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Best Time to Travel to Paris, France
Wondering when is the best time to go to Paris, France? Paris is always a good idea and there’s never a bad time to visit Paris, as the city has a mild climate and extreme weather is rare. But there are definitely pros and cons to each season and your visit will be different depending on the time of year.
When to go to Paris? Discover the seasons in Paris and the best time to visit Paris France below, together with some budget and travel tips.
Spring in Paris is a delight. Temperatures are usually mild and the crowds aren’t quite so intense so it is a good time to visit Paris.
After the cold winter, spring sees the city slowly come back to life. The days are getting longer, Paris gardens fill up with blossoms and the city’s numerous terrace cafes start filling up with locals and tourists alike.
Also, the Seine banks, forgotten during the winter, seem to reawaken with people strolling, cycling or skating.
In Spring there are many holidays in Paris. There’s Easter holidays but also school holidays and many long weekends in May (1st May, 8th May and Pentecost Monday are holidays in Paris). During these days expect more tourists and higher prices.
- Easter Holidays (March – April)
- Musical Fountains Show at Versailles Gardens (April – October)
- Foire du Trône (April)
- Marathon of Paris (May)
- 1st of May
- Armistice Day, end of WWII on 8th May
- Roland Garros – French Open Tennis Championship (May-June)
Weather in March is hit and miss and you may get grey, rainy days. Actually, spring is one of the two rainiest seasons in Paris, with about 14% of chances to have rainy weather.
March starts out chilly with daily highs of around 13°C. By May the weather warms up to a pleasant 19°C9 but nights remain pretty cold throughout the season.
Summer in Paris not only is weather at its best, but the social calendar is packed. Music festivals, al fresco dining, shady café – terraces or rooftop bars under the stars and open-air cultural events make the city appealing for travelers of all ages.
June and July are the most dynamic months in terms of cultural events and offers, there’s always something going on in each Arrondissement of Paris. In August, many Parisians go on holiday leaving the city mostly to tourists.
- Fête de la Musique (June)
- Tour de France (July)
- The fireworks on the 14th of July, France’s National day
- Paris Plages (July – August)
- L’été du Canal festival at Canal de l’Ourcq (mid-July to mid-September)
- Rock en Seine Festival (August)
Summer in Paris comes with daily highs of at least 26°C, accompanied by brisk nights of around 13°C. While these temperatures may not seem very high to some, keep in mind that humidity can make Paris feel warmer.
In July, there are always a couple of days of intense heat when it seems difficult to breathe. These unusual days of high temperatures are called “canicule” (heatwave).
Fall is in our opinion the best season to visit Paris and its surroundings. After the busy months of summer, crowds have thinned and the city is finally back to the locals.
The days may be getting shorter, but the colors are blooming and the parks and avenues with its autumn colors and fallen leaves are an inspiring sight.
September is the time to return to school and to the office but it is also the time of major trade fairs, the renewal of the exhibitions program and funny treasure hunts around the city.
Also, the festival season in full swing, there is plenty to do, with many food and wine harvest festivals and interesting cultural events.
In November there are two long weekends in Paris: the 1st of November and the 11th of November are holidays in France.
- European Heritage Days (September)
- White Night (October)
- Fête des Vendanges – Wine Harvest Festival in Montmartre (October)
- FIAC, International Contemporary Art Fair (October)
- All Saints on 1st November
- Armistice Day, end of WWI on 11th of November
It is possible to have fairly warm days until mid-October (called “Indian Summer”) so it is still great for spending time outdoors. After mid-October, be prepared for the occasional chilly rain shower and a bit of wind.
Winter in Paris is cold. The days tend to be short and grey and rain and fog are frequent. However, there are great reasons to visit Paris at this time of the year because this is the best time to visit Paris to avoid crowds.
December is the time of Christmas celebrations and the city takes it very seriously with beautiful Christmas markets in all the main arrondissements of Paris, Christmas lights and Christmas decorations. It is also the time of hot chocolate, or a vind chaud in a Parisian café and also the time of amazing window displays and concerts and food events. After a few days break, the city gets festive again with the New Year’s celebrations in Paris
January and February perhaps are not the best months for city strolls or to explore the countryside but there are so many indoor activities that it is difficult to get bored in Paris. Festivals like Saint Valentine’s, the Chinese New Year or the Carnival will definitely add some color to your winter in Paris.
- Paris Light Festival (mid-November – mid-January)
- Christmas in Paris (mid-November – December)
- Festival du Merveilleux at Musée des Arts Forains (December)
- New Year in Paris
- Chinese New Year (February)
- Saint Valentine’s Day (February)
Expect daily highs of 8°C and nighttime temperatures near freezing. Snow occasionally covers the rooftops of Paris but it does not last long. You are most likely to see rain: winter in Paris is tied with spring for the rainiest seasons.
Seasons in Paris: Temperatures and Rain by Month
Average Temperatures (min and max in Celsius) in Paris by month
Average Rainfall (%) in Paris by month
Travel Budget: When is the Best Time to Visit Paris?
When to visit Paris from a budget point of view?
Fall is the best time to visit Paris on a budget, with a good combination of weather /good prices. October and November are the cheapest months to fly to Paris while in June and July flight prices can be up to 26% more expensive than the average yearly ticket price. Accommodation in Paris follows more or less the same trends.
Although winter is considered the low season in Paris and the best season to go to Paris for budget travelers, there are notable exceptions and trips to Paris during events like Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Saint Valentine’s should be booked well in advance.
Finally, avoid long weekends or school holidays in France or, if not possible, book everything well in advance and get ready to deal with the crowds.
Some Useful Links for Planning Your Trip to Paris
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