There’s many a reason that Paris is one of the top tourist destinations in all of the world. There is so much to see, taste, do and experience. Unlike other destinations in the world, there’s a lot of pros and cons to visiting Paris nearly any month of the year. I have traveled to Paris more than anywhere else and even lived there for a brief stint. And now I help people plan their dream trips to the City of Light through my business, Paris, Perfected.
One of the most frequent questions I get from people is “when is the best time to travel to Paris?”
And typically I answer “any time in Paris is good because you’re in Paris!” Because, of course, no time spent in Paris is a bad time. At least not in my opinion!
But I know weather and other elements like school and work schedules are more important to some than others so today I am sharing my thoughts on the best times to travel to Paris so you can make a more informed decision when it comes time to booking your trip. I have been to Paris every month of the calendar year so here’s what I’ve learned from my various visits in each and every season.
Before the pandemic that began in 2020, Paris welcomed over 30 million visitors annually. So you can imagine what this does to the city when it comes to crowds. Below should help you discern what may be the best time for you to visit.
Best Time to Travel to Paris
Paris is home to a variety of events throughout the year and it also a sense of distinct magic in all four seasons. In the end, whatever month you decide to travel to Paris, you can be sure you’ll have a great time enjoying the City of Light and the City of Love.
Peak high season for Paris is the summer- June, July and August. But April, May, September and October are also all considered high season as well.
In the summer months, family vacations abound as do honeymoons and group tour travel. You’ll see high season pricing starting in late May and continuing into early September.
You can expect Paris to be very crowded during high season. There will be more people at museums, more crowded restaurants and longer lines to get into the top attractions.
One of the best things you can do to prepare to enjoy Paris in high season is to book in advance for things like hotels, tours and museums.
A pro of visiting in the summer? The sun sets so late! It generally doesn’t set until around 10PM making it absolutely beautiful to enjoy walks home after a delicious meal.
If visiting in June, note the Fête de la Musique event. You’ll also encounter the Paris Air Show and the French Open. So hotels are in high demand and the city is buzzing.
If visiting in July, note the public holiday of July 14th aka Bastille Day when a lot of events take place and the city will be crowded. The Tour de France also takes place in late June and early July. July is also home to an all night festival every year – Nuit Blanche with loads of concerts and other events.
If visiting in August you should also be prepared for many closures. August is when Parisians head out of the city and many close up their restaurants and shops for a large portion (if not all) of the month of August.
In July and August you can also look forward to enjoying Paris Plages. Paris-Plages is a plan run by the office of the mayor of Paris that creates temporary artificial beaches each summer along the river Seine in the centre of Paris, and, since 2007, along the Bassin de la Villette in the northeast of Paris.
If you plan to visit Paris later in the summer, I highly recommend you look to stay at a hotel or apartment that has air conditioning. It is not a guarantee.
Related: How to Dress for Paris in the Summer
Shoulder Season in Paris includes April through May and 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 and therefore still considered high season as well.
Shoulder season will provide a bit of a break on airfare and hotel rates and it’ll be slightly less crowded at popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre but expect the city to still feel busy.
April and May are truly gorgeous in the city. You can taste summer’s near arrival in the air, enjoy the city as it begins to turn green again and loads of flowers begin to bloom.
January, February and March are low season in Paris. It’s chilly, some times it snows and the skies can remain gray for days on end.
That being said, if cooler temperatures don’t get you down, winter can be a delightful time to visit Paris. You’ll be greeted with less crowds and an easier time seeing the major attractions as well as eating at the more popular restaurants.
I personally love to visit in February and March when I can soak up the slower vibes of the city and you may even find me bundled in a coat and hat sipping some red wine at one of Paris’s many outdoor terraces.
Related: 20 Things to Do in Paris in Winter
March is home to one Paris’s Fashion Weeks so you’ll want to likely avoid those days if you’d prefer to not encounter higher hotel prices and more traffic in the city.
Low season is also a great time to visit Paris if you don’t want to worry about air conditioning. Many Paris hotels and venues don’t have air conditioning and in certain spring and summer months (particularly with climate change) it can be rather miserable to be without AC. In the winter – it’s not an issue, of course.
If you’re looking to travel on a budget, look to visit Paris during the winter low season. You’ll find the best deals on airfare and on hotels.
June is one of my personal favorite times to visit Paris but if I plan to do so I book rather far in advance to avoid expensive airfare and hotels. June is warm, sunny and a wonderful time to kick off the summer. It also happens to be my birthday month and I love celebrating it in Paris!
October can be a gamble in Paris but it is in my top two months to visit. I’ve had midsummer weather in October where I am sporting sun dresses and I’ve also had cooler weather where a jacket is required.
If you’re lucky though, you may start to see some of the leaves on the trees change in October and get to witness the beautiful change of summer into Fall.
Do note that October is home to another Paris Fashion Week so you’ll want to likely avoid those days if you’d prefer to not encounter higher hotel prices and more traffic in the city. A quick google search should help you.
April in Paris is so special. Everything begins to bloom and if you’re lucky with your timing you’ll get to see cherry blossoms across the city and enjoy warmer weather and more sun so that you can enjoy time spent on terraces and sitting along the Seine with a glass of wine.
Paris in Spring means you’ll likely run into at least one rainy day but thankfully there is loads to do when it comes to What To Do in Paris When It Rains.
Want to see Paris all dressed up for the holidays? A visit to Paris in the month of December brings a sense of magic as places are decorated for the season and Christmas markets pop up across the city.
There is ice skating, department store window decorations and plenty of other sights lit up in Christmas lights for the holiday season.
Late September can be a lovely time of year to visit Paris. School is back in session and therefore there are less crowds. You’ll also likely run into some beautiful late summer weather.
. . .
So as you can see, I really don’t think there is a bad time of year to visit Paris. It just depends on your priorities and your tolerance for crowds and various types of weather.
No matter if you’ve been to Paris several times or are going for the first time – I can help you navigate the process and plan the most perfect trip. I have helped hundreds plan their trips and my testimonials speak for themselves.
If you’d like help perfecting your trip to Paris – head to Paris, Perfected to get started.
You May Also Like:
- 22 Best Free Places to Visit in Paris.
- Paris First Time Visitors Guide.
- 12 Tips for Traveling to Paris Alone.