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

Eiffel Tower, Paris

 

instamatics / Getty Images 

Although the month brings colder, wetter weather to Paris, October is one of the best times to visit the French capital, especially if you're hoping to avoid crowds and save money on autumn airfare and accommodations. It may be on the wet, overcast, and brisk side most days, but October offers visitors opportunities to take meditative strolls in the crisp fall air, enjoy long afternoons chatting or reading in traditional cafés, and bask in dramatic, dusky skies among picturesque settings.

Since tourist season begins to ebb in late September and throughout October, the city gets quiet this time of year, but there are still plenty of events like the Nuit Blanche (White Night) celebration that sees museums, galleries, monuments, and national sites open all night in a celebration of French culture.

Paris in October
TripSavvy

Paris Weather in October

Temperatures in Paris constantly drop over the course of the month, though there are a few occasional warm, sunny days in October each year. While the city rarely sees temperatures below 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius), it also doesn't get any warmer than 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), and the average temperature in October is just 51 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) throughout the month.

October in Paris is generally chilly and damp. Rain is common and usually occurs at least 15 days out of the month, accumulating an average of more than 2 inches each year. As a result, October is generally best suited for indoor activities like visiting exhibits at Paris' many fine museums or people-watching from inside a warm, cozy café. However, there may be a few warm days in the early part of the month, a phenomenon known as the second summer.

What to Pack

Since you can generally expect rain throughout the month, you'll need to bring waterproof shoes, a raincoat, and an umbrella if you hope to stay dry. Colder weather also means you'll want to pack long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and possibly an overcoat as well as long pants and close-toed footwear. You should also plan to layer warm-weather clothing under your sweaters and coats, just in case the temperature rises randomly at the beginning of the month, as it is known to sometimes do in October.

Aerial view of Paris with autumn colors, France
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

October Events in Paris

While the summer tourist season may be long gone by October, that doesn't mean Paris nightlife or local attractions take a break from serving up unique events, celebrations, and opportunities to discover the culture, history, and romance of the capital of France. From wine-tasting weekends to wandering through pristine settings all month long, these events are sure to entertain and delight you on your trip to Paris this October.

  • Nuit Blanche (White Night): An annual event in which hundreds of Parisian sites—​including museums, galleries, and monuments—stay open all night, allowing for some promising cultural discoveries and surreal nocturnal itineraries.
  • Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre (Montmartre Wine Harvest): The village-like neighborhood of Montmartre celebrates its annual harvest of Paris-grown wine with community events, wine tastings, and parties over the weekend in mid-October.
  • Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens): Perhaps one of the best places in the city to take in the fall foliage, you can amble through lanes of trees crowned with fiery orange and yellow leaves at the Jardin du Luxembourg all month long.
  • International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC): This annual event takes place on the third weekend in October and​​ features more than 3,000 works from 180 international galleries. FIAC is attended by some of the most influential artists and critics in the contemporary art scene.
  • Festival de l'Automne (The Autumn Festival): Since 1972, this annual three-month-long event (late September through December) celebrates the fall season with programs and showcases dedicated to music, cinema, theater, painting, illustration, and other forms of contemporary visual arts.

October Travel Tips

  • The summer crowds will thin out in the fall, so you'll likely have more space to wander and truly enjoy Paris' fine museums and galleries. 
  • Strolling through one of Paris' many elegant parks and gardens on a sunny day can be a memorable experience this time of year, thanks to the fall colors that shine throughout the city.
  • Shopping in Paris is also less of a headache in the fall than it is in the summer. You likely won't have to put up with long lines and overcrowded stores.
  • Since it's the shoulder season for tourism, prices for flights should be cheaper throughout the month.
  • Day trips and continued travel across Europe are quite simple from Paris, especially if you take the high-speed rail.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is October a good time to go to Paris?

    While the weather this time of year can be cool and wet, in general, October is one of the best times to visit Paris. You can find great deals on airfare and accommodation, plus it's well past peak tourist season—giving you plenty of space to enjoy the city's top attractions in peace.

  • Is the Eiffel Tower busy in October?

    October is one of the least busy times of year at the Eiffel Tower, which sees the most visitors between late June and the beginning of September. If you're looking to avoid crowds, this is a good time of year to visit.

  • How rainy is Paris in October?

    In Paris, it rains an average of 15 days throughout the month of October, with the city experiencing 2.2 inches of precipitation on average.