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namaka Sep 28th, 2006 04:02 PM

Paris; What is the warmest off-season month to visit?
 

Hi All,

I was in Paris in June for 6 days; not near enough! I completely fell in love with it and need to return soon. I asked DH if he would be interested in going with me (no kids) in the spring, but he declined. Fortunately for me, one of my Girlfriends is up for it. So, my question is, what would be the warmest month of all the off-season months to go? I live in Northern Ca and am ALWAYS cold. When we were there in June, it was sunny and warm; just beautiful, but I can't afford those high season rates this time around. I realize this is probably a silly question, but any advice would be appreciated!

janisj Sep 28th, 2006 04:07 PM

There are no guarantees. May is usually nice - so is late Sept/early Oct. But even in June it can be quite cool some years - you were lucky.

April is often nice - BUT I went one April and never got out of my winter coat - blasted cold/wet spell w/ night times in the low 40's days in the low 50's

saps Sep 28th, 2006 04:07 PM

I'm just guessing here but I would imagine (on average):

May is warmer than April which is warmer than March which is warmer than February which is warmer than January.

namaka Sep 28th, 2006 04:11 PM

I was thinking somewhere in between late March to May, depending on any good deals I could get. While I know that there are no guarantees, I will just hope for the best!

djkbooks Sep 28th, 2006 04:12 PM

We've been in May, June and September. You just never know about the weather. This September, the weather was awesome - 70's our entire visit, near 80 a few days, little rain.

Both times in May, it was chilly mid-month and much warmer toward the end of our visit.

The one time we went in June, there was a heatwave, nearly 100 (no exaggeration) every day, until the last few days when temps dropped to the 60's.

I, personally, think it is well worth the extra to visit during the nice weather, when the flowers are in bloom all over, the weather is pleasant for strolling, sitting in outdoor cafes, open air bus/boat rides...

saps Sep 28th, 2006 04:14 PM

The two times I've been to Paris have been in the spring. One time it was perfect (upper 70s and sunny) during March and the other time it rained for 4 straight days in April.

With travel and weather you never know.

Get the best deal you can and hope for the best. At least you'll be in Paris.

namaka Sep 28th, 2006 04:18 PM

djkbooks, I would also think it worth the extra to go during the nicer months, but going in off-season when rates are lower is the only way I could probably pull it off.

I spent years planning our one month trip to Europe this past summer and needless to say, with our family of four, we spent a pretty penny.

DH had already called next years' vacation spot-Hawaii, and the kids want to go to New York and Washington DC.

DH says that he doesn't mind if I go, but so to not take away from our other plans (time and cost), I decided it best to go during this time.

I am sure that I will still love it and have a great time; I'll just be sure to pack accordingly.

cigalechanta Sep 28th, 2006 04:35 PM

Just dress in layers, a coat with a pullout lining, a tank top under a sweater, tights if it's cold,

JeanneB Sep 28th, 2006 04:56 PM

If you're looking to get lower airfares, I don't think April/May is going to do it. (I may be wrong, but have always had the impression fares go up significantly after April 1). Even if published fares don't show it now, special fares will begin to appear in November/December for travel in February and March.

I've been to Paris 3 times in the off-season---October, November and February---and would encourage you to be open to it. I loved bundling up in coat, boots, and scarves. The landscape looks very different---more stark---but still very beautiful. It gets dark early so you see more of the "city of lights". Many restaurants/hotels have fireplaces. Lines are shorter and hotel deals are to be found.

In summary, I love Paris when it's warm and the flowers are all abloom. But I may love it even more when there's a chill in the air and it's mostly Parisians, going about their daily routines.

JeanneB Sep 28th, 2006 05:01 PM

As for clothes, the answer is lightweight silk long underwear.
http://tinyurl.com/rhnmm
Dress in layers that you can remove when inside museums, etc. Rubber-soled, waterproofed boots.

Another little hint: You can pack very lightly and plan to wash things out often because the radiators and towel warmers make the best little drying racks you could ever ask for.

namaka Sep 28th, 2006 05:21 PM

I am definitely looking for lower airfares/deals. I will keep close watch to try to get the best prices for the dates, whether it is March or May.

Thanks for the ideas and offerings of assurance.

cobbie Sep 28th, 2006 05:27 PM

I too live in NCal. I went to Paris in mid-March 2002. Wore a lot of layers. Rained but not as much as here in March. Did not seem that much colder than here but I did have a hat, scarf, gloves & the parka I wear here in the winter. Go for it!

