The annual Nuit Blanche Paris (White Night) is one of the most hotly anticipated annual celebrations of art and culture in Paris and it takes places the first Saturday of October every year.
Growing in popularity each year the event is supported by numerous museums, galleries and many other institutions that for this special night will open their doors on the night of the first Saturday in October until the early hours of the following day- for free!
Works are displayed and performances take place all night long. Artists from all generations and nationalities, established or emerging, attend with a programme that includes dance, performance, painting and cuisine.
The official Nuit Blanche website (below) has lots more information and includes: Among the many cultural institutions opening their doors for free to the public are: the Palais de Tokyo, the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris, the Guimet Museum, the National Superior School of Fine Art, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Louvre Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the Cité Internationale des Arts, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the François Mitterrand Library and even the Maison Rouge, the French Cinémathèque and Theatre 13.
There are also buildings that are not normally accessible to the general public such as the Hypostyle hall of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Lucien Gaudin Gymnasium and the garden level of the National Library of France.
Transport for Nuit Blanche: Normal operating times for RER trains; metro Lines will remain open until 2.00 am with some stations on Line 1 and Line 14 staying open for the entire night; some bus routes will have an enhanced service for the night (details on website below).
Several other metro lines re-open at around 5:30 am to accommodate those making a long night of the festivities.
To make the most of Nuit Blanche in Paris – wander!
If there is something specific you want to see then choose those events but you’ll get the best experience and ambience of this event by wandering the route and seeing what you find. The spirit of Nuit Blanche Paris is meant to be avant garde and to include the public as part of a wide cultural occasion that unfolds as it happens – you may find yourself being filmed as part of a video art collaboration or encouraged to join in singing or dancing performances!
You can pick up a programme from designated points or download a PDF (in French) programme from the official site.
Several areas along the Seine are pedestrianised for the night and the performances and events are designed and laid out to encourage participants to wander from east to west along the line of the Seine. There are fireworks lighting up the river and musical performances along the walkways.
Have a street map available, check where the events are on the route de Nuit Blanche (see website below) and enjoy!
Nuit Blanche Practical Details:
Access to all works and events is free. No reservation necessary.