‘Paris is always a good idea’, yea I could go on and on about my love for Paris and how the city never ceases to amaze me. But if you are wondering when is the best time to visit Paris, you are in the right spot. This SUPER detailed post outlines monthly activities in Paris, with seasonal festivities, packing guide and tips for the best time to go to Paris.
Depending on your style of travel you might find a month that might suit your needs better than others. And as you know, Paris is always a good idea – you will find a reason to fall in love with this city at any time of the year!
When is the best time to visit Paris – Monthly Guide to the best time to go to Paris
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When is the best time to visit Paris?
The short answer to that is – shoulder or off season is the BEST to visit Paris. These months are from April to early June and late September to October. These are the best times to go to Paris as the temperature is mild, crowds and peak season have passed, and the city returns to its romantic self – the city of love that we dream of by looking at the postcards and paintings. If you are flying internationally, flights will be cheaper during these months, as also hotel nightly rates will be affordable.
Now, these shoulder months are a good time to visit Paris, considering low airfares and fewer crowds. But Paris in every month brings in a different flavor – be it visiting Paris in November or December, where the holiday season brings in twinkling lights and mulled wine, or visiting in February-March when the weather though damp and cold is great to spend indoors exploring museums or a stay-cation with a loved one!
|Best Month for|
|Best Month Overall||April|
Good for indoors
|Cheap Flights (Intl.)||November|
|Festivals||March (book fair, films)|
April (Easter, marathons)
May (Jazz, Museum night)
June - August (Music, movies)
Sept (Jazz, garden fest)
Oct (Wine fest)
|Events||May (French Open) |
June (Beer week)
July (Bastille Day)
Sept (Heritage Days)
Oct (White Night)
Nov - Dec (Christmas markets)
If this is your first trip to Paris, read our hotel Paris guide to choosing the right Parisian neighborhood for your accommodation. Or compare Paris hotel rates here for your travel dates.
But we know, regardless of offseason or not we want to book that flight because after-all Paris is on everyone’s LIST, that’s where this monthly guide to Paris will come in handy. And also because Audrey Hepburn once said,
Paris is Always a Good Idea
About Paris Weather and Temperature
Paris belongs to the oceanic climate zone, meaning the weather in the city remains mild and moderately wet throughout the year. Summers are pleasant, however, in recent years Paris has been suffering from heatwave in the prime summer months. Winters are cool and chilly.
Paris does get snow in December and January, sometimes into the early days of March. That’s why the city looks gloomy in the early months of the year. Come April, the weather changes with longer days and greenery and pink flowers all across Paris. In this best time to go to Paris guide, we have included pictures from each month and that shows how the weather changes throughout the year.
Paris does experience all 4 seasons. We will also cover the monthly Paris temperatures and activities below. Here is how the months are split by seasons and the packing tips for each. Because many months will be transition and crossover seasons, the packing list will not change.
- Spring (March to May) – In addition to light cotton clothing, carry a raincoat or rain jacket
- Summer (June to August) – Good idea to carry a light (waterproof or water repellent) trench coat
- Fall (September to November) – Carry 1 warm pea-coat or light coat. Cardigan and scarf is always handy
- Winter (December to February) – Boots, leggings, warm wool coat (outwear), beret, gloves, hat, long sleeve shirts and sweater
Leaving a few days here and there, what you must carry in one month in a season, it drastically doesn’t change for the succeeding month. What you pack for November will/can apply to December through February.
Remember, the climate is oceanic – so moderate temperature. If you are always cold like me carry a warm cardigan all year round. It does rain here and there, often without warning, a light trench coat or jacket (both waterproof) is a MUST. Oh, don’t forget comfortable walking shoes. Paris is one city – where we LOVED walking (hiking in the city is our jam), so carry trendy, but comfy walking shoes.
Visiting Paris – Top things to do in Paris at all times of the year
Itinerary Inspiration: Our 4 days in Paris Itinerary can be used all year round, includes a day trip and Seine river cruise.
Paris in January
January brings a fresh start, and where better to celebrate the start of a new year than Paris? Celebrating New Year’s in Paris means ringing in the new year with thousands of other people at the Arc de Triomphe or on a romantic dinner cruise down the Seine. Bundle up and enjoy the festive spirit in the air. If you arrive early enough in January, you can even still see some of the Christmas decorations and lights throughout the city.
Once the New Year’s celebrations end, most of the common tourist stops open back up to full operations. Be aware that if you visit for New Year’s, many of the major attractions and museums shut down for the day. Make sure to stop by the Arc de Triomphe once it reopens to enjoy the view from the top. It is one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower and the city. Then head over to Trocadero for another classic and beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.
If you are visiting in January and decide to take a trip out to Versailles, be prepared for the beautiful gardens to be brown and dead. While there are still lots of people there, the gardens are disappointing after visiting in the summer or seeing pictures of it blooming. While the gardens of Versailles may not be as pretty in January, the rest of the city is beautiful all year.
