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Saturday, April 13, 2024

The best time to visit Paris

There’s more to Paris than romantic riverside strolls and trips up the iconic Eiffel Tower. Treasure-packed museums, elegant streetside bistros and boulevards lined with boutiques are everywhere, making the city one of the most alluring locales in Europe.

Wondering when is the best time to visit Paris? It’s a city that’s guaranteed to enchant you, regardless of the season. However, there may be certain months that are better suited to your needs — whether that’s due to the climate, the crowds or a particular event you’d like to attend.

No matter if you’ve already got a long list of sights to tick off or you’re happy to meander the city’s streets and soak up its magical atmosphere, our Paris experts are here to help you discover the perfect time to visit.

A Paris for all seasons

Just like many other European destinations, Paris experiences several different seasons throughout the year. These not only correspond to the weather but also how busy the city’s streets and attractions are.

Louvre palace and Tuileries garden in summer

High season

Paris is at its busiest between June and August. These are the hottest months of the year when temperatures often reach into the high 70s. Plenty of daily sunshine makes it a popular time for sightseeing and enjoying the city’s many lovely outdoor spaces.

Later sunsets mean more hours in the day for exploring, while there’s a lively party atmosphere throughout Paris due to certain holidays like Bastille Day on the 14th of July. As summer is a very desirable season for a Paris vacation, expect queues at attractions and higher hotel prices.

Average temperatures:

  • June – 61℉
  • July – 68℉
  • August – 67℉
Paris in summer - Discover the best time to visit Paris

The shoulder seasons

For a more relaxed experience, we strongly recommend the shoulder seasons as the best times to visit Paris. These fall on either side of the summer peak season, from April to May and September to October.

Spring is a wonderful time for an escape to Paris. The city is spotted with blossoming trees, while temperatures begin to climb considerably as May approaches. Alternatively, an autumn getaway will reveal quieter museums and a host of seasonal events. Chocaholics will be in heaven at Le Salon du Chocolat (the world’s largest chocolate festival) in late October. You could also enjoy a day trip to nearby Champagne in mid-September to experience the remarkable region’s annual harvest.

The weather can be a little unpredictable in the shoulder seasons, so pack plenty of layers and a raincoat in case of showers.

Average temperatures:

  • March – 47℉
  • April – 51℉
  • May – 59℉
  • September – 61℉
  • October – 54℉
  • November – 45℉
The Louvre in autumn, Paris - Discover the best time to visit Paris
The Louvre in autumn, Paris

Winter season

While the cooler months may see snow and icy weather, it’s a sublime time for a romantic escape filled with cozy cafe stops and leisurely museum tours. December is a particularly magical month for a Paris vacation. The world-famous Champs-Élysées is aglow with Christmas lights, while festive markets are packed with homemade crafts and artisan food stands pop up across the city.

Average temperatures:

  • December – 41℉
  • January – 41℉
  • February – 42℉

Special Events in Paris

Paris hosts many brilliant events throughout the year, each of which would make an ideal addition to your trip itinerary. From fascinating historic holidays to sporting celebrations and music festivals, here are a few of the most noteworthy:

Bastille Day

Taking place on the 14th of July, Bastille Day commemorates the storming of Paris’s infamous Bastille Prison in 1789. It was an event that’s cited as one of the first acts of the French Revolution. During a national holiday, Bastille Day is best experienced in Paris. The city hosts various free events in celebration, from a military parade along the Champs-Élysées to a musical fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.

Le Tour de France

Cycling enthusiasts won’t want to miss seeing the world-famous Tour sweeping its way through the streets of Paris. The 23-day-long race always ends on the Champs-Élysées, typically towards the end of July. If it’s a particularly hot day, why not cool off afterwards with a visit to the Paris beaches? These man made beaches along the Seine are free to visit and offer the perfect respite from the summer heat.

Tour de France in Paris
Le Tour de France bicycle race

Fête de la Musique

Another summer festival worth incorporating into your agenda is Fête de la Musique. It’s marked on the 21st of June — the longest day of the year — and sees both Paris and its surrounding towns come alive with free musical performances. The most popular take place outside the Louvre or in the city’s parks but you’ll also discover smaller concerts in various bars, music halls and public squares.

Musicians in Paris
Musicians performing in public, Paris

Paris Fashion Weeks

It’s no secret that Paris is one of the world’s most chic cities. If you really want to experience its unrivaled sense of style, plan your visit during the Paris Fashion Weeks. These take place in late February and late September. While the main catwalk shows are invite-only, some designers offer private, ticketed shows. You’ll find many Parisian boutiques additionally host special pop-up events, and the people watching alone is entertaining.

