When is the best time to visit Paris?
The best time to visit Paris is between April-June and October when the weather is mild and pleasant, and tourist crowds are less than summer. The cheapest time to visit Paris is early December, January, and February. My favorite month in Paris is June. Many of the best things to do in Paris and the best things to do with children in Paris can be done year-round.
Best Time for Good Weather: April to October but expect July and August to be hot.
Best Time for Sightseeing: April, May, June, September, October, and early November.
Best Time for Honeymoon: May, June, September, and October.
Best Time for Nightlife: Year-round.
Best Time for Saving Money: November, early December, January, and February.
Best Time for Museums
January and February are great months to visit Parisian museums and galleries. As the mid-winter drop in tourism brings shorter queues and lighter crowds. At any time of the year, travelers can save money and completely forgo entry lines by purchasing a Paris Museum Card, which provides unlimited access to more than 50 museums and monuments in and around the city. To experience the exhibits without crowds, consider visiting at night. Most museums and galleries are open at least once a week in the evening, and crowds tend to subside after sunset. Additionally, many museums in Paris offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month. A great thing for those who want to see art and works for cheap. But keep in mind that galleries can get particularly crowded these days.
More information about Paris Museums:
Best Time for Flowers and Gardens
Though each year is a bit different, the gardens and parks of Paris usually see their first burst of blooms around mid to late April, when spring bulbs and trees begin to flower. There’s a bit of a lag in blooms as summer perennial beds are re-planted in late May and early June. And these are generally well established by July. Late May and early June also bring about the blooming of the famous rose gardens at Parc de Bagatelle and L’Haÿ-Les-Roses. Gardens across the city will continue to be in flower throughout the summer months and into early fall. September can be a particularly wonderful time to visit Parisian gardens when plenty of blooms remain but the summer crowds have thinned.
Best Time for Holiday Displays
Christmas comes early to the City of Lights, with festive seasonal displays decorating the city throughout the final two months of the year. Parisian department stores unveil their spectacular windows and put up trees in early to mid-November. And the Champ Elysees is decked out for Christmas by month’s end. Most other seasonal light displays are up by the beginning of December. And the marches de Noel (Christmas markets) are open for business around this time. Christmas displays and markets remain up and running into early January.
Best Time for Disneyland Paris
As a rule, crowds at Disneyland will be heaviest whenever school is not in session – not only in the summer months and around Christmas but also on weekends and during the end of October when many European schools go on break. The best times for shorter lines and lighter crowds are midweek (Tuesday through Thursday) from mid-January through mid-March and mid-April through mid-May. Lines will be shortest in the winter months but you’ll find colder weather and some rides closed for renovation in the off-season – usually no more than 2 or 3 at a time. If you must make the trip during peak periods, your best bet is to go midweek during the February/March school break, as many French families opt for ski trips over theme parks at this time of year.
More information about Disneyland:
Best time to Visit Versailles
Expect crowds at Versailles to be at their most dense during the summer months and on weekends and Tuesdays during spring and fall. During these busy times, plan to visit early in the day – the 9 am-10 am hour sees thinner crowds even on the most highly-attended days. Pre-purchasing your tickets (or a Paris Museum Pass) online will allow you to bypass the admission queue, though there’s no way to skip the security checkpoint. Those visitors who are particularly interested in experiencing Versailles’ spectacular gardens would do well to avoid the winter months when the statues are covered and fountains are turned off. Versailles is closed on 1 January, 1 May, 25 December, and Mondays year-round.
Versailles tour types:
A Word about August in Paris
During the last month of the summer, Paris remains heavily touristed, but most locals have fled to the coast. As such, you may note a distinct lack of local atmosphere during this period. Any smaller shops and restaurants will be closed, and most of the people you’ll meet will be tourists. Expect city streets and sidewalks to be quieter, even as the crowds at museums and monuments are at peak density. Strangely, although August marks the highest of high tourist season, hotel rates and capacities tend to drop during this month due to a lack of business travelers.
High Season (June through mid-September, Mid-to-late December)
Paris is most dense with tourists during the summer months when the weather is balmy and kids are off school and during the December rush of shopping and seasonal activities. Generally expect long lines at museums and monuments, peak airline prices, and hotels to be at the highest occupancy during these times. (An exception to this rule is August when a lack of business travelers to the city corresponds to lower hotel rates and higher availability.) Book flights, hotel, and dinner reservations well in advance.
