Menu
Search

Best Time to Visit Paris

Check what is the best time to visit Paris and what to expect from each season

When to visit Paris

It's true. Paree is a city that's well worth visiting at any time of year.

Each season shows the French capital in a different light, with every month bringing a new calendar of cultural events and sightseeing opportunities. Paris has its perks in any month, even during the winter.

Spring and autumn are often considered the perfect seasons to visit Paris, but the best time to travel to the French capital will largely depend on your budget, personal interests and tolerance to the heat and crowds.

This handy month-by-month guide will help you weigh up the pros and cons of Paris in all four seasons. Keep scrolling for information on travel seasons, average temperatures and key events throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit Paris - Contents

France's Key Travel Seasons

Season Dates Notes
High Season from mid-June through mid-September and December It's wise to avoid Paris in peak season as the city is crowded and the attractions have very long queues
Shoulder Season from April until mid-June from October until early November Spring and Autumn are usually quieter and the hotels are a bit cheaper
Low Season from November until March, excl. Christmas Usually cold weather, hotel rates are fairly low. Snowsport areas are naturally busy

High season

Season from Mid-June through mid-September, and December

Late spring and summer are without a doubt the most popular travel seasons in Paris, when the city is sun-soaked and the school holidays are in full swing. Summertime sees highs of around 26 degrees - the perfect temperature for terrace dining, picnics in the park and sunbathing on the banks of the Seine.

December also draws lots of tourists with its seasonal activities and festival shopping. Soaring room rates and long lines at the city's attractions are the obvious drawbacks of visiting Paris during peak season.

Shoulder Season

Season from April through mid-June and October to early November

Paris has shorter shoulder seasons because of its world-class status and year-round appeal, yet travel to the French capital in early spring or late autumn and you'll benefit from slightly smaller crowds, reduced hotel rates and usually decent weather.

Low Season

Season from November through March, excluding the Christmas period

Despite shorter days and chilly and wet weather, winter is a magical time of year to visit Paris. With no school holidays in the diary, visitors can take advantage of lower travel rates and significantly shorter lines at the city's attractions.

Well, that's unless you're visiting Paris during the festive season when hotel rates and airfares are at their peak. Keep in mind though that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, so no matter what time you visit, you'll never have the capital to yourself.

Pin this now

Best Time to Visit Paris

Best Time to Visit Paris

Best Time to Visit Paris: Month-By-Month Guide

January

Paris in winter is pretty incredible. Paris paints a pretty picture in January when many of the winter attractions are still open for business and a light frost settles on the city. Visitors can still skate at one of Paris' many ice rinks, including Trocadero and Hôtel de Ville, and with fewer tourists to compete with you can enjoy more elbow room at the city's museums and moments.

Sure, there are some warm-weather activities that you won't be able to do during winter, but Paris' cosy cafes provide a snug environment to get stuck into a good book or spend the morning people watching. For a taste of Paris' celebrated cafe culture, head for Le Coutume Café, La Palette or Angelina's.

Travel to Paris in January and you'll not only be able to snag a room at a reduced rate, but you can also pick up a designer bargain in "Les Soldes" (Paris' Winter sales), which kick-off on the second Wednesday of January and last for five weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for famous models and designers who are in town to attend the highly anticipated Paris Fashion Week, which takes place during the last week of January.

Average Temperature: 5°C
Average Rainfall: 9 days

Paris in winter from above

February

Even in the obstinate month of February, the French capital is as fanciful as ever. Visitors can enjoy quieter moments at the city's best museums and monuments including the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Don't assume you'll have the Mona Lisa to yourself, but you'll certainly have more opportunity to linger over your favourite painting in private.

You'll also have a better chance at snagging seats at the opera and ballet, and you'll have less trouble securing a table at the city's most sought-after restaurants. Although, keep in mind that some of the city's attractions close during the low season, so be sure to check before you travel to avoid disappointment.

Romance is always on the cards in Paris, but particularly in February when the French capital treats twinkle-eyed lovers with Valentine's Day dinners and dances. Not to mention the hundreds of dreamy displays shown in chocolatiers around the city. Despite the chilly climes, the city of love offers couples a romantic getaway packed full with cosy walks in the park, magical moments at iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower, and a huge choice of luxury abodes - all at affordable prices. February is also the last chance to bag yourself a bargain at the Paris winter sales.

Other significant events include Chinese New Year, when processions, parades, dragons and dancers colour the streets of Paris for a one-day celebration, and the Festival Au Fil des Voix, which brings together contemporary artists and bands from all over the world.

Average Temperature: 6°C
Average Rainfall: 8 days

Where to stay in Paris

March

In March, Paris slowly starts to shed its winter coat and milder temperatures offer respite from months of mostly chilly and dark days. Subtle signs of spring can be found in the city's gorgeous green spaces. Jardin de Luxembourg, with its formal flower beds and opulent statutory, and Jardin de Tuileries, with its tree-lined lanes and manicured lawns, provide a peaceful oasis away from the busy streets.

