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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 travelling 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 autumn, 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 21st June, 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 14th July, 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 autumn, 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.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to France, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest FCDO travel advice.