Nuit Blanche: Saturday, October 1!

September 26, 2011

On the night of Saturday, October 1, Paris will celebrate its 10th annual Nuit Blanche, or “White Night”, an all-night festival of free entrance to public museums and other public spaces, musical and other artistic performances and installations.  This year, most of the activities will take place in four general neighborhoods of Paris: Hôtel De Ville, Batignolles/Pigalle, La Nouvelle Athènes/Saint-Georges and Montmartre/Anvers.

You can take one of two approaches: Study the program carefully and pick in advance the sites or events you would like to see, or wander around and see where you end up.  I find it’s useful to have a starting point but part of the fun is to let the night take you where it may.  Click here to download a PDF of the Nuit Blanche Program (available only in French), listing all of the exhibitions, events and artists participating in this year’s festivities.

Although Nuit Blanche started in Paris in 2002, the concept has since spread to a number of cities worldwide and each location has its own adaptations.  The Parisian Nuit Blanche is always the first Saturday of October.

To facilitate the evening’s enjoyment, public transportation will run later than usual, with most metro lines open until about 3:00AM and reopening at about 5:30AM.  The line 14 will be open all night (with trains running approximately every 4 minutes) and free of charge from 9:15PM until 5:30AM.  The line 12 will also run all night, but less frequently.  Access to the line 12 at stations between Notre-Dame de Lorette and Porte de la Chapelle will also be free from 2:15AM to 5:30AM.

Here’s a bonus for those still standing late at night: the Montmartre funicular up to the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur will run all night and will be free from 2:15AM to 5:30AM.

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