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The Best Time of Year to Visit Hawaii

Updated: November 16, 2017

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When To Visit Hawaii

Best Time for Surfing: The best time for surfing in Hawaii depends on the skill level of the surfer. The biggest waves tend to hit the north shores of all islands in winter, from about November through March – especially in December and January, and particularly on Oahu’s North Shore. This is the best time for pros, experienced surfers, and spectators. Beginning surfers will want to stick to the south sides of the islands during winter, or travel in the summer months. Waves are especially calm from May through September.

Best Time for Snorkeling and Swimming: Great swimming and snorkeling are possible year-round in Hawaii, but during summer months (May through September) water is warmer, waves are smaller, and skies are sunnier, making conditions ideal for these water-based activities. Big Island and Maui tend to have the best snorkeling, because their snorkel spots are affected less by trade winds from the east. Kauai has the least reliable snorkeling, because it tends to rain more year round, reducing visibility in the water.

Best Time for Hiking: Some of the world’s most amazing hikes are available in Hawaii, especially on Kauai. Though hiking can be done year round, summer is usually best, because there are more daylight hours and the trails tend to be drier. Summers can get very hot here, so be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and plan on beginning your hike early in the morning, when the air temperature is cooler.

Best Time for Whale Watching: Whales head down from Alaska to Hawaii every year for the winter, from December through April. The peak time for sightings runs from late February through early March, after the calves are born. Whales can be spotted from the coast on every island, but tend to concentrate between Maui’s western shores and the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai.

Best Time to See the Volcano: Kilauea on the Big Island has been erupting non-stop since 1983, sometimes in dramatic bursts and sometimes in lazy flows. There is no certain time of year that sees more or less lava than any other. The main factor in choosing when to visit is the weather. Temperatures at higher elevations are about 6-11 Celsius degrees cooler than at sea level with winter temperatures averaging 8-12ºC. Summer (May through September) is the best time for visiting the volcano while staying warm.

Best Time for Fishing: Fishing is a year-round activity in Hawaii, with different fish biting at different times off different islands. (Except sharks – you can always find sharks!) Generally, winter sees lots of striped marlin, snapper, skipjack, and bigeye tuna; and there’s a good chance of spotting a whale while you’re out, too! Spring offers more Mahi mahi, yellowfin, and blue marlin. Summer finds jumbo-sized yellowfin and blue marlin, along with ono and skipjack. Fall sees lots of billfish, all varieties of marlin, mahi mahi, and giant trevally.

Best Time for Stargazing on Mauna Kea: Similar rules apply for visiting Mauna Kea as to visiting Kilauea. Colder winter temperatures mean that summer months are best for keeping warm. For visibility, the best time of month to see stars is during a new moon. If you plan to utilize the world-class telescopes on Mauna Kea’s summit, remember to keep elevation in mind; at nearly 4200 meters up, Mauna Kea’s oxygen level is low. It is highly recommended that travelers pause halfway up for an hour to acclimate, and that they never ascend Mauna Kea within 24 hours of scuba diving.

Best Time for Skiing/Snowboarding: Mauna Kea means “white mountain” in the Hawaiian language. There is snow here year round, though its consistency varies. The best time for skiing or snowboarding Mauna Kea is during February and March. There are no lifts or resorts, and you’ll need a 4 wheel drive vehicle, but the snow is said to be among the best worldwide.

Best Time for Discounts: For discounted rates, it’s usually best to book early and schedule flights for mid-week. In general, the cheapest rates on flights and hotels can be found during spring and fall months. Late March through mid-June usually finds great rates, except during the last week in April, which is Golden Week, Japan’s peak travel time. Later in the year from September through mid-December is also a fantastic time to find deals, except during the week of Thanksgiving. June and July are usually less expensive than the pricey winter months, but are more crowded; deals during this time tend to be both rare and last minute.

Best Time for Avoiding Crowds: The quietest month for tourists is November, with the exception of Thanksgiving week. May through the first week of June, September, and October are also great times to avoid crowds. April can be quiet, except during Golden Week and during the years that Easter falls at the beginning of the month.

Best Time for a Destination Wedding: Summer months tend to be drier than winter months, so planning a wedding for May through October means less chance of rain, though Kauai and Hilo nearly always have some rain. Hurricane season generally goes from June through November, though big storms are rare. The best bet for a sunny wedding is May.

Best Time for Inter-Island Cruises: Winter months, December through March, are the best times to spot whales off the sides of your ship, but this is also the rainiest and most expensive time to visit. The best time for cruise deals is between Thanksgiving and mid-December. A greater variety of boats can be found in April, September, and October.

Best Time for Buying Airline Tickets: Prices for flights fluctuate dramatically. Generally, booking one to four months in advance offers the best rates, with six weeks out being the optimal time for finding deals. Exceptions are when booking for Thanksgiving week and mid to late December. For these times, it’s usually best to book as soon as tickets are available, up to eleven months out.

Best Time for Good Weather: Hawaii has warm weather all year round, with average highs of 26-28ºC in the winter, and 29-31ºC in the summer. The biggest variables are rain and surf conditions. Winter months tend to be rainier, while hurricane season goes from June through November (but big storms are rare here). Surf swells are largest in winter, especially on the islands’ north shores. The most consistently good weather is usually found in April, May, September, and October.

Hawaii Travel Seasons

High Season (December – March): December through March is Hawaii’s high season, especially around the Christmas and New Years holidays. Flights, hotels, and cars will be at their most expensive this time. Hotels often require longer minimum stays, greater deposits, and have stricter cancellation policies around the holidays. Cars can sell out well in advance. Plan well and book early for peak season travel.

Low Season (April through mid-June, September through mid-December): Spring and fall are the low seasons for travel in Hawaii, from April through mid-June, except the last week in April, and from September through mid-December, except for Thanksgiving week. Flights, hotels, and cars are less expensive, while beaches and attractions are less crowded.

Summer (Mid-June through August): From mid-June through the end of August, family travel season is in full swing in Hawaii. Prices tend to be less expensive than during the winter months, but beaches and attractions will be more crowded. Fewer deals are available during the summer, especially in August, and the rare ones tend to be last minute.

Hawaii Weather by Month

Temperatures in Hawaii are warm all year long. Rain is more common in the winter months of November through March, with the rare big storm seen during hurricane season from June through November. Brief and light showers occur regularly everywhere. Kauai and the Hilo side of Big Island are the wettest areas, while West Maui and Big Island’s Kona coast are the hottest and driest. Surf is bigger and rougher in the winter, especially on the islands’ northern shores.

  • Hawaii Weather in January: January is one of the cooler months of the Hawaiian year, with temperatures as low as 20ºC. Rain is likely, but not heavy. The north shores will see their most enormous waves during this month, with large swells in the west, too. It’s a good idea to bring a light jacket or dress in layers for evenings or for visiting high elevations. (Average high 26ºC, average rainfall 78mm, Honolulu average water temperature 24.7ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in February: Average temperatures in February are the same as January, around 20-26ºC, but rain is a little heavier. Huge wages continue to hit the north and western shores. A light jacket and clothes that dry quickly are advised this time of year; whale watching excursions sometimes get splashy. (Average highs 26ºC, average rainfall 90mm, Honolulu average water temperature 24.4ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in March: March temperatures remain the same as in February, with just a little less rain. Northern swells are still quite large but not the monsters of winter. Western waves may be a little bigger than those up north. (Average highs 26ºC, average rainfall 88mm, Honolulu average water temperature 24ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in April: Temperatures hold steady from March to April, but rain drops off significantly. Layers are still a good idea, but rain gear can be left behind. Waves on all coasts in April range from flat to medium in size, and the water’s starting to warm up. Great time for snorkeling! (Average highs 26ºC, average rainfall 52mm, Honolulu average water temperature 25ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in May: May is one of the sunnier and drier months of the year, and temperatures continue to heat up. Surf is still small to medium in most places, with warm ocean temperatures. This is considered one of the best months to visit Hawaii for outstanding weather conditions. (Average highs 27º, average rainfall 38mm, Honolulu average water temperature 25.5ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in June: Gorgeous, sunny, and dry. June sees surf picking up on the south shores, while north shore waves disappear entirely. Ocean temperatures are incredibly comfortable beginning this time of year. (Average highs 28ºC, average rainfall 43mm, Honolulu average water temperature 26ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in July: High temperatures hold steady in July, with a little more rain than in June. South swells reach their peak, bringing in some big waves. A jacket is still useful this time of year if visiting Haleakala Crater or taking a helicopter tour. (Average highs 28ºC, average rainfall 57mm, Honolulu average water temperature 26ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in August: In August temperatures reach their upper limits, and rainfall is at its yearly low. Northern surf is still flat, while southern swells are large, and west and east waves are picking up in size. (Average temperature 29ºC, average rainfall 34mm, Honolulu average water temperature 26.5ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in September: September has the warmest water temperatures of the year in Hawaii, while waves are medium to large on all shores. Air temperatures hold hot and steady. This is one of the rainier summer months, though there’s still not as much rain as is seen in the winter. (Average temperature 29ºC, average rainfall 61mm, Honolulu average water temperature 27ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in October: October is the last really warm month here, though the rains are beginning to pick up. Waves on the south and east begin to subside, and the north and western swells begin to ramp up for winter. A rain jacket or umbrella may be useful if visiting during this time of year. (Average temperature 29ºC, average rainfall 80mm, Honolulu average water temperature 26.5ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in November: This is the rainiest month in Hawaii by far, seeing three times as much precipitation as in May or August. Bring an umbrella, and plan some rainy day activities in case of a downpour. Water and air temperatures are still very comfortable, and north and western waves are large again, to the delight of many a surfer. (Average temperature 27º, average rainfall 124mm, Honolulu average water temperature 26ºC.)
  • Hawaii Weather in December: In December, air temperatures reach their winter lows, which generally hold steady throughout the coming months. Water temps are still comfortable, though not quite balmy. Southern waves flatten out entirely, while western and especially northern surf grows bigger. The first whales of the season should be showing up now. (Average temperature 26ºC, average rainfall 87mm, Honolulu average water temperature 25ºC.)

Hawaii Events and Festivals

Hawaii in January

  • North Shore Surf Competitions (Oahu): January is prime surfing season, with several events happening on the North Shore of Oahu. Volcom Pipe Pro at the Banzai Pipeline takes place at the end of the month. January also falls into the competition window for the Quicksilver Big Wave Invitational aka The Eddie, held in Waimea Bay. (But don’t hold your breath on that one. With its minimum requirement on wave size, it has only ever taken place nine times since its inception in 1984.)
  • Chinese New Year (Oahu, all islands): Celebrated from mid-January to mid-February on all the islands but especially impressive in Honolulu’s Chinatown neighborhood. Expect impressive fireworks, lion and dragon dancers, kung fu demos, and music. http://hawaii-nye.com/cny/

Hawaii in February

  • Maui Whale Festival (Maui): Presented by the Pacific Whale Foundation to raise awareness for the protection of humpback whales. Events take place over the course of the month, but the highlight is World Whale Day with its Parade of Whales.
  • POW! WOW! Hawai’i (Oahu): International arts, music, and cultural festival featuring gallery installations, live art, mural projects, lectures, and music. Takes place during Valentine’s week.
  • Waimea Town Celebration (Kauai): Eight days of activities in this Western desert town near the canyon. Events include a deconstructed triathlon and an ice cream eating competition.
  • Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival (Big Island): Celebration of Japanese and Hawaiian cultural heritage. Tea ceremony, origami, hula, feather leis, food, music, and more!

Hawaii in March

  • Honolulu Festival (Oahu): Waikiki’s three day celebration of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. The festival includes cultural explorations via food, dance, and arts, and ends with a parade.
  • Kona Brewer’s Festival (Big Island): Featuring 47 breweries and chefs from 29 restaurants. The festival opens with a hula and includes a home brewer’s competition, live music, and a trash fashion show.

Hawaii in April

  • Merrie Monarch Festival (Big Island): Three day festival with a huge hula competition, invitational arts fair, hula shows, and a parade through Hilo. Most events are free to the public, but tickets are required for the competition and can only be requested by mail.
  • Waikiki SPAM JAM (Oahu): A celebration of Hawaii’s infatuation with SPAM, the only meat that gets cooked in a can! This is an evening street festival where chefs from fine dining restaurants come up with new SPAM recipes. Expect SPAM-themed arts, crafts, and retail. The event is free to the public, but attendees are encouraged to donate a can of SPAM to the Hawaii Food Bank.
  • Honolulu Brewers Festival (Oahu): Featuring over 100 craft beers from Hawaii, the Mainland, and abroad, plus live entertainment, and food from Oahu’s top restaurants. Tickets have previously been limited to 2500 and have sold out, so pick yours up as soon as they’re available.

Hawaii in May

  • Lei Day (all islands): “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.” Celebrations all over the islands on May 1st typically feature a lei competition, hula dancing and live music.
  • Lantern Floating Ceremony (Oahu): Each Memorial Day at sunset in honor of fallen slodiers, around 40,000 people float paper lanterns carrying prayers and messages into the waters off the coast of Ala Moana Beach.
  • Kauai World Challenge Canoe Race (Kauai): A 36 mile outrigger canoe relay race along the Kauai coast. The race begins at Kapa’a Beach Park and ends at Salt Pond.
  • East Maui Taro Festival (Maui): Out in Hana town, this festival celebrates Hawaii’s staple food. There’s a farmers market, poi pounding, taro pancake breakfast, and more.

Hawaii in June

  • Pan Pacific Festival (Oahu): Annual event celebrating Pacific Rim art, performance, and cuisine. Over 100 performances are slated with the festival ending with a parade.
  • King Kamehameha Day (all islands): This is a Hawaiian public holiday honoring King Kamehameha the Great, who united all the Hawaiian Islands. Celebrated throughout Hawaii, common features are a floral parade with pa’u riders, women on horseback in colorful dresses. The biggest festival takes place on Oahu.
  • Maui Film Festival (Maui): Taking place in the Wailea resort area, this event includes fine foods, panel discussions, and film screenings under the stars and with toes in the sand.

Hawaii in July

  • Koloa Plantation Days (Kauai): Celebration of historic Koloa, the first sugar plantation in Hawaii, and of the community, cultures, and environment there. Events include a rodeo, dance, music, food, and a parade.
  • Honolulu Surf Film Festival (Oahu): Month-long film festival at the Honolulu Museum of Arts, celebrating surf history and its cultural impact. Classic and contemporary full-lengths, shorts, and documentaries.
  • Prince Lot Hula Festival (Oahu): This is an annual tradition for the past forty years, the largest non-competitive hula event, showcasing dance from several renowned hula groups.
  • Joy of Sake (Oahu): Honolulu hosts the largest sake tasting event outside of Japan. Food from some of Honolulu’s best restaurants accompanies the over 300 sakes being poured.

Hawaii in August

  • Ho’oku’ikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival (Big Island): This event celebrates ancient Hawaiian culture. Free to the public, but visitors are asked to learn at least one craft before they go to help preserve the culture; choose from lei making, feather standards, and more. Activities include Ho’okupu Ceremony, canoe rides, and Hawaiian food tasting.
  • Na Hula Festival (Oahu): Prince Lot is the largest, but this is the longest running, non-competitive hula festival. Free admission, takes place in Queen Kapi’olani Park.
  • Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (Big Island): Five day long fishing competition in Kona. The public is invited to the afternoon weigh-ins of the huge fish caught, and some may get a photo with the latest Miss Billfish.

Hawaii in September

  • Kauai Mokihana Festival (Kauai): Weeklong Hawaiian cultural event that includes a music contest, hula contest, lectures, and a craft fair.
  • Aloha Festivals (Oahu, all islands): A statewide celebration, all islands have their own Aloha Weeks, but Oahu has the biggest one. This massive festival attracts over 100,000 attendees. Events include a reenactment of the royal court, Hawaii’s largest block party in Waikiki, and a floral parade.
  • Okinawan Festival (Oahu): A celebration of all things Okinawan, featuring karate demos, dance, taiko drumming, food, and lion dancers.

Hawaii in October

  • Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (Oahu, Maui, Big Island): Events take place over three islands on different days. Some highlights include an urban luau, rare wine tasting, ramen showdown, kids’ cooking class, and a history of cocktail scandals. Tickets for each event are sold separately.
  • Coconut Festival (Kauai): A celebration of the coconut fruit on Kauai’s Coconut Coast. Features a coconut cookoff, a cooking demo, and a pie eating competition.
  • Ironman Competition (Big Island): The world’s biggest and baddest triathlon. Competitors by qualification only.

Hawaii in November

  • Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (Oahu): Three iconic surfing competitions on the North Shore Beaches. There are holding periods for each event with competitions held on the day during each period when waves are biggest. Continues into December.
  • Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (Big Island): A celebration of the Kona region’s coffee, history, culture, and arts. Events take place over eleven days at various spots in the Kona Mountains and on the coast, including coffee cupping competitions, gallery installations, coffee farm and history tours, and coffee science seminars.

Hawaii in December

  • Festival of Lights (Kauai): Visit for the opening ceremony or throughout December to see the County Building decked out in lights. These are special decorations made by a deceased member of the community, who made the ornaments out of scraps, like soda cans, toothpicks, and bottle caps.
  • Moku’ula by Moonlight (Maui): Free night of slack key and ukulele music, mixed with storytelling and talks on contemporary Hawaiian issues. On the beachfront in Lahaina. Bring your own beach chairs, mats, and blankets.
  • Wailea Village Mochi Pounding (Big Island): A community tradition, making rice cakes the old fashioned way. Everyone takes their turn pounding the sticky rice for good luck in the New Year. With taiko drumming, food vendors, fortune telling, and more.

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The Best Time to Visit Iceland

Updated: October 26, 2017

  • Best Time to See the Northern Lights: Many people come to Iceland hoping to see the aurora borealis, or northern lights, as it’s an ideal place to do so, thanks to the small population and long distances between towns that make it easy to escape light pollution, even if you’re in or near Reykjavik. There are a number of factors required in order to see them, including guaranteed darkness, which is why the best time to see them is from late September through late March. This is when there are full dark nights, although the lights can sometimes be seen as early as mid-August or as late as mid-April. Another important factor is the weather – cold, clear nights are best for aurora views, as on warmer nights there is often some precipitation or a lot of cloud cover. Solar flares on the sun or solar wind is also required. When all of these factors come to gather, you’ll have the best chance to view the colorful dancing lights. As there is less precipitation in October and November along with full dark, chilly nights, these months tend to bring the highest odds for viewing.
  • Best Time for Sightseeing: Iceland is renowned for its numerous spectacular sights, particularly waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes. Ideally, you’ll want to have longer days in order to see as much as you can, yet fewer crowds to interrupt the view, and weather that doesn’t make roads impassable. That means going in the weeks that frame either end of the high season, about the last week of May through mid-June, or anytime in September.
  • Best Time for Whale Watching: Generally, the best time to go whale watching in Iceland is from April to October. The peak season is in the summer months: June, July and August, with tours available from Reykjavik, Vestmannaeyjar islands of the south coast, Husavik  Akureyri and Dalvik. You aren’t out of luck if you come during the winter, however. Provided a storm doesn’t blow in, winter whale watching is available from Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsness Peninsula. While it doesn’t sound like it would be very pleasant, watchers are given thermal suits, making it fairly comfortable to see the orca whales that follow the herring in the area waters.
  • Best Time for Good Weather: The best time for optimal weather in Iceland is during the high season, particularly July and August when average highs are around 13°C, though temps can reach as high as 15°C or even 20°C. If you’re hoping to avoid the rain, the lowest amount of rainfall occurs in May and June, and temperatures are often a pleasant 11°C.
  • Best Time for Visiting Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions all year round, though the biggest crowds tend to be there between May and September, peaking in July and August. The winter months are typically the calmest, particularly in December and January, outside of the holiday period. Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the least crowded days of the week throughout the year, but more importantly is the time of day you visit. Peak hours are in the morning, from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and lunchtime is generally the busiest time of day overall. By 3 or 4 p.m., the crowds are much smaller, and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy a soak as the lagoon is open until 10 p.m. January 1 through May 25 and August 21 through October 1; to 11 p.m. May 26 through June 29; and midnight June 30 through August 20, and October 2 through December 31.
  • Best Time to Save Money: Airfare is typically cheapest during the winter months, outside of the Christmas and New Year holidays, as are accommodation rates. Prices for everything peak during the busy summer months. If you’re hoping for a combination of lower overall costs and better weather, go during the shoulder season: mid-May through mid-June or September through mid-October.
  • Best Time to Avoid Crowds: If you’re hoping for a more relaxed experience without the crowds, avoid going to Iceland in the high season, from mid-June through August. By visiting in April or May, September or October, you’ll encounter fewer tourists, yet the days will be long enough to enjoy sightseeing and possibly decent weather. The fewest visitors come between November and March, but this is also when inclement weather and the short, dark days can affect your plans.

Iceland’s Travel Seasons

  • High Season (mid-June through August): Iceland’s high season falls during the peak of summer, a time when the days are long (the sun never completely sets on the longest day of the year), allowing visitors to enjoy the country’s myriad of outdoor adventures in the Midnight Sun. This is the best chance for pleasant weather, but you can also expect to find a lot more tourists at popular attractions, higher prices, and have greater difficulty finding accommodations.
  • Shoulder Season (Mid-May through mid-June, September through mid-October): Iceland doesn’t have much of a shoulder season, with the majority of visitors arriving during the peak of summer. Coming in late spring, visitors can expect the snow to be thawing, there to be fewer tourists and a wider range of accommodation availability, and occasionally lower prices too. In early autumn, temperatures may be cool and crisp, with golden light and changing colors on the trees. There will be fewer travelers, some lower prices, and, the later in the fall you arrive, the better chances you’ll have of seeing the northern lights.
  • Low Season (Mid-October through mid-May): While an increasing number of visitors are coming during the low season thanks to the myriad of hot springs, winter adventures and nightlife, this is still a good time to come to avoid the crowds and enjoy better availability and the lowest rates of the year on accommodation, car rentals and airfare. Winters are surprisingly moderate, with temperatures generally hovering right around freezing, though days are often dark, with just four to six hours of daylight. Most major roads are plowed, but mountain roads and interior routes will be impassable, and many attractions, especially outside of Reykjavik are shut down.

Iceland Weather by Month

  • Iceland Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Iceland, with an average high of 2°C, and an average low of -3°C. When you consider that the temperatures are similar to that of New York City, it’s probably milder than what you’ve envisioned. Winds often reach gale force, however, and when that happens, it does feel very cold. It’s frequently rainy, particularly in and around Reykjavik, and this month (along with February) have the best chance for snow. The days are short, with about four hours of sunlight in early January; sunrise is at 11:19 a.m. and sunset at 3:44 p.m. on the 1st, although by the end of the month that stretches to about seven hours, with the sun coming up at 10:10 a.m. and going down at 5:12 p.m. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in February: February is similar to January in terms of temperature, but you’ll have more daylight hours to enjoy the scenery. By the end of the month, there is 10 hours of sunlight, with sunrise at 8:38 a.m. and sunset at 6:43 p.m. There is also slightly less precipitation, with an average of 40mm falling in the form of rain or snow. Instead of snow covered streets, you may even see lush gardens, with temps hovering slightly above zero on most days. The majority of attractions and roads in southwest Iceland will be open with the exception of significant storms that may blow through, and most will be wonderfully crowd-free. Dress properly and you’ll stay warm, with temps comparable to winter weather in the northern reaches of the U.S. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in March: March brings even more daylight, with more sun than darkness throughout the day by the end of the month. As of March 31st, the length of day increases to 13 hours and 26 minutes – a gain of three hours and 16 minutes in just one month. Temperatures still haven’t changed much, however, and the amount of precipitation is the same as it was in February, meaning it will still feel like winter. Rainy days are as common as sunny days, though in the city of Reykjavik, most snow is likely to be seen on the surrounding mountains and not on the ground. Many roads, outside of the capital area and southwest region, will still be impassable without a 4-wheel drive vehicle. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in April: While it’s not exactly beach weather, April unofficially marks the start of “summer” in Iceland. Temperatures are on the increase, with an average high of 5°C and lows right at freezing. Precipitation drops considerably, to half of what it was in February and March at 20mm, which can come in the form of snow but most often falls as rain, especially in the lowlands. By April’s end, the length of day has increased to 16 hours and 44 minutes, another significant gain over the previous month, with sunrise at 6:46 a.m. and sunset at 8:19 p.m. As you really should no matter when you visit Iceland, bring lots of layers and waterproof shoes so you can handle anything the weather might throw at you. (Average Max Temperature: 5°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in May: May is often a fabulous time to be in Iceland, with long 20+ hour days, fewer tourists and lower prices. While it’s still a bit chilly by most standards, with an average high of 9°C, there are typically plenty of sunny days. In Reykjavík, the chance of a wet day over the course of the month rapidly decreases, starting at 36% on the 1st and ending it at 29%. That said, the weather in Iceland is always subject to extreme change, and can be rather unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. In the interior, mountainous areas of the country, there is still a possibility of snow. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in June: June brings the longest day of the year. While sunrise and sunset hours shift throughout the month, the sun rises on average at 2:42 a.m. and sets at 11:32 p.m. In Iceland’s northern reaches, the sun barely sets before it pops back up again. Temperatures are climbing too, with the average high at 11°C, and it’s not unheard of for temps to reach 15 or even 20°C. There’s also less wind, and less rain, making it easier to enjoy all of those outdoor adventures. Of course, with that brings the peak tourist season, so expect bigger crowds, higher prices and book accommodations well in advance. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in July: As mentioned, July is another one of the most popular times of the year to visit Iceland. The weather is often pleasant, though never too hot, and days are still long with sunset averaging around 11 p.m., and the sun rising early, at 3:23 a.m. July boasts the warmest temperatures in Iceland, with average highs of 13°C and lows at 11°C. Of course, like June, temps can creep up quite a bit more than that and you could end up with a number of much warmer days. While you might experience some light rain, average precipitation is still at a minimum. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in August: Summer in Iceland is short-lived, so you can expect temperatures to gradually decline this month, though August is still one of the warmest and driest times of the year to be here. Temps rarely dip below 6°C, or exceed 14°C. There’s a slightly higher chance for rain than in June or July, with an average of 30mm of precipitation. Earlier in the month, you’re more likely to experience summer-like days, but as August moves towards September, temperatures drop and a chill comes to the air, especially at night. The days of the Midnight Sun are gone, though you’ll still have lots of daylight for exploring, with sunrise around 5 a.m. and sunset just before 9:30 p.m. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in September: While the days aren’t as long in September (nearly 15 hours of daylight on the 1st, decreasing to 11 hours and 35 minutes on the 30th), temperatures are often pleasant, crowds have disappeared and prices start to drop. The earlier in the month you come, the warmer it’s likely to be, with temps as warm as 13°C. On average, the high hovers around 9°C and can dip as low as 5°C. There is a greater chance for rain, and even a possibility of snow, so be prepared by bringing plenty of layers and a variety of clothing. You may even be treated to the northern lights, which can generally be seen, when conditions are right, from about late September through late March. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in October: By the end of October, it’s starting to feel like winter in Iceland. This month is a time of transition, the autumn colors are in full swing, and temperatures are gradually dropping while the days are increasingly shorter. On October 31st, the sun doesn’t rise until 9:03 a.m., and it sets at 5:18 p.m. The average temperature is a brisk 4°C and drizzle is quite common, so plan for wet, cool weather. On the upside, with the exception of some of the most remote areas of the country, the majority of Iceland is still accessible to tourists, and there are far fewer crowds and reduced prices too. (Average Max Temperature: 6°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in November: Summer is now a distant memory, and while it isn’t as dark or cold as December and January, temperatures drop to an average of around 3°C with lows dipping to about freezing, and the sun shines for only six hours or so, rising a little before 10 a.m. and setting around 4:30 p.m. Of course, the earlier in the month you arrive, the milder the weather and the more daylight you’ll have. Even though it’s likely to be pretty cold, with frequent days of light rain, snow and/or fog, depending on the specific destinations you visit, as long as you dress appropriately, most of the time you’ll be comfortable and find lots to do with fewer crowds to contend with. (Average Max Temperature: 5°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Iceland Weather in December: December in Iceland is cold and dark, but it’s also one of the most beautiful months to be in the country, with snow covering the landscape and dazzling holiday lights helping to brighten the darkness. The days are very short, as it’s now the opposite of summer and the famous Midnight Sun. While you won’t see much daylight, what you can see has a surreal, iridescent quality unlike anywhere else that’s known as the “long blue,” or blue light that lingers before the sun finally rises. When it does rise, it grazes the sky and then quickly descends below again. You’re just about guaranteed to experience snow, rain, or a combination of both, though the temperature rarely dips much below freezing, with the low averaging -1°C. The weather also keeps many tourists away, so you’ll find fewer to contend with along with lower rates and greater accommodation availability. Bundle up and enjoy like the Icelanders do. (Average Max Temperature: 4°C. Average precipitation: 40mm.)

