paris packing list fall

How to Pack for Paris in Fall: Survival Guide Every Visitor Absolutely Needs

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Are you ready for my “Paris Packing List Fall Guide?” I hope so! You don’t want to forget anything during your journey around France’s capital city. That’d be a real shame. A tragedy, even. 

And can I just say that I’m totally jealous you’re visiting Paris in the fall months?

As for me, I took a spontaneous visit to glorious Paris in November years ago, and I had an incredible time strolling through cobblestoned streets underneath changing leaves and cloudy skies.

Paris was my second solo trip, so the city will always have a special little corner of my heart. 

Another perk is that Paris is delightfully less crowded in the fall months, too. For example, I was able to walk right through the glass pyramid outside the Louvre, without having to wait to purchase a ticket. How cool is that? 

packing list paris: have an outstanding camera for all your pictures

What to Pack for Paris in Fall

Okay, enough gushing about Paris in fall. Now it’s time to get into the practicalities of this packing guide. 

For convenience’s sake, I’ve broken this post down into three different sections: your essentials, what to wear, and bonus items. 

Feel free to jump around the guide. You’re also welcome to make tweaks depending on your personal needs for your trip to Paris.

And remember, you want to save some space in your luggage! Who wants to go to Paris and not do any shopping? I mean, come on now. You can always save money later, haha. 

Read More: Rachel’s 10 Tips for Your First Trip to Paris

paris packing list fall: bring a nice camera for the churches

Paris Packing List Fall: Your Essentials

These are the items that you don’t want to leave at home. Always make your essentials a priority. For this guide, I have eight essentials written out for you.

1. Travel Insurance with World Nomads

I’m sure you are COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SHOCKED that I’m mentioning travel insurance as the first item in this packing guide. 

While France has a great healthcare system, the services are limited to citizens and residents only meaning you might not be covered if you get sick in Paris.

Seriously, I wouldn’t risk going without insurance. Why? You don’t want to get stuck with a huge bill. Travel insurance is worth every single penny, I promise. I know having an active policy gives me peace of mind.

As for me, I always buy travel insurance with World Nomads for my international trips. I’ve never had an issue with them, and at this time, I will continue buying their policies for my future adventures around the globe. 

packing for paris in fall doesn't have to be as difficult as finding an apartment here

2. Lonely Planet’s Pocket Guide to Paris 

Paris has tons of attractions, historical sites, restaurants, shopping opportunities, etc. The sheer amount of options can overwhelm visitors quickly. 

Therefore, it’s worth buying a small guidebook of Paris to research your trip ahead of time. In my opinion, Lonely Planet publishes great guidebooks for independent travelers. You can make time for the big sites, while still finding hidden gems that appeal to your own personal interests.

Lonely Planet’s pocket guidebook of Paris is easy to pack and carry with you throughout the day. Don’t miss out on it. You can also buy a copy for e-reader or phone.

what to wear in paris in fall: dark colors like these folks in paris

3. Learn Some French Phrases, Mon Cheri

In Paris, locals speak great English. I didn’t have any issues with the language barrier.

However, speaking a little bit of French in Paris will make your trip a million times more enjoyable. Obviously. Even a simple “bonjour” or “merci” will brighten your stay. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Locals will appreciate the effort and treat you with kindness. 

So pack a small French phrasebook and dictionary to practice speaking the language aloud. You can also download Duolingo on your smartphone.

packing list for paris: a camera to take great photos of the churches

4. A Travel Umbrella 

Argh, please bring a travel umbrella to Paris in the fall. Please, please, please.

Why am I so emphatic about this? Well, I got stranded in the rain at Versailles and was soaked through to the bone, because I didn’t bring an umbrella with me. 

You guys … this rainy afternoon wasn’t fun. Please don’t be me. You’ll end up getting a sore throat and hating yourself a little bit.

Paris in fall is lovely, but you’ll probably encounter some rainy weather. Don’t leave your travel umbrella at home. You won’t be happy with yourself otherwise. 

paris packing list fall: save room to buy stuff at the department store

5. High Quality Packing Cubes

As I’ve said, you want to save space in your luggage, because shopping is a quintessential part of the Paris experience. And who doesn’t want new clothes in Paris?