If you are lucky enough to catch a fresh snowfall, take in the extra beauty of the city covered in fresh powder. Other than New Year’s, the city is less crowded in January, so you have a better chance to see the main sites without the crowds.
If you are looking for a European holiday this winter, put Paris on your list for January. Ring in the new year and take in the beautiful city without so many people around.
Festivals and Things to do in Paris in January
- New Year’s Eve Dinner – Reserve your spot for New Year’s Eve dinner here
- New Year’s: Ring in New Year celebrations in the French Capital.
- Ice Skating in January: Head to the Le Grand Palais des Glaces in the first week of January, to enjoy some last-minute ice skating in the city. This is the biggest skating rink in France!
- Paris fashion week: Held from the 15 January – 24 January. An invitation-only event, but Paris turns into a fashion studio during these days as editors, bloggers and fashionistas visit the city.
- Shop Winter Sales: For fashion and luxury brand lovers, January is a great time to buy items on heavy discounts (especially the couture or festive collections)
- Exhibitions at Jardin des Plantes – People who love the outdoors will appreciate this seasonal display at the Jardin des Plantes which showcases species that went extinct millions of years ago. They also have a lantern festival that lasts from November 18, 2019, to January 19, 2020.
- Chinese New Year 2020 – This year Chinese New Year is on 25th January 2020. If you are in town, celebrate Chinese New Year in ChinaTown. The biggest parade is held on Avenue d’Ivry in the heart of the biggest Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement. Most years Chinese New Year is celebrated in February, this year being the exception.
- Eat Galette des Rois – Don’t forget to stuff yourself with Parisian baked goods. Galette des Rois is the one item to try in Paris in January. Galette des Rois is a type of cake associated with the festival of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season.
- With less crowded streets, take guided walking tours in Paris in any of the historic neighborhoods like Montmartre, Latin Quarter.
- Nighttime activities – Take a Seine River Dinner Cruise or cozy up in Moulin Rouge for dinner and show.
Paris in February
Cold weather. That’s all we could think about when visiting Paris last February.
As much as we love Paris, – after all, Paris is always a good idea -, the temperature in Paris in February feels colder than any months. Granted, most tourist attractions we visited were not crowded which is always a plus. In fact, we ended up visiting more places than what we planned for simply because most tourists also want to avoid gray days in this romantic city.
Because it was chilly, most of the activities planned were indoors, so no picnic at the Luxembourg Gardens – Jardin du Luxembourg.
Spend most of your days museum-hopping in Paris and then finish the day tasting the best Parisian dishes. While the Louvre Museum is a fantastic place (and often crowded too), we particularly enjoyed the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, and Musée l’Orangerie.
Also, Paris has some of the prettiest churches and they are great to visit when the weather isn’t the best outside.
Stroll around the Sainte-Chapelle, Sacre-Coeur, and Église Saint-Sulpice. While they’re very distinctive from each other, they’re all spectacular and worth the visit. If you like stained-glass windows, you’ll have a blast at Sainte-Chapelle. It’s incredible! Get entry tickets to Sainte-Chapelle.
Got tired of walking around this massive city? Then take in a movie in one of Paris’ oldest movie theaters, Le Louxor. With a great selection of movies, this Egyptian-inspired cinema has a unique atmosphere. But that’s not all. After watching your movie, head upstairs to get a drink at the rooftop bar. It’s small but very pleasant. Oh, and it’s also reasonably priced for Paris.
Festivals and Things to do in Paris in February
- Chinese New Year: 2020 – Chinese New Year is celebrated in January – Jan 25th, 2020, but expect festivities going into the early days of February.
- Valentine’s Day: Celebrate LOVE in the city of LOVE by waking up to Eiffel tower views and finishing the day with a romantic Seine River Dinner Cruise for two.
- Or head to the National Opera aka Palais Opera Garner for a night of French ballet and music.
- Carnival Paris: Join the biggest festive event in Paris – Paris Carnival! The Carnaval de Paris will be held on 23 February in 2020. The parade begins at the Gambetta Metro station and ends at the Hôtel-de-Ville. It is joined by about 4,000 people (in the parade), while 6,000 strong crowd of people fill the streets of Paris for the best views of the procession.
- Being a cold and quiet month, utilize your time in Paris in February by checking off all the museums – big and small.
- Enjoy a relaxing vacation with your sweetheart. Book a private tour of Paris at night
- And shoppers – there is still time to shop the winter sales!
Paris in March
March falls into the shoulder season period. However, there is no such thing as a real shoulder season in Paris. But still, it is quieter, the prices are lower, and the weather can be pretty decent.
Most of the things to do in Paris in March are similar to the ones in summer. The likelihood of snow is almost none and you can travel with lighter shoes and jacket but wear layers.
