Which week in Paris?

May 13th, 2019, 12:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 830
Which week in Paris?

We had not planned on going to Europe this year but our friends, who we have travelled to Europe with several times before, have rented an apartment for a month in Paris and have graciously invited us to spend a week with them. We have enough frequent flyer miles for airline tickets so combine that with a free place to stay and it's a no-brainer. We’re going to Paris. YAY!!!

After looking at our busy social calendar (LOL) and various flight schedules, we have narrowed it down to two different weeks.

Option 1:
ATL to CDG - arrive Wed Aug 28 6 AM
CDG to ATL - leave Thu Sep 5 3:40 PM

Option 2:
ATL to CDG - arrive Wed Sep 4 6 AM
CDG to ATL - leave Thu Sep 12 3:40 PM

We have been to Paris 3 times before for a total of 25 days. We have seen the major attractions multiple times so we are wanting to see new to us (hopefully less crowded) places this time. We want to do a few day trips – possibilities we have thought about so far are Chartres, Giverny and the Champagne area.


Doing some quick research, I haven’t found anything that should make much difference in which week we choose. Am I missing anything?
john183 is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 01:08 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,681
Could be the later weeks could be better - French August Holiday vacations end around the end of August - that means the city suddenly jumps back to life after their annual August escape, where many Parisians have much of the month off and head out of Paris for the month. Thus your August week may find ordinary parts of the rather quiet as local boulangeries, small shops, etc may be closed for' vacances'. But, all the main stores and things in touristed areas will be open - and the air can, according to press reports I've read, be much cleaner in August than other months - some of which have seen levels of fouled air rivaling those of Shanghai and Beijing - potentially causing folks with breathing problems problems.

But, your first choice above - in August, should see more tourists and European summer vacations end.

So, your Sept week will see a busier city - much bigger and louder city with air not so clean but should have fewer other tourists. Your day trips likewise should be less crowded with many European back home.

To me the Sept stay wins hands down.

Last edited by PalenQ; May 13th, 2019 at 01:13 PM.
PalenQ is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 02:21 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,266
>>Could be the later weeks could be better - <<

I don't see any 'later weeks'. They are two nine day periods that overlap by 2 days. And only 3.5 days are even in August. Arriving on 28 Aug or 4 Sept -there would essentially be no difference. I'd maybe lean a teensy bit to the Sept 4 arrival just because weather 'might' be slightly cooler -- but there is no guarantee of that for sure.

>> . . . I haven’t found anything that should make much difference in which week we choose.<<.

That's how I see it.
janisj is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 02:41 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 518
I come here late August to avoid hurricane season. There really isn't a difference between the weeks. The rentree isn't much of an event unless one is stuck in traffic. The weather can be hot or chilly either week. Enjoy your good fortune!!!
Envierges is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 03:04 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,681
Option 1:
ATL to CDG - arrive Wed Aug 28 6 AM
CDG to ATL - leave Thu Sep 5 3:40 PM

Option 2:
ATL to CDG - arrive Wed Sep 4 6 AM
CDG to ATL - leave Thu Sep 12 3:40 PM

They overlap by one whole day! And Europeans on vacations will not be touring around Paris - and tourist lines will be shorter as a result.
PalenQ is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 03:38 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,266
>>They overlap by one whole day! And Europeans on vacations will not be touring around Paris - and tourist lines will be shorter as a result.<<

They overlap Sept 4 and 5 so about 1.5 days but do you honestly think lines will be different Aug 30 vs. say Sept 6?? You do realize that school summer holidays of various countries/regions do extend to Sept 2 or Sept 7 or Sept 12 or other dates.

john183: Just pick the date that 'feels' better
janisj is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 06:08 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,461
I would pick the second week. There are lots of things in my neighborhood closed until after September 1.
Belinda is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 02:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 518
Belinda brings up a good point. Neighborhoods are different. My working class one doesn't take long vacations so not much is closed during the summer months. The only noticeable difference is the lack of youngsters going back and forth to school. Perhaps checking the apartment location would help with your decision.
Envierges is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 03:28 AM
  #9  
Zvi
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 50
Chartres' main attraction is the cathedral and only that justifies the trip but you must not miss maison picassiette. Miraculous! https://www.chartres.fr/sortir-a-cha...n-picassiette/
Zvi is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 03:56 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 830
Thanks everyone for all the replies. You all confirmed what I was thinking. There is not much difference between the two weeks but the second week might hold a slight edge. I don't think it should make a difference but the apartment is in the 5th between Luxembourg Gardens and the Botanical Gardens.

