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With an average of 27 million visitors per year, Paris is the most visited city in the world. Although the city is bustling year-round, the summer (July-Aug) is the worst time to visit, since most Parisians flee the city while most tourists crowd into the city then. Paris is probably most pleasant to visit in the spring (Apr-June) or fall (Sept-Nov), but it is also lovely during December, when the city is all lit up with Christmas lights. Annual fashion shows and trade fairs bring a lot of people to the city in September and October, so it may be difficult to find a hotel room during this period. Hotels in Paris rarely advertise off-season rates, but rooms are often a little less expensive during the cold, rainy period from November to February. Airfares are cheaper during these months, and more promotions are available; airfares rise in the spring and fall, peaking in the summer, when tickets cost the most.

Weather

Although you'll often hear French people complaining about the weather in Paris, Parisian weather is usually quite stable, and the surrounding region boasts one of the lowest annual rates of precipitation in the country (640mm/25in.). In terms of weather, the best times to visit Paris are the spring (Apr-June) or the fall (Sept-Oct). Recently, Paris has seen extreme temperatures in both summer (when temperatures are around 90°F/30°C) and winter (when temperatures are around 30°F/below 0°C) -- perhaps a result of global warming. The high temperatures in summer, combined with air pollution, make visiting Paris unbearable then -- especially in the un-air-conditioned Métro.

For a reliable weather forecast, go to Méteo France (www.meteofrance.com), Weather.com, or tune into local radio stations.

Public Holidays

Holidays in France are known as jours fériés. Shops and banks are closed, as well as many (but not all) restaurants and museums. If a jour férié falls on a Thursday, for example, many French people faire le pont (literally "make the bridge") and take the Friday off work.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.