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  • Writer's pictureMallory Warner

Visit Paris: What to do in Paris in the Fall

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Paris is beautiful during its transitional seasons. Fall is a wonderful time to visit: you can enjoy the changing colors, cooler weather, and fewer tourists. I visited Paris in October 2021 and here are some of my autumnal Paris tips.

Paris in the Fall

Before leaving, I had a loose itinerary planned in order to prioritize things that were "must-see" and leave room for exploration. I scheduled a visit to the Louvre, a Revolutionary Tour of Paris, a day-trip to Lille, and a visit to the catacombs ahead of our visit. Because of the time we built in, we were able to see a lot of the city on foot, or by hopping on the metro between neighborhoods. I always recommend not over packing your schedule to have time to adjust and be spontaneous (or rest). I also suggest researching fall events around the city, such as the vendange (grape harvest) festivals or other goings on. It's a great way to mix with the locals and perhaps get a deeper cultural experience.

I made my home-base the 9th arr. where I was able to feel more like a Parisian, being further from the tourist destinations. While I often take the metro, I prefer to find a walking route to experience the city between my destinations. Some of my favorite moments were walking (and getting a little lost) everyday. Even though I visit Paris often, by taking a new route or avoiding the metro everyday, I was able to explore the streets near the Opera, Palais Royal, and Montmartre with fresh eyes.

One thing I wasn't prepared for is how dark it was in the morning. The sun didn't fully light the city until well after 8:00 AM. For a morning person, who hoped to get a start on the day, this was tough. Daylight Savings has now ended in France, which means that the nights begin much earlier. Just be prepared for shorter light hours and give yourself that extra hour to sleep in.

How to Dress

As the days get cooler and rainy in Paris, I usually pack the same outfits while traveling between October and March. I got very lucky with the weather and didn't have a drop of rain the entire week. It was sunny and in the 60s most days. Somedays I was overdressed with a large coat. Now that we are into the late fall and winter, you will definitely need a coat in Paris.

Shoes: I always bring a pair of black, waterproof Chelsea boots. I make sure that I've warn them in before leaving and pack soft wool socks or insoles to protect against blisters. I also never visit Paris without a pair of black loafers or oxfords.

Outerwear: A tan trench never goes out of style in Paris. It is the perfect weight for adding layers underneath without getting too hot while out and about. An oversized blazer is also a fashionable choice for fall days. Top it off with a colorful scarf and you're ready to go. Pack an umbrella and some gloves, just in case you get a snap of rain or cool weather. Don't forget to pack a small umbrella. Also, throw in a beret, just for fun.

Layers: I always pack long-sleeved tee shirts, sweaters, and cotton button-downs and mix and match for each day and the forecast. Dress each day with a plan to remove or add layers if necessary.

Where to See Fall Foliage

  • Montmartre

  • Champs de Mars

  • Luxembourg Gardens

The trip, even with minor bumps (stomach bugs and jet lag) was a major success. Autumn in Paris is beautiful and quiet, which allows you to take it all in at a slower pace. There is nothing like being bundled up with a steaming cafe creme, en terrasse, watching the city walk by.


Check out some of my favorite fall photos in the print shop.

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