Paris in October: recommendations and tips for appreciating the city
A quiet month with unique events and festivals and the accompanying beauty of autumn. October is a great time to visit Paris, and in this post I will tell you why.
If you’re planning your trip to Paris and haven’t decided on the best dates to visit Paris, today I’ll tell you about the best things to do in Paris in October and the best things to do in October. If you’re one of those people who can’t stand crowds at tourist sights, you can relax in October.
As a Parisian, you won’t be able to avoid the queues and tourists, but you can minimize the crowds. The end of the high season and the lack of major vacation periods are noticeable on the streets of Paris. Although the weather is a bit chilly, autumn is spectacular on the streets of Paris and provides a postcard background that enhances the experience of visiting the City of Light.
Finally, October brings unique events and festivals that are reason enough to plan your trip around them. Want to know what are the best festivals, events, and activities in Paris in October? Find out below:
Celebrate the Harvest Festival in Montmartre
October is one of the most special and unique festivals in Paris, known as the Montmartre Harvest Festival. This festival focuses on a food festival with activities such as parades, dances and fireworks.
The district, famous for its bohemian atmosphere and for being home to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, is made up of several hills that were once filled with vineyards. Today, some of these vineyards still remain, and after the harvest season in October, a festival is held that is more than 100 years old.
After the grape harvest, on the first or second weekend in October, this festival is held in which thousands of visitors participate. All activities take place around the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, with four highlights in the festival program:
- A food festival where you can taste French cuisine accompanied by fine wine. A flea market with hundreds of stalls is set up throughout the neighborhood.
- The harvest parade through the streets of Montmartre with bands, fraternities and the float carrying the harvest queen.
- A grand folk dance of all styles and for all tastes that serves to close the festivities.
- A fireworks display with the Sacred Heart as a backdrop is the grand finale.
One can take advantage of this festival to see the Montmartre district in all its glory and especially to enjoy the gastronomy and wine. All events are free and all are welcome. Check the official dates and times before you travel to Paris and make sure you have a unique experience.
Experience a special Halloween at Disney or a terrifying Halloween in the catacombs.
Halloween is now celebrated almost everywhere in the world, and Paris is no exception. In fact, it is celebrated with a special dedication. All over the city, in its museums and parks, there are countless activities related to this day. If you want to experience a terrifying day, in the best way possible, here are a couple of recommendations of the best things to do in Paris on October 31.
The first is to celebrate Halloween at Disneyland Paris. Every Halloween, the park is decorated according to this day and there are activities where the most evil and terrifying characters take center stage. A highly recommended Halloween for young and old alike. If you want to experience this day at Disney, you should plan ahead and buy tickets as early as possible because demand is very high.
If you really want to get into the atmosphere of this holiday, the best thing to do is to visit the Paris Catacombs and its cemeteries. In the former you can see bones and skulls piled deep in the French capital. The cemeteries of Paris are beautiful in their own way, but they can also be terrifying, especially on Halloween. The most famous of these is Père Lachaise, where the likes of Jim Morrison and other celebrities rest.
One of the most special nights of the year in Paris, the Nuit Blanche
If you visit Paris on the first weekend in October, you can experience one of the city’s most special nights. Every first Saturday in October since 2002, the city celebrates the so-called Nuit Blanche or White Night.
Culture takes center stage and throughout the night the streets are filled with artists of all kinds, many museums and halls open in the early morning hours and host exhibitions unique to that day. Music concerts and festivals are also common on White Night. And much of the public transportation to get around Paris runs late into the night. If your trip is more cultural than anything else, you will be very grateful to be in Paris that night.
October is the month of culture thanks to the Autumn Festival.
We can safely say that October is the month of culture in Paris. In addition to the White Night, the Autumn Festival or Festival d’Automne à Paris takes place throughout October. Although it starts in September and ends in November, most of this festival is in October.
During these dates, the more than 45 venues that are part of the festival host a wide range of cultural activities. Plays, music concerts of all genres, dance performances, film screenings–the list is endless. The Pompidou Center, the Odeon Theater, and the Musée d’Orsay are just some of the venues hosting special events on these dates.
Run the 20 km in Paris
Athletes also have a great event to participate in or watch in Paris. In October, one of the capital’s most popular races is held. The 20 kilometers of Paris. This race has been held since 1979 and currently attracts about 30,000 runners from all over the world. The race starts at the Pont de Léna bridge and finishes at the foot of the legendary Eiffel Tower.
