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A Comprehensive Parisian Travel Guide for All Seasons

April 10, 20238 min read

As the famous saying goes, Paris is always a good idea. However, to make the most out of your future getaway to the City of Lights, it's even better to plan your trip around the seasons. Whether you have the flexibility to choose your travel dates or already have them set, knowing what to expect during each season can enhance your Parisian experience. Beyond just the weather, each season in Paris has its own unique charm, from vibrant blossoms in spring to festive celebrations in winter. To help you make the most of your trip, we've put together a seasonal guide for visiting Paris in the spring, summer, fall, and winter, covering everything from packing tips to crowd forecasts and must-see events.

 

Spring

March through May

Paris in Spring

Weather & Crowds

As spring arrives in March, Paris can still be chilly with an average high of 55°F. However, by May, the temperatures rise to a pleasant 68°F, and the city bursts with colorful blossoms on trees and flowers in a rainbow of hues. It's a perfect time to explore Paris, though be prepared for occasional rainfall as the city experiences around 12 days of rainfall per month during spring.

Spring in Paris brings a moderate influx of tourists compared to the peak season of summer, making it an ideal time to enjoy the city without overwhelming crowds. You can pedal around the city on a bicycle with a basket for your fresh baguette, indulge in people-watching while sipping espresso at a café, and fulfill your Parisian fantasies.

Happenings

Paris Carnival

Known as the Pantruche Carnaval and Promenade du Boeuf Gras, the Paris Carnival is a centuries-old tradition that features a live cow leading a procession of Parisians, trumpeters, and musicians through the city streets to the town hall. (First Sunday of March)

Marathon of Paris

Taking place in April, the Paris Marathon is a major event that draws participants from around the world. Whether you want to run in the marathon, cheer on the runners, or avoid the crowds, it's important to plan accordingly. The marathon route passes by iconic landmarks like the Champs Élysées, the Tuileries Garden, and Place de la Bastille. (April 3, 2022)

Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés

This energetic annual jazz festival features both international names and local up-and-coming artists. You can enjoy free concerts in St. Germain square, as well as ticketed events in local cafes, bars, and concert halls. (May 2022)

Grandes Eaux Musicales (Musical Fountains Show)

Located just outside of Paris, the famous Palace of Versailles hosts the Grandes Eaux Musicales every spring. The fountains come alive with period Baroque music, adding a magical element to your day trip to this royal residence. (Beginning in April, every Saturday and Sunday through October, and Tuesdays in the spring)

Nuit des Musées (Night of Museums)

On the third Saturday in May, over 150 of Paris' museums and galleries stay open until midnight or later for the Nuit des Musées. It's a unique opportunity to experience your favorite museum in a different light, with special events such as concerts, performances, and activities taking place throughout the night. Museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Museum of Modern Art participate in this event.

 

Summer

June through August

Paris in Summer

Weather & Crowds

As summer transitions into autumn, Paris experiences cooler temperatures and fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season. September, in particular, offers pleasant weather with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s, making it a great time to explore the city without the crowds. As the season progresses, the temperatures gradually drop, and by November, the average high temperature is in the mid-50s, with occasional rain showers.

Autumn in Paris offers a magical experience with fall foliage coloring the city's parks and streets in hues of red, orange, and yellow. It's a perfect time to enjoy cozy cafes, stroll along the Seine River, and visit museums and galleries without the long queues. Make sure to pack layers for changing weather and have an umbrella handy for potential rainfall.

Happenings

Nuit Blanche (White Night)

A unique event that takes place one night in early October, Nuit Blanche is a contemporary arts festival where museums, galleries, and public spaces in Paris stay open all night, offering free access to art installations, performances, and exhibitions. It's a fantastic opportunity to experience Paris in a different light and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant art scene.

Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival

In October, Montmartre, the iconic neighborhood known for its artsy vibe, hosts the Grape Harvest Festival. The festival celebrates the wine-making heritage of the area with street parades, live music, food stalls, and wine tastings. It's a lively and colorful event that showcases the unique charm of Montmartre.

