An evening view of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. Chris Karidis on Unsplash

When Is the Best Time of Year To Travel to Paris?

Byron Mühlberg, writer at

Byron Mühlberg


Aug 8, 2022
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Visiting France's majestic capital is an exciting and memorable trip — no matter which time of the year you make it. However, depending on the season you visit, you might have different city experiences.

For example, summertime travel brings with it long days, streets abuzz with tourists and locals, and (sometimes stifling) heat. On the other hand, travelling during the winter months is a nice opportunity for cosy indoor dining in bistros and cafés, although the chilly temperatures mean most outdoor activities are a write-off. For most people, we think September and early October is the best time of year to travel to Paris, closely followed by April and May. As we'll see, these "shoulder seasons" are a fine time to enjoy a city that's still mild in temperature while (largely) being free of the tourist crowds.

To help you better plan your next trip, we explore the pros and cons of each season of the year to visit Paris below:

Peak Season (Jun-Aug)

Filip Mishevski on Unsplash

Average temperatures: 15.1 to 24.3 °C (51 to 76 °F)

Advantages: Long days, outdoor dining and cafés, Bastille Day (on 14 July), warm and sunny weather, many cultural activities and events.

Disadvantages: Very busy (especially in July), heat can be sweltering, higher hotel and restaurant prices, crowds and queues at tourist sites.

Summer is when Paris is at its fullest. It's an exciting, busy, and bustling time of year filled with activities, culture, festivals, events, and other travel opportunities. It's a favourite season for walks along the Seine and enjoying the outdoor Parisian café culture, but it gets full, especially in late July and early August. (France was, after all, the most-visited country in the world in 2022.) As a result, hotels and restaurants are in high demand, and prices are bargained up during this period.

21 July also marks Bastille Day (La fête nationale française in French), which draws large crowds to the streets and includes an impressive fireworks display. In August, many Parisians leave the city on summer holidays, although tourist crowds typically remain throughout the month. Because even some shops and restaurants close during this month, August isn't the best time of year to travel to Paris.

2nd Shoulder Season (Sep-Oct)

Dimitri Iakymuk on Unsplash

Average temperatures: 7.7 to 18.7 °C (46 to 66 °F)

Advantages: Crisp, clear daytime weather (warm, but neither hot nor cold), fewer tourists and more locals, autumnal colours, picnicking, Festival d’Automne and Paris Fashion Week.

Disadvantages: Evening temperatures can get chilly (especially in October).

The two months in which you can between nice weather with a less touristy, more local version of Paris are September and October, where sunny days, mild temperature, and plenty of culture and activities combine to create the best time to travel to Paris for most people.

Autumn in Paris starts with la rentrée ("the return") at the beginning of September, marking the annual period where the summer break ends and children return to school, students return to university, and adults return to work. This makes early- and mid-September an excellent time to travel to Paris, as there'll be more locals and fewer tourists, and you'll still be able to enjoy the summer feel.

By late September and through October, the weather cools. The days become famously crisp and bright, making for an excellent opportunity to see the renowned Paris skyline from the Eiffel Tower or Sacré-Cœur.

Off-Peak Season (Nov-Mar)

Bruno Abatti on Unsplash

Average temperatures: 4 to 9.2 °C (39 to 49 °F)

Advantages: Opera and ballet season, warm indoor restaurants, Christmas lights and decorations (in December), Christmas markets, lower prices, no crowds.

Disadvantages: Very cold, occasionally rainy (especially in December), small restaurants can be closed.

The nights have become noticeably longer by November, and temperatures have dropped. Tourist crowds thin, and the locals take to the city's many restaurants, bars, and bistros for evening entertainment. In December, the city twinkles with Christmas lights and small crowds gather outside for the Christmas markets, making December a charming time of year and, in our opinion, the best month of the winter season to travel to Paris.

The rain often gets less in January and February, but the temperatures can drop even more. During these months, Paris is usually at its quietest.

The city starts to show the first signs of awakening for the year at the very end of February. People fill up local restaurants participating in events like Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, and the Paris Fashion Week. By March, while the weather is often still chilly, trees and flowers start to bloom, making the city feel fresh and full of life after a long winter.

1st Shoulder Season (Apr-May)

Marloes Hilckmann on Unsplash

Average temperatures: 9.1 to 17.6 °C (48 to 64 °F)

Advantages: Sunny weather, outdoor dining and café-going, few crowds, springtime blooms, European Night of Museums.

Disadvantages: Sometimes cold or rainy.

In spring, Paris' many gardens, such as the Jardins du Palais Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, and Jardin du Luxembourg, fill up with frolickers, dog-walkers, and picnickers. The temperature warms to a pleasant one (though there can sometimes still be a rainy or cold day), and the trees and flowers continue to bloom, creating a colourful city scene.

Outdoor cafés and restaurants begin to fill up in April and May, and the first tourist crowds appear around the city's big sites (although the crowds are still much thinner than they'll grow to be in the summer!). The European Night of Museums (which generally takes place in May) lets tourists and locals access enter most of Paris' iconic museums and landmarks free of charge — a real treat if you're looking for a cultural experience in Paris!

All in all, the good weather, increased activity, and a general lack of tourist crowds make April and May an excellent time of year to travel to Paris for most people.

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