Visiting Paris to explore the Eiffel tower can be tricky. It can be very windy and cold at the top of the tower, so maybe opt for the second-floor access. We highly recommend booking your tickets in advance, and opt for an early in the morning entry – that way you will get in quickly. You can book available time slots when booking your tickets.
During our visit, we had a grey and slightly rainy weather which gave us a chance to visit the Lafayette Gallery. This shopping center is a piece of art. You need to walk around for at least a few moments to take it all in. And if you go to the rooftop, they have a viewing point towards the Eiffel tower.
No matter the weather you can go on a champagne cruise on the Seine. If it is rainy you can seat inside, on the lower deck. Although the cruiser was filled with tourists and it was rainy the views were beautiful, and the champagne warmed your heart. On your way, you will pass the famous La Conciergerie, the Royal Palace until the end of 14th century, Alexandre du Pont, Musee d’Orsay, and Notre Dame, among others.
Paris is full of museums. If the weather is playing tricks with you, then head to museums. Visit the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, the catacombs or Sacre-Coeur Basilica – these are all must-sees, and besides staying inside you will learn a ton. Paris art fair is also held in March.
Don’t forget to grab the Paris Museum Pass
Festivals and things to do in Paris March
Paris in March is warming up to spring, but it is not there yet. Carry warm clothing along with light cotton clothes. Here is what you can do in Paris in March –
- Vertical Race Eiffel Tower – Do you want to climb up the Eiffel Tower? Well, in March every year (March 11 to be exact), Eiffel Tower holds a Vertical Race, in which athletes ascend the 1,665 steps of the iconic landmark.
- International Tourism Show – This tourism event showcases the latest trends and forecasts in the travel. Every year about 100,000 travel professionals join in, in Paris to learn and appreciate tourism related trade shows. Dates: March 12- 15 2020.
- Film Festivals – There are 2 film festivals held in March. One showcases documentaries from across the world, called the Cinema du Reel (from March 13-20 2020) and the second one is Printemps du Cinéma – where movies are screened in smaller theatres across Paris.
- Paris Book Fair – Paris holds its annual book fair in March. The Salon du Livre is the most important book festival in France. This festival is a 3-day event and is remarkable with book signings, author readings, conferences, and exhibitions. This event will be held from March 20-23 2020. The location is Porte de Versailles Paris Expo.
- Seine Cruises – Seine Cruises are quite popular in March. As days are slightly longer, you can see the Parisian landmarks at the comfort of your ferry. Dinner cruises are always available – including in March. Here is an hour sightseeing cruise on Seine river
- Making the most of indoor visits – Tourist count is low in Paris in March, use it to explore attractions like the Louvre museum or attend a mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral – perfect for Easter celebrations (if Easter falls in March for that year). You can enter the Louvre for free on Fridays if you’re under 26. In the evening, head to Montmartre for a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge.
- Day trips: Don’t forget about day trips from Paris. March is a good time to visit Versailles and other places for wine tours like Normandy or Loire Valley. Here is a list of best day tours from Paris.
Paris in April
Paris in April is a moveable feast! After the long and cold winter, it is time to celebrate the spring and even if the weather can be unpredictable, perhaps with some days of rain, everybody is in a good mood and eager to enjoy the streets and parks of Paris.
April in Paris is still low season and it is the perfect month for visiting the city and its main sights without the crowds that will be there in just one month. Forget the longest lines of May and summertime, everything is easier in April!
April is the time of the cherry blossoms, and they are especially beautiful to see in Luxembourg Gardens (Paris 6), Jardin des Plantes (Paris 5) or around the Eiffel Tower. It is also the time of sidewalk cafés, walking tours, the first picnics in the park and a pétanque with friends.
If the weather is good, don’t hesitate to book a boat tour to sail the River Seine. Perhaps the temperature will be still fresh but the river breeze will make you feel good. Plus the main sights along the Seine with the spring colors are something to see!
If you visit Paris in April, we definitely recommend you to explore the small towns around the capital, there are many interesting places to visit in the French region of Ile de France and very easy to reach by train. Some interesting places include Auvers-Sur-Oise, Van Gogh’s latest home, or Barbizon, also a painters gathering point but there are many more.
Festivals and things to do in Paris in April
April is considered one of the BEST time to go to Paris. The city is no longer gloomy and there are tons of events to participate in the city.
- The Paris Marathon – There are 2 famous runs/marathon that takes place in Paris. One of them is the Paris Marathon, which starts at the Arc de Triomphe/Les Champs Elysées and comprises of over 42 km, finishing at Bastille. Date: 05 April 2020 (Sunday). More on their website
- The Color Run: On the other hand the Color Run is a running event inspired by the Indian Holi Festival which starts at Hôtel de Ville and ends at the Eiffel Tower. Dates: TBD
- Art Exhibition at Grand Palais – Grand Palais brings together international art galleries representing dozens of artists. 2020 spotlight is on black and white portraits (Noir & Blanc). In this exhibition discover over 300 emblematic prints from the exceptional collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Dates: 08 April to 6 July 2020
- Head to the Notre Dame Cathedral for Easter concerts and mass. Or visit some of the other popular churches in Paris like the La Sainte Chapelle or Sacred Heart Basilica in Montmartre – Sacré-Cœur.