Our Favorite Paris Hotels

There is no shortage of outstanding accommodation options in Paris. Stay in the lap of luxury along the Seine or tuck yourself away at a boutique hotel in bourgeois Montmartre.

If your Paris trip planning has you considering a quieter, shoulder season visit, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the cozy Hotel Le Millesime – Paris Saint Germain des Pres or the elegant Pavillon Faubourg Saint Germain. Both are in the Saint Germain arrondissement and just minutes from the Left Bank of the Seine. You’ll be ideally placed to explore Île de la Cité (including Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle) and Latin Quarter hotspots like the Pantheon and Luxembourg Gardens.

Alternatively, the Seine’s elegant Right Bank offers the perfect location for Paris’s major museums. Check into the grand five-star Regina Hotel Paris and spend your days admiring the exhibits at Musee d’Orsay or strolling around the colorful Tuileries Gardens. The hotel even has suites with spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

If a winter visit is on the cards, a hotel close to the Champs-Élysées is a great pick. Hotel Napoleon and Hotel Raphael (stylish five-star options with beautiful decor) sit along the bustling boulevard and are amazing bases for Christmas shopping trips. You’ll be able to admire views of twinkling festive lights or even the monumental Arc de Triomphe from certain rooms, too.

If you’ve been to Paris many times, you might prefer a hotel that’s a little more tucked away. Hotel Le Ballou, with its retro-inspired decor and indoor swimming pools, sits in Pigalle and offers easy access to both Montmartre and Republique. Experience the city like a true Parisian, whether that’s dining in charming local restaurants, sipping wine at friendly bars or browsing edgy vintage stores.

Our Insider Tips for Paris Trip Planning

Getting around Paris

As with many cities, one of the best ways to see Paris is on foot. Pack some comfortable shoes and plan to casually amble around the city’s storied streets. Walking allows you to stop off spontaneously for a coffee and croissant in local cafes or to browse any shops that pique your interest.

If it’s raining or you’re short on time, there’s always the option of taking a taxi or using a rideshare app. These can get busy and expensive at certain times of the day though, so consider the Paris Metro too. It can take you to all four corners of the city and is convenient if you need to reach somewhere fast.

Post des Arts in Paris
The Pont des Arts in Paris

Visiting the Paris markets

France is well-known for its market culture — and Paris is no exception. You’ll spot everything from farmers’ markets teeming with local delicacies to antique markets brimming with bargains. Fitting a market trip into your itinerary is a wonderful way to experience the city like a local and pick up some authentic souvenirs. We also recommend leaving some room in your luggage to bring back some very nice wine at much lower prices than you would pay in the States.

Discover Canal St Martin

You might picture yourself wandering leisurely along the Seine, stopping off at pop-up market stalls and quaint riverside bars. While it’s certainly a must-do during any stay, it’s also worth making a beeline for another of the city’s waterways. Canal St Martin stretches from the Right Bank and through the 11th arrondissement, and it’s fringed by countless amazing shops and trendy Parisian eateries.

Local Parisian events

As well as major festivals like Bastille Day and Fête de la Musique, you’ll discover a host of smaller local events throughout the year. This includes everything from food pop-ups and classical music concerts to luminous outdoor light shows and French film festivals. Why not ask our Paris experts for tips about what’s happening during your stay?

Paris day trips

Paris is a brilliant jumping-off point for visiting the surrounding regions. Head to Normandy for a day to soak up some WWII history on its vast beaches or to tour Giverny — the former home of Claude Monet. The lush Loire Valley is the ideal destination for wine connoisseurs, while you’ll find fabulous palaces and lovely scenic walks in both Versailles and Fontainebleau.

Loire Valley in France - Discover the best time to visit Paris and France
Loire Valley in France

The Best Time to Visit Other Parts of France

The City of Love isn’t the only French destination worth having on your bucket list. France is rich in wonderful locations where you can enjoy a variety of memorable experiences, from fantastic food tours to relaxing beach days.

For a bit of festive fun in December, why not consider our Christmas Cheer in France itinerary which takes in the lights and markets in three different culture-packed cities? Summer is made for weekends in the sunny South of France. Instead of venturing to busy French Riviera hotspots though, you’ll discover a few off-beat but no less beautiful locales on our South of France: Culture, Cuisine and the Catamaran tour.

Paris is just one of many romantic cities in Europe. Why not book our Amsterdam and Paris: European Romance trip in late spring to enjoy balmy weather and the sweet scent of seasonal blooms? Look forward to walking hand-in-hand around the Louvre’s majestic art displays and choosing vibrant bouquets at one of Amsterdam’s fragrant flower markets.

Already in love with the idea of ​​seeing France’s capital with your own eyes? Reach out to travel experts for more advice on the best time to visit Paris.

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