What is the best time to visit Paris? As Audrey Hepburn says ‘Paris is always a good idea’. However, while there is never a bad time to visit Paris, some seasons are better than others. The most pleasant time to visit Paris are the spring and the autumn, when the weather is mild and the crowds not excessive.
The Summer during European school holidays in July and August is the most popular time to visit Paris for families. Prices will be higher and queues at tourist attractions and restaurants will longer but on the positive side, this is the time of the year when weather is more reliable.
• Spring in Paris is March to May
• Summer in Paris is June to August
• Autumn in Paris is September to November
• Winter in Paris is December to February
SPRING IN PARIS (MARCH – MAY)
Spring in Paris is a delight. Weather is March is hit and miss and you may get grey, rainy days. However, spring sees the city slowly come back to life after the cold winter, Paris gorgeous gardens fill up with blossoms and the city’s numerous terrace cafes start filling up with locals and tourists alike.
SUMMER IN PARIS (JUNE – AUGUST)
July and August is peak tourist season in Paris, meaning bigger crowds, longer queues and more expensive hotel rooms. But there is a reason everyone flocks to Paris at this time of year: the long summer days, al fresco dining and open-air cultural events make the city appealing for travellers of all ages. The fireworks on the 14th of July, France’s National day, are a sight to behold.
June and July are the most dynamic months in terms of cultural events and offers. August is, on the other hand, quieter: many Parisians leave the city at this time of the year leaving the city mostly to tourists. Don’t be surprised to see some restaurants closed at this time of year for this reason.
AUTUMN IN PARIS (SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER)
If you are looking to avoid the crowds in Paris, then Autumn is a great choice. Lines will be shorter at the top Paris attractions, restaurant bookings easier to secure and hotel rooms cheaper.
In terms of weather, there is a significant difference between temperatures in September, and November. September is still very much a summer month in Paris, with the temperatures just starting to turn colder. November, on the other hand, sees shorter and colder days, better suited to sipping red wine in its Bohemian interiors than having a picnic in the park.
Overall, autumn is a great time to visit Paris and one of the best times if you want to enjoy the city’s wonderful museums.
WINTER IN PARIS (DECEMBER – FEBRUARY)
Winter is 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 time of the year.
December is the time of Christmas celebrations and the city takes its decorations very seriously: the city of lights stays true to its name! Prices are at a premium for hotels but the shops flaunt amazing window displays and concerts and food events abound.
January and February are slower tourist seasons in Paris but with some notable exceptions: January is the month when the sales happen and February sees crowds flocking to Paris to celebrate Valentine’s day in the city of love. If travelling to Paris in winter, do expect higher prices and possibly a shortage of suitable accommodation during these events.
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