Spring, summer, autumn, winter—every time of year is a reason to fall under Paris’s spell. Spring brings abundant sunshine and pleasant temperatures—perfect weather for boulevard strolling, café loitering, and outdoor activities like cycling along the quais of the Seine.
Summers heat up in more ways than one. A number of festivities shake up the streets, like the annual Fête de la Musique (June) and Paris Plages, a temporary beach laid out along the river banks (August). Temperatures hover in the moderate 60s and 70s, though on occasion, a heat wave hits (when booking a hotel, be sure that your room has air conditioning; many don’t). In August, tourists reign over the city as Parisians leave for the countryside during les grandes vacances, during which many small businesses shutter for the month.
Peak season winds down in September, though the warm weather lingers. And as locals return, cultural events pick up pace. Brisk temperatures arrive in November. If visiting during this time, pack sweaters and umbrellas; autumn in Paris can be chilly and damp.
During the holiday season, Paris lights up, literally: Christmas ornaments dress up the streets and holiday markets spread gift-giving cheer. Frigid temperatures and low season settle in shortly after the new year. Shoppers, take note: France’s sales are regulated affairs, and one of the authorized periods falls post-holidays, in January (the other takes place in June, right before summer vacation).