Erin Hagen

Autumn in Paris: Your Local Guide

There is something enchanting about the fall, the changing of the colours, a crispness in the air, and don't even get us started about the fashion... Although the weather is unpredictable, it's all part of the fun! We invite you to grab your favourite Parisian scarf, a hot café crème, and join us as we explore some of the best ways to enjoy autumn in Paris!

The Luxembourg Gardens

Not only is a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin de Luxembourg) one of the best ways to appreciate Paris' fall colours, inadvertently it is also a lesson in French history! While the Luxembourg Palace is home to the French Senate, its gardens are open to the public. There are over 106 statues throughout the gardens, most of them are French Queens. Located on Paris' left bank, the extensive gardens cover 61 acres.

There are several cafés and food stands throughout the Luxembourg Gardens. Other attractions include tennis courts, as well as playgrounds and rides for the children. Also, the most notable monument in the gardens is the Medici Fountain, built in 1630 at the request of Queen Marie de Medici.

Fun fact: There are two notable absences in the French Queen statues. Can you guess? Marie-Antoinette and Catherine de Medici. Evidently not the most beloved...ouch!

The Vincennes Forrest and the Vincennes Château

If you are looking for a nature walk that's still technically in Paris, the Vincennes Forrest (Bois de Vincennes) might be the perfect choice! Located in the eastern part of the city, the Forrest surrounds the imposing Vincennes Château, originally built in 1336. A former residence of French Kings, the castle was later renovated and expanded upon in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Also, the Forrest has four artificial lakes, two restaurants, two equestrian stables, a Tropical Garden, the official city of Paris Farm, as well as the Floral Park. It is one of the largest green spaces in the city, and a lovely way to celebrate autumn in Paris.

Fun fact: Paris hosted the 1900 Summer Olympics, and many of the events took place in the Vincennes Forrest!

Père Lachaise Cemetery

One of the most visited cemeteries in the world, Père Lachaise is both a living art gallery, and a 'city of the dead'. Also, it is the site of the first French crematorium, fully operational in 1889. The eternal resting place of celebrities, military heroes, politicians, and regular folks alike, it is a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Père Lachaise sits on 110 acres of land, and has the most varied species of trees in Paris. We would definitely recommend a quiet walk through one of the city's gems.

Tuileries Gardens

Located near the iconic Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens have been delighting Parisians and tourists since the late 18th century. What was once the private garden of Kings, Queens, Emperors, and Empresses, it was opened to the general public after the first French Revolution. Lucky for us!

The Gardens are filled with beautiful statues, both modern and antique. Also, there are lovely fountains, restaurants, and seasonal flowers that are works of art unto themselves!

We recommend entering the Tuileries Gardens near the Louvre, then exiting via Place de la Concorde. If you're feeling ambitious, why not head down the Champs-Élysées all the way to the Arc de Triomphe? Don't worry, there are many cafés, bistrots, and restaurants to choose from along the way!

photo by Benh LIEU SONG

Jardin des Plantes

Encompassing 69 acres, the Jardin des Plantes was classified as a historical monument in 1993. Founded in 1626, it was one of Paris' first public parks. Incredibly, the Jardin des Plantes has 11 gardens, 4 museums, a zoo, and several libraries. Did I mention there is also a labyrinth? And true to French form, beautiful works of art adorn the gardens. It is truly remarkable, and not to be missed!

Hot tip: The thermometer tends to lie in Paris. OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. However, since it tends to be windy and damp during the autumn and winter months, it's always a good idea to bring an extra layer, a scarf, and an umbrella when venturing out!

Are you looking for more suggestions on things to do this autumn in Paris? Check out our Halloween and November guides. Enjoy your time in belle Paris!

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