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Discover the best time to visit Paris based on events, weather, and crowds. Don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to explore the City of Light 🥖🍷

Paris stands out as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. With its stunning architecture, world-famous museums, quaint cafés, and historic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, Paris tops many travelers’ bucket lists. However, with its fluctuating weather and crowds, one important factor to consider when planning your dream trip to Paris is timing. Figuring out the best time to visit Paris can ensure you maximize sightseeing and minimize the headaches of long lines and packed attractions.

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about visiting Paris during different months and seasons. Read on for tips to help you determine the ideal time for your trip based on weather, events, crowds, café occupancy and costs.

Overview of the Best and Worst Time to Visit Paris

In general, the best times to visit Paris are spring and fall. The weather is mild, and crowds are smaller than in the packed summer months. However, the cheapest time to visit Paris is winter. While the weather may be chilly, you’ll find cheaper airfare and hotel rates.

The Best Times to Visit Paris Are:

  • Spring (March to May) – Moderate temperatures, beautiful gardens and parks, enjoyable festivals and events, manageable crowds.
  • Fall (September to November) – Mild weather, autumn colors, smaller crowds, cultural events, lower prices than summer.
  • December – If you don’t mind bundling up, December offers Christmas markets, festive lights, and holiday charm.

Worst Months to Visit Paris:

  • January and February – The coldest months with rain, snow, and short days. Light crowds but weather hampers outdoor activities.
  • July and August – Sweltering hot temperatures and massive crowds, as Parisians escape the city during summer vacation months.
  • Early September – Still very busy with summer vacation crowds and higher prices before shoulder season.

Weather in Paris: Monthly Breakdown

Paris has a temperate climate, with pleasantly warm summers and cold but mostly snow-free winters. Rain is spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Here’s an overview of the weather you can expect during different months:

January

With average highs of 7°C (45°F) and average lows of 3°C (37°F), January is the coldest month in Paris. Days are short, damp, and cold. Light rain and snow showers are common. Low sunlight hours hamper extensive outdoor sightseeing, but indoor cultural attractions and cozy cafes come alive.

February

February weather is very similar to January, with average highs around 8°C (46°F) and lows of 4°C (39°F). Days remain short and overcast, with a mix of cold rain and snow showers lingering throughout the month.

March

In March, Paris starts to thaw out from winter. Average temperatures climb to around 12°C (54°F) during the day and 5°C (41°F) at night. Days get progressively longer and sunnier as spring approaches. Light rain showers still occur.

April

April brings pleasant spring weather to Paris. Average highs are around 16°C (61°F) and lows around 7°C (45°F). Sunny days become more common, allowing comfortable outdoor sightseeing. Some residual April showers happen too.

May

With average high temperatures of 19°C (66°F), May is a warm month ideal for roaming Paris. Sunny days become the norm by May, although a few rain showers occur. Flowers burst into peak bloom, and trees and gardens become lush green.

June

In June, summer descends on Paris. Average highs are around 22°C (72°F). Days are long, sunny, and warmer, although brief rainfall persists. Sidewalk cafes open, and the city comes alive at festivals and events.

July

July is the hottest month in Paris, with average highs of 26°C (79°F). Days are long, sunny, and occasionally broken up by short spells of rain. Major attractions are very crowded in July. Be prepared for hot and humid weather.

August

August maintains the warm summer weather, with average highs remaining around 25°C (77°F). Some August days get downright hot. Rain showers provide occasional heat relief. Crowds hit their peak, as Europeans take summer holidays.

September

In September, Paris starts the transition into fall. Average highs are around 21°C (70°F) and lows 13°C (55°F). Sunny days remain common, mixed with light rain showers. Crowds diminish after summer holidays but remain steady.

October

October brings cooler fall weather, with average highs of 17°C (63°F) and lows 9°C (48°F). Days grow noticeably shorter. With drizzle increasing, carry an umbrella through your autumnal Paris wanderings. Light scarves and jackets become necessary.

November

As winter approaches, November days in Paris turn cold, with average highs of 12°C (54°F) and lows of 6°C (43°F). Days continue shortening, rarely rising over 9 daylight hours. The chance of rain is high. Sightseeing becomes focused indoors.

December

In December, Paris winters set in, with average temperatures hovering around 7°C (45°F). Days are short, cold, and damp. Occasional snow joins the light rains. Despite the weather, December magnetizes visitors with glowing holiday markets and decorations.

When to Visit Paris for Events, Holidays & Festivals

Another factor determining the best time to visit Paris are the special events, holidays, and festivals happening throughout the year that let you experience the culture and joie de vivre of the City of Light.

January

  • Winter Sales – Paris kicks off the new year with huge sales offering steep discounts at clothing boutiques and department stores.
  • Paris Fashion Week – Fashionistas flock to Paris in mid-January for a glimpse of next season’s designs at this world-famous event.

February

  • Chinese New Year – Parades and festivities in several arrondissements celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls between mid-January and mid-February.
  • Valentine’s Day – Restaurants, patisseries, and chocolatiers pull out all the stops with romantic specials and decorations for February 14th.

March

  • Paris Half Marathon – This popular race sees runners tackling Paris’s streets in March.
  • Mardi Gras – Costumed revelers parade through the Marais neighborhood for France’s version of Carnival.

