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Paris: When to Go

Parc du Champ de Mars, Paris
In April, the Champs de Mars is a pleasantly leafy and relatively uncrowded place to take in the best Eiffel Tower view in town.
By Rick Steves

Late spring and fall bring the best weather and the biggest crowds. May, June, September, and October are the toughest months for hotel-hunting — don't expect many hotel deals. Summers are generally hot and dry; if you wilt in the heat, look for a room with air-conditioning. Rooms are easy to land in August (some hotels offer deals), and though many French businesses close in August, you'll hardly notice.

Paris makes a great winter getaway. Airfare costs less, cafés are cozy, and the city feels lively but not touristy. The only problem — weather — is solved by dressing warmly with layers. Expect cold (even freezing lows) and rain (hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, and thick-soled shoes are essential).