Top Paris events for September include la rentrée - the return of Parisians to the city, feeling energized after a month or more of vacation relaxation and excited about all the activities, new shows at theaters, museums and concert halls, and festivals filling the September calendar.

If you're visiting Paris this month, celebrate the tail-end of summer at a free jazz festival at Parc Floral plus mostly-free music and film fests.  More top events include the fabulous European Heritage Days, Paris Fashion Week, and free cultural events across the Marais neighborhood.

Will you see any fall foliage in the city's many famous parks during September?  Look for a few hints of gold and crimson toward the end of the month - but otherwise, expect to find lots of flowering plants still in full bloom and beauty everywhere you look.  Days should still be warm and mellow - but bring a warm sweater to wear at night.

European Heritage Days (Journées Européans du Patrimoine) 2021

17th century Palais Royal in central Paris
Want to explore the splendid interior of 17th century Palais Royal?  European Heritage Days gives you the opportunity!

Over 300 Paris museums, historic monument, heritage sites, and public spaces give you free access during fascinating tours and presentations as part of France's European Heritage Days on September 18-19.

What's special?  Many of the city's most beautiful, fascinating, and historical institutes give access to private areas normally off-limits to visitors.

Head to venues as Hotel de Ville, Élysées Palace, and Palais Royal where you can explore treasure-filled areas normally closed to the public, take behind-the-scenes tours at the Paris Metro (including current construction sites!), France Télévisions, and the command center at a Saint-Denis Canal lock, or simply get free admission to some of the city's most popular museums and cultural institutions such as Musée de l’Armée and Philharmonie de Paris.  Some of the most unusual offers include a guided quarry tour and a behind the scenes tour of Drouot, the famous Parisian auction house.

Admission, tours, workshops, and other related events are free, but at some venues, you'll need to register in advance.  The complete schedule and related registration information (if required) will be listed on European Heritage Days' website, usually about 3 weeks before the event.

September Concerts in Paris - 2021

Philharmonie de Paris in Parc de la Villette
Red traffic lights reflecting on Philharmonie de Paris in Parc de la Villette on a rainy night

More Paris classical concerts during September

More Paris rock, electronic, pop, jazz, & other performances during September

More concerts throughout the year

Day Trips from Paris:  September Picks

Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley
Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley

September is the perfect month to explore some of the exciting and famous attractions outside of Paris.  Here are 4 of the most popular day trips with transportation from Paris included:

  • Loire Valley Castles Tour - This fabulous all-day tour takes you through the beautiful Loire Valley where you'll visit 3 specular Gothic and Renaissance castles, wander through their gardens, enjoy a French wine tasting - Book now
  • Versailles Palace & Gardens - During this private guided tour of the famous chateau, you'll see the Hall of Mirrors and other famous rooms in the palace, and explore the lush gardens.  Book now
  • Disneyland Paris - Hop on an express shuttle bus from 4 convenient Paris locations and use your park ticket to speed through the entrance for a magical day at Disney - Book now
  • Monet's Giverny - Visit Claude Monet's home and the gorgeous garden and water lily pond that inspired his famous Water Lilies paintings in this half-day trip with a guide from Paris - Book now

Find out about other exciting Day Trips from Paris

Jazz à la Villette 2021

Paris Jazz Festival at Parc Floral - photo credit Sébastien Bertrand
GoGo Penguin playing at Jazz à la Villette - photo credit Gael Varoquaux

Jazz à la Villette stages two weekends of superb musical events in Parc de la Villette's major venues:  Philharmonie de Paris, Grande Halle de La Villette, and Cité de la Musique.  Don't miss this unforgettable experience of hearing some of the best French and international musicians!  There's also a spcial kids' program.  The festival runs from September 1 - 12.  Lineup and more information:  Jazz à la Villette website

Les Traversées du Marais (Free Cultural Events in the Marais) - 2021

Les Traversees du Marais in Paris - 3 days of free cultural events

Les Traversées du Marais, featuring 47 free cultural events, will inspire you to "travel" across the Marais neighborhood (3rd and 4th arrondissements), where you'll encounter a rich diversity venues offering concerts, live performances, film screenings, kids' events including story time, open artists studios, a culinary workshop, exhibitions, and lots of fun on the first full weekend of the month, September 3-5.   

Participating venues include Centre Pompidou, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Museum of Art and History of Judaism, Swiss Cultural Center, Victor Hugo House, Museum of Hunting & Nature, International City of Arts, National Archives, Wallonia-Brussels Center, Carnavalet Museum, Cultural Institute of Mexico, Forney Library, BHVP (BHV Paris) department store, Picasso Museum, Cognacq-Jay Museum, 3rd and 4th Arrondissement's City Halls, and more.

Admission:   Free
More about the schedule and venue locations:

Car Free Day - 2021

Champs Elysees on a car-free Sunday
Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe - No cars!

Paris's annual Car Free Day takes place this year on September 19 from 11am to 6pm, planned to coincide with European Heritage Days.   And as a bonus, you can enjoy the regular "first Sunday" car-free day on September 6. 

With most private vehicle traffic (ie, cars, motorcycles, trucks) banned from city streets, this is your chance to walk freely in the middle of the streets and enjoy the cleaner air resulting from a variety of green initiatives.

