Autumn in France is a time of joie de vivre and in Paris the weather is usually mellow, culture is on the menu, plus walks in parks where the leaves on the trees are red and gold is a memorable experience as is hot chocolate in a square and so much more.
Autumn is the perfect time for a Paris getaway and here are ten reasons to prove it!
Nuit Blanche Paris Art Festival
For one night only, each year Paris becomes an open-air museum. There is nothing quite like this truly astonishing night of art, culture and surprises. As dusk falls, the city springs to life as an extravaganza of luminous installations and sensory experiences astonish audiences. Nuit Blanche hands the city over to contemporary artists to reimagine its streets and buildings and the public are invited to join in. This is an exceptional night of art that will thrill, provoke and amaze from dusk to dawn. This one event alone is enough reason to visit Paris in the Autumn as far as I’m concerned. First Saturday in October. Read about Nuit Blanche – a deliciously deranged festival!
Paris Wine Festival
Did you know that Paris has a secret wine producing vineyard in the heart of the city at Montmartre?! Each October the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre celebrates the art of food and wine. It’s one of the most popular events with Parisians with free concerts, exhibitions, parades and tastings in the heart of the city. Join the locals in a celebration of the grape harvest right in the centre of Paris.
Museums museums museums
With around 200 museums in the city to choose from, you’re truly spoiled for choice. 20 museums are free all year-round including the Petit Palais which is home to 1300 works of art. Other museums are free on the first Sunday of the month and some open late which makes for a special ambiance, such as the Palais de Tokyo which is open until midnight daily (except Tuesdays). Museums are less crowded in autumn and good for days when it’s raining or a little bit chilly out. Read about five of the best free museums in Paris
Hot Chocolate à la terrace
Take a walk in the park, kick the leaves about and enjoy the stunning colours of the trees and plants. And, if it is a bit chilly out then what could be nicer than wrapping up warm and sipping a hot chocolate while you drink in a wonderful view. One of the most beautiful spots is by Notre Dame where you’ll find plenty of cafés where you can sit outside and watch the sun set and listen to those famous bells toll – it’s priceless. And while you’re there, nip to the Paris flower market next door, most people miss it but its well worth the short walk for its authentic and gorgeous good looks.
Hit the book stores and chill
There are loads of book stores with English language books in Paris and lots of them have cafés and even wine bars so you can sit and read in an ambient atmosphere.
Two of the best are Shakespeare & Co. near Notre Dame Cathedral, it’ has a lovely café alongside the book store, and WH Smith, an institution for Brits, in rue de Rivoli with its upstairs “olde English” style tea room. Read about three of the best English language book shops in Paris.
Catch the FIAC, International Fair of Contemporary Art is held in October at the Grand Palais. It spills out onto the streets, gardens and other museums with around 25 countries taking part each year.
Experience art at its most innovative and extraordinary at ’Atelier des Lumieres, the first digital art centre in Paris. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the heart of the paintings here.
A chance to enjoy the musical Fountains Show at the Palace of Versailles without the crowds. Until end October
Musée Yves Saint Laurent museum presents iconic couture pieces and historic accessories – a must for those with a passion for fashion.
The world’s top singers and musicians play at famous Parisian venues. Two of the most popular are the AccorHotels Arena at Bercy and the Philarmonie de Paris which for La Rentree, the return to work after the summer holidays, always has a full programme of concerts and shows featuring the greatest names in classical music from composers to performers.
In the streets and squares, in the cafés and bars, music is alive and well in Paris, just wander and listen you’re sure to hear the sound of Paris in the autumn sooner or later…
European Heritage Days
The middle weekend each September sees monuments, museums, sites and public buildings open their doors for free to the public in a spectacular weekend celebrating the city’s heritage. There are free workshops, guided tours and behind the scenes visits galore – this is an unmissable Paris cultural event.
More info from www.parisinfo.com