Iceland Events and Festivals

Iceland in January

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st is a national holiday as it is in most nations around the world, though it’s really a two-day holiday here as just about everything is closed until January 3rd. As most people stay up very late on New Year’s Eve, the first day of the new year is often spent sleeping at home and the second day shopping holiday sales.
  • January 6th – January 6 marks the official last day of Christmas in Iceland. Known as “þrettándinn,” it is celebrated with bonfires, traditional songs and fireworks.
  • Thorrablot – This is an ancient Viking mid-winter tradition that originally was a feast of sacrifice, involving the blood of goats and oxen. Today, the celebration that starts the 13th week of winter on the Friday that falls within January 19 to 25, includes lots of singing, dancing, drinking and eating traditional Norse dishes like fermented shark, pickled ram testicles and boiled sheep heads. To attend a real celebration, you’ll need an invitation from a local, but some restaurants in Reykjavik offer special Thorrablot dinners.

Iceland in February

  • Winter Lights Festival – This festival hosted around the first weekend in February was created to help lift spirits and brighten the winter darkness. The capital city will be dramatically lit up, not only with gorgeous light-art installations, but with a cornucopia of cultural events from choral performances and figuring skating to fashion shows and belly dancing. Other highlights include Pool Night and Museum Night, in which the museums and pools around Reykjavik stay open late and offer free admission.
  • Öskudagur – Öskudagur, or Ash Wednesday, is on the seventh Wednesday before Easter (February 14 in 2018). This is when Icelandic children dress in costume and sing for candy, similar to Halloween.
  • Food and Fun – For four days in late February, and sometimes early March, the Food and Fun Festival is a time when many of the world’s most acclaimed chefs collaborate with the finest restaurants in Reykjavik. Special menus are prepared that consist only of Icelandic ingredients and are available at participating eateries during the festival. A televised competition is also held in which the top international chefs are challenged to create dishes on the spot, using purely Icelandic ingredients.

Iceland in March

  • Beer Day – On March 1st every year, this unofficial holiday honors the anniversary of the 1989 legalization of beer with an alcohol content above 2.2%. To make up for the lost time it was banned (all the way from 1915 through 1989), Icelanders indulge in a beer spree, with celebrations held in pubs, clubs and restaurants throughout Reykjavik.
  • DesignMarch – This event held over four days in mid-March showcases Icelandic product design, interior and graphic design, furniture and architecture over three days in mid-march. It hosts workshops, talks, exhibitions and other events, and has attracted big names in the past like Calvin Klein.
  • Reykjavik Folk Festival – A three-day music feast held in early March, this event celebrates the Icelandic folk music scene with a lineup of folk artists of various styles and ages.

Iceland in April

  • Easter – Easter marks the end to the long, dark winter. Most workers in Iceland get five days off, from Holy Thursday to Easter Monday, which may fall in March or April, depending on the year. Schools and most offices shut down, and many shops may be closed too. This is a time when locals often head elsewhere to visit family and friends, or to the famous ski festival in Isafjordur, which features ski competitions as well as a rock music festival.
  • The First Day of Summer – The old Icelandic calendar, in which there are only two seasons, summer and winter, designated the official start of summer on the Thursday that falls within April 19 and April 25. Just about every town in Iceland will have its own celebration which typically includes parades, sporting events, street entertainment and gift giving.

Iceland in May

  • Reykjavik Art Festival – This long-running art festival takes place every other year over 16 days starting in mid-May, with the next event to be held in 2018. It features a variety of national and international theater, art, design and dance that’s showcased throughout the capital city.
  • Rite of Spring Festival – Hosted in early May, this festival is focused on cutting-edge world, jazz and folk music.

Iceland in June

  • Seafarer’s Day & Festival of the Sea – This holiday officially known as Sjómannadagur, is held on the first weekend of June to honor the contribution fishermen have made to Icelandic culture and the economy, as well as to remember those who were lost at sea. In fishing villages across the country, you’ll find it celebrated with lively parties, fantastic local seafood, cultural events and paradise. The fishermen themselves take part in all sorts of competitive events like strongman competitions as well as rowing and swimming races.
  • Iceland National Day – This official public holiday commemorates Iceland’s full independence from Denmark on June 17, 1944. One of the most popular events of the summer, the streets of Reykjavik are filled with colorful parades, street performances, traditional dancing, theatrical performances and free outdoor music concerts that last well into the night. Each town honors the day in its own unique way, so no matter where you plan to be, you’re likely to find a celebration.
  • Summer Solstice and the Secret Solstice Festival – This relatively new festival is held on the longest day of the year, June 21st. It features rock bands, singer-songwriters, DJs and other acts from Iceland and beyond, hosted on multiple stages over four days under the Midnight Sun. There are also numerous local summer solstice celebrations held on this day in which Icelanders gather to watch the sun dip below the horizon only to quickly rise up again.
  • International Viking Festival – The oldest and biggest festival of its kind in Iceland is held in Hafnarfjörður at Viking Village over five days in mid-June. A Middle Age market is set up where costumed “Vikings” sell handmade goods, host staged battles, dance, tell stories and show visitors how to do things like shoot a bow and arrow, carve wood, and throw spears and axes.

Iceland in July

  • Innipúkinn Festival – This small annual music festival held over the bank holiday weekend in late July in downtown Reykjavik offers the chance to enjoy some of the country’s favorite bands, bringing in the cream of the crop of the Icelandic music scene. It also includes standup comedians, a music market and a wide variety of food trucks.
  • LungA – Hosted in the small town of Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland, LungA offers a mix of art and music in a spectacular location that’s held over seven days in mid-July. It includes live music, a variety of workshops, and a wide range of art on display.

Iceland in August

  • Verslunarmannahelgi – The first weekend of August is a bank holiday weekend during which many Icelanders leave town to go camping. The Westman Islands are the most popular destination, with visitors gathering at campgrounds to enjoy live bands and a bonfire that goes on well into the morning. There are also a variety of events held throughout the country.
  • Gay Pride – Iceland’s biggest Gay Pride event is held over the second weekend in August. It features concerts, theater, all-night parties and a parade. Tens of thousands pour into downtown Reykjavik to show solidarity and revel with the city’s gay community, making it a fun event for all.
  • Reykjavik Marathon – This annual event held on the third weekend of August attracts more than 10,000, from Iceland and abroad. It features a full marathon as well as a 42.2K team relay, a half marathon, 10K, and shorter “fun runs” for kids and adults. It kicks off early in the morning, with races starting and finishing at Lækjargata. Runners also get free admission to all of the city’s pools and thermal baths afterwards.
  • Menningarnótt – Menningarnótt, or “Culture Night,” begins when the marathon ends. It’s one of Iceland’s biggest events of the year, and when the streets clear of runners, all types of cultural events fill in that can be found throughout town, in the parks, squares, streets, and individual homes, and ends with an impressive fireworks display.

Iceland in September

  • Reykjavik International Literary Festival – This annual festival held in early September is considered one of the most prestigious literary events in Northern Europe and includes Icelandic and international authors. In the past, it’s hosted numerous distinguished writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Seamus Heaney and David Sedaris. In 2017, it will take place from September 6 to September 9 at various Reykjavik venues.
  • Reykjavik International Film Festival – Taking place over 10 days starting in late September, this festival shows a diverse range of non-fiction and dramatic films from more than 40 countries around the world. There are multiple screening venues in downtown Reykjavik that include world premieres and award-winning films from other festivals. It also encourages interaction with other art forms by hosting photo exhibitions, concerts and more.

Iceland in October

  • Iceland Airwaves – This festival held over three days in mid-October, showcases some of the best Icelandic indie/alternative music talent, including big names like Of Monsters and Men and Bjork, along with a number of international artists and local DJs. It’s been called the “hippest long weekend on the annual music festival calendar” by Rolling Stone magazine.
  • Illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower – On October 9th, John Lennon’s birthday, Yoko Ono invites guests on a complimentary ferry trip to Viðey Island to take part in a gorgeous illumination ceremony.
  • Halloween – Celebrating Halloween is relatively new in Iceland, but it’s quickly become one of the year’s biggest party events for adults. There is no trick-or-treating, but restaurants and bars throw costume parties with prizes for the best costume, and many host live music too.

Iceland in November

  • Frostbiter – This Iceland Horror Film Festival is hosted in the town of Akranes, about 40 minutes north of Reykjavik, and features horror films and filmmakers from around the world. A mix of horror feature films and shorts are screened over the last weekend in November. It also includes after-parties and other events.

Iceland in December

  • Christmas holiday events – Christmas is celebrated in a big way in Iceland. As the days are very short, with just 4 to 5 hours of daylight, you’ll see lots of holiday lights to brighten things up. Annual Icelandic Christmas concerts, one of the oldest holiday traditions in Iceland are hosted, and a group of 13 mischievous trolls known as Yule Lads begin arriving into town, one each night from December 12 through Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the most important night of celebration in Iceland, officially beginning at 6 p.m., when the church bells throughout Iceland ring in the Jól. Icelanders typically attend mass which is followed by a Christmas dinner with family.
  • New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik is one of the world’s most impressive celebrations. This is the only time of year when private use of fireworks are legal here, and individuals put on their own unique displays that set the skies ablaze. It also includes neighborhood and waterside bonfires that are meant to symbolize the burning away of the previous year’s troubles. Some 500 tons of fireworks can be seen lighting up the sky from every corner of the city starting at around 11:35 pm. There is lots of drinking and singing of folk songs, and some people dress up as elves and trolls. After midnight, the pubs and nightclubs remain open, with the celebrations going on well into morning. At 5 am, locals line up for hot dogs and then head to the hot springs to ease the pain of those inevitable hangovers.

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Best Time To Visit Barcelona

Updated: October 23, 2017

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Q. When is the best time to visit Barcelona?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The lines to enter the city’s most popular sights and attractions, like the Basilica de la Sagrada Família in central Barcelona, are at their longest in the summer and on Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. As the weather is fairly comfortable year round, it’s best to avoid the summer months and any period around a major holiday. The first half of March, the month of May and mid-September through October, are arguably the best times of the year for sightseeing, with thinner crowds, shorter lines and warmer, but not too hot, weather. Visiting on a Tuesday or Wednesday can also help lessen the chance you’ll have to battle countless other tourists. Try to plan your sightseeing early in the day, starting with the most popular sight, for the best experience.
  • Best Time for Shopping: There are two periods each year that offer big sales, with the chance to find huge bargains that include discounts of as much as 70 percent off. The winter sales begin the week after the Festival of the Kings, or the second week of January, and typically run until the end of February, although there are no official sale dates. It kicks off with the first rebajas, or discounts, followed by bigger mark downs for the second rebajas, and finally remate, which marks the final clearance sales. The summer sales, which follows the same pattern, start during the first week of July and run through the end of August. In either period, the first rebajas is known for being quite frantic, particularly at El Corte Ingles (a major department store), which means you’ll need to be prepared to elbow your way through the crowds in order to get to the best bargains. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to endure, go either late in the first week or wait until the second week when you’ll still find a wide variety of items, but the crowds won’t be nearly as bad. Toward the end of the sales, there will be a noticeable reduction in what’s left.
  • Best Time for Beaches: Barcelona summers tend to be hot and humid, making it a perfect time for the beach, though not the best time to be wandering around the city. Of course, this also means practically everyone else is handing to the beaches too, so they can be very crowded – and, while the water is clear and the sand is clean in the morning, by the end of the day, both can get a bit littered. As the water temperature is most comfortable from swimming from around the end of May through mid- to late-September, your best bet for fewer crowds and optimal conditions can usually be found by going early or late in the season, in May or September.
  • Best Time for Festivals: If you’re hoping to attend one of the city’s big festivals, you’ll need to arrive sometime between late spring and early autumn, with the majority of Barcelona’s larger festivals taking place then, including the world’s biggest indie and alternative music festival, Primavera Sound, held in late May or early June. The nine-day Festa Mayor de Gracia is hosted in August, while the grandest fiesta of the year is the four-day Festes de la Merce in September, which honors the city’s patron with a run, harbor swimming race and all sorts of concerts, parades, Catalan dances and feasts. Of course, when major festivals are held, expect the crowds to be thick, though many feel that just makes it even more fun and exciting.
  • Best Time for an FC Barcelona Game: Barcelona hosts one of the best football teams in the world, FC Barcelona, and many feel a trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without visiting the team’s famous stadium. While tours are available, the best way to experience it is by catching a game. The schedule is set every year around mid-July, and matches usually start in late August and end in late May, with a winter break around the Christmas and New Year holidays. The best time to go, for those who also want to enjoy pleasant sightseeing and the beaches, is arguably in September or May, though you’ll have a good time during any month in between as well. Most matches are played around the weekends, so plan accordingly.

Barcelona Travel Seasons

  • High Season (May through August): High season in Barcelona brings the hottest weather, the biggest crowds and the highest accommodation rates. July, and especially August, tend to be sweltering, and tourists spill out of every hotel, restaurant and attraction, with long lines just about everywhere. The advantages of traveling during this period are wonderfully long days, with the sun sticking around until around 9:30pm, and all of the attractions are sure to be open with the tourists out in full force. This is also the perfect time to head to Barcelona’s beautiful beaches and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy major festivals like Musica als Parcs, which features free concerts between June and August in various open-air venues throughout the city.
  • Shoulder Season (mid-March through April and mid-September through October): The shoulder season can bring the best of both worlds, with a number of festivals held in the spring as well as the late summer/early autumn months, and crowds tend to be a bit thinner during this time as well, while the weather is often idyllic. Prices haven’t yet hit their peak in early spring, and they begin to drop again in September when kids are back in school and the crowds abate.
  • Low Season (November through mid-March): During the low season, prices not only drop exponentially, especially for accommodation, but it’s a great time to enjoy Barcelona without having to wait in long lines or fight for personal space. The chillier temperatures and frequent drizzle means you won’t be spending much, if any, time on the beach, but you will find a more romantic atmosphere with the opportunity to share an umbrella and cozy up to the one you love. It’s also the perfect excuse for taking things at a slower pace, occasionally stopping into a charming café for café con leche or churros with hot chocolate, rather than rushing from sight to sight.

Barcelona Weather by Month

  • Barcelona Weather in January: January is Barcelona’s coldest month, but if you live in a place that tends to get a lot of snow and frigid temperatures, it’s likely to feel rather mild. While temperatures can dip as low as 5°C, it rarely gets below freezing and there’s a good chance you’ll experience some relatively warm weather as the temperature this time of year can still exceed 16°C. The rainfall is also relatively low, with just 40mm falling over eight days, and when it does arrive it’s often light or in the form of drizzle. If you’re afraid you’ll miss the sun, consider that it still shines 50% of the time this month. Bring a winter coat and portable umbrella along with a light jacket or sweater for warmer days and you’ll be well-prepared no matter what the weather brings. While days are shorter than during the summer months, the sun is up for approximately 10 hours each day this month, setting around 5:30pm on New Year’s Day, and a little after 6pm by January 31, providing plenty of time to enjoy outdoor attractions. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in February: The weather in February varies greatly, from beautiful, sunny days to overcast and rainfall. Some mornings start out with sunshine, with rain arriving in the afternoon. With such variance, planning to dress in layers and bring a variety of clothing for cold weather as well as relatively comfortable sunny days. The average high temperature this month remains 14°C, though it can get warmer than that in the afternoon. Lows increase a degree too, to 6°C, while the rainfall lessens a bit to 41mm that comes down over five days in the form of mostly light rain, drizzle or thunderstorms. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in March: While March is the coolest of the spring months, the average high creeps up to 16°C and overnight lows generally don’t dip below 8°C, making it a pleasant time to be in Barcelona. The days are longer too, with the sun sticking around until 7pm by mid-month, and after 8pm by the end of March as clocks move forward an hour. There isn’t much in the way of rainfall either, with just 33mm falling over four days, and you’ll enjoy more sunny and clear days as compared to the two previous months. You’re unlikely to need an umbrella, but it’s a good idea to bring a warm coat in case it gets chilly. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 33mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in April: April is unofficially the start of summer, with high temperatures gradually rising throughout the month. While the average high is 18°C, temperatures occasionally exceed 21°C in the afternoon this month. Rainfall is an average of 37mm in April, commonly arriving in the form of drizzle, light rain or a short-lived thunderstorm. Visitors often start to enjoy the beaches this month, though with sea temperatures at an average of 14°C., it’s usually a bit too cold for a swim. You will likely need some summer gear like shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and sandals for warm afternoons, but you’ll probably also want some long pants and perhaps a sweater or two for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 37mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in May: May is a beautiful time to be in Barcelona, with average temperatures around 20°C, though highs reach 22°C, and occasionally even 25°C. The days are lengthening too, with sunset at just before 9pm early in the month, and by May 31, the sun stays up until 9:18pm. Precipitation increases a bit in May, with 54mm of rainfall over nine days, though it’s most likely to occur earlier in the month, and when it falls it’s in the form of light or moderate rain, drizzle or thunderstorms. If you visit this month, you may need the full gamut of clothing, other than a winter coat. Bring a light jacket and long pants to wear in the evening, along with shorts or dresses, sandals and a bathing suit to enjoy the mostly warm weather during the day. An umbrella is probably a good idea too, just in case. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 54mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in June: In June, the warm weather has officially arrived, though the month isn’t as hot as it will be in July, and especially August. The average high temperature rises significantly from May, four degrees to 26°C, and occasionally it gets as hot as 28°C. Rain is minimal, if existent at all, and most likely early in the month. If you plan to visit in June, bring lightweight, summery clothing and beachwear, along with sun protection like a wide-brimmed hat and high SPF sunscreen. With overnight lows of 18°C, the evenings are pleasant, but if you chill easily you may want to bring a sweater and long pants. This month also brings the longest day of the year, with the sun setting at 9:30pm on June 30. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in July: If you’re seeking sunshine and heat, July is a good time to come to Barcelona, bringing perfect weather for sunbathing and activities in the water, with sea temperatures at an average of 23°C. Sometimes the afternoons can exceed sizzling temperatures of 30°C, though the average high is 28°C. Rainfall is quite low, with just 25mm falling over two days in July, which means you may need to find relief from the intense sunshine in the shade, in addition to slathering on the sunscreen as the intense rays of the sun can be quite strong and cause a sunburn if you aren’t adequately protected. Plan to bring your light, summer clothing, including beachwear and look forward to spending time in the water, which is an average of 24°C this month. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in August: August is Barcelona’s hottest month, with the average high rising to 29°C. Combined with high humidity, that temperature often feels much hotter than it is, and you’ll see many locals using fans to try and keep cool, while the beaches, parks and pools are packed with both locals and tourists alike. With the sun rising just before 7am and setting just after 9pm early in the month, you’ll have 14 hours of full sun, which means sunscreen is again an absolute must. As the month progresses, the days gradually become shorter, with the sun going down about 8:30pm on August 31. No matter when you arrive, plan to leave your umbrella behind as just 64mm of rain falls, and when it does, it brings a bit of cooling relief. Instead, as you would for July, pack lots of light summer wear, including a bathing suit. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 64mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in September: The cool down begins in September, making it a lot more pleasant to enjoy everything Barcelona has to offer. The average high temperature decreases three degrees to 26°C, with the warmest weather coming during the first half of the month. The weather can be a bit unpredictable now, with gorgeous beach weather one weekend and clouds or rain the next. Most of the time, you’ll be able to wear your typical summer gear, though you made need a couple of layers for when it cools off in the evening. Thunderstorms are more common in September, and the average amount of precipitation increases to about 75mm, falling over nine days, which means that bringing your portable umbrella is once again a good idea. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 75mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in October: Fall is now in full swing, and October is an especially good time to visit Barcelona for those who like the sunshine but don’t want to experience summer’s intense heat or thick crowds. The days are typically still sunny and warm, though temperatures dip down to an average of around 21°C and rainfall increases slightly to 81mm falling over six days this month. As you’ll have a fair chance for rain and clouds, along with plenty of sunny days, you’ll need to bring sunscreen and short-sleeved shirts as well as a light coat and umbrella. The days get significantly shorter as the month progresses; while the sun goes down around 7:30pm on October 1, it sets just before 6pm by month’s end, due to the clocks changing backward an hour. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 81mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in November: The city not only quiets down significantly in November, there is a noticeable chill in the air, with average low temperatures dropping to 8°C, and average highs decreasing from around 19°C to 15°C from the start to the end of the month. You’ll no longer need your beachwear, though you will need a good balance of lighter clothes for during the day along with evening layers. The amount of rainfall decreases slightly to 34mm coming down over four days, with your odds of experiencing wet weather highest earlier in the month. If you plan to come in early November, you may want to bring a raincoat along too. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 34mm.)
  • Barcelona Weather in December: December tends to bring sunny but chilly days, with average temperatures of 11°C, though it may get as warm as 14°C on some afternoons. Although people from northern countries with a cold winter climate may regard Barcelona’s winter temperatures as quite mild, the sea air can add to the chill factor, which means a warm coat and a few sweaters are essential, though you may want a light jacket and short-sleeved shirts for those warmer, sunny days. With average precipitation at 35mm, you’re unlikely to need an umbrella, but you might bring one just in case. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 35mm.)

Barcelona Special Events and Festivals

Barcelona in January

  • New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day is a national holiday, and most residents throughout the country will enjoy a day of rest and relaxation. While the majority of the shops and sights will be closed, and many of the bars and restaurants, you won’t have a difficult time finding a place that’s open to enjoy a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
  • Three King’s Day – On January 5, parades are held throughout Spain for Three King’s Day, or Dia de los Reyes Magos, including in Barcelona. That evening, three “kings” arrive by boat. After a few words of welcome, they parade through the city streets on regal floats, throwing gifts and candy to the children.
  • Festa dels Tres Tombs – This traditional Catalan festival that takes place in mid- to late January, honors St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of animals, the poor and the sick. The name of the parade, “tres tombs,” is Catalan and translates to “three turns” in English. In Barcelona, the parade is in the Sant Antoni area, and you’ll see many people bring pets to the procession to be blessed.

Barcelona in February

  • Carnival – Carnival in Barcelona, like it is everywhere else in the world, marks the start of Lent, 40 days before Easter, which in Spain is known as Semana Santa. This is a relatively low-key event in Barcelona, though you may see groups of children or stall owners in local markets dressing up for the occasion and sometimes participating in “best costume” contests. There are parades throughout the city, with each neighborhood hosting its own special events.
  • Festival of Santa Eulalia – This annual children’s festival usually takes place over four days around February 12, which is Santa Eulalia’s Day. It’s the city’s biggest festival for kids and features parades, human castles, puppets, family workshops, concerts and more.
  • Valentine’s Day – Catalans celebrate their romantic day of love on April 23, known as Sant Jordi; however, as an increasing number of restaurants and other businesses are realizing the commercial possibilities for February 14, if you’re looking for a romantic place to dine, you’ll have no problem finding an eatery serving up special offerings for Valentines.

Barcelona in March

  • Festival de Sant Medir de Gracia – This annual festival in the Vila de Gracia area of the Gracia district takes place during the first week of March. A long and colorful procession of pack animals and riders on magnificent horses meet at the square, Plaza Ruis i Taulet, before riding to a picnic on the Arrabassada to the hermitage of Saint Sant Medir. When the procession returns, riders throw sweets into the crowd. The event is capped off with an evening of fireworks.
  • Barcelona Marathon – This well-organized race held annually in mid-March attracts nearly 20,000 runners from across the globe; athletes follow a route that runs past many of Barcelona’s most impressive sights.

