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Best time to travel to London and Paris

We are planning our first trip to London and Paris summer 2021. We are hoping everything is opened back up in the summer. So we’re looking to go in August. How is the weather is August?

Posted by
19187 posts

There's enough risk of a heat wave that I would insist on air conditioned lodgings, but you may be fortunate and arrive at a time when the weather isn't uncomfortably hot. In making decisions about timing (and what type of clothes to pack) I consult the very useful website timeanddate.com, which provides actual, day-by-day, historical data going back about ten years. I find that much more helpful than monthly averages, which hide extremes and may be based on periods prior to global warming. I'd check the most recent five years' worth of data.

Here's London for August 2020. (Six days with highs of at least 90F.)

And here's Paris for August 2020. (Seven days with highs of at least 90F.)

Posted by
4882 posts

Average data isn’t much use these days, as the weather patterns have changed and become more extreme. Each month seems to be the hottest/wettest/driest/windiest month ever recorded.

Last year was hot in the south of England for a spell in August, but I was in south Wales at the time and it was only 15 degrees when London hit 34 degrees. Paris has a similar climate.

The U.K. government warned last week that it will be between August and October when some sense of normality can return. These timescales usually slip rather than improve, so I wouldn’t book anything for August that isn’t fully refundable. The mass tourist sights such as museums and theatres are likely to be the last places to reopen.

Posted by
26053 posts

If you are looking at what the weather might do, I suggest not using 2020 as an example. Winter arrived sometime in August after a very hot spell in June. By no means was 2020 typical. But then neither was 2019.

That's in London. I don't know about Paris, but Paris isn't very far from London.

August is often an unknown. For me, on average, September and June into July are often nicer and more predictable.

So be prepared, in London anyway, for wet and dry, hot and cold.

Posted by
624 posts

Generally, England is great for travel from June through September. England is not known for its extreme weather patterns although, over recent years, there have been "heat waves" during the summer months as well as raining spells like the summer of 2020. In 2018 and 2019, there was a heatwave at the end of July in London. It was pretty miserable without airconditioning for sleeping. If you don't do well in heat then get a place in London with airconditioning - at least you have some escape from it.

I usually tell people to avoid August in Europe as around the 18th of July most schools close for a 6-week summer break. Generally, prices and crowds become much higher. But 2021 will be no ordinary travel year. I think August is going to be very optimistic for US tourists traveling to the UK. Perhaps September maybe doable. You may want to wait until at least April/May time to book anything and see how the Covid vaccinations are going in each country.

Posted by
8413 posts

I answered your question on the other thread but I'll add I've been caught by a heat wave in August in Paris. It was the 3rd week of August in 2016 and was 97F in Paris. I don't tolerate heat so I won't travel in August again. I KNOW this doesn't happen every year but I'm more comfortable avoiding that time frame. If you HAVE to travel then due to vacation time, get air conditioned hotels in both cities.

Posted by
3309 posts

If August was when I could go to London or Paris, the weather would be irrelevant. I’d go when I could, but would look up the weather a week or so out from the trip to get an idea of what to expect and what to pack. As far as best time to travel, my preference is May or September/early October, although when we went to Paris it was mid-April and the weather was great. We avoid the summer months (June-August) since that’s when more people travel, and hotel and airfares are generally higher.

Posted by
897 posts

Personally I’m of the opinion that there is no bad time of year to visit London and Paris. ;)

But yes get a hotel with A/C and a refundable reservation. Right now with all the Covid uncertainty the chains are looking attractive IMHO.