In an Autumnal Mood: Gorgeous Pictures of Paris in the Fall

  • 01 of 10

    Seasonal Highlights in Images

    montmartre-autumn.jpg
    ••• Montmartre is sublime in the autumn. Yulia Resnikov/Moment Open

    When compared to the glorious foliage that marks the fall season on the East Coast of the United States or certain parts of Canada, autumn in Paris is perhaps not quite as dramatic. Nevertheless, the quietly poetic charm of the French capital during the fall season wins many visitors over. On sunnier days, the quality of the autumn light makes a stroll in the Tuileries or the Jardin du Luxembourg nearly sublime.

    There's also a ton to do around town: from the local wine harvest (vendanges) in Montmartre to major cultural happenings such as the International Art Show (FIAC), autumn in Paris is livelier than you may imagine. But unlike the late spring and summer months, when you have to master the art of negotiating enormous crowds to enjoy the monuments or exhibits, you'll find a decidedly more low-key situation at work in Paris during the latter part of the year. Paris is never boring, but for the crowd-shy, autumn may be preferable to the sometimes claustrophobic conditions of...MORE high season. So whether you're visiting Paris in October or November, soak up a bit of inspiration by scrolling through this gallery.

    More: Complete Guide to Paris in the Fall

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  • 02 of 10

    The Seine, Bathed in Dusky Fall Light

    A dusky fall evening in Paris near the Seine River and the Assemblee Nationale.
    ••• A dusky fall evening in Paris near the Seine River and the Assemblee Nationale. 2009 Wheeler Cowperthwaite. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

    This shot shows a stretch of the Seine River on Paris' right bank, close to the Assemblee Nationale (the seat of France's legislative branch). The shadowy outline of the famed Eiffel Tower can also be seen in the distance.

    In September and early October, taking a boat tour of the Seine River is generally still very pleasant, and thinner crowds can make the experience a bit more intimate than during the spring or summer. It's one of the things we recommend for a fall sojourn in the capital. 

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  • 03 of 10

    Place des Vosges Dressed for Fall

    Place des Vosges in its elegant fall guise.
    ••• Place des Vosges in its elegant fall guise. 2008 Dictay2000. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

    The picturesque Place des Vosges in the Marais district of Paris is gorgeous in its autumn guise. The small square, initially part of the Hotel de Tournelles where both King Charles VII and Louis XIII took up residence, today houses fashionable apartments, art galleries and restaurants. A stroll on the ornate Place during the fall months is guaranteed to inject a dose of poetry and elegance into your trip. Afterwards, think about indulging in a bit of leisurely shopping in the area's many boutiques, go for an elegant French-style afternoon tea at the nearby Mariage Freres, or taste some delicious falafel on nearby Rue des Rosiers.

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  • 04 of 10

    The Fall Wine Harvest in Montmartre

    Vendors and revelers at the 2006 Vendanges de Montmartre in Paris.
    ••• Vendors and revelers at the 2006 Vendanges de Montmartre in Paris. 2006 Cyril LG. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

    One of the more eagerly anticipated autumn events in Paris is the local wine harvest known as the Vendanges de Montmartre. Montmartre once produced quite a lot of wine, particularly whites, and while the harvest is now mostly symbolic, the annual festival brings a traditional fall spirit to the hilly, picturesque streets of north Paris. Music and other performances complement the obligatory wine tastings.

    Read more about the annual wine harvest in Paris here, and explore the winding streets of the historic Montmartre district for the occasion of the vendanges.

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  • 05 of 10

    Lively Street Scene at the Parisian Vendanges (Wine Harvest)

    A lively street scene at the Vendanges de Montmartre seems timeless.
    ••• A lively street scene at the Vendanges de Montmartre seems timeless. 2009 Thomas Claveirole. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

    This shot of performers at the Vendanges de Montmartre in Paris seems oddly timeless. Events like this annual wine harvest show that Paris, while now a globalized metropolis, nonetheless manages to retain many of its traditions. This scene could only be Paris, whatever the decade.

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  • 06 of 10

    A Lady Among the Fall Leaves at Luxembourg Garden

    A statue at Luxembourg Garden in Paris.
    ••• A statue at Luxembourg Garden in Paris. 2006 Courtney Traub.

    The Jardin du Luxembourg is another ideal spot for an autumn walk in the city of light. This shot of one of Queen Marie de Medici's many court ladies surrounded by fall foliage should give you a good idea of the poetic and stately ambiance that reigns here.

    Read Related: Top Paris Parks and Gardens

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  • 07 of 10

    Fall Contemplation at the Parc de Belleville

    Parc de Belleville in Paris
    ••• Parc de Belleville in Paris. 2009 Devnull/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License

    The Parc de Belleville  is a gorgeous space for dreaming and thinking, and ambling among the fall leaves. It also affords amazing panoramic views of Paris, so on a crisp, clear fall day, it's an ideal place for a stroll.

    UP NEXT: Autumn at the Chateau de Versailles

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  • 08 of 10

    Autumn at the Chateau de Versailles

    Versailles in the fall.
    ••• Versailles in the fall. 2007 Zemzina. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license.

    During the autumn, taking a day trip to the Chateau de Versailles can be very pleasant if weather permits. Long promenades along the wide lanes where royals once roamed and rode horses is in order.

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  • 09 of 10

    Late Fall Afternoon In The Latin Quarter

    The Rue de l'ecole de Medicine in Paris on a dusky fall afternoon.
    ••• The Rue de l'ecole de Medicine in Paris on a dusky fall afternoon. 2006 Courtney Traub.

    Fall in Paris is, as elsewhere in the world, the season when students hit the books again. This shot shows a small, winding street in the Latin Quarter leading from the area around the Ecole de Medicine (Medical School) to the Sorbonne University.

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  • 10 of 10

    The FIAC: Art's Biggest Fall Event in Paris

    Visitors at the FIAC in 2009 admire one of the installations.
    ••• Visitors at the FIAC in 2009 admire one of the installations. 2009 Courtney Traub.

    Fall in Paris is also an important time for the art business. Every October the FIAC, or International Contemporary Art Fair, brings together thousands of artists, gallery owners, buyers and visitors under a single roof, generally at the Grand Palais in Paris. So if you're interested in contemporary art, be sure to set aside some time to come explore the FIAC.

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