France in October: Travel Tips, Weather & More


The reopening of schools around the world means that France in October is free from the crowds that the country sees from July through September. And while the temperature gently declines, this is more than made up for by the fall color of the country’s trees and shrubs, alongside annual events such as Paris’ Nuit Blanche, or ‘white night’. So if you are keen to discover France beneath stereotypes, October could be the right month for you!

France Weather in October

Avenue of trees in autumn leading to the Musee du Louvre in Paris France
Discover the artwork and artifacts representative of 11,000 years of human civilization and culture in the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France

The weather in France in October adopts a distinctly autumnal feel, although there are places to head to avoid the worst of the cold. Generally speaking, the sky tends to be overcast, with around an inch of rain falling across a total of 13 days during the month. Although daytime temperatures in Paris and in the country’s north range between 12-18°C, it remains a little warmer on the palm-dotted French Riviera, with a daily average of around 20°C. However, before you head out for a dip, please keep in mind that the Mediterranean along with unheated outdoor pools are cold for anyone but the bravest. The sun sets at around 6:30 pm at the end of this month.

For a seasonal overview, please read our travel guide on the best time to visit France.

Weather in France in October - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)781216202325252116118
Avg Nightly (°C)335711141616131063
Avg Daily (°F)44.646.453.660.86873.4777769.860.851.846.4
Avg Nightly (°F)37.437.44144.651.857.260.860.855.45042.837.4
Avg Rainfall (mm)182224252624222116252226

Why Visit France in October

Scenic view of Bordeaux in France
Take scroll through the beautiful city of Bordeaux in France
Autumn mountain landscape with vineyards in Alsace, France
Enjoy a tour in Alsace, well-known for its picturesque architecture, and wines in France

October in France is part of the low season. However, after the busy high season of summer months, there are plenty of reasons to recommend this time of year for your trip to ‘le hexagone’. Below is our take on why France in October is a fantastic destination.

  • Better rates: Keen to fill otherwise empty aircraft and rooms, airlines and hotels drop their prices to attract customers. The only exceptions are Paris and areas connected with the grape harvest.
  • Fall color: October is the peak time to delight in France’s fall color. Trees on elegant boulevards from Calais to Cannes display incredible shades of orange and red, though it is the countryside of Provence and Avignon that takes the crown.
  • Lesser crowds: Fewer people opt for a French vacation in October, which results in a much more relaxed experience at major sights, whether that is the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the chateaus of the Loire Valley. Read our article on the best chateaus to stay in France.
  • Cultural events: There are hardly any events in France (barring Christmas) that get bigger than the grape harvest, which is carried out in October. Other celebrations that fall in this month include the biennial Paris Motor Show and Saint Tropez’s La Grande Braderie shopping extravaganza.

Where to go and what to do

The Canal du Midi near Toulouse in autumn, in South of France
The Canal du Midi links the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures is one of the most amazing feats of civil engineering in France

Be sure to spend a couple of days in Paris, where there is always something new to see or do, from temporary art exhibitions to revisiting the works housed in the Louvre. Lovers of all things wine might then consider a few days to tour Bordeaux, famous for its vintages since medieval times. On the opposite side of the country, Alsace is very different from the rest of France, with its history resulting in buildings with a distinct Bavarian feel. Reims boasts one of the country’s most important cathedrals. Built in the twelve hundreds, it remained the site of coronations for centuries and is a great rainy-day option for travelers today. Meanwhile, in the south, Lyon has one of Europe’s largest Renaissance-era old quarters, while Cannes continues to buzz long after the end of its famous film festival.

For more ideas, check out our guide on things to do in France. Not sure how long you should stay in France to cover its highlights? Head straight to our travel guide for recommendations on how many days to spend in France.

Fewer crowds reduced costs, and plenty to keep you occupied mean that it probably need not take much convincing to book a trip to France in October. France's weather in autumn is ideal for exploration, relaxation, and for indulging in a myriad of indoor and outdoor activities all of which can be built into a customized trip to France. Connect with our travel experts in the country for a customized itinerary.

You might also want to check out our tours to France in October.

Other articles:
France in September
France in November

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