Paris in November is generally quiet and the weather creates a more somber mood. As the days grow ever shorter and the mercury starts to drop, tourist numbers dwindle, and the city feels calm and a bit sleepy at times.
Visiting the city of light in November can be a great time to focus on indoor sights and attractions such as admiring collections in Paris's many extraordinary museums, discovering charming little arthouse movie theaters, observing breathtaking details in Paris's churches and cathedrals, or sipping frothy café crèmes over a good book. Since there are fewer fellow tourists roaming around, you can generally expect shorter lines and less crowded museums and restaurants.
Your chances of snagging a good deal on airfares and hotels are much higher at this time of year. In November, too, you'll have more chances of striking up a conversation with the locals, who have all long since returned from summer vacation.
Preparing for the Weather
If you don't mind a bit of rain and enjoy taking in art, going to the theatre, or loafing around in cafes reading or chatting with locals, it might even be ideal for you to book a sojourn.
- Minimum temperature: 41 F/5 C
- Maximum temperature: 50 F/10 C
- Average temperature: 43 F/6 C
- Average rainfall: 2.1 inches/54 millimeters
The leaves have turned and it can be rainy and chilly, often approaching freezing by early morning. Note that there are fewer daylight hours to be out and about.
Packing Your Suitcase
You'll be packing for cold and wet weather. Factor in wind chill and you'll immediately understand why your suitcase should be well-stocked with plenty of sweaters, scarves, coats, and warm socks.
An umbrella and/or a waterproof jacket with a hood is a must in this wet season. Buy a sturdy and large umbrella because wind gusts will quickly snap the cheap varieties and small ones will often leave you wet.
In terms of footwear, you don't necessarily need boots (unless you plan on long walks outdoors or outside the city), but footwear made of waterproof material would be best. If you enjoy sporting heels, bring at least one pair of flat shoes for walking as the streets and even metro stairs can be slick from the rain.
A light pair of gloves will make walking outdoors more comfortable. You may also want to think about bringing a small thermos so you can warm yourself with a hot drink while seeing the sights (or waiting outside in the occasional line).
Enjoy Seasonal Events
November events, primarily held indoors, will give you a variety of things to do. The Paris Autumn Festival or Festival de l'Automne launches the post-summer season highlighting some of the most compelling works in contemporary visual art, music, cinema, and theater.
November, at the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday, is the time for the release of the year's Beaujolais Nouveau. Tastings and release parties celebrating this young wine are held in Paris restaurants and wine shops.
Join in with other chocolate lovers at the annual Salon du Chocolate held at the Porte de Versailles convention center at Paris's south edge. It's a trade show with many interesting and delicious side events.