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Better to visit Paris in May or June?

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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:38 AM
  #1
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Better to visit Paris in May or June?

I know it's only one month difference but I was wondering if any Fodorites have preferences for visiting Paris in May vs. visiting in June?

The last time I went in early May it was surprisingly cold and didn't really start to warm up until the last day of my trip in mid-May. I just recently returned after a winter trip in Paris in January so really want to go during a warmer season for once for my next trip.

In terms of weather, is there that much difference between mid-to-late May vs. June? And is there a big difference in terms of hotel/flight prices and crowds? I'm not sure when the "peak travel season" officially starts though.

On that note, does anyone know if that time is a nice time to visit the vineyards down in south of France, e.g. Bordeaux? I also want to take a mini trip down there for a couple of days and I know it's beautiful in fall but haven't heard anything about how it is in spring.

Thank you!
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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June is likely to be warmer than May. I think that the vineyards of Burgundy and Alsace are more picturesque than the ones around Bordeaux because the terrain in the former areas is more accidenté (The English word escapes me for the moment).
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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Makes absolutely no difference - could be nice in May/nasty in June or vice versa or all of the above. The main advantage to June is the slightly longer daylight.

But don't pick based on what the weather might be -- because as soon as you pick, that period will end up being unseasonably cold/hot/wet/windy . . . or wonderful

Pick based what works best for you time-wise, airfare-wise, whatever.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:49 AM
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We went at the end of June and it was very hot. If I had my choice, I would do May.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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It doesn't matter, except probably it will be less crowded in May, by a bit. No one can predict the weather.

I wouldn't bother going to Bordeaux for the vineyards. For one thing, unless you're a biggie in the business you're not going to get to do much other than take a canned minivan ride to some third-tier château for a tasting and a hard sell. And for another, it's not a pretty area, unlike other wine regions. Go to Burgundy or Alsace.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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"We went at the end of June and it was very hot. If I had my choice, I would do May."

The problem w/ anecdotal reports is . . . the next June (or heck, the next week) could have been freezing. One visit tells you what the weather was that ONE time.

And historical weather averages don't help all that much either. They tell you what happens on average and there have to be hotter/colder, drier/wetter days to 'average' out.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Thanks everyone! I've never been in June so wasn't sure if it was really htat much warmer to the degree that it was worth the extra crowds/higher travel fees. Mid-late May it is then, which is even better since it means i can go there sooner

And really thank you so much for the vineyard advice! I honestly had no idea which region was good for that and chose Bordeaux somewhat randomly since a friend of mine had gone before in the past. Good to know that Burgundy or Alsace is better/prettier though and I do believe both places are closer to Paris than Bordeaux so it will be less time wasted on the train that way.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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YOu probably know summer is on average warmer than spring, and it increases by month and July is usually the peak. Beyond that, who can say for certain what will happen one week in one particular year, there's no guarantee when you are talking about just a couple weeks difference. Having said that, I'd pick June myself as it stays lighter later and later and I like that.

YOu can use airline websites to check the airfares and see when they change. I think it used to be May was a bit cheaper than June-August, but not sure that holds any more, or if it holds for second half of May.

Hotel prices in Paris don't go up because of a certain month and they aren't raised for tourist reasons. You are thinking of resort areas where they kind of pricing holds, or big vacation destinations like Provence, not major capital cities. The only exception is that some hotels in Paris (and many major cities, including in the US) may discount hotel rates in August, and in Paris, that can extend backwards to mid-July. That's because there isn't much business travel in August anywhere. I've gotten hotel deals in August in Paris, Prague, London and cities in the US, for example. But there won't be any difference in hotel price between May and June in Parisian hotels.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 11:21 AM
  #9
 
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Weather is weather - and no one can predict more than about 5 days in advance.

have been in May when it was beautiful - but a couple of days of hard rain. Have been in June when it was 90.

I prefer May since I like cooler and think it is slightly less crowded (many college students are still in school).

As for vineyards, I love Alsace - very picturesque and some interesting wines.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 02:24 PM
  #10
 
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If flying trans-Atlantic in 2012 you would have seen a considerable rise in airfares at the end of May.
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