When is the Best Time to Travel to Paris?

Are you looking forward to going to Paris? No wonder, but you have to know that, although it is never a bad time, the French capital is best visited at different times depending on the type of trip you want to make.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

When is the Best Time to Travel to Paris?

Aircraft Rear View | ©SOCIAL.CUT

It doesn't matter how many times you have been there, because there is always something new to see or do in Paris or a new way to visit it. The truth is that depending on the season in which you go you can enjoy a variety of plans or even feel that you are in a completely different city.

There are months, such as winter, where the lower tourist influx makes it look much quieter, without so many lines and even cheaper, even if it's cold enough to force you to make plans indoors. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, there are many more events and activities waiting for you in the spring and summer months. Which one do you choose?

The best time to go to Paris

Spring in Paris| ©Florencia Potter
Spring in Paris| ©Florencia Potter

The French capital is always a perfect vacation destination in which to plan thousands of activities, but if there is a time to enjoy more, without many crowds, with mild temperatures, more events and lots of light, it is in spring in Paris, between the months of April and June. In addition, the long days and the color of spring flood every corner of the city, making it more special.

Think of all the gardens and parks in Paris ... with all the blooming plants and their sweet scent permeating your walks. Also, at this time of year, when rainfall is rare and the days are longer and sunnier, Parisians start going out to the famous bistro terraces, so you can join them while sipping a good wine.

Special but more crowded times of the year

Although the weather is also good in summer, you will find more people at the tourist attractions and also higher prices in the accommodations.

Another equally special time is December. Although at the beginning of the month Christmas in Paris has not yet begun as such, in December you can already enjoy the Christmas markets and the lights in stores and streets. However, it is a somewhat more expensive time to visit Paris and I do not recommend it if you do not like large crowds or cold.

Because yes, winter in Paris is especially hard and, although it has its charm to see the snowy city, it is not so spectacular when you have to stand in line somewhere, believe me. Also, if you want to go to Disneyland, some attractions are closed for security.

Best time to go to Paris if you want to visit the museums

Louvre Museum| ©Irina Ledyaeva
Louvre Museum| ©Irina Ledyaeva

Paris is the city of lights, of love... And also of Paris museums. If you want to contemplate some of the most famous works of history, I recommend going to Paris in January or February, as these are months when there is less tourism, so you can access quickly and easily. In addition, the warmth of the museums will make the winter in Paris more bearable.

I recommend that you make a list of the museums that most appeal to you and plan your visits to book tickets or even get them free, as some Sundays of the month are free. Although if you want to save money on this aspect, you can get the Paris Pass card, which includes priority access to almost all Parisian museums.

The museums you can not miss are:

  • Louvre Museum: Some of the most important works of the Louvre are La Gioconda by da Vinci or the Venus de Milo. In addition, the architecture of the building and the pyramids square that gives access to visitors are already worth a visit. My advice is to get your ticket for the Louvre in advance, as it is one of the most visited museums in the world and you don't want to miss it.
  • Musée d'Orsay: Although perhaps not as world renowned as the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay is equally full of culture and art, albeit more contemporary. Maybe there are no Roman sculptures, but there are the great paintings of authors such as Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne or Monet.
  • Pompidou Center: Do you like modern art? Then you have to make a stop at the Pompidou Center. When you arrive you will be amazed by the slides, stairs and colors of the building, but its interior, where works by Picasso or Matisse rest, is even more incredible.

Book your ticket for Paris museums

Best time to go to Paris if you want to enjoy nature

Visiting the Versailles Gardens| ©Dennis Jarvis
Visiting the Versailles Gardens| ©Dennis Jarvis

When spring arrives in Paris, the city fills with color and a special joy, so there is no better time to enjoy the nature of the parks and gardens of Paris. Besides, it doesn't matter in which month you go because the blooms in Paris extend throughout the spring and even summer months.

The natural gardens of Paris that you must visit are:

  • Champ de Mars: There you could sit on the green and soft grass to have a picnic while contemplating the Eiffel Tower.
  • Luxembourg Gardens: Here you can take a course in arboriculture or just sit in one of the many metal chairs and relax for a while in the sun.
  • Jardin des Plantes: This is the botanical garden of Paris, where you can walk through its labyrinth and also admire the thousands of plant species it has, such as its rose garden and historic trees.

