October in France: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Autumn vineyards
Getty Images/Matteo Colombo

October is a magical month in France. The autumn colors are at their best and the often warm weather allows glorious days walking outdoors. The grape harvest season is in full swing around France's wine regions, and the French love of festivals continues with a host of events to enjoy. Many of the attractions are open but without the crowds of summer, and hotels tend to offer low shoulder-season rates.

As the evenings draw in, you can sit in front of a crackling open fire at the end of the day, sipping a glass of wine and watching the sunset over the fall foliage.

France Weather in October

During October the weather in France can be very variable, although temperature averages in the 50s. Most days are sunny, but about 12 days a month get rain or light showers (especially in Paris).

 Average Low TemperatureAverage High TemperatureAverage Rainy Days
Paris50 F64 F12
Bordeaux46 F64 F14
Lyon45 F61 F12
Nice63 F70 F11
Strasbourg43 F57 F13

What To Pack

Packing for France in October is a tricky business. You should definitely prepare for cold weather at some stage during your visit unless you are in the south of France at the beginning of the month. But even here, there can be chilly days. In the north, the weather can be glorious, but it's equally as fickle. Pack layers like sweaters or cardigans, a waterproof windbreaker, a warm jacket for the evening, and good walking shoes.

If rain is in the forecast, bring boots and a sturdy umbrella that can resist the wind.

October Events in France

October brings a host of events and festivals to France.

  • Nuit Blanche is celebrated all over France on October 6, 2018. The annual arts festival is when attractions, museums, and parks stay open all night. Admire the art, talk to your fellow culture lovers, then breakfast the next morning in a cafe over a steaming cup of cafe au lait and a buttery croissant.
  • Lumière Film Festival is held in the great city of Lyon where film started with the Lumière brothers. From October 13-21, 2018, more than 400 screenings will showcase 174 international films. Actress and producer Jane Fonda will also be awarded the Lumière Award at the 10th anniversary of the festival.
  • Amiens Rederie, one of the country's biggest flea markets and fairs, takes over Amiens on October 7, 2018. This is the second biggest brocante fair in France after the Lille Braderie, which is on the first weekend of September. 
  • Jazz between the Two Towers in La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast welcomes around 100 international musicians to stages around the city. The week-long festival is planned for October 1-7, 2018.