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Paris in March? or pay more and go in June?

Opinions welcome....
I haven't been to Paris in 20+ years and would like to take my teen before she heads off to college. The air in March is literally 1/2 that in June (approx $650 vs $1300) from Orlando. So the option becomes going for one week in March (due to spring break time constraints) and possibly having miserable weather, or going in June and really, really having to skimp due to the extra air. How is March weather? We are FL gals and don't really have appropriate cold gear which does fit into the equation, too. Is it still "worth" going given the shorter daylight? thanks

Posted by
1458 posts

March!! We were there in March 2010 for nine days. It was breezy some days which made it feel colder. We were prepared with layers, gloves, hats, and scarfs. Also a small backpack to stuff them in when it got a little warmer. We even went on an evening boat ride on the Siene and sat outside (cold). It was our first time in Paris and we had a great time! The only downside I can think of was that the gardens in Versailles were sparse. But fewer crowds, lower prices, and French onion soup make it worthwhile.

Posted by
283 posts

We just returned from a December trip. It was great, but COLD! I would check a website like weather.com and see what the temp range might be and decide from there. I will say that although it was cold, the pre Christmas week was great as a tourist. I never waited in a line to get into anything. Notre Dame was nearly empty. I was alone in the Orangerie for a while. I guess everyone was shopping! The lights were great!

Posted by
1446 posts

Donna, I think that you have nailed the critical issues on the head. March can get cold! HOWEVER, I've been without a jacket in London in Feb one year and have frozen in Paris in April another year... then died of heat in June yet another year. No one can foretell how it's going to be once you're there. If you decide to go in March, come prepared! If you go in June, will your limited budget allow you to really make the most of your visit? Price out the stuff you really want to do, in order to get the most accurate estimate for the budget needed. Do you to bundle up and do more in March, or can you swing the extra to get what you want in June? Ultimately, only you will be able to figure it out. BTW- Sue's point about line-ups is very true! That's one BIG advantage of going in March.

Posted by
811 posts

One other thing to consider beside weather in March: I was there in April a few years ago and found the gardens/plantings about town were a bit sparse and, well, not very attractive in their infant spring state. I'd imagine that in March they are downright barren, which is really no big deal unless you'd envisioned strolling through Luxembourg Garden and admiring the scenery. In that case, I'd go in June.

Posted by
1446 posts

Just a quick thought... could a trip after school's out in June interfere with the possibility of a summer job for your daughter? Decent summer jobs seem harder and harder for some teens to get and her unavailability to start at a given date may hurt her chances.

Posted by
815 posts

My vote is for March. Less tourists. We were there a few Februarys ago and it was chilly but we had a wonderful time - sidewalk cafes have heaters.

Posted by
4132 posts

I'd probably go in March, but there is another disadvantage: a lot less daylight. So take that into account.

Posted by
689 posts

Go in March. I've been, it was in the 50s, so not that cold. You can buy warmer clothes with the airfare savings. The huge advantage to March, besides the cost, is the lack of crowds. Our first visit was in March, and we saw all the big sights. The only thing we really waited in line for was to climb up Notre Dame. On subsequent trips in May, September and October I couldn't believe the lines for sights and museums. It was crazy, and I bet June is even worse. And it's easy to justify being in shops when the weather is bad! Also, one of the big pleasures of Paris is eating, so go and have nice long lunches and dinners every day--you won't feel bad about being inside so much. So go and do all the big sights, enjoy the lack of crowds, long meals and the fact that you're inside in museums, churches, shops, etc. And I'm sure you'll have enough decent weather to do lots of walking--we still visited parks and sat on park benches, people watching. Then go back someday in late spring or early fall and do the outdoor things you won't do in March--picnic on the lawn of the Invalides, linger in parks, etc.

