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Your Ultimate Guide to Paris in Autumn (Fall things to do)

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Last Updated on 23rd October 2019 by Sophie Nadeau

Burnt umbers, golds and ruby red leaves carpeting the cobbled roads: could the scene be any more picturesque?! The wind whips, even more, leaves are thrown into the sky and thoughts of being cold are soon forgotten. Paris may well be one of the most beautiful cities in the World… But even Paris becomes more beautiful come fall time! And if this scene hasn’t already convinced you to visit, here’s your ultimate guide to Paris in autumn, including insider tips and a packing guide!

Le Clos Montmartre: a hidden and secret vineyard in the heart of Montmartre, Paris, France

What’s the weather in Paris in the fall?

If you’re looking to visit Paris this autumn, then you should know that the weather during your stay will depend entirely on which month you’ll be in the French Capital. For example, while the highs in September are as high as 22 (with lows of 13), October highs are more like 17 (with lows of 10), while November highs are 11 (with lows of 10).

Whichever month you visit, your best bet in terms of wardrobe is to bring plenty of layers, as well as waterproof shoes and a warm jacket. Bring layers so that you can remain warm while outdoors, but maintain a comfortable temperature when you’re on the metro or in a museum.

What's the weather in Paris in the fall?

Things to do in Paris in the autumn

One of the most beautiful places to enjoy fall in Europe has got to be Paris. Between vin chaud (that’s hot wine- or mulled wine- in English) shared among friends, pretty as a postcard fall tones, and the chance to wear the chicest of outfits, you won’t want to miss out on an autumn-inspired trip to the French capital this year.

#1 Enjoy Paris coffee culture!

The iconic tree-lined boulevards and bursting with colour and it’s time to switch your sandals for scarves. There’s no better time to pick up a warm drink and people watch from one of the many terraced cafés that litter France’s capital. You could order a spiced wine, a standard espresso (for as little as €1), a herbal tea- the possibilities are endless!

Besides, any season that gives you a good excuse to head to one of the many Parisian coffee shops littered throughout the city has to be a good one, right? Think: creamy hot chocolates, generous helpings of cake and a chic atmosphere. For a greater insight into Parisian coffee, check out my local’s guide to coffee in Paris.

The Broken Arm Coffee Shop in Le Marais, Paris, France

#2 Take a stroll through the city

Of course, one of the best things to do in Paris is simply to get a little lost and let your feet guide you where they may. This way, you’ll soon discover the best of hidden gems and forgotten corners that the City of Light has to offer. Coupled up with the beautiful fall tones, there’s no better time to enjoy one of the free and self-guided Paris walking tours.

#3 Enjoy the Montmartre grape harvest festival

For well over seventy-five years, autumn in Paris has been celebrated in Montmartre in a particularly curious way! After all, each year, at le Clos Montmartre, a harvest celebration takes place, allowing visitors access to the vineyard for one exclusive weekend only. During the annual event, dances take place, as do talks about wine, and even a wine auction where bottles produced from the locally grown wine is sold with the profits going into community-based projects.

Montmartre Walking Tour: Clos Montmartre

#4 Hide away from the rain

If you’re visiting Paris during the autumn, then chances are that it will rain at least once or twice during your visit! Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Paris when it rains. Between shopping along the secret passageways of Paris and discovering hidden gems dotted around the city, there’s a wealth of activities worth doing in the city, even when the weather is less than perfect!

#5 Snap photos of the fall foliage

If you’re in search of capturing some of the prettiest photos in Europe, then you’re in luck: Paris in the fall boasts some of the prettiest fall foliage thanks to the sheer number of wonderful day trips available to take from the city. Otherwise, check out my fall foliage in Paris guide for the insider scoop on the best of autumnal leaves in the City of Love.

how to spend three days in paris

#6 Enjoy hot chocolate!

When the days are cooler and the weather is worse, there’s perhaps no better way to shelter from the autumnal chill than by cosying up with a ‘chocolat chaud’. Many say that the cafés of Paris serve some of the best hot chocolates in the world, and they’re probably not wrong! Hands down, the best place to head to is Angelina, where you’ll remember the creamy rich chocolate for decades to come.