March's milder climes also provide the perfect opportunity to explore beyond the borders of the city on a day trip from Paris. Historic hotspots and gorgeous gardens, like Châteaux de Versailles and Château de Fontainebleau can both be reached within an hour of Paris. Or, if you need a reminder of how thrilling it is to be a kid again, hop on the high-speed train to the fun-filled theme parks of Disneyland Paris.

The arrival of spring brings a new calendar of exciting events, with flower shows, festivals and street fairs popping up all over the city. Paris Carnival, Verticale de La Tour Eiffel, Cinéma du réel and the Paris Book Fair are just a few of the events that visitors can look forward to in March.

While winter is on its way out, the shift to spring is subtle so visitors should expect clouds, chilly breezes and downpours at this time of year. Be sure to pack some warm layers and a trusty brolly.

Average Temperature: 9°C
Average Rainfall: 9 days

Eiffel Tower Lit Night

April

You won't get a prettier picture of Paris than during the spring when the city's parks and gardens burst with pink and white hues. From late March, Parc du Champ-de-Mars, facing the Eiffel Tower, is filled with flowering cherry blossoms, making it the perfect spot to secure that insta-worthy snap of the tower, framed by pink cherry blossoms. Other prime viewing spots include Hôtel de Ville, Notre-Dame and Palais-Royal.

There are hundreds of foodie hotspots in Paris, but if you're craving decadent desserts and indulgent sweet treats, you won't have to venture far to find your fix. Come April, intricate chocolate bunnies and other elaborately decorated seasonal treats fill the shelves of every chocolatier and patisserie across the city, in preparation for Easter - perhaps Paris' most significant national holiday.

Average Temperature: 13°C
Average Rainfall: 8 days

May

In May, Paris promises warmer weather and longer days, perfect for picnicking on the banks of the River Seine or sipping wine on a sunny cafe terrace. The seasoned serenity of the Seine can also be experienced onboard a traditional Bateaux Mouches boat - a unique way to soak up the city's big-ticket attractions without having to move an inch.

Back on dry land, music lovers can enjoy a calendar of concerts including Villette Sonique, the Paris Jazz Festival and Fête de la Musique. Art aficionados also have a lot to look forward to in May, with exhibitions focusing on everything from abstract and archaeology to contemporary and cave art.

Spring also brings a bounty of fresh ingredients to the city, making it the ideal time to immerse yourself in the Parisian market culture. Almost every Parisian neighbourhood has an open-air marche which is piled high with seasonal produce, specialist food stalls and colourful blooms. Gourmands will love Marché de L'Alma, a luxury market in the posh 16th arrondissement, and Le Marché International de Rungis, the largest fresh produce market in the world.

Average Temperature: 15°C
Average Rainfall: 9 days

Moulin Rouge Paris

June

June might just be the most pleasant of all the summer months. With warm days lingering well into the evening, the city's major attractions extend their opening times and locals bask in the summer sunshine at parks and squares all over the city. It's no secret that Parisians have a thing for open-air terraces and it's easy to see why. There's nothing better than securing a seat at a sun-drenched terrace or a charming cafe, and lingering over lunch, watching the world go by.

As the summer gets underway, Paris plays host to a huge lineup of music festivals, concerts and sporting events. Tennis fans can catch the courtside action at the French Open, while music lovers dance the night away at the Fête de la Musique, staged all around the city. Jazz fans can get their fix at the Parc Floral de Vincennes, where open-air concerts are held from mid-June to early August.

Average Temperature: 19°C
Average Rainfall: 8 days

Louvre Paris France

July

Long, hot days, perfect for strolling the River Seine, and plenty of outdoor activities, including night markets, open-air film festivals and pop-up beaches, make July an appealing month to meet the french capital.

And if the heat and crowds have you begging for a tranquil oasis, you can retreat to one of the city's gorgeous green spaces where you'll find plenty of shady spots to enjoy a picnic. If it's seaside staples that you are seeking, you're in for a treat. Every year from July through August, the banks of the Seine are transformed into a sprawling pop-up beach complete with palm trees, deck chairs, food stalls and volleyball nets.

Another of Paris' summer highlights is Bastille Day, which takes place on the 14th of July. After the morning military parade makes its way down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the city explodes with evening entertainment including fireworks and firemen's balls.

Visit Paris in July and you'll enjoy more sunny days than wet weather washouts. Though keep in mind that the weather can be stormy during the summer, so be sure to pack a brolly.

Average Temperature: 22°C
Average Rainfall: 7 days

Cafe Paris

August

In August, Parisians make a beeline for the beaches and countryside, leaving the French capital in the reigns of sun-seeking tourists. This confusing combination of high and low season comes with both benefits and frustrations. While most of the city's key attractions remain open during August, many bakeries, boutiques and restaurants close shop for summer vacation. And with school holidays in full swing, visitors can expect to pay premium rates for hotels and airfares.

