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What To Do for Nuit Blanche

The Ultimate Guide to Paris's All-Night Art Event

This Saturday, October 5, Paris will be up all night celebrating the 18th edition of the 'White Night' art festival with dozens of different activities and artworks taking place all throughout the capital. Here are our tips along with a map of our top picks so you can enjoy the event 'au maximum'!

Every year on the first Saturday night of October, Paris becomes the theater of an extraordinary event. Artists, musicians, and performers invade the city’s streets and most beautiful monuments for a night of wonder.

We’re not going to lie: with so many art installations and parties taking place all over the city, browsing the event’s official website can be a bit overwhelming. 

So, we’ve thoroughly examined the program to put together this hour-by-hour guide for you so that you can make the most of the ‘White Night’! And, we’ve even made a map to help guide you through our picks – scroll to the bottom to see la carte!

Step 1: Get ready for the night!

A few things to know before you start your city tour:

  • Don’t get lost: The organizers have listed all of the events on mapster. Download the app and follow @Nuitblanche to find your way in the maze of art installations.
  • Moving from one point to another: Forget taking a car tonight! The streets will be crowded and some roads (including parts of the periphérique ring) will be closed. All of the traffic details are here. On the other hand, the Lin 1 of the metro and a few tramway lines will be open (and free!) all night and there will also be more buses than usual. Check it out here.
  • Eating during the event: Worried about where you’re going to eat at 3 in the morning? The organizers have published a list of restaurants opened all-night for the occasion!
  • Dressing for the occasion: Make sure to wear comfy shoes and bring your umbrella! Most attractions take place outdoors and we all know you can’t trust the weather in Paris in the fall. You might want to try to look stylish though, as the Nuit Blanche is a great occasion to boost your Instagram account with some killer artsy pictures.
  • Sharing your experience: When you post your awesome snapshots, don’t forget to use the hashtags of the event: #nuitblanche and #paris_maville, and, of course, #urbansider for a chance to be featured on our account!

Step 2: Go out & enjoy!

7pm – Monumental art parade at the Place de la Concorde

This is clearly the highlight of this year’s edition! 12 gigantic floats will leave the (1) Place de la Concorde at 7pm and circulate in music to join the Place de la Bastille around 10pm.

We can’t wait for Vivien Roubaud’s monstrous cotton-candy machine, that will delight the youngsters and make their parents all sticky as they try to catch the flying candy. Annette Messager’s shadow plays ball will for sure be a moment of intense poetry, as well as Pascale Martine Tayou’s moving forest. The high point of the show might be Daniel Buren’s mirror sculpture, that will reflect the architecture of the city. A spectacle not to miss! 

Art Parade, Nouveau Monde © Plasticiens Volants

8-11pm – An artsy stroll along the Rue de Rivoli

We would definitely advise you to go from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Bastille by foot, starting by strolling along the Rue de Rivoli, longing the Jardin des Tuileries. Pick up some street food somewhere en route (or ask Urbi, our chatbot, where to eat!), enjoy the festive mood, and stop by some art installations along the way!

  • Follow the Rue de Rivoli up to the Louvre, pass through the courtyard of the world-famous museum, and continue across the Pont des Arts to the (2) Institut de France on the other side of the Seine for some music by Simon Ghraichy. The young piano prodigy has invited a few artists to accompany him for a concert spanning from classical to electronic music.
  • Returning to the Rive Droite, near Les Halles, the (3) Église Saint-Eustache will be metamorphosed by artist Evi Keller into an immersive installation on the theme of the origin of the Creation.
  • A bit further on your way towards Bastille, artist Guillaume Marmin is installing an impressive light sphere that he poetically calls Glory Moon inside the (4) Église Saint-Merry.
  • On the nearby (5) Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, you’ll be able to be a part of the participative art installation designed by Alain Fleischer. The organizers will give you a cape and invite you to enter a white ball. Art films will be projected on the dancers, making a living screen.
  • You might want to take a little détour on your way to Bastille to watch superstar artist William Kentridge’s iconic movie Shadow Procession, playing in the courtyard of the (6) Musée du Judaïsme.  
Glory Moon By Guillaume Marmin At Eglise Saint Merry

11pm – Fireworks at the Place de la Bastille

One hour after the arrival of the parade on the (7) Place de la Bastille, the Groupe F – who are usually in charge of the Bastille Day fireworks – will offer a monumental yet still totally secret show. Expect fire, videomapping, performers, loud music, and many surprises!

Midnight – The night is still young!

The subway is running for 2 more hours and there are still many things to see across the city! Depending on your energy level, we have a few options for you:

  • Bike on Paris’s beltway: Crazy but true, a section of the infamous périphérique will be closed to cars and opened to bikes! Go ask for some light decorations for your bike at the Place de la Fontaine aux Lions and then go ride, enjoy some art performances – including some silent dancing – and choose your midnight snack among a selection of food trucks.
  • A stroll in an electric park: The Parc de la Villette offers a nocturnal journey among seven immersive installations that end with a roller skating dance party at Le Zénith lasting until 5am!
  • Crazy karaoke at the Opéra-Comique: This is for sure one of the most beautiful concert halls of the city and on this night, it will be open to everyone to come and sing(/yell) with 1000 other people along with the most famous opera songs!
  • Dance in an immersive art installation: The Gaité Lyrique gave San Francisco’s Gray Area carte blanche for the night. You’ll be able to dance to beats by the bay area’s best DJ’s, who’ve paired with artists to create 360° audiovisual shows.
  • Rest your eyes and open your ears: The Philarmonie de Paris is offering 50 hours of free concerts during the Nuit Blanche! Go check their program and pick what you’d love (we have a crush on Ragnar Kjartansson, who create artworks mixing performances, theater decors and music, who will unveil his latest work on Schumann’s music, but if you’re up for something more classical, you have plenty of other choices!)
Karaoke At The Opera Comique Nuit Blanche 2019 Paris

Urbansider’s Nuit Blanche 2019 Map


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