What is the best time to visit France?

Spring (March-May) or autumn season (September-November) would be the best time to visit France. During these seasons, the number of tourists and the prices of the accommodation would be less when compared to the summer days. Summer in France would be crowded, hot, and very expensive. In the winter season, most of the cities of France would be cold and wet although winter would be the best time for visiting all the famous museums in France.

Seasons in France

Peak Season
June to August and December to January would be the peak season for tourism in France. In the summer season, the tourist would be able to enjoy the long days of sunshine and a clear sky. During the peak season, the prices of various services would also become expensive. There would be a large number of tourists coming to France during the season. In some places, the peak season would be extended beyond the summer season. The rates of hotels and inns would be expensive during this season.

In recent years, the number of tourists during the winter season is also increasing. During this season the visitors generally visit the mountain regions of France. The resort in the Alps and Pyrenees would be full of visitors who are there for enjoying the skiing experience. Tourists are generally recommended to reserve the rooms in their selected hotels during these times in advance to avoid any unnecessary hassles.

Low Season
During the offseason from early November to March, the number of tourists would be low in the streets of France. Visitors would be able to visit several historical sites without standing on lines. You might find some of the Beds and Breakfast as closed but you would easily able to find other modes of accommodation at pretty affordable prices. You might get some drive services at low rates. Visitors might able to interact with the locals in a much better way.

Another pleasure that visitors would also be able to experience during low season is the joy of cheap shopping. During the low season, there are many shops in the cities of France where you would be able to get a pretty good discount on different goods. Visitors would be able to find many sale markets during this offseason, which is done by many shops for clearing their stocks.

Shoulder Season
Early April to May and September to October is the best time for exploring other major cities in France. The weather would be mild and pretty comfortable during this season. The season would fall in either spring or autumn seasons. Number of tourists would be less compared to the peak season. The visitor would be able to enjoy less crowded, even the prices for different attraction would be cheaper. You would be enjoying the gardens in their natural bloom. Shoulder season is the best time for visiting the villages in the country. Visitors would be able to enjoy the natural harvest in the countryside of France.  

France in Spring (March to May)

Weather in France in Spring
Weather conditions during the spring season are generally pleasant in France. Temperature and humidity in spring season make the weather condition typically mild and moderately cold. Visitors might encounter rain more often during this season. Thus they are recommended to bring their rain gear if they are planning to visit during this season. The average temperature would be from 21.3°C to 11.9°C. This season is the second busiest time for tourism as the number of tourists would gradually increase with the passing of months. In spring, visitors would be able to enjoy the cherry blossoms and taste fresh wine from local wineries. 

While exploring the country, you might also encounter several marriage processions as the spring season is the time for traditional French marriages. During this season, Brittany would be full of blooming gorse and brooms flowers.  You would be able to enjoy the sight of several birds flying over the salt lakes of Provence. The visitor would also be able to enjoy the first appearance of the first flower in the snowy Alps and participate in “King of Five Continents” carnival event.  

Visitors visiting the rural areas of France would be able to enjoy the fresh and relaxing environment. In the spring season, the tourist would be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest from the local market. You would also be enjoying fresh strawberries, cherries, berries, and apricots. If you are visiting Paris, then you might also visit the two famous gardens, André le Notre and Monet’s house.

Key Events in France
  • The Dunkirk Carnival is one of the most famous carnivals in France and is visited by many tourists every year in March. Every street in this country would be bursting with various colours.
  • During March, visitors might also be able to attend the famous Paris Fashion Week. This week for showcasing different new clothing is a famous attraction for female tourists.
  • Wind and Kite Festival is a two-day event which is held every year in late April. This festival takes place on the beaches of Châtelaillon-Plage. This place is on the western coast of La Rochelle. Visitors would be able to enjoy the different types of wonderful and weird kites flying in the sky.
  • Foire du Trône is a traditional festival, especially for children in April. There would be roller-coasters, Ferris wheel ride and many other attractions for kids.
  • Cannes Film Festival in May is one of the most famous festivals in the whole world. This festival showcases some of the best independent films from all over the world.
  • Taste of Paris is a gastronomic festival, where several food vendors of France would participate in Grand Palais. Tourists visiting in May would be able to enjoy special eating events and several delicious foods at this festival.

Summer in France (June to August)

Weather in France in Summer
The summer season in France is very comfortable. The weather conditions during the summer season in this country tend to be sunny and warm. But the general weather conditions might differ from one place to another. The sky would be clear for most of the time. The average temperature in the country would be about 25°C. Cold weather conditions are only persistent in the mountain regions of France. During the summer days, you would be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches in this country. 

Summer is the peak time for tourism in France. For this reason, rates of the lodging and inns would be much higher than expected. The rates of transportation services would be high during this season. There might be a considerable number of tourists in the summer season. All tourist spots would be crowded with travellers from all over the world. The most crowded place in France during the summer would be sea beaches. Visitors would be able to enjoy several activities such as taking a relaxing cruise in interconnected channels of France. Barge channels are very popular with the tourist who wants to spend leisure time while enjoying the view of small villages and their natural beauty.

