The top 5 reasons why fall is the city of lights’ best season.
As the summer crowds finally leave the city and the leaves turn red and gold, Paris becomes the perfect backdrop for brisk afternoon walks and wine in the park.
This quick guide to Autumn in Paris gives you some of the best reasons to visit the city after the summer ends.
When is Fall in Paris?
Fall begins on September 22nd and ends on December 21st.
In the Fall the city takes on hues that wouldn’t be out of place in a watercolor painting, it is also much easier to find flights for low prices and inexpensive hotels throughout the city.
Here are the top 5 reasons to visit Paris in the fall.
1. It’s less crowded
When the busy season in Paris is over, it’s undeniably much more pleasant to experience the city, especially as a first-timer.
September and October are the top months for fall leaves, and Fontaine Bleau, Compiègne, and Versailles are some of the best places to see them. The city really does open up as everything quiets down in preparation for the winter months.
2. September and October are still high-season in Paris
Not many people realize that September and October are still high season in Paris. Sure, the summer hordes are gone, but the weather is still great, making September and October some of the 2 best months to visit Paris.
In November, the low season starts. The long lines fade away, people are more informal, and you may even get a few smiles from strangers on the street (if you're lucky.)
3. You can experience the city like a real Parisian
Strolling the streets of Paris in the fall will make you feel more like a local than if you visit in any other season. You can walk among the locals picking up their baguettes for breakfast or running errands in the Marais or enjoy the city’s famed café culture and the banks of the Seine River for lunch.
4. You can finally enjoy the Terraces
In the summer, it can be extremely hard to come across a free outdoor table at a café. Don’t worry — when fall arrives, the tables get much easier to get. Yes, sometimes it is too cold or rainy to sit outside and you’ll want to eat inside instead, but the Parisians love their terraces so much, that they do their best to make the outdoor spaces as warm and comfortable as possible.
Including the use of outdoor heaters, warm blankets, and even free tea at some places. Actually, outdoor seating can actually be enjoyed during most parts of the year… but in the fall you can really take the time to appreciate it.
5. Everything is open
In the summer everything is too packed, and during August and December, many places will close for the holidays, which means that finally in the fall a lot of the restaurants, shops, and cafés you’ve been wanting to visit will be open for business as usual (be sure to watch out for Sundays and Mondays though, since those days can be exceptions in Paris).
The rentrée — or re-entry — is when Parisians return to the city after spending summer on the coast. Businesses reopen and the real Parisians claim the city back from the summer tourists. Fall in Paris is the city’s second new year when it wakes up from its summer sleep and gets back to business.
- *Bonus Tip:
Although Fall in Paris may be more affordable than the busy summer months, hotel prices do still tend to be high when you book at the last minute.