When should you visit Paris? 

Every season has pros and cons - so here's our guide to figuring out which is "best" for you.

You'll find plenty of special activities and events at every time of the year . . . but depending on what you want to do, how much money you want to spend, and how well you tolerate - or not - large crowds and hot or cold weather, you may find that one season suits you better than another.

Here is our breakdown of what each season in Paris offers - especially the pros and cons - and our recommendations.

Since you can't always choose when you come, we include a few suggestions about how to mitigate some of the "cons" - plus tips about when NOT to visit if you have a choice.

Top photo:  Cherry trees blooming in Paris's Trocadero Garden near the Eiffel Tower, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

Paris Discovery Guide is a reader-supported publication.  When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost for you.  Learn more

Visiting Paris in the Spring (March, April, May)

Cherry blossoms in Paris's Jardin des Plantes during April
Cherry blossoms in Paris's Jardin des Plantes during April

The beauty of Paris in the spring is legendary. 

Flowering trees burst into bloom, days grow longer, sidewalk dining begins to pop up outside numerous cafes and bistros, and Parisians head outdoors.

Find the best places in Paris to see cherry blossoms

Expect plenty of warm days and sunshine - plus a few days of rain.

Almost all attractions and restaurants will be open, and plenty of special exhibits will be underway at museums and the Grand Palais.

Hotels and airfare will still be relatively low in early March, although they will rise as shoulder season kicks in and spring progresses.

Numbers of tourists will increase and lines outside major attractions will grow longer as May approaches - but nothing like they will be during the summer.  To avoid wasting time spending in long ticket lines, get skip-the-line tickets whenever possible.

If you are traveling with children, you should remember that school vacations during April mean lots of other families will be doing the same thing.  

Disneyland Paris is probably where you will notice the biggest numbers of families, and you'll need to reserve your tickets early because they sell out sooner than you might expect (don't ask how we know).  But good news: affordable low-season rates continue through about the third week in May.

Recommendation:  Spring is a wonderful time to visit Paris.  Go in early March to take advantage of lower rates and shorter lines.  Go in mid-April or May to maximize your chance of warmer weather.

Find out more about April in Paris

Check out Paris weather for March, April, May

Visiting Paris in the Summer (June, July, August)

Luxembourg Garden in the summer
Luxembourg Garden in the summer

Paris summers are glorious.

Light lingers until 11pm, the weather is warm-to-hot, and lots of outdoor activities mean you'll have plenty to do.

Check out Paris Plages and Les Berges on both sides of the Seine, go for a drink and perhaps dinner on one of the river's floating barges, and take a cruise up the Canal Saint-Martin to the huge Parc de la Villette where you can rent a paddle boat for even more fun on the water.

If smaller museums are on your list of places to visit, check their schedules on their websites, as some may close during August.  

Street markets will shrink to almost nothing, as most of their Parisian customers are on vacation.  

A number of restaurants and small boutiques will also close.  But plenty remain open.

Since this is the "high" season for travel to Paris (and other places in France), expect to pay a hefty sum for your plane ticket and hotel.  

Book as early as possible to get the best rates and selection.  Check our tips for finding cheap flights.  You may save a bit on your hotel or apartment by coming in August.

Lines for top tourist attractions will be long, especially in June and July.  Book "skip the line" tickets wherever possible.  And wear plenty of sunscreen when you go out for the day.

Find out how to stay cool during Paris heat waves

Recommendation:  Summer in Paris is a special experience.  Defer visiting the most touristy places until another time, if possible, and embrace everything special that Paris offers during the summer.  

To get somewhat lower rates, go during August if you are not concerned about some places being closed.

Visiting Paris in the Fall (September, October, November)

Luxembourg Garden in Paris in the fall
Luxembourg Garden in the fall - Credit: AdobeStock

September days are still warm (if not hot) and mellow, but then the air turns crisp and leaves turn golden.

Parisians return from vacation, infusing the city with energy.

Plenty of tourists remain, and although lines at top attractions grow somewhat shorter, you'll be wise to get skip the line tickets for the most popular attractions - the Louvre, Orsay Museum, Eiffel Tower (read our ticket tips), Versailles, and the Catacombs.

Days also grow shorter - but so much is going on in the city that you may not notice.

Orchestra, ballet, and opera performances resume, and museums mount spectacular new shows.

Check the Paris concert, ballet, and opera schedule

Hotel rates and airfares begin to drop a bit - although the large number of business conferences and trade shows in October may keep them higher than you'd expect.

Harvest from across the French countryside flows into the

markets and into the restaurants.  Foodies will revel in the bountiful offerings.

Explore Paris (or Versailles or Giverny) by bike & see fall color

Recommendation:   Fall is an excellent time to visit Paris - IF you plan ahead and either avoid the biennial Paris Air Show and other huge events or snag flight and hotel reservations before they're booked up.

Visiting Paris in the Winter (December, January, February)

Christmas decorations at Galeries Lafayette
Christmas decorations at Galeries Lafayette

Paris winters are actually quite beautiful, and the weather is milder than you might expect.  It can be somewhat gray and damp at times, but punctuated by brilliant days (or hours) of bright sunshine. 

Snow does occasionally coat the city - a magical event to celebrate, especially because it looks lovely and then quickly melts. 

