While many people focus on summertime travel when they’re planning their vacations in Paris, it can be tough to find cheap flights to Paris in the summer. So for budget travelers, people just looking to avoid the tourist onslaught of the high season, or anyone who prefers to experience the city when it’s more genuinely itself, there’s always Paris in October. The good news is that you’ll find the prices on most travel-related things are lower than in the summer, and if you’re lucky you’ll still get some decent weather.
Now, as you’ll no doubt realize, there’s never a time in Paris when all the tourists have gone home. It’s a year-round tourist destination, so you can expect to see tour groups being led around by colorful flags at pretty much any time of year. But the crowds at major tourist stops like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower will be significantly less if you’re planning a visit to Paris in October than if you’re one of the many visiting in July. And of course, the lower prices are usually a hit with travelers, too.
The weather in Paris during October is, as you’d expect, going to be a little cooler than in the summer or even early fall. The average high temperature in October in Paris is around 59F (15C), and the average low is 46F (8C), so it’s clearly not balmy weather we’re talking about here. But despite those chilly temperatures, the average rainfall in October is one of the lowest of the year – less than 70mm all month long. So while you may need to snuggle up to your sweetie during that stroll along the Seine, you won’t necessarily have to bring along an umbrella. See? It’s all about the silver lining. (Although really, you’ll probably want to bring along a small umbrella. Just in case.)
Some of the events you can check out which happen in October in Paris are:
- Nuit Blanche or White Night – This annual one-night event actually happens in several cities in Europe; it’s a great arts celebration where hundreds of the museums and galleries in Paris stay open throughout the night and offer free admission. Check a current calendar to find out what day Nuit Blanche is on this year.
- Salon du Chocolat – Who doesn’t love a chocolate festival? This celebration of all things chocolate takes place in late October in Paris, and usually even includes some chocolate fashion shows.
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – This is an annual horse race which takes place in Paris at the Longchamp Racecourse the first Sunday of October; it dates back to 1920.
- The Autumn Festival – Why lament the end of summer? Why not celebrate it? That’s what this annual festival is all about, helping Parisians ring in the start of autumn with music, theater, and art since 1972.
- Halloween – You might not think of Halloween as a particularly French holiday, but there are some Halloween events in and around Paris which can be fun (especially for kids) in an intercultural way. In fact, Disneyland Paris has a major Halloween party every year.