Summer is over in September as France undergoes the la rentrée, aka the return. With a few sighs of relief, Paris empties of tourists yet sees schoolchildren and workers return to a 9-5 normality. September is a transition month, with many popular events winding down and a sense of calm descending on the city. However, there are still seasonal highlights for visitors, many in our guide to the best things to do in Paris in September.
The 15 best things to do in the September of Paris
Bar-free streets of Paris during Journée Paris RespireStreet Fair in ParisAdd to myTravel added
The center of Paris gets some much-welcome respite on the third Sunday of September during Paris Breathes Day. The name says it all. This is a Sunday when cars are banned from the center of Paris for an afternoon, so Parisians can breathe easier for a day. It’s a relatively new event, but predictably very popular.
Although Sundays are always slightly quieter than weekdays, the difference is nonetheless profound. Offshoot events have started springing up, including the Fête place aux vélo (bike festival) on and around Place de la Concorde. It’s a global event, but if you’re in Paris, you’ll love seeing the city without the constant noise and pollution of the normally relentless traffic.
p.s. if you like the idea of Paris sans voitures, head to the Champs Elysées on the first Sunday of every month. It’s car-free for the day and the perfect opportunity to properly appreciate the World’s Most Beautiful Avenue .
Jump to the beats at the Paris Techno ParadeStreet Fair in Montparnasse & South of ParisAdd to myTravel added
The Techno Parade is precisely what it sounds like – a parade of high-tempo electro beats, floats, and crowds of revelers. It’s a daytime event, so expect the party to carry on in bars and clubs across Paris.
The free event has been an annual event since 1998 and attracts hundreds of thousands who dance their way from Place Denfert-Rochereau to Place de la Nation. If you’re looking for upbeat things to do in Paris in September, the techno parade will welcome you with open, sweaty arms.
The Jazz à La Villette FestivalMusic Festival in 19. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
For 10 days in early September, visitors to the Parc de la Villette are entertained by a jazz festival in the Grande Halle and the Cité de la Musique.
Jazz has long been a favorite of Parisians. The well-received festival celebrates the deep French heritage while showcasing contemporary stars of the scene. Whether you’re a diehard jazz fan or curious to discover more about America’s beloved musical export, this event is sure to entertain. Programs and ticket sales will be available during the summer.
Free Musuems during the Journées Européennes du PatrimoineStreet Fair in ParisAdd to myTravel added
The European Heritage Days are when museums and emblematic landmarks open their doors for free. You can even visit famous buildings normally closed to the public.
Blessed with many first-class museums, Paris is one of the best places to join the cultural event. The Louvre (the world’s most visited museum,) the Arc de Triomphe (dramatic views from the top,) and other landmark buildings participate. Even the president’s workplace, the Elysée Palace, opens its doors.
Whether you want to save money or visit rarely accessible buildings, the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine is one of the leading things to do in Paris in September.
French foods during the Fête de la Gastronomie (September 23, 2023)Eat & Drink in ParisAdd to myTravel added
As summer gives way to autumn and the harvest season approaches, France celebrates its gastronomic heritage. French gastronomy is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible part of humanity’s cultural heritage, and the weekend encourages the nation to celebrate and showcase the best of French cuisine.
Expect restaurants in Paris to create one-off menus built around traditional French dishes and using French ingredients. Frankly, you can find that throughout the year. But the variety and opportunity help make the Fête de la Gastronomie a rewarding time to try French classics like boeuf bourguignon, bouillabaisse, cassoulet, and many other traditional dishes.
Music at the Fête de l'Humanité (September 15-17, 2023)Festival in ParisAdd to myTravel added
The Fête de l’Humanité (Festival of Humanity) is an utterly French event that folds politics and music into a traditional open field festival. Organized by the L’Humanité newspaper, it is reportedly the most-attended festival in France, attracting around 800,000 annually. Impressive, considering the first event in 1930 attracted just 1,000 attendees.
