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First timer to London/Paris - should I go in Feb?

First timer to London/Paris - should I go in Feb?

Old Dec 13th, 2000, 10:06 PM
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First timer to London/Paris - should I go in Feb?

I have never been to Europe and I am thinking about taking advantage of the drop in air fares at this time of year and taking a trip in Feb, but I want my first experience to be wonderful. Do you think I should wait for the spring or fall? What is the weather like in Feb?

I would really appreciate some help!

Old Dec 13th, 2000, 10:40 PM
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It's such a gamble....my first time to London and Paris was in Feb (I left home on President's day) and the weather was mostly nice. Although the temp was about 30 degrees,it was sunny, so I was fine. It was also less crowded and less expensive. On my last trip in June, the weather was freakishly cold! We couldn't get enough layers on us to keep warm.

So basically, you might want to go just to take advantage of the fares, the lower prices, and the elbow room.
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 05:45 AM
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Go! A couple of years ago I was in London in late Feb, and we had temps in the 50s and even low 60sF with only occasional drizzle. Daffodils were blooming. I just got back from a first-time-in-December trip to Paris, and temps were in the 50s, with frequent drizzle. Some roses were still in bloom. Of course you could run into freakishly cold weather at any time, but
don't let that stop you. I also once had freakishly cold weather in Paris at the end of May, but that's another story. These are not cities where you can count on the weather.
If you'd like to see my Paris and/or London files, feel free to email me.
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 06:55 AM
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We took NewGirl1 to London/Paris/Brussels for her first trip to Europe - and she loved it. Hooked her completely on overseas travel!
First, no crush of tourists - you can actually see stuff in the Louvre. Second, the 'culture' season is in full swing - concerts, dance, theatre, symphony. Third, winter food - boeuf bourgagnon and shephard's pie taste really good when the weather's cold. And let's not forget hot chocolate at Angelina's.

Wear layers and plan for the worst - umbrella and/or raincoat, warm gloves, warm scarf, hat - and the weather won't bother you. Museums have cloakrooms, so dump your raingear and outerwear for comfort.

Enjoy your trip (you'll get hooked, too).
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 07:38 AM
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Went to Paris in November in 1998. It was an unbelieveable 15 degrees with ice everywhere. All the fountains were frozen and it was almost impossible to wait outside in lines for the Eiffel tower, etc. However, the hotel was good about the heat and the coffee and hot chestnuts were great!
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 11:20 AM
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I think Paris should really be seen in the spring. Air fare will stay cheap throughout the spring. My friend went to Paris from Boston for $340 in April last year.
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 12:42 PM
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London mid-May 1997 - weather was cold (30-40s) and rainy.

London end of February 1998 - perfect weather (50s) but I think that was because of El Nino.

London & Paris end of March 1999 - perfect weather (50-60); only rained once in London. (post-El Nino??)

If you can tolerate potentially cold & damp weather, then go in February. Most likely your time will be spent indoors anyway. If you are a warm weaather fan, then save your pennies and go in March, April or May. Keep in mind, when it comes to weather, nothing is certain!
Old Dec 15th, 2000, 10:22 PM
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These cities have enough indoor things to see that it's smart to take advantage of the cheap fares. You won't have to wait in the long lines now, plus you might get lucky & have good weather. Next time you can go in a warm weather month and will have already done the museums, etc & can do outdoor things.
Old Dec 16th, 2000, 03:50 AM
Beth Anderson
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I say, your first experience will be wonderful no matter what. and the cold may just give you some good stories! and it may not be that bad, after all...

I say: whenever you can score cheap tickets overseas, GO GO GO! If you really want to see it in the spring/fall, well then, go again!

it's prime to go to to Europe - the dollar is strong, and you will pay even less for hotels off season & you already know how cheap your airfare is... so you can afford to go back in a few months, right?

just do it.

(did you really expect to hear anything different from this forum? we're all ADDICTS you know!
Old Dec 16th, 2000, 11:55 AM
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The beauty of going to Europe during the winter is that you prepare (& anticipate) for cold & possibly rainy weather. Consequently, you'll never be dissappointed as you'll have your layers to keep you warm, AND if the weather is better than you planned for, it's a bonus!

As a first time visitor, it's also nice to go during the low season as there aren't the crowds, no (or shorter) lines, easy bookings at your primary hotel selections (and lower prices).

Old Dec 16th, 2000, 01:23 PM
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I think it depends somewhat on the extent to which you are used to cold weather. My folks are from Arizona and they fall completely apart when it is too cold for them. I used to be that way, too, but a few years of living on the East Coast has hardened me considerably.

But if you dress well and have a good attitude, it should be just great. I took a trip to Venice in November, and it actually snowed! What a sight, and what a memory.
Old Dec 16th, 2000, 03:43 PM
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My first trip to Paris was last Feb. I traveled alone and loved every minute of my time there. (So much that I returned in October and will be there again in Feb 2001) My journal with a few photos is posted at http://minimn.home.mindspring.com. Click on the Tour Eiffel for a quick trip to France. You will fall head over heels and vow to return many times in the future. Have a marvelous trip and perhaps we'll pass each other on one of the Grand Boulevards!! Peg
Old Dec 17th, 2000, 02:29 PM
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GO, GO, GO!!!! My husband & I first visited London in Feb 99 and we loved it. We even had a couple of days of sunshine. In fact, we just got back from Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris (see previous post).

Anyway...don't let the calendar or weather stop you. There's lots to do...museums, great dining, shopping...did I mention the great food?!?! Just dress in layers, buy some good walking shoes and always carry an umbrella and you'll be fine.

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