Admire the nature of the Garden of Versailles

If there is a garden that you have to visit, it is the Versailles Garden. There are many hectares that form it (it is practically impossible to see it all!), but if there is something even more magical than walking among its vegetation, fountains and sculptures is to do it to the rhythm of the music of the spectacle of the Great Waters.

Don't you know what it is? During the spring, summer and part of the fall months in Paris there is the musical lighting of the fountains of Versailles, and I can't recommend enough times that you buy a ticket to the Palace of Versailles that includes the show. It's amazing!

Book a tour to Versailles from Paris

Best time to go to Paris if you are traveling with kids

Touring Disney| ©Lyle Hastie
Touring Disney| ©Lyle Hastie

Is your next family vacation going to be in Paris? I can imagine the excitement of the little ones of the house, especially because Paris is a city with many alternatives and plans for children when they visit Paris. My recommendation is that you organize your trip for less crowded times, both in Paris and Disneyland, which is sure to be a must-see. How much is this? Between January and March and May and June.

Think that the big crowds at Disneyland occur when there are usually school vacations, so it is best to avoid those dates, when tickets to Disneyland Paris Park are also usually more expensive. I also don't recommend you to go in winter because many Disneyland Paris attractions will be closed and in cold weather they are not as enjoyable, don't you think?

Book your ticket for Disneyland

Best time to go to Paris if you want to save money

Canopée des Halles Christmas Village| ©ParisDiscoveryGuide
Canopée des Halles Christmas Village| ©ParisDiscoveryGuide

Who says you can't travel to Paris in low-cost mode? Although Paris has always been seen as an expensive city, there is a time of year when, being low season, prices get cheaper. How much is this? Between January and March, since at the beginning of the year, with Christmas over and spring still hidden, the French capital is much quieter and with it also its prices, which will allow you to save money during the trip.

Apart from finding cheaper accommodation and flights, you can also enjoy special events, such as winter sales or ice skating, and even visit a Christmas market in Paris, as they usually stay until early January.

Of course, winter in Paris is freezing, so dress warmly, especially if you are going to go to the ice rink that opens around the Eiffel Tower at this time, so a great plan can be to spend the afternoon skating and then hire a night visit to the Eiffel Tower (only in summer season).

Buy your ticket for the Eiffel Tower

Best time to go to Paris if you like music

Moulin Rouge by night| ©Leandro Kibisz
Moulin Rouge by night| ©Leandro Kibisz

What musical style suits you best? Don't worry because Paris is a city where there is jazz, techno, blues, pop... In short, all genres come together. Although all year round shows like the Moulin Rouge take place every night, if you want to enjoy Parisian music in a different way, travel in summer, when festivals and open-air concerts are at their peak:

  • Festival de Saint-Denis: Classical music lovers really enjoy this festival, held in June. You can listen to historical pieces in the Gothic basilica of Saint-Denis, which embraces the musical notes with its beautiful stained glass windows and its great luminosity.
  • World Music Day: Parisians celebrate the longest day of the year (June 21) with Music Day. Get your best dance moves ready, because the neighborhoods of Paris are filled with live bands and music. My advice is that, although the whole city is full of music, go to the neighborhood of Montmartre, which has always been a very artistic and bohemian neighborhood that is sure to be even more so that day.
  • Chopin Festival: This Polish composer receives every year (approximately in June-July) a beautiful tribute in the Parc de la Bagatelle where several classical concerts take place. Is there a better way to enjoy nature, music and summer in Paris than with Chopin?
  • Paris Jazz Festival: You will feel like you are in a movie whose soundtrack mixes the tones of saxophones, trumpets and other instruments that are guided by improvisation. In addition, the concerts are free as long as you buy a ticket to the Parc Floral de Vincennes, where the Paris Jazz Festival is held.
  • Rock en Seine: In August, the Rock on the Seine Festival takes place. Three days, five stages and dozens of artists that put rhythm to Paris.

