No matter when you will visit France, be prepared for the national holidays, typical weather, major events and more. The month-by-month calendar and trip planner discusses the pros and cons for each month, month-specific packing tips and more. This is also a great guide to choosing the timing of your next French vacation.
The country's semi-annual goverment-regulated sales begin. The ski seasons are beginning to gain steam as snowfall increases. Yes, it's cold, but this is also a bargain time to visit France.
This is the peak of the ski season. This is a bargain time to fly to France. The country's semi-annual goverment-regulated sales are under way. The annual Carnaval, or Mardi Gras, celebrations begin. Besides, what could be more romantic than spending Valentine's Day in Paris?
March can be the last chance until late fall to visit France on a budget, find hot package deals and avoid tourist swarms. The ski season is enjoying its last busy month. The first of the Easter candy displays begin to appear in candy shops and chocolateries. Paris in the Springtime is close at hand.
Spring is sprouting everything green and flowery to life. This is a wonderful time to indulge in hiking, horseback riding and other outdoor adventures. Easter is celebrated, with its amazing candy displays appearing in candy shops and chocolateries.
May is one of the most popular month to visit France, and for good reason. The weather is warm, but still mild and comfortable. While there are crowds, they aren't at their summertime height. There are many events, festivals and activities to keep visitors busy. One event, the Cannes Film Festival, attracts celebrities and commoners from throughout the globe. Surprise your mother with great getaway for France's Fete des Meres, or Mother's Day.
The tourist season is definitely here, but it hasn't peaked yet. The weather is beautiful. Attractions have long hours, and there are festivals and events aplenty. Of course, the crowds can be annoying.
Beach destinations are bustling, and outdoor markets are bursting with activity and produce. There are almost endless events and festivals. The Tour de France storms through the country. Bastille Day revelry is everywhere.
August is normally a great vacation month, but in France (and especially in the north) it can be problematic. Most people get the month of August off in France, meaning you may find some shops are closed. Still, attractions are usually open and it can be a bit quieter than the rest of the year. The South of France tends to be quite packed this year, as many northerners head to the beaches.
September is a simply divine month to visit France. The tourist season is winding down, but you still get most of the positive aspects of summertime like warm weather and extended hours at attractions. The prices at hotels and for airfare start to dip a little. The evenings, especially in the north, begin to have that cool, crisp touch to the air. There are numerous events, the highlight of which is the ferias, or bullfighting festivals, of the South of France. Anyone who loves Paris in the springtime would have to adore it as fall starts to tinge the tips of the French leaves.
October is an ideal month to visit France. The leaves are turning as already-picturesque French villages surrender to autumn. Halloween still retains its old-fashioned innocence in France, and also is a great time to sample delectable candies and chocolates. As the peak tourist season has passed, there are fewer lines and crowds, but more bargains on hotels and airfare.
November is an amazing and enchanting time to visit France. There are countless festivals and events to herald the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine. The leaves are changing colors, especially early in the month and in Northern France. Towards the end of the month, the Christmas markets start getting under way. Even expat Americans and Canadians in France can find ways to celebrate Thansgiving there. The best part of the crowds have dissipated and the hotel rates are dipping, yet the temperatures aren't insanely cold yet in most of the country.
December is the most magical and mesmerizing time to visit France. There are Christmas markets throughout the country, including the centuries-old Strasbourg market. The shopping is divine. Storefronts are decked in lights and delicate ribbons for the holidays. There's ice skating in front of Paris' hotel de ville. In the Pyrenees and Alps, the ski seasons are beginning to gain steam. The month's finale is New Year's Eve, fun to be enjoyed in Paris or any of France's other lively cities.