- Enjoy April lineup operas at Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille. Performances include Carmen, Othello, Don Pasquale, and The Magic Flute.
- And day trips: Don’t forget to add in half day or full day trips to Versailles or Giverny or wine valley of Loire. Join the Versailles musical Fountain show in the evening from Saturdays and Sundays from April to October, and extended shows in summer.
Paris in May
Another favorite museum of ours which we visit on every occasion is Musee d’Orsay. You can spend a whole day here and still not see all the collections. Straight from the museum, wander along the Seine to l’Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame, and finish the day with dinner and drinks in the Latin Quarter.
Festivals and things to do in Paris in May
May is another great month to visit Paris. Great weather and host of musical events (and many for free)
- Saint-Germain-des-Prés Jazz Festival – Hosted at the intellectual district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the surrounding areas on the left bank of the river Seine, this Jazz festival is popular with locals and tourists. The performances are free to enjoy and they are held outdoors as well as indoors (partly free). Dates: May 2020 dates TBD
- The French Open at Roland Garros – For tennis lovers visiting Paris in May-June, head to Roland Garros for the French Open. Dates: May 24, 2020 – Jun. 7, 2020
- Paris Museum Night – Paris Museums join the global event wherein a number of Parisian museums open their doors free of charge to visitors until late until the night. La Nuit des Musées usually falls on the third Saturday in May. Major museums from the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay to the Centre Pompidou are open for free this Saturday.
- Stroll the Seine River – As the Paris weather is warm and days longer, stay outdoors and stroll alongside the river banks or Seine River Cruise & Lunch on the Eiffel Tower
- Day trips – Of course, a perfect time to visit the gardens of Versailles Monet in Giverny or head to Normandy beaches and the Loire Valley for wine tours.
- Join the Versailles Musical Fountain show in the evening from Saturdays and Sundays from April to October, and extended shows in summer – Tuesdays from May 22 to June 26, 2019
- Walking Tour – Use the lovely weather to go on a walking tour to one of the Parisian neighborhoods. Enjoy a walking tour of Le Marais neighborhood.
Paris in June
Welcoming June means greeting Paris in summer. In summer, the city genuinely wakes up. Paris is continually humming as locals and tourists fill the streets to appreciate the warmth while it keeps going. Daytime temperatures in June are usually quite hot hovering around 24- 26º C. Days are longer. Warm clothes are definitely put aside and the temperatures generally remain on the mild side.
Summer is one of the rainiest seasons of the year in the city. However, this fact scarcely appears to stop the fun.
Parisians mark the start of festival season with an outside music celebration, the Fête de la Musique. Consistently on the 21st of June, performers and groups play unrecorded music in the streets of Paris for nothing. All of Paris is a stage when shows are given outside everywhere throughout the city. Amateur and professional musicians, groups, and symphonies play on the boulevards and squares – without admission.
There are, of course, a few big-name acts that draw crowds, but our preferred way of enjoying the event is simply wandering the lanes and alleyways at random, taking in a song or two from solo performers before moving on to hear others. The hot spots include the Jardin des Tuileries, the Petit Palais, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Louvre, Jardin du Luxembourg.
You might go frolic around the extensive, lush gardens at Versailles or the quietly poetic Japanese gardens near Albert Kahn museum. Walk along the river Seine or cruise along the River Seine to see the ‘City of Lights’ twinkling back at you from the shore.
As the sun sets at about 10 pm, amp up the experience by choosing a dinner cruise on one of the Seine’s ‘Bateaux Mouches’. Seeing the settlement from a different perspective while sipping a glass of champagne or wine is always refreshing and easily one of the best nice things to do in Paris in June.
Like many European cities, Paris is the ideal place to explore on foot. Prepare to walk a lot and wear comfortable shoes. After all, it’s only when you wander around these charming lanes of the arrondissements, will you discover the authentic Paris and see the city from a local’s perspective.
On another note, if you wish to visit Paris on a budget or not, our advice is to use the Paris metro to commute across the city. Paris metro is very efficient and affordable so there’s not much need to rent a car or use a taxi. While the traffic is quite hectic in some areas and the driving may be completely different from what you’re used to back home. Keep in mind, there are plenty of ways to get around Paris on the cheap. Use the Paris Pass to save money on the transport and museum fees.
With summer being the busiest time of year for hotels in Paris, you’ll have to choose where to stay well in advance to evade issues.
