Book your table at the Paris Shangri-La's monthly "100% Green" Gourmet Dinner served in the hotel's gorgeous Bauhinia restaurant, just €68/person (not including drinks), check out the vegetarian menu (PDF). This is an excellent meal even if you're not vegetarian. I also recommend getting one of the "jars", a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie cocktail (with alcohol in it) served in a mason jar.
Rock and metal fans won't want to miss the 50th anniversary of the legendary nightclub, Le Bus Palladium, hosted by none other than the man of 1000 faces (most of them rock stars), Nicolas Ullmann. Three nights, three themes: Thursday it's "The Past" (70s and 80s rock, punk, etc), on Friday it's "The Present" (celebrating the bands since its resurrection in the past five years), and on Saturday, "The Future" with an Ullmann "Kararocké" special, live band and back-up singers for anyone who dares! Entry each night €7 before midnight, €20 after.
The Left Bank quays of the Seine know as Les Berges (7th arrondissement) are hosting a free open-air showcase of the latest innovations to help fight climate-change, "Paris de l'Avenir", as part of the city's participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). Free entry. Check out the website for more events throughout the city this fall.
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 91st annual 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, particulary 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-Gualle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Entry €6.
Bestiaire is a free, open-air exhibit of fantastic, mythical, and surreal animals in paintings, sculptures and videos are on display in the gardens of the Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière (83 blvd Hôpital, 13th), open free to the public daily 2-7pm, and during Nuit Blanche October 3rd from 7pm until 1am.
The 32nd annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on August 30th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite).
The gardens of the famous Curie Institut are open to the public for two months, featuring science-inspire artworks by 100 international artists. The Jardin du Musée Curie (1 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 5th, metro Place Monge), open Wed-Sat 1-5pm. Free entry.
The largest antique market in Versailles takes place for three days for the Fête d'Automne, with 50 antique shops and art galleries celebrating the reign of Louis XIV (it's the 300th anniversary of his death). SHops and stands along the Passage de la Geôle and Rue du Bailliage (northwest corner of the Marché Notre Dame, closest station is the Gare de Versailles Rive Droite direct from Paris' Gare St-Lazare).
The annual Nuit Blanche "White Night" festival starts at sunset on Saturday and goes until sunrise on Sunday, with a diverse set of artistic events and shows scheduled predominantly on the Right Bank (with two parcours, East and West), and a few "Off" events on the Left Bank, in parks, public spaces and sometimes cool venues like the Petit Ceinture (usually closed to the public). This year there are also a few bars and food trucks along the route, worth stopping in just for that! Free entry. Info in English on Time Out or pick up the printed guide for free at Paris Rendez-Vous (boutique and info center at Hôtel de Ville, entrance 29 rue de Rivoli, 4th).
It's Paris Fashion Week, but unless you're a journalist, buyer, or a star you won't be able to attend the famous catwalk shows. However there is another option if you're interested in the up-and-coming international designers: Oxford Fashion Studios is organizing a ticketed fashion show open to the general public. At 6pm is the Independnet Designers Show (€20-€35), and at 9pm the Couture Collections - Black Tie (€30-€45), Champagne reception included for both shows.
Don't miss the last magical Candlelit Evening at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Entry €19.50.
The famous pirate boat on the Seine, La Dame du Canton, celebrates its 20th anniversary tonight starting at 7pm with live music, dancing and DJs inside an on the terrace. Free entry! I remember dancing there when I was a student, just a few months after it opened in 1995 (it was still called La Guinguette du Pirate back then). Ah, memories...bon anniversaire!
One of the biggest horse racing events of the year, the 94th annual Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe takes place this weekend at the Longchamp Hippodrome (Bois de Boulogne, 16th), with 17 races, ladies in their finest hats, and all eyes on the French Thoroughbred Trêve who will be attempting a Triple Arc Crown (three wins in a row). Free shuttles leave every 10 minutes from the Porte de Maillot, Porte d'Auteuil, and Pont de Sèvres. Tickets €8 for the open area, €25 and up for stadium seats.
One of the greatest contemporary British comedians, Eddie Izzard, is bringing his show Force Majeure back to Paris, this time....en français! Mais oui! He'll be performing at the Casino de Paris one night before moving onto a week-long tour in other French cities. Even if your French sucks, you'll likely be able to follow along Eddie's own version of Franglais as he explains World History, God, Hitler, and other light topics. Tickets from FNAC starting at €25.
