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Visit August or April

usa
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Visit August or April

Hi !I have been thinking of visting Paris for atleast 7-8 days for a long time now.The last time I visited was almost 10 years ago for only 2 days and I absolutely loved it!

So,I was thinking of Spring next year [March or April] since I read that it was the best time to visit.I have been following this forum for a week now and I've got the "Paris bug".I want to visit sooner.So.the options are August this year or March-April next year.I know that August will be much warmer and some things might be closed.Do you think it would be wiser to wait till next year?

Thanks so much!

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1. Re: Visit August or April

I would do April. Much less crowded. I believe at that time of year the fountains at Versailles are only running on the weekends, so be sure to go on a day you can see them; truly amazing.

New Hampshire
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2. Re: Visit August or April

If those are your only options, I'd pick April. Keep in mind that once you go you've been - and planning is great fun (and also worthwhile)! So, it's actually better not to rush over.

August could be quite hot and humid, which would slow you down, and you'd probably want lodging with air conditioning which is a bit more difficult to find and more expensive. It's also very crowded in August. And, many choice dining opportunities are closed some or part of August (though plenty remain open).

April could be wet and chilly or warmer and sunny, or a mix of just about everything. Replanting is done all over through the end of May, so flowers in the gardens are hit or miss.

That said, we've always visited in May, June or September, and September is definitely our favorite for pleasant weather, fewest crowds, and the most flowers all over. There are a lot of events held in Paris during September, so you'd want to book accomodations early - but those people are all attending their various events, so the "touristy" venues are not so crowded.

If you're going for 7-8 days, which is an excellent length of stay, it's a good idea to leave the USA on Saturday, arrive on Sunday and depart on Sunday. Getting into Paris and back to CDG are must less stressful on Sundays, as there is much less traffic (hence lower taxi fares) and fewer people on the RER, Roissybus, Air France coaches. CDG, in my experience, is also much less hectic on Sundays.

And, that way, your visit will coincide with the Navigo Decouverte/Carte Orange weekly transit pass, which is a terrific bargain.

From an economical standpoint, air fares are usually the very highest in July and August. Finding the best air fares is a daunting task on its own!

Regardless, there have been some amazing air fare sales this year (for obvious reasons) and hotels often offer significant discounts in August. So, if you don't mind the possibility of hot and sunny or crowds (which may be less this year as well), that could be a very good opportunity for you.

For a week long stay, you may want to consider renting an apartment. More often than not, you can find much more space for the same (or less) nightly rate. Most will not have air conditioning, but, except for a horrid heat wave, you'd probably be fine with a property with cross ventilation and a fan provided (as opposed to a "cozy" hotel room with only one small window). An apartment is much more comfortable, with the extra space and seating other than the bed. Most offer more and more ammenities. Even if you don't plan to do any real cooking, having a kitchen saves a fortune on breakfast, morning coffee, snacks, light late night meals, and you have a comfortable place to enjoy the late evening without having to be out for drinks, snacks, etc. And, nearly every neighborhood has wonderful shops with "take-away" food for dining in (example: those amazing rotisserie chickens).

Montreal
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3. Re: Visit August or April

The "best" time to visit depends on personal preference. It might be hot in August, how are you with that? Some businesses will be closed but that shouldn't be a problem, most places will be open.

March can be cool and April can be rainy and mid-April will be crowded because of Spring break. But I'd choose August just cause it's SOONER.

KTfromNC
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4. Re: Visit August or April

Last week in April would be my choice....

usa
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5. Re: Visit August or April

Thank you all for the quick responses.Just another question regarding August.

Does it rain at all in August? I was looking at some weather history for Paris in August and it shows rain for half of the month.I don't mind the heat that much but the sun would kill my husband :).If it's cloudy or rainy,that would be great.

Thanks again!

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Visit August or April

Look , no one here can offer you any real assurances on weather. It is weirdly completely unpredictable..

I always go June, July, or August, ( although I have done a few in Sept also)..

Two years ago I took a friend who had never been to Paris, I told her, " pack capris and sundresses, it will be roasting in August" .. since I have always found it to be so... well, we FROZE,, it rained almost everyday, heavy rain sometimes, then sunny right after... it was also cool, and we had each only brought one long pair of pants and one long sleeved sweater,, LOL , we ended up buying clothes.. we were then for 9 days, and it was only warmish,, for maybe one.

I have also spent two weeks roasting at same time.