Emergency and city worker vehicles, taxis, city buses, and tour buses are allowed, so be prepared to share the space with them as well as with bicycles, segways, and scooters.

If you're visiting Paris, Car Free Day can be a wonderful opportunity to explore the heart of the city on a guided bicycle tour or electric bike tour.

Due to the popularity of this annual event, many neighborhoods now declare car-free days periodically throughout the year.   Champs Élysées and many other streets are pedestrianized on the first Sunday of each month from 10am - 5pm, and some neighborhoods close certain streets on a weekly basis. 

Paris Fashion Week: Womens Ready to Wear - 2021

Palais Royal in Paris - fashion photograhy shoot during Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week takes place in multiple locations around the city and features numerous events showcasing French and International designers such as Chanel, Galliano, Dior, Givency, Vuitton, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Sandro, Comme des Garçons, Courrèges, Maje, Vanessa Bruno, and Isabel Marant as models strut down the runways wearing Women's Ready-To-Wear collections for next spring and summer.

The ticketed shows are generally by invitation only, so unless you're lucky enough to snag one, you can catch a glimpse of the models near the venue locations, typically in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 16th arrondissements.  The Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower and nearby Champs des Mars, Place des Vosges, Espace Ephémére des Tuileries near the Louvre, Palais Royal Garden, Hotel de Ville, Palais de Tokyo, and Pompidou are usually safe bets, as well as designer ateliers in the Marais neighborhood.

When:  September 27 - October 5

Paris Tours for Fashionistas

Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for September

Caravaggio's Roman Period - Paris Museum Exhibits in October
Museum of Natural History in Paris's Jardin des Plantes


@ Musée Jacquemart-André - With about 40 works by the Italian renaissance master plus several by his contemporaries on display, this show explores Botticelli's workshop strategy for creation and artistic training. 
September 10, 2021 - January 24, 2022
Tickets:  15€ adults; includes permanent collections plus exhibition; museum website
Location: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 8;  Metro: Saint Philippe du Roule


@ Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe) - A unique tribute to the greatest 20th century female Arab artists of music and film from Oum Kalthoum to Dalida that celebrates both history and contemporary heritage.  Feel free to bring your own headphones for top music quality!  
Now through September 26
Tickets:  15€ adults; includes permanent collections plus exhibition (12€ for permanent collection only); museum website; free access with a Paris Museum Pass to permanent collection only
Location: 1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, Paris 5;  Metro: Cardinal Lemoine or Sulland-Morland (walk across bridge)

Find more Paris museum exhibitions for September & future months

Silhouette Short Film Festival - 2021

Wrap up the summer and welcome early fall in Paris at the free outdoor Silhouette Short Film Festival held from August 27-September 4 at Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge in Paris's 19th arrondissement. 

During the festival's 8 days, you'll have the chance to see numerous different French and international short films in a variety of categories:  animation, drama, documentary, experimental, films for young audiences, and more.  Each evening's program kicks off at 6:30pm with a workshop, followed by a concert at 7:30pm.  Films begin at 9pm, and will also be broadcast at the Holiday Inn Express-Paris Canal de la Villette located a few blocks away.

Metro:  Pré St-Gervais or Place des Fête
Admission:   Free
More Information:

Paris Museum and Attractions Passes

Get free admission and skip-the-line access to 60+ museums in and near Paris when you have a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days.  (Access to special shows may require additional ticket.)  More info

Festivals du Parc Floral:  Paris Jazz Festival, Classic in Green, Pestacles, Nocturnes - 2021

The Last Shadow Puppets playing at Rock en Seine
Paris Jazz Festival at Parc Floral - Photo courtesy of Sebastien Bertrand

From late June or early July, Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes hosts four concurrent musical festivals:  Paris Jazz Festival, Classic in Green (classical music), Pestacles (a children's concert series for ages 4 and up), and Nocturnes (night concerts of contemperary, jazz, or classical music).

The outdoor concerts take place every Saturday and Sunday on several stages.  Almost all of the concerts are free, although the park charges a small 3€) entrance fee during summer and early fall.  Check the Festival's website to download a brochure with dates, lineups, and concert times.  Quick tip:  "gratuit" means the concert is free. 

Bring a blanket and a picnic or buy wine and a sandwich at the park's snack bar, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening filled with sunshine, flowers, wandering peacocks, and virtuoso musicians. 

Dates: Through September 8

Christo Wraps the Arc de Triomphe - 2021

The artist Christo has been dreaming about wrapping the Arc de Triomphe up like a giant present since 1962 - and from September 18 - October 3, 2021, you can see the result after he swaths the giant monument in 25,000 square meters of silvery blue polypropylene tied up with 7,000 yards of red rope.  This exciting art event will take place in coordination with a new Christo exhibition at Centre Pompidou.  Stay tuned for more details! 

Find out about visiting the Arc de Triomphe

More Top Paris Things to Do & See in September

More Articles about What to See & Do in Paris in September

Need Reservations?  This Paris Hotel Map Will Help

Planning to visit Paris in September?  Use this Paris hotel map to find accommodations and make your reservations:

Check out the newest Paris hotels