than 40 bars across the 18th arrondissement celebrate wine in all of its glory. Don’t miss the tasting sessions or the traditional fireworks display!

Paris’s Artistic Districts

MONTMARTRE, PIGALLE & THE SACRED ART: Musée de Montmartre, Galerie Montmartre, the Place du Tertre, and L’Espace Dali mix with the old haunts of Modigliani, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Some of the finest street art in Paris can be found in the 18th.

THE GOLDEN PYRAMID, THE LOUVRE: Home to the Mona Lisa and an array of the most sought-after, spoken of, and praised pieces of art in the world. The Louvre is at the centre of the Parisian art world and a walk around the Tuileries shows how far its influence stretches.

SAINT-GERMAIN & D’ORSAY: On the banks of the Seine, the Musée d’Orsay’s clock-face windows look out over the river, the Louvre, and in the distance, Sacre-Coeur. Degas’s Small Dancer Aged 14 can be found here, as well as a room dedicated to Van Gogh.

CENTRE POMPIDOU AND THE MARAIS: The quirky Bohemia of the Marais is where you’ll find Musée Picasso, the Centre Pompidou, and dozens of independent galleries hidden away. Its streets are lined with pieces from Kony, Jef Aérosol, Mimi the Clown, Gregos and more.

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