The charity shop Emmaüs Alternatives (105 blvd Davout, 75020, M° Porte de Montreuil) is clearing out its stock of used men's, women's and children's clothing with a 5-day Kilo Sale, where everything is on sale for just €10 per kilo. Open 11am-7:45pm.
The annual Puces du Design is a free market of vintage furniture and home decor from the 1950s to today, at the Place des Vins behind Bercy Village, 12th. Over 100 stands, free entry.
Celebrate Oktoberfest in Paris all week long in a huge Bavarian-themed tent at the Porte de la Villette (19th), tickets €34-€44, including €15 of drink tickets. There will be music, Bavarian Cancan dancers, and plenty to eat and drink. Dust off the lederhosen and be ready for fun!
Head up to Montmartre for the 82nd annual Fête des Vendanges, the wine harvest festival (yes, there is an actual little vineyard in Montmartre, just behind the Musée Montmartre and across from the Lapin Agile Cabaret). There is grape stomping, food and wine tastings, fireworks, a parade, live music, and all kinds of fun throughout the "Butte". Many events are free, some you have to reserve a spot, so get to the website or stop by the little Montmartre Tourism Office at 21 Place du Tertre (18th).
Expat author Scott Hobbes Bourne will be presenting his newest book, "Orgy Porgy: Short Stories and True Tales" at the Abbey Book Shop (29 rue de la Parchiminerie, 5th, M° Cluny-Sorbonne or St-Michel) from 7pm, free entry.
The 16th annual Marché de l'Aveyron takes place for three days with over 100 food, wine and artisan stands from the Aveyron region of France. There will also be folk dancing and live music. Free entry, open 9am-10pm along the Rue de l'Aubrac, 12th, M° St-Emilion (near Bercy Village).
Over 100 Paris artists open their ateliers to the public for three days for the event ParisArtistes 2015. They are in different neighborhoods throughout the city, some in public buildings like the Couvent des Recollets in the 10th or la Villa Belleville. Free entry, check the website for the full schedule.
The City of Paris's municipal gardens will be selling over 3000 surplus plants and potted herbs from their greenhouses today for just €1/plant. In two garden locations, from 9:30am-11:45am in the Jardin des grands explorateurs Marco-Polo et Cavelier-de-la-Salle (avenue de l'Observatoire, 6th) and from 2-4:15pm at the Parc de Choisy (128 ave de Choisy, 13th).
Fashion Week is over, but you can still enjoy a bit of the glamorous Parisian fashion lifestyle at the Bristol Hotel's Fashion Saturdays, which includes a fashion show by one of the major fashion houses with Afternoon Tea (pastries, Champagne, teas, and finger foods). Entry is €70 per person. This week's show features one of the newest French couture houses, Devauze & Dugat, from 2:30-4:30pm, in the Jardin Français Bar (112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th), RSVP 01 53 43 43 42.
Discover the latest up-and-coming French "créateurs" at the Hôtel Bohême, a pop-up sale of jewelry, accessories, clothing, decor, art, gifts and other goodies all made in France, with a particular focus on eco-friendly design and organic products. There are also gourmet sandwiches, salads and other snacks by Chloé Cuisine en Vert, making this more of an outing than just shopping. Free entry, open Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Address: 71 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th, M° Parmentier, Goncourt or Couronnes.
The SOS Help English-language listening line is hosting its Autumn Book Sale today 12 pm to 4 pm with children's story hour offered by Janina Rossiter, author of the Tovi the Penguin series (1:30-2:30pm). Orrick Law Offices, 31, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau. Paperbacks are only 1€ and hard covers are 2€. They have books in every category, with a ton of general fiction, young adult, and children's books. Be sure to tell your friends about this great way to get inexpensive books, meet other people in the English-speaking community, and support this organisation. To donate books in good condition, simply bring them to the sale on Sunday. They will also have a bake sale where you can get all kinds of fabulous homemade sweet and savory goodies as well as perk up with a little coffee!