Due to the left-leaning nature of the event, Fête de l’Humanité is considered the start of the left-wing political campaigning season. Even politics takes a summer vacation in France! Strictly speaking, Fête de l’Huma is no longer a Parisian event. It was once a firm fixture in Seine-Saint-Denis, but moved in 2022 to an abandoned airbase in Le Plessis-Pâté, Essonne. But that’s just 16 miles (25 km) outside Paris.
Political firebrands from left-wing politics are the star guests. But the edgy festival also pulls in some well-known stars of music. Past performers have included: Iggy Pop, Deep Purple, The Prodigy, Lauren Hill, Ray Charles, and a long list of celebrity musicians. It’s a strange yet heady mix and a highlight of Paris in September.
The light show spectacular, La Nuit Aux InvalidesMuseum in 7. ArrondissementOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The stunning light show that illuminates the venerable Hôtel National des Invalides ends in September. It’s your last chance to see an immersive spectacle that presents the history of France in 50 captivating minutes.
Taking place just feet away from Napoleon Bonaparte’s mausoleum, the beautifully presented light show showcases his legacy and 3,000 years of French history in a whirlwind of masterfully choreographed illuminations. Catch it while you can.
Taste the future of French cuisine at the Omnivore Food Festival Floral (September 9-11)Festival in 19. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
If you’re looking for ways to tickle your gastronomic palate, the Omnivore food festival must rank as one of the top things to do in Paris in September.
Showcasing the work of young chefs and rising stars of the French culinary scene, Omnivore is the place to see where food trends are heading. Aside from cooking masterclasses, there are food trucks, a busy wine bar, and other events designed to help visitors hone their culinary skills.
Paris Fashion Week (usually the last week of September into October)Festival in ParisAdd to myTravel added
Paris Fashion Week has fragmented into multiple events throughout the year. Each fashion week focuses on a different theme (menswear, haute couture, etc.,) but the acclaimed Womenswear show hits Paris in early autumn.
Chances are you won’t get to see the invite-only catwalk shows. But the main events are typically hosted in prestigious locations like the Louvre and Grand Palais. The event ripples through the city as fashionistas converge on the City of Light for the annual highlight, so you may notice Paris is buzzing during Fashion Week.
The biggest show in Versailles for the Nocturnes ElectroMusic Festival in VersaillesAdd to myTravel added
The Nocturnes Electro is just a couple of years old but is one of the most eye-catching events in Paris in September. For one night only, the famous musical fountains in the gardens of the Versailles Palace are transformed into a techno party. The highlight is the magical fountains ‘dancing’ in tune with the beats. The sumptuous Versailles Palace is one of the most jaw-dropping sights in France. If you plan to visit it and like the idea of a unique and engaging light show/electro party, check the program and time your visit for the Nocturnes Electro.
Explore the vibrant Le Marais quartierNeighborhood in ParisAdd to myTravel added
Visitors to Paris need no incentive to visit Le Marais, one of the most engaging neighborhoods in Paris. But the allure is heightened during Les Traversées du Marais, a program of events and activities that spotlights the best of the neighborhood.
Les Traversées du Marais (The Crossings of Marais) invites visitors to explore the effervescent streets and see things visitors might normally miss. In 2022, the 3 days event delivered 37 cultural activities. All free. The event is fast becoming one of the most popular things to do in Paris in September, and a welcome tonic after everyone reluctantly returns to work after the summer vacation.
If you visit during the next Les Traversées du Marais you’ll stumble upon activities throughout the neighborhood. Otherwise, check the dedicated website for a better idea of what to expect.
Enjoy the sunset at the Eiffel TowerBuilding in Quartier du Gros-CaillouAdd to myTravel added
The Eiffel Tower is an unmissable landmark and an itinerary topper for many first-time visitors to Paris. Usually, that means long lines, with up to 2-hour waits during peak season. But visit In September, when school vacations are over, and lines are a lot shorter.
Even better, sunsets arrive around 8pm during September. That’s time to see the sun dip behind the Paris skyline and then get to a bistro for evening dinner. As with many of the landmark attractions in Paris, September is a glorious time to visit if you want to dodge crowds.