Barcelona in April

  • Holy Week (Semana Santa) – Holy Week is celebrated throughout Spain (and many other countries) from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, which typically falls in early to mid-April, April 9 – April 15 in 2017. In this region of the country, there are some unique Easter traditions which include the “Mona,” a whimsical chocolate and pastry treat that’s given in the same way Easter eggs are given out elsewhere. On Palm Sunday, palm leaves are blessed in the Basilica Sagrada Familia, and in the famous Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona, the celebration includes a hollowed-out egg shell known as l’ou com balla, which is placed on top of a fountain to bob around and “dance.” During the Easter procession, you’ll see hundreds of people carrying statues of Maria and Jesus under the accompanied drum rolls and trumpet statues through Barcelona’s old town.
  • Festival of St. Jordi – This day is akin to Catalonia’s version of Valentine’s Day. Saint George, or St. Jordi in Catalan, is the patron saint of Catalonia. A day of roses and books, men give a single red rose to the significant women in their lives – but not just their girlfriends and wives, it includes mothers and sisters too. In return, women give the men books. On this very colorful day in Catalonia, there are thousands of rose-sellers in the streets and bookshops set up in open-air stalls along major thoroughfares.
  • Feast of Virgin of Montserrat – On April 27 each year, hundreds of people take a trip into the nearby mountains to the Santa Maria abbey in order to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Montserrat. One of the only black images of the Virgin Mary in Europe, the Virgin of Montserrat is the patron saint of all dioceses in Catalonia and along with Sant Jordi is considered the patron saint of the territory. The abbey, located about a 30-minute drive from the city, celebrates with a mass inside and numerous traditional activities in the main square, including live music, groups dancing the traditional Catalan dance, food stalls and more.

Barcelona in May

  • Formula 1 – The Cucuit de Catalunya, located about 20 kilometers north of Barcelona near Montmelo, hosts the Barcelona Formula 1 race, which takes place over three days every year in mid-May, May 13-15 in 2016. This is a great opportunity to see some of the best Formula 1 drivers in the world compete in one of the most important races.
  • Corpus Christi – This day honoring the Holy Eucharist falls in late May or June, on May 26 in 2016. During this festival, solemn processions can be seen through the city, and the streets of Sitges are blanketed with flowers.
  • Sant Ponc – As part of the celebrations honoring the patron saint of beekeepers and herbal specialists, on May 11, an herb fair in Carrer de l’Hospital, features stands with fresh herbs and spices, flowers, honey, fruits, wines, aromatic oils, cakes and other sweets.

Barcelona in June

  • Primavera Sound – Held during the first week of June, from June 1-5 in 2016, Primavera Sound is the world’s biggest indie and alternative music festival. Events take place mainly in Barcelona’s Parc del Form, and are complemented by a large number of concerts at various venues in the Raval neighborhood.
  • Sonar Festival – This three-day electronic and advanced music festival held annually in mid-June (June 16-18, 2016), is the biggest of its kind in Europe.
  • El Grec Barcelona – El Grec, or The Greek, is one of the city’s most anticipated festivals of the year. It encompasses music, dance, theatre, flamenco, film and even the circus. The series begins in June, reaches its peak in July and goes on into August.
  • Nit de Sant Joan – Sant Joan is celebrated on June 23, and is one of the city’s biggest and noisiest parties. It features fiery activities, including fireworks that are set off from balconies, in the streets and in the squares, while bonfires are lit along the beachfront. Lots of cava, Barcelona’s favorite drink, is consumed, and many people take their first dip of the year into the sea at dawn.
  • Pride Barcelona – This annual week-long gay pride event in late June features concerts, drag shows, film screenings, art shows and open-air dance parties complete with foam, culminating with a festival parade along Carrer de Sepulveda.

Barcelona in July

  • Rock Fest Barcelona – Rock Fest Barcelona is a heavy metal rock festival that just came onto the scene in 2014, but it’s quickly becoming one of the world’s biggest and best of its kind. Held over three days in mid-July, July 15-17 in 2016, it features nearly 40 bands, with 2016’s lineup showcasing bands like Iron Maiden, Slayer, Anthrax, Michael Schenker and Twisted Sister.
  • Sala Montjuic – Held at Barcelona’s Castell de Montjuic, with the grassy moat of the castle transformed into an outdoor cinema, this outdoor film festival kicks off on July 1 and features a blend of recent independent films along with classics that are shown three times a week through August 5.
  • Festa Major del Raval – The Raval area hosts this annual summer festa in mid- to late July, which features more than 40 events, including concerts, dances, traditional Catalan parades and more.
  • Festival Cruilla Barcelona – This mid-July festival, which will take place over July 8-10 in 2016, is an eclectic festival that includes everything from electronica acts and Jamaican music to rock and pop, African and R&B. 2016’s event will include artists like Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes, Cat Power, Damien Rice and Love of Lesbian.

Barcelona in August

  • Festa Major de Gracia – This week-long festival held in the neighborhood of Gracia in early to mid-August, features outdoor concerts, dances and a host of other festivities. Elaborate decorations based on various themes like the solar system, marine life or local politics can be seen hanging throughout the streets.
  • Circuit Festival – Held in Barcelona over two weeks in the first half of August, this is the largest international gay and lesbian event in the world. It features non-stop parties, music, workshops, film festivals, literary readings, sporting events like beach volleyball and football tournaments, debates and more.
  • Festa de Sant Roc – Barcelona’s oldest festival, Festa de Sant Roc, has been celebrated every year since 1589. Centering around the Placa Nova in front of the cathedral in mid-August, it features plenty of Catalan traditions like parades with fat heads and giants, 19th-century street games, sea shanty singing groups, dancing, fireworks and more. It also hosts two must-see contests, one of which involves people walking over a greasy pole known as the “la cucanya,” and the other, “glops amb el porro llarg,” includes competitors drinking wine from a gigantic version of a wine carafe.

Barcelona in September

  • La Diada de Catalunya (National Day of Catalonia) – Celebrating the region’s autonomy on September 11 each year, this is Catalonia’s most historically and politically significant holiday. The day-long festival marks the day Barcelona was besieged by Spanish and French troops in 1714 during the War of Succession. Organized demonstrations typically meet at the Fossar de les Moreres where they pay homage to the defenders of the city who died during the siege. A number of cultural events are held in most Catalan villages, and many of the locals wave or display the Senyera, which is the flag of Catalonia.
  • Barcelona BAM Music Festival – BAM, which means “Musical Action Barcelona,” promotes some of the best independent artists from folk, rock and pop to indie and electronic. It’s held in late September at various venues throughout the city.
  • Festes de la Merce – Honoring Our Lady of Merce (La Merc), Barcelona’s patron saint, this four-day celebration held around September 24 features free music concerts from contemporary to traditional, that are held in the plazas, including Placa Sant Jaume and Placa de Catalunya, as well as a run, harbor swimming race, parades and Catalan dances.

Barcelona in October

  • Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival – This long-running festival kicks off in early October and runs through most of December, featuring everything from local and national artists to world-famous musicians.
  • Dia de la Hispanitat – This national day that commemorates Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the New World has become controversial in Catalonia, which means the only events that generally take place are demonstrations, or occasionally a low-key celebration organized by people who come from other regions of the country.
  • Barcelona International Boat Show – Billed as a not-to-be-missed event for sea lovers, this boat show features 670 boats that are on display along with 150 yachts and super-yachts that are on the water. Activities include surfing, windsurfing, paddle surfing, kayaking and dinghy sailing in the “beach fun zone,” a wave pool, radio-controlled sailing, a “nautical night” with music and tasting sessions, and much more.
  • Halloween – Although Halloween is not a Catalan or Spanish tradition, the day has become embraced in Barcelona and throughout the country much as it has in many other parts of the world with fancy dress parties and costume contests. Kids also go trick-or-treating, but it’s called “Truco o Trato” here.

Barcelona in November

  • All Saints’ Day – This public holiday on November 1, called “Tots Sants” in Catalan, is celebrated by friends and relatives laying flowers on the graves of their loved ones who’ve died. Here, you can also enjoy the Catalan tradition of La Castanyada, which means chestnut time. It includes eating roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, cakes called panellets and drinking muscatel wine. Stalls are set up selling these items throughout Barcelona streets.
  • Eurocon – This annual science fiction convention is held in early November, November 4-6 in 2016 in the heart of Barcelona at the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona.

Barcelona in December

  • Christmas Market – In mid-December, a huge open-air market known as Fira de Santa Lucia opens in the streets around the main cathedral. It features all sorts of Christmas decorations and handmade crafts, trees, and figurines for nativity dioramas called pessebres. The market runs through January 6.
  • Placa de Catalunya Christmas Festival – Starting about a week before Christmas and running for two weeks, the central square in Barcelona hosts a Christmas festival that features a light and sound show as well as a variety of activities and workshops for all ages.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – In Spain, Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25 with gift-giving and a Christmas lunch. Everyone is welcome to attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, held at the Santa Maria del Mar church. Just before midnight, you’ll hear a Gregorian chant, “El cant de la Sibil·la,” performed in the Catalan language.
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31st brings parties that are held throughout the city, with the main event taking place at Montjuic’s Magic Fountain. The party is free and starts at 11pm with a spectacular music, light and water show. At midnight, 12 bells chime and then the fireworks show begins, finishing up about half-past midnight.

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Best Time to Visit Koh Samui

Updated: October 21, 2017

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When is the best time of year to visit Koh Samui?

  • Best Time for Swimming and Suntanning: Late December to April has great weather, little rain, and lots of sun. From May to September there’s still plenty of sun but you will get some rain – usually brief showers in the afternoon or night. October and November are the rainiest months when good beach weather can be hard to find.
  • Best Time for Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, and Day Trips to Angthong Marine Park: Koh Samui is not known for its snorkeling or scuba diving but day trips to Koh Tao are popular. The best time for diving on Koh Tao is anytime outside of November and early December with March, April, and May the best months to see huge whalesharks. Kayaking trips to Angthong Marine Park are also a highlight of a trip to Koh Samui and they’re best from late December to September with the park being closed every year in November and early December.
  • Best Time to Save Money: Visiting during the rainy months of October and November will certainly get you some great deals on hotels. While the weather can be stormy during this period sunny days are still possible. A better mix of good weather and prices is found during the months of April, May, and June. These months are hot and humid but very sunny and not a lot of tourists.
  • High Season (late December, January, July and August): Great beach weather. Sunny and warm but not blazingly hot like April and May. Expect some rain but it usually passes quickly. Book hotels months in advance – especially for the weeks around Christmas and New Years.
  • Shoulder Season (February, March, April, May, June, September, early December): Great beach weather with February and March being the 2 driest and sunniest months to visit Koh Samui.
  • Low Season (October and November): The rainiest months of the year but it’s still possible to have a string of nice days.

Koh Samui Weather by Month

Temperature by Month (high in Celsius)
Koh Samui Temperature by Month

Rain by Month (mm)
Koh Samui Rain by Month

  • January Weather on Koh Samui: Great beach weather with lots of sun and little rain. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Rainfall: 40mm. Days with Rain: 7)
  • February Weather on Koh Samui: Great beach weather. February and March are the sunniest and driest months on Koh Samui. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 10mm. Days with Rain: 5)
  • March Weather on Koh Samui: Great beach weather with many dry sunny days. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 10mm. Days with Rain: 4)
  • April Weather on Koh Samui: Great beach weather with lots of sun and little rain. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Rainfall: 70mm. Days with Rain: 5)
  • May Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Sunny but more rain and humidity. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Rainfall: 180mm. Days with Rain: 9)
  • June Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Hot, humid, and some rain. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Rainfall: 100mm. Days with Rain: 9)
  • July Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Hot, humid, and some rain. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Rainfall: 130mm. Days with Rain: 10)
  • August Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Hot, humid, and some rain. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Rainfall: 110mm. Days with Rain: 9)
  • September Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Hot, humid, and some rain. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 190mm. Days with Rain: 11)
  • October Weather on Koh Samui: Lots of rain but there will still be some sunny days. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 260mm. Days with Rain: 15)
  • November Weather on Koh Samui: The rainiest month of the year. Lots of rain but nice beach weather is still possible. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Rainfall: 290mm. Days with Rain: 16)
  • December Weather on Koh Samui: Good beach weather. Some rain at the beginning of the month but sunny dry days are the norm after December 20. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Rainfall: 90mm. Days with Rain: 8)

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The Best Time to Visit New York City

Updated: October 21, 2017

Helpful and Recommended

When’s the best time to visit New York City?

When To Visit New York City – Summary

  • The best time to visit New York City is from April to June and September to early November when the weather is mild and pleasant but the tourist crowds are not overwhelming. The cheapest time to visit New York is on weekends from mid-January to the end of February. My favorite month in New York is September.
  • Best Time for Good Weather: May to October though July and August can be hot and humid.
  • Best Time for Sightseeing: April, May, June, September, October, and early November
  • Best Time for Honeymoon: May, June, September, and October
  • Best Time for Nightlife: Year round
  • Best Time for Saving Money: January and February
  • Best Time to See Shows: It’s easiest to find show tickets during the quieter months of January and February, and in the early fall after the summer tourists have gone home. 2-for-1 tickets to over twenty of Broadway’s most popular shows are available during Broadway Week, held twice yearly in September and January. Summer travelers will have the best luck over the Fourth of July weekend, which generally sees a massive drop in ticket sales. Show tickets are hardest to come by during the last two weeks of the year, when blockbusters are reliably and constantly sold out. The Broadway season starts in September, making that month a great time to score tickets to new shows that haven’t yet generated a lot of buzz. (Tickets to these same shows can be a lot harder to come by in May and June, after the Tony Award nominees have been announced.) Theaters are typically closed on Mondays (though there are plenty of exceptions), and travelers hoping to attend a live TV show taping should note that many late night shows go on hiatus in mid-to-late August and April.
  • Best Time for Shopping: Shopping bargains can be found year round in New York City. Sale season at high end boutiques occurs twice annually, in November-December and April-May while outlet stores like Century 21, Loehmann’s, and Filene’s Basement offer discounted designer goods daily. Other retailers stick to a pretty dependable seasonal schedule: fall and winter items get discounted in November and December, with spring apparel at lowest prices in April and May, and summer clothing sales beginning around July Fourth. The combination of post-holiday sales and January’s slight dip in tourism make that month great for finding deals across the board in shopping, hotel rates, and airfare. International travelers take note: you receive a 10% discount at Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Lord & Taylor all year long – just show your passport and ask for it.
  • Best Time for Museums: Expect museums to be at their most crowded during the holiday rush surrounding Christmas and New Year’s. Because museums are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the heavily-travelled days around them can be particularly packed. The slight lull in tourism in January and February means quieter galleries and shorter lines. Special exhibitions are commonly debuted in the early fall, once the summer throngs have subsided, making October a great time to explore New York City museums and galleries.
  • Best Time for Restaurants: Along with the slow mid-winter tourism months, reservations at New York’s best restaurants can be surprisingly easy to come by in July and August, when locals escape the city on the weekends. December travelers, on the other hand, will find it all but impossible to get a good table without reserving well in advance. Great deals and special menus can be found at more than 300 of the city’s finest eateries during New York’s Restaurant Week, held twice annually in late January/early February and late July/early August.
  • Best Time for Holiday Displays: Stores along 5th Avenue begin unveiling their holiday window displays in mid-November, with all decorations up by Thanksgiving. The spectacular tree at Rockefeller Center isn’t lit until the Wednesday following Thanksgiving, when tourism crowds are at their peak. Those looking to enjoy New York’s holiday cheer would do best to visit during the week before Christmas, when festivity is high but hotel and airfare rates take a slight dip. Decorations and displays stay up through early January.
  • Best Time for Kids and Families: Summer is a particularly popular time for families to visit New York City. While there’s not the tourism lull you’ll find in January and February, crowds are much thinner than during the school holidays that surround Thanksgiving and Christmas, and airfare and hotel rates will be lower. The city offers loads for kids to do during the summer, from outdoor concerts and movies (many of them free) to bike rental, boating, and playgrounds in Central Park. While the busy holiday season can be magical for kids, the hordes of travelers can make Times Square overwhelming – and impossible to navigate with a stroller.
  • Best time to avoid crowds: The deep winter months of January through early March offer your best chance to see the city without being mobbed by tourists, though you’ll trade lower airfare and hotel rates for frigid temperatures. Despite the increase in family tourism, the summer months can also be surprisingly quiet in New York, as many locals head for the coast. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are best bets for calmer crowds minus the cold.

New York Travel Seasons

  • High Season (June-August & November-December): Vacationing families and European travelers on extended holiday make the summer months one of the most popular times to visit New York. Many locals leave the city during this time, however, which means that it can feel less crowded even while tourism is high. The Thanksgiving-New Year holiday season is a huge draw for tourists, festivity is high and the city is at its most packed. During both of these busy tourism periods, expect airfare and hotel rates to be at their peak and availability to be low. Book well in advance. See Also: The Best NYC Hotels
  • Shoulder Season (March-May & September-October): Though tourism isn’t quite peaking during these months, they are still incredibly popular times to visit New York. Mild weather makes the spring and fall seasons ideal for exploring the city on foot, whether to a backdrop of blooms and open air markets in the springtime, or the changing colors of Central Park trees in the fall. High prices and low availability for both flights and hotels is to be expected.
  • Low Season (January-Early March): New York City is at its quietest during these cold mid-winter months, when snow is common and temperatures hover between 1 and 4°C. Hotel occupancy rates dip below 90%, and restaurant reservations and theater tickets are easier to come by. The drop in temperature means a drop in both airfare and hotel rates, which makes this a great time to visit the city if you’re looking for a bargain and are not bothered by a little cold.
  • New York City Weather by Month

    New York Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
    Best time to visit New York City for the best weather and most sun.

    New York Rain by Month (mm)
    Best time to visit New York City for the least amount of rain.

  • New York City Weather in January: January is New York’s coldest month. Temperatures range from -12°to 4°C, generally hovering around 3°C. Snow is likely around this time, quickly becoming slush on sidewalk and street corners – warm clothes and waterproof boots are a must. (Average Max Temperature: 3.1°C. Average Precipitation: 81mm.)
  • New York City Weather in February: February remains cold, with the average daytime high creeping up to 4.2°C. Snow still common, and the days remain short: New York City sunset is around 5:30 in February. (Average Max Temperature: 4.2°C. Average Precipitation: 77mm.)
  • New York City Weather in March: March is a bit of a mixed bag in New York City, feeling sometimes like winter and at other times spring-like. Cold and snow are still common, though less likely toward the end of March. You’ll want to pack warm clothes, but may be surprised by not needing them. (Average Max Temperature: 8.9°C. Average Precipitation: 91mm.)
  • New York City Weather in April: Snow in April is rare in New York City, though still possible – especially around the beginning of the month. Any snow the city gets won’t last long, however. Average temperatures range from 7 to 18°C, spring rain showers are common, and flowers are up and blooming by the end of the month. (Average Max temperature: 14.6°C. Average Precipitation: 99mm.)
  • New York City Weather in May: May is one of New York City’s loveliest months. The temperature ranges from 10-26°C, so it’s usually warm but not hot, and without the humidity that you’ll find during the summer months. Flowers are blooming, trees are leafing out, and it’s a wonderful time of year to explore the city’s many parks. (Average Max Temperature: 19.8°C. Average Precipitation: 96mm.)
  • New York City Weather in June: June days grow warmer as summer approaches, though it’s usually not too hot or humid to comfortably enjoy being outdoors. Shorts and sandal season is in full swing, and the month’s long days (the sun sets around 8:30pm) are perfect for catching an outdoor concert or ballgame at Yankee Stadium – barring the occasional rainstorm. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 92mm.)
  • New York City Weather in July: The hottest month of the year, expect temperatures to range from 21-35°C, with an average high of 28.2°C. The humidity is on the rise as well, especially as August nears, though ample shade from trees and tall buildings means it’s usually not so uncomfortable that you can’t enjoy a walk in the park, or lunch or dinner in a sidewalk café. Expect quieter streets as locals have head for the cooler coast. (Average Max Temperature: 28.2°C. Average Precipitation: 97mm.)
  • New York City Weather in August: Though July is NYC’s hottest month by temperature, August is the most humid. It is truly sticky in the city this month, with the climbing daytime humidity often bringing late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms – but don’t worry, they blow over quickly. Temperatures can be a full 10° hotter in the subways, so it’s a good idea to consider a taxi as you make your way from one air-conditioned attraction to the next. (Average Max Temperature: 27.7°C. Average Precipitation: 87mm.)
  • New York City Weather in September: September is a flux month in New York, and the weather varies wildly as the city transitions from summer heat and humidity into crisp autumn. Temperatures range from 21-27°C until mid-month, with cooler air settling in as October approaches. Because summer’s humidity has gone, even September’s warmest days are perfect for outdoor activities and seeing the city on foot. (Average Max Temperature: 23.9°C. Average Precipitation: 84mm.)
  • New York City Weather in October: Traditionally New York’s driest month of the year, October boasts mild to chilly temperatures and crisp autumn air. Temps range from 10-20°C, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket – though you might not need it. The changing fall leaves and comfortable temperature range lead many folks to consider this a perfect time to see New York. (Average Max Temperature 18.2°C. Average Precipitation: 73mm.)
  • New York City Weather in November: Days are getting shorter, chillier, and rainier. A jacket is essential, and a hat and gloves are a good idea. It’s not unusual to see snow flurries by the end of the month, though accumulation is unlikely at this point. (Average Max Temperature: 12.1°C. Average Precipitation: 92mm.)
  • New York City Weather in December: Winter arrives in New York, with cold temperatures, snow, and holiday crowds. Wind and temperatures can be bitingly cold. Days are short – expect the sun to set around 4:30pm mid-month – giving visitors ample time to view the city’s twinkling seasonal lights. (Average Max Temperature: 5.9°C. Average Precipitation: 87mm.)
  • New York City Events and Festivals

    January in New York

    • Winter Jazzfest NYC — Over 100 acts at 11 venues in and around Greenwich Village.
    • Broadway Week — 2-for-1 tickets for over 20 of Broadway’s most popular shows.
    • NYC Restaurant Week — Three-course dining deals for lunch and dinner at over 300 of the city’s best eateries.

    February in New York

    March in New York

    • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — Clowns, gymnasts, aerialists, and performing animals make camp in Madison Square Garden when the Greatest Show on Earth comes to New York, kicked off by the annual elephant parade through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.
    • St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Bands, bagpipers, and politicians march up Fifth Avenue past Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in this 250 year old annual celebration of Irish heritage.

    April in New York

    • Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival — An unorganized Easter Sunday celebration of fancy hats and outlandish accessories. Fashionable and festive folk stroll Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th, and the rest of us experience some great people-watching.
    • Tribeca Film Festival — Celebration and judged competition of independent film, including panel discussions, a family festival street fair, and thousands of independent, documentary, and foreign film screenings across lower Manhattan.

    May in New York

    • Ninth Avenue International Food Festival — Ethnic cuisine, international music and dance, and more than a million hungry festival goers in Hell’s Kitchen between 42nd and 57th Streets.
    • Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit — Hundreds of local and international artists and artisans hawk their wares at this massive sidewalk art fair over Memorial Day weekend.
    • Fleet Week — The Hudson River Parade of Ships kicks off a week of musical performances, military demonstrations, and Memorial Day observances that celebrate the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

    June in New York

    • Belmont Stakes — Annual thoroughbred horse race that is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. Held in Belmont Park, about 14 miles east of Manhattan.
    • Pride Festival and March — GLBT pride celebration and civil rights rally with floats, bands, dancing and celebratory parade from Fifth Avenue and 36th Street to the West Village. Ends in the ultimate bash on Hudson Street, from 14th Street to Abingdon Square.
    • Shakespeare in the Park (June/July) — Tickets are free (2 per person), but you’ll have to line up at the box office before noon to score seats to these extremely popular Public Theater shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

    July in New York

    • Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks — This spectacular display over the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge draws crowds of thousands each year, and is viewable from many locations in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn and Queens.
    • Bastille Day on 60th Street — Annual celebration of French food, culture, and entertainment, held the Sunday before July 14th. On 60th Street, between Lexington and 15th Avenues, on the Upper East Side.
    • NYC Restaurant Week — Three-course dining deals for lunch ($25) and dinner ($38) at over 300 of the city’s best eateries.
    • Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival (July/August) — Three weeks of world class music and dance performances, free and under the stars, in the plazas of Lincoln Center.

    August in New York

    • New York International Fringe Festival — 16 day long fringe theater and multi-arts festival: 1300 performances by over 200 multi-multinational companies at over 20 stages around Midtown Manhattan.

    September in New York

    • U.S. Open — American tennis pros compete in this two week long championship tournament held in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
    • Electric Zoo Festival — Electronic Dance Music festival held over Labor Day weekend, featuring top international DJs and live acts from around the world. Takes place on Randall’s Island.
    • Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit — Hundreds of local and international artists and artisans hawk their wares at this massive sidewalk art fair over Labor Day weekend.
    • Broadway Week — 2-for-1 tickets for over 20 of Broadway’s most popular shows.
    • New York Fall Fashion Week — The fashion industry converges on Lincoln Center, where the best designers in the world show off their spring collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties.
    • New York Film Festival (September/October) — The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual fall celebration of cinema, showing critically acclaimed international works and Hollywood premiers at various Lincoln Center event halls.

    October in New York

    • Columbus Day Parade — New York’s yearly celebration of Italian-American heritage, with floats and bands traversing Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd Streets. Held the second Monday in October.
    • Open House New York — A weekend-long architecture and design event, in which over 300 usually off-limit historic buildings and architecturally important sites are opened to the public for touring. Generally free, with some sites requiring advanced registration and a cover charge. Takes place across all five boroughs.
    • Village Halloween Parade — Halloween night festival and parade, featuring floats, circus performers, musical acts, fantastic giant-sized puppets, and over two million annual spectators. Runs along 6th Avenue, from Spring to 16th streets in Greenwich Village.

