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Best Time To Visit Paris – Your Complete Guide

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Best time to visit Paris – your complete guide

Annually, Paris, France is the most visited city in the world. Known as the City of Lights, this city has its own magic which cannot be replicated anywhere else. It is famous in films, art, theater and other fields and has been mesmerizing people for centuries. However, when is the best time to visit Paris?

In the classic 1954 romantic comedy film Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn said the immortal line, “Paris is always a good idea”. And this is absolutely true to a great extent. There are incredible things happening throughout the year, from exclusive festivals and events to attractions that are almost always open.

However, as said, different times of year cater to different types of interests. Depending on the type of weather you’re looking for or specific activities, the best time to visit Paris may change. The following article is our guide to help you decide for yourself! The best time to visit Paris is what works best for you!

Is Winter the Best Time to Visit Paris?

If you’re not a fan of harsh weather, winter might not be the best time for you to visit Paris. Like many cities in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a lot of snow, rain and fog at this time of year. However, at the same time, Paris is a magical time for Christmas and New Years.

There’s nothing like wandering the streets of Paris during the holidays, enjoying the lights and magic. It’s also fun to relax with a good book and some nice French cheeses and wine.

Let’s take it month by month, so you can see what Paris is like at all times of winter.

December

In December, the City of Lights lights up even more than usual with gorgeous Christmas lights and decorations. The holiday season transforms the city into a magical wonderland. If you want to experience the magic of Christmas, now is the best time to visit Paris.

As said, it goes along with the cold. The average temperature this month is 4C (40F). This also means you may get a little snowfall around Christmas. However, a proper white Christmas is unlikely, as it simply melts.

Paris can also be quite crowded in December, which can be a turn off for some people. The city is filled with tourists eager to experience the magic of Christmas. There are also lots of scheduled holiday events and celebrations. This could be the best time for you to visit Paris.

During most of December, hotel prices remain reasonable, although they increase closer to the actual holiday dates. On the other hand, plane tickets will be expensive.

If you like a lot of sunshine, this might not be the best time for you to visit Paris. The sun sets early, but that also means you get more time to experience the beautiful light everywhere.

We suggest you check out the famous window displays of prestigious department stores such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Meanwhile, ice rinks have been set up around the city for skating. There is a famous one in the Eiffel Tower.

The city is also full of Christmas markets, such as those at the Montparnasse Tower and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. There you can buy Christmas gifts, lavish gifts, hot chocolate and more. The Trocadero’s Christmas Village is also a festive delight.

The city’s famous cabarets such as the Crazy Horse and the Moulin Rouge are also known for grand Christmas celebrations.

January

Editorial credit: Mauro Del Signore / Shutterstock.com

If you want to save on both airfare and accommodation, January is the best time to visit Paris. Since it is still cold but Christmas is over, it is a very touristy season of light. If 3C (37C) temperatures, rain and snow aren’t scaring you off, there’s still plenty to do!

Although it may be cold, you can always relax inside a lovely warm café or museum. Or go to a patisserie and taste some delicious French pastries. And if you love winter weather, it’s that time of the year when snow sticks to the ground.

It’s also that time of year when the world famous Fashion Week gets underway in Paris. So this is a great time to come and enjoy the glamor and spectacle of this incredible event. The city is full of celebrities and fashionistas, and it is a wonder to behold.

There are also many winter sales at department stores that you may want to take advantage of! If you’re a buyer, this might be the best time to visit Paris!

February

Paris is considered one of the romantic cities in the world. And with Valentine’s Day being in February, it’s the best time to visit Paris with your lover. As you might expect, Paris is all set for the day.

You will find special sweets prepared by many confectioners and pastry chefs. You’ll also find all kinds of romantic meals at countless restaurants, often with special deals. This is a unique festival.

And besides, tourist traffic is still low in February, which means airfare and hotel prices continue to be low. Temperatures are actually the coldest at this time of year, often reaching 0C (32F). Plus, it means you can explore without the crowds if you can handle the weather!

Is Spring The Best Time To Visit Paris?

Spring may be the best time for you to visit Paris. The temperature rises to a more comfortable level. Flowers bloom in the gardens, drenching the city with color and natural beauty. The crowds are still small, and there are even some concerts, not to mention Easter!

March

Editorial credit: Gumbao / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t like winter but also want fewer crowds, March might be the best time for you to visit Paris. The weather is much more temperate than last month, and crowds are still low. It is more active than January and February, and prices increase slightly. But it is still far from the peak tourist season.

Nature also really starts to bloom in March, so there is a lot of beauty all around. The weather is usually around 8C (46F), so it’s still cool. But it is also getting so hot that one can fully enjoy the outdoors without packing.

