When to travel to Paris for your tour: weather and seasons
OK, in the Summer! But it’s wise to recall that the French have this habit of going "en vacance" for the month of August, and they all go together. So a lot of things in Paris close down then, and what’s more, the traditional August exodus is spreading out into September these days.
However, in Paris the missing Parisians are more than made up by the hordes of tourists flocking into the capital. And that can mean mega queues to get into the main attractions, unless you time it right!
Paris in the springtime…?
We’ve all heard about Paris in the springtime, and it can be nice, but it can also be wet. Personally, I think your best bet for travel in France is in early September (yes, I know the cheap flights start on the 15th). It’s not going to be particularly hot but the chances of cooler/wetter weather are reduced, and people tend to be more relaxed after the summer break craziness. There’s the prospect of the wine harvest, too. Otherwise go for June, but it may be busier.
France’s climate is varied, not just the Mediterranean!
Paris is not a coastal city, its climate is continental with a wide range of weather, and the four seasons are quite clearly defined, although in common with the rest of Europe, recent years have sometimes been a little unpredictable (global warming?!).
Springtime is as the song says a wonderful time to visit Paris, but it does tend to rain a quite often, so if you don’t want to do a Gene Kelly take an umbrella or a raincoat! Also, for those of us used to a warmer clime, it can also be cold – the April average maxes out at under 15°C!
Summer in Paris is usually warm and dry with maximum temperatures averaging 22-24ºC (ignoring occasional heatwaves). However, it can get chilly in the evenings.
Things start cooling down in autumn. September can be OK but when you hit October you’re talking about an average in the mid-teens. And the winter months are no-bones-about-it cold (especially January and February) with temperatures coming down to around 2ºC. OK, I know you rugged types in Scotland and New York etc. are laughing derisively, but in Sydney we think it’s arctic below 15°C and single figures don’t bear thinking about…
At least street vendors sell roasted chestnuts in Paris in winter, and the rich aroma wafting through the air to your nostrils is a surefire appetiser (holding them keeps your hands warm, too).
Meteo France in English on World Met Organisation site
Weather Underground: 6 day forecast; they use Meteo France data with a lot of extra options – interesting.
BBC Weather Centre : 5 day forecast
CNN: 5 day forecast
Weather.com: 36 hour forecast; 10 day available.
Intellicast: 10 day forecast
MSN: 5 day forecast
Paris climate information from France Meteo
|Mean Temperature C/F|
Mean Total Precipitation (mm)
Mean Number of Precipitation Days
And check out our Paris Webcam Page for what’s happening now…