The Best Time to Head to Paris is...
Whenever you want! That's right…
With all of the many opinions people can offer, the official P'Niche guidance is this: the best time to enjoy Paris is when you are most able to disconnect from work and current life responsibilities and to enjoy yourself and all of the many wonders Paris has to offer you.
Now of course, there will be choruses of "Why are going then?" or "Well, all Parisians leave town in August," (partially untrue) or "It rains sooooo much in Paris in March," (well, that’s a bit true), but your adventure in Paris, should be just that… Yours.
Paris is for everyone, which means that Paris is for you… on your timeline.
Before you book your travel, there are, of course, several factors you may wish to consider.
Are you heading to Paris for a special event? Hooray, félicitations! Personal milestone celebrations, birthdays, romantic getaways, marriage proposals, weddings, anniversaries, vow renewals, family reunions, friends’ trips, fashion weeks, food festivals, global sporting events, art / music / film shows and exhibitions, the opera, and ballet seasons all have their own unique timelines and specific calendars to adhere to.
In general terms, let's take a look at the Météo (weather report). You will want to make sure you check the area in France you are headed to for your best planning, a few days prior to your departure. Below is a handy chart for average annual Parisian temperatures:
· Summer (Late June - Mid September): 55-75° Fahrenheit (13-24° Celsius)
· Autumn (Late September - Mid December): 45-70° Fahrenheit (7-21° Celsius)
· Winter (Late December - Mid March): 35-45° Fahrenheit (2-7° Celsius)
· Spring (Late March - Mid June): 40-70° Fahrenheit (4-21° Celsius)
Let's take a closer look at summer.
The sun is shining and all of the flowers are in bloom, the spectacular and well manicured parks and gardens are an absolute ballet of flora and color.
One important note about Paris is that unlike the US, air conditioning is not a requirement, in fact, from from it. As you book your summertime accommodations, this is something you will want to consider and plan for your overall health and comfort.
Of course, in the summer, there are bound to be more tourists, and with that, higher price tags. You will wish to think about what you can and are willing to pay.
Fear not - it's not all or nothing. Staying in an apartment may cut costs and we'll examine the pros and cons of apartments versus hotels in future posts. Pssst, that's your invitation to subscribe and visit Parisian Niche again!
Another way to save money is of course to fly economy, travel at off hours, or even to shift your travels by a day. We've noted fares can drop by hundreds of dollars if you fly one day sooner or later.
You don't have to have a multi course (prix-fixe) meal at every stop either. Paris offers many "cheap eats" which can rival any Michelin star!
Back to timing. Summer aside, the autumn is glorious time to visit Paris. The leaves are colorful and crunching beneath your feet as you stroll the crisp and winding medieval Parisian streets. You'll experience lower prices and fewer tourists in town as well. Get ready to pop some corks for the annual wine festival in Montmartre in October and for the Beaujolais Nouveau release in November...
"I love Paris in the winter - when it drizzles."
The winter holidays in Paris can be an unusually remarkable draw. If you can handle the weather (do note, it might be cold and blustery to your tastes) you'll be among the lucky few to experience the charmingly unique craft fairs, breathtaking window displays, and oh, did I mention the hot chocolate and mulled wine? Worth it!
Valentine's Day can be beyond dreamy in the City of Love, but admittedly less of a show than we are used to in the USA.
That said, who wouldn't want to wander along, arm in arm, checking out one of Paris' many divine chocolatiers, making "heart hands" beside the Eiffel Tower, and stealing kisses under one of the city's 37 bridges?
But keep in mind, Valentine's Day is a great solo vacation to Paris as well... Singles of the world can rejoice in chocolate / wine / cheese tastings, a scrumptious meal at your favorite Parisian bistro, and long walks by the Seine contemplating the greatest love of your life - yourself!
The stuff of poetry and songs...
Springtime in Paris!
If you are able to time it right (mid/late March and early April), Paris should be alight with an absolute bonanza of cherry blossoms and magnolias.
The hidden medieval streets and quaint café terraces are refilling with all the hope and joy springtime brings.
You can find yourself journaling at your new fave café with a cup of whatever delights you in your hand, people watching, and being generally pleased with yourself for planning this wonderful adventure.
After all, Paris is always a good idea...
So as you begin to plan your Parisian getaway, whether your first visit your your hundredth, do jot down some ideas of the things you wish to see, where you wish to stay, what you can pay with the most relative ease and let the planning begin.
Paris is waiting for you...
All that is left to decide is when is best for you to discover or rediscover her.
When do you plan to visit Paris? We'd love to hear in the comments below...
Start dreaming... Allons-y! Let's go!