Festivals and things to do in Paris in June
June brings in warm weather to Paris. But the peak tourist season has not hit the city of Lights yet. Parisians are still in school or work, so it is a good time to soak in the early summer sun and enjoy the outdoors before the crowds. Tons of outdoors festivals to choose from –
- Paris Beer Week – Enjoy Parisian food and beer by joining in the Beer Festival. It typically takes place in the beginning of the second week of June.
- Free film festivals and Seine River Cruise – During June there are free film fests and concerts at Le Zenith, Le Trabendo, and at the Paris Conservatory (Cite de la Musique).
- French Open – The French Open or the Roland Garros tennis tournament starts in May and continues to June.
- Paris Jazz Festival – Another Paris Jazz festival takes place at the end of June through July. It features many Jazz artists and concerts at the Parc Floral de Paris, including many Jazz clubs. Concerts at the Parc Floral de Paris are free with park admission. Montmartre and Saint Germain neighborhoods are particularly associated as the cradle of Jazz in the city. You can pick a neighborhood during your visit to Paris and explore its attractions as well as listen to Jazz. In Saint Germain, go on a walking tour and learn about Saint Sulpice or head to Montmartre and admire the Sacre-Coeur’s grandeur.
- Spend time outdoors – With great weather outside, awesome time for family friendly activities. Or relax, go on a stroll at the city’s historic and popular parks like the Jardin du Luxembourg, Trocadero Gardens, Jardin des Tuileries and more. Or go on a bike tour of the city
- Taking day trips in June – Also a good time to go on day trips to Normandy Beaches, Saint Michel, or wine valley tours like the Loire. Visiting the Palace of Versailles is a great idea any month, but ensure you book your skip the line tickets ahead of time (and start in the morning if possible). Check out this day tour to St Michel from Paris.
Paris in July
July is a great month to visit Paris. July is the beginning of summer holidays for Parisians, when the weather is warm, days are long, and there are many cool festivals and activities going on.
July is the time to wander around the streets of Paris ice-cream in hand, enjoy the beautiful parks of the city and the terraces of the quintessential Parisian cafes. It is also the time of rooftop bars with friends, hidden terraces on the shade, and film festivals under the stars.
July is the month when the River Seine and the city’s canals come to life and there are many ways to enjoy life by the water. Some people like to walk along the Seine while other people prefer a picnic on Canal Saint Martin’s banks.
Also, boat tours are very popular in July and there is something for every taste, from classical boat tours with or without meals along the Seine, to adventurous sails along the Canal de l’Ourcq on a self-drive electrical boat.
Usually, July also comes with a couple of really hot days, with temperatures close to 40 Cº and high humidity level: it is the famous canicule! If you are in Paris during these hard days, there is no better antidote than a great museum like the Louvre or Orsay or perhaps other lesser-known museums like the Petit Palais, or the Marie Curie Museum.
Looking for Paris festivals during the month of July? We recommend the quirky Paris Plages, on the banks of River Seine and the canals, Villette’s open-air cinema festival or the Eiffel Tower fireworks for the Bastille Day.
Festivals and things to do in Paris in July
July is a prime tourist month in Paris. The summer is here and TONS of activities, fun and festivities fill the air of Paris. Here are some events to make note of –
- Bastille Day – As mentioned above, start with the parade at Champs-Elysees, down to the Place de la Concorde and finish the day with fireworks set off from the Eiffel Tower. Book Bastille day dinner
- Paris Plages – During summer, Paris turns into a beach resort of sorts. Soak in the “tropical sun” while it lasts at the Paris Beach. Enjoy a picnic or a movie in the park or dance away at the Tropical Carnival, the choice is yours.
- Parc Floral de Paris Seasonal fests – In the first week of July, head to the Parc Floral de Paris to enjoy Peacock Society Festival.
- Day trips –Paris July is perfect to see the gardens of Versailles and Monet’s Garden, summer/July is a perfect time to go on a day trip. It will be bustling with tourists and activities, so if you prefer – choose a half-day tour to these places, which are completely doable from Paris city center.
Additional Tips – Paris in summer is busy (see Paris in June section) which includes the month of July.
- To make the most of your trip, book all tours, concerts, and hotels ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
- Places like the Louvre museum, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Les Invalides including Seine River Cruises will be busy with tourists. Keep calm and allot additional time for each sightseeing location. Security, line-ups, heat, and confusion are common.
- Bastille Day is a popular festival in Paris France, exercise caution in crowded public areas and be aware of your surroundings.
- Carry a water bottle with you, stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. In the past 2 years, instances of heatwave have been on the rise in Paris.
Paris in August
Visiting Paris during all four seasons may be delightful but the best time to visit Paris in Summer is in the month of August, especially for those who seek out “overlooked” and less-frequented attractions and wish to explore offbeat things to do in Paris.
In August, all the locals are vacationing so it will be easy for you to secure a spot at the best sought after spots such as Qui Plume la Lune, a delicious small producer, Michelin-starred restaurant that has a very well priced lunch menu!