Travelnut Sep 28th, 2006 05:31 PM

Off-season is shrinking. The best you can expect for 'off-season' rates is Nov-March, and it isn't 'warm' in those months.

jsmith Sep 28th, 2006 05:41 PM

May I suggest you look at this BBC weather site for historical data:

http://tinyurl.com/ev55o

You can get the same info for your locality at the website for comparison.

Sorry that it is in metric.

grandmere Sep 28th, 2006 05:47 PM

Another advantage to going off-season is the relatively small number of tourists. I like March for this reason as well as lower air fares. Whereas I've never experienced warm weather in March, it's not been blustery cold either. Daffodils in bloom way before here in Pgh.

juliaelzie Sep 28th, 2006 06:33 PM

If you can travel before Memorial Day/late May, or after Labor Day/early September, you will find relatively good weather (but spring and fallweather is always changeable). There are some outstanding deals available for travel in the spring, fall and winter months (not the holidays). Layers of clothing will be great - I would stick with the more classic styles, which always work well with a great fashion city like Paris. Besides, what better place to need a few new clothes? :-)

Best Regards,
Julia

namaka Sep 28th, 2006 07:00 PM

well, I am sold; whether it's March or May and cold or not!

Now I just have to find those great deals! I remember last Feb, someone posted about some great flight prices on Travelocity and it even included the high summer months. I found a $253.00 round/trip from SFO to LHR during June, but unfortunately, I had already purchased my tix. Of course, it was over within a day or two.

Here's hoping that'll happen again!

Flyboy Sep 28th, 2006 07:12 PM

The lowest fares are in the November-March timeframe. I've been to Paris in every month of the year and I would consider late May to be the best combination for weather and not-too-nuts crowds. Personally, I choose November and March most often for pure value. This past January, we found the weather to be acceptable (mid to high 40s F during the afternoons) and the crowds were nil. Weather tends to be gray at that time of year, but we had sunny days and moonlit skies during our stay. If you can pick something up in the $500-$600 range including taxes for airfare from your origin this off-season, you're probably going to be doing pretty well.

Scarlett Sep 28th, 2006 08:34 PM

We always go in Oct or early Nov, or in March.
We have only had one very cold wintery day that sent us rushing to the D'Orsay for the day ( what torture!!) :)
There are rarely big crowds, we get reservations easily and it is cool enough to walk and walk .. we have been blessed with almost no rain at these times also.
Hope this helps..

djkbooks Sep 29th, 2006 08:04 AM

namaka: Highly recommend keeping an eye on fares at www.1800flyeurope.com

I had fabulous luck with them this year with $624 fare in May and $556 fare in September (versus the typical $8-900).

I also snared an amazing rate at Hotel Eiffel Park (average €92/night) directly on their website (versus the usual rate of €132 on their website or €160 with the Best Western website).

With diligent shopping, you may be able to go during the nicer weather for the same prices.


JeanneB Sep 29th, 2006 02:29 PM

djk,
I use that website, too. I'll be keeping an eye out for a trip to Rome in May.

What timeframe did you snag tose fares?

JeanneB Sep 29th, 2006 02:31 PM

Tose = THOSE

namaka Nov 8th, 2006 04:19 PM

well, I found a flight on either VA or Ba r/t from SFO to LHR for $478.00. It is for late March, early April. I figure I could just continue on with Easy-Jet for 11.99 gbp each way.

I am still not entirely sold on these months, and would like to find similar fares for May. I realize that's probably not going to happen, but if not, then March it is.

Thanks for all your help!

francophile03 Nov 8th, 2006 04:29 PM

To namaka, don't worry about the weather. Typically spring is still cold and rainy, but it's bearable, and you may get sunny, dry days even if they're on the cool side. The main thing is that you will be in Paris and it won't cost as much as if you visited during high season airfare months.

W9London Nov 8th, 2006 04:48 PM

An added bonus: you'll get one extra day of sunlight as Europe goes summertime on the last weekend of March.

mv_rd Nov 8th, 2006 04:54 PM

namaka-
DH and I were in Paris in March. Although it was was cold for me (I'm from So.CA), I would go back in a heartbeat. I took the advice from this board and bought silk long underwear. Just bundle up and you'll be fine.

The best part about going during this time was not dealing with crowds and long lines.


Hagan Nov 8th, 2006 07:00 PM

Flyboy, just wondering what your thoughts are considering when March airfare sales to Europe are going to start surfacing? I really need to nail down our 4 tickets soon so everyone's plans can be finalized. I've seen the prices go up about $20 in the last 10 days, so I'm getting nervous!

kerouac Nov 8th, 2006 10:20 PM

Having lived in Paris for many years, I would say that the most pleasant month for weather is usually October -- but there have been a few years when October was COLD. This year it was spectacular again.

namaka Nov 11th, 2006 07:22 PM

Wow, maybe I should consider October then! I hadn't really thought about the fall, but if I can get good airfare,(and I saw some great prices for this past Oct), then it just might be worth it. I just hate to be cold.

nessundorma Nov 11th, 2006 08:08 PM

namaka,

Why don't you try looking to economize in ways other than airfare? Shaving $30 bucks a night off your hotel bill may very well save you the difference. There are other economies you can make, I'm sure.