#7 Visit a Parisian museum

When the weather gets colder and the rain more frequent, why not take yourself to one of the dozens of museums that Paris has to offer? With over a hundred museums to choose from, you’re sure to find one that you like! From unusual selections (a house museum in Montmartre and even a museum dedicated entirely to counterfeiting) to top cultural institutions such as the Louvre, there’s no better time to visit museums in Paris than during the autumn!

Experience the Louvre by night

#8 Enjoy free museum entry during the Nuit Blanche

And while we’re on the subject of museums and galleries, note this down in your diary: each year, there’s an event called ‘Nuit Blanche’. On this night- and this night only- museums and galleries are free across Paris and open all night, allowing art and culture enthusiasts alike to enjoy late nights at their favourite cultural spaces.

#9 Stroll the streets of Montmartre

Though, of course, fall foliage can be enjoyed all the way across the French capital city during the fall, the one place where you can experience the prettiest of the leaves is in the 18th arrondissement, i.e Montmartre. Of course, there’s the trees surrounding the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, but there’s also more off the beaten path destinations like rue de l’Abreuvoir and rue Cortot. For a full guide to the best of Montmartre in the fall, check out this Autumnal Montmartre photo guide.

rue de l'Abreuvoir & Place Dalida

Why you must visit Paris in the Autumn

And if the best things to do in Paris in autumn haven’t convinced you that a trip to the French capital should be imminently planned come fall, then these reasons to go to Paris late in the year will surely convince you that ‘Paris is always a good idea’

Fall Fashion

Is there anywhere more chic than Paris? And as the cooler nights draw in, you can really start to make the most of fall fashion, layers and scarves all the way! And besides, how often do you really get to go out dressed in duvet-like clothes! For recommendations of what to wear in Paris during the fall, I recommend bringing along plenty of layers (think cardigans, jackets, tights, and skirts), as well as chic ankle boots like these ones.

Parisian parks have never been lovelier than in the autumn!

Although it’s often said that compared with a city like London, Paris is severely lacking in green space, this most definitely isn’t the case! The thing about Paris is that you have to really look for parks and green spaces to visit.

It doesn’t mean that the small and secluded park spaces aren’t there, it just means that you have to search a little harder to find them! A personal favourite of mine is Parc Monceau, in the 8th-arrondissement. Constructed during the 19th-century and complete with little follies and even its own Parisian carousel, you can’t go wrong by dedicating at least a little time during your stay to discovering this wonderful space!

10 reasons to visit paris in the fall

You’ll get to enjoy Paris like a local!

Now that tourist season’s over, there are fewer people than ever in the city of lights. You’ll get a feel for what it’s really like to be a local in the city of lights. Not only this, but a large proportion of shops, businesses and cafés shutter their doors and go on holiday for a month in August.

You only have to walk around a less touristic area to realise that no boulangeries are open! By the time October/ November rolls around, the city is back up and running like clockwork! For more insider tips, check out my guide to visiting Paris like a local.

Sunrise is actually at an acceptable time.

No more setting your alarm for 4am. No more excuses for not brushing your teeth! In the Autumn, sunrise in Paris can be as late as 7:30 A.M. This means that it’s incredibly easy to see the sunrise every day (and hopefully capture a fantastic one). Getting up for sunrise rather than heading somewhere for sunset means that you’ll likely miss all the tourists that flock to touristic sites as soon as breakfast is over!

My go-to spot in Paris for capturing la dame de fer at sunrise is Trocadéro. Raised on a platform and eastward facing, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunrise up above the horizon and behind the Eiffel Tower. If you don’t feel like checking out the Eiffel Tower, then there are plenty of other places to catch the sunrise from. What about Notre Dame or the Sacré-Coeur instead?

eiffel tower hyperlapse

Taking day trips from Paris has never been easier

Paris in the fall happens to be one of the best times to experience day trips from the city like a local.  Versailles without the crowds, no crowding on public transport and fruit picking in rural France, Autumn is a fantastic time to visit France.

