Deliciously Deranged Nuit Blanche Paris

Written by on October 16, 2016 in Arty, Funky, Paris, Quirky


Nuit Blanche literally means White Night, a term that’s used to describe a night without sleep. In Paris though, on the first Saturday of October it means one single night which sees the city put on a very special show. With Nuit Blanche Paris, you can expect the unexpected, a dawn to dusk extravaganza with an arty party atmosphere –  and a lot of fun.

Every year the theme and location for Nuit Blanche changes but one thing remains the same, this is a crazy art event that’s unlike anything you will have experienced before!

What is Nuit Blanche Paris

It all began in Paris in 2002 when the then Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, inaugurated Nuit Blanche as a festival of the arts and culture. The concept was to show Paris in new and original ways and since then the idea has spread to cities around the world.


Nuit Blanche is an arty party, it’s enjoyed by a huge number of Parisians who walk a circuit along which art installations are free to be seen by all. Not just seen – experienced. This whole festival is something that you see, hear and feel.

It’s also free to everyone. Installations may be in the street, even in the River Seine as I saw in 2016, or in museums and public buildings, in them, on them and around them!

It’s a celebration of art, life, love, fun, individuality and culture. It’s a chance to join in.

Beautifully Bizarre and Deliciously Deranged!

The artworks may be provocative, shocking, humorous, beautiful or bizarre. It’s a visual feast, and maybe with sound. Whatever it is, you may be sure you will remember this event, it will inspire and give you food for thought, for discussion and some wonderful memories.


When I went in 2016, in the grounds of the oldest hospital in Paris, Hotel Dieu, in the 16th century courtyard, a sci-fi looking light art installation by Christian Rizzo wowed the crowds despite the rain. In fact the rain seemed to make it seem even more ethereal. I couldn’t help wondering what the patients might make of it in this still working hospital! In the gardens of the Petit Palais Museum, the air was filled with coloured lights and scantily clad dancers from the famous Crazy Horse Cabaret appeared like nymphs causing hundreds of cameras to click! I followed a group of people clad in black and chanting through a closed section of a road tunnel in the dark – a totally surreal experience that made me think of Orpheus entering the underworld. I walked over a bridge to the sound of loud growling (I think) as a light swirled in the depths of the Seine below. Further on a huge vortex art installation by artist Anish Kapoor held viewers enthralled. Strange, yes. Quirky, yes. Wonderful, absolutely.

It is a deliciously deranged and totally unexpected Paris that you will see on Nuit Blanche.


It’s a must-do, must-see experience in Autumn in Paris and a truly one-off way to get under the skin of Paris and to appreciate it in a wholly original and surprising way.

Find out more:

Related Articles

There are loads of Free Museums in Paris

In Paris (and indeed the rest of France), many museums are free year-round. And, if you’re thinking that the free museums are only for hanging out in when its raining and you need a place to shelter, you couldn’t be more wrong. We’re talking top museums that you’d want to go to anyway including the […]

Continue Reading

What to see in Paris instead of Notre-Dame | Basilica Saint-Denis

The devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the soul of Paris, means it will be closed to the public for several years. So, what to see instead? Paris has a lot of beautiful, historic churches. Sainte Chapelle, a stone’s throw from Notre-Dame is even older. Sacré Coeur in Montmartre is extraordinarily pretty. And Basilica […]

Continue Reading

Update to the fire at Notre Dame de Paris

The devastating fire that occurred at the 12th century built cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris on 15 April 2019 caused immense damage. With more than 12 million visitors each year, the cathedral is the most visited monument in France and Europe, epitomising the soul of the French capital and symbolising the history and culture of France. Thanks […]

Continue Reading

Wi-Fi friendly cafés in Paris

In Paris, café culture is alive, well, and so far, has quietly embraced laptops. Don’t let anyone try and tell you differently. Especially non-Parisians coming from places where laptop-toting customers get mercilessly expelled for staying too long – San Francisco, New York and London come to mind. In France’s laissez-faire culture, for the price of […]

Continue Reading

The Pyramid at the Louvre

The Pyramid at the Louvre

Written by on March 28, 2019 in French Icons, Paris

When it comes to innovation in architecture, Paris has long been a leader and in the last 150 years, dozens of architectural gems have made it famous for originality and boldness. Just a few include the Eiffel Tower, Pompidou centre, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and La Grande Arche in the Défense business district. These new […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.