There’s more to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, The Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Pantheon. There are beautiful sites that are as amazing as these more popular attractions but without the crowds and queues.
If visiting the Louvre means you can’t get a decent photograph without a stranger getting in the frame, so go for the less visited fascinating museums such as de la Vie Romantique or la Maison de Victor Hugo. While Notre Dame is a must-see, historical experts will recommend visiting Basilique Saint-Denis, where you can marvel at the beauty of Gothic architecture while experiencing the diversity of the French society in this multi-cultural neighborhood.
If you love working out while traveling, then you are in luck. In Paris in August, you can find secluded strolls in places like Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Père Lachaise Cemetery or explore the city with the cheap public bike service (Velib’). Going uphill to Montmartre passing by trendy South Pigalle will for sure be a nice addition to your exercise routine.
Those are just some of the off-the-beaten-track things you can do in Paris in August, whilst enjoying good weather. You’ll have a feeling of peace and experience local life while everyone is left waiting in line at the most famous spots!
Special events and festivals in Paris Paris in August
- Music Festivals – There are tons of music festivals in Paris in August. For classical music lovers head to the Parc Floral for the Classique au Vert (starts the second week of August to September). For rock music fans, there is an amazing festival that takes place just outside of Paris called the Rock en Seine festival (in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud (last weekend of August 2 day event).
- Paris Plages – Paris Plages where Paris is turned into a beach resort of sorts is still open for sunbathing and building sandcastles in August.
- Summer Sales – August is a good time to snag some great summer sales
- Free movies and events – There are tons of free events held in the city in August – open-air cinema, live music and more along the river Seine banks.
- Visit the popular attractions and take day tours – Just in other summer months, Paris in August will keep tourists coming into the city. Expect line-ups at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musee Orsay, Arc de Triumphe and other prime attractions. Book skip the line tickets online and lessen the wait times. Day trips can be conveniently done in August – thanks to the weather and long sunny hours. Versailles will be open a usual, including the gardens. Exploring Normandy beaches and learning about their history in a guided tour is a great option to include in your Paris Itinerary.
Paris in September
Paris in September means fewer crowds on the streets. It is officially the end of summer and beginning of fall. Temperatures drop a little – so the heat is bearable, but expect rains and light showers here and there. Pack a poncho, waterproof jacket or an umbrella.
School season starts in September in Paris (just like in Canada/North America), and people are either back to work or school. So all the prime attractions of Paris that you have been waiting to check off, DO IT now.
Hit the Louvre museum, get those amazing shots of the Eiffel tower, stroll the Champs Elysees Boulevard – but mind you, you have to still wake up early. Sun was up by 07:30 am in Paris all the days we were there in September.
As less tourists in Paris, book yourself some private tours or guided walking tours to explore the city on foot. We recommend Montmartre walking tour – as this was one of our favorites!
Seine River looks extra pretty in the fall. And the gorgeous bridges and “bookshelves on the Seine”, should not be missed. We took a Seine River cruise in the evening – it was fabulous. Thankfully it didn’t rain that evening, but even if it did – it would be a slight drizzle and river cruises have covered seating – so you don’t be cold or drenched in water!
Festivals and things to do in Paris in September
- Paris Design Week – An autumn week-long design event in Paris – the Design Week showcases beautiful galleries, concept stores, cultural institutions, showrooms, and hotels and cafes in 150 venues across the city. Held in the first week of September
- Paris Autumn Festival – Celebrate fall foliage with Paris Autumn Festival or Festival de l’Automne. It starts the autumn season with events and exhibitions highlighting arts, cinema, theater, music and more. It begins in the first week of September and continues until the end of December.
- Go on walking tours – With a pleasant day time temperature, September is a good time to wander through neighborhoods in Paris. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, so is the Latin Quarter and Montmartre – just take your pick and start exploring. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes.
- Paris Jazz Festival – For Jazz lovers, attend the Jazz àla Villette concert series to enjoy the best performances in contemporary and experimental jazz.
- Generally, throughout September, there are tons of classical music concerts held across Paris – in the most historic venues possible like the La Sainte Chapelle, Belle Époque and the Palais Garnier. You can also stay outdoors and enjoy performances at Les Invalides, or Madame Butterfly performed at Opera Bastille and Puccini’s classic opera, Tosca.
- Fête des Jardins – Fête des Jardins is a garden festival in Paris wherein for one weekend in September, all of the gardens and beautiful green spaces across the city are set up for public viewing with guided tours, walks, and concerts. With less crowds in September and warm weather, make sure you visit the Luxembourg Gardens, the Tuileries and the Jardin des Plantes to appreciate the natural beauty of Parisian gardens.
- European Heritage Days – Organized and celebrated every year is the Journées du Patrimoine aka European Heritage Days. This is a week-long festival where many Paris monuments, buildings, city halls, and private locations open their doors to the public to explore the city’s historical hidden gems. It is held in the third week of September.
