This post lists our top 12 suggestions for things to do in Paris, including popular events, attractions, and festivals that are happening in October 2023.
For more things to do, check out our popular Paris posts:
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours
- River Seine Boat Cruises
- Eiffel Tower Tickets
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Things to Do in Paris (any time of year)
Our top 10 list includes some free things to do, family-friendly activities, and events happening in the evenings.
When planning your activities for the day or night, check out the weather in Paris in October.
1. See a Show at Moulin Rouge
If you're looking for something that is a bit more stereotypically Parisian, why not see a cabaret?
The Moulin Rouge is known for its live music, extravagant costumes, and beautiful performers in a luxurious environment.
Performances run regularly year-round, and we recommend getting your tickets a few months out as they do tend to sell out.
Check out more nighttime activities in our post Things to do at Night in Paris.
2. Visit Versailles
A day trip to Versailles is something you should consider when in Paris. It's only 40 minutes from Paris by train.
You can stroll through Versailles Gardens from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 pm through October.
If you are here in October, enjoy Les Grandes Eaux Musicales, the Versailles Musical Gardens and the Great Musical Waters Show.
3. Take a Ghost Tour
October is the month of Halloween so it is a perfect time to see some very spooky sites on a Ghosts, Mysteries, and Legends tour of Paris.
On a 2-hour walk, you’ll hear stories of haunted hotels and medieval punishments that happened on the very streets you’re walking on!
Don't like ghosts? No problem. There are many different kinds of tours to take in Paris.
You can try a pay-what-you-wish walking tour with a knowledgeable and entertaining guide.
If you prefer to explore on your own, self-guided walking tours are always a good option.
To experience the best of Paris, take a popular food tour where you will see some of Paris and taste its delicious foods.
4. Enjoy An Art Fair
Contemporary Asian art and new emerging artists, over 200 of them from 63 countries, can be discovered at the Asia Now art fair.
Exhibits are located at Monnaie de Paris (the Paris Mint), an 18th-century palace, which is transformed for the event.
Visit from October 19th - 22nd. For more information, visit the Asia Now website.
Paris + Art Basel also celebrates contemporary art. This fair brings together the work of thousands of artists from around the world.
Events take place in the Grand Palais from October 19th - 22nd. Visit here for more information.
And finally, the Salon d'Automne which has been around since 1903 shares new trends in the arts world and brings together almost 900 artists.
Showings take place on the Champs Elysees from October 27th - 30th. Visit Salon d'Automne for more information.
5. Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre
The Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre is among the most popular annual events in Paris.
From October 11th to 15th, you can enjoy 150 events -- mostly free!
There will be dance performances, live music, and special children’s activities. Of course, there will be food and wine!
Find more details about Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre here.
Whether you attend the Fête des Vendanges or not, we recommend you explore the charming neighborhood of Montmartre.
There are many ways to visit: you can take a guided walking tour, a food tour, or a self-guided tour.
Find out the options from our post on Montmartre Walking Tours.
6. Enjoy Nuit Blanche
It’s going to be a long night on October 7th when Paris celebrates its annual Nuit Blanche (White Night).
On this night, loads of cultural institutions, monuments, and galleries stay open ‘til the wee hours of the morning - and the activities are all free!
There are special art installations throughout the city, a race that takes up to 4,000 runners through museums, and a dozen musical artists performing in the streets of Paris until 7 a.m.
Find more details and a schedule for the free Nuit Blanche here.
For other activities in Paris that don't cost a euro, see our post on free things to do in Paris.
7. Festival d’Automne
This festival runs from September until December which means that all October, you can find many special events throughout the city.
There will be theatre, music, dance, film, and other art forms.
There is something for everybody during this festival. Check the schedule of events to see what is on while you are in Paris.
Many of these events occur in the evening. If you are looking for other things to do after dark, see our post on things to do at night in Paris.
8. Enjoy Jazz Sur Seine
Paris loves Jazz almost as much as America does, and the Paris Jazz Club celebrates this with its annual two-week festival.
Concerts, an estimated 150 of them, take place in various venues across the city.
Events are scheduled to take place October 6th-21st.
Ticket pricing is dependent on the venue. Visit the Jazz sur Seine website for more information.
9. See a Major Sporting Event
See the top tennis players in the world, some great footballers, and some very fast horses in Paris in October!
- Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Horse Race | September 30th - October 1st
- Yonex French Open for Badminton | October 24th - 29th
- Vredestein 20km de Paris | October 8th
- Paris St. Germain Football | various dates
- Rolex Paris Masters | October 31st - November 5th
Note that the 20km has a race for kids who want to run.
If you’re looking for more family-friendly activities in Paris, check out our post.
10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
With a tourist attraction discount pass, you’ll get to see much more at a bulk discount - up to 55% for some popular attractions!
The passes give you bulk discounts since you're getting entry to multiple attractions upfront. You'll also get to skip box office lines at participating locations!
- Arc De Triomphe
- Paris Aquarium
- Paris Opera House
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
- And much more.
For more information on all the discount passes available, check out our full pass comparison post.
11. Take in Paris Fashion Week
One of the most high-profile fashion weeks happens in Paris from September 25th - October 3rd.
This event sets the tone for fashion all over the world for the upcoming year.
There will be a few events open to the public, but tickets are in high demand so you should keep an eye on the calendar months in advance.
These events are generally independent of the official runway events but are still exciting for fashion fans.
12. Other Events
Some other events taking place in October in Paris that you might find interesting include:
- Halloween Show at Le Manoir de Paris | dates TBA
- Halloween Festival at Disneyland Paris | October 1st - November 5th
- Salon du Chocolat | October 28th-November 1st