Visitors who would be interested in the forest of France might have a lucky encounter with some wild deer, otters and many other animals in the national parks and reserves. Visitors might also visit the famous stone villages in the Dordogne region. You would need canoe for properly appreciating the vineyard filled hills and the beautiful valley of Dordogne river. Another major attraction for tourists is the traditional outdoor markets during this period. You might be able to taste some of the delicious and fresh seasonal harvests from these markets.    

Key Events in France
  • Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival in June is one of the most famous flowers shows in the whole country. This flower show is organised in the Loire Valley and rivals the famous Chelsea Flower Show of UK.
  • The small island of Seine hosts Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival. Several music lovers from all over the world attend this music festival in June.
  • Bastille Day is one of the most important festivals for the citizens of France. On 14th July, the French revolution was started by storming the Bastille Castle. This day is celebrated grandly with a huge parade, and lots of fireworks are released from the Eiffel tower. Several free concerts and plays are hosted all over the country.
  • Tour de France held in July is one of the most famous cycle races in the whole world. The route of the tournament is spread across the entire country. Each year the path for this race is different from the previous race.    
  • Jazz a Marciac is a jazz music festival that takes place in August. This festival takes place in the small village of Marciac and features lots of international and local music artists.  
  • World Cultural Festival is an international event that takes place in Montoire-sur-le-Loir. In this event, participants from several countries participate to showcase their cultural dance.

Autumn in France (September to November)

Weather in France in Autumn
During this season, the temperature would start to fall gradually. The number of tourists would also begin to fall during this season. The average temperature across France would be about 23.6°C to 10°C. Visiting during this period, you would be starting to feel the low temperature due to the increase in the rate of rain and snow. During this season, it would rain almost every day. During autumn, visitors would be able to take hiking tours in the rural regions of France for enjoying various colours of the countryside.

This season is best for those who are planning the budget tour. This season fall under the Shoulder Season for tourism that means you might get accommodation at pretty affordable prices. This season is also the best time to visit for hikers and nature lovers. This especially true if you are planning to tour the rural side of France. The visitors would be able to enjoy the natural beauty and relaxing moments in the crowd-less streets of France.

Even in this shoulder season, the number of festivals and events does not decrease. Different festival on music, food, and many other topics would take place in France. Mentioned here are some of the important festivals of France in the autumn season.

Key Events in France
  • The Basque Country Music Festival in September is one of the most premier music festivals for the country of France. This festival takes place in places such as Biarritz and St-Jean-de-Luz.
  • The Feria du Riz is the traditional bullfighting festival that takes place in the southern regions of France. This bullfighting festival continues even after leaving the arena.
  • Nuit Blanche is an annual art festival that is celebrated all across France. Parks and museums would remain open all night. This festival takes place on October 6th every year. Cultural lovers from all over the world come to France for appreciating various art and culture of the world.
  • Le Salon du Chocolat is a gastronomic festival for showcasing the various types of chocolate. Visitors would be able to participate in the workshop and make their chocolate.
  • The Fine Art and Antiques Fair take place in the city of Toulouse in November. Several dealers meet up at this city and showcase their beautiful art collections and avid antiques.
  • On 11th November, the whole country celebrates Armistice Day. On this day, most of the tourist spots and attractions would be closed. Visitors would be visiting the many WWI war sites as these sites would be open for the whole day.

Winter in France (December to February)

Weather in France in Winter
Winter season experience an increase in the rate of tourism for the 2nd time in the year. The average temperature of France during this season would be about 11.9°C to 7.8°C. These weather conditions would be the best time for those who want to experience skiing on the wide mountain ranges of the Alps. For the winter season, the tourist would be able to enjoy the white snow in the mountains of the Alps. 

The French Alps offers the best place for enjoying the ultimate skiing experience. Tourists would be able to take part in various skiing parties and activities. The largest ski area for skiing in the Pyrenees would be Hautes Pyrenees. Weather would be different from one place to another place. The average temperature across the country in December would be about 4.8°C.

Key Events in France
  • Lyon Festival of Lights is one of the famous festivals in France that takes place on December 10th every year. On this festival, every house is lit up during the night period. The visitors would be able to enjoy the fantastic sight of the lit up building in the cold nights of the winters.  
  • New Year's Eve is celebrated in a big way in the country of France. The visitors would have to book the restaurant if you want to dine on the days of 31st December. This day is a public event, and you would be able to enjoy the fantastic festive environment of New Year's Eve.
  • Les soldes d'hiver is an annual event where tourists would be able to get huge bargain offers. You might be able to save up to 70% while buying goods. The government fully controls these sales and take place in January.
  • During Valentine's Day, many tourists would visit St.Valentine, which might be a small place, but it is beautiful. This village is located in the Loire Valley.

Monthly Weather in France

Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C)
January 3 9
February 6 13
March 8 16
April 8 18
May 12 22
June 17 26
July 17 27
August 17 28
September 16 25
October 11 19
November 8 14
December 5 12
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