Posted by
1068 posts

Go in March! June can be HOT, and the place is jammed to the gills with tourists. Pack sensible clothes and go in March, when you will have the city to yourself (well, not really - there will be Parisiens there!) and the most obviously pricey/scammy/touristy shenanigans won't be on offer. We've made a family tradition of going to Paris sometime between Thanksgiing and New Year's Eve, and LOVE LOVE LOVE going when it's chilly and there's a feeling of the real city minus all the millions of milling clueless tourists. From Florida? Pshaw. Woman up, pack some sensible layers and comfy shoes, and go and have a ball!

Posted by
9207 posts

To save the money, I'd vote for March as well. But just want to say, in all our many trips to Paris, the first 2 weeks of June have not been hot or crowded. Adam's right though about more daylight in June, stays light til 10 pm vs 5 pm in March. You can see and do a lot more in June.

Posted by
345 posts

It seems as if the consensus is March. The year we went to Paris in March, the temperatures were in the upper 60's, warm and sunny. Last year in May, Paris was in the lower 50's with clouds and wind. Don't Florida girls have jackets and sweaters? Layering is good! I would also suggest gloves and a hat for March. Better yet, get a beret in Paris. We didn't notice any issues with shorter daylight in March. Use the money saved from the difference in air fares for more shopping!

Posted by
81 posts

Thanks, everyone. I especially loved the "woman up" comment :)
Looks like March is the ticket; now on to finding a hotel or apartment. We've had luck with both options, preferring to self cater in a small apartmetn, but then also feeling sort of "on our own" in a foreign city vs having the wee bit of camraderie of a hotel.

Posted by
1986 posts

A contrary vote for June. The days are long and you can wander and linger and see more. And weather is more likely to be better. I think you will get more for your buck (definitely more sightseeing hours) in June. remember June 21 ish is the longest day in the year in Europe

Posted by
1064 posts

The weather varies a lot in March, but it is worth the cost savings to take the risk. We were in Paris for 10 days in March 2009 and the weather was perfect. Days were sunny and warm and the most we needed at night was a light jacket. We brought heavy coats, expecting the worst, but left them in the room the whole time. The city was busy but we never had to contend with crowds or long lines, even at the Eiffel Tower. The drawback was that the parks were still in winter mode, but the tradeoff was worth it. Edit: Been there in June, as well. Good weather virtually guaranteed, parks are perfect and 9 p.m. or later sunset. But, it does cost more and crowds are worse.

Posted by
2349 posts

Check the school calendar to be sure there are no exams, and let her miss a few days so you make the trip a bit longer. Her college plans are set-so what if she misses a bit-this is more important. Wear a raincoat with a removable lining. Make sure you like it because it will be in all pictures.

Posted by
11503 posts

I'm totally with Brian . June. I love the longer daylight hours, I love seeing the picnicers on the Pont Neuf, I love strolling gardens that actually have more then brown sticks in them. I love wandering the streets into the evening, and the cafes are nicer to sit in when its not raining, and the heaters are just not that great. I don't condsider the weather one way or another,, I was there late May this past year and it was freezing, then it got very hot a week later in June,, the weather is always a crap shoot ( I was also there one cold rainy August) . I can't believe that 1300 is the best airfare you can get,, I can get better from where I live ,, on an island off the west coast of Canada,,, I think I would shop around for better air prices myself,.

Posted by
893 posts

June is nice, but March isn't bad. As an extremely budget-minded person myself, I would vote for March. Although you won't have pretty flower beds and longer days, you also won't be as stressed out about all those little extras and won't have to feel like you must deny yourself ("we can't afford to sit at a cafe on the Champs because we paid so much for those plane tickets...")

Posted by
2023 posts

We were in Paris (and Loire Valley) in March and the weather was not bad and I don't think we noticed any shortness of daylight hours. I think it was in 2001 and prior to our visit there was a huge amount of rain-so much rain that the water level in the Seine prevented boat cruising. We decided on March due to my work schedule and also we had fantastic price on airfare-plus France was still on the Franc-the entire ten day trip cost around $3,500-great time to travel. I would choose March over June.

