What's on in Paris - November 2018

  • October 17, 2018
  • All things Paris
  • Rupert Comer

November in Paris is generally a quiet and understated month. As the weather starts to get cooler and the days shorter, tourist numbers dwindle, and the city feels peaceful and sleepy. November is actually a brilliant time to visit Paris, as alongside the feeling of having the city all to yourself, there is no shortage of concerts, festivals, and exhibitions to explore. Here at Theatre in Paris, we have compiled a list of all the best Parisian events taking place in this Paris November calendar, so you don’t have to miss out!


paris photo november events

Europe’s Largest Photo Fair - Paris Photo

Grand Palais, November 8 - November 11, 2018

Back for its 22nd edition in the massive Grand Palais exhibition hall, Paris Photo is Europe’s biggest photography fair and will gather together nearly 200 exhibitors, including galleries, artists and publishers. Alongside talks, installations and book signings, this years edition will feature a tour organised by curator Fannie Escoulen. The tour will focus on work from women photographers, picking out pieces both in the fair and all around Paris. For all those interested in photography, Paris Photo is a wonderful way to discover a diverse range of works from photographers based all over the world.


salon du chocolat paris festival

For all the chocolate lovers - Salon du Chocolat

Porte de Versailles, October 31 - November 4, 2018

The world’s largest event dedicated entirely to chocolate, Le Salon du Chocolat is a massive exhibition at Porte de Versailles showcasing all things cocoa. As well as offering a whole array of demos, workshops (and plenty of free tasters I’m sure), there are also some less conventional activities on show. For example, a chocolate fashion show in which models wear clothing almost entirely constructed from chocolate, alongside the unveiling of an enormous chocolate sculpture inspired by the world of Astérix. Le Salon du Chocolat is sure to be an incredible, albeit surreal, sensory experience.

Two excellent one-(wo)man comedies, entirely in English

Showing in November and well into next year, these two comedies poke fun at the quirks and peculiarities of Parisians and how they compare to their English-speaking counterparts. Performed entirely in English, they are both a perfect night out for those curious to find out more about Parisian culture, all while having a good laugh.  

how to become parisian paris november
oh my god parisian paris shows november

How to Become a Parisian in one Hour is a favourite among locals and tourists and is sure to leave you in stitches. Comedian Olivier Giraud gives his best tips and tricks, so you yourself can learn to blend in with the locals. Taking everyday situations like using the metro, dining in a restaurant or wandering the streets, Giraud reveals the hilarious and unique behaviours of the City of Lights’ residents. Playing in the magnificent Théâtre des Nouveautés, join over 500K individuals from all over the globe who have learned How to Become Parisian, this is not one to miss!


Oh My God She’s Parisian is playing at Théâtre Bo St Martin and is a one-woman show performed by the charismatic Julie Collas. A Parisian who spent years pursuing a career in law in the US, she has come back to present her side-splitting take on Parisian daily life. Find out what it is to be a woman in Paris, as Julie takes you through her hectic life, all in an endearing French accent.


beaujolais nouveau paris november wine

Try some wine at Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau

November 15, 2018

Every third Thursday of November, French people celebrate the end of the harvest by drinking a wine from the Beaujolais region known as “Beaujolais Nouveau”. This is France’s most popular vin de primeur, a wine that is fermented very quickly and drunk within the same year, giving it a very sweet and fruity taste. A perfect opportunity to enjoy a typical French apéro (a pre-meal snack and drink), click on this map to find bistros in Paris where you can experience this unique celebration.


paris independent film festival november events

Paris Independent Film Festival

Katara Cinema, November 21 - November 25, 2018

The Paris independent film festival showcases each year a range of low-budget and indie films, in beautiful arthouse cinemas across Paris, such as the charming Ciné 13 in Montmartre. The festival celebrates filmmakers from all around the world and has a special focus on unknown and emerging directors. A brilliant opportunity to discover new and obscure films that will be difficult to find elsewhere, the festival will also likely be showing many features in English. Keep an eye out on their website for this years programme, which will be coming out soon.