Moral is,, no matter what anyone says, no matter how many times they have been ,, it can totally go sideways,, be prepared for anything.

I would choose September first, then August,, April I would not choose as I like to go to Versailles and enjoy the more mature gardens,, and it is likely to be cool and rainy in April, although anything goes I suppose.

The august closing have never affected me as I do not dine high end as a rule, and I am not a shopper in boutiques( big department stores and tourist shops all still stay open).

Victoria, Canada
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7. Re: Visit August or April

Look , no one here can offer you any real assurances on weather. It is weirdly completely unpredictable..

I always go June, July, or August, ( although I have done a few in Sept also)..

Two years ago I took a friend who had never been to Paris, I told her, " pack capris and sundresses, it will be roasting in August" .. since I have always found it to be so... well, we FROZE,, it rained almost everyday, heavy rain sometimes, then sunny right after... it was also cool, and we had each only brought one long pair of pants and one long sleeved sweater,, LOL , we ended up buying clothes.. we were then for 9 days, and it was only warmish,, for maybe one.

I have also spent two weeks roasting at same time.

Moral is,, no matter what anyone says, no matter how many times they have been ,, it can totally go sideways,, be prepared for anything.

I would choose September first, then August,, April I would not choose as I like to go to Versailles and enjoy the more mature gardens,, and it is likely to be cool and rainy in April, although anything goes I suppose.

The august closing have never affected me as I do not dine high end as a rule, and I am not a shopper in boutiques( big department stores and tourist shops all still stay open).

New Hampshire
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8. Re: Visit August or April

travelworldbug: You just never know. As mentioned, weather can vary wildly for the same week/month from one year to the next, and from one day/week to the next while you're there.

I'm with your husband - my favorite weather is "overcast". The interesting thing about Paris weather is that you can literally watch the clouds roll by all day every day.

I'm one who just does not care for too sunny or too warm, so wouldn't take the chance of going in August, and I'd rather it be too chilly than too warm, and don't mind rain. We arrived one June during a heat wave, temps near 100 for a week straight, then too chilly and breezy to "stroll home" evenings the next few days. We were relieved to be staying in a hotel (Muguet) that had just installed modern air conditioning. Even so, many places (restaurants, shops, museums) do not have air conditioning, and those that do are not cooled to what we're used to at home. The only ways to get away from the heat were shady areas outdoors (a park with lots of trees, cafe with awning...), boat rides, and riding around on top of l'Opentour (while the bus was moving) for the cool breezes. We went on a Seine cruise almost every day! It was brutal walking from place to place in the sun, stifling on the metro and buses, and the temps did not go down with the sun.

All in all, people have reported chilly weather during August, but also very hot and sunny, whereas April is much more often described as chilly and rainy with some days of beautiful weather. But, rain in Paris is most often showers off and on throughout the day (or even just overnight). Over all our trips, I can only remember two days (on different trips) that it rained almost all day long (and not heavily).

Paris, France
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9. Re: Visit August or April

I generally recommend May or June. April can be quite cold (not predicting anything) but while September is otherwise beautiful, this is peak hotel/restaurant season. There are so many trade shows and conventions that finding a hotel in September can be difficult - same with restaurant reservations at better known locations.

I shouldn't discount August too quickly. It's true some things are closed (ironically Berthillon for example) but many hotels offer discounts and specials for the budget minded, restaurant reservations are relatively easy to obtain, and there is still plenty to see and do.

About the only thing referencing Paris that costs more in August is airfare from the USA.

Pjk
New Jersey
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10. Re: Visit August or April

We've gone in early April for the last three years. This year we had one day of rain which we used to go to the Pompidou Center, but all of the other 9 days was sunny, or turned sunny, with temps from about 50 - 60 F. We walked everywhere and were able to sit in the Luxemborg and Tuileries gardens and outdoors at all of our favorite cafes.

pjk.smugmug.com/photos/516950121_DsyCg-M.jpg

Last year at approximately the same time there was more rain and even one day of hail, so we did more indoorsy things and switched to vin chaud instead of cool beer or wine.

The year before, it was very warm and really sunny and beautiful every day. We were walking around in shorts and spent even more time in gardens or reading at cafes. We have every intention of going next year in April again.

And one other nice thing about April...

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pjk.smugmug.com/photos/516975555_qvycr-M.jpg

…smugmug.com/photos/516947238_qDmed-M-1.jpg

hth

Pjk