Travel to France in July to Beat the Crowds, Aug 06 | What To Expect in the Off Season

BY MARIE-HELENE TOURENNE

Bordeaux native Marie-Hélène Tourenne is the owner of PetitParis restaurant and café in Fairfield, Iowa.

Our last “travel tips” section was so well receivedthat we decided to share more information.

If you don’t care for crowds, we suggest that you travel to Franceduring the off-season. A July plane ticket is usually twice as expensiveas a March or October ticket. Hotels and bed and breakfast rates will alsobe cheaper in the off-season.

During July, a lot of people leave the cities and turn touristy places likethe Riviera or the Bassin d’Arcachon into traffic nightmares. Thereis one exception though—Paris. In July and August, a lot of Parisiansleave the city and only some of them are replaced by tourists. It is actuallymuch safer to cross a street in Paris in July than it is in October! Someof the restaurants in Paris close during the summer, whereas they are allopen during the off-season when everybody is back to work.

Tourist attractions will be less crowded and easier to enjoy.

Weather wise, no one can say what the weather will be like. It has becomeso unpredictable that when we go to France, we pack a little of everything,especially clothes that can be layered. One recent summer, temperatures didnot reach 68 degrees until July 18 and then it was in the 90s for four weeks.So it is very hard to know until close to departure.

More Good Restaurants in Paris

These restaurants have been recommended by some of our friends who regularlyspend time in Paris. We haven’t had the opportunity to test them ourselves.

Ze Kitchen Galerie. 4, rue des Grands Augustins, 6th arrondissement,tel: 01 44 32 00 32. Reservations recommended. Metro, Saint Michel

L’Epi du Pain. 11 Rue Dupin, 6th arrondissement, Near the AuBon Marché department store 01 42 22 64 56 75006. Métro, SèvresBabylone

La Bastide Odéon. 7, rue Corneille, 6th arrondissement , tel:01 43 26 03 65. Métro, Odéon

Bistot Vivienne. 4, rue des Petits Champs, 2eme arrondissement, tel:01 49 27 00 50. Near jardin du Palais Royal
 
La Tartine. 24, rue de Rivoli, 4eme arrondissement,Métro, SaintPaul

Le Sélect Montparnasse, 99 bld du Montparnasse, 6émearrondissememt. Tel: 01.45.48.38.24. Picasso, Matisse, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir.and Allen Ginsberg, among others, used to frequent this place. Métro,Vavin
 
We also found these sites to be very user friendly for locating restaurantsand attractions in Paris:
www.restaurants-paris-france.com Allof the restaurants in Paris
www.parisbalades.com/Autre/defaulte.htm Walking touring of Paris
www.parisdigest.com/takingarest/bateaux.htm River Cruises
 
For rentals and bed and breakfast we recommend these sites:
www.pour-les-vacances.com/index.htm Holiday Rentals in France
www.vacances.com/ French vacations (in French)
 
The Musée Rodin and the Musée du Vin were also strongly recommendedto us. The Musée Rodin tends to be overlooked for the Louvre and D’Orsay,but it is a beautiful museum and the gardens are well worth a visit. Bon voyage!

For more travel tips, see FrenchTravel Tips I.