The Best Time to Visit Paris
Figuring out the best time to visit Paris is largely a matter of personal opinion because Paris is always a good idea! While I do have a personal favorite time to visit, I also think each season has it's own pros (and cons). I even have an entire post dedicated to showing that even winter in Paris is a good idea.
Each month and each season brings something different — different activities/events, different weather, different tourist levels, etc. Below I have broken down the seasons one by one to help you decide when the best time to visit Paris is for YOU!
Before you go, don't forget to read my list of 8 things you cannot miss in Paris if you haven't already. It's one of the most popular posts on my blog and one I know you'll want to read before going.
Spring in Paris
Average spring high: 51-64°F
Average spring low: 38-49°F
Spring in Paris is when you will notice the city starting to reawaken after the cold winter days. Depending on the month, you can find temps up to 64 degrees or as low as 38. The trees start to blossom once again and the daylight grows longer as each day passes.
While it’s certainly not the warmest of times to visit, it’s also not the coldest nor is it the most tourist filled. This makes it a good time to visit if you are looking for cheaper-than-summer prices and a city with less crowds.
If you are a lover of cherry blossom trees, as I am, then spring in Paris is for you! There are many spots around the city you can find these pink beauties.
Some noteworthy events in Paris during spring:
- Paris book fair (March) - annual show dedicated to the book publishing industry
- Paris Marathon (April)
- “Fête du Travail”, Labour Day (May)
Summer in Paris
Average summer high: 70-75°F
Average summer low: 54-58°F
Summer is the most beautiful and lively time of year in Paris. It’s filled with warm weather, with July being the hottest month of the year, and a seemingly never-ending list of events and holidays to fill your time with.
The Seine is lined with friends and lovers dangling their feet over the edge of the river, the Eiffel Tower lawn with picnic-goers, and every cafe, restaurant, and bar with outdoor diners. They even transform Paris into a beach with Paris Plages, providing parasols, sun chairs, palm trees, sand, and more for relaxation and recreation. It is a magical, vibrant time to experience one of the most wonderful cities in the world.
But with the good comes the not so good, and that is tourist volumes and hotel prices! Summer is one of the most expensive times to visit Paris as well as one of the busiest.
I went a few years ago at the end of July, i.e. peak tourist time, and did find it to be pretty busy. Since I tend to spend the majority of my time outside and not in prime tourist locations, this was not really a bother to me, but might be to you depending on how you like to spend your vacations.
Some noteworthy events in Paris during summer:
- The French Open (May/June) - international tennis tournament
- Féte de la Musique (June) - summer solstice, celebration of music
- Summer sales (June)
- The Marche des Fiertés LGBT, formerly Gay Pride (last weekend of June)
- Bastille Day (July 13) - French national holiday
- Tour de France
- Paris Plages (June-Sept)
- Open air cinema (July-Aug)
- Lollapalooza Paris (July) - music festival
Autumn in Paris
Average fall high: 49-69°F
Average fall low: 39-52°F
In fall the temperature in Paris starts to drop back down fairly quickly, with lows of 39 by November and highs of 69 still in September. Trees around the city turn a stunning yellow color as the days once again start becoming shorter.
If you are looking to visit Paris while it’s still fairly warm, yet not crammed with tourists nor with sky-high prices, early autumn (September - October) is your best bet.
I personally find autumn to be especially lovely, even in November when it’s almost wintertime. Although it can be cold by then, every cafe has heat lamps above the outdoor seating and usually also blankets. Because of this it is very comfortable to enjoy food and drinks outside in the brisk air, which is one of my favorite things to do in the city of lights.
Some noteworthy events in Paris during autumn:
- Days of Heritage - 3rd weekend in Sept - “A unique opportunity to discover, free of charge, marvels that are inaccessible during the rest of the year, in Paris and throughout France. Major private or official buildings open their doors to the public”
- FIAC Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain (October) - contemporary art fair
- SIAL Global food Market Place (every other October) - the world’s largest food exhibition
- Fête des Vendanges (Oct) - Montmartre grape harvest festival
Winter in Paris
Average winter high: 43-45°F
Average winter low: 34-36°F
Just when you think Paris couldn’t get anymore magic, winter rolls around. Christmas in Paris is a scene to be seen. The streets have addition sparkle, each cafe and restaurant adds their own holiday flair, and the department stores are decorated beautifully.
New Years Eve in Paris is also a large event, with everyone flocking to the Champs-Elysées or the Eiffel Tower. I went once during this time and was surprised at just how busy the city was! I found the museums and monuments to be especially busy since, because it was so cold, most people were trying to stay indoors.
January to March is the “off-season” for Paris, but don’t let that persuade you against it. It can get cold but that’s why Canada Goose exists. It can be rainy but it’s not even close to the wettest time of year (July is, actually!). It can be gloomy but a gloomy day in Paris is still a day in Paris. Read my post about Paris in the winter and then make up your mind.