If you need warm weather, go when it's warm. If you don't need to eat in destination restaurants, go in August -- which I find delightful. The town is nearly empty, it's nice and hot (I was raised in SoCal) and so long as you stay away from the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tour and the Champs-Elyesses -- where all the tourists congregate -- you feel like Paris is all your own. (August is my favorite month in NYC too.)

Other tricks you could try for flying in "high season" is checking out flights to Brussels or London instead and taking the train. Flying through Iceland or Frankfurt, etc.

nessundorma Nov 11th, 2006 08:12 PM

Also, namaka, by the time you add airport fees and taxes to EasyJet fares, plus the cost of getting from LHR to Stansted, those 11.99GBP specials can turn into 60GBP -- meaning another $120 in your transportation costs.

I'd rather go when I wanted to and buy fewer lattes to pay for the trip.

Christina Nov 13th, 2006 12:56 PM

I'm in Nessundorma's camp. I don't think changing your itinerary just because of airfare is worth it in comparison to other costs. The only thing cheaper in those months will be airfare, not hotel or anything else. So you are planning an entire trip at a time you don't really want to go in order to save how much? Maybe $200 or $300 tops?

You can save 15-25 pct or so on a hotel room if you go from mid-July through August, during hotel low-rate season, and could save that amount of money in a week's stay, probably. Some people might prefer weather in March, but I wouldn't. I paid about 100 euro a day instead of 140 on the room I had in a 3* Paris hotel last summer just because I arrived July 15th, when the rates dropped. YOu can get reduced room rates in some hotels in Nov or late Jan-Feb, also, but you don't want to go then, I'm sure.

I do think October would be a fine time to go, though, but never saw any great airfare deals to Paris in October myself.

ira Nov 13th, 2006 01:05 PM

Hi N,

IIRC, August is off season for hotel rates.

((I))

djkbooks Nov 14th, 2006 09:38 PM

Again, namaka, you'll need to shop like the dickens, playing with dates, for airfares and hotels. I recently scored amazing airfares with FlyEurope, a ridiculously low room rate for a 4* with Hotwire for next September.

There are bargains, you just have to endeavor to find them!

We've visited Paris in May, June, and September, and September has always been absolutely fabulous. Fantastic weather, flowers in bloom all over!

So, we could not be more thrilled!


tod Nov 15th, 2006 04:42 AM

Last year went in first half of Oct. which I don't think is quite low season yet but the weather was so Hot! (And I come from sunny South Africa) Must be all this global warming the weather people keep referring to!
Don't forget in Oct. there is the wine festival for three days in Montmartre, also Nuit Blanche (did I spell that correctly Kerouac?) and there were loads of flowers still in bloom. I love October in Paris!!

sallyjane3 Nov 15th, 2006 04:55 AM

I was in Paris this past May ( thru the 29th). So cold! And so windy my eyes "wept" all the time! But wonderful anyway.

Randy Nov 15th, 2006 09:56 AM

I have been to Paris in the fall and the spring. I would prefer the spring because the daylight hours are longer.

kerouac Nov 15th, 2006 10:58 AM

Yes, tod, the Nuit Blanche was extremely warm this year -- and it is an incredible experience for people visiting Paris in October. My brother and sister-in-law were here from California, and they were flabbergasted by the events we saw in la Goutte d'Or, near my appartment, notably the giant African head made out of pots and pans in the Saint Bernard church, the street life vignettes on the rue des Gardes (especially the dinner party scene with one woman endlessing tossing the salad right up against the shop window and the 'teenage TV night' chaos with flying popcorn in another window), not to mention the 'Night Sun' event on the basketball courts with the inflated giant balloons and blinding spotlights, or the strobe flashing labyrinth in the Halle Pajol -- at 2 a.m., we had to call it a night, but there was so much more to see and do.

namaka Nov 18th, 2006 07:16 AM

okay, I'm re-thinking now for Sept or Oct. The weather sounds like it will be on the warm side for me.

How many daylight hours around that time? We were shocked that it was still light around 10pm in June, but I loved it.

I guess I'll just have to be very vigilant in my search of good airfare and such.


Nikki Nov 18th, 2006 07:26 AM

OK, Kerouac, your description of Nuit Blanche has me salivating about an October trip. THAT sounds like FUN.


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