If you’re a sports fan, you’re in luck this time of year, especially if you like to watch or participate in running. The Paris Half Marathon takes place every year in March in the Bois de Vincennes. And shortly after there will be the even more famous Paris Marathon, as well as the Color Run!

Since the ground is clear of frost, snow and ice, people like to go biking more around Paris. Thanks to a service called Velib, you can rent bikes all over the city. It is very affordable and available all the time, every day of the week.

And if it’s still a little too cold for you, stay indoors and check out the museums! With smaller crowds, you’ll have more time to get up close and personal with the artwork.

April

It’s April, and that means spring has finally fully arrived! The average temperature is around 10C (50F), although there is still some fluctuation. You might have a day full of 20C (68F) followed by a very cold day. So you’ll still want to pack multiple layers of clothing. But overall, a light jacket would be appropriate.

For many people, April will be the best time to visit Paris. Again, it’s not completely packed with tourists, but the city is more active, and the weather is generally mild. This is a great time to visit things like La Foire du Tron, France’s oldest amusement fair! It has been running since 1805 and has 350 attractions!

And speaking of amusement fairs, Paris also has one of the most famous amusement parks in the world. This is a great time to visit Disneyland Paris. Immerse yourself in all the magic of Disney while avoiding the holiday and summer crowds!

And if you want a more French-specific park, you just have to check out Parc Asterix. It is a complete theme park designed around the world famous French comic book characters Asterix and Obelix!

You can also visit the city’s countless gorgeous gardens and parks. If you are a nature lover, the majestic trees of the Jardins des Plantes are unforgettable.

May

To see everything that the city is famous for, May is the beginning of the best time to visit Paris. That said, this is also when the tourist season really gets going. This means you will have to deal with a lot of crowds. But this is also when the city is starting to come into its most vibrant form, which many people love.

So, it really depends on your tastes and desires. As far as weather is concerned, it can be a bit unpredictable. It’s definitely the beginning of summer but it can also be surprisingly rainy. So arrive with a light jacket and an umbrella! However, temperatures generally hover around 20C (68F), so when the weather is clear, you’ll be fine.

This is the best time of the year for sightseeing. We recommend a tour boat down the Seine to see the city and its magnificent architecture from an ideal perspective. Many of these tours are complete with a meal.

Park Montsouris is also a great place to visit. It has a beautiful lake which attracts many different species of birds and countless breathtaking trees. Wander around and enjoy its atmosphere, and admire its iconic statues. They also often perform live on their bandstand in May.

May is also famous for the European Night of Museums. On this one night of the year, all the monuments and museums of Paris can be visited for free at night! It is truly a magical experience.

Is Summer the Best Time to Visit Paris?

If you are looking for the absolutely perfect Paris weather, summer is the best time to visit Paris. It’s that time of year in Paris that people write songs and poems about. Many museums also hold special exhibitions that are available only during that time.

On the other hand, this is also the peak of tourist season, so you’ll be sharing the space with a lot of people. Due to demand, prices for both planes and hotels are also incredibly high. So keep that in mind. But if you can spend and handle the crowds, it’s a coveted time of year in one of the world’s most beloved cities.

June

Editorial credit: Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock.com

June definitely has a festive feel in Paris. Students’ holidays are starting. People are flocking to the city due to good weather. There is a feeling of happiness in the air.

This is also traditionally when some of Paris’s best sales take place, so it’s a great time for fashionistas too. People flock to arguably the world’s most famous fashion city for great deals on high-quality clothing.

This is also the time of year when the Grand Slam tennis tournaments take place. Every year thousands of tennis fans from all over the world come to watch it.

Meanwhile, many celebrations also take place. For example, they organize the Tropical Carnival of Paris, which is basically a delayed Mardi Gras. While other places like New Orleans celebrate it in the winter, Paris is too cold for that. So you’ll get all the Caribbean costumes and floats you’re expecting…but in June!

Paris also hosts two major festivals every June. There are holidays, the proceeds of which are used to fight the AIDS crisis, and the We Love Green Festival, celebrating Mother Earth. They are full of music, food and life, as well as helping in good causes.

Meanwhile, June 21 is the Fête de la Musique or Music Day. On that day, the city is filled with free concerts celebrating the music of Paris!


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July

For many people, July will not be the best time of year to visit Paris. That’s because Parisians themselves leave the city to escape all the tourists! So in July, not only are there crowds of tourists, but the atmosphere of Paris is also less authentic.

You often have to get up very early to get in line at the places you want to go. The queues are so long and endless. Additionally, while the average temperature is 20C (70F), there can be severe heat waves. And when that happens, there is very little air conditioning anywhere in the city.

