There’s no bad time to visit Paris. While it might be chillier in the winter months, you get to enjoy smaller crowds than you would during the summer. Likewise, if you visit in summer, you might be hit with more tourists, but the weather is outstanding. Whenever you go, you will have a fantastic time exploring the City of Lights. We wrote this guide to help you determine the optimal season based on what you want to do in Paris. So read on and explore when you should book your tickets!
- Paris’ Weather by Month
- Shoulder Season in Paris
- Peak Season in Paris
- Off-Season in Paris
- Events and Holidays in Paris
- How Much Does It Cost to Vacation in Paris?
- What Is the Cheapest Month to Go to Paris?
- How Much Money Should I Take to Paris for 3 Days?
- Where Is the Best Location to Stay in Paris?
- How Many Days Do You Need to See Paris?
- Can I Speak English in Paris?
Paris’ Weather by Month
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA), historically, the weather in Paris averages between 37° F and 78° F (3C – 26C).
Keep in mind that these are monthly averages and some temperature spikes occur throughout the month. Just because you go to Paris in August, it doesn’t mean it’s only going to reach 78° F while you are there. You’re bound to get temperatures in the high 80s on some days. The same applies to the colder months.
For people like me who prefer mild temperatures, the good news is that Paris is never too hot or too cold. Each time I’ve gone to Paris, the temperature has been fantastic.
As for the weather, though, rain, wind, and humidity will change the “real feel” temperature, and you’ll have to dress accordingly.
Shoulder Season in Paris
(March-April and October-November)
If you don’t mind the possibility of cold weather or occasional showers, visiting Paris in the shoulder season can be a great idea. Not only are flight and hotel prices lower than they are during peak season, but attractions are also less crowded.
Shoulder season in Paris generally runs from mid-March to April (spring) and October to November (fall).
If you visit Paris in the spring, you’ll be treated to blooming flowers and trees and sunny days. The downside is that it can still be chilly, so pack a light jacket or sweater.
Autumn is also a beautiful time to visit Paris. The leaves on the trees change color, and the weather is cool but not cold. Just be prepared for some rain.
Peak Season in Paris
Peak season in Paris is from May to September. This is when the weather is warmest and driest, making it the best time to visit if you want to spend most of your time outdoors. However, because this is when everyone wants to visit Paris, you can expect higher prices and larger crowds at attractions.
Book your flights and hotels well in advance if you decide to visit Paris during peak season. And if you’re visiting popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the famous paintings in the Louvre, try to avoid long lines by going early in the day.
Off-Season in Paris
(January-February and Late November-December)
The off-season in Paris is from January to February (winter) and November to December (pre-Christmas). This is when Paris is least busy, so you’ll find lower prices and smaller crowds.
However, it’s also when the weather is coldest and rainiest, so if you don’t like braving the elements, this might not be the best time for you to visit.
If you do decide to visit Paris in the winter, make sure to pack warm clothes. And if you’re hoping to see the Christmas lights without paying for Christmas prices at hotels, try to visit in early-to-mid December.
Planning on Visiting the Louvre?
Here are the 20 most famous paintings in the Louvre Museum and where to find them.
Events and Holidays in Paris
No matter when you visit Paris, there’s always something going on. Here are some of the most popular events and holidays that take place throughout the year:
- January 1: New Year’s Day – During peak season, with many closures throughout the city.
- April: Good Friday and Easter weekend – Sunday is reserved for the religious holiday, and Monday is the bank/national holiday. If you go during this time of the year, expect reduced train services, higher prices, and building closures.
- May 1: Labor Day/May Day – Transits schedules are reduced across taxis and metro lines, with closures throughout the service industry. Since so much of the city is closed, there are often reduced flight and hotel costs.
- May 8: Victory in Europe Day – If you’re planning on using mass transit, expect reduced schedules and closures. Victory in Europe Day is considered by many to be one of the best times to visit Paris because there are fireworks, spectacles, and multiple parades, especially near Champs Élysées.