paris festival d'automne events

Festival d’Automne play directed by Takahiro Fujita, copyright Nobuhiko Hikiji

Theatre, art and music - Festival d’Automne à Paris

September - December 2018

Every year since 1972, from September until December, the Autumn Festival takes over Paris, promoting artistic events in venues all over the capital. Ranging from theatre, music and dance to the visual arts and cinema, the festival unites artists of many different disciplines from all corners of the world. Look out in particular for the English play LOVE, which will be playing from the 5th until the 10th of November, at Ateliers Berthier. Following an array of characters struggling in poverty and forced to come together, it delivers a powerful political message. To find out more about this and the festival’s dozens of other events, visit their website here.


tomas sacareno paris palais tokyo

Contemporary art at Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo, October 17 - January 6

From mid-October until January next year, Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno will be taking over the wonderful Palais de Tokyo gallery with his newest exhibition entitled ON AIR. Promising to be an immersive and interactive experience, ON AIR will attempt to envision a new world without problems of global warming and borders, and even features a choir of “human and non-human voices”. Moreover, on the 23rd of November, researchers, artists and activists will talk and perform within the exhibition space, inviting the public to collaborate. Described as a constantly evolving “cosmic jam session”, ON AIR is sure to be a refreshing and unconventional exhibition, well worth a look.


jr photography paris november street artist

One of JR’s works in New York City.

Check out JR’s photography at MEP

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, November 7 - February 10

French artist JR falls somewhere in between street artist and photographer. Pasting his portraits onto buildings all over the world (from the Pantheon to the favelas of Brazil) he gives a voice to often marginalised and neglected communities. His new exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie brings together a number of his previous projects alongside a new interactive mural tackling the issue of gun control in the United States. Come along as well to see a number of films documenting JR’s process, which will be screened in the museum’s auditorium. The film Places Faces is particularly worth a watch, a playful collaboration with French veteran director Agnès Varda, it was nominated for Best Documentary at last year's Oscars.


Copyright David LaChapelle

Michael Jackson on the Wall

Grand Palais, November 23 - February 14

Michael Jackson may have been one of music’s most celebrated and influential figures, but his impact on the world of art remains an untold story. The exhibition Michael Jackson on the Wall aims to bring this forgotten aspect of Jackson’s legacy to life, showcasing depictions of the famous musician by a range of artists, from Andy Warhol to David LaChapelle. After a stint at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the exhibition will be coming to Paris’ own Grand Palais from the 23rd of November until February next year. With paintings, sculptures, photos, and videos displayed in chronological order, visitors will be able to follow his transformation from a young man to a worldwide superstar. Find out more here.


The best of alternative music - Pitchfork Music Festival

Grande Halle de la Villette, November 1 - November 3

Every year since 2011 Pitchfork Music has brought the best of alternative music (whether it be hip-hop, rock or electronic) to La Villette in Paris, with a festival lasting three nights. This year is no different with artists such as Mac DeMarco, CHVRCHES and Bon Iver taking centre stage. On Saturday evening, the Grande Halle de la Villette will be turned into an electro venue, with DJs playing into the early hours of the morning. Pitchfork Music Festival will also be complemented this year by Pitchfork Avant-Garde, an event taking place over two nights leading up to the festival in small venues around Bastille, which will showcase emerging talent.


Catch a play at the recently reopened La Scala Theatre

No other theatre in Paris has had a history as tumultuous as La Scala Theatre. Originally a music hall where stars of French chanson performed, it became a cinema in 1936. By 1977 it was still showing films but this time of the pornographic kind, before falling into disrepair and becoming a squat for drug addicts and prostitutes. After a brief spell as a church for a Christian Brazilian cult in the early 2000s, it finally found investors willing to renovate it back into a theatre, and reopened its doors this September. Able to seat 550 spectators, La Scala will be the home of a number of different shows from theatre and circus, to music and performance art. Follow this link to see what is currently playing.


So there you have it, the latest shows, expositions, and openings going on in Paris this November. Don’t forget to explore all the latest Paris expositions in previous months’ calendars, many are still running! Mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss a single Parisian event, and stay tuned next month for the December edition of What’s on in Paris!


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