And the best part of all this? Fewer queues! In the summer, you can spend up to four hours queuing to enter the Château of Versailles. For this reason, alone, I definitely prefer Paris in the fall! As a bonus, it’s also worth mentioning, for the most part, fewer crowds mean lower prices! Think: cheaper accommodation and cheaper restaurants!

Just make sure that you check the opening times of an attraction/ château before you visit! Many places close at earlier hours or are completely closed on more days throughout the European shoulder seasons. Otherwise, check out these fall-inspired day trips from Paris to further ignite your wanderlust!


Pin the ultimate autumn in Paris guide now, read it again later:

Your Ultimate Guide to Paris in Autumn (Fall things to do in the French capital), of Paris, France

10 Reasons to visit Paris in Fall- Why you should take a trip to Paris, France in autumn!

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Chrissi
    22nd July 2018 at 4:23 pm

    I’m so glad i saw this, I’m going to Paris in November and can’t wait!
    Beautiful pictures!

  • David
    18th December 2017 at 7:34 am

    Great article. Read it in one breath. Here is my two cents. I love Paris, its like a pretty woman who doesn’t care what to wear. She’s always beautiful, that’s why it doesn’t matter when you visit Paris.

  • Ken Toong
    11th February 2017 at 8:24 am

    I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.
    I follow the footsteps of the Lost Generation and visit and dine in the haunts of Hemingway.
    Also, an ardent fan of Edith Piaf and Mirelieu Matthieu-the new Edith Piaf..

  • Jan Michael
    2nd November 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Paris looks very colourful during Fall but i prefer to visit Paris for the first time during Spring time. 🙂 anyway, i think this city is an all year round destination.

  • Maja | Mexatia
    2nd November 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hahaha sunrise at the acceptable time – I love it! Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year and it is so romantic – we chose it for our wedding day also (even though my husband says it is only cold and nothing else lol)! I would love to visit this romantic city in autumn to make it even more romantic! And to have more excuses to drink hot chocolate in those cute cafes. 🙂

  • Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life
    1st November 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I agree with you and recommend Paris in the fall. Way to many tourists in the Spring over Easter and in the Summer, completely overcrowded. I love Paris and one thing I would like to do is to go to the Paris Fashion Week.

  • Rashmi & Chalukya
    1st November 2016 at 7:11 pm

    We have visited Paris couple of times and we completely agree with you that in fall Paris is beautiful and also as you mentioned it’s less crowded which is the best part.

  • Clare
    1st November 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I love Paris it’s great, so much to see and do. It would be nice to visit in autumn with fewer tourists and I could cope getting up to watch sunrise.

  • Soumya Nambiar
    1st November 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I just did a post last week on how Paris is gorgeous in the rain and how I fell in love with it. I guess Paris is always gorgeous. I wouldn’t mind going to Angelina for a cup of hot chocolate anytime.

  • Stace
    1st November 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I love travelling anywhere in fall just because its not as busy! Your pics are amazing. I just love the colors and those late sunrises!

  • Sara Essop
    1st November 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Paris in the fall sounds amazing. It’s been a while since I was last there. And the food looks delicious too.

  • Maggie
    1st November 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Love all the fall colors! We don’t have fall foliage where I live, since it’s 70 degrees year round and no change in weather from month to month. I visited Paris in the fall a few years ago, and it wasn’t nearly as pretty as this!

  • Darina
    31st October 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve never been in Paris during fall, but it looks wonderful! Maybe next year… the see the change of colors in the city of lights!

    • Sophie Nadeau
      3rd November 2016 at 9:40 am

      I would definitely recommend it! Then again, I’d recommend Paris in any season 😛

  • the adventurer
    31st October 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I studied abroad in Paris in the fall and have to say it was the best time to live there =o) I loved the changing of the colors and the weather was always just right =o)

    • Sophie Nadeau
      3rd November 2016 at 9:39 am

      It’s definitely the best time of the year. And I totally know what you mean; somehow the light is always perfect for taking photos! 🙂


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