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Paris in November: tips and recommendations to make your trip unforgettable

With the end of the high season and Christmas just around the corner, November becomes a very quiet month to visit Paris.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

10 min read

Paris in November: tips and recommendations to make your trip unforgettable

Eiffel Tower | ©Kiarash Mansouri

It is difficult to visit Paris and expect to see the city and its monuments without crowds and too many tourists. But if there is a month where the queues are shorter, where you will not have problems to book a room or get a table in a restaurant, that month is November. A perfect month to see and do everything Paris has to offer.

October is the end of the high season and the cold increases and it is when the city has a break before the arrival of Christmas. Also in the penultimate month of the year there are two holidays that give us the opportunity to do and see different things.

Want to know what you can do in Paris in November? I share with you my 10 recommendations to enjoy one of the quietest months of the year in the French capital.

1. Visit the famous cemeteries of Paris after All Saints' Day

Montparnasse Cemetery| ©Jérôme Blum
Montparnasse Cemetery| ©Jérôme Blum

On November 1st, All Saints' Day is celebrated in many countries, a date dedicated to honor the deceased. In France the tradition is lived beyond the religious and it is common that the famous cemeteries of the cities are filled with curious. And even more so in Paris, which has some of the most famous and beautiful cemeteries in the world. Although the first day is not the best time to visit them, as well as being bridge many Parisians go to honor their relatives, in the following days the influx decreases and maintain the care of All Saints' Day.

The best known is the Père-Lachaise cemetery, which houses the graves of such important people as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. In fact, this cemetery located east of Paris holds the record for being the most visited in the world. It is not the only one you can visit. There are also the cemetery of Passy, Montparnasse or Montmartre. These four can be visited free of charge and throughout the year, but it is November when they are most beautiful thanks to the Parisians and tourists who come on All Saints' Day to leave flowers and souvenirs on the graves of their relatives or illustrious people.

Another option according to this holiday is to visit the Pantheon of the illustrious. Located in the Latin Quarter, one of the best neighborhoods in Paris, very close to the Luxembourg Gardens, this imposing building houses the tombs of some of the most important names in the history of France and the world. Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Monnet or Alexandre Dumas are some of the illustrious figures who rest in this monument.

Book a tour of the Père-Lachaise Cemetery

2. Visit the Musée de la Guerre des Invalides on the occasion of the 1918 armistice celebration

National Palace of the Invalides| ©Daniel Vorndran
National Palace of the Invalides| ©Daniel Vorndran

In addition to All Saints' Day, in November there is another holiday marked on the calendar throughout the country. November 11 commemorates the armistice that ended the First World War and profoundly marked the history of France and its inhabitants. In connection with this event, it is a good time to learn about and experience history at the Musée de la Guerre des Invalides.

Inside this spectacular architectural complex that was once the residence of war veterans who were invalids, hence its name, we can learn about the First World War and other war conflicts. The museum has weapons, equipment and original exhibits about the great war and we can make the visit with a guide to illustrate the impact of the war in Paris and France. You can and should also take advantage of the visit to see the tomb of Napoleon in the church of the Dome also in the complex of the invalids.

Book a guided tour of Les Invalides

3. Good dates to visit La Galerie Lafayette

Touring Galeries Lafayette| ©Mario Sánchez Prada
Touring Galeries Lafayette| ©Mario Sánchez Prada

In the nineteenth century along with the construction of the Eiffel Tower or the Moulin Rouge also prospered department stores and galleries. Considered temples of luxury and shopping in Paris there are several that we can visit to make our pre-Christmas shopping. The Galerie Lafayette, on Boulevard Haussmann next to the Opera Garnier, is the most famous of all. Under its huge and spectacular dome and with its original decoration and architecture is a unique place to compare clothes, jewelry, decorative items or gourmet products.

In November they begin to decorate these stores according to Christmas and take advantage of the dates to attract customers with attractive sales so it is a good time to visit these galleries.

On the same boulevard are the Printemps department stores for luxury shopping and near the Luxembourg Gardens we have another option in the stores of Le Bon Marché. As you can see Paris can be considered the city of shopping.

Book a tour of the galleries of Paris

4. Take advantage of black friday to go shopping on the Champs Elysées

Elysian Fields| ©PCA Stream
Elysian Fields| ©PCA Stream

In addition to its beauty, the Champs Elysées avenue is known for its stores. From luxury boutiques to the most famous franchises, there is something special about shopping on the Champs Elysées. And the best time to treat yourself is during the week of November 29th with the Black Friday discounts. In this avenue you will find some of the most prestigious and well-known brands in the world in stores that will surprise you with their spectacularity. In addition, at that time the Champs Elysees and begin to wear the Christmas lights of Paris and the first Christmas markets appear.

5. On November 11, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier| ©Zairon
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier| ©Zairon

Also on the occasion of the Armistice Day on November 11 you can visit [the tomb of the unknown soldier](https://recuerdosdepandora.com/monumentos/la-tumba-al-soldado-desconocido-en-paris/bajo el arco del triunfo){target="_blank" rel="noopener"}. On the same November 11 but in 1920 the remains of an unidentified soldier who died in the battle of Verdun were transferred to a tomb in the triumphal arch as a tribute and representation of all the fallen during the First World War. In 1923 an eternal flame was installed and since then it is rekindled in a small ceremony every day at 18:30.

On this day a special ceremony is held and a giant French flag is hung between the pillars of the triumphal arch. Many Parisians lay flowers in honor of this soldier and this holiday and tourists have the opportunity to see the triumphal arch in all its splendor as a French national symbol.

6. Celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau Festival with a good French wine

Wine Bottles| ©Hermes Rivera
Wine Bottles| ©Hermes Rivera

Every year on the third Thursday of November the Beaujolais Nouveau festival is celebrated. This is a young French wine that is harvested in November in the Burgundy region in the French Alps and that in this festival can be tasted in all the restaurants in Paris.

The wineries and bistrots of the city do special tastings and it is the perfect excuse to enjoy a good time with your family and friends around a good French wine. As a curiosity, this day is considered the biggest wine festival in the world and sellers can not sell this famous wine until this date. In Paris the best place to enjoy this festival is the Montmartre neighborhood.

Book a gastronomic tour of Montmartre

7. Enjoy the pre-Christmas atmosphere without the hustle and bustle

Christmas Market in the Tuileries Garden| ©Sortiraparis
Christmas Market in the Tuileries Garden| ©Sortiraparis

At the end of November the streets of Paris begin to wear the first Christmas decorations. Although Christmas is still far away, it is a good time to walk the decorated streets and enjoy the city and the Christmas atmosphere without the usual crowds that arrive as the December holiday approaches.

On the Champs Elysees the first lights are put on and the first Christmas markets appear in Paris. It is the most popular place in Paris to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. As an alternative I recommend you to stroll through the Montmartre district. It is quieter and the decorations are more discreet but equally beautiful and enjoyable.

8. You can see the Statue of Liberty and celebrate Thanksgiving... In Paris?

Replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris| ©Mariana C
Replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris| ©Mariana C

It may sound strange, but it is. The Parisian capital and the city of New York are more closely related than you think. So much so that the famous statue of New York was made in France and was sent to America in 1886 as a gift for the anniversary of the declaration of independence of the U.S. Fruit of the good relations between the two countries, the American country gave years later a replica of the Statue of Liberty to the city of Paris on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1889. Today the French version of the Statue of Liberty can be seen on Swan Island near the Eiffel Tower. You can take the opportunity to see it by hiring a cruise on the Seine next to the entrance to the Eiffel Tower.

Taking advantage of the fact that Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on November 24, you can take the opportunity to visit this small statue of liberty. In addition in the Parisian city there is a large community of Americans and the Thanksgiving holiday is becoming increasingly popular. It is not uncommon to see that on that day some restaurants prepare the traditional turkey.

9. A good time to climb the Eiffel Tower if you want to save queues

Photo of the Eiffel Tower| ©Valentin Antonucci
Photo of the Eiffel Tower| ©Valentin Antonucci

The Eiffel Tower is the undisputed symbol of Paris and this is demonstrated by the thousands of tourists who visit it every day. That is why long queues are common. If you want to avoid them, although it is a complicated mission, the best thing you can do is to travel to Paris in low season. November is a very good month for this with less tourist influx than usual. There are still clear days to enjoy the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and you won't have to queue as much to do so. A winning combo whichever way you look at it. Of course, bundling up is a must.

Book your ticket for the Eiffel Tower

10. Take shelter from the cold at the Musée d'Orsay

Entrance of the Musée d'Orsay.| ©Daniel Vorndran
Entrance of the Musée d'Orsay.| ©Daniel Vorndran

Paris is also the city of museums as it houses some of the most important museums in the world. In the cold days of November it is always a good option to visit them and avoid the weather by seeing works of art. The usual recommendation is to go to the Louvre museum, which of course is always a good choice, but today my advice is to visit the Musée d'Orsay.

It may not be as popular as its brother the Louvre but some of the works it houses are known all over the world. Manet's Lunch on the Grass, Van Gogh's Starry Night or his self-portrait are some of the works that can be seen in this old railroad station now converted into a museum.

November temperatures in Paris

Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©xiaoshu.paris
Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©xiaoshu.paris

As you can imagine in November the temperatures in Paris start to drop. However, it is not until the end of the month when the cold starts to arrive. The rest of the month temperatures are pleasant and hover around 11 degrees maximum and 6 degrees minimum. It is a relatively rainy month, with rainfall between 8 and 14 days on average, but it does not usually rain with extreme force. So it is best not to forget the umbrella. In short, temperatures are quite pleasant until the end of the month but certainly the cold or rain does not tarnish your visit to such a beautiful city.

The number of tourists in Paris in November

On the Rue Cler market street| ©Michele Louise
On the Rue Cler market street| ©Michele Louise

As I had already pointed out, the main advantage of traveling to Paris in November is the reduced number of tourists. November starts the low tourist season in the French capital, which generally lasts until May. Although in Paris there will never be a lack of tourists, the truth is that in the main tourist attractions you will notice the lower number of visitors. Fewer queues and less crowds.

It should also be noted that November 1 and 11 is a public holiday in the country and although most monuments remain open, many Parisians take the opportunity to visit them. The beginning of the low season also has an impact on hotel prices, which are lower than usual. If you are looking for a quiet month, November is one of the best times to visit Paris.

What to pack for a visit to Paris in November

Preparing your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich
Preparing your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich

You have to be prepared to fight the cold and rain if you decide to travel to Paris in November. And if you plan to take advantage of your visit during the Black Friday dates, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring an extra suitcase. And what things should you pack in your luggage? I'll summarize them for you:

  • Cotton clothes.
  • Jackets and waterproof clothing.
  • Umbrellas and waterproof boots.
  • Warm and above all comfortable shoes.
  • An extra suitcase for your Black Friday shopping.