I want to spend a week in Paris with my daughter (she'll be 13) and I'd like to get a feel for when is the best time to enjoy the city. We're planning to stay for 7 nights. Thanks.
We went to Montreal last thanksgiving and we had a great time. So I don't think cold or rain is a problem at all for us. I heard on Rick's podcast the other day, "There is no bad weather only inappropriate clothing."
Also, if a colder month will save us money on hotels, then I think it's worth it. I could do October. Has anyone been during October?
Even though my favorite time in Paris is probably Springtime, December, right before the holidays is magical. The shopping is fun, the museums aren't too crowded and you can catch some holiday musical programs. I'll admit that the you could have a few gray days and daylight hours are shorter but the beautiful, minimal holiday decorations and the excitement of the upcoming holidays makes it a fun time to visit.
I only have on experience to go by - but I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed late Sept. Weather is mild, crowds are not crazy. For this kind of trip, I like weather that is light sweater or jacket weather. Not so much if I am going to Jamaica. :) I wouldn't want to go if it were much colder because walking outside, sitting by the Seine River with a bottle of wine, are all very nice. And if it were too hot, an already exhausting trek across Paris would be even more difficult. Regardless, you can't go too wrong - you are in Paris!
May. But any off-peak time would be good for Paris.
I would do late April, May or early June. Flowers are blooming, kids are in school, less tourists.
April weather is too iffy, forget the movies, real life is it could be nice, but it could also be cool and rainy. May is ok,, but there are quite a few holidays in May, so check your dates..
I would suggest( if money is not an issue) that mid to late May and early June are nicest.
If you just want to avoid other tourists then go in Jan, Nov. or March,, LOL ,, cooler, rainier months,, not the best choices in my opinion.
My 12 yr old daughter and I went in July and she loved it,,but she is an easy going child who didn't mind some of the crowds and lines, and she liked the hotter weather.
In my personal opinion (others would/will argue otherwise), any month between September and June, +/- November when the hotels are filled because of the fashion shows. The summer is usually too hot and crowded for my preferences.
I agree with Pat, but my favorite month would be early October.
Early June before schools get out.
Lisa if money saving is an issue, then cheaper rates for hotels are late July through August ( "L'ete Promotions")rates are high in June and September and early October.
You have asked two different questions,, when is cheaper is not the same as when is the best time to enjoy the city( your words).. to really enjoy the city one should walk alot, spend time strolling through a few of the parks ( Luxembourg and Tuilleries for example) have a break at a sidewalk cafe,, eat a picnic lunch ,, and the weather does influence how much of those sorts of things you will do.
You are right. Thinking about it, I think I would prefer to go when we will have the most fun. Europe isn't going to be cheap, no matter what.
Heck, it's only money, right?
We have been there in January (twice), May (twice) and August. I would not go back in August, although it worked for us because it was when we could go that year. But the French are all gone, and you're left with tourists. (Almost) And you have the risk of very hot weather, although we didn't have it.
January is okay because you can get better airfare, and the lines are short at the museums, and the restaurants are much friendlier, and the hotels have deals. But the days are short and it's cold! Great light for photos, though.
The first week in May worked for us, but watch out for May 8 (V-E Day) which is a holiday and some things are closed. The weather was not too hot and les marroniers sont en fleur (the chestnuts were blooming). BUT - the next time we were there at the end of May, and it was close to 90 degrees.
I vote for May, but early May. I would like to try the fall. But, heck, fall is nice even where I live. (TX)
I've been several times, just worked out that it was either early June or late September. Both were wonderful, with mild weather. The only problem with early June was enjoying the city after dark - it didn't GET dark till around 9.30-10.00.
Crazy as it sounds, January sounds kind of nice. Shorter lines, friendlier, etc.
For a first trip, May would probably be best for us.
We're going to Paris in January--I'm looking forward to shorter lines and fewer people in the museums. I'm not a big shopper but if you are, there are sales in the Paris department stores in January. We're extending a long week-end over the MLK break.
I forgot to mention the most important part of traveling to Paris in January--lower airfare and lower cost for accommodations.
Yes -- as Sharon says, January is great for Paris. It's my favorite month.