- May: Ascension Day – Religious celebrations around the city result in reduced transit schedules and closures in tourist centers.
- May: Pentecost weekend and Whit Monday – Christian holiday that takes place on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. The following Monday is a national holiday where many people are off work and businesses close their doors.
- July 14: Bastille Day – If you visit Paris for a holiday, this is the one you’d want to experience. While it is meant to commemorate the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution of 1789, it has become a massive party that the entire nation partakes in.
- August 15: Feast of the Assumption – Expect some reduction in mass transit service. Restaurants close, but the museums remain open. So there are benefits to visiting during this time.
- November 1: All Saints’ Day – A Catholic holiday where Parisians visit the dead in cemeteries. While most museums and other tourist attractions are open, expect reduced mass transit and restaurants.
- November 11: Armistice Day/Remembrance Day – A ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe with a parade that runs to Les Invalides. Expect some closures, but most of the city remains open.
- December 25: Christmas Day – Expect major closures around the city.
If you’re planning a trip around one of these holidays or events, do your research in advance, so you know what to expect.
How Much Does It Cost to Vacation in Paris?
The cost of vacationing in Paris depends on the time of year that you visit and what you want to accomplish while visiting. As a general rule of thumb, accommodation prices are known to be significantly higher during the summer months. However, there are a few ways to save money during your stay.
If you’re looking to visit Paris on a budget, try to travel during the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October). You can also look for accommodation outside the city center, which will be cheaper than staying in a hotel near all the main attractions.
Additionally, many museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month. So if you want to explore some of the city’s famous museums, plan your trip accordingly!
What Is the Cheapest Month to Go to Paris?
The cheapest month to visit Paris is January. Many people avoid traveling during this time because of the weather. However, if you don’t mind braving the cold, you can find some fantastic deals on accommodation and airfare.
Another way to save money during your trip is to purchase a Paris Pass. This pass includes free entry to a number of the city’s most popular attractions, as well as unlimited public transportation. If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, this pass can save you a lot of money.
According to Statista, the average cost of a standard double hotel room in Paris is the cheapest in February and August, with December being the most expensive.
If you don’t mind spending a few more euros, the window of affordability opens up to any time between January – August.
While this report looks explicitly at hotels, we’ve noticed that the same averages apply to Airbnb rates.
How Much Money Should I Take to Paris for 3 Days?
If you’re planning a 3-day trip to Paris, you should plan on spending around €150-200 per day. This estimate includes sleeping accommodations, food, transportation, and activities. Of course, this number will go up or down depending on your specific travel plans.
Where Is the Best Location to Stay in Paris?
The best location to stay in Paris depends on your budget and what you want to do while you’re in the city. If you want to be in the heart of the action, we recommend staying in the 1st or 2nd arrondissement. These neighborhoods are home to many of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, try staying in the 10th or 11th arrondissement. These neighborhoods are less touristy but still offer easy access to the city’s main attractions.
How Many Days Do You Need to See Paris?
You could technically see the highlights of Paris in just a few days. However, we recommend spending at least a week in the city to get a feel for the Parisian way of life. Of course, the longer you stay, the more you’ll be able to see and do.
If you’re short on time, we recommend spending a few days exploring the city’s most popular attractions. Then, use the remaining time to wander off the beaten path and discover some of Paris’ hidden gems.
Looking to Explore Paris?
We put together our top 20 things to do and see in Paris.
Can I Speak English in Paris?
French is the predominant language spoken in Paris, but many people speak English, especially in tourist areas. You will have no problem communicating in English, but it’s always polite to try to speak some French if you’re up for it. Even in my awful attempt at speaking French, the locals were receptive and helpful.
Paris is a city full of culture and history, and there’s no wrong time to visit. However, depending on what you want to see and do while you’re in the City of Lights, some months may be better than others. Use this guide to help plan your trip – then tell us about your experience in the comments below! Bon, voyage!