When is the Best time to come to Paris?

It seems like common logic to come to the city of light during the peak summer months, especially August, but is it always such a good idea? The truth is, it really depends on whether you're coming to live and work, or just for a passing stay. There are pros and cons to each situation.

To live and work


Pro: More accommodation.Since many students have gone on summer break and moved out by beginning of July, this means more student-friendly accommodation and studios available, which in a city as Paris, is like hitting the jackpot (if you're lucky). If the landlord is free to do visit, this could also mean less competition for the same apartment.

Con: Less work. Since half the city has packed up and buggered off to the south of France, nobody is interested in hiring for the summer unless it is for bar and restaurant work. Offices are running at low-speed and job ads will usually be for earliest start date September. If you have the money to tide you over for the month however, then this will pose little problem.

Advice: If you are planning to live in Paris, do try to come in summer. 'Le retour' (the return) in September is manic for flat-hunting and you'll find that most apartments have already been snapped up. Just remember to bring a little bit of savings to help you pre-employment.



Passing stay

Pro: It's quieter. This usually translates as more space on the metro, even during the rush hour and (slighty) fewer cars on the road. It also means less wait time in shops, although this ends with restaurants (no-one's that lucky!).

Con: It's quieter. While  it is true that there are noticeably fewer people on the public transport, the flipside is that many shops, boulangeries and boutique caf├ęs close-up for the best part of the summer and this really can be hella frustrating when you're spending near enough an hour just to hunt down a decent pain au chocolat. Also, since many of the smaller places don't have websites it can be difficult to know this info ahead of time.

Advice: July or September would be better alternatives. July is the month during which the fete nationale (Bastille Day) takes place, and September usually brings about a beautiful Indian summer which you can take advantage of on the Champs de Mars.