Watch some of the best international outdoor and adventure short films at the European Outdoor Film Tour tonight at La Cigale from 8pm. There are 9 films for a total time of 120 minutes with a half hour break. See the trailer below:
October 15, 17, 18
Note et Bien is an orchestra and choir that perform for charitable causes. This month they are performing Mahler's 5th Symphony on Octobebr 15th at Eglise Notre Dame du Liban (17 rue d'Ulm, 5th, at 8:45pm), on October 17th at Eglise St-Christophe-de-Javel (28 rue de la Convention, 15th, 8:45pm) and October 18th at Eglise St-Denys-du-St-Sacrement (68 rue de Turenne, 3rd, 4pm). There are no tickets, but a donation is requested (passing of the hat) to benefit three charities: Verd'Esperence, ARCFA, and Solidarité Nouvelles pour la Logement.
One of the bigegst flower shows of the season, Les Journées des Plantes de Courson is taking place at the Château de Chantilly, just 30 minutes north of Paris by RER. Over 200 exhibitors in a stunning setting with pretty flowers and plants, what's not to love? Buy your tickets in advance online to get the €17 entry fee (€20 at the door) or the €30 3-day pass.
October 17 - November 1
Used as a military hospital during WWI, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (1 hour from Paris) celebrates the centenary of the Great War with a military camp, strategy games, educational demonstrations, talks and a historic exhibition. For two weeks, the “Poilus” (nickname of WWI French infantrymen meaning "hairy") are setting up camp in the grounds designed by landscape architect Le Nôtre. Tickets (including château entry) are €16.50 for adults, €10 for kids.
There's a neighborhood Vide-Grenier (attic sale) in the charming Butte-aux-Cailles district today (13th, metro Corvisart or Place d'Italie). For other flea markets and neighborhood sales around Paris for any given date check the website Info-Brocante.
Ooh la la! Calling all ladies, the next Sex & Booze: An Erotic Book Club at The Chamber, a private pop-up cocktail club, Heather will be moderating a discussion about Best Women's Erotica over fabulous cocktails, wine, bubbly and plenty of French cheese. From 8pm. Limited guest list, tickets €25 (members) or €45 (non-members; get €10 off with the discount code naughtyparis). Can't make it? Check out the other Chamber events this fall.
Have Scottish heritage? Check out the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, currently in Paris as part of its world tour. The free exhibition of over 300 embroidered panels celebrating the story of Scots abroad (including the Auld Alliance with France) takes place at the Auguste Dobel Cultural Center (9 rue Philidor, 20th, M° Porte de Vincennes). Open Mon-Fri 8:45am-7pm, Sat 9:30am-6pm.
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of classical music, Svartsjukans nätter (Nights of Jealousy), a quintet for piano and strings exquisitely performed by SPCO musicians at the Institut Finlandais (behind the Cluny Medieval Museum, Latin Quarter). Sit closely to the performing artists; afterwards, enjoy an excellent cocktail reception with wine and mingle with musicians and fellow culture lovers. Presentation of the evening is in English and French. From 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). Register on the website; places limited.
A very special, epic film night at the Théâtre du Châtelet, featuring a restored color version of the 1925 film Les Miserables, considered to be one of the best interpretations of the novel by Victor Hugo. The musician Jean-François Zygel will accompany the film on piano live throughout the 359 minutes. Yes, you read that right! The film is almost six hours long! The event starts at 4pm, with 75-minute intermission (for dinner), and finishes at 11:30pm. Tickets are €25.
October 28 - November 1
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo - Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14. You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you're a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes.
October 31 - Halloween in Paris!
Inspirelle Magazine has an article on Seven Spooky Haunts where you can Celebrate Halloween in Paris (and the countryside) for all ages. The piano bar Club Rayé inthe Montorgueil district will also be hosting a special Halloween event with the fashion diva in noir, Diane Pernet. You can find some other ideas for Halloween (including costumes) in the 2013 article How to Halloween in Paris.
The 39th annual AAWE Bazaar at the American Church of Paris (65 Quai d'Orsay, 7th), a giant second-hand sale of quality clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, English books, toys, children's and baby clothes, white elephants, and baked goods. The Bazaar also continues the long tradition of American women coming together once a week to create and craft hand-made items, for sale at the Handicrafts table. Open 9:30am-7pm. Entrance €2, free for kids, proceeds go to charities in France and abroad helping women and children.
November 27 - January 15
Book your tickets ASAP for the thatre production of Singin' in the Rain at the Théâtre du Châtelet (in English with French surtitles).
Other Paris Calendar Links
- For general events around Paris: Que Faire à Paris?
- For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing
- For indie/alternative music concerts see Gigs in Paris
- For art exhibitions in galleries and museum see Slash Paris
- For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism
- For naughty events, see the Naughty Paris Guide