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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

13 min read

When is the Best Time to Travel to Paris?

Aircraft Rear View | ©SOCIAL.CUT

Paris is a city that is always on everyone's "to do" list. It doesn't matter how many times you've been, because there is always something new to see or do in Paris or a new way to visit. 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.

It is not that Paris changes its appearance, but 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 is cold enough to force you to make plans indoors. If what you want is to enjoy the outdoors, there are many more events and activities waiting for you in the spring and summer months, most of them full of culture and art. Which one do you choose?

1. The best time to go to Paris

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

It is clear that the French capital is always a perfect vacation destination in which to plan thousands of activities, but if there is a time when you 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. Undoubtedly, it is my favorite time of the year, since I can visit Paris calmly and with far fewer tourists than in summer. In addition, the long days and the color of spring flood every corner of the city, making it even more special.

Think of all the gardens and parks in Paris... Imagine how they are in spring, with all the plants in bloom and their sweet scent permeating your walks. Also, at this time of the 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. Of course, if you want to experience the national holiday of July 14 and see the fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower, book a few days now because it is a real treat.

Another more expensive but equally special time of the year is December. Although at the beginning of the month Christmas in Paris has not yet begun as such, December is a time that many people want to live in Paris, with Christmas markets and lights in stores and streets. It is true that it is a nice time to visit the city, but I do not recommend it if you do not like the big crowds or get cold.

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

Although all seasons have their good and bad things, when you go to Paris you will have many plans to do to discover the wonders of a city that enchants everyone who visits it. I tell you from experience!

2. 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. Didn't you know that? Well, there is no art that escapes Paris, from photography to painting through sculpture. If you want to see some of the most famous works of art in history, I recommend going to Paris in January or February, as these are months when there is less tourism, so you can access them quickly and easily. In addition, the warmth of the museums will make the Paris winter more bearable.

You will see that there are many museums to see, so I recommend that you make a list of the ones that catch your attention. Why do I say that? Because most museums are open for some time in the afternoon-evening, a nice time to visit them with even fewer people. You should also plan your visits to reserve tickets or even get them for 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.

Louvre Museum

Some of the most important works of the Louvre are La Gioconda by da Vinci or the Venus de Milo, one of the most beautiful sculptures of Ancient Greece. In addition, the architecture of the building and the pyramids square that gives access to visitors are already worth a visit.

My advice is that, although in January and February the museums are not so crowded, get your ticket for the Louvre in advance, as it is one of the most visited museums in the world and you do not want to miss it.

Book tickets for the Louvre Museum

Orsay Museum

Although perhaps not as world renowned as the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay is equally full of culture and art, albeit more contemporary. There may not be Roman sculptures, but there are the great paintings of authors such as Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne or Monet.

What I like most about this museum is that it is much more accessible than the Louvre, which can be very large and impossible to visit in its entirety.

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.

3. Best time to go to Paris if you want to enjoy the nature

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

When spring arrives in Paris, the city is full of color and a special joy, so there is no better time to enjoy the nature of the parks and gardens of Paris. Moreover, it doesn't matter in which month you go because the blooms in Paris extend throughout the spring and even summer months. On the contrary, I recommend you to avoid going in winter, even if the idea of seeing them snowy calls you; think that the vast majority of Parisian gardens are full of beautiful sculptures and fountains that in winter are covered or turned off.

Admire the nature of the Garden of Versailles

If there is a garden that you have to visit during your visit to Paris, it is clear that it is Versailles. 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 Versailles fountains, 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 an excursion to Versailles from Paris

Other natural gardens in Paris

Two other gardens that you absolutely must also visit are the Champ de Mars, where you can sit on the soft green grass and have a picnic while gazing at the Eiffel Tower, and the Luxembourg Gardens, where you can take an arboriculture course or just sit in one of the many metal chairs and relax in the sun for a while.

Want to literally get lost in nature? Then you have to add to your list the Jardin des Plantes or, what is the same, 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.

4. Best time to go to Paris if you are traveling with children

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

Will the next family vacation be in Paris? I can imagine the illusion 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 (summer, Christmas, Easter...), 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 attractions of Disneyland Paris will be closed and in cold weather you won't enjoy them as much, don't you think?

In addition to Disneyland, Paris will also be less crowded and, if you have traveled with children, you know that long lines to enter a museum or any other place usually makes them very nervous, so anything that can help to reduce queues, is a help.

Book your Disneyland ticket

5. 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, because it is 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 your trip.

Although the weather is not so inviting to be in the street, what I like about starting the year in Paris is that you can feel much better how the city is when tourists are not the ones who set the pace. Besides, apart from finding cheaper accommodation and flights, you can also enjoy special events, such as the winter sales or ice skating, and even visit a Parisian Christmas market, as they tend to 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. It is not very expensive (around 5€) and, since you have saved some money on the trip, you can make yourself a unique gift. What do you think?

6. 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. Be prepared for a few days of high temperatures (about 25°C), but it will be worth it.

Saint-Denis Festival

Classical music lovers are sure to enjoy this festival, which is held in June. You can listen to pieces with history in the Gothic basilica of Saint-Denis, which embraces the musical notes with its beautiful stained glass windows and great luminosity.

World Music Day

How do you celebrate the longest day of the year (June 21)? I don't know about you, but Parisians do it with Music Day, so get your best dance moves ready on that day because Paris neighborhoods are filled with bands and live 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 surely that day is even more so.

Chopin Festival

This Polish composer receives every year (approximately in June-July) a nice tribute in the city of Paris. Specifically, it is 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'll feel like you're in a movie whose soundtrack mixes the tones of saxophones, trumpets and other instruments that are guided by improvisation. Because that's jazz, and in summer there's no better way to enjoy it than at the Festival de Paris. In addition, the concerts are free as long as you buy a ticket to the Parc Floral de Vincennes, where they are held.

Just don't leave it to the last minute because they tend to fill up.

Rock in Seine

Want something more lively? Summer is the time of music in Paris, so if you like this art you have to visit during these months. Specifically in August, the Rock Festival on the Seine takes place. Three days, five stages and dozens of artists that put rhythm to Paris.

7. 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 (such as 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. You can have lunch or dinner up there, as some tickets for the Eiffel Tower include it. Just book them in advance to ensure access.

If you feel like having a picnic, you can go to one of the banks of the Seine and organize a picnic there. This is a very summery plan, as the weather is perfect, and also very Parisian.

May I give you 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 become again one of the great plans. I recommend you to start the tour at sunset, after having enjoyed a long day of light in Paris, so make sure you book it in advance.

Book a cruise on the Seine

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

Paris Pass| ©AntisocialClub
Paris Pass| ©AntisocialClub

I also don't like to stand in long and seemingly endless lines to get into any museum or tourist attraction. While 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 rows and rows of people every time you want to access somewhere.

Be careful, even if there are less 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

9. 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 probably know that any time of year 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 get 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 as early as 9 am.

Another aspect that you might want to take into account is that in those months, especially at the beginning of the year, when tourism is low, 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.

10. Best time to go to paris to enjoy the fashion capital

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.