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June or December in Paris/London?


Feb 14th, 2014, 09:34 PM
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June or December in Paris/London?

We are planning on taking our daughter to London/Paris for two weeks after she graduates from High School next year. She has expressed an interest in going over during Christmas break next December, instead. Aside from price differences for hotels and airfare, what are the pros-and-cons for each season? My wife thinks summer would provide a more enriching experience but is ok with either. I'm thinking it will be easier to get around during the summer months.
thanks, bg.
modestobruce is offline  
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:00 PM
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In summer the days will be longer and twilight will last until 10pm or so. The parks in Paris are lovely in the summer. I haven't been to Paris in the winter although it's on my wish list. Winter would be lovely in other ways, sparkly lights, cosy restaurants etc.
cathies is online now  
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Feb 14th, 2014, 11:42 PM
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What are you likely to want to do? Museums and galleries might be a pain in the height of the tourist summer (especially if there's a heatwave), wandering the streets and people-watching outside cafés would be a pain in a cold and rainy December.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 12:26 AM
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Both seasons are lovely. Summer has long days with hopefully nice warm weather. Flowers are out and you can picnic in the parks.

December will likely be rainier (but could also be sunny) and colder. In Paris the cafes outside areas have heaters and are covered to keep them dry. Christmas decorations and lights are everywhere and there are Christmas markets to enjoy.

We spent a week in Paris over New Years a few years ago...here is our trip report

And there are lots of winter pics of Paris in this set


We live in London and there are lots of winter pics of London in this set


Enjoy whatever you choose!
jamikins is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 04:03 AM
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definitely June for me -- more daylight and better weather. You'll be walking quite a bit; much nicer in the summer.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 04:09 AM
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Hi Modestobruce,

Agree strongly with Indy_dad - "definitely June for me -- more daylight and better weather. You'll be walking quite a bit; much nicer in the summer."

I love Paris and London at the beginning of summer...
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Feb 15th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Both times are splendid but I would recommend June. Longer days, better weather for being outside. Sounds like you will have a week in each city. That will allow time for a day trip or two. I will work better if you have longer days.

I've never been in December but we were in London in November and the days were very short. Light at 8:30 and dark at 4.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 06:15 AM
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There is plenty to do in both cities in the winter and you may get mild days or really nasty ones (not as cold/snowy as the US but 40s and pouring rain is not pleasant being outdoors).

Besides the weather being much better in June the days will be very long, instead of very short (8 am to 4 pm in winter?) and I think that alone would decide me.
nytraveler is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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I have been to both during different times of year including December. Love London and Paris whenever I have visited. If you are there over Christmas plan ahead for holiday closures and how you will spend your time.
Scootoir is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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I vote December, partly based on our extreme good luck with weather in both cities last year. The Holiday lights, especially in Paris, are magical and unforgettable: search kerouac's threads here for photo proof. We had a late evening Christmas Eve drink at an outdoor cafe near our Place des Vosges apartment. The outdoor cafes have heaters to accommodate smokers. New Year's Eve we walked through the Marais and called Bonne Année to strangers.

Well, all right, the cities are a bit full of fellow tourists from all around the world, but when are they not? Looking for Paris apartments Dec 23- Jan 3 I realized that was almost exactly prime high season there. It adds to the fun.

As flanneruk has pointed out elsewhere, it's a lot warmer there than say NYC that time of year, and less likely to be glazed with ice. We saw cyclamen flowers in window boxes and plum trees in bloom in London early January, and roses in the courtyard at Musee Carnavalet.

Getting dark earlier isn't that huge a deal in my experience either: both cities are well equipped with street lights.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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The London parks are lovely in June also. In fact, I think the parks a big feature of that city and best enjoyed in good weather. Oh, the scent of the roses! I like taking walking tours and find them more enjoyable in better weather. Ditto the bike and Segway tours in Paris. And, if you plan any excursions from either city, the countryside is prettier and -- again -- the days are longer.

But if this is a gift to your daughter, maybe go when she wants to?
Mimar is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:11 AM
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I would wait until you have a few trips under your belt before tackling London and Paris in winter. You'll have so much more daylight in June, and the likelihood of good weather for enjoying the cities is so much greater (face it, one of the major attractions of both cities is just wandering around exploring - that's not so much fun in freezing rain, dark afternoons, and cold feet).
StCirq is online now  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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June isn't the peak holiday season for either London or Paris, so I wouldn't let the fear of that put you off. December in both cities can be fairly miserable weatherise and the days are short. On the other hand, the galleries and museums tend to be emptier and the shops fuller. I'd let your daughter decide.
Grindeldoo is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:34 AM
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We were in London this past Christmas, and had a wonderful time. It did rain, though, and most museums and other sites of interest are closed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th. Public transportation is completely shut down on the 25th and only partially functioning on the 26th. For this reason, you should try to stay in an area where you could take some nice walks.
bvlenci is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Oh, that's right. If you were going in December, you'd want to be in Paris for Christmas and the day before and after. It's hopping.
stokebailey is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 12:09 PM
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While the weather could be bad in December, Paris is especially nice at Christmas. A different experience for sure than summer.
But the shop windows, the grand boulevard departments store windows are really done up, the Christmas market stalls all lend a totally different experience. Wear the right shoes and cold and rainy don't matter.

You can't lose here - both are wonderful cities with much to see and do. Correct info above-be in Paris for Christmas Day and Boxing day if you choose December.
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