If you're headed to Paris in July, you're in for a ride. While tourist season is at its peak and the city's museums and other tourist attractions are swarming with people, locals will have left in droves of their own for the French Riviera or the Spanish coastline, making the pace around Paris unusually languorous and the mood especially exuberant. If you want to see Paris with its best postcard face put forward, visiting in July is ideal. If, however, you tend toward claustrophobia, are looking to see Paris from a more local perspective, or want to avoid paying exorbitant prices for plane tickets or hotels, steer away from high season and wait until the fall or winter.
Why to Love It:
July tends to bring on a laid-back, yet stimulating, mood in Paris. People are out and about, roaming the picturesque streets at a pace that looks languid to most North Americans, or nursing drinks on sunny terraces. In early July, try on that previously-inaccessible couture item or search for that rare book or antique: summer sales in Paris are on and this is the ideal time to go deal-hunting.
July is also an ideal time for experiencing a boat tour of the Seine or of Paris canals and waterways, especially on hot days when breezes off the water offer a welcome reprieve. Having lunch or dinner on the boat can be especially memorable.
A Few Highlights in 2013:
- July 14: Bastille Day marks the beginning of the French revolution and the country's long, chaotic road to becoming a republic. Similar in spirit to American Independence Day or Canada Day, La Fête de la Bastille is not to be missed and offers a chance to see top-notch fireworks or organize a picnic in one of the city's beautiful parks and gardens.
- July 21st: Competitors in the hotly-anticipated Tour de France bike race sweep through the finish line in Paris on the Avenue des Champs Elysées.
The July Thermometer
- Minimum temperature: 15 degrees C (59 degrees F)
- Maximum temperature: 24 degrees C (75.2 degrees F)
- Average temperature: 19 degrees C (66.2 degrees F)
- Average rainfall: 57 millimeters (2.2 inches)
How to Pack and Prepare for a Trip to Paris in July
- July in Paris is generally cool to pleasantly balmy, with average temperatures at around 66 degrees F. In recent years, however, major heatwaves have occasionally struck, particularly in late July, and temperatures have sometimes climbed to the 90's. Elderly visitors or visitors with medical conditions should be alert to possible spikes in temperature, and take necessary precautions. Reserving a hotel room with air conditioning is one of them.
- July is one of the rainiest seasons of the month, and erratic thunderstorms and heavy showers are common. Pack a reliable umbrella in case one of these surprises you during a stroll or picnic.
- Bring both closed-toe and open-toe shoes.. On hot days or excursions to the park you'll appreciate the open-toed pair, but you'll need a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes too, especially since visits to Paris usually involve lots of strolling-- not to mention those maddening metro tunnels and stairs.
- Pack a hat or visor and other sun gear for sunny days when you wish to spend time lounging in one of Paris' best parks and gardens.
Find Deals and Book Your Trip:Browse travel packages and lock in a good deal for your July sojourn by visiting sites like Expedia (book direct).
Readers Respond: When is your favorite time of the year to visit Paris?