Please sign in to post.

France in February and March

Hi all-
Thinking of booking a 30 day trip throughout February/March 2024 timeframe. I actually enjoy the cooler temps and have enough time that I can work around the truly bad weather. I have two primary questions. First, will I miss a lot if I travel during these times? I know gardens won't be open but are there other major attractions that close for the winter season. Second, will it be necessary to book hotel/train ahead of time? As my dates may change slightly depending upon weather, it would be easier to travel on the spur of the moment rather than planning in detail for the entire month. But I don't want to get locked into expensive hotels and trains by doing this. What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance.

Posted by
9200 posts

“are there other major attractions that close for the winter season”

You don’t say where in France you will be. I spent February 2017 in Paris and loved it. The only sites closed were Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny and Vaux-le-Vicomte. All the parks/gardens in Paris were open and still beautiful. I’d Google for any sites you’re interested in. February has been my favorite month to be in Paris (i go every year). There are virtually no tourists. I saw maybe 4 Americans the whole month. We walked right into Versailles with no one else coming in, we had the Hall of Mirrors all to ourselves, the weather was in the 50s/60s during the day, blue skies, sunny, and no rain. But every year can be different.

Posted by
13227 posts

Here is a short youtube video RS guide Vero did last year In February in Luxembourg Gardens to give you a little idea of what gardens look like then.

I went a couple of years ago in late March and had a wonderful time. The only thing I couldn’t really do is sit in gardens and people watch because it was too chilly for that. Or rather I didn’t have a warm enough jacket for that, lol. I had some rain and wind.

I’d still book hotels ahead after checking the cancellation policy but that is the way I travel.

I’d not hesitate to go to Paris then with suitable prep for weather! Elsewhere will depend on what you’ve got in mind!

Posted by
25567 posts

In the Riviera area some sights will not be open as many days of the week as usual. I think some only operate three days a week in the winter. The major sights would not be that limited; what I'm describing potentially affects the smallest museums. The bigger places might be closed an extra day each week, though, so it would be essential to check every website.

You may find more limited availability of English-language tours.

The short days were the biggest negative feature of my Feb/Mar trip to Rome and Naples this year. I also found that the temperature pretty much stayed below 40F until around 11 AM or noon in Feb, though it got quite pleasant in the early afternoon. I had to start every day layered up and then peel things off as the day progressed. I also carried an umbrella and a rain jacket just about every day. Since I was changing hotels only a few times, I opted to take a full-length (unlined) raincoat as well, and there were a few days when I was glad to have it. A fleece jacket was my warm layer, but I used merino wool long john bottoms a few times as well. (I am cold-natured, and I really hate the combination of cold and wet.)

Posted by
138 posts

We spent two weeks in Paris in February of 2020. We loved it. Our wedding anniversary is February 13th but the big draw was a classic car show called Retromobiile. My car fanatic husband was in 7th Heaven. It’s usually held the first week of February if you similar interests.

But we had a great time. Places were definitely less crowded and the weather was more pleasant than we feared. The worst was a couple of windy days. I’d suggest making sure your hotel or apartment is well placed in terms of public transport. But beyond that, enjoy.

Posted by
279 posts

I love museums and hate crowds so I have done all my solo travel in February and early March. I even did my first couple of RS tours because they were in February. I have yet to get caught in bad weather but I realize it is a possibility. But to have fewer bodies everywhere you go, it is great! I walked into places in London in February of 2019 that were supposed to be a wait in line risk.