The cheapest time to go to Paris, revealed

Written by Travel Adventures

It’s one of the most-visited cities in Europe, with 19.1 million annual visitors, but many of us are still trying to uncover the cheapest time to go to Paris. No wonder – it’s consistently labelled one of the most expensive city breaks, after all. But a jaunt to the French capital doesn’t have to blow the budget if you plan cleverly and travel at the right times. By avoiding city-wide events (such as the Paris Olympics, which take place from 26 July to 11 August in 2024), peak travel periods such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day and considering travelling midweek rather than over the weekend, you can bring costs down considerably, especially if you book one of the cheapest, nicest hotels in Paris. If you want warm weather without the high price tag, consider travelling in the shoulder season – an early-autumn visit in September is a reasonable bet. For those yearning for some winter beauty, a visit in January is sure to be frost-covered (and the city’s Christmas decorations might still be up if you visit early enough).

The cheapest time of year to go to Paris

Similarly to most destinations worldwide, by avoiding public holidays such as Easter and Christmas, you’re more likely to find bargains on flights, trains and hotels. Data from Kayak suggests that January, March and September are the cheapest times to visit – there are no school holidays or bank holidays during these months, so prices tend to be lower. Of course, January and March are some of the chilliest months in the year, too – average highs in January sit at around 8°C while average highs in March skim the 13°C mark, so if you’re averse to the cold, consider balancing cheaper travel and good weather. Remember that Paris hosts the fashion world twice a year during Paris Fashion Week, too – staying at boutique hotels frequented by the style set during those few days at the end of February and September is likely to be extra pricey (in 2024, Paris Fashion Week falls between Monday 26 February to Tuesday 5 March and Monday 23 September to Tuesday 1 October).

The cheapest way to go to Paris

If you’re travelling from London, flying is usually cheaper than travelling by Eurostar. You can travel on budget airlines such as easyJet and RyanAir for as little as £20 one way if you’re flexible with dates and times. Of course, travelling by train is the more eco-friendly route; Eurostar prices start from £39 one way. It’s worth considering how much it costs to get to and from the airport upon arrival in Paris; a taxi from Charles de Gaulle airport to central Paris costs between €50 and €60, while a train into the city centre costs around €12. The benefit of travelling by Eurostar is that you’re dropped off right in the middle of Paris, so onward travel can be done by metro or a cheaper, quicker cab fare.

The cheapest time to fly to Paris

As we said above, the cheapest time to fly to Paris is in the off-season: January, March and September. December is the most expensive time to travel by air. The summer months of July and August are also higher than average, as is February (hello, Valentine’s Day and Fashion Week) and April (when the Easter school holidays usually fall).

The cheapest time to get the Eurostar to Paris

Peak season remains the same whether you travel by air or train. But there are ways to bring Eurostar costs down. Travelling midweek is all but guaranteed to be cheaper; Tuesday and Wednesday are generally the cheapest days, the Eurostar website states. It’s also worth booking well in advance, as tickets get more expensive closer to the date of travel.

The cheapest time to visit Paris with kids

Of course, travelling during school holidays pushes prices up. If your child’s school holidays allow, visiting in early September can be cheaper. Or visit in the summer holidays during the week – staying midweek will lower the price of family-friendly hotels in Paris.

High, low and shoulder seasons in Paris

Travelling during peak European summer – so July and August, when most kids are off school – is considered high season, and travelling during this time is likely to be more expensive. But there are also less-expected high seasons to be aware of when planning a trip to Paris – as it’s an easy city break from the UK, long weekends and bank holidays such as Easter are expensive, too. Christmas is one of the most expensive times to go to Paris, so it can definitely be considered high season. February, meanwhile, is a popular time to visit as it’s considered one of the most romantic cities in the world – booking the best restaurants in Paris or romantic hotels in Paris isn’t going to be easy if you travel over Valentine’s Day.

Low season is seen as the colder months of January and March, as well as September – just after the summer rush. For what it’s worth, we think September is one of the loveliest times to visit Paris – the weather is still good, with average highs of around 22°C, but the crowds have thinned (meaning fewer queues at the best things to do in Paris), and there are savings to be had even in the best areas to stay in Paris.

What are the best cheap hotels in Paris?

We’ve done a whole edit of the top cheap hotels in Paris, with rooms for under £150 a night. Staying in lesser-known arrondissements such as the 19th can help you secure bargains – we like ReMix Hotel in this neighbourhood, which has a loose Eighties theme and rooms from £87 a night. More central is Hôtel les Deux Gares, right by the Eurostar terminal, which has been reimagined by English designer Luke Edward Hall (rooms from £124 a night).

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