Posted by
7209 posts

I also just booked tickets in March for Paris. I've been looking for hotels and came up with the best deals on www.yeego.com and www.alpharooms.com I've used both of these hotel bookings previously so I know they are legit. Hope we have nice weather for Paris in March!

Posted by
689 posts

Pat, I have no problem believing her airfare quote for Junethe Air France flight from Seattle we always take is over $1700 after May 15th-June 30th! (I was thinking about a late May/ June trip this year). I've never paid more than $1200 for that flight. Summer fares this year are just high, and everyone says they won't come down due to high demand/low capacity. So I booked for September, when prices were much lower.

Posted by
9955 posts

I was in Paris for 10 days over New Years two years ago. It was my first winter trip, and although I was prepared for the cold weather it was still felt much colder than I anticipated. During a summer visit I enjoyed wandering around and enjoying the sidewalk cafes, grabbing a crepe from a stand, etc. It was so cold in the winter we did limited walking, taking the metro to keep warm. Short daylight hours made a difference too. March should be better, but if you want to spend time outdoors you might be better off in June. Paris is fantastic any time of year. You just need to figure out what is more important...saving money on a flight or possibly having a more enjoyable trip. If you would like information about an apartment feel free to PM me for details. Enjoy my favorite city. I'm going back in October and can't wait!!

Posted by
75 posts

I took my first trip to Paris in November, and though it was quite cold (this was the week just before the first snow storms hit Europe), it in no way put a damper on my enjoyment. Like other posters have said, you'll have plenty of time to spend indoors at the beautiful museums and churches, and you can get warm and cozy over meals. While the days will be shorter and the gardens won't be in bloom, I bet you'll find the money you save to be worth it... It's always nice to be able to splurge a bit if you can, rather than have to worry about prices if you go in June. Enjoy your trip!!

Posted by
973 posts

I don't think you can go wrong with either time. My teenager loved having a couple of hours on his own; we stayed near the Sorbonne/Lux Gardens so there were lots of young people walking around even at night. I prefer June too, as IMHO just walking in Paris until 10pm is wonderful, but for the price difference I might try spring break. If you choose March, do get some silk longjohns from the internet and layer with a good coat ( not jacket), warm scarf, down gloves and hat. You might need 4 layers on a cloudy windy day for warmth, but you're still in Paris!
Have a wonderful time.

Posted by
9876 posts

Just be prepared for any type of weather in either March or June. I've been there for freezing Junes and a couple of bad heat waves in June. The weather is less and less predictable.

Posted by
239 posts

Hi DonnaWe used vacationinparis for our apartment in Paris. They are a company based in the US, so you'll pay in dollars, not euro, and you get your key before you leave the country. They also provided us with a contact in Paris who was an expat, which came in handy when we couldn't figure out how to use the washing machine. We never would have been able to explain our problem in French. You'll see lots of recommendations for the company on this discussion board; a lot of people have used them and liked them. Like you, we enjoy cooking for ourselves and having an experience that feels more like being temporary residents; shopping in the markets was one of our favorite experiences. Also, we made our trip in March, and the weather, while a little chilly some days, was pretty enough for a picnic along the Seine and lounging on benches to people-watch in the park. Have a great trip!

Posted by
344 posts

I've been to Paris in December...cold but clear. I've been to Paris in late October...perfect.
I've been to Paris in April...and it rained all 3 days, all day. While I was walking around in the rain in that most beautiful city, while I was sitting on top of the hop on/off bus to get the best view despite the rain, while I was in our apartment peering out the window wishing the rain would stop....I was really wishing I hadn't spent all that money for a trip during a time of year when it is likely to rain. I myself would not go again in April. Especially if $ is an issue, give yourself the best chance to have good weather--who knows when you will be able to save up enough money again to go, so I'd go when I had the best chance for good weather. All that being said....if I had to be in the rain, at least I was in Paris!! And the line to the Eiffel Tower was the shortest I've ever seen it. Whenever you go, enjoy it!