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Paris is one of these cities that is always crowded. However, with a little planning, you can enjoy The City of Love with a bit of fewer queues and fewer crowds. The best time of the year to visit Paris is spring – in April and the beginning of May, and fall – in late September and October. Travel to Paris in spring and you will get warm weather and lovely blooming. Go to Paris in fall and you will avoid the intense heat and the largest tourist crowds.
Best time to visit Paris
Is winter the best time to go to Paris?
Winter may not be the best time to visit Paris due to the weather conditions. Winter in Paris is usually wet, and the temperatures are between +3C to +6C. The upside about visiting Paris in winter is the city is less crowded and actually cheaper. You can visit famous museums and galleries without long queues and large crowds. Hotels and flights are less expensive due to the low season, and there is also a winter sale.
Visit Paris in January
There are two seasonal sales in Paris – winter and summer. Winter sale starts in early January and lasts until the beginning of February. Paris is home for all the biggest fashion houses and Paris fashion week is held during this month. Winter will also be one of the best seasons to visit Disneyland in Paris, although the weather may be a bummer. January is usually the coldest month of the year and I recommend to wear layer on layer and bring your winter coat and shoes.
January is one of the best months to visit museums but check the opening hours which can be reduced. If you are a foodie, you can spend your time eating your way around Paris in almost empty restaurants, getting the whole place to your self.
Temperature: Average +10C
Visit Paris in February
How about spending the most romantic day of the year in the most romantic city in the world? Yes, Valentine’s Day in Paris is not a bad idea. February is the month of the carnival and Paris has its own parade. There are several exhibitions and concerts throughout the year so don’t forget to check Paris info before arriving. Paris weather in February is still chilly and wet. February is like January, perfect for visiting museums, especially if the weather is cold and wet.
TemperaturE: Average +12C
Travel to Paris in December
Mid to late December is a high season due to Christmas and New Year’s. Champs-Elysée is lit up by garlands of shimmering light, and the whole city is decorated festively. There are ice-skating rinks throughout the city where you can bring your kids, and you will find one in front of Hôtel-de-Ville. Christmas Markets are set up in different neighborhoods, with their warm wood-roofed booths, vin chaud (hot wine), enchanting decorations, gifts, and gourmet treats. Sometimes you even might get snow. December is the perfect month to spend on the streets of Paris but it is also perfect to catch a show. Christmassy food and pastries, hot chocolate and colorful macaroons will definitely warm your heart and soul.
Temperature: Average +10C
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Paris in spring
If you love gardens, parks, and blooming flowers, Paris in springtime is a beautiful idea. The weather is getting warmer, although it may still rain quite a lot in March and April. Paris is a popular destination throughout the year, and although spring is a shoulder season, it is getting crowded. It is, however, easier to get a hotel and airline tickets at a decent price than during high seasons. You can do all the attractions during your spring stay in Paris, but remember to bring an umbrella. Despite the rainy weather during the earlier months of spring, this is the best time of the year to visit Paris, speaking out of my personal experience. Who wouldn’t want to stroll on Champs-Elyseé for a while and then rest your feet on a sidewalk restaurant or cafe while having a glass of Crémant, without having to wait in queues to get a table? We have visited Paris in the early spring, mid-summer, and late fall and I would say that Paris towards the end of April or the beginning of May is THE perfect time for a visit.
Suggestion: Read my article on Best arrondissement to stay in Paris and choose the best neighborhood to stay in Paris
Visit Paris in March
The weather can be grey and wet and you need to bring an umbrella when walking outside. We did a champagne cruise on the Seine when we visited Paris in March. It was a bit chilly, but we were lucky with the weather as it was dry, although slightly grey. You can check out the cruise on the Seine with Viator. You can get a seat inside or outside on the second deck, which is open. You decide where to sit when you board and you get your glass of champagne at the bar. The boats leave from Eiffel Tower so you can visit it first. If you love running you can do half-marathon or Eiffel Tower challenge, where the goal is to be the fastest to climb up 1665 steps. Both events happen in March.
Temperature: Average +12C occasionally wet
Visit Paris in April
April is getting warmer and towards the end of the month, you will see blooming gardens. Activity-wise April continues like March with several running events and you can participate in a marathon running through some of the most famous attractions of the city. You can also visit the trade show for runners.
Temperature: Average +17C occasionally wet
Visit Paris in May
In May the blooming continues along with the rising temperatures. Would you like to attend music festivals in Paris? No problem! May with its warm weather of around +20C offers a variety of different music events. You will get anything and everything from jazz concerts to open-air festivals.
In the last two days of May, you can experience the street performance festival. Watch magicians, dancers, puppet shows, and hear singers along the Canal Saint-Martin.