    November in New York

    • New York City Marathon — The world’s largest and most popular marathon event. Over 50,000 runners from around the world wind their way through all five New York boroughs on the first Sunday in November.
    • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — Over 3 million spectators line the streets as hundreds of floats, marching bands, dancers, celebrity performers, giant balloons, and of course Santa Claus usher in the holiday season along Central Park West and through the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
    • Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony — After a celebrity-studded holiday show and in front of thousands of spectators, Rockefeller Plaza’s iconic Christmas tree is set aglow. Held the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

    December in New York

    • Ice Skating Rinks — The Rink at Rockefeller Center is the most iconic and has the longest lines. Wollman Rink in Central Park is the largest and has the best view. The rink at Bryant Park is free (with skate rental fee) and adjacent to the park’s festive holiday market.
    • Holiday Window Displays — Department stores on and around Fifth Avenue get decked out for the holidays starting in mid-November, and stay dressed up through the New Year. Best seen after sundown for maximum festive effect.
    • The Nutcracker — So many to choose from. Take your pick between the classic George Balanchine show put on by the New York City Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky’s contemporary American Ballet Theatre interpretation, or any of the other dozens of traditional and themed versions performed annually around the city.
    • Radio City Christmas Spectacular — The Radio City Rockettes star in this ultimate and iconic holiday extravaganza, a New York City tradition since 1933. Shows from mid-November through New Year’s at Rockefeller Center’s Radio City Music Hall.
    • New Year’s Eve at Times Square — Two performance stages and hourly fireworks displays entertain the reveling masses from 6pm until the famous ball drops at midnight. On Broadway, between 40th and 53rd Streets.
    • New Year’s Eve Fireworks — Ooh and aaah at the big display in Central Park (set off near Bathesda Fountain), or head east to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to hang with the mellower crowd. Both spots have live music starting at 10pm, with fireworks welcoming the New Year at midnight.

    NYC Tickets and Tours to Book in Advance

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Best Time To Visit Amsterdam

Updated: October 21, 2017

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When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time for enjoying the sights of Amsterdam without worries of others getting in the way of your view, is in late autumn and throughout most of the winter months. Of course, you’ll need to bundle up as it will be cold, and likely wet, but it may be well-worth it for the more peaceful experience. If that sounds a bit too chilly for your liking, consider coming between mid-September and mid-October, when crowds are few, but you’ll enjoy a better chance for sunny skies. The worst time for sightseeing is during the summer, when lines for the most popular attractions can mean a very long (sometimes as much as three hours) and sweaty wait.
  • Best Time to See the Tulips: Visit Amsterdam in mid-April if you hope to see the tulips at their colorful peak. The season extends between late March and mid-May, but the middle of April typically brings the most prolific blossoms. Of course, this all depends on the weather, which can be difficult if not impossible to predict.
  • Best Time for Shopping: Retailers in Amsterdam, and many other European cities, don’t put on big sales throughout the year, or even at the end of each season. Here, January and July are the months to shop, as that’s when the stores offer the most dramatic discounts as they clear out inventory. You’ll see store windows advertising UITVERKOOP OPRUIMING, which means “clearance sale.” You’ll have to bump elbows with countless other bargain hunters to get the best deals, especially in July, but with discounts up to 70%, it’s usually worth it. Keep in mind that the earlier you visit during the sale, the more choices you’re likely to have, but going closer to the end of the sale brings the biggest discounts.
  • Best Time to Visit the Anne Frank House: If the Anne Frank House is the No. 1 to-do on your itinerary, visit in the winter (other than around the holidays) if at all possible. In the summer, it’s not uncommon to be stuck waiting in line for three hours, which is especially miserable on a hot and humid afternoon. If you don’t have a choice, timing your visit right is a must. Come before it opens, getting in line by about 8:30am, which should get you inside in about an hour.
  • Best Time to Visit the Red Light District: Many tourists are curious about the Red Light District in Amsterdam, and just want to get a glimpse of what it’s all about. If that’s you, the best time to go all year round is in the early evening when you can see the glow of the red lights reflected in the dark canals, but it’s not too crowded yet. For those looking to participate, it’s possible to experience it 24 hours a day, although most of the action is from 9pm onward in the summer, and after 6pm in the winter.

Amsterdam Travel Seasons

  • High Season (April through August, mid-December through early January): Summer is the peak of high season, though the months of April and May, while slightly less crowded downtown, are still considered to be part of high season, due to the influx of tourists that arrive to experience the blooming tulips and other flowers. The weather is likely to be pleasant, but by the end of May, you’ll need to be prepared to wait in long lines for popular attractions, and bumping elbows with the hordes of tourists in congested areas of town. When it comes to accommodation, you’ll likely pay too much for too little, as hotels are able to charge their top rates. Around the Christmas holidays, just before Christmas through New Year’s, expect rates and crowds to peak again.
  • Shoulder Season (March, September): While March and September can be a gamble when it comes to the weather (go in late March or early September and you’ll fair better), you’re more likely to find some discounted rates, and less likely to have to battle thick crowds.
  • Low Season (November through mid-December, mid-January through February): With the dismal grey, cool weather during the winter months, accommodation rates are at their lowest, noticeably dropping, and you may be able to get cheaper airfare too. Still, you’ll find plenty of indoor attractions, and far fewer tourists than there were during the summer, making this a good time to be here for many, depending upon what you have on your own particular agenda. It’s beautiful when snowy nights blanket the city, and in early February, if the canals have frozen, you can watch the locals glide across the ice – or even join them yourself.

Amsterdam Weather by Month

  • Amsterdam Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Amsterdam, with average temperatures hovering around 3°C. Coupled with the winds that blow through the various canals, it can feel quite a bit colder than what the mercury actually reads. Still, as long as you’re dressed appropriately, you’ll be able to enjoy walking around the city most of the time. There may be some rain, as 69mm falls over eight days, and quite a few gray, gloomy days, from time to time there will be at least of few hours of blue, cloudless skies. Snow is a possibility, but when Amsterdam is covered in white, it’s especially beautiful. What can be more challenging, is the short days, with sunrise at 8:51am and sunset just after 4:30pm on January 1st. The later in the month you arrive, the longer the day will be – by January’s end, the sun will make an appearance at about 8:30am, dipping below the horizon about 5:30pm. When packing, focus on warm clothing, including sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, a winter coat and warm, waterproof boots. Bringing along thermal underwear, gloves and a scarf are also a good idea for those extra chilly days. You’ll also want to dress in layers so that you can easily peel some items off, as restaurants, coffee houses and most attractions will be cozily warm. (Average Max Temperature: 5°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in February: February is slightly warmer than January, with the average high temperature increasing to 8°C, but at the same time, the average low takes a two degree dip to below freezing at -1°C, and combined with the fog and occasional winds, you can expect it to feel colder than the thermometer reads both day and night. February is a little drier, with 39mm of precipitation, though sunlight is still at a premium due to the frequent grey skies and short days. Be prepared by packing as you would for last month, with warm winter clothing, including thermals and other items that will allow you to dress in layers. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 39mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in March: With spring just around the corner, the weather is gradually warming this month, although cold snaps aren’t uncommon. Still, when precipitation falls, it’s usually in the form or rain rather than snow. The average temperature climbs noticeably to 6°C, with nicer afternoons reaching as high as 9°C, though the weather in Amsterdam can be erratic, especially in March, experiencing all four seasons in the same week – and sometimes the same day. As the month progresses, there is more sun, and more daylight, with sunset at about 8:15pm by March’s end, thanks in part to Daylight Savings Time. Plan on bringing warm clothing and dressing in layers, as most of the month is still technically winter and is likely to feel that way, though the later you arrive, the more likely you are to need your sunglasses. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 78mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in April: Spring has finally arrived, generally bringing a warming trend along with more dry spells – on average, just 36mm of rain falls this month. The sun comes back in a big way now, with fewer gloomy days and average high temperatures increasing to 12°C, while overnight lows are now well above freezing, averaging at 4°C. You can leave your heavy winter coat behind now as a light jacket and a sweater should suffice, though a scarf might be appreciated for days spent on or around the water. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 38mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in May: May brings noticeably warmer weather, with average highs increasing five degrees to 17°C and most days hovering around 12°C. This is one of the sunniest months in Amsterdam, with some 10 hours of sunshine a day, and by month’s end, the sun won’t go down until almost 10pm. It’s unlikely to feel truly hot, however, and evenings are still cool with low temps averaging 8°C. A light jacket is all you’ll need for after dark and chillier days, but bring your short-sleeved shirts and even a pair of shorts or a summery dress for those especially nice days. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 45mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in June: As summer starts to roll in, it’s mostly t-shirts and shorts weather in Amsterdam, with average afternoon highs of 19°C, but if you’re coming from an especially warm climate, it’s still likely to feel fairly cool. Rain is on the increase again with 69mm of precipitation in June, but as it’s generally spread out over just nine days, you can expect plenty of sunshine too. This month tends to be a mixed bag, with lots of sun interspersed with gray days and brief showers. Plan accordingly, by bringing some summer clothing, along with a light jacket or sweater for the evening as well as long pants and some long-sleeved shirts, just in case. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in July: July is one of the hottest months in Amsterdam, and while the highest temperature ever recorded was 32°C, on most days you’ll enjoy temperatures in the upper teens and low 20s. Combined with the high humidity, however, it can feel quite a bit hotter. This is the time when locals head to the beach, with the waters along the coast warmer now, averaging around 17°C, making it more enjoyable to participate in water sports and other activities. Although there is about 63mm of rain, when it does fall, it’s usually light and brief. Temperatures cool to around 13°C at night, so a light sweater or jacket is still a good idea if you’ll be out and about after dark. Otherwise, short-sleeved tops, dresses and shorts are standard attire. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 63mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in August: August is similar to July, also bringing high temps of 21°C, although things tend to be a bit more fickle – some years this month is characterized by lots of warm sunny, days and others there will be more cloudy days and rain. Although it is one of the hottest months in the city, it’s unlikely to ever feel scorching hot here, and you can usually count on at least some rain to cool things off with 54mm of precipitation over 11 days. Pack your summer wear including shorts or skirts, t-shirts and a bathing suit for dips in the sea, as the water will be as warm as it will all year at 18°C. You will still need a few warmer clothes for going out during the cooler evening hours, including long pants and a light jacket. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 54mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in September: The weather begins to change again in September, which is typically one of the wetter months of the year in Amsterdam, with an average of 75mm of precipitation over 10 days, though much of it will be in the form of light rain and perhaps a rare thunderstorm. The sun doesn’t come out as often, however, as much of the time heavy clouds will pervade city skies. The amount of daylight diminishes too, with sunset nearly three hours earlier than it was in June – 7:19pm by month’s end. On most days, temperatures will be a fairly pleasant 15°C to 16°C, occasionally getting as warm as 18°C in the afternoon. Bring a light rain jacket and plan for mildly warm and cool days as well as even cooler evenings with overnight lows now down to 11°C, and you’ll be well-prepared. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average precipitation: 75mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in October: October weather in Amsterdam can best be summed up as inconsistent. It can be nice and sunny one moment and grey and rainy the next. Sometimes it’s warm enough to enjoy lunch at an outdoor café, and at other times, it feels like winter has already kicked in. Average temperatures are around 11°C, with highs averaging 15°C, and precipitation picks up just a bit to 84mm that falls over nine days, in the form of mostly light rain. You’re unlikely to need your summer wear now, but bring a couple of short-sleeved shirts for those wonderfully rare sunny afternoons that you’ll want to be sure to take advantage of – the amount of daylight decreases even further, with the sun dipping below the horizon at about 5:15pm on October 31st, as the clocks change backward this month. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 84mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in November: November is officially the wettest month of the year, bringing an average of 90mm of precipitation, much of it as drizzle or light rain, but toward the end of the month as temperatures drop, snow flurries are possible, though short-lived. The average temperature dips to 9°C, and overnight lows are around 4°C, making this a wet and chilly month to be in Amsterdam, but provided you bring layers, along with a waterproof jacket, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy exploring the city. When packing keep in mind that you could very well experience a day or two of sunny skies and pleasant temperatures – or you could be in for the other extreme, a frigid night of -10 °C. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 90mm.)
  • Amsterdam Weather in December: You’ll need your warm winter coat, a scarf, gloves and thermal underwear for a trip to Amsterdam in December. Temperatures average around 4°C, with averages highs just two degrees warmer, and overnight lows of 3°C – which means, no matter what time of day or night, it’s likely to be cold, though brutally cold weather that’s well below freezing is still rare. Most days are not only dark, their short, with just three hours of sunshine a day, and sunset around 4:30pm throughout the month. Precipitation decreases from last month, with 69mm of rain on average over seven days (Average Max Temperature: 6°C. Average precipitation: 69mm.)

Amsterdam Special Events by Month

Amsterdam in January

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st, New Year’s Day, is a public holiday, but you’ll find many restaurants and some museums and other attractions, including the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, open. As the January sales are beginning, it’s also a good time for bargain hunters and shopaholics to do some shopping. If you’re feeling brave and want to do what the Dutch do, start the year off by taking a New Year’s dive – the largest is held at the beach of Scheveningen, where more than 10,000 people plunge into the sea every year. If you don’t want to jump in yourself, it’s always fun to watch from the sidelines.
  • National Tulip Day – Traditionally held on the third Saturday of January every year, National Tulip Day brings approximately 200,000 tulips to Amsterdam’s Dam Square, creating a massive temporary garden that is open to the public for free for flower picking. More than 10,000 people come for the event, which means you’ll need to arrive early – usually at least an hour before the 1pm opening time, in order to pick your own.
  • Whisky Weekend Amsterdam – Over three-days in mid-January, Amsterdam’s Posthoornkerk becomes a tasting room and hot spot for whisky enthusiasts. Enjoy tastings and nosings along with whisky-friendly cheeses, a variety of Scottish products and traditional Scottish music.
  • Food Soul Festival – Held on the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of January each year, the Food Soul Festival brings together some of the city’s best food trucks serving dishes from all corners of the globe, along with wine, craft beers and music into the warmth of the Kromhouthal in Amsterdam Noord.

Amsterdam in February

  • Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year festivities take place at Dam Square over the weekend closest to the official New Year date on the Chinese calendar. Friday night kicks off the event with a firework display, and the weekend includes workshops, dragon dances, tea ceremonies and lots of food.
  • 24H Oost – On a weekend in mid-February, the diverse neighborhoods east of the River Amstel known as Amsterdam Oost, hosts a variety of workshops and guided tours, performances, music, food and drink.
  • Amsterdam Salsa Festival – Join salsa lovers over this annual weekend in mid-February where you can learn to salsa or brush up on your skills at a variety of workshops as well as take in performances by some of the world’s best salsa dancers.
  • Valentine’s Day – There are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Amsterdam, including taking a horse & carriage ride on the city’s cobblestone streets to one of the many restaurants serving special Valentine menus as well as embarking on a canal ride to see the illuminated waterways while enjoying dinner and drinks.

Amsterdam in March

  • 5 Days Off Festival – Held annually in early March over five days, 5 Days Off is known as one of Amsterdam’s best electronic music festivals. Taking place at the Melkweg and the Paradiso, it focuses on techno, house, electronica and beat music.
  • Pink Film Days – Roze Filmdagen, or Pink Film Days, is the largest film festival for LGBTQ films in the Netherlands. It’s been a prominent feature of Amsterdam’s gay and lesbian events calendar for over two decades. The festival includes 11 days of screenings in mid-March at the Ketelhuis cinema in Wetergasfabriek Cultuurpark.
  • 24H West – This event on Amsterdam’s west side takes place on the second weekend of March. This is when museums, theaters, clubs, shops and more open their doors to the public, hosting a variety of unique and sometimes unusual events, such as theatrical high tea at ZID theater and dancing all night to electronic beats at the Radion Weekender.
  • HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show – Popular with everyone who likes to get out on the water, this expo features hundreds of small and mid-sized boats, boating accessories, clinics and workshops as well as the chance to get hands-on through a variety of water activities. Those who are into wakeboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing and standup paddling will find something too.
  • St. Patrick’s Festival – Held on or around March 17th each year, the St. Patrick’s Festival is a one-day festival celebrating Irish culture with a focus on music. It showcases Irish traditional music as well as Irish music and musicians from other genres like pop, classical and jazz. Music workshops and Irish dancing are also included.

Amsterdam in April

  • Tulip Festival – Throughout the month of April, the tulip is celebrated at this festival which features more than a half-million colorful, and sometimes rare, tulips that can be viewed in the gardens of museums, private homes and a number of city institutions.
  • International PopArts Festival – This 10-day festival in mid-April takes places in a variety of venues, including several outdoor locations, with a full program of more than 30 performances, both nationally and from abroad.
  • Cherry Blossom Festival – This festival in early April celebrates the return of spring at Amsterdam Bos. Although it’s especially popular with Japanese expats, it draws a variety of locals and foreign visitors who can enjoy the blossoms as well as the traditional Japanese food and drink served in a festival tent.
  • King’s Day – This national holiday held on April 27 each year, is celebrated around the country to honor the King’s official birthday. Amsterdam hosts the biggest and best events including street fairs, parades and street entertainment. There are multiple dance parties throughout the city, catering to a wide range of tastes and music styles.

Amsterdam in May

  • Remembrance and Liberation Day – Remembrance and Liberation Day is celebrated annually on May 4. It initially began as a day to honor soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in World War II, but it now serves as a day to remember the fallen from other wars in addition to peacekeeping efforts. In Amsterdam, most businesses will be open, and a commemoration will take place at Dam Square, where the Queen places a wreath and leads the nation in two minutes of silence.
  • Rolling Kitchens – This yearly celebration of street food takes place on a long weekend around Ascension Day (the 40th day of Easter). Dozens of food trucks and mobile kitchens head to this culinary festival in the west of Amsterdam, where just about every type of cuisine is represented.
  • 909 Festival – Located in Amsterdam Bos, this intimate music event in the forest is focused on some of the world’s best techno sounds, attracting big name DJs like Radio Slave, Speedy J and Jeff Mills.
  • National Windmill Day – Held during the second weekend of May, this national holiday honors windmills. About two-thirds of the country’s nearly 1,000 working windmills will be open to the public. The windmills are beautifully decorated, and the miller at each one offers tours to explain the type of mill and how it works.

Amsterdam in June

  • Taste of Amsterdam – Every year, Amstelpark hosts the Taste of Amsterdam, a four-day event in early June (June 2-5 in 2016) in which top chefs from the city’s best restaurants create starter-sized plates of some of their signature dishes for visitors to sample. Wine tasting, a live cook-off, workshops, kids’ activities and a farmers’ market are featured too.
  • Holland Festival – The largest and oldest performing arts festival in the country, held at various venues around Amsterdam throughout much of the month of June, the Holland Festival offers a mix of music, dance, theater, opera, film and visual arts as well as western and non-western performances in a variety of languages.
  • Amsterdam Roots Festival – This internationally-renowned festival features music and dance from around the world, as well as films, workshops and exhibits. Its programming attracts outfits from all over, from Africa and Latin America to Asia across three stages: the Dance Court, Urban Stage and World Stage.
  • Open Garden Day – For one weekend in mid-June, visitors can peek behind the gables of some of the city’s magnificent canal-side homes to see their hidden “secret” gardens, all impeccably manicured with hedges, ponds and fountains. 

Amsterdam in July

  • Over Het IJ Festival – This 10-day festival features avant-garde theater, music and dance, as well as plenty of good food, in Amsterdam-Noord adjacent to the IJ channel.
  • Comedytrain International Festival – Kicking off on July 1st and running for six weeks, this festival brings both international comedic acts from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia, as well as hilarious homegrown talent to the Toomler Club in Amsterdam.
  • Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam – This international event for fashion fans and industry professionals is a series of public events held over 10 days in mid-July, including catwalk shows, take place at diverse cultural venues around Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam Gay Pride – This huge annual celebration that runs for two weeks starting in late June, is focused on equality for gay, lesbian, transgender, queer and intersex communities, with festivities that take place throughout the city. There are film screenings, dance parties, sporting events, exhibitions and more, with its highlight the world-famous Canal Parade.

Amsterdam in August

  • Canal Festival (Grachtenfestival) – This 10-day festival in mid-August features classical music at elegant, intimate venues along Amsterdam’s canals.
  • Appelsap Festival – Appelsap, which means “apple juice,” offers the chance to enjoy refreshing drinks along with some of the best Dutch and international hip hop artists at Flevopark throughout the month of August.
  • World Cinema Amsterdam – Every year for 10 days in the second half of August, August 19-28 in 2016, film enthusiasts can enjoy indoor and open-air screenings at the Rialto cinema and Marie Heinekenplien.

Amsterdam in September

  • Jordaan Festival – Held for three days in early September, September 2-4, in 2016, in the Jordaan neighborhood, Amsterdam’s most colorful folk district, this festival celebrates local history and folk music traditions through local singers and theater performances.
  • Amsterdam Heritage Days – On the second weekend of September every year, the doors of important buildings, monuments and private homes are opened to the public free of charge to celebrate the city’s rich history.
  • Amsterdam Fringe Festival – This event held annually during the first half of September, September 1-11 in 2016, features an extensive array of productions by cutting-edge local and international artists as well as producers at more than 25 venues across the city, including theater, musical theater, art, comedy and dance.
  • Unseen Photo Fair – Around the last weekend of September, September 23-25 in 2016, this international photography fair brings galleries and photographers from across the world who contribute their very best work. It primarily focuses on undiscovered photography talent and unseen work by established photographers.

Amsterdam in October

  • Amsterdam Dance Event – A five-day electronic and music conference, the Amsterdam Dance Event is held in mid-October, October 14-18 in 2016, and features more than 2,000 world-class acts from across the globe to 120 venues throughout the city.
  • TCS Amsterdam Marathon – Held annually in mid-October, October 16 in 2016, this huge running event brings some 40,000 to the city to participate. The course begins at Olympic Stadium and passes many of the most notable landmarks and attractions in Amsterdam.
  • CineKid Festival – The CineKid Festival is the largest international film, television and new media festival for kids aged 4 to 14. Held at the Westergasfabriek in mid-October, October 18-21 in 2016, it screens films from all over the world as well as a selection of the best television programs for children, attracting more than 50,000 parents, children and guests.
  • Amsterdam Halloween Festival – This spooky festival offers nearly a whole week of action in late October, including events like an all-night horror movie marathon, a frightful edition of Friday Night Skate roller-skate, a themed dinner event, a kids’ party and the highlight, a costume party that includes makeup workshops, theater troupes, DJs and VJs, and a lineup of Dutch and international artists.

Amsterdam in November

  • The Arrival of Sinterklaas – Similar to Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas, this Dutch character launches the Christmas season with his arrival in mid-November, when he sails into Amsterdam from his home in Spain, bringing presents and treats for the children. Boats and floats bob across the water in central Amsterdam, while some 400,000 watch the spectacle from the banks of the canal.
  • Amsterdam Light Festival – This festival that begins with a boat parade in the canals, illuminates the city center and the canals with beautiful, twinkling lights from the last Saturday in November through the New Year.
  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – Held for two weeks during the second half of November, this renowned international film festival brings together more great films, talented filmmakers and devoted fans to one place than any other in the world. Films are shown at cinemas throughout Amsterdam, while a wide range of lectures, workshops, discussions and special events are held at venues across the city.

Amsterdam in December

  • Christmas Markets – Multiple Christmas markets open throughout Amsterdam, from traditional Victorian-style markets to trendy markets located within old industrial buildings, there’s one for everyone during the holidays. Pick up seasonal delights like “pepernoten” (small, spiced biscuits), along with a mug of tasty gluhwein to warm up on a chilly day.
  • Sinterklaas – Although Sinterklaas isn’t a public holiday, on the eve of December 5th, Dutch children leave their boots by the fireplace in hopes of finding them filled with sweets in the morning. On the day itself, families gather to exchange gifts and enjoy lavish holiday meals.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – Although the majority of Dutch people have adopted the tradition of gift exchange and family celebrations around December 24 and 25, many businesses remain open, catering to tourists who choose to spend their holidays here. Museum Amstelkring, a church that sits atop a two-story canal house in the heart of the Red Light District, offers Christmas Eve masses. On Christmas Day, many museums and restaurants will be open as usual.
  • New Year’s Eve – On December 31st there will be parties throughout the city to celebrate the coming year. The city’s official celebration is held at the Oosterdok, with the VOC Shop The Amsterdam and the Scheepvaartmuseum forming a stunning backdrop for an impressive fireworks display. The Magere Brug, or Skinny Bridge, is one of the best spots from which to enjoy the spectacle.

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Best Time To Visit Dubai

Updated: June 20, 2017

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Q. When is the best time to visit Dubai?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: If you’re looking for the ideal combination of fewer crowds and pleasant weather, the best time for sightseeing in Dubai is between mid-November and early December, and again during the first half of March. While you’re likely to enjoy comfortable temperatures throughout the winter months, visiting from December through February is the peak of high season, when lines tend to be very long and the crowds are often thick, especially during January and early February due to the Dubai Shopping Festival. The worst time for sightseeing is in the summer, and particularly July and August, when the entire city practically goes into hibernation to avoid the unbearable heat. At that time, it’s far too hot to spend more than a few minutes outdoors.
  • Best Time to Visit Burj Khalifa: Dubai’s most popular attraction provides the opportunity to experience “At The Top,” the highest viewing platform in the world. During the winter months, the lines can be very long, especially just before sunset, the most popular time to visit – if you have a good camera, you can capture the city during the day, at sunset, and at night, with the endless sparkling lights below. To avoid the biggest crowds and longest lines, visit Burj Khalifa during the summer months. If that’s not an option, your best bet is to purchase your ticket online, two to four weeks in advance. But keep in mind that during the high season, even with ticket in hand, you’ll have to wait in line for a while at the entrance, so it’s important to come at least an hour before sunset to catch it; for example, if sunset is at 7pm, purchase your ticket for the 5:30-6pm entrance slot. Once you’re there, you can stay as long as you’d like.
  • Best Time for Shopping: Dubai is a shopper’s paradise, but even more so during the month of January when the Dubai Shopping Festival is held. You’ll enjoy significant discounts – as much as 75%, on just about every item imaginable, including electronics, jewelry, fashion and more. Even at the Outlet Mall, where retails already offer discounted items year-round, you’ll find additional markdowns during this shopping extravaganza. The next best time for shopping is during DSS, Dubai Summer Surprises, when a wide range of retailers offer special promotions and discounts for 45 days starting in mid-July.
  • Best Time for Cheaper Hotel Rates: Accommodation rates are at their lowest during the summer, when temperatures are sizzling and it’s far too hot to enjoy the outdoors. To attract more visitors, many hotels offer excellent deals, including reduced rates and sometimes even free meals at their onsite restaurants. The most expensive time to go is between December and February, when hotel rates, and the tourist season, peaks. You’ll need to book well in advance to get the best rate during this time.
  • Best Time for Enjoying the Beaches: While it’s possible to go to the beach year-round in Dubai, most people feel it’s too chilly to take a dip in the sea during the winter months. In the summer, the opposite is true, with the intense sun and scorching hot sand making it the worst time to go, particularly in July and August. If you’d like to enjoy swimming in the Arabian Sea and perhaps working on your tan, the best time to visit Dubai’s beaches is in April or May, when the sea temperature hovers around a very comfortable 25°C to 28°C.

