Vacation bucket list destinations don't come more popular than Paris. The French capital's roughly 18 million visitors per year make it one of the most touristed cities in the world, no matter what time of year you visit Paris. Home to iconic tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Paris catacombs, visiting Paris is an unforgettable adventure for millions of people around the world. This is one of the world's most popular cities for a reason.
If you want to make the most of your trip, you're probably wondering when is the best time to visit Paris. It's a good question, but the answer will depend on what you most like to do. If you're visiting the city for its impressive cultural attractions, fall or even winter could be the best time to visit Paris. On the other hand, if you'd rather avoid the worst of the Paris weather and enjoy your summer holidays in the city, the summer months are a better option.
In this article, we will break down the best time to visit Paris according to what you want to do in the city. But whatever time you choose to visit Paris, know that you'll have a much easier time if you leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage in the city. Knowing your bags are safely looked after will give you one less thing to worry about as you navigate the city and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Summer in Paris
If you're a fan of warm weather, summer is definitely the best time to visit Paris for good weather. June, July, and August typically bring the warmest temperatures in the city, with highs averaging around 79°F (26°C) and lows close to 60°F (16°C). And in this notoriously rainy northern European city, the summer months are the driest.
If you prefer to do your sightseeing in shorts and T-shirts, this is the time you want to visit. Plus, summer in Paris is the best time to enjoy many of the city's top festivals. For instance, Bastille Day, the French national celebration, takes place in mid-July and is an unforgettable way to experience this legendary city. The sunny days of summer see the city hosting many cultural events such as music festivals like the Paris Jazz Festival and free concerts, and sitting out at a sidewalk table at a Parisian café is much more pleasant when it's nice and warm.
During a Paris summer, you'll find some great ways to beat the summer heat. Check out the beaches known as Paris plages that are set up to help city residents get a taste of the beach life.
However, there are some downsides to visiting Paris in the summer. First, it's high season, so hotel prices and flights will be at their highest. Second, Paris can get uncomfortably hot during the summer months, especially in August when many locals leave the city to escape the heat. Bear in mind that air-conditioning can be something of a rarity in many Paris hotels.
You should also know that much of France shuts down in August for the summer holidays. This is less true in Paris than it is in other regions of the country since Paris is such a huge city that there's always something going on. However, some bars, restaurants, and other locations may take the whole month of August off, so expect to encounter some closures when visiting Paris in the summer.
Finally, Paris is more crowded than usual during the summertime, so you'll have to contend with summer crowds at major tourist attractions like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre Museum.
If you want to enjoy the best Paris weather, the summer months are certainly the best time to visit Paris. However, If you're not a fan of heat or crowds, another season might be a better option.
Fall in Paris
If you're looking to experience all that Paris has to offer without the crowds, plan your trip for late summer or early autumn. August is typically the busiest month for tourism in Paris, as many locals head out of the city for vacation. This means that attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Moulin Rouge can be quite crowded during this time. However, if you don't mind a little less elbow room, late August through early September is actually a great time to visit Paris. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy all the outdoor activities the city has to offer, but you won't have to fight the hordes of tourists that descend on Paris during the summer months.
Fall temperatures in Paris can reach highs of 71°F (22°C) In early to mid-September, with lows at a very manageable 55°F (13°C). Later into the season, though, temperatures get colder, with mid-November highs Closer to 50°F (10°C). Add in the wind and rain this season is known for, and it's a good idea to pack a warm coat and the ubiquitous Paris scarf.
Hotel rooms are easier to find from mid-September onward than they are in the height of summer, And you're more likely to find a deal on a hotel room when you visit Paris in the fall. Plus, although this is certainly the off-season, there's still enough going on in the city to make this a great time to visit Paris.
Fall is also a great time to enjoy the city's food and drink scene. The harvest season brings an influx of fresh produce to Parisian markets, making this the perfect time to try out some of the city's best restaurants. And if you're a fan of wine, plan your trip for mid-November to coincide with the annual Beaujolais Nouveau wine festival.
While Paris is a great destination year-round, fall may be the best time to visit for those who want to experience the city without the crowds. If you prefer to avoid visiting Paris during the busy summer and are open to exploring in the shoulder season, you could do a lot worse than visiting Paris from mid-September onwards.
