Paris in the autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit. While spring is a highlight for so many because of the cherry blossoms, don’t overlook planning a visit in the autumn. This is the best time of the year for golden light and fewer crowds, and I think the sunsets in the autumn months are some of the most colorful all year. Once you spend autumn in Paris, you will want to keep this secret. If you are planning a trip to Paris this year or are considering booking something for the coming years, this post will help you plan the best places to see the fall foliage. No need to take notes. Bookmark this post of 10 places to see Paris in the autumn and return to it.
These photographs are all mine that I have shot over the years while visiting Paris in the fall. You can shop all the images in The Print Shop.
While the metro and Uber are convenient ways to get around Paris, the best way to explore the city of light is on foot. Let the city lead you for an afternoon of exploring. Find a café on a side street for a glass of wine. Strike up a conversation with your neighbors and practice your French.
There are so many great ways to experience the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is the most popular destination in the city. You can picnic on the Champ de Mars with a baguette, cheese, and wine from local shops. Rue Cler is nearby and a great place to find everything you need for a picnic. I love to stroll the Seine and see the Eiffel Tower from a distance with the fall leaves beneath my feet.
Explore the Seine on foot, crossing the bridges from the Left and Right banks of Paris. Catch one of the magical sunsets or Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour on the hour. Picnic with a loved one along the Seine, or create your solo picnic with wine, cheese, and a good book.
One of my favorite memories from Paris in the autumn will always be the day I got engaged in Palais Royal and the day after sitting in Jardin des Tuileries, soaking up the sun and people-watching.
The Marais is filled with colored ivy climbing on random buildings. It turns from green to yellow to red. Pavillon de la Reine in Place des Vosges is a hidden gem to see autumn put on a show in Paris. Visit the boulangerie at 28 Beaumarchais for a croissant or baguette sandwich and head to Place des Vosges.
Montmartre is a personal favorite of mine. Rue des Abbesses is the main street to stroll. You can take the metro here and see the Love Wall. If this is your first time to Montmartre, climb the stairs to Sacre Couer for a beautiful view of Paris in the fall. Grab a coffee or meal at one of the cafés nearby. To leave the area, I recommend walking down Rue des Martyrs. It is filled with food shops and places to grab souvenirs including tea, honey/jam, and chocolates.
Located in the 8th arrondissement, Parc Monceau isn’t a destination that is visited as often as some of the other famous Parisian parks. The autumn in Parc Monceau is beautiful with the green space and changing colors of leaves. The Arc de Triomphe is just around the corner, making this the perfect spot to visit before or after you take in the view from above.
The Musée Rodin is a perfect spot for a rainy afternoon in Paris. Don’t miss out on the beautiful gardens behind the Rodin Museum. Purchase a ticket online in advance for the museum or a combined ticket to also include the Musée D’Orsay, which can be used up to three months from the date of purchase. You don’t have to use them both on the same day. Enjoy a sunshine-filled day in the gardens with tea and pastry from the new café.
Luxembourg Gardens is a classic Left Bank Parisian park not to miss. On sunny days, the green chairs will be filled with locals during lunch breaks and after school. Find a sweet spot to visit in between or early in the morning for a quiet stroll. The fall colors pop here; depending on the time you visit in October, the planters will be filled with colorful mums. Don’t miss the Medici fountain, which is a personal favorite.
You can see Notre Dame Cathedral from the park just behind Shakespeare and Company. There is a coffee spot located just next to the bookstore. You can stroll the Seine or find a space along the pathway to picnic or enjoy a good book. The Latin Quarter is just near here, you can make your way here before or after.
Palais Royal has always been one of my favorite places in Paris. It is behind the Louvre museum, tucked away just enough from the street. The gardens are perfectly manicured in the fall. Dahlias of all colors fill the space in between the trees. Grab a picnic here, or enjoy the fountain with your feet up. Stroll the garden under the trees with a cup of coffee from Café Kitsuné.
Place des Vosges is magical in the fall. The square is located in the heart of the Marais. It’s a great place to spend a morning for a stroll or stop at Carette for a hot chocolate. For kids, there is a small sandbox and room to run around. Bring a picnic lunch or takeaway coffee and croissant and enjoy this view.
For a day trip outside of Paris, explore the grounds of Versailles. I love seeing fall foliage in the gardens. Take a bike ride around the Palace of Versailles and plan a picnic if you have sunny weather. You can take a guided tour inside with advanced tickets or hire Fat Tire. It’s a great way to see Versailles and learn more about the history.
For ideas on what to pack for Paris. You can check out this post. In early October, you should expect mild weather requiring a leather jacket or trench coat. Towards late October, the weather turns to crisp and colder days, requiring a wool coat, sweater, boots, and scarf.
Photos of me by Katie Donnelly Photography and her team Zoe and Magda
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