Paris Fashion Week

For fashion enthusiasts, Paris Fashion Week is a must-visit event that takes place twice a year in September and March. It's a showcase of the latest collections from renowned fashion designers, attracting industry professionals and fashionistas from around the world. While most of the events are by invitation only, you can still catch a glimpse of the fashion extravaganza happening in the city.

All Saints' Day

November 1st is All Saints' Day, a public holiday in France, where families visit cemeteries to pay respects to their deceased loved ones. It's a solemn day where you can witness local traditions and customs, such as lighting candles and decorating graves with flowers. It's a unique cultural experience that provides insights into French customs and traditions.

Overall, Paris in the fall offers a more serene and authentic experience with fewer crowds and pleasant weather, making it an ideal time to explore the city's rich cultural heritage and enjoy its artistic charm.

 

Fall

September through November

Paris in Fall

In the fall, Paris experiences a downturn in tourist crowds and a resurgence of local activities with a range of seasonal events, many of which revolve around food and drinks. The weather in early fall is still warm, with an average high of 70°F, making it an ideal time to visit as an alternative to the busy summer months. However, as the weeks progress, the weather gets cooler, with November's average temperature dropping to 52°F, so jackets and scarves are recommended.

One of the highlights of fall in Paris is the Journées du Patrimoine, also known as Heritage Days, which takes place every third weekend in September. During this event, visitors can gain access to over 10,000 buildings that are usually closed to the public, including privately owned chateaus, gardens, and even the Palais de l'Elysée, where the President of France resides. Many museums also offer free admission during this weekend, providing a unique opportunity to explore the city's cultural heritage.

Another notable event in early fall is Nuit Blanche, which is an all-night affair that takes place in early October. During Nuit Blanche, museums, monuments, parks, and cinemas stay open until dawn, and the city's Métro also operates later, allowing visitors to explore Paris at night. Night buses also run throughout the city, providing an opportunity to experience the city's nightlife and cultural offerings in a unique way.

For wine enthusiasts, the Montmartre Grape Harvest Fest is a must-visit event in early October. This five-day festival celebrates the vintage wine harvests of Montmartre and attracts thousands of locals and visitors alike. The festival features live music, regional product booths, and plenty of wine tasting opportunities, along with a Bacchus-themed parade along the cobblestone streets of Montmartre.

For chocolate lovers, the Salon du Chocolat is a must-visit event in late October to early November. Touted as the world's largest event dedicated to chocolate, the Salon du Chocolat brings together over 500 international participants representing 60 countries under one roof. The event features live demonstrations, competitions, performances, a chocolate fashion show, chocolate sculptures, a children's area, and plenty of tasting opportunities, making it a paradise for chocolate connoisseurs.

Overall, fall in Paris offers a unique and less crowded experience compared to other seasons, with pleasant weather, vibrant autumnal colors, and a plethora of cultural and culinary events to indulge in. It's a perfect time to explore the city's charm, both as a tourist and as a local.

 

Winter

December through February

Paris in Winter

Overall, fall and winter in Paris offer a different experience compared to the peak tourist seasons of spring and summer. Fall brings pleasant weather with warm days and cooler evenings, making it an ideal time to enjoy the city's seasonal events and experience a mix of traditional tourist attractions and local experiences. The vivid shades of yellow, orange, and red in the parks and gardens make for beautiful photo opportunities.

Some notable events in fall include Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days) in September, Nuit Blanche in October, Montmartre Grape Harvest Fest in October, and Salon du Chocolat in late October to early November. These events offer unique cultural experiences, from exploring usually closed buildings to enjoying wine tasting, chocolate demonstrations, and more.

Winter in Paris is the least crowded season, offering a chance to experience the city like a local. The city's holiday markets are a highlight, offering a variety of regional products and gifts. New Year's Eve can be celebrated in various ways, from outdoor light and sound shows to intimate events or cabaret shows. The International Agriculture Show in late February is another unique event that brings the countryside of France to Paris, with food tastings, petting zoos, and horse shows.

Regardless of the season, Paris has something to offer all year round. Consulting with a travel professional can help plan and customize your trip to make the most of your visit to the City of Lights.

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