Therefore invest in some high quality packing cubes for your upcoming fall vacation to France. 

For instance, these packing cubes come in a variety of colors, so pick whatever shade fits your personality best! And another cool thing about packing cubes is they help you avoid overweight charges on your flights. Cause who wants to deal with extra fees? Not me, man.

packing list paris: you will walk all over and see these great views so bring good shoes

6. A European Charger for Electronics

Any experienced traveler will tell you that outlets in different countries aren’t identical to one another. And let’s be real here. The last thing you want is for your smartphone and camera to die in Paris.

Unfortunately, you can’t necessarily rely on your accommodation having USB outlets available either. Although USB outlets are slowing becoming more common, especially in newer hostels, going to Paris with no plug adapters isn’t a stellar idea. 

And we all know that charging your electronics is important. Nowadays, people not only use their smartphones to take photos, but also to stay in touch with people at home and to read guidebooks.

So make sure you have plenty of European travel plug adapters with you.

paris packing list fall: bring a warm coat for the wet weather
Posing on a wet fall morning in Paris.

7. A Compact Point-and-Shoot Camera

Personally, I like using a point-and-shoot camera for traveling. I’m not a fan of lugging around big bulky cameras. No shame.

I have two point-and-shoot camera suggestions for your upcoming fall trip to Paris: 

For a more basic camera, aim for Canon’s PowerShot SX620 with 25x Optical Zoom. Canon makes great cameras, and they have plenty of budget options for travelers who don’t feel comfortable carrying around super expensive gear. 

As for photographers who want to upgrade, splurge any spare money for a Fujifilm X-T30 mirrorless camera for your fall Paris vacation. The features are unbelievable, and you’ll take professional quality photos for your collection. 

packing list for paris in november: wear dark colors
Paris Packing List Fall Tip: Wear Cozy Shoes to Jump!

8. An Anti-Theft Purse or Day Bag

Unfortunately, Paris has a lot of scams and pickpockets. I don’t want you to feel paranoid. Armed with knowledge, you probably won’t fall victim to a pickpocket’s roaming hands, but the reality is that these things happen even to the best of us. 

I personally like Travelon Anti-Theft’s black cross-body bag, because I just feel more comfortable with cross-bodies. Travelon does have a ton of designs, though, so pick whatever type of bag you want for your trip to Paris.

Pacsafe is another company that sells anti-theft purses, and the brand is very well-embraced by travelers. 

Again, don’t be paranoid and ruin your trip, but stay smart. Having an anti-theft bag will soothe some concerns and keep potential thieves away at the same time.

packing for paris in fall wear a coat and comfy shoes
Paris Packing List Fall: Wear Neutral Colors All the Way!

What to Wear in Paris in Fall

Let’s move onto everyone’s favorite topic of all time: clothes and shoes!

As you already know, fashion and Paris go hand-in-hand with one another. You don’t want to look as though you’ve just tumbled out of bed! 

1. Aim for Dark, Neutral Colors Like Blacks & Greys

In Paris, I noticed a lot of neutral color tones in the streets. The styles here are very subdued, not showy.

So why not mirror the locals and fit in? I’m not saying you have to look 100% French, but if you blend into the crowd, you’re less likely to experience street harassment, which, unfortunately, can be a problem in Paris. 

2. A Waterproof Jacket with a Hood

Don’t leave your jacket at home. The later months of fall, such as November, brings some cold weather along with rain. You want to stay warm and dry since you’re doing a ton of walking outside.

In my opinion, Columbia makes really cute rain jackets for a reasonable price. Their jackets are also very lightweight so you won’t have any issues packing them in your suitcase or backpack. 

what to wear in paris in fall: paris has lots of green spaces so you want to avoid heels

3. Comfortable Sleek Black Shoes

Unsurprisingly, you’ll walk a lot in Paris. Taxis are expensive and therefore, you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of time using the metro, too. 

