The Best time to visit France is often confusing for visitors, with so many different factors to consider. The summer, shoulder, spring, and autumn seasons all have unique characteristics and merits, but when is the best time to visit France? Read on to find out!
And don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to make your vacation the most memorable yet! There’s no single “right” time to visit France. Below are tips for each season.
High Season in France
The best time to visit France varies depending on what you’re looking for. Most tourists travel during the peak summer months when the weather is pleasant and the country is swarming with tourists.
From May to July is the high season in France. It features pleasant weather. So, expect to have more crowd. Reserving your tickets in advance will be helpful during these months.
Depending on where you’re traveling to, the winter months can be a little chilly, while snow can cover the mountains in the north. Depending on what you’re looking for in your vacation, the spring or fall months may be ideal.
December is the best month to visit France for light shows and Christmas markets. Days are shorter and colder, making this a good time for indoor activities and winter sports.
But keep in mind that prices will be higher during this period, so be prepared for higher hotel prices. While you’ll be able to enjoy Christmas markets and festive shopping centers during this time, these periods may not be the most popular.
Summer in France (From June to September) is the best time to visit for its sunny climate and long days. Lavender fields in the southern region bloom during this season.
It’s also the best time for picnics and people watching. You’ll find the temperatures pleasant, and you’ll have fewer crowds to contend with.
However, you’ll likely want to avoid August, when temperatures are too high and business hours are slashed.
Book your accommodation at Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel Hotel.
Shoulder Season in France
If you’re looking to save money, shoulder season is the time to visit France (from April to early May and September and October).
Prices drop considerably in April and in early May when temperatures are usually between 14 and 28 degC. You can expect to see fewer tourists and lower hotel prices.
You can even find great deals on accommodations during the shoulder season. This is also the time to visit places that are expensive during other seasons.
For example, luxury guesthouses in Saint-Tropez rent for $199/night in April, while the prices skyrocket during peak summer months.
During the shoulder season, Paris is less crowded and the weather is cooler than in other seasons. But, April and May are warm, and the weather is more bearable.
Therefore, travelers can enjoy many outdoor activities during this time, such as hiking, biking, or other outdoor activities.
In addition, shoulder-season flights are also less expensive than during the summer months.
If you want to visit France during the summer months, the weather is hot and sunny, and many French people flock to the beaches for a sunny, warm vacation. But be aware that the summer months are also the busiest, which means the French Riviera is packed with tourists.
If you want to avoid the summer crowds and avoid the rush of tourists, visit France during the shoulder season.
Spring Season in France
If you’re looking for the perfect weather, a Spring vacation to France is the best choice. The Spring season in France starts in late March and ends in late June. So, it includes the shoulder season and a half of the high season.
Spring is a particularly beautiful time to visit France. The weather is mild and sunny, while the foliage and flowers are in bloom.
Also, spring brings wild bursts of color, and flea markets and village markets will be spruced up with the best goods.
When it comes to the end of May and June, France attracts thousands of travelers from all over the world. So, the prices skyrocket.
If you’re on a budget, visit France in April and May to enjoy lower prices and the beautiful spring weather. Prices are lower, too, as it’s shoulder season. The sea is warm enough to lure brave bathers, while the days are not too cold.
On the other hand, the spring season is also a great time to go on wine-tasting tours. And don’t forget to pack your camera.
Autumn Season in France
The weather in France is pleasant during the fall/autumn season (September – December). Especially, September and October months are perfect, if you are on a budget tour.
However, be aware that September can still be warm and have the feeling of an Indian summer. However, it will not be as hot as in July and August.
Fall foliage is beautiful, and a visit during this time will allow you to take in the breathtaking colors of the trees. You will have plenty of opportunities to hike, explore forests, and sample some Beaujolais Nouveau.
If you are looking for a more leisurely vacation, you should visit France in the autumn. You can visit a castle or two in the south, see migrating birds in the Camargue, or travel on the little yellow train through the Pyrenees.
Hiking trails are mostly empty, except for a few weekends. Many monuments are open for tours, or there are ruins of rural castles that are accessible to the public.
If you are looking for a city break, you can choose Nice or Paris.
In December, you can enjoy a festive atmosphere in Paris. There are Christmas markets in many cities, and mulled wine is common in some areas.
In addition to Christmas markets, France hosts the Paris Motor Show on even-numbered years. The lights and decorations make the atmosphere festive.
New Year’s fireworks are also spectacular all over the country. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower fireworks are the most breathtaking. A trip to France during the holiday season is guaranteed to be one of the best times to experience all the city has to offer.
Winter Season in France
Winter Season in France runs from December to February.
In the north, you’ll be able to enjoy snow and mountain sports and experience some of the best scenery. And in the south, the weather is usually mild and pleasant, but it’s still worth planning your trip for the winter season.
The winter months are the most romantic time to visit France, as you can enjoy its festive atmosphere. The city’s holiday atmosphere is enhanced by boutique markets, ice skating, and mulled wine.
Winter is also one of the only two seasons in which sales are allowed in French stores. According to French law, stores must have two mandatory sales a year: in the summer and the winter. If you plan to shop in Paris, Christmas is the best time to go.