Suggestion: Read Alison’s article on Canal Saint-Martin
Take a stroll at the Jardin de Luxembourg, the famous gardens in Paris. Chill in the Paris’ most laid-back neighborhood Latin Quarter, with the cafes, restaurants, small shops, and Paris’ University Sorbonne.
If you are into sports French Open starts in the middle of May and runs through the first week of June.
Temperature: Average +21C
Is summer really the best time to go to Paris?
Summer in Paris is hot, crowded and expensive. The school summer break starts in July, and the French will be traveling their country as well. During August, many locals flee to the coast, and many small shops and restaurants are closed. Due to the lack of business travelers accommodation prices might be lower during August.
The second annual sale – summer sale – starts around the last week of June and runs through July. Check out shopping opportunities in Paris. This summer we spent only one afternoon in Paris. We did some shopping on Champs-Elysées, took a lot of shots of Arc de Triumph, and just strolled around. The heat and the crowds were a real turnoff.
Visit Paris in June
June is like May – a month of music. You will find many open-air events such as Mini Opera Cote Cour in Bercy village and La Plage de Glazart. The latter is a “seaside” concert with sunbeds, sand, pétanque tournaments, food trucks, plus outdoor clubbing evenings and free concerts.
Other activities beyond the tourist trails are Champs- Elysees Film Festival, Paris Pride and Paris Jazz festival. And remember the semi-annual sales are on.
Temperature: Average +25C
Paris in July
July is probably slightly better when it comes to heat than August but personally I would avoid visiting Paris during these months. There are however quite a few highlights in July such as Tour de France and Bastille Day (French National Day) celebration with food, drinks, concerts, and fireworks.
The right bank of the Seine is transformed into a series of sandy beaches. The sunbeds and palm trees create a feeling of being at the seaside.
The sales are still on and if you love markets Paris has no fewer than 82 food markets, organic markets, the flower market, art market and so on.
Temperature: Average +28C
Paris in August
Sorry, but I’ve said it before, the heat might be awful. August is the hottest month in Paris. Locals flee to the coast leaving city to tourists. However, the music and film festivals continue and you can experience a traveling film festival on Montmartre among other things. There are several exhibitions you can attend if just to get out of the heat.
25th of August you can join Parisians in their celebration of the Liberation of Paris from the nazis. Meet up at the Hotel de Ville and enjoy the ride.
Temperature: Average +30C
Visit Paris in the fall
Beginning to mid-September in Paris is still a high season. The weather is still warm, queues are always long, and prices are still high. However, it is much better than in the summer season. Even it is still crowded the most significant tourist mass has gone. Towards the end of September and through mid-October is the perfect time to visit Paris. By then most of the tourists are gone and flights and accommodations are cheaper than during the high season. The weather is still lovely, and it can get as warm as +20C. Mid-Oktober is the start of rain-season. Although flowers are past their peak, fall brings out amazing colors.
Visit Paris in September
The month when Paris comes to life again after the summer holidays. The heat might still be present until the middle of September. However, towards the end of the month, you can have beautiful weather with up to +20C. If you are visiting Paris in September you can discover quite a few little known places. European Heritage Days are held in September and many iconic cultural sites will be open to the public for one weekend. The design and fashion return to the city in September hosting Paris design week and Fashion week. There are still many exhibits and musical events to attend. Pop-up beaches La Plages are still in use.
Temperature: Average +22C
Visit Paris in Oktober
I love contemporary art and in October, you can experience contemporary artists taking over the city from morning to evening. On the first Saturday of October, artists will be proposing installations, exhibitions, concert performances, and creations that explore all facets of contemporary art throughout the city allowing you to see Paris in a totally different light. Public transport stays open all night so that spectators can design their own route among the dozens of avant-garde projects of international artists. Who wouldn’t love an opportunity such as Nuit Blanche provides.
Would you like to indulge your creativity in a different way culinary activities might be for you? Make macrons, your own croissant or learn to cook French delights?
During 5 days in October 8 areas of 18th arrondissement arrange series of festivals celebrating the harvest offering local and foreign tastings.
Temperature: Average +18C occasionally wet
Visit Paris in November
Christmas decorations and lights, gastronomy, exhibitions, shows and the festive spirit. It all starts in November. You can visit all the museums and attractions you desire. This is an off-shoulder month and you can get both cheap flights and accommodation, especially if you come during the early days of November.
Temperature: Average +12C wet
When it comes to the iconic attractions of Paris I recommend you get your tickets in advance. You will still need to stand in line for the entrance but you will skip the ticket line. Even though I have shared some attractions under certain months you can choose to do them whenever you are in the city.