Why We Love Paris in the Fall
It’s no secret that we love Paris in the fall. In fact, we think that fall is the best time to visit Paris if you can get the time off.
As the summer crowds disperse and the leaves turn golden and red, the city’s parks provide a colorful backdrop for fall strolls, and you’ll be able to walk through Paris with plenty of room to breathe.
If you visit Paris in autumn, it’s also easier to find cheaper flights and lower accommodation prices throughout the city. As a bonus, lines for the main tourist attractions are shorter, and patience is higher as the city quiets down in preparation for the winter holidays.
Paris is always a good idea, but the city is even more charming in the fall season. Keep on reading this quick guide to autumn in Paris with what to see, what to wear, and our best tips to get the most out of Paris in the fall.
When is Fall in Paris?
So, when is fall in Paris? Fall in Paris corresponds to September, October, and November. If you have already booked your plane or train tickets to Paris, check out our guides for these three months.
Tips for Visiting Paris in Autumn
Just in case you weren’t already convinced, here are the best things to do in Paris in fall and our top tips for getting the most out of this beautiful season in Paris.
1. SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER ARE STILL HIGH SEASON IN PARIS
Not many people realize that September and October are still high season in Paris. Sure, the summer crowds are gone, but the weather is still good, making September and October two great months to visit Paris.
Autumn in Paris 2023 will be exceptionally crowded, as France will host the Rugby World Cup from 8 September to 28 October, with some of the most important matches played in Paris – Stade de France. Expect an increase in international tourists willing to support their rugby teams.
If you decide to plan a Paris autumn trip in September or October, it is good to book hotels and main attractions well in advance!
Below, we list Paris’ main attractions you will need advance tickets for and have added links to our favorite trusty providers for your convenience. For the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Versailles, you will be asked to choose a date and time slot for your visit.
2. LEARN ABOUT THE FALL HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE
In November, the low season starts in Paris. The long lines disappear, people are more relaxed, and you can even get some smiles. However, there are some periods where it is still necessary to book things in advance:
School holidays from 21 October to 6 November 2023 (Vacances de la Toussaint). Commonly, families from other parts of France travel to Paris in fall for a cultural trip.
1 November 2023 – La Toussaint (All Saints Day) is a public holiday in France and other parts of Europe. This year, 1 November falls on a Wednesday, so it will be an excellent opportunity for a fabulous weekend getaway to Paris.
11 November 2023 – Armistice WW1 is also a public holiday in France. This year, 11 November falls on a Saturday, so it won’t be an excellent opportunity for the French for a fabulous weekend getaway to Paris.
Out of these periods, it is still a good idea to make hotel reservations early to score the best deals. Fall in Paris is more affordable than the busy summer months, but hotel prices tend to rise if you book at the last minute.
3. USEFUL ITEMS TO PACK
What to wear in Paris in the fall? Our top tip for a Paris autumn trip is to dress in layers and wear comfortable closed shoes or sneakers (you will walk a lot!). Don’t forget to pack a travel umbrella and a light scarf for the seasonal rain and chill.
4. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
If you visit Paris in September or October, you can expect warm-mild temperatures, shorter days, and good hours of sunshine. As the season progresses, the temperatures get cooler, and the weather starts to be hard to predict.
Before leaving home, it is good to check the weather forecast and review your packing list accordingly. And remember to dress in layers to be comfortable day and night.
5. KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FALL FOLIAGE
Paris is a beautiful city to explore at any time of the year, but it is especially remarkable in the fall. The vibrant fall colors provide a stunning backdrop to the city’s many parks and gardens.
October tends to be the best month for fall colors. Taking time out among these natural wonders is spectacular in fall; the spectrum of colors is magnificent, all those bright, crunchy leaves.
So, where are the best places to see fall foliage in Paris? Visitors can enjoy the changing colors of fall with a long walk in the Luxembourg Gardens, the Tuileries Gardens, or the lesser-known Promenade Plantée (Paris 12), Parc Buttes-Chaumont (Paris 19), and La Petite Ceinture of Paris, to name a few. Get a hot drink at a café in the park, walk on the leaves, or simply take a stroll to enjoy the fresh autumn air.
6. ESCAPE INTO THE FOREST FOR MORE FALL COLORS
September and October are the peak months for fall foliage, and forests near Paris like Fontainebleau, Compiègne, or Versailles are some of the best spots to visit as temperatures drop from their humid highs, and the trees explode with hues of red, orange, and gold.
Go beyond the Palace of Versailles or the Château of Fontainebleau and explore their forested areas on a day hike.
7. PARIS BY BIKE
Fall in Paris is the best time to explore the city on two wheels. Check out this quick guide to Paris by bike with all the do’s and don’ts to navigate the city, plus some ideas for bike itineraries.
8. HAVE A B PLAN
Paris in autumn can come with some showers, but according to statistics, there’s not much more rain in Paris in the fall than in winter or spring.
However, if you planned a great day exploring Paris and it starts to rain, you may want to have a B plan in mind, as rainy days in Paris are better spent in a museum or doing something indoors.
You can explore the beautiful covered passages of Paris or look at one of the free museums in Paris that don’t need any reservation. If you need ideas, check out this list of fun things to do on a rainy day in Paris.
9. SOAK IN PARIS FALL FESTIVALS
Throughout the fall, there are many seasonal events in Paris to keep locals and visitors entertained. The Journées du Patrimoine (the Heritage Days) in September and the Nuit Blanche in October are only a few examples of fun Paris fall festivals not to miss if you are in the city. Check out our quick guides to Paris in September, October, and November for more seasonal festivals and dates.
While you’re at it, why not taste your way through Paris and try to tick off several traditional French dishes? Fall in Paris also comes with many French food festivals where you can taste and buy food.
Halloween is not a big deal in France. Paris’ shop windows won’t be covered in glittery orange and black decorations, and you won’t see carved pumpkins on every corner. But there are always spooky attractions and activities to celebrate Halloween in Paris, and have a great deal of spooky fun!
10. TIME FOR WINE
Fall truly is wine time in France. Grapes are harvested between September and October, so oenophiles should take advantage of this auspicious season to sample bottles from the best wine regions in France.
There are many autumnal wine festivals and fairs in Paris, like the Montmartre Harvest Festival (October), Le Grand Tasting at Grand Palais (this year on 1 and 2 December), or the Beaujolais Nouveau Day (November), which is celebrated all around France.
And if you have a couple of spare days, the wine regions of Alsace, Bourgogne, and Champagne make for excellent road trips or weekend getaways from Paris by train.
11. USE THIS PARIS AUTUMN TRIP TO RELAX
From the beginning of December to New Year’s Eve, your schedule will be nonstop busy, so it may be a good idea to use this fall trip to Paris to hit refresh on your mind and body before the celebrations begin.
In autumn, the cold temperature and the soothing ambiance of nature allow you to spend time and calm your senses, even if you are exploring a new city like Paris. Sure, when you visit Paris in autumn, you want to see some of the main tourist sites, but you can also take long strolls or take a break on a pretty café-terrace to enjoy the fall colors with a hot drink.
Autumn in Paris – Conclusion
Paris in the fall means fewer crowds, lower prices, and more quality time. If you’re a person who looks forward to details and enjoys traveling based on emotion, then Paris in the fall is the perfect season for you to start.
Have you visited Paris in autumn? What are your favorite things to do in Paris in the fall?
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