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If you are wondering if Paris in autumn is worth the trip… I can just say YES, YES, and YES.

 

Good reasons to visit Paris in the fall

There are many reasons for a trip to Paris in autumn. I know that many travel sources are suggesting that autumn is low season and just perfect if you want to experience Paris without the crowds.

Honestly – it sounds nice, but it’s just not exactly true.

Paris is never cheap and we are having tons of visitors all year round. Especially the beginning of fall is very popular amongst European visitors for weekend trips and short getaways before winter. In fact, the number of nights booked in September and October is just minimal lower than in summer (source).

 


 

However,  we are living a very exceptional COVID-19 situation right now and if you are planning to travel to Paris in autumn 2020, you can most likely expect lower rates, but definitely fewer people.

 

Covid-19: Book your tickets in advance!

Most sights are not selling tickets on the spot anymore. The ticket booths are closed and reservations are mandatory!

If you are visiting Paris this fall, make sure to reserve the sights you want to visit well in advance!

Get your tickets in advance and save time!

Eiffel Tower (no fast passes sale on site)

Louvre Museum

Arc de Triomphe

Seine River Cruise

Musée d’Orsay

Catacombes

Hop on Hop off Tour

≡  Paris City Pass (free admission and travel card)

 

 

Thinking about traveling at another time? Read more about Paris in Winter and in Spring

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Alright! Expectations are set, let’s talk about why Paris is a great destination in fall.

First of all, chances are high that you are gifted with amazing weather, particularly in the first half of the fall season. If you visit Paris in October, you have high chances to be lucky.  The evenings are chill though and excellent to enjoy cozy dinners and comfort food.

Autumn is the culinary season in France – it’s the time of wine harvest festivals, food markets, and high season of many typical french products.

 

Paris in fall 2020

 

If you are interested in wine, there are plenty of interesting day trip destinations around Paris – the Loire and Bordeaux region, but also the Champagne region if you prefer some bubbly.

The days are shorter in Paris in autumn – it means you have less time for daylight sightseeing, but it makes sunset and evening panoramas easier to plan.

 

Are there cons about a Paris trip in autumn?

A few, yes.

Many sights and activities are shortening their opening times from mid-October on. Seine Cruises or Hop on Hop off are running on a low season schedule which means fewer rounds a day.

If you visit Paris in November or December, you can verify the Seine riverboat schedules for your travel dates here. For the Hop on Hop off tours, click here for more information.

While the good weather chances are high in September until mid-October, it’s usually getting colder and wetter as further fall progresses. November and December in Paris might be nasty. Well, it could be 55°Fahrenheit (13°Celsius) and sunshine as well, but it’s just less likely.

Continue to read to know more about the weather in Paris in the fall!

How is the weather in Paris in the fall?

The seasons in Paris are pretty distinct – summer is generally warm and winter cold, but spring and autumn can be a bit of both.

If you are prepping a trip to Paris in the fall, the weather will depend a lot on when in autumn you’ll be visiting. The later, the colder – and the wetter! The precipitation in Paris is the highest by the end of the year.

September 13° – 22°C (55° – 71°F)

October 10° – 17°C (50° – 63°F)

November 6° – 11°C (42° – 51°F)

December 4°- 8°C  (39°- 46°F)

Visiting Paris in October or September might spoil you with some warm late summer season. However, be ready to prepare some inside activities if you visit Paris in November or December.

 

10 best things to do Paris in the fall

Autumn in Paris is a lovely season to have walks and admire the foliage, but also to enjoy a nice cuppa afterward. Or wine. Or food. Or both!

Is it your first time in Paris? Check out the itineraries below that cover the main sights and hot spots:

4 days in Paris – the complete guide!

One day in Paris – How to see everything

 

Visit the Père Lachaise Cemetery

The Père Lachaise is undoubtedly one of the most famous cemeteries, and also the world most visited!

The old cobbled stone lanes, ancient trees, and of course countless mausoleums and tombs are especially atmospheric during fall. Some graves are sunken in, some are forgotten and many are so old, that you can barely read the inscription. The autumn sun and fall foliage are playing their part, too, for creating a mystic vibe that might give you some chills!