Are these months the "best" time to visit Paris?  No - if "best" means the warmer, possibly sunnier months - April through October - when most tourists like to visit.  

But if your perspective is different - if, for example, you love the city's festive decorations, the January sales, the beautiful pearly-gray winterscapes, the buds on flowering trees visible in February, winter is an ideal time to visit Paris.

As a bonus, you will love not having to wait in line or dealing with huge crowds of other visitors.

You'll also be rewarded with the year's lowest airfare and hotel rates - except for the period from about mid-December through the first couple of days in January when rates soar due to family visits, tourists who come for the holidays, and international students who arrive for the spring semester.

Brilliant sunny days occur fairly frequently.  And most years, temperatures may reach the lower and even upper 50s on some days - perfect for walking around without sweating.

Starting in mid-November, Christmas markets and Christmas lights brighten the city through early January, making this a fantastic time to visit the City of Light.  Elaborate Christmas decorations appear all over Paris, with elaborate animated window displays at all the big department stores.

A spectacular light show at Arc de Triomphe on New Year's Eve and lots of celebrating usher in the New Year.

Soldes (sales) signs show up everywhere in early January, ushering several weeks of increasingly steep discounts.  Think of it this way:  the whole city is on sale.

By February, days begin to get longer, and you'll see the sun more frequently.

Recommendation:  Visiting Paris in the winter can be a fantastic experience, especially if you want to enjoy the Christmas markets, party on the Champs Élysées on New Year's Eve, or hit the January sales.  On the other hand, if lack of daylight bothers you, this is not when you should come.

Find out more about Paris in February

When to AVOID Visiting Paris!

 French and EU flags in front of the Patrouille de France aerobatic team at the Paris Air Show - Credit: iStock/VanderWolf-Images
French and EU flags in front of the Patrouille de France aerobatic team at the Paris Air Show - Credit: iStock/VanderWolf-Images

Unless you love huge crowds, paying high rates for your hotel room (if you can get one at all), or have a strong interest in the event causing the crowds, you may want to avoid coming to Paris when the city hosts mega-events. 

The event attendees won't necessarily be at tourist attractions, but they do book up the city's hotel rooms - sometimes far in advance.

These events include:

Paris Air Show - 2025

The famous Paris Air Show focuses on the latest developments in civilian and military aviation, and attracts 350,000+ visitors - LOTS of planes displayed on land and demonstrated in the air.  Although the actual show takes place in Le Bourget Airport north of the city, most attendees stay, dine, and drink in Paris.

Schedule:  7 days, typically in early- to mid-June during odd-numbered years.  The first 4 days are for members, and the remaining three are for the general public.  The next Paris Air Show will be from June 16 - 22, 2025.  See Paris Events in June for exact dates.

Paris Motor Show

The enormous Paris Motor Show introduces new car models and concepts.  Attracts 11,000,000+ visitors.  Takes place at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in the southeastern part of Paris in the 15th arrondissement.

Schedule:  14 days, typically during the first two weeks of October during even-numbered years.  Every hotel room in the city fills up during this event.  See Paris Events in October for exact dates.

Other Events

As mentioned early, September and October are usually packed with various trade shows in addition to the enormous Paris Motor (Auto) Show in even-numbered years.  It is not unusual to find seemingly every hotel room, Airbnb, and apartment in the city booked, especially if you wait until the last minute to reserve.  Restaurants also get packed.  Tourist attractions are much less impacted.

Paris Fashion Week actually takes place four times each year but the two biggest events are in March for fall/winter collections and late September - early October for spring/summer collections.  Main events take place in the Carrousel du Louvre but other venues are used as well, with the Marais (especially the area around Place des Vosges) being especially impacted.  You'll see lots of fashionably dressed models strolling around, which is fun ... less fun is trying to get a table at a restaurant or book a hotel room during these weeks, particularly on the Right Bank.  Check our September and March events articles for the exact dates, as they vary each year.

School Holidays

Schools across France and the rest of Europe have mid-term week-long holidays during April and October - so expect lots of families with kids and teens as well as school trip participants in Paris during those periods, especially at popular attractions such as Disneyland Paris, some museums, and the Eiffel Tower.  In France, the holiday weeks are staggered for a 4-week period by region.  

Last 2 Weeks in December

As previously mentioned, tout le monde, it seems, comes to Paris during this period to visit family for the holidays, stroll around festive Christmas Markets, gaze at sparkling Christmas lights, attend special Christmas concerts, and celebrate the New Year. 

If you fall into these categories or perhaps simply love the idea of spending Christmas in Paris, be prepared to book your flights early (see our tips for finding cheap flights) and pay almost as much as you might during the summer for flights.  Hotel rates also go up.  Aside from those extra costs, it's a fabulous time to visit the City of Light.

But if your plans are flexible and you want to save money, come during the first two weeks of December or late November when rates are much cheaper.  You can see the dazzling holiday lights and decorations in department store windows and all but the smallest Christmas markets. 

Fun Things to Do & See in Paris during Every Season

Need to Book a Paris Hotel for Your Visit?

Check out our recommendations for the best neighborhoods to stay in Paris, based on your interests.

Enter your travel dates, and use this hotel map to find rates for available Paris hotels and apartments: 


Check out the newest Paris hotels