After the summer holidays Parisians gear up for a variety of cultural and festive outings. September is a great time to visit the French capital and enjoy the pleasant autumn weather. Autumn brings a host of vibrant events to match the spectacular array of colour on trees.
European heritage days
Boasting such iconic buildings as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Cœur Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe, Paris has a wealth of heritage. On the third weekend of September each year, numerous monuments in Paris region open up to the public for the European Heritage Days (15 and 16 September). A number of events are organized on this occasion to enable visitors to see little-known facets of familiar venues or to discover places that are usually closed to the public, such as the Élysée Palace. For this 2018 edition, cultural heritage and the art of sharing are in the spotlight!
Paris loves icons and Picasso is one of them. From 4 September, the Musée Picasso brings together many works by the artist for Masterpieces, an exceptional exhibition retracing his greatest artistic achievements. The Musée d’Orsay is also showcasing Picasso with a blockbuster exhibition Picasso. Périodes Bleues et Roses, which focuses on the key period of the life of the artist (from 18 September). Paris treasures artists and art from around the world.
For the first time in Europe, the work of one of the finest examples of Japanese painting of the 18th century is on show for the enjoyment of all: Jakuchû (1716-1800), the Royaume Coloré des Etres Vivants (from 15 September). Works by a major figure of Art nouveau, Alphonse Mucha, are on show at the Musée du Luxembourg (from 12 September). And the Grand Palais travels to the heart of La Serenissima in the 18th century to see the flourishing of art in Venice, with the exhibition Dazzling Venice. Venice, the Arts, and Europe in the Eighteenth Century (from 26 September).
At the Louvre, the exhibition L’Aventure de l’Archéologie en Bande-Dessinée looks at how archaeological finds on display in the Museum are represented in comic strip books. (Sept 2018 to July 2019).
At the Musée Maillol, the exhibition Alberto Giacometti entre Classicisme et Avant-garde analyses the dialogue of the artist with contemporary sculptors: Rodin, Bourdelle, Maillol, Zadkine, and Picasso (from 12 September to 20 January).
The summer season continues, The Festival d’Automne has the most eclectic offering, with top-quality events in various fields: dance, cinema and theatre. For fans of jazz and swing, Jazz à La Villette is a must-see – all the more so as it’s now a family outing, including a kids’ version of the festival : Jazz à la Villette for Kids.
In September, the Kiosquorama eco-citizenship and arts festival occupies bandstands in gardens and parks throughout Paris Region for a month. It’s a programme of free events open to all, including concerts, installations, workshops and educational games.
Design and fashion
From 8 to 16 September 2017, during Paris Design Week, the City of Light turns into the world’s design capital. Each year the event draws more than a hundred designers from around the globe who come to Paris to show their latest creations. Save the date, Fashion Week returns on 25 September with women’s ready-to-wear fashion shows.
Gourmets take note: French cooking will be In the spotlight on the third weekend in September during a very tasty event: the Goût de France, from 21 to 23 September. For three whole days, Paris celebrates French culinary heritage with numerous events: tasting sessions, aperitifs, workshops, dinners, food markets and meetings. To mark the occasion, culinary events are held in various venues around the city.
After the United States, the 42nd edition of the Ryder Cup, one of the biggest sporting events in the world, will be held at the Golf national de St-Quentin (28-30 September). On your marks, get set, go! It is race time again with La Parisienne on 9 September, the all-women’s race. This year’s theme is ‘New York City’ while the legendary Paris-Versailles draws some 20,000 participants on the last Sunday in September each year. The 41th edition will start from the foot of the Eiffel Tower on 30September and the runners will cover a distance of 16 km all the way to the Château de Versailles.
Horse racing enthusiasts mustn’t miss the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 30 September and 1 October at Chantilly racecourse.
To get some fresh air and make the most of the late summer days before the kids go back to school, head for La Fête au Bois de Boulogne (formerly known as the Fête à Neuneu) which takes up residence in the Bois de Boulogne in early September. The fair has been delighting young and old for more than 30 years, with rides and attractions for all ages, including merry-go-rounds, mini-roller coasters, swing carousels and a Big Wheel.