The cobbled stones lanes and old graves are especially scenic in fall - Paris in October
The cobbled stones lanes and old graves are especially scenic in fall

Look out for the graves of Edith Piaf, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, or Jim Morrison – and as well for the ethnic diversity that many graves are showing!

 

 

Visit one of the many Parcs and see the autumn foliage

Paris is not known for Indian Summers or insanely impressive colorful forests. However, the Parisian autumn foliage is still nice, especially when enjoyed in one of the many beautiful Parisian parks!

The best – and most popular – places for an autumn stroll are the Jardin Luxembourg and the Tuileries. They are both the most iconic and classical gardens in Paris. If the weather is nice, which is quite possible during October, grab one of the free chairs and enjoy the last warm sun rays!

But there are of course more greens and squares that are gorgeous during fall. My favorites are:

  • Place des Vosges
  • Parc Monceau (read more about it here)
  • Butte Chaumont
  • Parc Floral
  • Jardin d’Acclimatation with the Foundation Louis Vuitton
Paris in the Fall - Autumn Foliage in the Jardin d`Acclimatation - Visit Paris in autumn
Paris in the Fall – Autumn Foliage in the Jardin d`Acclimatation

 

Attend a vine harvest fest, taste the latest Beaujolais Nouveau

Autumn is wine harvest season in France, hence it’s not surprising that you find vine harvest fests and vine tasting all over Paris.  The most popular is the Vendange de Montmartre.

Wait… Montmartre? Yes Montmartre!!

Montmartre is home to one of the about 10 Parisian vineyards. The Clos  Montmartre (or the Vigne de Montmartre) is the oldest vineyard in Paris and hosts OF COURSE a vine harvest fest. It’s a lovely event – with plenty of French food, music, and loads of wine.

Even though many wineries from all over France are offering their product during the festival, the highlight is obviously the wine of Montmartre! It’s entirely made with Montmartre grown grapes and aged in the cellars of the district’s town hall.

This year the festivities are held from the 7th to the 11th of October.

COVID-19 Info: so far the event takes place! up to date info

Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre - Sacre Coeur - Paris in Fall
Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre – wine with a view!

Eat comfort food

As I might have mentioned before (around 100 times), autumn is perfect for sampling food in Paris. Not only is it the high season for many French products, but it’s also ideal to try all sorts of yummy treats. French comfort food is often quite heavy and rich, you wouldn’t want in during hot summer. But fall is perfect to relish Fondue, Raclette, cold cuts, hot chocolates.. you name it!

Covid 19 info – at the time of writing bars are closing at 22h in Paris. Masks are mandatory at all times when not seated.

 

 

Visit all the museums

Paris has more than 130 museums and while you most likely actually won’t be able to visit them all – autumn is a great season to at least try. Especially on the colder days, indoor activities are always great to fall back to!

My tip: Get the Paris Museums Passand enjoy free priority entrance to more than 60 museums. Visit museums without worrying about ticket queues; simply hop in and out without fuss!

If you are in Paris on the 3rd of October 2020, you are lucky to visit during the Nuit Blanche. This cultural event hosts free exhibitions, concerts, and installations all over Paris, all night long. Nuit Blanche is going as planned despite Covid-19!

 

 

You also have the chance to attend the Museums Night! This event was originally planned for May 2020 but got rescheduled due to COVID-19 to the 14th of November. The program isn’t out yet but you can expect conferences, nocturne museums visits, concerts, and all sorts of events.

COVID-19 update: so far both events are not canceled!

 

 

Celebrate Halloween in Paris

The most popular place to celebrate Halloween in Paris is of course Disneyland Paris! The theme park is known for its massive decorations and events around this holiday and it’s best to reserve your tickets for the Disney Halloween Festival soon! Click here to see all available options and timeslots!

For a more private spooky experience, check the Paris: Dark City Secrets Walking Tour or join one of the many Halloween events that are held in Paris each year.

