THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PARIS
Paris is one of those destinations that are wonderful to visit throughout the year.
Paris is the most wonderful city in the world! You have so many options when it comes to activities that you will need to prioritize them. You can visit the most known landmark in the world, The Eiffel Tower, or wander around the beautiful gardens of Versailles. Whatever you would choose, Paris is all about opulence and glamour. Also, you have a lot of activities or events throughout the year, from Paris Fashion Week to sports events like Roland Garros or Paris Rolex Master. They usually attract a lot of tourists.
Nevertheless, you should know that Paris has 4 seasons and you need to take them into account when planning your itinerary if you want to have a good experience. The climate in Paris consists of cool winters and mild summers with occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral. This is something you should really take into consideration. When I first came to Paris and visited the Eiffel Tower, the wind was so strong that it literally lifted me off the ground when at the last level. I’ve never been more scared in my life!
Also, if you’re traveling to Paris on a budget, you’ll need to avoid the expensive summer months or big events like Paris Fashion Week, when the plane tickets and hotel rooms come to a high price tag.
Nevertheless, here’s my guide on the best time to travel to Paris!
BEST HOTEL DEALS
1. TRAVELING DURING SPRING-SUMMER IN PARIS
Spring starts on March 21 and ends on June 21, while Summer starts on June 21 and ends on September 21-22.
Spring weather in Paris starts chilly with daily high temperatures from 12-13C (mid-50s F) early in April to about 16 C (lower 60s F) near the end of the month. Also, the High season starts, so hotels, flights, and train prices all go up. You’ll have to adjust your budget accordingly.
Major tourist attractions stay open all year round, but some smaller museums, antique shops, Michelin-starred bistros, and art galleries close during August. If you ask me, this is the best month to come to Paris, as many Parisians leave the city for their vacations. You will have Paris only with tourists and forget about crowded Métro or long queue lines to go to a restaurant or a museum.
Activities you will find only during THE SPRING AND Summer Months
- French Open tennis championship Roland Garros with its legendary clay court Philippe-Chatrier (around May 22 to June 5)
- La Fête de la Musique held all around Paris (around June 21)
- La Nuit Blanche (The White Night) in Paris is the occasion to visit museums late at night, for free. Also, museums might invite artists for performances, installations, or exhibitions during the white night. If until 2022 it was held on the first week-end of October, from 2023 it will be held on the first week-end of June
- Paris Plages, with its “beaches” along the Right and Left Bank of the Seine
- Water activities at Bassin de la Villette – open only for two months between early July and early September
- The Night Fountains Show and Fireworks. Every Saturday from June 15 to September 21 a fairytale two hours and a half stroll in Château de Versailles’s magnificent gardens, magically illuminated, with all the fountains playing and a grand firework as a crowning point.
Closed DURING August
While this is the perfect month in terms of population density in Paris, this is also the month when almost everything closes up for vacation. You might find your preferred restaurant or boulangerie closed during this month.
Most special exhibits at museums, the Grand Palais, and other exhibitions are closed. But a few do continue through the summer like Musée du Quai Branly.
Ballet and opera performances in Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille end in mid-July and resume in early September.
2. TRAVELING DURING AUTUMN-WINTER IN PARIS
The Autumn season starts on September 22 and ends on December 21, while the Winter season starts on December 21 and ends on March 21.
The weather in Paris in the autumn is not the same from one year to another. Average temperatures range from a high of 17°C (62°F) to a low of 8°C (46°F). It’s not uncommon to get warm, sunny days in early autumn but the evenings can be cool, so pack some extra layers. Usually, if September is rainy, October will be milder.
The winters in Paris are cold, sometimes with a strong wind that makes it freezing. Average temperatures are a minimum of 33°F (1°C) and a maximum of 44°F (7°C). In winter, the rainfall is heavier and it can sometimes snow, but in the last years, snow is absent from Paris. Even if it snows, it will be for 2 days and not enough cold to maintain the snow. Too bad, because Paris is like a fairytale under the snow.
Activities you will find only during THE WINTER Months
- Paris Fashion Week for Women in September is a very attended event in Paris
- Christmas Markets and ice skating at the Eiffel Tower, Hotel de Ville, or the Grand Palais takes place during winter months only
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day concerts take place in historic churches and famous concert halls
- Not to miss the window displays at the city’s biggest department stores, Galeries Lafayette, Le Printemps, La Samaritaine, or Le Bon Marché
CHECK OUT THE BEST ACTIVITY TOURS IN PARIS
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