Dubai Travel Seasons

  • High Season (November through April): From late autumn through early spring, accommodation rates are at their highest and the crowds are at their peak, but you’ll enjoy beautiful weather that’s ideal for a variety of outdoor entertainment. During this time, the days bring lots of sunshine and bright blue skies, with slightly cooler evenings as a gentle wind, and only occasional rain, hits the city. The ideal conditions allow visitors to enjoy Dubai’s many outdoor activities, like picnics and lounging on the beach, embarking on desert safaris and strolling through the city.
  • Shoulder Season (May, September and October): May is the start of the summer in Dubai and sees temperatures ranging from 23 to 36 degrees Celsius, so it will be hot, although not nearly hot as it will be during the peak of summer’s heat in July and August. With sea temperatures around 28°C, this is a perfect time for swimming and you’re less likely to have to battle the crowds to enjoy it. While accommodation rates won’t be significantly lower than high season, there are more bargains to be found. As autumn approaches, temperatures begin to cool. Although it’s generally too hot and sticky during the day in September, it’s often ideal for heading to the beach in the late afternoon. By October, people begin enjoying things like al fresco dining with more reasonable average temperatures hovering around 29°C. 
  • Low Season (June through August): Low season is summertime in Dubai. By June, temperatures begin to become rather unpleasant, with high levels of humidity, while July and August are downright scorching, verging on the unbearable level with temperatures that hit the high 40s at their peak. During this period, while you might find reduced rates and special deals, much of your time is likely to be spent rushing between air-conditioned buildings – the beach is a place only for the very brave, or those that don’t mind getting up in the wee hours of the morning. During the month of Ramadan, which usually takes place for 30 days during the summer, with the exact dates dependent on the year (between June 7 and July 6 in 2016, and from May 27 to June 25 in 2017), even if you aren’t fasting, eating, drinking and smoking in public is strictly banned during daylight hours and many cafés or restaurants close during the day. Unless you’re looking to experience a more traditional setting, you may want to avoid this period – even during the evening things are rather subdued, as this is not a time for revelry, though hotels may offer great discounts in order to attract more visitors.

Dubai Weather by Month

  • Dubai Weather in January: Although January is the coldest month in Dubai, to many people, it will feel like a warm summer day at home, with temperatures averaging 19°C to 20°C, and sometimes as high as 23°C in the afternoon. While those coming from a similarly warm climate will find it too chilly for swimming at the beach, you’ll likely see many people from places like Russia or the United Kingdom enjoying a dip in the sea. Either way, bring your bathing suit as most hotel have heated pools. Summer clothing is generally appropriate year-round, though women should plan to dress more modestly in the city, and especially when going into a mosque, where shoulders and knees need to be covered. You may want a light sweater for the slightly chillier evenings, though you may not need it. Rain is rarely a concern in January, with the most precipitation coming down in the autumn months, though occasionally inclement weather can hit, especially during the second half of the month, but on average just 10mm falls over six days. Rather than an umbrella, you’ll most likely need sunglasses and sunscreen as the sun shines brightly for an average of eight hours a day. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in February: The temperature begins to gradually rise in February, with the high creeping up to 24°C, though temperatures of 30°C and even higher are not unheard of this month. While rainfall increases a bit to an average of 40mm over four days, it’s most likely to come toward the end of the month and is unlikely to put a damper on your plans. The sea temperature remains a pleasant 21°C, which again, may or may not be warm enough for a swim, depending on what you’re used to, but bring a bathing suit just in case – if you don’t use it at the beach, you’ll probably use it at your hotel swimming pool. When it comes to other clothing, pack as you would for January and you’ll be well-prepared. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in March: With the arrival of spring in March, temperatures noticeably climb. Highs increase three degrees to 27°C this month, and the chance for rain lessens too, with just 10mm falling over six days. Now you’ll enjoy near-perfect beach weather, and with the sea temperature increasing a degree to 22°C, there’s a better chance you’ll find it comfortable enough for a swim. Unless you plan on dining at a swanky restaurant, you could spend your entire time in shorts and a t-shirt, or a bathing suit, though that should be saved for the beach or the pool. The most essential items to bring now become sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, to keep yourself protected from the searing sun that shines nine hours a day. Those days are getting longer now too, with sunset at the end of March about an hour later than it was on January 1, dipping below the horizon a little after 6:30pm. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in April: If it didn’t feel like summer already, it will now, and a very hot one at that. This month the temperature rises to an average high of 32°C, though temperatures as high as 40°C have been recorded in April. The month only sees an average of 10mm of rainfall over two days, which means precipitation is very unlikely. Dubai’s high temperatures and intense sun that shines 10 hours a day can quickly lead to a sunburn. Sunbathing for long periods is usually not advisable; instead, you’ll need to slather on high SPF sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat if you plan to be outside for long. The clear, bright skies bring glaring light, so strong UV-filtered sunglasses are a must, though you may want to pick up a pair while you’re in Dubai as even the designer brands are relatively cheap. With the sea temperature at a very comfortable 25°C, this is a great time for going swimming at the beach. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in May: May brings the start of the summer heat, with high temperatures at a sizzling 37°C, and occasionally exceeding 42°C. Lows range from 24°C to 27°C, so it will feel fairly warm in the evening too. The chance for rain this month is very slim – in fact, it’s fairly common not to see any clouds at all. The sun shines intensely for 11 hours, and stays up until just after 7pm by month’s end. When it comes to packing, think loose, long linens and cottons that will help protect the skin while allowing it to breathe, in addition to being respectful of the local culture and Muslim religion. It may be too hot now for some people to enjoy a day at the beach, but if you go, be sure to drink lots of water, apply plenty of sunscreen and stay cool by taking regular dips in the sea. (Average Max Temperature: 37°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in June: Now in the heart of the hot season, June brings average temperatures around 33°C, with the mercury rising to 38°C, and sometimes as high as 43°C afternoon. Just like last month, precipitation is very rare in June, and as the sea temperature is even hotter, at an average of 31°C, you won’t get much relief there either. Expect to spend most of your time indoors – and keep in mind that as hotels and shopping malls are typically air-conditioned to the point of freezing, so you’ll actually need a light jacket to avoid a chill. Bring loose, long linens and cottons for those brief periods you will be outdoors. As the sun shines so intensely, for 12 hours a day, you’ll still need sunscreen to avoid a burn, even if you aren’t in it that long. If you plan to spend time at the pool, you’ll want some sandals or flip-flops to avoid burning your feet on the hot tiles. (Average Max Temperature: 38°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in July: July is one of the two hottest months in Dubai, with the average high temperature at a sizzling 40°C, and again virtually nothing in the way of rain with just a 1% chance of precipitation this month. Even the sea feels hot now, hovering around 32°C. And, as the overnight low averages around 29°C, it’s quite warm after sunset as well, which is a little after 7pm throughout most of July. Pack as you would for June, with a sweater for the chilly, air-conditioned indoors; light, loose clothing along with sunglasses and sunscreen for those short periods you’ll be outside, as well as a bathing suit and sandals for the pool. (Average Max Temperature: 40°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in August: August is similar to July, only it’s even hotter, with the average high now a whopping 41°C. The overnight low is even hot at 30°C. While spending time outdoors is downright unbearable, if you’re here during the summer, many of the hotels offer great deals, and some even throw in free meals at onsite restaurants. Going for a swim in the sea won’t help cool you off, as it’s around 33°C, and going to the beach is generally a bad idea, unless you visit in the middle of the night. While a visit in August doesn’t sound very pleasant, keep in mind that Dubai is prepared for the heat and moves everything indoors, so you’ll still find plenty to do. (Average Max Temperature: 41°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in September: Dubai finally begins to cool down in September, if ever so slightly. It will still be hot, but the average high falls three degrees to 38°C, and lows are a more comfortable 27°C on average. There is still little chance for rainfall, as with July and August, it rains only 1% of the time. As September progresses, the day gets shorter, with sunset a little after 6pm by month’s end. Prepare for the heat by packing as you would for the previous two months, as it will still feel very hot and humid, particularly during the early part of September, making it uncomfortable to be outside for any length of time. During the second half of the month, people do begin to emerge from hibernation and venture outdoors a bit. (Average Max Temperature: 38°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in October: While October is still hot, with average highs of 35°C, you may be able to enjoy al fresco dining in relative comfort, and a jaunt to the sea for a swim now feels enjoyable with the water temperature cooling a bit to 30°C. You’ll still want to pack as you would for the summer, with plenty of light, loose cotton or linen clothing, a bathing suit and full-on sun protection. This month, the sun shines for 10 hours a day, and there is still little to nothing when it comes to precipitation. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average Precipitation: less than 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in November: November usually brings much-wanted relief from the heat, with temperatures averaging around 25°C, and the high falling to 31°C, four degrees lower than last month. At this time of year, you might even see some clouds finally creeping into the almost always bright blue skies, though rainfall is still rare, with just 10mm of precipitation coming down over one day in November. While the crowds, and accommodation rates, begin to increase, many feel that this is a wonderful time to be in Dubai. While you’ll still need all of your summer gear, along with a sweater for the air-conditioned indoors, you’ll be able to spend a lot more time outside than you would during the hot summer months, including pleasant afternoons at the beach. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Dubai Weather in December: December also brings lovely weather. Temperatures continue to decrease, averaging a pleasant 21°C, with highs a comfortable 26°C. While rainfall increases to 20mm over four days, it’s still quite low, with most coming down at the end of the month. As low temperatures are in the upper teens, you will need a light sweater and/or long-sleeved shirts for cooler evenings. The weather offers the perfect setting for beaches and outdoor entertainment, but with sea temperatures now dipping to 23°C, the water may be too chilly for a dip for some. As December brings eight hours of sunshine, you won’t want to forget the sunglasses, even though it’s now the middle of winter. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)

Dubai Special Events by Month

Dubai in January

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st, New Year’s Day, is a national holiday in the United Arab Emirates. While museums, government services and other official establishments will be closed, most shops and restaurants are open. Many eateries offer special New Year’s Day brunches, and with the city relatively quiet on this day, it’s also a good time to enjoy relaxing on the beach.
  • Dubai Shopping Festival – This retail celebration held throughout the month of January, and sometimes into early February, is the largest shopping and entertainment festival in the Middle East. A shopper’s paradise, the extravaganza is famous around the world for its unbeatable deals, along with celebrity performances and lots of fun events, from live raffle drawings to fashion flash mobs and much more. Thousands of retailers in Dubai participate, with impressive bargains on just about everything, including jewelry, electronics, haute couture and handicrafts – and it’s all tax free.
  • Dubai Marathon – Participants come from all corners of the globe to participate in this event that takes place in mid- to late-January. It includes a full marathon, 10k and a 3k “fun run.” It’s also renowned as a super-flat course that makes for incredibly fast times.

Dubai in February

  • Omega Dubai Desert Classic – This professional golf tournament played in mid-February, has been on the European Tour Schedule since 1989. Played on the beautiful Emirates Golf Club course, it attracts some of the biggest names in the sport, including Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Stephen Gallacher.
  • Valentine’s Day – February 14th is celebrated in Dubai as it is in many other places around the world. Restaurants offer dining options geared for romance, Valentine’s drink specials for two at bars and a host of romantic activities, like hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours.
  • Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – This annual event held at Dubai Tennis Stadium over nearly two weeks in late February features top pros from around the world, like Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova, who have all played here in the past.
  • Dubai Jazz Festival – This festival held at Dubai Media City in late February covers all genres of Jazz, including funk, rock, contemporary, blues, modern and fusion.

Dubai in March

  • Dubai International Boat Show – This boat show held over five days in early March brings more than 430 of the finest super yachts and leisure craft from around the world. Live events, family entertainment and a host of activities are offered, including fishing and sailing trips, casting and winching competitions, jet-ski stunts, match racing and more.
  • Art Dubai – This annual international celebration of art, design and culture that takes place over four days in mid-March, features galleries from around the world, along with various poetry and art events.
  • Dubai World Cup – Known as the world’s richest horse race, this glamourous event made up of 11 competitive races is held at the Meydan Racecourse on a Saturday in late March, marking the finale of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
  • Al Marmoom Heritage Festival – This popular camel festival held during the second half of March attracts thousands of highly-trained camels from across the Middle East to compete to win their owners cash prizes and high-dollar items.

Dubai in April

  • Beach Polo Cup – The Beach Polo Cup is a two-day event in early April that brings the chance to watch professional polo players from around the world compete in some of Dubai’s iconic beach spots.
  • Children’s International Film Festival – This festival held over a week in late April and early May is designed to encourage young talent in filmmaking. It attracts local, regional and international families with the aim to promote children’s, pre-teens’ and teens’ films that are inspirational, meaningful and root children in the real world. Some of the most famous, award-winning filmmakers from across the globe screen their films at the festival.
  • STEP – The largest tech and interactive gathering in the Middle East, STEP is generally held over the first weekend in April and attracts over 6,000 attendees. It offers opportunities for investors, startups, media professionals, entertainers and developers to network together in one place.
  • The Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC) – Held at the Dubai World Trade Center, the largest pop cultural festival in the region brings together artists, music, celebrities, art and exhibitors from around the world and is the only large-scale public event for fans of film and gaming entertainment, pop culture and comics available in the Middle East.

Dubai in May

  • Al Gaffal Tradtional 60ft Dhow Race – This annual race that kicks off in early May starts at the small uninhabited island of Sur Bu Na’air, 50 nautical miles west of the United Arab Emirates coast, where the pearl fleets used to stop on their long journeys home after months at sea searching for pearls to meet their families and loved ones. It finishes at various locations, including The Burj Al Arab and Mina Seyahi.  The race includes roughly 100 traditional third version traditional boats and typically draws 3,000 participants sailing the waters of the Gulf. The best way to experience it is to catch one of the Dubai RTA ferry rides that follow the racers at different points around the marina.
  • Isra and Mi’raj – One of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar, Isra and Mi’ra marks the time the Prophet Mohammed travelled from Mecca to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem in one night. Observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar, it falls on May 5 in 2016. Some shops will close early the evening before, and on the holiday, many will be closed. The celebration includes prayers during the night and in some places, you may see the lights stay on throughout the night as well.
  • Dubai Tango Festival – Held in mid-May (May 18-21 in 2016), the four-day Dubai Tango festival brings tango lovers from around the world with live music and performances every night as well as Tango workshops and a gala dinner.

Dubai in June

  • Ramadan – Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and marks the month in which the Quran was revealed. It may fall anytime between April and August depending on the year, with 2016’s Ramadan observed between June 6 and July 5. It has a profound effect on daily life in Dubai, and it’s the one time of year when visitors can really get the sense of being in an essentially Muslim city, so you may want to consider this when making your plans. Muslims are required to fast between dawn and dusk, and as a tourist, you’ll be expected to publicly observe this as well, although you can eat and drink in the privacy of your hotel room, or in one of the carefully screened-off dining areas found in hotels throughout the city. Alcohol may be served discreetly in some places after dark, but never during the day. Eating, drinking, chewing gum, smoking, dancing, singing and swearing in public are all considerable offenses to local Muslims. Live music is strictly forbidden throughout the holy month, and the city’s nightclubs close for the duration.
  • Ramadan Night Market – Held over ten days in late June and early July, the Ramadan Night Market is the biggest shopping fiesta during Ramadan. It features a wide range of brands and products from across the region, and some of the best deals from more than 300 outlets. Similar to traditional street markets, it’s an open-scheme bazaar with a festive atmosphere.

Dubai in July

  • Dubai Summer Surprises – Running for 45 days starting in mid-July, DSS is one of Dubai’s summer calendar highlights and includes reduced hotel rates and big shopping discounts, designed to lure more visitors to the city during the peak of summer’s heat. As kids are out of school, it has an emphasis on family events like educational activities and children’s entertainment as well.  Families will find everything from celebrity appearances and stage shows from international cartoon characters to endless fun at Modhesh World and activities at all of the malls throughout Dubai.
  • Eid al Fitr – Eid al Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan each year. The festival ends the dawn to dusk fasting and is accompanied by a number of events that take place throughout Dubai. To top off the festivities, there is a spectacular display of fireworks at celebrations across the city.

Dubai in August

Dubai in September

  • GAMES Expo – An eight-day gaming event held in early September, the GAMES Expo offers the chance to buy games, gaming merchandise and watch some of the biggest game launches in the industry.
  • Dubai Music Week – This five-day music fest held at the Dubai International Convention Centre in mid-September, is the Middle East premier international music festival. Concerts feature rock, pop, urban, Latin and Arabian artists, and the program also includes celebrity guest speakers and master classes.
  • Dubai International Dance Festival – Held over eight-days in mid-September, this unique dance festival is a multi-arts event that attracts well-known dance companies, bands, youth orchestras, classical dance academics and music ensembles both regionally and from around the world.

Dubai in October

  • Hijri New Year – This national holiday marks the beginning of the new Islamic year. The date is not affixed to a Gregorian calendar days as it depends upon the moon sighting. In 2016, it falls on Sunday, October 2. Workers throughout the country usually enjoy a day off, but there usually no celebrations or other festivities, though you’ll likely hear people wishing others a “Happy New Hijri Year.”
  • Dubai Design Week – This six-day event in late October celebrates design and innovation regionally and internationally through more than 60 separate activities and projects. Studios, artists, individual designers, architects, educational institutions, retailers, trade professionals, authors and iconic brands all participate.
  • Camel Racing – The camel racing season begins in October, with the races run normally between 7am and 9am on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the season. People from as far as Qatar and Saudi join local owners with stables full of camels competing for prize money, given out to the race’s top ten finishers.
  • Halloween – While Halloween is not as popular in Dubai as it is in North America and many European countries, multiple restaurants and hotels across the city host parties and costume contests. You’ll also see shops loaded with Halloween costumes, decorations and treats.

Dubai in November

  • Dubai Motor Festival – The Dubai Motor Festival, held for 10 days in early November, is a citywide celebration of automobiles, featuring the Dubai Grand Parade, the annual Dubai International Motor Show, Motor Village and Dubai International Rally.
  • Dubai World Tour Championship/Race to Dubai – The Race to Dubai is part of the PGA European Tour and includes nearly 50 tournaments, culminating with the Dubai World Championship in late November.

Dubai in December

  • National Day Festival – This annual celebration on December 2 commemorates the Emirates’ independence from Great Britain. Many of the city’s leading monuments are opened to the public and special events are held throughout the day.
  • Dubai International Film Festival – One of the top international film festivals in the world brings thousands of actors, directors, producers, writers, industry experts and cinema-goers to watch some of the greatest films.
  • Dubai Rugby Sevens – This three day annual rugby extravaganza in early December takes place at The Sevens stadium, featuring a variety of action, entertainment and activities for the whole family.
  • Christmas – While Christmas isn’t a holiday celebrated in the UAE, it does offer events for those who do. The Dubai Winter Festival, held at the World Trade Centre, is the No. 1 celebration, a three-day event held in mid-December that features Santa Claus, a giant Christmas tree and a spectacular lighting ceremony. Marina Mall’s Christmas market is held over the Christmas holiday period, selling gifts and treats. There is also a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mass at St Francis of Assisi Church.
  • New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Eve parties are held throughout the city on December 31, and are some of the biggest festivities in the world. In downtown Dubai, there are fireworks as well as spectacular dance performances and choreographed musical performances. The fireworks over the Gulf’s skyline can also be enjoyed aboard the traditional Dhow Cruise which sails the waters of Dubai Marina.
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The Best Time to Visit London

Updated: October 20, 2017

London Travel – Helpful and Recommended

What’s the best time to visit London?

  • Best Time to See the Royal Sites: Summer is your best bet for a chance to see all things royal in London, as many residences only open to the public while the occupants are away on holiday. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are available to tour in late July through September, Kew Palace is closed during the winter months, and Clarence House (home to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall) only opens to the public in August — the sole month of the year in which all sites are tourable. Buckingham Palace’s Changing of the Guard happens daily from April through July, and on alternate days for the remainder of the year, if weather allows. June brings the pomp and pageantry of Trooping the Colour – the Queen’s birthday parade and annual regimentary review – as well as the chance to hobnob with the aristocratic crowd at Royal Ascot.
  • Best Time for Shopping: All the best sales in London, including Harrods’s ultra-popular summer sale, happen in late June and early July. Shops are busiest and generate most of their revenue during December – expect much in the way of festive atmosphere during this month, but not many bargains. The post-Christmas January sales combined with that month’s lull in tourism can generate savings across the board in shopping, airfare, and hotel rates. Those looking for great deals year-round can head just north of London to Bicester Village, the luxury outlet center where Kate Middleton has been rumored to shop.
  • Best Time for Shows & Theatre: Tickets to West End shows are easiest to come by during the January/February tourism lull, and many can be found at deep discount during this time through the annual GILT (Get Into London Theatre) promotion. August is a bit of a mixed bag: theatre-going families can score free children’s tickets during London Theatre’s Kids Week, but many smaller shows and comedy acts have packed up and headed north this month for Edinburgh’s annual Fringe Festival. These shows will be back, along with new acts straight from The Fringe, to usher in the new theatre season in September.
  • Best Time for Kids and Families: London is a great city to visit with kids, and it can be surprisingly affordable given that there are loads of free museums and galleries and getting around is easy and inexpensive – kids under 11 travel free on buses and the Tube. Every August, London Theatre’s Kids Week offers one free child’s ticket for every adult ticket purchased for many of the West End’s top shows – along with backstage tours, workshops, and actor Q&A’s to amuse and enlighten budding thespians. (Kids Week tickets go on sale in June, and the popular shows sell out quickly, so plan in advance.) Summer’s warm weather is perfect for burning off excess energy in London’s parks and playgrounds, but expect family-friendly attractions to be busiest when school’s out – not only during summer, but around Christmas and Easter as well, and at the half-term breaks that happen in February, May, and October. If your family can travel in the spring or the fall, you’ll hit the sweet spot where the weather is pleasant and prices aren’t sky-high. The charm of Christmas in London can be magical for a child, but the seasonal crowds can be tough to manage with small ones and strollers.
  • Best Time for Museums and Galleries: London’s museums and galleries are quietest during the January and February dip in tourism – they won’t be empty, but you’re likely to avoid lines and large crowds. The week between Christmas and New Years can be surprisingly sleepy as well. Expect family friendly attractions (Natural History Museum, Science Museum, London Transport Museum, etc.) to be at their busiest when kids are out of school for summer, around major holidays, and during February, May, and October’s half-term breaks. It’s worth noting that many museums and galleries offer later visiting hours at least once a week, giving night owls a chance for a (relatively) quiet visit once the daytime crowds have gone.
  • Best Time for Christmas Activities: Christmas comes early to London, providing ample opportunity to enjoy the seasonal festivities. Most store displays, holiday markets, and skating rinks are up and open for business by mid-November. The grand tree in Trafalgar Square is lit during the first week of December, and Christmas plays and pantomimes are performed throughout that month into early January. Many museums and attractions are closed from 24-26 December (and everything, including public transportation, shuts down on Christmas Day), so sightseers would do best to plan trips before or after this time. Boxing Day sales bring massive crowds out to the shops during the week between Christmas and New Years, but museums and galleries remain relatively quiet. Expect lights, displays, and markets to stay up through early January.
  • High Season (May to Mid-September, December): London is most heavily touristed in the late spring and summer months, when the weather is warm and kids are off school, and during the December rush of shopping and seasonal activities. Expect long lines, booked hotels, and peak airline prices during these times. Book flights, show tickets, and hotel and dinner reservations well in advance.
  • Shoulder Season (Mid-September through November, March through April): London’s mild spring and fall weather brings plenty of tourists, though the city tends not to be as overrun as it is in the summer. It’s easier to get hotel and theatre reservations, and airfares fall into the reasonable range. Weather can be extremely variable around these times, so layering clothing and an umbrella are a good idea.
  • Low Season (January and February): Expect cool temperatures and heavy rains during these months, along with a substantial decrease in tourism. Those who don’t mind the damp and chill can find great deals on airfare and hotel rates in the off season months, and will be rewarded with smaller crowds and queues. Pack warm clothes and an umbrella.

London Weather by Month

London Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
Best time to visit London for the warmest temp and sunny weather.

London Rain by Month (mm)
Best time to visit London for the least amount of rain.