Enjoy summer fruits fresh from Paris’s marketsMarket in ParisAdd to myTravel added
France’s supermarkets will find somewhere in the world to source out-of-season fruits, but the markets of Paris change with the seasons. Compare the markets of Paris at the start of September and the end of the month, and you’ll notice a marked difference as summer gives way to fall.
Some of the best markets to visit in Paris in September include:
- Marché couvert Saint-Martin (31-33 Rue du Château d’Eau, 75010) – a small, covered market with a justified reputation for offering quality over quantity.
- Marché Président Wilson (Av. du Président Wilson, 75116) – a sprawling, characterful street market. Only appears on Saturdays and Wednesdays, like street markets across France.
- Marché Raspail (Bd Raspail, 75006) – another traditional street market that only pops up on Fridays and Tuesdays. On Sundays, there is an organic (bio) market in the same location, which is a delight for finding high-quality fruit and veg.
Find a flea-market purchase you love at Marché aux Puces de Saint-OuenMarket in 18. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
In the northern boundary of Paris (Clignancourt) is the world’s largest antique and flea market. The sprawling complex of warehouses and street vendors is a diverting place to explore and find items you won’t find anywhere else. During September, the crowds thin a little, making it easier to move around and soak up the atmosphere of France’s busiest market.
The second-hand market is open from Saturday to Sunday. Visitors will happily while away a weekend rooting around the various markets that comprise the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (flea market of Saint-Ouen.)
The interconnecting markets focus on different goods – from antique furniture and fine art to used books and vintage clothing. There truly is something for everybody.
If you find the idea of exploring the world’s largest flea market a little daunting, consider joining a tour with experts who know the markets like the back of their hands. That way, you can zero in on the perfect bargain.
Welcome the start of fall in parks of Paris during the Fête des Jardins (Typically the last weekend in September)Park in Quartier du CombatAdd to myTravel added
As autumn arrives and golden leaves start to fall, the parks of Paris transform color and character. To herald the change of season, activities, and events happen in public parks across the city. Exploring parks is always a highlight of a vacation in the French capital. The singular Coulée Verte René-Dumont, the beautiful Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, or the elegant Parc Monceau, there is a wealth of choice when seeking out scenic green spaces.
During the annual garden festival, there will be free activities to reward visitors in many parks. The program is varied, but check online to see what is happening in a park near you. If you’re still unsure, head to the Garden Festival Village in Parc Montsouris. The Fête des Jardins (Garden Festival) is one of the outdoor highlights of Paris in September. One of the best times to experience the public parks before the days get cold and wet.
Is Paris in September worth a visit?
There is probably no better time to travel to Paris than September. Summer is still in the air and the temperatures are slowly easing from the heat – perfect time for walks, delicious cocktails at a rooftop bar and sunsets fit for a king.
What is the weather like in Paris in September?
Summer weather lingers in Paris during September, but gets noticeably colder as the month progresses. Average high temperatures drop to 70 °F (21 °C), although rainfall is rare – just 9–10 days of rainfall during the month. Daylight hours decrease fast, with sunsets beginning around 7.30 pm as the month ends. Overall, Paris weather in September delivers some sunny warm days, but don’t be surprised if a warm layer of clothing is occasionally required.
What to wear in Paris in September?
There is a verity of possibility of what to wear in Paris in September: comfortable jeans, sweet
What to pack for Paris in September?
Even though September seems like the summer end, pack your sunscreen. In the beginning of September it is still quite warm and requires matching clothes. There should be definitely shorts, some dresses, or skirts but also a hoodie for chilly evening hours.
What is the temperature in Paris in France in September?
Average high temperatures in Paris in September drop to 70 °F (21 °C), although rainfall is rare – just 9–10 days of rainfall during the month.
I love traveling! Whether it's the Australian outback, the fjords of Norway or city trips to the most beautiful cities in the world like Paris, Singapore, Barcelona or New York - I'll write down my best tips so that your trip will be a very special highlight.