However, Paris becomes a somewhat provincial city in August with a more laid-back ambience than the rest of the year. Like July, August promises plenty of long, hot days, perfect for long strolls, picnics and other outdoor activities. With less traffic on the roads, you can easily explore the city by bicycle or hop onboard a boat on the River Seine.

Paris is also a cinephile's delight in August, with the Paris Cinema Festival screening everything from rom-coms to westerns. And while the major art exhibitions tend to close in July, you'll still find a few smaller exhibitions across the city.

Average Temperature: 21°C
Average Rainfall: 6 days

Love Locks Paris

September

Summer lingers long into September in Paris, with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees.

As the summer crowds begin to subside, Parisians reclaim their city and the capital can be seen in a more authentic light. Local bakeries and boutiques reopen after a month on vacation, and the city's museums and monuments kick off exciting autumn exhibitions.

Visitors will have ample opportunities to soak up the last of the summer sunshine and comfortably enjoy the city's outdoor spaces. While you're too late to bathe on the beach (Paris Plague wraps up at the end of August), September is a great time to take a cruise on the River Seine and enjoy a calendar of cultural events, with everything from classical concerts and ballet to dance and theatre shows. Just outside the city gates, the Palace of Versailles and its sprawling gardens play host to musical fountain shows until late October - a sight made even more spectacular in early autumn when the trees are ablaze with red and orange leaves.

With peak tourist season winding down, travellers can take advantage of reduced hotel rates and more affordable airfares. For the best bargains, plan to visit Paris during late September.

Average Temperature: 20°C
Average Rainfall: 7 days

Champ du mars Paris

October

Mid-Autumn is an ideal time to visit Paris. Not too hot, but still warm during the day. Not crowd-free, but definitely fewer tourists and therefore lower hotel rates.

The cooler temperatures are ideal for exploring Paris' parks, gardens and charming neighbourhoods on foot. Spiralling out from the city centre in a clockwise direction, Paris' quartiers (neighbourhoods) each have their own inimitable charm. Get lost in the winding cobblestone streets of bohemian Montmartre, explore the innovative restaurants and contemporary cafes of SoPi (South Pigalle), considered one of Paris' most fashionable frontiers, or check out the emerging young art scene in Belleville and Ménilmontant.

Fall in the French capital is for filling up on comfort food, so when you've worked up an appetite, unbuckle your belts and dive into one of the city's food festivals, open-air markets or traditional bistros to enjoy a hearty soup, stew or indulgent dessert. The French sell and serve produce the way it was intended - by season - and during Autumn, the stalls at Paris' hundreds of weekly food markets are laden with plump pumpkins, earthy mushrooms, chestnuts and truffles. Bon appetit!

Average Temperature: 14°C
Average Rainfall: 8 days

Versaille is one of the best places to visit in Paris

November

In November, Paris takes on a more peaceful pace of life as cold climes and dark days drive the majority of tourists out of the city. And as the temperatures drop, cosiness levels amp up. Wrap up warm for a leisurely stroll along the Seine, where the banks are lined with red and orange trees. After a chilly afternoon of exploring, dip into a cosy cafe to warm up with a cafe latte and a freshly-baked croissant. You'll find plenty of snug spots in the Latin Quarter, tucked away on the Left Bank.

Paris' upmarket boutiques and department stores put on an impressive display during the winter months, as they prepare for the festive season. Fashionistas will find big-hitting brands on Rue St-Honoré or Grand Magasins, or for a more rustic shopping experience, find your way to Les Puce de Clignancourt - the largest flea market in the world - filled with vintage treasures, charming knick-knacks and prized antiques.

Winter shows include the Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione - one of the oldest circuses in the world - which has an international cast of clowns, acrobats, artists and animals. Other significant events include Armistice Day, held each year on the 11th of November in honour of the fallen French soldiers which fought in various wars. For something less sombre, swing by Disneyland Paris to witness a magical fireworks display held around bonfire night, or check out the lineup of global artists at Pitchfork Music Festival which takes place 31 October - 2 November.

Average Temperature: 9°C
Average Rainfall: 9 days

Panthéon Paris

December

The City of Lights puts on a dazzling display in December when the streets are adorned with festive decorations, and ice rinks and markets pop up on every corner of the city. Wooden booths, bordered by twinkling lights sell everything from handmade gifts and decorations to tasty treats and festive drinks.

Follow the shouts of "Chaud Les Marrons!" and you'll find vendors roasting chestnuts - the perfect accompaniment to your spicy mulled wine. For the most impressive spectacle, head to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, where the Christmas village stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.

Take a spin on the Big Wheel for spectacular views over the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, and the festive decorations and lights on the Champs-Elysées. At 70 metres tall, with 48 pods, it takes the title as the largest mobile Ferris wheel in the world. The Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral also host Christmas markets.

Average Temperature: 6°C
Average Rainfall: 9 days

Responses