That said, there are some benefits to traveling in July. The 14th is Bastille Day, which includes the world-famous annual parade on the Champs-Élysées. And of course this culminates in fireworks, making the City of Lights shine even more.

It is also the month of the famous Tour de France bicycle race. Or you can stop by the Parc de la Villette and watch a movie for free at their Open Air Cinema Festival! Or dip your toes in the water and sand at Paris Plage!

August

Editorial credit: MSMondadori / Shutterstock.com

August is very similar to July in Paris. Like last month, this is probably not the best time to visit Paris. The weather is still warm but can be extremely hot without air conditioning. The city is still full of tourists. Additionally some restaurants and boutiques close so that the owners can go on vacation.

The good thing is that most of the major shops remain open. And there are much better deals on hotels in August too. This is partly due to the heat, and partly due to a lot of businesses being closed. Therefore, fewer people stay in hotels on business trips.

However, with this, nevertheless, there are far fewer Parisians here than usual. So you don’t necessarily get a completely authentic Parisian experience. However, there is very little traffic on the roads. You can also rent a car and explore the city from that vantage point! You can even find parking!

You can also go out of the city by driving yourself by car. Some places in the area such as the Bois de Fontainebleau as well as the Fondation Claude Monet are otherwise much less accessible!

Is Fall the Best Time to Visit Paris? 

Autumn is a very relaxing time of year in Paris. The leaves start to fall, and the air starts to get a little cooler, though not freezing yet. The city’s weather fluctuates between hot and cold, giving it all a mysterious feel.

It’s a fun time of year because of things like the wine harvest. People also love to hang out in yellow cemeteries to add to the spooky season feel! It’s certainly a unique time in the City of Lights. And possibly the best time to visit Paris.

September

Editorial credit: CA Soi / Shutterstock.com

September may not be the best time of year to visit Paris, but it certainly isn’t bad! At this time most Parisians have returned home from their holidays. Tourism also reduces slightly. So it’s not as busy as July and August, and it’s also a more authentic Parisian experience.

That said, hotel prices are still quite high, so it’s not a cheap time of year. But if you want to experience good weather like this, then this can be a good option. Additionally, the chances of experiencing severe heat waves are very low. The temperature hovers around 15C (60F).

You can feel that summer is slowly ending around you and the first stirrings of autumn have begun. We highly recommend you to visit the European Heritage Days. Nowadays all the major monuments and museums are absolutely free. You can even visit normally closed buildings like the Palais de l’Elysée!

You can even take part in La Parisienne race, which is run and organized by women! Proceeds from this thrilling event will be used to help fund breast cancer research so that a cure can be found for this deadly disease.

October

October is the beginning of Paris’ off-season. The weather is cool but still warm enough to enjoy, especially if you like this time of year. It’s around 11C (52F), so we recommend a light jacket!

The city also remains quite quiet during this month. There are very few tourists there, so you can enjoy this beautiful place while still having room to breathe! And the atmosphere is absolutely captivating. The autumn colors in the trees give the city a whole new kind of magic.

The Jardin du Luxembourg is a great place to see them. You can also take your kids there to watch a puppet show or visit the playground. For children, this is the best time to visit Paris.

For adults, there are also cultural events such as Nuit Blanche. On this night artists stay awake the whole night and display their art. Montmartre also hosts the Grape Harvest Festival and the International Contemporary Art Fair.

November

Editorial credit: Zhukova Valentina / Shutterstock.com

In November, winter really starts to approach, and the last leaves begin to fall from the trees. There are very few tourists there, and the sun sets early. But it also means you can find good hotel deals before the Christmas holidays start.

It is definitely cooler with temperatures of 6C (43F). But if you don’t mind this then this could be the best time for you to visit Paris. Especially if you hate crowds and want to spend less on travel and accommodation.

And again, there are very few tourists, this is probably the best time to visit places like the Louvre. It may only take you 15 minutes instead of hours to see the Mona Lisa there! You don’t need to get up early in the morning or stand in line for hours. You can step wherever you want and see what you want!

For these reasons and many others, we can recommend November as the best time to visit Paris. We personally don’t mind being a little cold and are happy to wear a light coat. November means cheaper prices and fewer crowds, and a chance to experience Paris on your own terms. In other words, a dream!


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Conclusion on the best time to visit Paris

Now that we’ve learned how to choose the best time to visit Paris, we hope you’ll have a better idea of when you want to go! It’s a city filled with lots of amazing things to do at any time of the year. And we recommend that you start exploring your options as soon as possible!

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