  • London Weather in January: January is London’s coldest month, with an average daily high of 9°C. It’s rarely cold enough for snow, though if a cold snap is going to happen, this’ll be the month for it. Generally expect consistent rain and damp, cold winds. One would do well to plan for warm clothes, waterproof boots, and inside activities. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 52mm.)
  • London Weather in February: Temperatures remain cold throughout this month, though the rain eases into showers and there’s good possibility for a sunny day here and there. By the end of this month, the earliest spring flowers will be up and beginning to bloom. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 39mm.)
  • London Weather in March: London’s March weather is notoriously difficult to predict. Depending on the year, mid-March in London could be 18°C and sunny, or just above freezing with snow showers. The daily average high creeps up throughout the month, however, along with springtime flowers and the possibility of seeing the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 35mm.)
  • London Weather in April: Like March, April in London is a mixed bag of chilly weather and warm, spring-like days. You’ll want to pack light layers and a good coat to be prepared for any possibility. Generally, temperatures hover in the teens Celsius, spring is in full bloom, and the warming trend continues. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 43mm.)
  • London Weather in May: May can be a glorious month to visit London. Temps average in the high teens, parks are green and blooming, and late sunsets stretch daylight hours until about 9pm. As in any London month, however, cloudy days can be damp and chilly, and it’s best to be prepared for the possibility of rain. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • London Weather in June: London’s long June days average eight hours of sunlight, and temperatures increase while cloud cover decreases throughout the month. Rain showers are possible, though June is one of the city’s driest months. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 43mm.)
  • London Weather in July: July is London’s warmest and driest month, seeing 7-10 wet days and temps averaging in the low 20s Celsius. Humidity ranges from 46-85%, and nights can be cool. The un-air-conditioned Underground can be particularly sticky around this time – it’s a good idea to dress in light layers and carry a bottle of water. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
  • London Weather in August: Summer’s warm weather continues through August, with temperatures beginning to fall slightly toward the end of the month. Expect high temps in the low 20s, and lows in the mid-teens, but be prepared (as always in London) for the possibility of rain. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 48mm.)
  • London Weather in September: September sees a bit of cooling as London heads toward autumn. The daily high temperature averages around 20°C, and days are shortening – sunset will be around 7:30pm. The possibility of rain still looms, but it’ll likely fall in showers, not downpours. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 49mm.)
  • London Weather in October: Heavy rains and mist return to London in October, the wettest month of the city’s year. With an average of only 15 rainy days, however, you’re as likely to see sun as get drenched. Trees are changing colors and dropping their leaves, and days that aren’t wet and windy can be delightful for walking around, with high temps in the upper teens. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 71mm.)
  • London Weather in November: London temperatures continue to drop throughout November, with highs averaging in the low teens, and rain becoming steadier. Expect and plan for cold, wet, and windy, though you may be surprised by a day or two of pleasant sunshine. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Rainfall: 63mm.)
  • London Weather in December: Cold, wet, and dark. Temperatures generally stay below 10°C, and most days are rainy, though snow is uncommon. Days average one hour of sunlight, with the sun setting by 4pm – all the better to enjoy the festive seasonal lights and displays. (Average Max Temperature: 9°C. Average Precipitation: 53mm.)

London Events and Festivals by Month

London Events in January

London Events in February

  • Chinese New Year Celebration – The largest outside of Asia, with lion dances, a parade through the West End, and cultural entertainment in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown, and Shaftesbury Avenue.
  • London Fashion Week – The fashion industry converges on Somerset House in central London, where the best designers in the world show off their fall collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties.

London Events in March

  • BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival – The British Film Institute’s celebration of queer cinema, showcasing over 50 critically acclaimed international films at BFI Southbank.
  • The University Boat Race – 250,000 spectators line the banks of the Thames from Putney to the Chiswick Bridge to view the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

London Events in April

  • London Marathon – Traffic snarls and onlookers cheer as 36,000 runners make the trek along the Thames from Blackheath/Greenwich to the Mall in St. James Park.

London Events in May

  • Museums at Night – Twice yearly weekend of after-hours admission to museums across the UK, showcasing limited-run nighttime exhibitions and cultural events.
  • Chelsea Flower Show – The horticultural equivalent of London Fashion Week. Display gardens, botanical exhibits, and 157,000 visitors on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.

London Events in June

  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – Artwork from honored and emerging artists alike is showcased at Burlington House in Piccadilly during the world’s largest open submission art exhibition. (June – August)
  • Trooping the Colour – It’s pageantry galore as the Queen inspects her troops and leads them down The Mall from Horse Guard’s Parade to Buckingham Palace in her annual birthday march.
  • Royal Ascot – Royals and riffraff alike dress up, drink champagne, and play the ponies at this crème de la crème of British horseracing events.
  • City of London Festival – Cultural arts festival featuring music, comedy, dance, film, talks, and tours. Held over three weeks at various venues across the city.
  • Taste of London – Sample the wares from some of London’s best restaurants and watch cooking demonstrations at this popular food and wine festival in Regents Park.
  • Open Garden Squares Weekend – Over 300 of London’s most secret and spectacular gardens open to the public for one weekend only.
  • The Wimbledon Championships – Two week long international grand slam tennis tournament in late June and early July. Takes place at the All England Club in Wimbledon (40 minutes by train from central London).

London Events in July

  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – See June.
  • The Wimbledon Championships – See June.
  • Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – Display gardens and horticultural workshops abound at the world’s largest annual flower show in southwest London.
  • BBC Proms – Classical music fans pack Royal Albert Hall during this eight week festival of orchestral music, featuring daily concerts and £5 tickets for those “prommers” who are willing to forgo a seat. (July — September)
  • Pride in London – Weeklong celebration of all things GLBT, culminating in a massive parade through central London, from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square. Party in the square, and after-party in Soho.

London Events in August

  • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – See June.
  • BBC Proms – See July.
  • Notting Hill Carnival – Europe’s biggest street festival is a two-day Caribbean party with live music, food, spectacular floats and costumes, and more than a million revelers. Taking place over August Bank Holiday weekend in W10, west London.

London Events in September

  • BBC Proms – See July.
  • Totally Thames (The Mayor’s Thames Festival) – A month-long arts and cultural celebration of, on, and around the River Thames, with colorful regattas, river-races, and community events.
  • Open House London – An architecture and design event weekend, in which hundreds of usually off-limit historic buildings and architecturally important sites are opened to the public for touring. Free and taking place across London, with some sites requiring advanced registration.
  • London Fashion Week — The fashion industry converges on Somerset House in central London, where the best designers in the world show off their spring collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties.

London Events in October

  • Frieze Fair – Browse or buy works by renowned and emerging artists at two massive art fairs taking place in Regents Park: find contemporary pieces at Frieze London, and ancient through mid-century works at Frieze Masters.
  • BFI London Film Festival – The British Film Institute’s annual fall celebration of cinema, showing hundreds of critically acclaimed international works and Hollywood premiers at BFI Southbank and IMAX theatres.
  • Dance Umbrella – International two week-long dance festival, celebrating 21st century choreography from across the world at various London venues.
  • Diwali on the Square – Thousands pack Trafalgar square to celebrate the festival of lights with live music and dance, food and market stalls, and family-friendly activities.
  • Museums at Night – Twice yearly weekend of after-hours admission to museums across the UK, showcasing limited-run nighttime exhibitions and cultural events.

London Events in November

  • Guy Fawkes Night/Bonfire Night – Annual remembrance of the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605, with bonfires and fireworks across London. Alexandra Palace and Battersea Park have the grandest displays. Celebrated on and around 5 November, with the largest events occurring over the nearest weekend.
  • The Lord Mayor’s Show – A flotilla down the Thames and a fireworks display over it bookend this grand street parade and carnival in honor of the year’s newly elected Lord Mayor of London. Takes place the 2nd Saturday in November.
  • Remembrance Sunday – The heroes and victims of war are honored on the 2nd Sunday in November with a parade, memorial concerts, and a royal ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
  • EFG London Jazz Festival – Ten day celebration of vocal and instrumental jazz music, featuring hundreds of British and international acts at venues across London. Some events are free, and many are family-friendly.
  • Taste of London Winter – Sample the wares from some of London’s best restaurants and watch cooking demonstrations at this popular food and wine festival at Tobacco Dock in Regents Park.
  • Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park – Get into the Christmas spirit with festive food, drink, circus shows, ice skating, fairground rides, and of course, Santa Claus. Mid November through New Years.

London Events in December

  • Christmas Markets – Peruse foodie gifts and hand-crafted items at the seasonal markets that set up all around London from late November through the New Year, the most popular being at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and near the London Eye in South Bank.
  • Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree – A massive 20 meter Norway spruce is an iconic backdrop for a month of caroling and Christmas festivities. The tree lighting ceremony is held on the first Thursday in November, and the tree remains up through 6 January.
  • Ice Skating Rinks – Celebrate the season on skates! Rinks at the Natural History Museum and Hyde Park are the largest. Those at Somerset House, the Tower of London, Hampton Court, and Kew Gardens are your best bets for a seasonal skate in an iconic setting.
  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Tens of thousands of spectators gather on the banks of the Thames to watch this spectacular display near the London Eye. Buy tickets in advance to secure a spot with the best views of this popular year end celebration.

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Posted on

Best Time To Visit Hong Kong

Updated: April 28, 2017

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Q. When is the best time to visit Hong Kong?

  • Best Time for Shopping: Hong Kong is a shoppers’ paradise year-round, but one of the best times for bargains is from July through early September when many retailers offer attractive discounts to lure customers in from the city’s beaches. You’ll also see many big fashion labels launching their latest looks for autumn and winter. Just after Christmas and before Chinese New Year is another good period for sales. If you’d like to experience Hong Kong’s largest night market, the Temple Street Market located in the Yau Ma Tei and Jordan area of Kowloon is open all year with the exception of the first day of Chinese New Year. It’s best visited after 7pm, and most stalls will be open until nearly midnight.
  • Best Time to Visit Hong Kong Disneyland: The best time for a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, is when the weather is relatively dry and temperatures are comfortable, usually between November and April. If you’re hoping to avoid crowds and especially long lines, avoid going around any major holidays, and try to visit in either early November or the month of April. No matter when you arrive, go on a weekday and plan to get there at least a few minutes before the park opens.
  • Best Time to Visit Victoria Peak: The best time to visit Victoria Peak is right after it rains, which is most frequently during the summer months as it helps to clear the air, allowing for the best views. If you hope to avoid long lines, go on a weekday around 9am. The busiest time tends to be just before sunset on a clear day, but this is also the time when you’ll be able to enjoy a spectacular vista as the sun dips below the horizon – and after dark, the entire city is especially stunning with all of the dazzling lights laid out before you.
  • Best Time for Festivals: Hong Kong is illuminated with festivals throughout much of the year, but if you want to experience the biggest and most colorful, plan to go during Chinese New Year which falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February; January 28 in 2017. At this time the city is filled with excitement, and hordes of tourists, so you’ll need to plan your trip well in advance. If you’re here in late May or early June, while you’ll need to be prepared for hot and steamy weather, you can enjoy the opportunity to witness the elaborately designed boats in the Shing Mun River during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Hong Kong Travel Seasons

  • High Season (October through mid-May): Hong Kong is a popular destination year-round, which means it doesn’t have a well-defined high or low season. The busiest periods tend to be outside of the hot summer months, peaking during busy periods like the Golden Holiday Week around May 1, October 1 and Chinese New Year in late January/early February. During this time, you’ll need to book hotels well in advance and prepare for thick crowds, though a mass of visitors can be expected throughout much of the year.
  • Shoulder Season (mid-May through June): During late spring in Hong Kong, the heat and humidity are usually bearable, and room rates are slightly more manageable, though you may not get much relief from the crowds.
  • Low Season (July and August): The summer is generally considered “low season,” though you’re unlikely to find steeply discounted rates as you would in many other destinations. The hot, muggy and typhoon-prone weather hasn’t been dissuading travelers or causing hotel rates to drop like they once did, so you’ll want to weigh any bargains against the cost of suffering through the heat and sweaty tourists.

Hong Kong Weather by Month

  • Hong Kong Weather in January: While January is Hong Kong’s coldest month, people coming from northern climates will find it mostly rather pleasant, and only a bit chilly at times. Despite locals bundled up as if they’re in the Arctic, the city’s average temperature hovers around a mild 15°C, with highs reaching to a balmy 23°C. You won’t see any snow, or even frost, in fact, anything below 10°C is considered a serious cold snap. January is the second driest month after December, with only an average of 21mm of precipitation over four days. This is one of the few practically rain-free months, so it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. While you probably won’t need any summer clothing, a light jacket, long-sleeved shirts, pants and some good walking shoes should more than suffice. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 21mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in February: February is similar to January, with the high temperature creeping up a bit to 25°C, and very little in the way of rain with 33mm on average, and when it arrives, it’s mostly in the form of drizzle. The average overnight low is 14°C, so even if you’re out during the evening you still won’t need more than a light jacket. This is one of the best times to be in Hong Kong for outdoor activities, and even getting out on the trails to do some hiking. Most of the time, a sweater or a light jacket is all you’ll need to keep warm, though you may not even need that. If you plan to head to the hills, a light windproof jacket is advisable. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 33mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in March: By the time March arrives, it will really feel like spring. The average temperature this month is a comfy 18°C, with the mercury occasionally rising as high as 28°C on some afternoons. Precipitation increases to 44mm, but again, it’s mainly drizzle, along with misty mornings, typically alternating with drier, sunny days. This is the last month until late autumn that you’ll be able to head outside without worrying about the humidity soaking through your clothing, so take advantage of the beautiful weather by spending time outdoors. Bring short-sleeved shirts, pants and even a pair of shorts for those nice warm days. As the temperature will rarely dip below 15°C, a light sweater is all you’ll need in the evening. Keep in mind that you may need it indoors during the day too, due to the shivering air-conditioned temperatures inside places like shopping malls and grocery stores that are typically hover around 13°C to 15°C. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 44mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in April: While the humidity and heat are gradually rising, April is generally a pleasant time to be in Hong Kong, with temperatures typically ranging around 20°C to 25°C, though it can get as hot as 29°C on some days. While this is definitely t-shirt and shorts weather, April also brings a lot more rain, with precipitation averaging 113mm over eight days. Although you will have plenty of sun to take advantage of outdoor activities, it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella – a jacket may be too hot. And again, a light sweater is often necessary for time spent indoors, due to the chilly air-conditioned buildings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 113mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in May: Spring is short in Hong Kong, with summer arriving in May. While it isn’t the worst month to be here, with temperatures averaging in the high 20s, the mercury can climb to 31°C or even hotter – and, this is the time that the humidity really rises too. While it’s perfect beach weather, the humidity is often rather taxing for those who want to do lots of walking around the city. May also kicks off the typhoon season, with the second half the month especially quite wet and rainy – on average 155mm of precipitation falls over 15 days. Now, you’ll definitely need your summer wear, including short-sleeved shirts, shorts and sandals that you don’t mind getting wet, along with an umbrella. A sweater will help you cope with the cold indoor temperatures too. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 155mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in June: June, July and August are the wettest months of the year in Hong Kong, and June may be the worst time of all to be here. The humidity is oppressive, making it very uncomfortable to spend much time outdoors, and the average precipitation is a whopping 238mm that comes down over 18 days. The good news is that the average temperature is a balmy 28°C, with highs reaching 31°C. If you plan a visit during this month, an umbrella becomes even more essential, and shoes meant for the water may be a good idea too, along with your summer gear and sweater. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 238mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in July: In July, along with everything you needed to bring for a trip in June, you’ll need sunscreen and an industrial-sized deodorant stick. The sun shines more this month, but there’s more rain too, with an average of 252mm over 15 days. The average high temperature is 32°C, though it can get as hot as 34°C on some days – and you won’t get much relief after dark either, with average lows dipping only to 26°C. While it’s very difficult to enjoy outdoor activities for any length of time without feeling very uncomfortable, like long periods of walking, you can take refuge by heading to the air-conditioned mall or other indoor sights. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 252mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in August: August is the wettest month of all, with 281mm of precipitation on average, through occasional showers, thunderstorms and typhoons, while the high humidity remains. Within minutes, or even seconds of walking outside, your shirt is likely to be soaked. This is not a very enjoyable time to explore the city’s outdoors, although the slew of air-conditioned indoor attractions and public transport does help. Pack as you would for July, and you’ll be prepared as much as you can be for the heat, humidity, rain and chillier indoor temps. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 281mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in September: If you’re going to visit Hong Kong in the summer, September is your best bet. While it’s generally hot and humid, there is less humidity and rain to interfere with your plans, and you’ll enjoy many days with clear skies. The average high temperature dips slightly to 31°C, and rainfall takes a significant dive to 166mm, though the typhoon season continues and September is the month with the most tropical cyclones. By the middle of the month, while it remains sticky, the humidity backs off enough so that it’s no longer unpleasant to explore the city’s streets. By packing as you would for the other summer months, you’ll be well-prepared for a more enjoyable trip. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 166mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in October: When it comes to the weather, October is a wonderful time to be in Hong Kong. The rain has greatly diminished, to just 41mm falling over eight days, and you’ll enjoy mostly clear skies and constant warmth without being too hot. The average temperature hovers around 26°C, and it generally doesn’t get any hotter than 28°C. Evenings are pleasant too, with lows of 23°C. Bring your summer clothing and a light sweater for the cooler indoor spots, but don’t worry much about an umbrella, as there’s a good chance you won’t need it this month. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
  • Hong Kong Weather in November: Autumn in Hong Kong is lovely, with November bringing low humidity, plenty of sun and near-perfect temperatures, averaging 22°C, and occasionally increasing to 24°C in the afternoon. Low temperatures dip to 19°C, so if you’re used to heat, you may need a light jacket and will want to dress in layers, though many people feel a few long-sleeved shirts along with short-sleeved tops for warmer days, and long pants, are ideal for this time of year. Rainfall decreases even more, to just 22mm of precipitation over six days, so there’s no need for an umbrella this month. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
  • Hong Kong in December: While December ushers in winter, it’s hard to call this season “winter” in Hong Kong. You will need a sweater or a jacket, but heavy coats can stay home. Planning to dress in layers for fluctuating temperatures that vary from cool to warm is usually a good idea too. The weather is dry, the skies are clear, and you’ll enjoy lots of sunshine, with an average of six hours a day. Daytime temperatures are generally in the mid- to upper-teens, though they can get as high as 20°C, with overnight lows dipping to 14°C. With just 21mm of precipitation over four days in December, you won’t have any worries when it comes to rain. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average precipitation: 21mm.)

Hong Kong Special Events by Month

Hong Kong in January

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st, New Year’s Day, is a national holiday in Hong Kong, and here it brings the Dragon and Lion Dance extravaganza which features a parade that typically starts from Canton Road along the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Avenue of Stars in the early afternoon, finishing up at UC Centenary Garden, East Tsim Sha Tsui. On the same day, is the exciting New Year’s Day Race, one of eight “Magnificent Race Days,” held at the Sha Tin Race Course where you’ll see beautiful horses racing to the finish.
  • Hong Kong Marathon – This signature international sporting event attracts roughly 70,000 participants and features a marathon as well as a half-marathon, 10k, half-marathon wheelchair race and a 3k wheelchair race.
  • Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year, the city’s biggest and most colorful festival, is based on the lunisolar calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar, which means dates change slightly each year. While it often falls in early February, in 2017 it will fall on January 28. One of the highlights is the parade near Victoria Harbour in which you’ll see dozens of floats proceed down the streets, accompanied by marching bands, skaters, dancers, jugglers and more. The entire city shuts down for three days to celebrate, and it’s all capped off with a stunning fireworks show over the water.

Hong Kong in February

  • Hong Kong Arts Festival – The long-running Hong Kong Art Festival kicks off in late February and runs throughout much of March each year. It’s hosted a multitude of rich, colorful performances, including symphonies, ballets and operas, from China as well as overseas, over the past 40+ years.
  • Spring Lantern Festival – This annual festival held on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, February 11 in 2017, features brightly colored lanterns that can be seen strung throughout the city. A majority of the lanterns are red in color as the Chinese believe that red is the harbinger of fortune. The main celebration takes place in Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Central Piazza.
  • Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival – The Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival continues the New Year celebrations. Locals take a trip to Lam Tsuen, where a variety of events are held, including the releasing of the Wishing Lanterns and well-wishing at the Wishing Trees. Performing groups and a display of floats from the New Year’s parade are also part of the festivities.
  • Valentine’s Day – The westernized version of Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated on February 14th in urban areas, including Hong Kong, though the traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day takes place in August. Restaurants will offer special romantic dinners and stores will offer sales on items like roses and chocolate, though with older, local couples, the husband prepares an elaborate dinner for his wife or buys her a fancy dress on this day to show appreciation.

Hong Kong in March

  • Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair – Held annually in early March, this fair is a full day of colorful festivities that are dedicated to the God of the Sea, Hung Shing, revered in ancient days by many fishermen.
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival – Asia’s oldest international film festival, and the one of the most important cultural events in Hong Kong, this event that begins during the second half of March each , brings together actors, directors, screenwriters and other industry professionals as well as film fans from all over the world.
  • Hong Kong Flower Show – This show held over ten days in mid-March features elaborate displays of flowers and landscaped areas. It also features competitions, floral demonstrations and cultural events with changing themes every year.

Hong Kong in April

  • Ching Ming Festival – Celebrating the start of spring on the third moon of the Lunar New Year, in late March or early April, April 4 in 2017, this festival is a time when families visit their ancestral graves to clean and leave offerings. It can be a fantastic sight to witness, as joss sticks and incense are burned, and all types of food is left – in Hong Kong, takeaway pork and rice is common.
  • Hong Kong Rugby Sevens – This is the premier sports event on the annual calendar in Hong Kong. Running Friday through Sunday in early April, it draws fans from near and far. The tournament is held at Hong Kong Stadium, and there are also party tents and giant screens outside at Chater Garden. It includes a hosts of parties, entertainment and parades both prior and during the event.
  • Tin Hau’s Birthday – The birthday of the Goddess of the Sea, Tin Hau, is celebrated on the 23rd day of the third month in the Lunar Calendar, in late April or early May. There are more than 60 Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong scattered across the city, and each one will hold some type of celebration, including parades, lion and dragon dances, music and more.

Hong Kong in May

  • Labour Day – May 1 is a public holiday in Hong Kong, a time when workers enjoy the day off and some will gather for demonstrations in Victoria Park. Expect big crowds at most tourist sites and attractions; this is a good day for shopping, but you may want to avoid the congestion around the park.
  • Le French May – Starting in early May and running through June, this annual event that’s been held for over two decades now, is a festival of French culture. Events are hosted at various venues throughout Hong Kong and include everything from the circus to the cinema, opera and classical dance along the food and fashion vendors.
  • Buddha Birthday Celebrations – This national holiday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth moon in the Lunar calendar, normally in late April or early May on the western calendar, May 14 in 2016. Buddhists temples and monasteries throughout the region will be buzzing with activity; lanterns are lit, symbolizing Buddha’s enlightenment, and thousands of worshippers come to pay their respects and enjoy the festivities.
  • Cheung Chau Bun Festival – Held over five days in mid-May (May 10-15, 2016) on Cheung Chau Island, the highlight of this lively festival is its massive bamboo mountains that are covered with handmade buns and set up near the Pak Tai Temple where most of the celebrations take place. It includes martial arts demonstrations, Chinese opera performances and parades.

Hong Kong in June

  • Dragon Boat Festival – Held annually over three days in June, and sometimes in late May, this festival features dragon boat races at various venues throughout the region as well as live entertainment, parades, food stalls and more.
  • Chinese Opera Festival – The Chinese Opera Festival begins annually in mid-June and runs through late July or early August. It features daily stage performances by leading companies as well as a wide range of events from Chinese Opera film screenings to symposiums and exhibitions.
  • Stanley Dragon Boat Short-Course Races – Celebrated in late June, three weeks after the main Dragon Boat Festival races, these races, as the name suggests, take place on a shorter, 200-meter course.

Hong Kong in July

  • Hong Kong July 1st Celebrations – This national holiday commemorates the anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. Celebrations are held throughout the city in each district and include flag-raising ceremonies, parades, cultural performances and an impressive fireworks display.
  • Hong Kong Book Fair – This annual book fair takes place over a week in mid-July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In addition to exhibiting and selling new books and media products, it features seminars, reading and writing workshops, and autograph sessions with authors.
  • Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s hottest event in video games, comics, animation, digital entertainment, and toys and collectibles, is especially popular with 12- to 30-year-olds. It includes autograph sessions, stage forums, presentations, comics and figure design competitions, an international COSPLAY carnival, live performances and more.

Hong Kong in August

  • Hungry Ghost Festival – This festival takes place on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar, usually in August; August 17 in 2016. According to traditional Chinese belief, this is the time when restless spirits roam the earth, and you’ll see many people making efforts to appease them by burning incense, joss paper, candles and fake money. For the visitor, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s authentic culture.
  • Hong Kong Food Expo – Held over five days in mid-August, August 11-16 in 2016, this annual food fair brings together more than 900 exhibitors showcasing delicacies and the finest selection of foods from across the globe.
  • Double Seventh Day/Chinese Valentine’s Day – The most romantic of the traditional Chinese festivals, this festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month, August 9 in 2016, and August 28 in 2017. Mostly young women participate mainly in activities that demonstrate domestic skills. They pray for happiness, wealth and longevity in addition to making wishes for a good husband.

Hong Kong in September

  • Mid-Autumn Festival – Also referred to as the Moon Cake Festival, this September event will be held on September 16 in 2016. It marks a historical rebellion against Mongol rule, in which the plans for rebelling were hidden inside mooncakes. It includes many lantern carnivals which showcase colorful lanterns, song and dance performances, kung fu and craft demonstrations as well as other festivities throughout Hong Kong. A lantern parade takes place in Victoria Park.
  • Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair – The world’s largest timepiece event offers an incredible array of clocks and watches as well as a preview of the latest designs and trends. The highlight is the World Brand Piazza which features rare and limited edition time pieces from major international brands.

Hong Kong in October

  • Cheung Yeung Festival – This public holiday is a day of remembrance which falls on the 9th day of the 9th moon, on October 9 in 2016. Similar to the Ching Ming Festival, families visit graves to pay their respects to loved ones that have passed by offering things like food, incense and Chinese paper money. Many locals also take advantage of the day off to enjoy the cooler weather that’s finally arrived by going hiking and enjoying other outdoor activities.
  • Hong Kong Tennis Open – The Hong Kong Tennis Open brings together top tennis professionals who compete at Victoria Park’s Tennis Stadium over nine days in mid-October.
  • Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival – Held over three days in late October, the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival features hundreds of stalls set along Victoria Harbour which offer award-winning eats along with fine wines and spirits from around the world. It kicks off an entire month of events for food enthusiasts, including culinary-themed offers, masterclasses and street carnivals.
  • Halloween – Halloween here is mainly about commercial activity and entertainment for young adults who frequently dress up in costume while going bar hopping and clubbing in central Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong area. Many establishments offer special discounts and waive admission fees for those in costume.

