A trip to France is like a dream for many. It’s definitely a bucket list destination that could keep you busy for weeks. Whether you plan on sipping a coffee at a Parisian cafe or touring the wineries of the French countryside, you’ll be met with beauty and culture. If you aren’t sure when to plan your trip, keep in mind that each month offers a little something different. Whether it’s events, festivals, or just the weather, being strategic about the month you visit is important. Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit France, month-by-month.

January

At the height of winter, the French are celebrating ski season in the alps and flocking to cafes to sip hot coffees and stay cosy. While winter isn’t always an ideal month to travel, it can be pretty beautiful and charming.

Weather

 The weather in France during January varies from cold and crisp to cold and raining or snowing. The temperatures vary but range from 39 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit from north to south. The south of France still gets cold and while it doesn’t snow, it can get quite rainy. If you’re looking for snow, definitely head to northern France.

 Things to Do / See

 Paris Fashion Week: This lasts for two weeks in mid-January and kicks off with men’s fashion. You’ll be able to find events all over the city.

Winter Sales: Winter shopping in France is a ‘thing.’ Expect tons of after holiday sales that can often be up to 70% off. They typically start in mid-January and run through mid-February.

New Year’s Day: Celebrate the new year on January 1st. Keep in mind that many of the shops and attractions will be closed on this day.

Go Skiing: January in France is the perfect time to go skiing. Check out some of the top-rated ski resorts like Courchevel, Val d’Isere and Espace Killy, and Meribel.

courchevel-winter

February

This month is prime time for skiing, explore the mountain towns of the alps, and try to stay warm. It’s technically an off-season in France so travelling during this time could get you cheaper prices and flights.

Weather

 Expect frigid temperatures, rain, and snow while visiting in February. The temperatures range from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 52 from north to south. Paris averages about 14 days of rain while Lyon and Nice usually have about six.

Things to Do / See

Winter Sales: Those winter sales are still up and running so if you love to shop, get yourself some serious bargains all around the country.

Valentine’s Day: Taking place on February 14th, the French head to the town of St. Valentin to celebrate love and romance.

French Carnivals: February is the beginning of carnival season. If you want to experience the best, head to Nice in the south of France for their luxurious carnival.

Hot Thermal Baths: Soak in a hot thermal bath in places like: Pombieres-les-Bains in the Vosges in Lorraine, Aix-les-Bains in Savoie, Evian-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva, and Bourbon-l’Archambault in the remote and beautiful Auvergne.

March

 Visiting France in March will get you cheaper flights, hotels, and activities. It straddles the cosiness of winter with the exciting spirit of spring.

Weather

 Expect a wide range of weather patterns throughout March. You’ll have snow, rain, sun, and clear beautiful days – it really just depends where you are. Temperatures range from 36 degrees Fahrenheit to 59 degrees.

 Things To Do / See

Ski: The ski resorts are still going strong well into March. If you want to get your chance on the slopes or just want to wander around a charming alpine town, the option is still on the table. Visit top resorts include Chamonix, La Plagne, Courchevel, and Val d’Isere and Espace Killy.

 Carnaval de Nice: This is one of the best Mardi Gras festivals in France so don’t miss it. You’ll see costumes, parades, pageants, masked balls, and food festivals.

Paris Museums: The weather may be rainy and a little bit cold so staying inside and exploring the museums of Paris is always a great idea.

April

 April is a great time to visit as the country is in bloom, the weather is warming up, and the attractions are beginning to open. It’s also considered shoulder season so you may find cheaper prices too.

Weather

 The weather in France becomes mild in April. Expect warm and sometimes even hot days in the south and mild, sunny days up north. Prepare for the evenings to be slightly chilly and for there to be occasional rain. Temperatures range from 59 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit from north to south.

Things To Do / See

Easter: This holiday weekend is a big deal in France so you’ll be bound to stumble upon events and festivals. Do your research to understand what’s going on and where.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: This small town hosts Europe’s largest antique market for four days during April. Don’t miss it if you love antiquing.

Kite and Wind Festival: Visit the beaches of Châtelaillon-Plage in late April for a two-day kite festival. It’s a little wacky but also a very fun experience.

Foire du Trône: You’ll find this traditional carnival in Paris where you can hop on the Ferris wheel, ride rollercoasters, and eat carnival food.

france-spring

May

This is one of the most popular months for tourists to visit France as the weather is beautiful and mostly warm. There are cultural events, the popular Cannes Film Festival, and still slightly fewer crowds than in the summer.

Weather

 The weather is typically mild with a few spring showers here and there. Expect a decent amount of warmth and sun. Temperatures range from 48 degrees Fahrenheit to 69 degrees.

Things To See / Do

 Cannes Film Festival: This is one of the most well-known festivals in the world. Movie stars, the rich, and the famous flock to Cannes each year to attend exclusive screenings. Cinéma de la Plage is open to the public nightly but you must book tickets in advance.

French Open: If you love tennis you’ll want to book your tickets early for this world-famous tennis tournament that happens each year in Paris.

Taste of Paris: A food festival that offers special events, tastings, and visiting chefs. If you love French food, you’ll want to attend.

