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It's the best time of the year to go to France.

There are certain times in the year when it is better to visit France.

This month-by-month guide will show you the best times to visit France.

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High season – July and August – is the best time for hot weather

Getting to France during the high season can be difficult. Traffic warnings go from orange to black on the weekends. It's a good idea to book restaurants in advance of hotel prices peaking. A lot of restaurants in larger cities will be closing for the summer. Glacier skiing can be enjoyed in Les Deux Alpes during the summer when markets are full.

Woman riding a bike downhill in Tignes Bike Park in France surrounded by fields in bloom with yellow wildflowers
The spring flowers are in bloom in April © AlenaPaulus / Getty Images

Enjoy a more relaxed pace during the shoulder season of April, September and October

When France warms up from April onwards, it is a good time to explore the spring flowers. The warm weather lasts well into September and October when the seas keep their summer heat. The grape harvest and wine festivals take place in autumn.

Many places are quiet in low season, which runs November to March

There is a brief burst of activity during Christmas and New Year's. Many restaurants stay open for three to four days a week. Cities are still busy.

Plan carefully for ski season

The best time to ski is in January with the occasional lack of snow. If you can, avoid February as half-term holidays are spread throughout the month. The prices go up during the holidays.

January is for shopping and skiing

The big January sales are when you can go to the shops. In the south, where the weather can already feel mild, the streets will be quieter.

The historic rally of Monte Carlo is one of the key events.

A woman in a nude body suit waves at crowds from a parade float covered in flowers
Visit during festival season for a party vibe... but it will be crowded © Alamy Stock Photo

February is for festivals

If you want to go on a romantic weekend in France, you should book in advance. February marks the beginning of carnival season, some in anticipation of Lent, others just for the sheer fun of it.

The Nice Carnival is one of the key events.

March is for music

During the month of March, there are two major festivals. Enjoy some late season skiing.

Le Touquet Car Rally is one of the key events.

April is for getting outdoors

There is a sense of France opening up even if Easter doesn't fall in April. People are spending more time outside as the weather warms.

The International Kite Festival in Berck-sur-Mer is one of the key events.

A vast room with walls backlit showing a mural
It's free to visit museums on the Nuits des Musées in May © Izzet Keribar / Getty Images

May is for museums

There are two to four public holidays in May and a lot of places will be closed. In May, museums all over the country open their doors for free from dusk to 1am.

Ftes des Saintes-Maries-de-la Mergy festival is one of the key events.

June is for more music

The Fte de la Musique is held in France on June 21. Nmes and Arles have Spanish-style parties and shows in their Roman amphitheaters.

The Paris Jazz Festival is one of the key events.

July is for full-on summertime fun

The Tour de France, Bastille Day, and major festivals in Avignon and Aix-en-Provence are all happening in July. Crowds and high prices will make you nervous.

Bastille Day, Tour de France, lavender festivals and jazz festivals are some of the key events.

A crowd at a rock concert with the performers silhouetted against the stage lights
A lot of France is on holiday in August, but Paris is alive with events © Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock

August is for lazy days

August 15 is when the Feast of the Assumption takes place. Paris buzzes in August on the Paris-Plage and the open-air cinema.

Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany is one of the key events.

September is for chilling out

The end of summer is marked by La Rentrée, when France goes back to work and school. The prices start to go down as the weather gets hotter.

The festival of american cinema is in Deauville.

October is for wine and food lovers

You can still swim in the Med despite the mellowness of autumn. Wine fairs and food and drink festivals are taking place around the country. Cultural sites are open all night, so join the party.

Salon du Chocolat in Paris is one of the key events.

November is for cheaper city breaks

There are two public holidays in November, one on November 1 and the other on the 11th. It is a good time to take a city break.

The Annecy Wine and Food Festival is one of the key events.

A large stone fountain lit up with Christmas lights in Lyon, France
Lyon lights up in December © Sebarrere / Shutterstock

December gets festive

For Christmas, France puts on a big show. When Christmas decorations come out, the magic of the mountains goes into high gear.

Festival of lights in Lyon is one of the key events.

The article was first published about six hours ago.

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