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).