If you're a fan of history and culture, you should definitely consider visiting Paris in September to take advantage of European Heritage Days. On these days, many of the city's museums offer free entry, and some historic sites that are not normally open to the public are open for a limited time.
Fall offers a good combination of fewer crowds with a still-comfortable average temperature. However, Paris weather can be unpredictable, and fall is a very rainy season in the city. If you're a fan of great weather, Fall in Paris may let you down. Plus, the beautiful buildings of the city such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, don't always look their best underneath a low ceiling of cloud.
Winter in Paris
Winters in Paris can be cold and gloomy, with temperatures typically hovering around freezing from December through February. The good news is that there are far fewer tourists during the winter months, so you'll have many of the city's attractions all to yourself. If you don't mind braving the cold, winter can actually be a great time to visit Paris.
One of the best things about visiting Paris in winter is the Christmas markets. These festive markets pop up all over the city in December, selling everything from traditional French Christmas decorations to mulled wine and mouth-watering holiday treats.
If you're planning a winter trip to Paris, make sure to pack plenty of warm clothes. Temperature lows can dip below freezing, and the wind coming off the Seine river can make it feel even colder. Snow is not uncommon in Paris, although it doesn't usually stay on the ground for long.
The best time to visit Paris if you're looking for a festive atmosphere is during December when the Christmas markets are in full swing. However, keep in mind that this is also the busiest time of year, so you may have to deal with large crowds if you visit at this time.
If you're more interested in cultural attractions, though, you might want to visit Paris during the winter months. Many of the city's museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month from November through March, so this is a great time to brush up on your art history. You can also take advantage of the shorter lines and cheaper rates at many of Paris' most popular tourist attractions, like the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower. Just be sure to pack a warm coat!
Winter in Paris is a great time to visit the city for bargain hunters. Hotel rooms are cheaper if you avoid the busy Christmas period, and many attractions cut their prices to entice more visitors. In early January, you can also take advantage of the winter sales to get some shopping done in this legendarily fashionable city.
Paris in winter offers a unique charm. Along with the beautiful Christmas lights of the Hôtel de Ville and other great Christmas markets, you'll also find outdoor ice skating rings throughout the city, making it a great time to visit Paris with kids.
But the biggest problem when you visit Paris in the off-season is likely to be the weather. If you don't mind the cold, early January can be a great time for a Paris trip, but if you're more interested in warm weather, winter is not a good time to visit Paris.
Also, fewer crowds in the city can be a double-edged sword. With fewer tourists to cater to, many businesses in Paris may close for the winter, leaving you with fewer options for things to do.
Spring in Paris
If your ideal Parisian vacation involves strolling along the Seine River, picnicking in front of the Eiffel Tower, and browsing through outdoor markets, then spring or fall is probably the best time for you to visit Paris. The weather is milder during these months, making it more comfortable to walk around and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Springtime also brings with it a number of annual festivals and events, including International Women's Day, Easter, and of course, Paris Fashion Week.
Spring temperatures in Paris average a high of 62°F (17°C) in April and 68°F (20°C) in May, and lows are usually well above freezing even in the middle of the night. However, the spring weather can be changeable. It's a good idea to bring a range of clothing to deal with sun, wind, rain, and possibly even snow on your Paris vacation at this time of year.
Spring is also a famously beautiful time to visit Paris, with the city's many parks blooming and the warm weather bringing locals and tourists alike out onto the streets.
Unfortunately, visiting Paris in springtime isn't exactly a secret. There's even a song about it. So while you won't get the crowds in spring that you do in summer, you certainly won't have the place to yourself. Plus, the unpredictable weather means you'll have to pack for four different seasons, and may experience all of them in a single day.
When is the best time to visit Paris for you?
Ultimately, the best time to visit Paris for you is going to depend on what you want to do in the city. If you plan to spend a lot of your time outdoors visiting Disneyland Paris, witnessing the Tour de France, or having a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, the sunny days of summer will be your best option. If you prefer to explore the city's charming Christmas markets or enjoy Paris's legendary museums without the crowds, then winter is worth considering. And if you want the best of both worlds, spring or fall can be excellent times to visit the city.
Whatever you choose to visit Paris, you'll have a much easier time if you drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in the city. Traveling light means you can enjoy the City of Light no matter what season you visit.