Shoulder Season (April through May, mid-September through November)
As one of the world’s major tourist destinations, Paris is heavily traveled year-round, and the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are no exception. These periods are your best bet, however, to find that ideal combination of pleasant sightseeing weather and slightly thinner crowds. Though rates remain high, it can be slightly easier to get hotel and dinner reservations during these times, and airfares generally fall into a more reasonable price range.
Low Season (January through March)
Paris sees a decrease in tourism during these months when children are in school and the weather is most often chilly and damp. Those who don’t mind the drizzle can find great deals on airfare and hotel rates in the off-season, however, and will be rewarded with smaller crowds and queues at major tourist attractions.
Paris Weather by Month, Events and Festivals
Paris Temperature by Month (high in Celsius)
Paris Rain by Month (mm)
Paris Weather in January
January is the coldest month in Paris, with daytime high temperatures generally in the single digits. Clouds and rain are likely (though snow is rare), so a warm coat and waterproof shoes are essential. Days are short, with sunset around 5 pm. (Average Max Temperature: 7°C. Average Precipitation: 18mm.)
Paris Weather in February
February continues chilly and damp, with occasional bursts of rain. On dry days, you’ll want a hat and gloves for outdoor sightseeing, though it can also be a great time of year to stay warm and dry inside museums, galleries, and cafes. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
Paris Weather in March
There’s the gradual warming of the air this month, but days are still more likely to be chilly than warm, and as always there’s the possibility of an occasional cloudburst. The first bulbs of spring are up and blooming by month’s end, and days are lengthening – expect the sun to set between 6:30 and 7 pm. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 24mm.)
Paris Weather in April
Springtime in Paris can be a bit of a mixed bag, weather-wise – you’re equally as likely to wake up to a cool and rainy day as a sunny and warm one. Still, the average temperature is rising to the mid-teens Celsius, days are getting longer, and trees and springtime flowers are in full bloom. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
Paris Weather in May
May in Paris is generally sunny and mild, with daytime high temperatures averaging at 20°C. Around one-third of this month’s days will see rain, and mornings and evenings can be chilly, so packing layers and an umbrella is still a good idea. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 26mm.)
Paris Weather in June
Paris heats up as summer approaches, and daytime highs now generally fall in the low to mid 20’s Celsius. Warm, sunny days are the norm, but mornings, evenings, and overcast days can still be a bit cool, so it’s wise to pack light layers. Summer also brings lengthening days, with the sun setting over Paris near 10 pm this month. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 24mm.)
Paris Weather in July
July is generally very warm and sunny, with daytime high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 20s. Overcast days can feel quite a bit cooler, however. Light layers are still advised. At times, high humidity can make the warm temperatures feel quite uncomfortable – heat-sensitive travelers will want to ensure that their lodging has air conditioning. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
Paris Weather in August
August continues hot and sunny, with highs in the mid-to-upper 20s and considerable humidity at times. Rain tends to be infrequent, and comes and goes in short bursts. As the heat bakes the city, locals head for the cooler coast. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 21mm.)
Paris Weather in September
Many travelers consider September to be the ideal month for a Paris trip. Rain is infrequent, and it’s generally warm (but not too hot) with gradual cooling throughout the month. Leaves remain green and on the trees, and there are still plenty of flowers to be seen across the city. Days are shortening, with sunset around 8 pm. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 16mm.)
Paris Weather in October
Paris sees significant cooling as autumn arrives. Early October’s mild and sunny weather transitions into overcast and wet days as the month progress. Late October tends to be cloudy and cool. Most flowers are past their peak, but autumn foliage is at its most spectacular toward the end of this month. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
Paris Weather in November
Temperatures continue to drop throughout November, with highs averaging in the low teens, and drizzly rain becoming more common. Expect and plan for cool, wet, and windy, though you may be surprised by a few days of pleasant sunshine. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Rainfall: 22mm.)
Paris Weather in December
December is the wettest month in Paris, though it generally drizzles more than it downpours. It’s colder too, with high temperatures falling within the 5-10°C range. The sunsets around 5 pm and the short days provide ample opportunity to experience the City of Lights at its most seasonally festive. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Rainfall: 26mm.)