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Lavender field, Provence

When is the best time to visit France?

Lavender field, Provence

The best time to visit France is in spring (April-May), summer (June-August), or autumn (September-October). Spring is pleasant across the country, with fewer crowds and temperatures ranging from 13°C to 20°C. They can rise up to 29°C in summer, but aren’t too hot to stop you from exploring the cities, mountains, and countryside. Autumn is still warm, with temperatures between 16°C and 25°C, and vibrant landscapes as the leaves change colour.

France enjoys mild temperatures, although there are regional variations: there’s a Mediterranean climate in the south and wetter weather in the north, near the English Channel. In August, most of the country closes down to chase the sunshine in the south.

Winter is one of our preferred times to explore Paris, as the crowds are fewer, yet the restaurants are still lively with locals.

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Month-by-month guide for traveling in France

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Visiting France in January - March

The winter months can be very cold throughout France. If you’re visiting the countryside, you’ll find it very quiet with many restaurants and hotels closed. However, it’s an excellent time to visit Paris. Crowds are much fewer yet many cultural events take place, making it a very lively time to visit. Rain showers are quite common at this time of year.

Events & Festivals

  • The Nice Carnival is a highlight of the winter calendar, with a procession of floats and parades of musicians and dancers.
  • Paris Fashion Week is held twice a year, in spring and fall, and celebrates the latest styles and trends.
Honfleur, Normandy

Visiting France in April - May

Spring is considered one of the best seasons to visit France, as temperatures start to rise and life pours back into the towns and countryside. Markets tend to reopen or double in size. Although the Easter school break can increase domestic tourism, France during springtime is still relatively peaceful in terms of crowds. 

Events & Festivals

  • The Cannes Film Festival in May plays host to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, and international names descend on the town for the annual award ceremony.
Lavender field, Provence

Visiting France in June - July

As it starts to heat up across the country, many visitors either head to the sea or to the swimming pool. June is considered one of the best months to visit, as schools are yet to break up for the summer and temperatures are just right for exploring the cities. July is busier, but it’s also when the lavender fields in Provence are at their peak.

Events & Festivals

  • Fête de la Musique, held on June 21, is a free live music festival held in all the large cities across the country.
  • Held in July, the Tour de France is a prestigious bicycle race finishing at the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It takes a different route each year, usually through the mountains.
  • Held on July 14, Bastille Day is a big event in the French calendar. The storming of the Bastille is celebrated across France with fireworks, music and parties.
Mediterranean Sea, The French Riviera

Visiting France in August

Many businesses throughout the country close in August, as this is when many of the French take trips of their own and the schools take their long summer break. However, it’s still a very popular month for travel. Temperatures are at their warmest, so you can spend your days soaking up the sun and dining alfresco.

Château d'Amboise, Loire Valley

Visiting France in September - October

This is one of the best times to visit France. Temperatures are still warm but not too hot, creating ideal conditions for exploring both the cities and the countryside. The crowds have thinned, families have returned to school, and landscapes are illuminated with vibrant reds and golds, ready for the vendange (grape harvest) to begin.  

Events & Festivals

  • Paris Fashion Week is held twice a year, in spring and fall, and celebrates the latest styles and trends.
  • Held on the first Saturday in October, Nuit Blanche or ‘White Night’ is an all-night art festival where museums and galleries across Paris open their doors and street parties reign supreme for one night only.
Notre Dame Cathedral at Christmas, Paris

Visiting France in November - December

Although the weather is cooler, November and December are lovely months to visit Paris. Museums and sites are quiet, while restaurants in the cities are still lively. Christmas markets open up across the cities, where vendors sell mulled wine, cheese, charcuterie and seasonal arts and crafts. Rural areas can be quiet during these months. 

Events & Festivals

  • Christmas markets pop up across the country, particularly in the capital.

France Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Aix-en-Provence 9°C 51mm 10°C 59mm 12°C 54mm 16°C 53mm 20°C 52mm 24°C 44mm 27°C 23mm 26°C 45mm 23°C 71mm 18°C 82mm 13°C 72mm 9°C 66mm
Amboise 7°C 61mm 8°C 57mm 12°C 52mm 15°C 51mm 19°C 62mm 22°C 51mm 25°C 48mm 25°C 47mm 22°C 53mm 17°C 56mm 11°C 64mm 7°C 61mm
Avignon 9°C 56mm 11°C 63mm 14°C 55mm 17°C 53mm 21°C 56mm 26°C 42mm 29°C 25mm 28°C 51mm 25°C 74mm 20°C 105mm 13°C 68mm 10°C 61mm
Bayeux 7°C 74mm 8°C 63mm 10°C 61mm 13°C 49mm 16°C 58mm 19°C 51mm 21°C 46mm 21°C 49mm 19°C 67mm 16°C 78mm 11°C 94mm 8°C 80mm
Bordeaux 10°C 96mm 11°C 83mm 14°C 73mm 17°C 70mm 20°C 75mm 23°C 57mm 26°C 46mm 26°C 56mm 24°C 74mm 19°C 84mm 13°C 93mm 10°C 97mm
Honfleur 7°C 67mm 7°C 55mm 10°C 57mm 13°C 46mm 16°C 56mm 19°C 52mm 21°C 49mm 21°C 50mm 19°C 64mm 16°C 72mm 10°C 84mm 8°C 71mm
Monaco and Monte Carlo 10°C 77mm 10°C 79mm 12°C 75mm 14°C 69mm 18°C 65mm 21°C 49mm 25°C 23mm 25°C 46mm 22°C 65mm 18°C 102mm 13°C 99mm 11°C 76mm
Nice 11°C 77mm 11°C 79mm 13°C 74mm 15°C 66mm 19°C 61mm 22°C 46mm 26°C 22mm 26°C 43mm 23°C 65mm 19°C 104mm 14°C 101mm 12°C 78mm
Paris 6°C 54mm 7°C 46mm 11°C 52mm 14°C 45mm 18°C 62mm 21°C 57mm 24°C 54mm 23°C 51mm 20°C 57mm 16°C 59mm 10°C 59mm 7°C 55mm
Saint-Tropez 12°C 78mm 13°C 82mm 14°C 73mm 17°C 54mm 20°C 50mm 24°C 38mm 27°C 14mm 27°C 41mm 25°C 65mm 21°C 100mm 16°C 105mm 13°C 86mm

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to France, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest Government of Canada travel advice.

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