PARIS IN THE FALL
Paris in the fall may well be one of the most beautiful sights you’ll witness in your lifetime, with its leaf-laden streets and softly glowing streetlamps. Although the days are decidedly shorter, there are lots of activities and festivals going on in Paris during the fall months. Winter is just around the corner, and the city is preparing to return to the hustle and bustle of daily life. Locals returning from their August holidays lend to the air of excitement and prospect that will surely be contagious to tourists. While the weather may be chilly and the nights cold, you’ll feel welcome in the beautiful city of Paris as the seasons change.
The coming winter lends its chill to the crisp autumn air of the city, making fall one of the quietest seasons in Paris. Its definitely the best time to visit Paris if you’re not a fan of the summer crowds. The best part of all is that while there’s still much to do in the city, there’s a considerable drop in airfare and train ticket prices so you’ll be able to score a great deal on your vacation package. Paris’ hotels and B&B’s will be emptier than other times of the year, so the off season is incentive for owners to offer discounted rates to tourists. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, fall is an opportune time to experience all the city has to offer, and do it without breaking the bank. In addition, the first time visitor to Paris will be able to enjoy everything the city has to offer because of the comparative emptiness of the streets and shortened waits to see monuments such as Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame.
While events in Paris during the spring and summer months are targeted towards tourists, fall is the ideal time to have an authentic Parisian experience. You’ll live like the city’s year round occupants do, especially since most of the popular restaurants and cafes are open in the fall. The smaller crowds means you can easily get a table on the outdoor terrace of restaurants around the city that are usually tightly packed during the summer months. If the weather isn’t cooperating with your outdoor plans, there are lots of indoor activities to keep you occupied. You can check out one of the many new exhibitions being opened at museums around the city or sit in a cosy patisserie and enjoy a delicious chocolat chaud or cafe au lait while watching people walk by. Afternoon strolls through Paris let you truly appreciate the beautiful colors of fallen leaves, as light filters through from the changing trees. You’ll definitely want to visit Versailles, with its picturesque gardens showing off their magnificent fall colors, reminiscent of a watercolor painting. Paris’ many parks and gardens offer a similar experience, so you may want to spend some time amidst the fallen leaves reading a book or taking photographs.
Fall is the best time to indulge in rich pastries and cakes after you’ve packed up your bikini in preparation for the winter months. The streets of Paris are filled with enticing displays of delicious goodies, and the warmth of the shops entice you out of the cold and into the wonderful aroma of baked goods. If you’re in the 6th or 15th arrondissements, you should definitely stop by Pierre Herme for a few tasty macaroons, which come in an interesting array of flavors, or a more traditional dessert such as the exquisite vanilla flan. The 3rd arrondissement is home to Pain de Sucre, a family owned patisserie that’s well known for their chocolate mint eclairs and babu au rhum, an alcohol infused treat which as its name suggests will warm you instantly. If you’re a chocoholic and you’re on your way to the Louvre or the Palais Royal, you should pass by rue Saint-Honore. There you’ll find salon de thé owned and operated by Jean-Paul Hévin where you can sit and indulge in a chocolate tartlet or macaroon and a hot beverage. If you prefer to eat on the go, you can get an all-chocolate pastry to go, made daily by Hévin, who holds the French artisan’s highest distinction of a Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Ble Sucre, located in the charming Ledru-Rollin neighborhood of Paris in the vicinity of Bastille, sells moderately priced confections such as glazed madeleines, a local favorite. The unassuming shop is owned and operated by Fabrice Le Bourdat, a renowned pastry and dessert chef who worked at many of Paris’ prestigious hotels before opening his own shop with his wife. Indulging your sweet tooth during the fall months in Paris has never been more enjoyable, especially since you don’t have to worry about your figure until next summer.
Paris in the fall is all about the lights and colors that signify the coming of winter. Early October in Paris offers many events you can enjoy along with the locals. Nuit Blanche, or White Night, during which many of the city’s attractions stay open all night, gives you plenty of time to discover new things and explore museums at your leisure. Montmartre Wine Harvest or Vendanges de Montmartre takes also takes place in October in the picturesque Montmartre neighborhood, with its carefully preserved houses and buildings. You’ll get the chance to sample some of the region’s best wines, all produced by the area’s vineyards. Late October to early November brings the yearly Salon du Chocolat, or Paris Chocolate Show, an international trade fair attended by the world’s chocolate industry. Free tastings are offered, and you’ll be treated to a fashion chocolate show while marveling at the statues made from, you guessed it, chocolate. There’s even a chocolate fountain, making this trade fair every child and chocolate lover’s dream. During the fall months, Paris’ shops stock up on all the latest gadgets and fashions, so shopping at this time is also a lucrative exercise. There’s always something to do in the beautiful city of Paris year round, and fall is no exception.
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