June

 This is one of the best months to visit France. It’s extremely popular with tourists, especially those visiting Paris. However, if you get out of the city, you’ll find fewer crowds and more gorgeous scenery.

Weather

 Expect mild weather with blue skies and warm days. Nights tend to be a little colder and you may get the occasional rain shower. Temperatures range from 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 75.

Things To See / Do

 Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival: Located in the Loire Valley, this is one of the largest flower-shows in France.

Paris Beer Week: If you want to take a break from wine, try some freshly brewed beer from June 8th through the 15th.

July

France comes alive in July when restaurants book all of their outdoor tables and festivals pop up all over the country. There are colourful gardens, great music, and vibrancy to the atmosphere.

Weather

 France has fantastic weather during July, although it can get quite hot. Spending time outdoors is highly recommended but be advised that there can be heat waves and strong rain. Temperatures range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 90.

Things To See / Do

 Bastille Day: A celebration that happens all over France but the most exciting festivities tend to be in Paris. You’ll see fireworks, live entertainment, and plenty of food.

Outdoor activities: No matter where you are in France, you’ll want to spend time outdoors. Whether that’s wandering around the natural attractions or exploring the cities, you’ll enjoy the summer weather.

 valensole-summer

August

 August is when the locals typically take their vacations. If you’re visiting in August keep in mind that some local shops and restaurants may close while their owners are on holiday. Museums and attractions typically are open longer hours during summer and there will be festivals and events happening all over the country.

Weather

August weather in France is fantastic. The days are hot the nights are warm and there are just a few rainstorms. The country does experience a few heat waves so make sure to book a room with air conditioning. Temperatures range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees.

Things To See / Do

 Arelate Festival: Located in the Arles Roman Arena, this festival brings all of the gladiators, Roman games, and Medieval culture you could ask for.

 Jazz in Marciac: A jazz festival taking place in the village of Marciac. It’s been going on since the 1970s and is great for music lovers.

Pyrotechnic Art Festival: This firework show dates back to the 1960s and is held in the Bay of Cannes. It’s a massive display of colour and light that you won’t want to miss.

September

 This fall month yields warm weather with less humidity. There are often less crowds, so you can still get the summer-like weather without sharing it with all the other tourists. September is the grape harvest which brings with it plenty of festivities around the country.

Weather

 Expect crisp, fresh air and warm temperatures during September in France. The evenings are a bit cooler and you’ll even get to see some of the leaves change. Temperatures range from 48 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees.

Things To See / Do

 The Braderie de Lille: The largest flea market in France which takes place in the northern city of Lille.

The Feria du Riz: A festival showcasing bullfighting in southern France. This event is accompanied by various parties around the town.

The Basque Country Music Festival: This is one of the largest music festivals in the country and it takes place in late August/early September on the Atlantic Coast.

Jazz a Beaune: A festival focused on wine and jazz in the city of Beaune. Don’t miss the tastings and the chance to learn more about the music.

October

 October is a beautiful month in France. The weather is crisp but still slightly warm and the fall foliage is in full swing. This is the height of grape harvest season so the wine regions are alive with tastings, wine enthusiasts, and full vines.

Weather

Expect variable weather that averages in temperature around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. There may be light showers here and there but overall, the weather is pretty great.

Things To See / Do

 Lumière Film Festival: This film festival can be found in Lyon from October 13th through the 21st. There are around 400 screenings of over 170 films.

Jazz between the Two Towers: Visit the town of Rochelle to see more than 100 musicians play various concerts around the city. It takes place between October 1st and 7th.

Champagne-Autumn

November

 This month brings chilly weather, changing colours, and towards the end, Christmas markets. It’s a great time to visit France as the countryside is beautiful and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

 Weather

 Expect warmer weather in the south and quite chilly temperatures up north. The weather is rapidly changing throughout this month so bring something warm just in case. The temperatures range between 41 degrees Fahrenheit in the north and 60 in the south.

Things To See / Do

 Armistice Day: This event celebrates the end of World War I. It’s celebrated all over France and is a great time to visit some of the historical sites around the country.

All Saints Day: It takes place on November 1st and is even more of a big deal than Halloween. This is when you’ll see families travelling to the cemeteries to pay respect to their loved ones.

Christmas Markets: These ornate markets will start popping up all over France towards the end of November. Get ready for lots of shopping, sweet treats, and festive fun.

December

Get ready for ice skating rinks, skiing, warm fires, and plenty of Christmas cheer. There are Christmas markets all around the country as well as seasonal treats for sale around every corner.

Weather

 Expect brisk temperatures around the country, even in the south. The range is between 39 degrees Fahrenheit and 53 degrees. It’s not as cold as some of the other winter months so wandering around those Christmas markets will be enjoyable.

Things To See / Do

 Lyon Festival of Lights: It’s one of the most famous in the country so you won’t want to miss it.

Christmas Markets: They’re located all over France and are outfitted to look like Christmas villages. Come for the shopping but stay for the food.

New Year’s Eve: There will be parties, events, and special restaurant menus all over the country. Staying in a city like Paris will most likely yield the best options for events.

No matter when you decide to visit France, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty, culture and the natural beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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