April

  • Paris Marathon – Join the excitement as around 40,000 runners race through the city in mid-April.
  • Foire du Trône – France’s largest funfair offers rides, games, and carnival delights at the Pelouse de Reuilly from early April into June.

May

  • French Open – Catch thrilling professional tennis matches during this Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros stadium in late May into early June.
  • Paris Jazz Festival – Jazz greats from around the world perform at venues throughout Paris during this major May music festival.

June

  • Fête de la Musique – On June 21st, amateur and pro musicians provide free outdoor concerts and dancing all over the city.
  • Gay Pride Parade – Rainbow flags fill the streets for one of Paris’s most exuberant parades in late June.

July

  • Bastille Day – Fireworks, military parades, and feasting celebrate France’s national day on July 14th.
  • Paris Plages – From mid-July through August, “beaches” pop up along the Seine, complete with sand, towels, andsummer fun.
  • Tour de France – The final leg of the iconic cycling race finishes up in Paris, with celebrations along the Champs-Élysées.

August

  • Rock en Seine – Rock music fans converge for this major Paris music festival in late August.
  • La Défense Jazz Festival – Jazz, blues, and world music resound in the La Défense business district during this free festival.

September

  • Techno Parade – Over floats and dancers groove their way through Paris at this electronic dance music event in mid-September.
  • European Heritage Days – Historic sites throughout Paris offer free admission and family events on a weekend in September.

October

  • Nuit Blanche – From sundown to sunrise, Paris comes alive with temporary art installations and free museums during “White Night.”
  • Paris Motor Show – Gearheads gather to admire the latest cars and motorcycles at this massive expo in early October.

November

  • Paris Photo – Photography buffs flock to Paris’s biggest photo fair in mid-November to admire and purchase fine photography.
  • Beaujolais Nouveau Day – On the third Thursday of November, celebrations unfold for the arrival of the latest vintage of Beaujolais wine.
  • Christmas Markets – From late November, twinkling holiday markets like the one at Champs-Elysees offer gifts, decorations, food and cheer.

December

  • Christmas and New Year’s – The City of Light shines especially bright with elaborate store displays, festive lights, and holiday markets.
  • Festival Banlieues Bleues – Musicians bring jazz and blues concerts to Paris’s suburbs during this cultural festival.

When to Visit Paris for the Best Weather

Paris weather varies greatly throughout the year, so visiting during temperate months ensures optimal comfort for sightseeing adventures.

  • For pleasantly warm weather, May, June, and September are ideal. Highs average around 20°C (68°F), with a mix of sun and occasional light showers.
  • If you don’t mind crisp air, April and October offer cool fall weather, with average temperatures of 16°C (61°F). Rain chances increase in October.
  • For indoor sightseeing, the winter months of November through early March offer chilly but snow-free weather, with average temperatures hovering around 7°C (45°F) and lighter crowds.
  • July and August deliver the hottest weather, with temperatures frequently reaching 25°C (77°F) or higher, but major crowds.

When to Visit Paris for Fewer Crowds

Timing your Paris travels to avoid massive tourist crowds will enhance your sightseeing experience and minimize long lines.

  • Late August into September offer smaller crowds as locals return from summer holidays. October through early November also provides visitor dips.
  • January and February are the least crowded months, outside of Christmas holidays, but weather hampers outdoor options.
  • Spring offers a moderate crowd compromise, with April and May busier than March.
  • Summers draw huge tourist masses, especially July and August when school is out and Parisian people vacate. Avoid visiting then if possible.

When to Find the Best Paris Travel Deals

Saving money on your Paris travels involves visiting during off-peak times when airfare and hotels offer lower rates.

  • Winter months (excluding Christmas) offer the best flight and hotel deals in Paris. Airfare can be hundreds less than summer.
  • March and November offer intermediary rates before the higher spring and summer prices kick in.
  • Late August into September provide hotel discounts after summer high prices.
  • Avoid July and August when rates soar for flights, hotels, trains and crowds clog top sites. Traveling then requires booking way in advance for deals.

Tips for Visiting Paris

Whatever time of year you visit, a few key tips will enhance your Paris experience:

  • For iconic spots like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, book skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid long wait times.
  • Consider a sightseeing pass like the Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass to save time and money at top attractions.
  • Make reservations for special restaurant meals like crepes, afternoon tea, or multi-course French dinners.
  • Rent a car for easy access to day trips like Versailles, Giverny, and Reims. Or take convenient organized day tours.
  • Improve budget trips by staying just outside the city center and using public transit like the metro around town.
  • Pack layers and an umbrella; the weather can fluctuate, even on sunny days. Sensible walking shoes help with all the sightseeing too!

Plan Your Dream Trip to Paris

Whatever time of year you decide to visit magical Paris, it’s sure to exceed your expectations. Follow this guide on the best times to visit, and you’ll be able to maximize your time enjoying everything this iconic European city has to offer.

Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle after dark in summer or wander romantic neighborhoods under blossoming trees in springtime. Explore world-famous museums and galleries with smaller crowds in winter and fall or catch spectacular festivals and events during shoulder seasons.

With so many incredible sights, activities, flavors, and experiences on offer, Paris entices visitors year-round. Use these planning tips to find the ideal time to embark on your own adventures in the dazzling City of Light.

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