Book tickets for the Moulin Rouge with dinner and transportation

Best time to go to Paris if you are traveling as a couple

Eiffel Tower as a Couple| ©Dominique ROELLINGER
Eiffel Tower as a Couple| ©Dominique ROELLINGER

Are you organizing a romantic trip to Paris? For a reason it is called the city of love, and it has many plans to do as a couple. Be careful, most of these plans are outdoors (like a boat ride on the Seine or a picnic), so my recommendation is that you choose a month like June, when the weather is nice and all these activities are available.

It is clear that one of the great romantic plans in Paris is to climb the Eiffel Tower. It's always a good time to do it, but if I tell you a secret, spring is one of my favorite times, because the sky is clear and you can have a very clear bird's eye view over Paris.

May I have another tip? Combine the Eiffel Tower with a cruise on the Seine, which in winter are not available because of the cold but with the arrival of good weather they become again one of the great plans. I recommend you to start the tour at the time the sun sets, after having taken advantage of a long day of light in Paris, so be sure to book it in advance.

Book a cruise on the Seine

Best time to go to Paris if you want to save time and queues

Paris Pass| ©AntisocialClub
Paris Pass| ©AntisocialClub

I don't like to stand in long and seemingly endless lines to get into any museum or tourist attraction either. Although you always have the option of getting the Paris Pass and having direct access to the vast majority of these places, you can avoid the lines by going at a less touristy time, such as February and March.

These months between the beginning of the year and the Easter and summer vacations are not so crowded with tourists in Paris. In the end, there are no common vacation periods, as it happens in months like April or July, so it is more comfortable to move around Paris and not find lines and lines of people every time you want to access somewhere.

Be careful, even if there are fewer people, you will still have to wait in a queue, although it will go faster. To reduce the time, make sure you buy tickets in advance to places you visit a lot, such as the Louvre or Versailles.

Book your Paris Pass

Best time to go to Paris if you want to take great photos

Taking a photo at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©Sebastien Gabriel
Taking a photo at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©Sebastien Gabriel

If you are a photographer, professional or amateur, you surely know that any time is a good time to take out your camera and fill your film. But beyond that, the good time is when the places you want to photograph are almost empty, with no people crossing in front of the lens. Although in Paris this can be tricky, my advice is that, whenever you go, get up early to take pictures.

If you want to make sure you have a clean shot in such emblematic places as Trocadero or the stairs of Montmartre it is best to get up early to go. Generally, tourist attractions start to fill up from 9 a.m.

Another aspect you might want to keep in mind is that in those months, especially at the beginning of the year, when tourism drops, Parisian institutions take the opportunity to do maintenance work or clean some monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower, so check in advance if this is going to be the case.

Book a private tour of Paris

Best time to go to Paris and enjoy the capital of fashion

Paris Fashion Week model| ©Simon Ackerma
Paris Fashion Week model| ©Simon Ackerma

September and March, those are the months when Paris is full of fashion thanks to the Fashion Weeks. The fashion shows of the great designers take place during the months of March (spring-summer season) and September (autumn-winter season). Both months are highly recommended if you want to see the most fashionable part of the French capital, because even if you do not access the parades, you can go to the entrance to see the arrival of the guests.

It is clear that only those who have an invitation can access the parades, but many small stores in Paris take advantage of this time where fashion runs through the city to present their collections in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Comparison of the best times to visit Paris

So that you have all the information at hand, here is a table with data on the different seasons to visit Paris:

  • Spring
  • March-June
  • High 20º C
  • Low 4º C
  • Ideal for visiting Parisian gardens and outdoor activities.
  • Worst: minimum temperatures can be low
  • Summer
  • June-September
  • High 25º C
  • Minimum 13º C
  • Ideal for enjoying live music and traveling as a couple.
  • The worst: the heat and the crowds.
  • Autumn
  • September-December
  • High 21º C
  • Low 5º C
  • Ideal to see the musical lighting of the fountains of Versailles and visit the Fashion Week.
  • Worst: rain and less daylight hours.
  • Winter
  • December-March
  • High 7º C
  • Low 1ºC
  • Ideal for visiting the city's museums, visiting Disneyland with children and saving money.
  • The worst: the cold