Participating in this race allows you to run around many of Paris’s iconic monuments while you play sports and also contribute to social causes, as proceeds from the race go to charity. And if running is not your thing, you can always watch the participants reach the finish line in a unique setting under the Eiffel Tower.
Experience the best horse race in the world. Qatar, Arc de Triomphe Prize
While we’re on the subject of sports, did you know that in October Paris hosts what is considered the best horse race in the world? That’s right. The Grand Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place the first weekend in October at the Longchamp racecourse and is a spectacle in itself.
The world’s best thoroughbreds and jockeys participate in the event in a race surrounded by activities and, above all, much glamour. If you have already seen it all in Paris, this is a different way to enjoy your stay in the French capital.
Visit the Conciergerie in Paris and remember the figure of Marie Antoinette
TheConciergerie or courthouse is a must-see in Paris. This historic building is best known for housing the Sainte Chapelle, one of the most beautiful churches in Paris and in my opinion in the world.
One of the most beautiful churches in Paris and in the world for my taste. But it is not for the chapel that we recommend visiting this complex in October. Marie Antoinette is responsible for it. This famous queen of France was imprisoned in the same building, which became a prison during the French Revolution, during her last days.
And what does this have to do with the month of October, you may ask? Well, it was in the same month but in 1793 that Marie Antoinette was executed in the square now known as the Place de la Concorde. The Conciergerie preserves the prison where she spent her last days, now converted into a chapel, and samples of guillotines like the one used in the queen’s execution, which was one of the key points of the French Revolution.
Enjoy the spectacle of the fountains of Versailles
Autumn offers us one of the most photogenic postcards of the year to visit the gardens and parks of Paris. The gardens of the Palace of Versailles are one of the most beautiful. There are more than 50 fountains with mythological themes in the palace gardens that serve as an attraction for visitors as there is a nightly light and music show from May to October.
Every Saturday and Sunday evening this show is performed in which water moves to music accompanied by a play of lights. It can only be seen from May 22 to October 31, so in the tenth month of the year we have one of the last chances to enjoy the famous fountains of Versailles. And as an added bonus, the gardens of Versailles are especially beautiful in autumn.
Take a walk and enjoy autumn in the Tuileries Garden.
As I mentioned, autumn is the perfect time to stroll through the parks and gardens of Paris. The gardens of Versailles may be in the suburbs, but you don’t have to go that far to see a picture-perfect postcard. In central Paris and near the Louvre Museum are the Tuileries Gardens.
Once the gardens of the palace that now houses the Louvre, they have now been converted into a beautiful park that serves as a meeting place for Parisians. If the weather is nice, you can have a leisurely lunch at one of the park’s kiosk-restaurants or simply stroll around as French nobility did in the old days. It is a good place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city for a while.
Take shelter from the autumn chill at the Louvre or visit the Opéra Garnier.
October is almost inevitably a cloudy, rainy or colder day in the city. These days are ideal for taking advantage and visiting some of the indoor treasures Paris has to offer. My top recommendation is a visit to the Louvre. You can spend the whole day looking at some of the Louvre’s most important works of art while it’s raining. And you don’t even need to go out to eat, because the museum itself has restaurants inside and even some stores.
Another alternative is to visit the Opéra Garnier. If it is beautiful outside, it is incredible inside. On cold days you can take a guided tour of the mansion of the Phantom of the Opera and you will not be disappointed. Of course, there are hundreds of other options and you will never stop discovering new places in the city of light
October Temperatures in Paris.
October in Paris is a month of purely autumnal weather. Temperatures are cooler and range from a low of 9 degrees Celsius to a high of 16 degrees Celsius. As for rain, it usually falls about 8 to 15 days a month, so don’t forget your umbrella. However, in October you can still enjoy many hours of sunshine. Sunset usually comes between 7 p.m. at the beginning of the month and 6 p.m. at the end of the month. Don’t forget that the Seine River flows through the French capital, creating a humid climate.
To sum up, in October the cold weather starts to set in, but the temperatures are still pleasant enough to visit Paris.
October in Paris
October falls into what is considered the high season in Paris, which generally runs from April 1 to October 31. But the truth is that the tourist season begins to slow down considerably in October. You won’t have much trouble finding a hotel room or a table at a restaurant, and there won’t be long lines at tourist attractions.
The lack of major holidays and the autumn chill means that the number of tourists visiting the Parisian capital decreases. As a result, prices also go down. In this sense, it is a very recommendable month to plan your trip to Paris.