- Walking Tour – Use the lovely weather to go on a walking tour to one of the Parisian neighborhoods.
- Day tours from Versailles – Although prime day tours like the one to Versailles will be crowded, but a trip is worth all the work, considering the weather and the gardens are still open! Read about our Paris to Versailles trip.
Paris in October
Visiting Paris in October is the best because of much smaller crowds and still awesome weather. The Louvre has no big lines and the Orsay Museum is amazing as always. At the Louvre museum, explore the Napoleon rooms to feel the epoch of the early 19th century. So essentially the Louvre and the Orsay museum can take you all day or less depending on how much time you have.
Our favorite spots in Paris in October also include the Sacre Coeur and the Luxembourg Gardens. The Sacre Coeur church is gorgeous in itself, and you can have great views of the city if the weather is nice from up there.
At the Luxembourg gardens, there is still time to sit, relax and feel the autumn spirit of Paris.
It’s also a good time to visit Versailles as well on a day trip, especially if you do it first thing in the morning. No lines and just one little detail, the fountains in the Versailles gardens are not in operation anymore. However, there is still time for the fountain show at Versailles. Or if you have more time, we take a day trip to Nantes.
In autumn, France and Paris are all about food so choose the restaurant of your taste and enjoy it. Trust us, nothing can compare to French cuisine.
If you want some luxury while you are staying in Paris, we would recommend Monsieur Cadet Hotel & Spa. It’s a small hotel in the 9th arrondissement of the city, not far from the underground and city attractions. It has an interesting interior and a value for money price.
Festivals and things to do in Paris in October
- Nuit Blanche or White Night – A unique concept (which is also spread over 10 cities in the world) is a free festival of arts that takes place in the evening to early morning – from 7 pm to 7 am on the first Saturday of October on Paris night. Dates: 7 – 11 October 2020
- Montmartre Wine Harvest Festival – Join the festivities at Mairie – the Montmartre town hall. In October, locals from Montmartre harvest the annual crop of grapes to produce 500 bottles of Clos Montmartre. And Montmartians celebrate style with an annual event with parades, tastings, and wine-related festivities. Join them for wine tastings
- Art exhibition – Head to Grand Palais for free contemporary art display.
- Day tours: Take a wine tour to the Loire Valley. Or last look at the Versailles musical fountains.
- Head to Moulin Rouge for a dinner and a show.
- Join in for a dark secrets walking tour in Paris
Paris in November
Paris in November might sound cold, dreary and uninspiring because winter is arriving here. But it is actually one of the perfect times of the year to visit.
For one thing, the weather has usually not yet turned cold, and summer tourists have gone home. This means you will have the museums mostly to yourself, so if you are here for a couple of days, you can happily take advantage. A selfie with Mona Lisa or a picture of the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles may actually be possible!
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, we have no need to wait for that holiday before putting up the Christmas decorations. After the museums, head over to the Galerie Lafayette. This famous Grand Magasin (department store) starts its holiday window displays in early November, and always packs a huge crowd. So the earlier you visit, the better.
The official Marché de Noel in Paris (at the Jardin des Tuileries just off the Champs Elysées) opens in mid-November, so that is also a must. In winter there are also more shows, such as circuses, ballets, and more, so reserve your tickets to the opera and enjoy it with a glass of champagne.
And you cannot visit Paris in November without sipping a vin chaud (hot wine) on a heated restaurant terrasse, and diving into a raclette dinner. In France, the food we eat in winter is quite different than in summer (boeuf bourguignon, raclette, aligot, seafood such as coquilles saint Jaques, etc). Remember to loosen your belt buckles and try everything!
Although November might seem dull and quiet, the city does put forward the best indoor activities around this time, from festive light decorations to dining events. Let’s take a look at the festivals and events happening in Paris in November.
- Beaujolais Nouveau Season – Beaujolais Nouveau Season is the occasion where red winemakers, display their creations with bar tastings and live music. This event kicks off on the third Thursday of the month, which was 21 November 2019. November 2020 dates will be announced soon.
- Opera and Ballet – November is a great time to enjoy cultural performances with the best in opera and ballet at Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille.
- Salon de la Photo at the Paris Expo – If you love Paris photo (like I have a gazillion Eiffel towers at home and work), join in the Salon de la Photo at the Paris Expo for a photography exhibition.
- Walking tour – Although the weather is chilly, you can still venture out for guided walking tours (as tours are still functioning). As the tourist rush has gone, you can enjoy and take your time wandering through the Parisian lanes with a local. Just remember to dress as per the weather and wear warm clothing.
- Christmas Markets – Christmas Markets are up and ready in November. Try local cuisines or mulled wine and admire the Christmas decorations.
- Paris City Highlights – All the regular sightseeing attractions like the Louvre museum, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral – are open as normal. As the city takes a breather from the summer rush, and with the cool festive air, it is an amazing time to enjoy a Seine River Dinner cruise or explore the Louvre at ease. You might also score a good deal on 4- 5 star hotels in Paris.
