Paris in the Springtime (and Autumn, Too): Best Times to Visit France

If you’re planning a trip to France, you’re planning a trip to a truly enchanted country and certain seasons are better than others for visiting one of the most beautiful and storied lands on Earth.

Ah, France. What’s not to love?

It is the home of Paris, perhaps the most romantic city in the world. The sun-kissed, lavender-intoxicated fields of Provence embrace its southern regions. History-drenched Normandy perches on its northern shores, while the sapphire waters of the Meditteranean sweep Marseille into a perpetual kiss.

If you’re planning a trip to France, you’re planning a trip to a truly enchanted country. Depending on what you want to do on the Continent, and also on what your particular travel needs may be, certain seasons are better than others for visiting one of the most beautiful and storied lands on Earth.

France in Springtime

There’s a reason why people sing about Paris in springtime. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Lights or considering a more southern voyage to the Cote d’Azur, springtime is an ideal option.

While France’s climate is fairly temperate, it still has its moments of extremes, especially at the height of summer, when potentially dangerous heatwaves are not uncommon. Summer is also the peak of the tourist season, which means you’re likely going to find every major attraction packed with like-minded visitors.

The Metro is also likely to be more crowded and taxis difficult to come by. That could make for a lot of long, uncomfortable walks in the hot sun and on crowded streets.

But if you beat the crowds and the heat, you’re in for something truly. France in April, when the chill is finally leaving the air and the flowers are in bloom, is a feast for all the senses. Or hold off a bit and let the spring festivals of May lure you in.

And if you head down to the southern coast at the end of the month, just in time for the Cannes Film Festival, you might even be lucky enough to catch sight of your favourite celebrity.

And when basking on the shores of the Riviera, don’t forget to take your metal detector! With so much history and so many of the world’s rich and famous on those beaches, who knows what treasures you might dig up!

Falling for France

It’s not just in springtime that France shows herself in all her glory, though. Autumn is also a spectacular time to visit France. No matter what part of the country you plan to visit, you’re likely to enjoy warm sunny days and nights tinged with just the perfect touch of coolness.

Many of the flowers will still be in bloom, even as the trees are putting on their fall colours. Best of all, the tourist crowds will have thinned, the French will have resumed their normal lives of work and school, and you will get to experience the ordinary rhythm of the Gallic life.

Best of all, if you have issues with pain or walking due to varicose veins, you might find that the cooler temperatures, especially at night, give you a bit less discomfort and a bit more stamina.

Just remember to pack carefully to ensure your trip is a happy and safe one. Ensure that you have more than enough of your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, to keep you well and comfortable, and make sure to carry them with you rather than packing them away in luggage that could be lost.

Even if you’re travelling in the autumn (or even the winter), you’ll still need to plan for bright, sunny days. Take care of your eyes with sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) light, and wear them even when it’s not particularly sunny. After all, the reflection off snow and water can be just as damaging to your eyes as sun exposure.

The Takeaway

Unless you’re Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo taking the family on a European Vacation, any day in France is a good day. Spring and autumn are ideal times for a French experience because you’re going to get the best weather and the most “authentic” feel of French daily life. You’ll avoid the crowds of the height of the tourist summer season, but you’ll still get to enjoy the attractions, from the spring festivals to the fall foliage. Just remember to plan ahead, make sure you have what you need to stay healthy and comfortable for the duration of your trip, and then go ahead and experience what they mean by joie de vivre!


Guest Post by Dan Matthews