Answers from Our Experts (3)
With an endless list of attractions, Paris is exciting year-round. Of course, the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. In the mild winter, you’ll find picturesque ice skating rinks scattered throughout the city — there’s even one on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. The shops and bistros are festively decorated with lights and garland, bringing a whole new meaning to the moniker “City of Light.” And the weather isn’t so bad either: temperatures hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter.
While spring brings lots of rain, summer is beautiful. Days are in the high 70s and the sun doesn’t set until nearly 10 p.m. each night. The numerous gardens are in bloom, and streets are filled with tourists. It’s easy to see why Paris is such a romantic city — no matter the time of year.
Visitors planning a trip to Paris can rest assured about there being no wrong time to visit the city - Paris has something to offer regardless of the time of year.
My personal favourite time to visit is June, because the days warm up and stretch on until after 9:00pm meaning you can pack in a lot more on your trip. The city is green and flowers bloom all over. More importantly though, there is a very distinct atmosphere; a general feeling of happiness and renewed energy that the darker winter months have drained almost dry floats in the air. June is the time when Parisians are still in the city (most tend to go away for the holidays in August) so visitors can still get a taste for the local ambience - bar terraces spill over with groups of lively locals after work, the Champs de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower is full of people lazing on the grass, glass of wine in hand, the canals are lined with people having picnics, playing instruments, and often taking part in a game of bowls (especially in the 19th arrondissement), La Villette's outdoor cinema is up and running, the city's péniches, ('barges' in English), adorned like floating gardens, are out on the water, and the temporary bars and deck chairs along the quai de Bercy, prime hang out spot for the locals in the evenings, are set up and thriving.
Another way of planning a visit to Paris is by looking up at what events are on beforehand - there is always something going on and the events are usually excellent, no matter your interests. The city does however have a penchant for all things art-related so have a look at the exhibitions and festivals that are on because they will allow you to get under Paris' skin for a few days as opposed to just bouncing from one monument to the next with your eyes buried in a guidebook.
Paris has its advantages every season of the year, depending on what you are looking to do while visiting. Springtime is a great time to visit Paris, as the flowers begin to bloom and the restaurants open their terraces to diners. It’s difficult to guarantee that the weather will be warm, as Parisian winters have a tendency to linger well into May.
As for summertime, it’s probably the most crowded time of the year for visitors in Paris, but also one of the most enjoyable for the sunny weather and abundance of exhibitions and activities.
My personal favorite time to visit Paris is September or October. During the early fall months, Paris is absolutely beautiful. The leaves begin to change colors, but the weather hasn’t turned cold and grey yet, as it does in the winter.
August is probably not the best time to come to Paris for your first time, as many restaurants and shops are closed during this month for the national vacation period.
Winter is another lovely time to visit if you don’t mind bundling up. There is a romance that emerges during a Parisian winter as the city is blanketed in snow and the fireplaces inside restaurants and bars make them that much more enjoyable. Plus, the Christmas lights decorating the city are always stunning.