Paris in December
Paris in December is magical. Christmas lights and markets, the holiday decoration in the stores and a lot fewer crowds make it the perfect month to visit.
If this is your first time visiting the city of love, take advantage of hop on & hop off tours for one day to check off all the must-see sights. As the temperature drops down in December, sitting inside the bus will keep you warm and toasty.
Paris in December will also surprise with the sun shining during the day, making it perfect for a stroll on a crisp, but sunny winter day. If you are blessed with such a day during December, explore the city on foot, wander through their lanes whilst enjoying a cup of coffee and people watch.
One of the exciting things to do in Paris is to take a cooking class with a local. Our “chef” met us at a beautiful outdoor market, where we first went shopping for ingredients. She showed us her favorite cheese shop, and we stopped at a boucherie (butcher shop), boulangerie (bakery shop), and a patisserie (desserts), as well as a local vegetable market and shopped like the Parisians do.
Then we went to her apartment and started chopping, chatting, and cooking our lunch, as we were munching on a cheese plate and drank French wine. And the best part? We got to keep the recipes as souvenirs.
With tons of activities and festive decorations, Paris in December is a wonderful time to visit. It is also a great month for a romantic or family stay-cations whilst enjoying Eiffel tower views and celebrating the holiday season together with loved ones.
Paris in December is a beautiful time to explore the city’s prime attractions and more – given that the holiday season is upon us. This is a perfect season as you can beat the peak season crowd. Paris during Christmas is not super crowded like Paris in summer.
- Ice Skating Rinks – Probably the first thing we wish to check (if you are a Canadian), is ice skating rinks! And yes beloved Paris has it. The Eiffel Tower rink from its first level is a superb getaway to the city (with amazing views). Another option is to head to the Hotel de Ville or the Trocadéro Ice rink.
- Paris Christmas Markets – Don’t miss the festive cheer at historic Parisian Christmas markets. Enjoy the decorations, Christmas treats, and mulled wine, specialty beers, and warm up with hot chocolate. Good place to buy festive souvenirs to take home.
- Admire holiday lights and window displays – Although the lights and window displays (in festive colors) starts in November, in Paris December the city looks merrier than ever. A walk at the Champs-Elysées Boulevard will explain it – multitude of stunning lights and colors – Marché de Champs-Elysées is your Paris postcard coming to life. There are other locations in the city where you can enjoy a similar sparkling lights show – Place Vendôme , Saint Germain des Prés, Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne. Galeries Lafayette – the shopping arena has the best window displays, they start in November (as seen in the pictures from November) and continue its shine in December. Le Bon Marché’s displays are equally stunning.
- Disneyland Paris – If traveling with kids or if you love Disney, head to Disneyland Paris for Christmas celebrations and festive events.
- Notre Dame Cathedral – There are special Christmas choirs held at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the atmosphere inside is so festive. Sainte-Chapelle, located near Notre Dame is also a popular church to celebrate Christmas. The impressive Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the Montmartre district will not disappoint you – with its city views and grand interiors. All the city churches and cathedrals will be filled with Christmas cheer, choir and carols!
- Celebrate Paris with indoor activities – December is one of the rainiest months in Paris, and taking a hop on hop off tour or enjoying special exhibits at the Louvre museum are some of the great ways to experience the city’s finest. Paris Opera Garnier also has several opera and ballet performances throughout December to enjoy. Or choose Moulin Rouge show and dinner for the night
- Food and cooking class – Don’t miss out on the food in Paris in December. Restaurants in many touristy districts will come alive with fine dining offers, especially in the trendy Saint Germain – 6th arrondissement or in the market/s close to the Trocadéro for amazing Eiffel Tower views. Try French cuisine or European classics to keep the winter blues away.
- New Year’s Eve Dinner – Reserve your spot for New Year’s Eve dinner here
- Seine Dinner Cruise – If you read this entire guide, first of all – THANK YOU! Secondly, you might be thinking why ‘Seine River Cruise’ in all the months, well, Seine River is a beauty and watching the attractions from the comfort of the ferry/boat is amazing. So the river cruise in December is even better! They run a Christmas special and you have to book them early, as they sell out fast.
So that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our complete guide to the best time to go to Paris with a monthly rundown of activities and tips. Happy Travels to the city of LOVE!
Note: For updated events and festival dates and venues in Paris, visit the tourism website.
Essential Travel Tips for Paris France Europe
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.
Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from World’s Nomads here.
Packing List – Read our in-depth guide to packing for Europe for all seasons and regions.
- South of France: These are the best destinations of visit in the south of France
- Paris Photo Spots: Check out the best photo spots in Paris
Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe
- Europe: Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples
- Prague: What to expect in Prague in March
- Barcelona: Travel tips for visiting Barcelona in September
- Iceland: Explore Iceland in the month of October
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