 

 

Visit a wine region

Autumn is the wine harvest season in France. Depending on the Region, grapes are picked between August and October, and there are wine festivals all over Paris.  But did you know that 4 of the most famous wine regions are a perfect day trip from Paris’ destination?

Visit Bordeaux or Champagne from Paris in fall 2020
The highlight of any Paris trip – visiting a wine region during fall 2020

 

Bordeaux and St. Emillion 

I know that sounds a tad crazy, but even though Bordeaux is roughly 600km southwest from Paris, it does take the only 2h by train. Perfect for a day trip to one of the world-leading wine regions.

Check this post and learn in detail how to easily plan a day tour to Bordeaux!

 

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is not only known for its wine, but also for their beautiful castles. The combination of the two makes the Loire region one of the most popular – and easily accessible – day trip destinations from Paris.

However, as the Castles are not all in the same place, I recommend booking an all-in-one tour from Paris to be sure to have everything covered!

 

Champagne Region

Every fan of exclusive Champagne will be pleased to hear that the headquarter of the most famous Champagne Houses is just a short 40 minutes ride away!  Hop on the train to Reims, visit the Cathedral, and enjoy a tour of 1 or more Champagne Houses – for example, Veuve Cliquot, Mumm, or Tattinger. You also can set off with a guide and visit the Vineyards outside town.

Also read: How to easily plan a trip to the Champagne region!

visit Champagne during your trip to Paris during Fall

 

Explore Paris’ speakeasies

Autumn is on most days still mild enough to enjoy your drink outside, but it’s good to have some indoor options as well – it can also get chilly, wet, and windy. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Paris and you won’t have to search long if you just wanna go for a drink, but if you are up for something special, discover some of Paris’ finest speakeasies! The prohibition-style bars are super cool – find out more here

COVID-19 update – at the time of writing, bars are closing at 22h

 

Take a cooking class and market tour!

As the weather isn’t as predictable as in summer, it’s best to plan in some activities that are independent of temperature and season. One of the nicest – and most memorable – thing to do is taking a cooking class with a french chef!

Autumn is a great time for taking a cooking class in Paris. It’s high season for many signature ingredients of the french cuisine, for example, truffles. And can there be anything better than not only eating french food but learning how to prepare it? Click here to see all the cooking classes in Paris

 

What to pack for Paris in autumn?

Fall is a shoulder season – it can be warm, or not. It could be raining, maybe even snowing.. or not. This is not making it easier to figure out what to pack for Paris in the fall, but there are a few items that definitely shouldn’t be missing in your luggage.


As a general packing recommendation for Paris in autumn, be prepared to dress in layers. It can be cold in the shadow and warm in the sun. Temperatures can vary a lot between day and night, and inside and outside!

what to pack for Paris in the fall

Pack a long sleeve shirt to wear under your sweater and take a legging to wear under your jeans if needed. Have a down jacket handy as an extra layer for the evenings and a scarf to protect you from the chilly winds.

 

Things to know about Paris in Fall after Covid-19

We don’t know how things are evolving but I will *try* and keep this post updated so you have all information at hand when planning your trip to Paris in autumn 2020.

At the time of writing, masks are mandatory in Paris. Outside and in every closed environment:

  • metros and stations, trains, busses, trams
  • Supermarkets, shops, doctor offices, post offices, hairdressers etc.
  • In bars and restaurants when not seated
  • museums, galleries, events etc.

When visiting shops, restaurants etc. you are encouraged to use gel to disinfect your hands. Usually, you find a dispenser next to the entrance.

As of September 2020 – bars are closing at 22h.

 

Covid-19: Book your tickets in advance!

Most sights are not selling tickets on the spot anymore. The ticket booths are closed and reservations are mandatory!

If you are visiting Paris this fall, make sure to reserve the sights you want to visit well in advance!

Get your tickets in advance and save time!

Eiffel Tower (no fast passes sale on site)

Louvre Museum

Arc de Triomphe

Seine River Cruise

Musée d’Orsay

Catacombes

Hop on Hop off Tour

≡  Paris City Pass (free admission and travel card)

Do you have any questions or need more information? Join the Salut from Paris Facebook group!

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