In the Timing Your Trip section, Rick mentions that Paris is relatively quiet in July in August. That sounds great to me but is this really a good time to visit Paris? Thanks!
It is quiet because a lot of Parisians leave for the month on vacations. Some small restaurants, bakeries and mom and pop businesses will be closed. All of the major dept. stores, most of the brasseries, and the other sites tourists want to see will be open. If you can, book a hotel, studio, apartment with a/c. It might not be needed, but if it is, it is really needed. The good news is that the days are long and you have lots of daylight time to wander about and see the wonderful city.
It's also hot in the Summer, and European air conditioning is often far below North American standards. Unless you have to go mid Summer, you'd possibly enjoy May or September more. The continent is also less expensive and less rushed then.
David, Paris is just as busy and expensive in September, in fact, hotels can be more expensive in September , many hotels in Paris offer cut rates from mid july through August. September is a very busy month in Paris as it is fashion and trade show season, so hotels are busy.
I have found several reasonable hotels with a/c in Paris, ones that I thought functioned well anyways.
May and September are considered High Season,the most expensive time to visit! They are my two favorite months to visit,as far as weather goes,generally.
These days any month is fun to visit Paris if you ask me. Happy Travels!!
Everything you want to see will be open in July. That's when I made my first trip to the city. Get a hotel with AC to ensure a good night's sleep.
We were there this past July. The crowds were not too bad and everything was open. It was fairly warm, but then again, I live in South Carolina, so heat is not an issue for me. We stayed at the Hilton near the Arc de Triomphe (we used points) so the AC worked fine. I recommend the Paris Museum pass. We picked ours up at Napoleon's Tomb and there was no one in line. We used the pass to go the Louvre, Orsay and a few other sights. The lines were not very long at any place we went to, but then again, we usually slept until 9 and didn't hit any place until 10 or later. We generally ventured out every evening as well.
July is fine; there's no bad time to be in Paris, really. August is a little dead, but still OK. I've been in Paris in January, April, June, July, August and November, all fine. If you are there for a week, consider renting an apartment. Can be cheaper than a hotel, is definitely more spacious. We were in the 5th arr. for a week last summer, it was lovely, close to restaurants, 3x weekly market, grocery stores, parks, and a great metro stop at Place Monge. If you decide on an apartment, try Homeaway.com, VRBO, or OwnersDirect.