On the other hand, the winter season offers plenty of winter sports opportunities in France. Ex: Skiing, winter camping, snowboarding, etc.
Carnaval Season in France
March marks the tail end of the low season, which means that temperatures warm up towards the end of the month, making outdoor activities more enjoyable.
However, some attractions are closed during this time. In the Pyrenees and Alps, this is the last major month for powder sports.
During springtime, French carnivals begin and end in the north. In the south, you’ll find colorful flower-filled floats, parades, and fireworks at the Carnaval de Nice in Marseille.
Normally, the Carnival, a Catholic festive season occurs during February or early March.
Summer is the most popular season in France. The climate is mild throughout the country, with temperatures ranging from 55 to 68 degF during spring.
The northern region of France is cooler, while the south is a little drier. However, the weather during summer is still quite pleasant.
If you’re traveling during this time, don’t miss the opportunity to see the lavender fields in Provence. You’ll also be able to see the Tour de France, Avignon Theatre Festival, and Versailles Musical Gardens.
Low Season/ Off-Season in France
The low season in France runs from November to the end of March.
To get the best prices on hotels in France, plan a trip to France during the off-season when the weather is not as hot and the crowds are less.
Also, July and August are good months. During this time, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of the country, but avoid the crowds and the high costs of travel.
Moreover, you can book your trip during the low season, which can be very advantageous if you want to save a lot of money.
Summer is not the best time to visit France because it is very hot and humid. During the low season, the temperatures are more bearable and the climate is still pleasant.
However, if you are looking for cultural events and shows, then you should travel during the low season when it is not so hot. Also, avoid visiting during school holidays, when cultural venues get overrun by students.
During the off-season, museums and galleries are usually free. Many of them close on Tuesdays.
May is another great month to travel to France. It is warm enough in the South to enjoy beach weather, and temperatures are mild throughout the country.
During this month, you can attend various cultural events and festivals, including the Festival de Cannes, the largest cinema festival in Europe.
And also, you can enjoy the Grand Prix de Monaco. Visiting France during this time will help you save a lot of money on airfares and hotel prices.
Best Time to Visit the South of France
Between May and October is the best time to visit the South of France with your family and friends.
If you are visiting the South of France for the first time, you might wonder what the best time to visit is. Generally, it’s best to go in early spring or late autumn, as both seasons have their benefits.
Visiting the south of France in the spring or fall is particularly beautiful, and the weather is generally mild. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a variety of festivals that are held in this area.
September is the best time to visit the South of France, as the kids go back to school and the crowds are gone. However, you’ll still find it warm enough to go swimming in the sea during the first week of September.
There is a phenomenon called the “Indian Summer” in the south, which means the weather remains warm for a longer period.
Even though temperatures in the region are usually in the low seventies, it may be warm enough for swimming in some regions until the end of September.
During this time, you’ll still be able to participate in many cultural activities, including festivals and fairs.
If you are planning to visit during the summer, you should avoid Paris, which can be crowded. Despite these issues, summer is the most popular time for sightseeing in France.
You’ll be able to enjoy several festivals and events during this time of year, making it ideal for photography.
Best Time to Visit Northern France
What is the best time to visit Northern France? Well, it is during late spring (end of April and May) and summer (June to mid-September). You can enjoy the perfect weather during these months.
The spring climate is perfect for exploring the gardens of northern France. Ex: Loire Valley or the “Garden of France”.
You can also visit during the harvest season when the wine is in its prime. If you’re interested in a specific wine region, you may want to plan your trip during these months.
Winter in Northern France (from December to March) is cooler and offers great opportunities for snow sports.
And also it is a great time for skiing in the Alpine resorts of France. There are countless events and celebrations, and skiing is the most popular activity.
Snow can last through mid-March, so you can avoid the crowds in early February. Spring brings the controversial bullfighting season and Easter.
Winter also offers the chance to see snowfall and enjoy the country’s natural attractions. But be aware that the smaller towns are less welcoming during this time of year. If you’d like to see snow and enjoy Christmas markets in Northern France, you’d be better off visiting during winter.
Best Time to Visit Paris
For the travelers who consider only pleasant weather, late spring (May-June), early summer (June-July), and early autumn (September) are the best months to visit Paris.
There are several events and festivals taking place during certain times of the year. April is one of the warmest months, and the city hosts several running events.
In addition to marathons, the city hosts a vintage car race and a trade show for runners. Other notable events taking place in Paris during this month include the World Cup soccer matches and the Paris Marathon.
Springtime brings blossoms to the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Jardin des Tuileries, while summer is warm and sunny. The sun rises early and sets late, making this the perfect time to enjoy a cocktail at an outdoor brasserie.
Paris celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with traditional folk music concerts and a drinking game in the fall. The weather during these months is less hot but still mild enough for an enjoyable visit.
Winter is also a great time to visit Paris since the city is a festive place to enjoy a little holiday cheer.
The city’s famous avenues are decked out in shiny garlands of sparkling lights and holiday decorations, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by mulled wine in cafes.
During this time, Paris also has a wide selection of Christmas markets, where you can sample the best holiday goods and gourmet treats.
Best Time to Visit France