The month of November well and truly marks the middle of the fall. Leaves are falling from the trees faster than ever, while mornings are crisp, sharp and the days shorter. If you’re looking to see the city without the crowds and at much lower prices than in the summer, then now is the time to visit. Here’s a guide to the best of Paris in November.
Weather in Paris in November
There’s no denying that the weather in the French capital in mid-Autumn is far from great. Rain is commonplace, while misty mornings and short daylight hours are never too far away. As such, waterproof shoes and a rain jacket or umbrella are an absolute must.
The average temperature of the city is around 7 degrees centigrade, while rainfall accounts for around half the month. If you’re planning to visit the capital this month, then you’ll definitely want to plane some rainy day activities in the city prior to visiting (museums, art galleries, and shopping venues are all great places to start)! For more bad weather information, check out my guide to the best things to do in Paris in the rain.
What to wear in Paris in November
Colder weather and more breeze mean that you’ll want to wrap up warm. Be sure to bring along a scarf, hat, and gloves for those chilly mornings, as well as a warm jacket. When it comes to packing clothes, be sure to bring layers as while it’s cold outside, the metro, coffee shops, and the metro can all be pretty warm!
I personally love this company’s ones and layer them with cute jackets and sneakers worn together with little ankle boots work like these ones well in this kind of weather. Be sure to also bring along a pair of waterproof boots and a light rain jacket.
Though you’ll soon discover that most people you meet will have a fantastic level of English, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language, in this case, French. Bring along a simple phrasebook like this one to help you get by. I also recommend bringing along a travel adapter like this one so you can charge all of your electronics during your stay!
Why visit Paris in November?
If you’re looking to visit Paris without the crowds, then you’ve picked the right month! After all, this is a pretty quiet time in the City of Light. As such, you can expect shorter waiting times, as well as lower prices when it comes to airfares and hotel rooms.
Whether you’re wanting to visit a museum or take a day trip from the city, there are sure to be fewer tourists than in peak season (i.e. in the summer). Thanks to the shorter queues in the city, make the most of your time by checking out usually packed venues; the Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and The Louvre Museum to name but a few.
Best things to do in Paris in November
Paris photo exhibition
Taking places between the 7th and 10th of November, this annual event has been taking place since 1997. Specialising in International Fine Art Photography, the exhibition takes place in the Grand Palais, steps away from the Pont Alexandre iii and brings together over 200 exhibitors.
Drink some Vin Chaud
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, cafés and bars begin to serve mulled wine. Some of the best places to go for chill walks prior to stopping at a brasserie include Le Marais and Montmartre. For a taste of Paris at home, try my Christmas Markets mulled wine recipe.
The very first day of the month is a national holiday in France, that of All Saints. On the day after Halloween in France, the traditionally Catholic celebration was originally intended to be a holy day for those saints who did not have one of their own. Typically, this is the day when families will go to visit their loved ones in cemeteries across l’Hexagone.
While October is arguably the best time to see the pretty autumnal tones in the city, November still presents a great opportunity to experience fall first hand. Some of the best places to go to experience autumn in Paris include Butte Bergeyre (one of the last vineyards in the French capital) and Buttes Chaumont (one of the most magical green spaces in Paris).
Take a Seine River Cruise
When the days are shorter, the nights draw in, and you’re looking for things to do during the cold spells, one of the most unique ways to enjoy the City of Light is by taking a Seine River Cruise. Offering the chance to enjoy the sparkling Eiffel Tower by night, an unusual view of the Musée d’Orsay clock, and even the opportunity to dine on the water, here’s a complete guide to which Seine River Cruise you should choose.
Visit the Cimetière du Calvaire
Located in Montmartre, Paris’ smallest cemetery is also its oldest. Home to many illustrious figures from Montmartre’s rich history, the Calvaire cemetery is to be found in the shadow of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Situated just beside the Saint Pierre of Montmartre church, the Cimetière du Calvaire is open for just one day a year, on November 1st.
Free guided tours of groups of 15 people take place between 9:30 AM and 5 PM, with the last entrance half an hour before closing. Before visiting, know that limited space in the cemetery means that you often have to wait up to half an hour before joining a tour and these are only in French (albeit it very interesting!) The cemetery is closed in the case of bad weather or high winds.
Salon du Chocolat
Having started towards the end of October, the Salon du Chocolat continues in November and is dedicated to all things chocolate related. Up until the 3rd of November, the festival is comprised of 500 participants from over 60 countries. As a result, you definitely shouldn’t miss this 20,000-metre squared exhibition space if you’re a fan of all things chocolate!
Christmas decorations in Paris
Though it may feel like the festive season is still a way away, many of the large department stores begin their seasonal celebrations as early as November. Some of my favourite places to see sparkling lights in the city are the Dior flagship store and the Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette.
While at the iconic Parisian store, be sure to head to their rooftop terrace for some of the best views of the city (including that of the Eiffel Tower). Other places to enjoy fantastic Christmas lights in Paris include Place Vendôme, rue Montorgueil, and around Le Marais.