You’ll need to invest in durable and comfortable shoes for your visit to Paris. 

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you know I’m a big, big, big fan of CLARKS. They make cute shoes that are comfortable and actually come in wider widths. 

I’d bring a warm and waterproof boot, such as CLARKS Delana Joneen boot, which comes in neutral colors and thus is easily paired with a variety of outfits. 

4. At Least One Classy Dress

You don’t have to wear fancy clothes for every single day in Paris, but it’s beneficial to have at least one nice outfit. You don’t have to spend a ton of money either!

Stick with a classy black dress. For example, pairing one of these black travel dresses with a nice piece of costume jewelry is perfect for a ritzy night at dinner or a theater. You’ll want to go out for at least one evening in Paris, and need the clothes for such an occasion. 

what to wear in paris in fall: bring a cute dress if you plan on going to the moulin rouge

5. A Black Scarf for Your Neck

Argh, another time I was unprepared in Paris was when I visited the Arc de Triomphe at night. I forget to bring a scarf and had to buy one at H&M, because my poor neck was freezing to death.

Needless to say, fall in Paris is chilly, especially once the sun goes down for good. Infinity makes great scarves that include pockets for your phone and wallet. I know tons of travelers who love them!

6. Stylish and Affordable Sunglasses

You don’t have to buy Chanel, but still have a pair of sunglasses with you in Paris. While it’s true you might have more clouds than sun, autumn still brings a few sunny days and you don’t want to be unprepared for them. SUNGAIT has plenty of cool colorful retro sunglasses to take with you to Paris. 

Taking a Longer Trip? Read My Packing List for Backpacking Europe

packing list for paris in october: comfortable shoes are mandatory
Paris Packing List Fall: You Need Comfortable Shoes!

Paris Packing List Fall: Bonus Items

You don’t necessarily need to pack the bonus items for your fall trip to Paris.  However, they’ll add a little flair to your fall trip to Paris. 

packing list for paris bring a jacket with you

1. Kindle Paperweight or Oasis 

I always advocate bringing an e-reader on trips – long or short. Having a Kindle will keep you entertained on long flights and sleepy nights in the hotel when you don’t exactly feel like going out. 

Personally, I like having a Kindle as a solo traveler, because I’ll just read if I have to eat at a bar alone. The Kindle paperweight is a great budget option for your to trip. If you’re an avid read, then spend a bit of extra money on the Kindle Oasis. 

2. A Copy of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”

Haha, okay, if you’re a literature love (like me), then you know all about the writers of “The Lost Generation,” such as Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway!

Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, chronicles the time the author spent in Paris. Read it on the plane ride over to France to feel inspired about your upcoming visit!

what to pack for paris in fall: be comfortable because you will be touring lots of museums

3. A Swanky Wine Bag for Picnics

I mean, you can’t expect me to write a post about Paris and not talk about wine. France has some of the greatest wines known to the history of humankind. 

In the fall months, you can still experience moderate temperatures and sunshine, meaning it’s possible to have a picnic near the Eiffel Tower or along the Seine River. 

So have a wine bag with you! I personally like this wine bottle protector since you’ll have to carry your precious wine through crowds and metro stations. 

4. A Universal Hair Dryer

Wanna style your hair in Paris? Don’t bring your hair dryer from the United States unless you want to blow something up. It’s not a smart idea. Have a compact dual voltage hair dryer to bring for your European adventures. That way you blow out your wild hair in peace aka without electrical sparks flying in your direction. 

5. The Original MakeUp Eraser

I’m sure you’re wearing your favorite cosmetics in Paris. So don’t forget to bring your MakeUp Eraser – which is a soft wipe that cleans your skin after a long day of sightseeing. Makeup washes away easily. I’m obsessed with this item. Read more about the MakeUp Eraser here. You won’t regret the purchase.

Read More: How to Plan a 2 Days in Paris Itinerary

packing for paris in fall: don't forget to bring the best possible camera

I hope you have a better idea for what to pack for Paris in fall! If you think I missed anything, feel free to add suggestions in the comments section.

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