Hong Kong in November

  • Lan Kwai Fong Carnival – This two-day festival over a weekend in November brings more than 80 booths and stalls to the streets of Lan Kwai Fong, with an array of delicious foods, and an extensive selection of outstanding cocktails, beers and fine wines from around the world as well as arts and crafts and interactive games. You’ll also see parades with Brazilian dancers and acrobats.
  • World of Food and Music at Stanley – This celebration of fine wines, distinct flavors and host of performances takes place every Sunday throughout the month at the amphitheater in Stanley Plaza.
  • Hong Kong Winter Fest – Starting in mid-November and running through New Year’s Day, this series of events is focused on a different theme every year, with its highlight being the spectacular centerpiece in Central’s Statue Square. Colorful lights decorate the streets, while stores and markets offer reduced prices. You can also can expect to find things like wishing trees, photo booths, candy houses and a variety of delectable treats.

Hong Kong in December

  • The Great European Carnival – This carnival held right on the Central Harbourfront, kicks off in mid-December and runs through mid-February. It features thrill rides, live entertainment with local and international music artists and comedians, carnival games, the biggest outdoor ice rink in Honk Kong and food from around the world.
  • Hong Kong Shopping Season – Starting in late December and running through Chinese New Year, this is actually a big shopping sale in which many larger stores, particularly in the malls and more upscale designer stores and boutiques, offer slashed prices and bargains like two-for-one deals.
  • Christmas Symphony of Lights – Every night during the holiday season there is a free light show at Victoria Harbor that continues to get bigger and flashier every year. It can be watched from the pedestrian walk known as Avenue of Stars that runs along the shore.
  • The Hong Kong Mega ShowCase – The largest indoor carnival in Hong Kong takes place every year at the Hong Kong Convention Centre for several days around Christmas. It features more than 1,000 booths and vendors from around the world with a number of major expos and trade shows in a variety of themed zones like the Hong Kong Car Show, Hong Kong Food Festival, a beauty zone, fashion and accessories zone, DIY crafts zone and more.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – Christmas Eve brings a huge street party in Lan Kwai Fong with loads of food, drink and entertainment. Christmas Day is a public holiday, but almost everything other than a few smaller shops will be open, and many restaurants offer Christmas dinner.
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31st brings another huge street party to Lan Kwai Fong as well as a New Year’s Countdown and a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.
Posted on

The Best Time of Year to Visit Paris

Updated: October 20, 2017

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When is the best time to visit Paris?

  • The best months to visit Paris are May, June, September, and October when the weather is good and the crowds, hot weather, and closed shops of summer are not a problem.
  • Best Time for Shopping: Sales in France are state-regulated, and retail discounts are allowed only twice yearly, during two six-week periods known simply as Les Soldes (The Sales). Winter Sales run from early January through mid-February, and the summer Sales extend from late June through July. Because discounts are rare and limited, expect Parisian shops to be extremely crowded and chaotic during these times, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Most stores are closed on Sundays. Crowds tend to lighten as the weeks go by, but so does the stock of discounted goods. Specific sales dates change by year – a quick internet search will let you know when to visit if you want to be first in line, or what dates to avoid if you prefer a quieter, less-frenzied shopping experience.
  • Best Time for Museums: January and February are wonderful months for visiting Paris museums and galleries, as the midwinter dip in tourism brings shorter queues and lighter crowds. Travelers at any time of the year can save money and forego admission lines altogether by purchasing a Paris Museum Pass, which grants unlimited access to over 50 museums and monuments in and around the city. To experience the exhibits without being mobbed, consider visiting at night – most museums and galleries are open during evening hours at least once a week, and crowds tend to thin after sundown. Additionally, many museums in Paris offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month – a great deal for those wanting to see art and artifacts on the cheap, but be aware that galleries may be especially crowded on these days.
  • Best Time for Flowers and Gardens: Though each year is a bit different, the gardens and parks of Paris usually see their first burst of blooms around mid to late April, when spring bulbs and trees begin to flower. There’s a bit of a lag in blooms as summer perennial beds are re-planted in late May and early June – and these are generally well established by July. Late May and early June also bring about the blooming of the famous rose gardens at Parc de Bagatelle and L’Haÿ-les-Roses. Gardens across the city will continue to be in flower throughout the summer months and into early fall. September can be a particularly wonderful time to visit Parisian gardens, when plenty of blooms remain but the summer crowds have thinned.
  • Best Time for Holiday Displays: Christmas comes early to the City of Lights, with festive seasonal displays decorating the city throughout the final two months of the year. Parisian department stores unveil their spectacular windows and put up trees in early to mid-November, and the Champ Elysees is decked out for Christmas by month’s end. Most other seasonal light displays are up by the beginning of December and the marches de noel (Christmas markets) open for business around this time. Christmas displays and markets remain up and running into early January.
  • Best Time for Disneyland Paris: As a rule, crowds at Disneyland will be heaviest whenever school is not in session – not only in the summer months and around Christmas, but also on weekends and during the end of October, when many European schools go on break. The best times for shorter lines and lighter crowds are midweek (Tuesday through Thursday) from mid-January through mid-March and mid-April through mid-May. Lines will be shortest in the winter months but you’ll find colder weather and some rides closed for renovation in the off-season – usually no more than 2 or 3 at a time. If you must make the trip during peak periods, your best bet is to go midweek during the February/March school break, as many French families opt for ski trips over theme parks at this time of year.
  • Best time to Visit Versailles: Expect crowds at Versailles to be at their most dense during the summer months and on weekends and Tuesdays during spring and fall. During these busy times, plan to visit early in the day – the 9am-10am hour sees thinner crowds even on the most highly-attended days. Pre-purchasing your tickets (or a Paris Museum Pass) online will allow you to bypass the admission queue, though there’s no way to skip the security checkpoint. Those visitors who are particularly interested in experiencing Versailles’ spectacular gardens would do well to avoid the winter months, when the statues are covered and fountains are turned off. Versailles is closed on 1 January, 1 May, 25 December, and Mondays year-round.
  • A Word about August in Paris: During the last month of the summer, Paris remains heavily touristed, but most locals have fled to the coast. As such, you may note a distinct lack of local atmosphere during this period – many smaller shops and restaurants will be closed, and most of the people you’ll meet will be tourists. Expect city streets and sidewalks to be quieter, even as the crowds at museums and monuments are at peak density. Strangely, although August marks the highest of high tourist season, hotel rates and capacities tend to drop during this month due to a lack of business travelers.
  • High Season (June through mid-September, Mid-to-late December): Paris is most dense with tourists during the summer months, when the weather is balmy and kids are off school, and during the December rush of shopping and seasonal activities. Generally expect long lines at museums and monuments, peak airline prices, and hotels to be at highest occupancy during these times. (An exception to this rule is August, when a lack of business travelers to the city corresponds to lower hotel rates and higher availability.) Book flights, hotel and dinner reservations well in advance.
  • Shoulder Season (April through May, mid-September through November): As one of the world’s major tourist destinations, Paris is heavily traveled year-round, and the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are no exception. These periods are your best bet, however, to find that ideal combination of pleasant sightseeing weather and slightly thinner crowds. Though rates remain high, it can be slightly easier to get hotel and dinner reservations during these times, and airfares generally fall into a more reasonable price range.
  • Low Season (January through March): Paris sees a decrease in tourism during these months, when children are in school and the weather is most often chilly and damp. Those who don’t mind the drizzle can find great deals on airfare and hotel rates in the off-season, however, and will be rewarded with smaller crowds and queues at major tourist attractions.

Paris Weather by Month

Paris Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
When does Paris have the warmest weather?

Paris Rain by Month (mm)
When does Paris have the least amount of rain?

  • Paris Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Paris, with daytime high temperatures generally in the single digits. Clouds and rain are likely (though snow is rare), so a warm coat and waterproof shoes are essential. Days are short, with sunset around 5pm. (Average Max Temperature: 7°C. Average Precipitation: 18mm.)
  • Paris Weather in February: February continues chilly and damp, with occasional bursts of rain. On dry days, you’ll want a hat and gloves for outdoor sightseeing, though it can also be a great time of year to stay warm and dry inside museums, galleries, and cafes. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
  • Paris Weather in March: There’s a gradual warming of the air this month, but days are still more likely to be chilly than warm, and as always there’s the possibility of an occasional cloudburst. The first bulbs of spring are up and blooming by month’s end, and days are lengthening – expect the sun to set between 6:30 and 7pm. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 24mm.)
  • Paris Weather in April: Springtime in Paris can be a bit of a mixed bag, weather-wise – you’re equally as likely to wake up to a cool and rainy day as a sunny and warm one. Still, the average temperature is rising to the mid-teens Celsius, days are getting longer, and trees and springtime flowers are in full bloom. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
  • Paris Weather in May: May in Paris generally sunny and mild, with daytime high temperatures averaging at 20°C. Around one third of this month’s days will see rain, and mornings and evenings can be chilly, so packing layers and an umbrella is still a good idea. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 26mm.)
  • Paris Weather in June: Paris heats up as summer approaches, and daytime highs now generally fall in the low to mid 20’s Celsius. Warm, sunny days are the norm, but mornings, evenings, and overcast days can still be a bit cool, so it’s wise to pack light layers. Summer also brings lengthening days, with the sun setting over Paris near 10pm this month. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 24mm.)
  • Paris Weather in July: July is generally very warm and sunny, with daytime high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 20s. Overcast days can feel quite a bit cooler, however. Light layers are still advised. At times, high humidity can make the warm temperatures feel quite uncomfortable – heat-sensitive travelers will want to ensure that their lodging has air conditioning. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
  • Paris Weather in August: August continues hot and sunny, with highs in the mid-to-upper 20s and considerable humidity at times. Rain tends to be infrequent, and comes and goes in short bursts. As the heat bakes the city, locals head for the cooler coast. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 21mm.)
  • September Weather in Paris: Many travelers consider September to be the ideal month for a Paris trip. Rain is infrequent, and it’s generally warm (but not too hot) with gradual cooling throughout the month. Leaves remain green and on the trees, and there are still plenty of flowers to be seen across the city. Days are shortening, with sunset around 8pm. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 16mm.)
  • October Weather in Paris: Paris sees significant cooling as autumn arrives. Early October’s mild and sunny weather transitions into overcast and wet days as the month progresses. Late October tends to be cloudy and cool. Most flowers are past their peak, but autumn foliage is at its most spectacular toward the end of this month. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
  • November Weather in Paris: Temperatures continue to drop throughout November, with highs averaging in the low teens, and drizzly rain becoming more common. Expect and plan for cool, wet, and windy, though you may be surprised by a few days of pleasant sunshine. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Rainfall: 22mm.)
  • December Weather in Paris: December is the wettest month in Paris, though it generally drizzles more than it downpours. It’s colder too, with high temperatures falling within the 5-10°C range. The sun sets around 5pm, and the short days provide ample opportunity to experience the City of Lights at its most seasonally festive. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Rainfall: 26mm.)

Paris Events and Festivals

Paris in January

  • Grande Parade de Paris – Marching bands, dancers, parade floats, and clowns ring in the new year along the Champs-Elysees: from Place de la Concorde to L’Arc de Triomphe and back again. Beginning at 2pm, New Years Day.
  • Festival du Merveilleux (The Festival of Marvels) – For a short time at the end of each year, the private Museum of Fairground Arts (Musée des Arts Forains) opens its doors to the public, offering a rare hands-on experience of its spectacular collection of antique carousels and amusement park rides. Held in late December through early January at the Musée des Arts Forains in Bercy, 12th Arrondissement. Reservations required.
  • Ice Skating – Rinks at the Trocadero and Champs-Elysees close during the first week of January, but you can skate at the Eiffel Tower through mid-February and at the Hotel de Ville until March 1.
  • Les Soldes (Winter Sales) – Bargains (and crowds) abound during this semi-annual retail sales extravaganza. At shops across Paris from early January through mid-February.

Paris in February

  • Carnaval de Paris – Parisians dance away the winter blahs in this colorful parade that winds through the city from Place Gambetta to the Hotel de Ville on the first Sunday in February.
  • Chinese New Year – A vibrant celebration of Paris’ French-Chinese community, with concerts, cultural events, and multiple parades across the city. (The most notable are in the Marais District, Belleville, and the 13th Arrondissement.) Dates change yearly according to the lunar calendar.

Paris in March

  • Paris Fashion Week – The fashion industry caps off its global tour at the Carrousel du Louvre, where the best designers in the world show off their fall collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties. Early March.
  • Carnaval de Femmes – Expect elaborate costumes, dancing, and great people watching at this annual parade-style celebration of women, started centuries ago by the laundresses along the Seine. Takes place mid-Lent, with the parade route beginning at Place du Chalet.
  • The Foire de Chatou Antiques Fair – Semiannual flea-market festival in nearby Chatou, France. 35,000 visitors eat, drink, and haggle with more than 700 antiques and collectibles dealers from across France. Takes place over 12 days in mid-March.
  • Cinéma du Réel – Documentary film festival showcasing over 200 films by experienced directors and first timers alike. Takes place over 10 days at the Pompidou Centre and various participating theaters across Paris in mid to late March.
  • Orchestres en Fête – A 10 day national festival of classical music, with renowned orchestras performing at Théâtre du Châtelet, Cité del la Musique, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and other venues across France. Late March.
  • Printemps du Cinéma – Nationwide 3 day budget film festival. Over 5,000 movie theaters across France drop admission prices to €3.50 per ticket. Late March.
  • Art Paris Art Fair – The Grand Palais plays host to over 140 international galleries in this celebration of contemporary European visual art. End of March.
  • Banlieues Bleues Festival – A springtime jazz festival featuring live acts from across the globe at venues across Seine-Saint-Denis, just northeast of Paris. March and April.

Paris in April

  • Paris Marathon – 37,000 runners from across the globe make their way past some of Paris’ most beautiful landmarks, looping through the heart of the city from the Champs-Elysées back to the Arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in April.
  • Galloping Sundays – The races at Longchamps are especially family-friendly on April Sundays, when visitors will find a carousel, treasure hunt, and pony races for kids, plus free admission for the 18-and-unders.
  • Foire du Trone (Fun Fair) – The oldest fair in Paris. Eight weeks of rides, games, food and family-friendly entertainment at the Bois de Vincennes in April and May. General admission is free and you pay for each attraction.

Paris in May

  • Le Printemps des Rues (Street Art Festival) – A weekend-long celebration of street performance, with dozens of singers, dancers, clowns, magicians, and puppeteers entertaining crowds along the Canal Saint Martin the 10th Arrondissement.
  • The Great Paris Steeplechase – Widely considered the premier equestrian event in France, this steeplechase-style horserace is kicked off by the popular Defile des Drags, a parade of glorious horse-drawn carriages from the Arc de Triomphe down Avenue Foch. Held in mid-May at the Hippodrome d’Auteuil in the 16th Arrondissement.
  • European Museum Night – Dozens of the best museums in Paris stay open until midnight, and offer special events, concerts, and children’s activities – most free of charge. Takes place on the Saturday closest to May 18th.
  • We Love Green Festival – An eco-friendly celebration of rock, pop, and electronic music, along with organic food, local produce, and sustainable partying. Takes place on the last weekend of May in Paris’ beautiful Parc de Bagatelle.
  • Open-Air Theater at Jardin de Shakespeare – From May through September, this romantic garden in the Bois de Boulogne plays host to a series of outdoor theatrical performances, most of them Shakespeare, many in English.
  • French Open (Roland Garros) – Internationally renowned grand slam tennis tournament held on the clay courts of the Stade Roland Garros. Late May /Early June.

Paris in June

  • Festival Saint Denis – An annual four-week series of classical music concerts held at the gothic Saint Denis Basilica and the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in the nearby town of Saint Denis, just north of Paris.
  • Carnaval Tropical – A parade of dancing, calypso, and colorful costumes, from the Place de la Nation through the streets of the 11th arrondissement and back. Exact dates change by year.
  • Paris Pride – A festive parade from the 15th Arrondissement to the Place de la Bastille culminates in a giant street party during this colorful celebration of GLBT folks and their allies. Mid-June.
  • Champs-Elysées Film Festival – Annual juried film festival focusing on American independent and documentary film, as well as French and American film premieres. Takes place at theaters on the Champs-Elysées in mid-June.
  • World Music Day (Fête de la Musique) – On the longest day of the year, the French celebrate music (and the making of it) with live bands and free concerts across the streets of Paris and beyond. Held on 21 June, participation encouraged.
  • Chopin Festival – The Orangerie at la Parc de la Bagatelle provides a lush backdrop for this series of outdoor classical concerts, performing and honoring the work of the famous Polish composer. June/July.
  • Paris Jazz Festival – Enjoy a picnic in the park while listening to world-class jazz music at this weeks-long festival at the Parc Floral de Vincennes. Concerts are free with park admission, but get there early, as these show are extremely popular. Saturdays and Sundays, Mid-June through July.
  • Les Soldes (Summer Sales) – Bargains (and crowds) abound during this semi-annual retail sales extravaganza. At shops throughout Paris from mid-June through July.

Paris in July

  • Bastille Day (la Fête Nationale) – Paris kicks off the French national holiday early, with music, food, drinks and dancing at the popular Fireman’s balls, held at fire stations across the city on the night of 13 July, from 9pm-4am. Celebrations on the 14th include a morning military parade down the Champs-Elysées, a free concert on the Champs-de-Mars, and fireworks off the Eiffel Tower at 11pm.
  • Paris Plages – Every summer, the sea-side comes to Paris when the right banks of the Seine are transformed into a series of sandy beaches. Complete with deckchairs and umbrellas, the plages offer sunbathing, boules and sandcastle competitions, and family-friendly beach activities from mid-July through mid-August. Who needs the coast? Open daily from 9am through midnight, free.
  • Tour de France – Spectators cheer as participants in the world’s most prestigious bicycle race pedal their way through the streets of Paris to the finish line on the Champs-Elysées in late July. If you want a view of the riders without the huge crowds park yourself near the Musée d’Orsay on the Left Bank.
  • Cinéma en Plein Air à La Villette – Pack a picnic: it’s a month of free outdoor classic and contemporary films in the Parc de la Villette in northeast Paris, with all films shown in their original language and subtitled in French. Movies begin nightly at sundown, weather permitting. Mid-July through mid-August.
  • Quartier d’Eté Festival – A month-long series of dance, music, and theatrical performances held at various indoor and outdoor venues across Paris, many of them free. Mid-July through Mid-August.
  • Cinema au Clair de Lune – Free outdoor film festival held at various iconic parks and gardens across Paris. Late July through mid-August.

Paris in August

  • Feast of the Assumption – Religious Parisians and pilgrims from across the globe celebrate this Catholic holy day with an evening river procession on the Seine on 14 August, followed on the morning of the 15th by a special mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame and a grand procession through the Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis.
  • Rock en Seine – Dozens of world-renowned acts perform across 5 stages within an historic park setting during this 3 day rock music festival at the Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, just West of Paris. Late August.

Paris in September

  • Jazz à la Villette – A popular ten-day celebration of jazz and fusion music, with concerts by celebrated and up-and-coming musicians, as well as film screenings, exhibitions, master classes, and kids’ events. Held in early September in the Parc de la Villette, northeast Paris.
  • Festival d’Ile de France – Throughout September, historic locations across the Ile de France play host to about 30 classical, contemporary, and world music concerts, which are supplemented by guided tours, workshops, and masterclasses.
  • Le Grand Feu de Saint-Cloud – 90 minutes, 23,000 spectators, Europe’s largest and most spectacular fireworks show. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, and consistently sell out. Held in mid-September at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, on the western outskirts of Paris.
  • The Paris Autumn Festival (Festival d’Automne à Paris) – Multidisciplinary arts festival showcasing the latest in global theatre, music, dance, visual arts, and film. Held from mid-September through December at various venues across the city.
  • Techno Parade – The streets of Paris become a giant dance club during this celebration of electronic music, with floats carrying dancers and DJs, techno music echoing off city buildings, and 350,000 revelers dancing in the streets. Held in mid-September, the parade travels north through the city from the Place de la Nation to the Place de la Bastille.
  • European Heritage Days (Journees du Patrimoine) – Historic buildings, monuments, and sites that are usually not accessible to the public open their doors once a year for touring. Most sites are free, though many require advance reservations. Held on the third weekend in September at various sites across the city.
  • Paris Garden Festival (Fete de Jardins a Paris) – Two-day celebration of Parisian horticulture, with guided tours, show gardens, special events and workshops, and over 150 parks and gardens open for touring – including many which are generally closed to the public. Held in late September across Paris.
  • Paris Fashion Week – The fashion industry caps off its global tour at the Carrousel du Louvre, where the best designers in the world show off their spring and summer collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties. Late September/Early October.
  • The Foire de Chatou Antiques Fair – Semiannual flea-market festival in nearby Chatou, France. 35,000 visitors eat, drink, and haggle with more than 700 antiques and collectibles dealers from across France. Late September/Early October.

Paris in October

  • Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Europe’s most prestigious horse race, held on the first Sunday in October at Longchamp racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne.
  • Nuit Blanche (White Night) – Museums and galleries across Paris extend their hours, and concerts, installations, and special events take place into the wee hours during this all-night-long celebration of art and culture. Held in early October across Paris.
  • Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival – A popular weekend-long celebration of wine in the 18th Arrondissement, with a street parade, fireworks, concerts, dances, and guided tours of the Montmartre vineyards. Early October.
  • La Semaine Du Gout (Tasting Week) – Many of Paris’ best restaurants offer specially priced menus or two-for-one offers during this nationwide culinary celebration. Mid-October.
  • International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) – Thousands of artists from around the world display their work within the stunning backdrops of the Grand Palais and Cité de la Mode et du Design. Late October.
  • Pitchfork Music Festival – Three days of international indie music shows at the Grande Halle de la Villette in northeast Paris. Late October.

Paris in November

  • ATP World Master’s Tour 1000 – The tennis world converges on Paris for the final event of the international men’s tennis season. Held at the Palais Omnisports in Bercy in early November.
  • Armistice Day – On this anniversary of the end of the First World War, France’s fallen and wounded soldiers are honored in a sober ceremony and vigil on the Champs-Elysées. 11 November, 9am.
  • Paris Photo – International art fair, showcasing 19th century and contemporary photographic works from more than 100 exhibitors at the Grand Palais. Mid-November.
  • Africolor Music Festival – A music festival showcasing the work of African and Caribbean artists through a series of concerts, workshops, and master classes. Held in mid-November through late December in various venues across Paris.
  • Ice Skating at the Champs-Elysées – A sure sign that winter is approaching, this iconic rink next to Place de la Concorde on the Champs-Elysées opens in mid-November.
  • Seasonal Decorations and Displays – Paris’ Christmas lights and department store window displays begin to make an appearance around mid-November, and are generally kept up through early January.

Paris in December

  • Ice Skating – The rink at the Champs-Elysées is open throughout December. The elevated rink on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower generally opens in early December, and those at the Hotel de Ville and Trocadero pop up around mid-Month.
  • Seasonal Decorations and Displays – Christmas lights and spectacular department store window displays create a festive seasonal atmosphere across all of Paris’ 18 Arrondissements. Must-see displays include the lights along the Champs-Elysées and Avenue Montaigne, the windows at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, and the traditional village charm of Montmartre.
  • Marches de Noel (Christmas Markets) – You’ll find gift items galore, as well as snacks, hot cocoa, and mulled wine, at Paris’ seasonal markets, generally going up during the first weekend of December. Notable markets include those at the Champs-Elysées, Trocadero, Notre Dame Cathedral, Montparnasse Tower, and Montmartre.
  • Paris Courts Devant – Annual festival of short film, showcasing works from international renowned and up-and-coming directors. Held in mid-December at venues across the Montmartre District.
  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Fireworks displays at the Eiffel Tower are only held on certain years, but you can always join the reveling hordes at the Champs-Elysées, as they ring in the New Year by watching the show over the Arc de Triomphe.

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Best Time to Visit Bangkok

Updated: January 29, 2017

When is the best time to visit Bangkok?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: Bangkok is busy year-round, which means no matter what season you arrive, you’re bound to have to battle the crowds, though there are times that are worse than others. One of the biggest festivals of the year is Songran (Thai New Year), which takes place in mid-April, bringing especially thick crowds, while Christmas and the New Year holidays also see a big increase in visitors to the city. While it won’t make a huge difference, late November and early December may be the best time to visit Bangkok, when the city is drying out from the monsoon season and experiencing a slight cool down, and the holiday crowds have yet to arrive. September and October are Bangkok’s (and Thailand’s) rainiest months. The best weather for Thailand’s beaches and islands are December to March, so if you’re combining Bangkok with a visit to one of the southern islands then this is best time for sunny, dry weather. More important than time of year when visiting Bangkok, try to visit the most popular attractions early in the morning for the smallest crowds, coolest temperatures, and best experience.
  • Best Time for Shopping: By far, the best time for shopping in Bangkok is from mid-June through mid-August when the “Amazing Grand Sale” takes place. Shops offer discounts of 10 to an incredible 80 percent on items like clothes, electronic items, jewelry and more, allowing shoppers to stock up on dream purchases at a fraction of the price. No matter when you’re in the city, timing is crucial when it comes to shopping. Markets are best to visit in the morning or evening when it’s slightly cooler and often less frantic. Save the air-conditioned malls for the peak heat of the day. You may want to avoid traveling around the city during morning and evening rush hours, from 07:30 to 0:900 and again from 17:00 to 18:30.
  • Best Time to Visit the Grand Palace: The Grand Palace is Bangkok’s No. 1 must-see attraction, receiving millions of tourists annually, which means it’s almost always crowded; however, there are times when you can enjoy it in relative peace. Your best bet is to come early in the morning during the peak of rainy season, from about mid-June through mid-September. Be at the entrance by about 8:15am, just before the 8:30am opening time to get inside first. Start at Wat Phra Kaeo, before the famous temple is packed with tourists. If you can’t arrive early, the next best option is mid-afternoon, after most tourists and groups exit around 2:30pm. The worst time to visit is during peak periods like Songkran in mid-April, as well as Christmas and New Year holidays.
  • Best Time to Visit Chinatown: Chinatown is Bangkok’s most chaotic, colorful district, and a little city in its own right. Many feel the crowds are what make it so exciting, and visiting around the Chinese New Year in late January or early February, is when Chinatown is at its best. The area hosts exciting dragon parades, firecrackers and dancing in the streets. You’ll find lots of energy here year long, day or night, though after dark is more vibrant, with sidewalks turning into street restaurants, and the opportunity to taste some of the best street food on the planet.
  • High Season (November through March): While Bangkok is busy and hot year round, there are slight differences between the seasons when it comes to weather and crowds. Late fall and winter bring somewhat cooler and drier weather, while crowds are at their peak, particularly around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  It’s virtually impossible to explore the city without rubbing shoulders with fellow tourists during this time, and the outdoor beer bars will be packed with them. Expect prices to rise steeply and accommodation to fill up quickly. Booking ahead becomes essential during these months, which can take some of the spontaneity away from your holiday.
  • Shoulder Season (April through June, September and October): While the crowds may not be as thick during shoulder season, April through June are Bangkok’s hottest months, with April by far the most unpleasant month temperature wise, which means booking an air-conditioned room is really a must. September and October are slightly cooler and wetter. Your reward for going in any of these less-crowded months, is the best opportunity to save a little on both room rates and airfare.
  • Low Season (July and August): Low season falls during monsoon season, which brings frequent but usually short bouts of intense rain. Many feel this is a great time to visit the city, as it generally offers some of the best deals on hotels and excursions. Off-season weather isn’t intolerable, and the trade-off of significant savings and more elbow room is likely to be worth the bit of discomfort. When it rains, tourists can enjoy the wide range of indoor activities, like visiting temples, aquariums and entertainment complexes as well as the numerous shopping opportunities.

