The Best Time of Year to Visit Paris, France

The Best Time to Visit Paris – An Insider’s Guide!

When it comes to the best time to go to Paris, timing is everything. This iconic city holds its allure year-round, with something enchanting in every season.

Visit during winter and you’ll be invited to immerse yourself in a magical wonderland, when the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame are blanketed in a layer of snow. Or visit in summer for the chance to wander through the Jardin du Luxembourg when it’s overflowing with wildflowers and sip a bottle of pink rosé on a picnic table as the sun hits your cheeks.

During spring, the city awakens with a vibrant energy, and the air is filled with the delicate scent of blossoming flowers. Magnificent cherry blossoms burst into bloom, painting the city in hues of pink and white. 

In fall, the leaves begin to fall and the city is bathed in a warm, golden light that lends an air of romance to every corner. The crispness in the breeze is invigorating, hinting at the cozy comforts to come.

Having wandered along the cobbled streets, lingered in the cozy cafes, and marveled at the timeless beauty of its landmarks, I know my stuff when it comes to the best time to visit Paris. Whether you’re drawn to blooming gardens, festive holiday markets, outdoor concerts along the Seine, or simply want to immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural tapestry, I’m here to guide you through the best time of the year to visit Paris for the ultimate Parisienne experience!

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When is the best time to visit Paris, France?

There’s no true answer to the question, “When is the best time to visit Paris?” It completely depends on the experience you’re seeking. Major tourist attractions like the Louvre stay open throughout the year, while other small galleries, museums, boutiques, and bistros close for extended periods of time throughout August.

The scenery, atmosphere, and activities you can expect differ wildly between spring, summer, fall, and winter, but that doesn’t mean any season is better than another. With this in mind, here’s a guide to the best time of the year to visit Paris from someone who has been there throughout the seasons. 


Partying

Best Time to Visit Paris: Bastille Day

There are so many amazing festivals in the city that it’s really hard to say when the best time to travel to Paris is for partying. If I had to pick one time of year, it would be late spring and summer – between May and July. The events program kicks off with La Nuit des Musées, which takes place around the second or third week of May. For one night only, many museums throughout Paris open their doors to visitors for free. 

This cultural extravaganza is followed by the Fête de la Musique on June 21st, which brings live music concerts to parks and other public spaces throughout the city. The popular music festival takes place during the same month as the Paris Jazz Festival, which carries on until September. 

Bastille Day is also celebrated during this season (July 14th), when spectacular military parades are held throughout the day, followed by sensational fireworks displays after dark.


Avoiding the Crowds

When to Visit Paris: Musée d’Orsay

The city can get hectic during the peak months. If you want a peaceful, serene experience, the best time to go to Paris to avoid the crowds is April and October. This is when the city receives the fewest visitors and you’ll be able to have the most authentic Parisian experience. During these months, the weather is still pleasant, temperatures are mild, and everything is open. 

Plan to do your exploring on weekdays between 10 am and 4 pm. This is when most locals will be at work and you’ll have the city’s romantic streets to yourself. You’ll get to capture loads of great photos that aren’t full of strangers.

Avoid signing up for group tours (which could be canceled anyway due to the small number of visitors) and explore the sites on your own. Walk around the city instead of using public transport and purchase skip-the-line tickets for popular attractions like Musée d’Orsay online in advance. Follow my advice and you’ll practically have Paris to yourself! 

While April and October are the best time to travel to Paris to avoid crowds, the city won’t be completely deserted. You can still savor a wonderfully buttery, flaky croissant in a street-side cafe while people-watching and taking in everything going on around you.


Great Weather

Weather can make the City of Light look like two different places. In late fall and throughout winter, gray skies, icy chills, and rainfall are almost certain. To avoid this nasty weather, the best time to travel to Paris is July. 

This time of year coincides with Bastille Day (July 14th), which is an amazing party to experience firsthand. During this month, the sky stays light until 10 pm, the average high temperature is around 79°F (26°C), and brief showers are the worst you can expect when it comes to rain.

Although July is the best month to travel to Paris for great weather, it’s the worst month to travel for crowds and value. July is the busiest and most expensive month of the year, when you’ll be bustling for space in museums, be forced to line up for popular bistros, and end up paying a small fortune for accommodation. 

For a balance of good weather and value for money, I suggest traveling a little earlier in June. This is the best time of the year to visit Paris if you want to enjoy warm temperatures and sunny skies, but want to keep your costs down and avoid some of the more intense crowds.


Fantastic Deals

Best Time to Visit Paris: Fantastic Deals

If you don’t mind braving the winter weather, January or February is the best time of year to visit Paris for money-saving deals. These months are classed as the off-season, when hardly any visitors arrive in the city. 

So although you’ll have to deal with chilly temperatures as low as 37°F (3°C) and about a 50% chance of rain each day, you’ll save loads of money on flights, accommodation, and activities. Just plan accordingly, dress for the weather, and plan for some rainy-day activities. You may even find restaurants doing special deals to attract the few people visiting the city inside! 

All the city’s attractions, from the Centre Pompidou to individual artists’ workshops, remain open throughout January and February, so you’ll have plenty of things to do. Even Disneyland Paris stays open throughout the off-season. If you visit the park during the week at this time of year, you’ll hardly spend any time in line at all and will easily get to go on all the rides you want during a single visit.


Magical Holidays

Best Time to go to Paris: Magical Holidays

The City of Light is an amazing place to spend the festive season, and the best time to go to Paris for magical holidays is mid-November to early December. During these weeks, you get all the enchanting excitement of the holiday season without any of the huge crowds or immense prices that appear closer to December 25th.

Some Christmas markets open as early as the first weekend in November and remain open until the New Year, giving you plenty of chances to buy unique ornaments and trinkets. Christmas lights are turned on a little later, usually around the third week of November, and stay on until January 7th. 

Disneyland Paris gets dressed up for Christmas around the second week of November. If you’re looking for something a little more romantic, I suggest visiting the lights along the Champs Élysées, Rue Saint-Honoré, and Rue Royale. Place Vendôme is my favorite spot. It’s located in front of the Ritz hotel, which always has a stunning light display, and each year, there’s a retro carousel decorated with twinkling lights. 

Whenever you visit Paris, you’ll always find decadent boutiques dotted throughout the city where you can pick up elegant, glamorous gifts for your loved ones back home.


The Worst Times to Visit Paris

Best Time to go to Paris: Cobbled Streets

Although there isn’t really a bad time to visit Paris, some months are definitely better than others. I absolutely recommend you avoid August at all costs. The city can get unbelievably hot at this time of year, with temperatures spiking up to 104°F (40°C). 

Combine these high temperatures with a lack of airflow and intense crowds and you’re in for a total nightmare. As if that wasn’t bad enough, many small galleries, museums, boutiques, and restaurants close for most of August, greatly limiting your Paris experience.

Paris is a magical place during the holiday season, but it can get remarkably busy. The closer to December 25th and 31st you visit, the more crowded the city will be. Flight, accommodation, and restaurant prices will soar, too. Stick to the beginning of December for a festive feel or the beginning of January if you want to experience winter in the City of Light! 

There you have it! An insider’s guide to the best time to visit Paris. Do you have any tips about the best time to go to Paris?


Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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