Paris in Fall

All You Need To Know About Autumn in Paris
Paris in the fall
August 15, 2022
If you’re looking the best time to visit Paris, fall just may be it. With fewer crowds, mild weather (early on anyway), and loads of cultural events on the agenda, fall in Paris offers visitors an authentic experience of the city along with extraordinary fall colors. Not sure whether autumn is the right time for your trip? Read on and decide for yourself.
Portrait of Urbansider Paris blogger Alesa
by alesa

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Wondering what to expect when visiting Paris in the fall? From the best places to see the leaves change to what the weather’s like (spoiler alert: it’s grey and wet!) we’re sharing everything you need to know to plan for a perfect fall in Paris.

How crowded is Paris in the fall?

Fall is one of the best times to visit Paris if you’re looking to enjoy a calmer side of life in the City of Light. By September 1st, most tourists have left and most Parisians have already returned from vacation and are getting back to work (or school). While you won’t have the city to yourself, there’s a great mix of cultural events along with a more locals-only atmosphere, meaning from 9am to 6pm, the streets will be fairly quiet, except for a bustling lunch break, bien sûr (from 1pm to 2pm) and also when schools let out around 4-4:30pm. Then in the evening, the city buzzes as everyone recounts their holidays over apéro or hurries to take in the newest art exhibition.

What’s fall weather like in Paris?

The weather in Paris in September is usually quite nice, with temperatures around 70F (21C) and still a good bit of sunshine. It can cool off pretty drastically in the evenings or early in the morning, so you’ll definitely want a jacket or warm sweater. Parisians will be buttoning up as soon as the thermometer dips below 68F (20C); don’t be surprised if you plenty of people breaking out the scarfs and coats come mid-September.

 

Fall colors in Paris with Eiffel Tower in background

October is when the grey skies really arrive in Paris, settling in for the next six months sadly. Along with the clouds come cooler temperatures and frequent rain. In fact, October is one of the wettest months of the year in Paris. Expect highs in the mid-to-low 60s (15-18C) which can still feel warm when in the midday sun, but mornings and evenings are very chilly with lows ranging from 50-40F (10-4C).

As you’d expect, the temperature in Paris continues to drop in November, with the highs hovering just above 50F (10C) most days and lows near freezing. Most November days are cloudy, and while there’s less total rainfall than in October, it rains almost as often.

What should I pack for Paris in the fall?

If you’re going to Paris in early September, you’d likely be alright taking a light jacket or heavy sweater along with sunscreen – it’s rather expensive in France and the sun can be very strong here, so really do bring some along!

 

Parisian woman with an umbrella. and red tights

For visitors coming in late September or after, you’ll want to pack a parapluie (umbrella) as well as a heavier jacket or coat, and shoes that work in the rain or a pair of stylish – and comfortable! – weatherproof fall boots. Parisians don’t usually wear Wellies, in case you were wondering. Personally, I find chunky-heeled boots or booties to be perfect in rainy weather as they keep my feet up off the wet pavement and are still easy to walk in on the cobblestones.

Scarves are always stylish and will also help you stay warm in the wind, so be sure to pack one or plan to purchase one here. Everyone in Paris wears scarves, so it’ll also serve to help you fit right in!

Don’t have a scarf or think it would make the perfect Paris souvenir? These are some of our favorite fashion shops in Paris

What things are there to do in Paris in the fall?

Summer and winter may get all the attention for their many music festivals and holiday celebrations, but autumn in Paris has its own fair share of special events. There are too many to share here, but these are the main highlights on our fall agenda:

Mid-September: European Heritage Days (Journées du Patrimoine)

One weekend a year, nearly all cultural and historical monuments throughout Europe open their doors to the public, for free, as part of the European Heritage Days. France, and its capital city, are no exception. Many government offices, mansions (called hôtels particuliers), and other historic buildings in Paris that are generally closed to the public welcome visitors for unique exhibitions or late night events on this special Saturday and Sunday.

Discover the program for this year’s European Heritage Days.

 

Reading room of the Bibliothèque Mazarine
Reading room of the Bibliothèque Mazarine – Marie-Lan Nguyen, CC BY 2.0

Late September-Early October: Paris Fashion Week

This particular Paris event needs no introduction. For nearly two weeks, the French capital fills with fashion lovers and the city becomes the setting for incredible fashion shows. If you happen to be in Paris during Fashion week, do check to make sure that the museums and monuments you want to visit aren’t closed due to a défilé, a fashion show.

Fashion Week is back for fall with Women’s fashions walking down the runways all over Paris. While most events aren’t open to the public, the whole city will be buzzing and you’re sure to spot fashionistas and celebrities around town. If you don’t want to leave it to chance to rub elbows with the stylish crowd, head to one of these Paris Fashion Week Favorites to get an eyeful of great style even if you can’t attend the main event.

Early October: Grape Harvest Festival (Fête des Vendanges Montmartre)

Once a small block party celebrating the fruits of the local vineyard, Montmartre’s Grape Harvest Festival is now a can’t-miss event in the 18th Arrondissement. The free 5-day fête includes tours of the local vineyard, food and wine tastings, art exhibitions, concerts, a 5K run, and more.

Learn more about this year’s Fête des Vendanges on the event’s official website.

 

Vineyard in Montmartre
Le Clos-Montmartre, Montmartre’s vineyard

1st Saturday of October: The All-Night Art Event, Nuit Blanche

Literally translating to “White Night,” “Nuit Blanche” also means “an all-nighter,” and that’s just what this party is. Every year since 2002, this all-night-long contemporary art celebration lights up Paris on the first Saturday in October. Think parades and performances along with bright lights and big crowds. The metro runs all night to let you explore the art installations and exhibitions around the city until the wee hours of the morning. Parisians look forward to it every year, and over the past 20 years, the hugely successful event has expanded to several other European capitals and North American cities too.
Up your alley? See our Complete Guide to Nuit Blanche in Paris (we’ll update for the 2022 program as soon as it’s available)

Throughout October: Halloween at Disneyland Paris

All month long Disneyland Paris is in the halloween spirit with the park decorated in orange and black with pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns all around. Some rides take on a special halloween twist and Disney Villains roam the streets, and for the final week of October, late-night Disney Halloween Parties liven up the park from 8pm until 2am.

Reserve your tickets to Disneyland Paris.

Halloween decorations at Disneyland.
Photo by HarshLight CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

November 1: All Saint’s Day at the Cimetière du Calvaire

Paris’s smallest and oldest cemetery is open just one day a year. Oui, you read that right! Closed 364 days a year, the Cimetière du Calvaire in Montmartre opens only on November 1st for La Toussaint, All Saint’s Day. If you’re interested in visiting, be sure to mark your calendar.

Curious what lies behind its sculpted gate? Read about Cinthia’s experience in this unique Paris cemetery.

Where can I see fall colors in Paris?

In autumn in Parid, there’s beautiful fall foliage all around the city, from small squares like Square Barye to the sprawling Parc de Sceaux or Bois de Vincennes. If you’re searching for the best places to see the leaves change color in the capital, we recommend these Top 5 Spots for Fall Foliage in Paris.

View of Paris's Parc Montsouris in autumn.
Photo by Lucy Martirosyan

 

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