Hey when the vacation gods smile on you with a week in Paris, you just take it and enjoy it. Can't wait to get there and maybe for the first time ever (other than our annual family beach week) have a relaxing vacation. Yea right! Wishful thinking I'm afraid.
john183 is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 04:01 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 830
Zvi - thanks for the recommendation in Chartres. It looks interesting.
john183 is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 04:35 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 767
The second week might work better for Reims and the Champagne region as it’ll probably coincide with the vendanges. We were there two years back this September and it was quite exciting to see the grapes being picked around Epernay. The champagne tourist office should announce the dates by early June in case you’re interested.

As for having a quiet week in Paris...please come back and let us know 😃
geetika is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 09:08 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,503
Kids go back to school Sept 3rd in Paris.

I don't see much difference myself because even when I'm there in August and some things are closed, it doesn't bother me as I don't go to expensive restaurants and some small shops are always open if one is closed. Even in August, plenty of restaurants are open where I eat.

I'd probably go based on airfare cost differences, if any, and the fact that the first one covers a holiday (Labor Day), so you wouldn't have to take as much vacation time. That isn't a consideration for many people, though, who don't work or don't have benefits through an employer or have so much vacation time, they don't care. Where I live, I'd much rather drive to the airport on Aug 27th than Sept 3rd, also, but I live where there is bad traffic.

I doubt the number of tourists in Paris is going to vary that much based on a few days difference. In the US, a lot of schools start in mid-August for some strange reason. They never used to when I was a kid and somehow we had enough school days; if not, they'd start the day after Labor Day in the US, and some do where I live now. I just don't think American tourists (if that's the idea) are going to wait until Sept 1st to leave. Hotel rates go up a lot in Paris in September also, but obviously that isn't an issue. I know my favorite hotel raises rates some the last week in August, but they go up a lot beginning Saturday, 8/31. Like about 50-100 euro per night per room.
Christina is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 11:19 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,578
I always check for the ballet performances. You may not be interested, but ballet or opera at the Palais Garnier influence my date choices.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 01:18 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 597
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>They overlap by one whole day! And Europeans on vacations will not be touring around Paris - and tourist lines will be shorter as a result.<<

They overlap Sept 4 and 5 so about 1.5 days but do you honestly think lines will be different Aug 30 vs. say Sept 6?? You do realize that school summer holidays of various countries/regions do extend to Sept 2 or Sept 7 or Sept 12 or other dates.

john183: Just pick the date that 'feels' better

This response seems a little nit-picky to me.
wunderbar2 is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 01:56 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,681
Yes I do think lines will be shorter the second option - certainly won't be any bigger. You have no clue either but of course think your take is better - which may be so. Probably not as big a factor as a much quieter and cleaner air Paris than when Paris with the annual rentree last weekend of Aug or so - and there are usually Paris Plages - sandy beaches set up around the city in August. Not sure if still true but Paris at least used to offer free parking in August and you could actually get places.

Actually, now thinking about it the first option is best IMO - the air quality is great because most of the Parisians who drive around and to work in the Paris megalapolos are on vacations, making the city less noisey (one of the most noisey cities in Europe IMeE). You could probably actually see in the distance things from the top of the Eiffel Tower if the usual smog is gone.
PalenQ is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 02:32 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 518
John183

As far as your location goes, not much of a difference so do what you like. If you were staying in the 8th,16th,7th, and parts of the 17th, there would be a difference. Cultural activities don't become lively until the middle or end of September.
Envierges is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 02:36 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,681
In areas off the tourist track there may be a lot of closures during August - little stores and boulangeries - things that make a neighborhood come alive. But this is changing I understand and fewer stores are closing for the whole month as they once all did when everyone who could did leave Paris during a national vacation of August.
PalenQ is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 03:21 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,378
Closures starting August 28? If so, you maybe lose a day or two. No Big Deal.
StCirq is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 03:37 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,681
Yes my faux pas - and near end of August things that close re-open as Parisians start coming back. Guess don't matter much unless number of tourists is lower as makes sense but.....
PalenQ is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:28 PM.