Paris weather is the legendary stuff of songs, and for good reason. Fair or foul, the weather will form the backdrop – and maybe the raindrops! – of your experience in the City of Light. While there is no bad time to visit Paris, the weather can be unpredictable. But, with a little planning you’ll be prepared for anything Mère Nature sends your way. In this guide, we’ve compiled our best tips to help you navigate Paris weather like a local. From understanding the different seasons to packing the right clothing and accessories, we’ve got you covered. Ready? Allez! On y va!
What’s the weather in Paris like each season?
Paris has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. Whether you’re strolling along the Seine or visiting world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Louvre Museum, knowing what to expect weather-wise can make a big difference.
Spring – March, April & May in Paris
Springtime in Paris – especially April and May – can be a delightful time to visit, with blooming flowers and mild temperatures. But it can also be rainy, so you’ll want to bring along a parapluie!
- Average temperatures: 46°F (8°C) to 61°F (16°C).
- Rainfall: March has 9 days of rain; April has 12 days; and May has 14 days
Summer – June, July & August in Paris
Paris enjoys warm and sunny summers, with long days thanks to its northerly latitude. It’s also the most popular time of year for tourists, and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy. Most people in France take their own holidays in August, so the city has a different feeling during this time.
- Average temperatures: 59°F (15°C) () to at least 83°F (28°C).
- Rainfall: June has 9 days of rain; July has 8 days; and August has 7 days
Autumn – September, October & November in Paris
Autumn in Paris means the start of the cultural season – new shows at art galleries, concerts to enjoy, and also cooler temperatures.
- Average temperatures: 46°F (8°C) to 64°F (18°C)
- Rainfall: September, 9 days of rain; October has 11 days; November has 13 days.
Winter – December, January & February in Paris
Paris in December is a festive time, with beautiful displays of lights and Christmas markets. But it’s still winter so that it will be chilly and dark – that northern latitude again! The city gets occasional snowfall, creating a magical atmosphere. January and February are part of the low season, making them a good time to stretch your budget.
- Average temperatures: 37°F (3°C) to 45°F (7°C)
- Rainfall: December has 11 days of precipitation; January has 10 days; and February has 9 days
What is the best time to visit Paris, based on the weather?
As Audrey Hepburn said, Paris is always a good idea – and we completely agree. Paris offers marvelous experiences all year round, so there isn’t a bad time to come. How do you decide? It comes down to what you want to see and do.
For museum lovers and culture mavens, fall and winter are ideal. You won’t notice the cold or rainy weather as you wander through museums like the Louvre or the Musée D’Orsay. And the long nights will fly by as you take in a world-class concert or ballet production.
But if your visit won’t be complete without dancing along the Seine or sailing toy boats at the Tuileries with your little one, spring, and summer might be better suited to your needs.
If shopping is something you enjoy, then you might want to visit during les “Soldes” – the twice-yearly sales that happen throughout France in January and July. This is when all the beautiful clothes, accessories, and household goods get discounted – usually between 30% and 70% of the retail price – to make way for the coming season’s delights.
What to wear in Paris?
Since Paris is revered throughout the world as an icon of fashion, you may be thinking that you need to dress to impress everyday. But there’s no dress code, and we recommend approaching this with a mix of practicality, based in part on the weather in Paris when you plan to visit, as well as what makes you feel comfortable. Here are our top tips for packing.
Tip 1: Layers are your friend. Not every day of your trip will be the “average temperature,” so layers let you adjust as needed. In the summer, that might mean adding a light sweater or shawl to summer clothes. In the winter, you might want to wear a tee shirt beneath a sweater, in case you get too warm indoors.
Tip 2: Choose comfy, weather-appropriate footwear. Any trip to Paris will involve plenty of walking, especially if you plan to take the Paris metro. So bring shoes that are kind to your feet. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack your favorite heels or dress shoes, but save those for special occasions, and wear comfortable shoes when exploring. In winter, you’ll also want to make sure your feet are warm and dry. Your feet will thank you!
Tip 3: Accessorize! As you can guess from Colleen’s trademark crimson scarf, Parisians love to add flair to their outfits with scarves and shawls, so you’ll fit right in when you wear these items. The added bonus is they are an easy way to add warmth to your outfits. Lightweight hats are another great accessory – a rain hat or beanie for fall, winter or spring, and a sun hat for summer will go a long way toward ensuring your comfort.
A final note on dressing. If you plan to visit any of the magnificent cathedrals and churches that France is famous for, dress respectfully. What does that mean? A good rule of thumb is to dress so that your shoulders and knees are covered. Doing so is a way to acknowledge the special environment that these spaces create, a courtesy that will be appreciated.
How to make the most of the weather in Paris in photographs?
Whether you just want the perfect Instagram moment, or you’re creating a photographic exhibit, Paris is a dream destination for photographers. Each season and its different weather patterns offer unique opportunities. Try these ideas to make the most of the Parisian weather for photography:
- Capture the blooming cherry blossoms in parks like Parc de Sceaux or Parc de Belleville.
- Use the soft, diffused light during the golden hour for capturing romantic street scenes or architectural details.
- Experiment with macro photography to capture the intricate details of flowers and foliage.
- Capture the vibrant colors of Parisian cafes and outdoor markets.
- Take advantage of the longer daylight hours to photograph iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe at sunset.
- Include the Seine River in your compositions to add a sense of tranquility to your photos.
- Embrace the warm, golden tones of autumn foliage in parks like Parc Monceau or Jardin des Tuileries.
- Use the misty mornings to create a mysterious atmosphere in your photographs.
- Play with reflections in puddles to add an interesting element to your images.
- Capture the festive atmosphere during the holiday season, with Christmas lights and decorations illuminating the city.
- Experiment with long exposure photography to capture the trails of car lights on rainy or snowy evenings.
- Include the snow-covered rooftops and streets to create a winter wonderland effect.
We share more photography tips – including the out of the way locales where you can snag the perfect shot – in this video.
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