Bangkok Weather

  • Bangkok Weather in January: This area of Asia has a tropical climate with hot, humid weather year round. While winter is slightly cooler than the other seasons, it still brings plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. The average high temperature in January is 27°C, and there is little rain to cool things off as January is one of Bangkok’s driest months, with an average of just 10mm of rain coming down over two days. At all times of the year in Bangkok, you’ll want to pack light clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, or moisture-wicking synthetics. As you’ll need protection from the sun, and clothing like shorts and tank tops aren’t appropriate for the city, particularly in the temples and palaces, loose and light long pants and comfortable, short-sleeve tops are ideal. A wide-brimmed hat is important to avoid burning in the intense sunshine. As you’ll be going in and out of highly air-conditioned environments, including taxis, the Skytrain, malls and hotels, bring a cardigan or something to wrap around your shoulders to avoid a chill as well. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in February: February is similar to January, and considered the last “cool” month until November, though the average high temperature creeps up a degree to 29°C. The rain is still at a minimum, with an average of just 10mm coming down over three days of rain. Pack as you would for January, and always keep in mind that the soaring temperatures, which are much higher than most other parts of the world at this time of year, can result in heatstroke. Drink plenty of water and duck into air-conditioned malls or other areas to take a break from the heat. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in March: March is slightly warmer than February, with the average high climbing up to 30°C. Rainfall is still rare, though there’s a bit more than the two previous months with an average of 30mm over five days of rain. It’s typically hot and muggy, which means you‘ll need to avoid spending too much time in the direct heat, or risk dehydration and even heatstroke. The heat can be oppressive during the day, so much so that sightseeing can become unpleasant, which means planning indoor trips during peak daylight areas and booking an air-conditioned room that you can find relief in, particularly if you’re sensitive to the heat. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in April: April is the hottest month in Bangkok, with the average high a sizzling 32°C – and, sometimes it can soar to around 37°C, making things especially miserable. With the humidity at around 70%, it can feel extremely muggy and sticky combined with the higher temperatures. Now more than ever, you’ll need plenty of protection from the sun, including slathering on high SPF sunscreen, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and taking regular breaks from the heat. Drink plenty of water too, as this is the month when more people are reported to suffer from fatigue and heatstroke. There is also slightly more rain in April, with an average of 70mm of rainfall over 10 days, but not enough to damper plans or cool things off. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in May: May marks the start of the monsoon season, bringing some relief from the sweltering heat of April. It will still be quite warm, with an average high temperature of 32°C, and, when combined with the rain, the humidity can be excruciatingly intolerable, though the rains do help cool things off a bit. It is quite wet this month, with 190mm of rainfall on average coming down over 17 days. Expect to see some flooding in Bangkok during the first few weeks of May as the drains, clogged from dry season debris, tend to get blocked. Especially toward the end of the month, the rain tends to come down in buckets, but don’t bother to bring a raincoat as it will be far too hot to wear it. Instead, carry a small, portable umbrella and be prepared to remove your shoes and wade if necessary. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 190mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in June: The monsoon rains have now arrived, with rainfall and temperatures similar to May, though the mercury does dip down a degree to an average high of 31°C. Plan for scorching heat and humidity as you would for last month, bringing plenty of loose, lightweight and protective clothing, along with a small umbrella. As with all months of the year, packing a cardigan or something to wrap around your shoulders if it gets too cool in air-conditioned areas is also a good idea. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 150 mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in July: July is low season, a time when it’s very humid and very rainy. There is a steady rise in rainfall and a very slight drop in daily average temperatures that will continue on a monthly basis through to September, though this month the average high remains a very hot 31°C. While there is still an average of 180mm of precipitation in July, it comes down over 19 days, increasing the odds of experiencing at least a few rainy days while you’re here this month. Once again, pack light clothing and an umbrella, but keep in mind that the rain tends to come in short bursts, rarely lasting more than 30 minutes. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 160 mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in August: Temperatures remain hot – nearly identical to those of July. Expect to see street flooding in Bangkok this month, particularly after a torrential downfall. The humidity is high too, averaging at 74%, so expect to feel sticky and sweaty, though you won’t have to worry about bumping elbows with other travelers as much. As before, an umbrella is a must and you’ll need to be prepared to take off your shoes and wade occasionally in addition to taking breaks in the shade to get away from the intense heat of the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 190mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in September: September is the wettest month of the year in Bangkok, with 290mm coming down on average over 22 days of rain. Although autumn is approaching, you’re unlikely to ever feel cool, though the average high is slightly cooler than August at 29°C. Basically, you can expect lots of rain, occasional sunshine and unpleasant humidity this month. The downpours are usually quite heavy, but also short, making it easy to duck into a mall or café until it clears. Pack lots of loose, lightweight and protective clothing that dries quickly, high SPF sunscreen and a portable umbrella, along with a light cardigan for cooler indoor spots. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 290mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in October: In October, the rain begins to get lighter, and as the month progresses, Bangkok will say goodbye to the rainy season. There will be plenty of rain, but by mid-month the wet season is in full retreat. If it was a particularly wet one, there may still be some flooding in the city; however, that doesn’t happen every year. The sun will be shining brightly most of the time, with the average high temperature the same as it was last month, at 29°C. Pack as you would for September to be prepared for rain and sun. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 210mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in November: The rainy season has ended, and locals are now preparing to deal with the “cold,” with average highs of 28°C, though temperatures often hover around the mid-20s Celsius. There is very little rain, with just 60mm coming down on average over five days in November. This is when the city is often at its most pleasant, though you’ll still need protection from the sun in the form of sunscreen, as well as loose, lightweight clothing. As the nights are relatively cool, with lows around an idyllic 22°C, there’s a more happening nightlife too. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Bangkok Weather in December: December is Bangkok’s driest month, with just 9mm of rain, which means there is a good chance you won’t experience any at all while you’re here. This is the height of tourist season, and the coolest time of the year with average high temperatures still at 27°C, though lows dip down to 20°C, making for especially comfortable evenings as well as bringing the peak of the city’s nightlife. As always, you’ll need light, loose clothing and sunglasses as well as a cardigan for indoors, but you’re unlikely to need that umbrella. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)

Bangkok Events and Festivals by Month

Bangkok Events in January

  • New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day, January 1, is a public holiday in Thailand. While it may be a little quieter as some residents visit their local temple to make merit, the shops and malls remain open and only government offices and banks will be closed.
    National Children’s Day – On this day, celebrated on the second Saturday in January, doors that are usually closed to the public are opened, like the Government House, Defence Minstry and inner Grand Palace. Zoos, theme parks and many other sights are free, and there are many special events held for children.
  • Bangkok Fringe Festival – Held annually between late January and early February, this performing arts festival that takes place at the Patravadi Theater features Thai and international artists who perform dance, music, theater, puppetry, film, and more.
  • Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day – A weeklong celebration rings in the Chinese New Year in late January or February. In 2017, the Chinese New Year will be on January 28. This is a time for Thai-Chinese to rest and celebrate, so many businesses will be closed. Chinatown will be filled with lanterns, firecrackers, lion and dragon dances, Chinese opera and an even greater number of food stalls than usual.

Bangkok Events in February

  • Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day, February 14, isn’t a public holiday, but in a country where public displays of affection are frowned upon and many are shy about love, it offers the opportunity to send a card or ask someone to dinner. It’s celebrated much the way it is in other countries, and is becoming an increasingly extravagant affair. Most of the city’s top restaurants and bars host special romantic evenings and themed events.
  • Makha Bucha Day – This public holiday and important Buddhist lunar festival is observed throughout Thailand on the full moon night of the third lunar month. In the evening, Thai people join candlelit processions around temples to celebrate the day Buddha gave a sermon to 1,250 enlightened devotees. Foreign visitors are welcome to the observances that begin around sunset. Some of the best places to go in Bangkok include Wat Benjamabopit and the Golden Mount, where monks from the temple lead a procession up the mount.

Bangkok Events in March

  • Bangkok International Fashion Week – Held in mid-March, this five-day event typically takes place at the Impact Exhibition & Convention Center and showcases a variety of products, including clothing and cosmetics, jewelry, leather products, bridal and handicrafts.
  • National Book Fair – This international annual event brings together writers and publishers in all genres and is held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in late March and early April. In 2016, it will run from March 23 to April 4.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – While you won’t be able to watch a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bangkok, the St. Patrick’s Society is one of the oldest social communities in Bangkok and typically hosts events for the Irish holiday, like the St. Patrick’s Day Shindig on March 17 at the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok, which will feature plenty of Guinness and Irish coffee along with Irish music and tasty Irish fare. The city also has a number of Irish pubs where you can lift a pint and toast to St. Patrick as well as enjoy dining on Irish stew.

Bangkok Events in April

  • Chakri Day – This holiday is an important observance for modern Thailand held on April 6, celebrating the founding of the Chakri Dynasty from which the current royal family originates. Banks, schools and government offices are closed, but most other businesses remain open. Thai people may light incense and lay wreaths at prominent statues of King Rama I.
  • Songkran – The Thai New Year celebration is a three-day holiday that takes place over April 13-16, 2016, but the festivities can last all week long. During Songkran, most office buildings, banks, family-run shops and eateries shut down completely, though the big shopping malls usually remain open. At least half of Bangkok residents leave the city, traveling back to their hometowns during this time. Those who stay should prepare to get wet by dressing appropriately and protecting phones and wallets, with the celebrations including young people that arm themselves with high-velocity water guns, buckets and hoses to take part in massive water fights – tourists and businessmen are often top targets.

Bangkok Events in May

  • National Labour Day – Also known as May Day, May 1 is an annual public holiday taken by private companies and banks, though usually not by government officials who instead observe mid-May’s Royal Ploughing Ceremony. While there have been May Day rallies in Bangkok in the past, today the emphasis is on employees taking a day to rest and spend time with their families.
  • Coronation Day – May 5 is Coronation Day, a public holiday that marks the anniversary of the coronation of the country’s current King Rama IX. On this day, royal decorations are presented to those who’ve made valuable contributions to the country, and you can expect to hear the royal anthem played widely. Some rooms at the Grand Palace which aren’t normally open to the public, may be open for viewing.
  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day – This highly ceremonial event is held at the Sanam Luang ceremonial site in Bangkok each year. It marks a promising start to the new planting season. Presided over by a member of the Royal Family, the ceremony follows a strict agenda in which court ceremonial gown-dressed Brahmins lead two sacred oxen in a ploughing ritual around the Royal Field while sowing rice seeds into the ground. The public holiday takes place during the sixth Thai lunar month, but the exact date isn’t fixed, rather it’s announced by the astrologers a the Bureau of the Royal Household.
  • Visakha Bucha – The holiest of all Buddhist holidays is commemorated on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month which normally falls in May. In 2016, it will be celebrated on May 20. During this public holiday, Thai Buddhists visit the temple to make merit in addition to making an extra effort to uphold the Five Precepts of Buddhist teachings which include abstinence from alcohol. Some bars and clubs are closed for the day, and those that do remain open may keep the music at lower levels and only serve alcohol in a very discreet manner, such as pouring beer into tea cups.

Bangkok Events in June

  • Amazing Thailand Grand Sale – This fair that begins in mid-June is a place for shoppers to grab some of the best deals all year for a variety of goods and services with an array of stores, restaurants, hotels and resorts offering discounts from 10 to 80 percent.
  • Crab Festival – This festival held at Central Plaza Rama in mid-June offers the chance to taste fresh crab from Bang Khun Thian. It also features a number of exhibitions, including international cooking demonstrations.

Bangkok Events in July

  • Asana Bucha and Khao Pansa – These two important Thai Buddhist holidays fall next to each other, usually in July. In 2016, they will be celebrated on July 19 and 20. Asahara Bucha commemorates the day Buddha preached his first sermon to his five first disciples, while Khao Pansa is the beginning of the Buddhist Lent, when the monks’ three-month rainy reason retreat starts and alcohol is banned all day. Monks use the retreat to meditate more intensively, while lay people often use this period to develop more ascetic practices, such as abstaining from cigarettes, alcohol or meat. A Buddhist Lent Festival takes place, featuring celebrants that make huge candles and parade them through the streets along with floats depicting scenes from Buddhist and Hindu mythology.
  • Pattaya Marathon – This event takes place around the nearby Pattaya area on the outskirts of Bangkok. Popular with runners from around the world, the course offers coastal views and passes magnificent scenery along the way. In addition to the marathon, there are a variety of distances to choose from, including a 5k for kids, a 10.5k and 21k.

Bangkok Events in August

  • Queen’s Birthday – August 12 marks the birthday of Queen Cirkit who was born in 1932. It’s also celebrated as Mother’s Day. As the Queen was born on a Friday, and light blue is a color associated with the day, people often dress in light blue to show their respect. In Sanam Luang, you’ll witness candle-holding crowds, and you’ll also see illuminations on Thanon Ratchadamnoen as well as citywide shrines.
  • Short Film & Video Festival – Held every year in mid-August at the Bangkok Art & Culture Center, this festival showcases Thai indie film, as well as some global and gay programming with a focus on short films, student films, documentary, experimental and animation films. In 2016, it will be held from August 11 through August 21.
  • Chinese Ghost Festival – This festival takes place on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar, usually in August. In 2016, it will be celebrated on August 17. Observed by Taoists, Buddhists, and Chinese folk religion believers, the festival is believed to be the time when the gates of hell open so that spirits can roam the earth in search of food and entertainment. Food offering ceremonies are organized at home to make merit, as well as to distribute food and other necessities to those in need. The main celebrations are observed around major Chinese shrines in Thailand.

Bangkok Events in September

  • Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival – The Moon Festival originated in China, but takes on a whole new meaning here. This is an exciting time for food lovers, when culinary creativity abounds. Chinatown fills with food stalls promoting mooncakes in every flavor imaginable, from roasted chestnut and green tea to coffee, ginseng and even ice cream.
  • International Festival of Dance and Music – Bangkok’s largest annual arts festival features top or second tier opera, classical music, dance, ballet and jazz in a star-studded program that begins in the second week of September and runs through mid-October.

Bangkok Events in October

  • Awk Phansa – This day (October 16 in 2016) marks the end of the three-month period of Buddhist Lent. Monks are allowed to leave the temples, and people gather to bring them food and robe offerings in a ceremony known as Thot Kathin, which lasts for one month. Throughout Thailand, various events and festivities are arranged, and in Bangkok there is a royal ceremony that’s usually held at Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn).
  • Kin Jay Vegetarian Festival – For nine days each year during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar (typically late September/October), a large portion of Thailand’s population eat exclusively vegan foods in observation of the Chinese cleansing festival. Popular among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, restaurants and street stalls across Bangkok put up yellow flags to announce their participation. While some serve non-vegetarian dishes, most are completely vegetarian during the length of the festival.
  • Chulalongkorn Day – Every year on October 23, Thai people celebrate the life and reign of King Chulalongkorn on the anniversary of his death in 2010. On this public holiday, many people bring offering in front of his statues, or portraits, in hopes of having their prayers answered.
  • Halloween – Halloween is generally not celebrated by Thai people and is mostly ignored outside of large tourist destinations; however, in places like Bangkok where there are many foreign visitors and expats, you’ll find parties at many pubs, bars, and nightclubs throughout the city that offer the chance to dress up in costume.

Bangkok Events in November

  • World Film Festival of Bangkok – Held in early November, November 4 to November 13 in 2016, this festival screens more than 80 international films, including works from the European Union Film Festival, Latin America, Asia and Southeast Asia and included short films, experimental films, documentaries and animation productions.
  • Beer Garden Festival – This is Thailand’s answer to Germany’s Oktoberfest. November is the start of the country’s annual beer garden season, where tables and chairs are brought out onto the street and Singha, Heineken, and a host of other beers are available on tap. While it’s a nationwide event, it’s most prevalent in the capital. Food stalls, live bands and practically an endless list of different beers can be found at plazas, bar strips and malls like Central World.
  • Loy Krathong Festival – One of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok happens on the first full moon day of November, on November 14 in 2016. In the evening, Thai people buy or make a krathong, which is like a small boat made of banana tree and banana leaves, with flowers and a candle in the middle. They then gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing their beautiful rafts in order to wash away sins. The sight of the thousands of flickering lights is truly magical, and there are many spots throughout the city to get involved or simply watch the festivities. The main Loy Krathong celebration in Bangkok has been held at Asiatique in recent years.

Bangkok Events in December

  • Trooping of the Colours – This impressive event is held on December 1, a few days before the King’s Birthday. Inspired by the British Army’s Trooping of the Colours ceremony, in this event, members of the three armed forces, the Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Thai Army, and the Royal Thai Air Force, together with the royal guards, all don colorful uniforms specific to their regimens and plumed hats, and declare the oath of allegiance while marching in unison before the King and Queen and members of the Royal Family. As locals often arrive as early as mid-afternoon to get a seat around the Royal Plaza, if you want to attend you’ll need to go early and wear modest attire.
  • The King’s Birthday – On this celebration held annually on December 5, visitors have the chance to witness the adoration and reverence the Thai people have for their monarch, who has been the King of Thailand for 70 years as of 2016. An impressive display of fireworks are traditionally released near the Grand Palace, and the streets of the city’s center are decorated in his honor. Thousands also light candles after dark, while traditional music and dance is enjoyed into the night.
  • Constitution Day – This public holiday on December 10 commemorates the first constitution of Thailand, which came into effect in 1932. It marks the transformation of Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. It is traditionally celebrated across Thailand by displaying and paying respect to portraits of Thai kings past and present; it is also common for government offices to be lit up and for civilian and military parades to take place. In Bangkok, a ceremonial procession takes place at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
  • Christmas Day – Christmas Day is a Christian tradition, not celebrated in Thai culture, but as the Thai people enjoy giving gifts to each other, it’s become a commercial and marketing event here, with Christmas trees found in shopping centers rather than living rooms. Bangkok’s infamous high-end, sky-scraping shopping centers and luxury hotels showcase Christmas trees and dazzling lights that become an attraction of their own. There are Christmas services on December 25 at area Christian churches, though the holiday is more about shopping, food and drink here.
  • New Year’s Eve – Bangkok is one of Asia’s biggest party hubs, so you’ll find a wide variety of options when it comes to celebrating the coming year, including everything from the colorful New Year countdown with thousands in Central World Square to wild parties at swanky clubs and private river cruises along the Chao Praya River which hosts a huge fireworks display. Khao San Road is always a fun and lively spectacle during New Years Eve.

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The Best Time to Visit Bali

The best time to visit Bali.

Updated: January 29, 2017

When is the best time to go to Bali?
The best time to visit Bali for most visitors is between April and October when there is little rain, low humidity, and lots of sun. If you want to save money the best months are May, June, and October. Surfing is possible year-round but the best months are from April to September.

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When is the best time of the year to visit Bali?

  • Best Time for Good Weather on Bali: Bali has good weather during the dry season of April to October. This is when the island has the least rain, the most sun, and the lowest humidity. However, Bali is a good destination any time of year. There is more rainfall from November to March but rain is often followed by sunny clear skies.
  • Best Time for Beaches, Swimming, and Suntanning: April to October are the sunniest driest months with lots of sun. But you can get good beach weather any month of the year.
  • Best Time for Sightseeing and Outdoor Activities: May to September offers the driest weather when the interior of the island is easiest to explore.
  • Best Time for Diving: April to June (good), September to November (best).
  • Best Time for Saving Money: The best time for deals and discounts on hotels is February to early June and late September to early December when there are fewer tourists on the island. The price of food and transportation doesn’t change much in low season.
  • High Season (July, August, late December, early January): The busiest time of year. Book hotels months in advance.
  • Shoulder Season (February, June, September, October, November, early December): Great deals to be found on hotels if book early. The island is slower than the peak season but there’s still plenty of life if you’re looking for nightlife and busy restaurants.
  • Low Season (March, April, May): The quietest months on the island and when you’ll find the cheapest rates on hotels.
  • Best Time for Surfing on Bali: The best time to surf on Bali is during the dry season which usually runs from April to September. This is when the waves at the western beaches are at their best. During the wet season of November to March the winds switch direction and the best breaks are at the less impressive eastern beaches.
When To Surf Bali Beaches:
Beach Best Surfing Facing
Kuta April to September West
Airport Left April to September West
Airport Right April to September West
Balangan April to September West
Bingin April to September West
Canggu April to September West
Impossibles April to September West
Padang Padang April to September West
Uluwatu April to September West
Sanur November to March East
Nusa Dua November to March East
Serangan November to March East
Green Balls November to March East
Keramas November to March East

Bali Weather by Month

Bali Temperature by Month (high in celsius)
Bali Temperature by Month

Bali Rain by Month (mm)
Bali Rain by Month

  • January Weather in Bali: The rainiest month of the year. Rain usually comes in the late afternoon or through the night and lasts for 5 to 30 minutes. The sun often returns shortly after. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 340mm. Days with Rain: 16)
  • February Weather in Bali: Almost as rainy as January with the same bursts of rain followed by sun. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 310mm. Days with Rain: 15)
  • March Weather in Bali: Still wet but typically plenty of sunshine for hitting the beach. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 210mm. Days with Rain: 14)
  • April Weather in Bali: Definitely drier than the previous months and humidity has decreased too. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Rainfall: 90mm. Days with Rain: 12)
  • May Weather in Bali: This is now entering the driest period of the year. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 80mm. Days with Rain: 9)
  • June Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 70mm. Days with Rain: 5)
  • July Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Rainfall: 60mm. Days with Rain: 4)
  • August Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Rainfall: 30mm. Days with Rain: 3)
  • September Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 40mm. Days with Rain: 4)
  • October Weather in Bali: Great beach weather with lots of sun though the odd downpour becomes more common. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Rainfall: 60mm. Days with Rain: 8)
  • November Weather in Bali: Getting rainier but still lots of sun for hitting the beach and sitting by the pool. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 110mm. Days with Rain: 11)
  • December Weather in Bali: One of the rainier months but rain storms are usually short lived and most day will still see lots of sun. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Rainfall: 250mm. Days with Rain: 13)

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Best Time to Visit France

Updated: January 26, 2017

When is the best time to go to France?
The best time to visit France is in the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) when there are fewer tourists, lower prices, and moderate temperatures. The summer months can be hot, crowded, and expensive. The winter months are often grey, wet, and cold.

Best time to go to France and wine country.

France – When To Visit

  • Best Time for Good Weather: May to October
  • Best Time for Sightseeing: April to June, September to November
  • Best Time for Honeymoon: May, June, September, October
  • Best Time for Saving Money: March, April, and November
  • Best Time for Foodies: April, May, and June
  • Best Time for Paris: May, June, September, and October
  • Best Time for Wine Country: March to May (most scenic); January and February (wine makers have the most time)
  • Best Time for South France: June, early July, and September
  • Best Time for the Atlantic Coast: June to August (but busy)

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Best Time To Visit Toronto

Updated: January 26, 2017

The best time of the year to visit Toronto is from late April through May, and from mid-September through mid-October. During these times, you’ll have a good chance for pleasant weather, and tourist crowds will be few while the sidewalks will come to life with patio eateries, cultural events, and pedestrian markets.

When is the best time to visit Toronto?

When is the best time to go to Toronto for…?

  • Good Weather:
    Weather is warmest and the sunlight hours are longest from May through September, while May and July are the rainiest (May has the most number of rainy days, while July has the most millimeters of rain). The best chance for warm, sunny weather in the city is during June and September. If you’re visiting specifically for snowy weather activities, then January and February are the best months to find snow that sticks around.
  • Families and Kids:
    Summer in Toronto is filled with pedestrian markets and family-friendly, outdoor festivals. Centreville Amusement Park and other Toronto Island attractions will be open, and parks will be buzzing with activities. This is a great time to check out High Park and the Toronto Zoo. But although the temperature averages around 25°C, it’s not uncommon for the heat to ramp up to 40°C for a few days at a time, especially in July, and depending on the ages of the group, it can be exhausting to haul everyone around town in the heat. July and August also rank among the rainiest months of the year. If you can arrange it with the kids’ school schedules, May, June, and September are the best months: the weather will be more comfortable, seasonal attractions will be open, and there will be fewer crowds. April is also a good month to visit, though do pack extra layers for the cool evenings. There isn’t much going on in the Toronto area in the winter, other than cold weather activities, like cross-country skiing and ice skating. However, rates on hotels and flights are deeply discounted, making a family trip more affordable. If you do plan on a winter trip, book a hotel that’s connected to the PATH, Toronto’s underground pedestrian system; you can reach many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, hotels, and subway stations without having to bundle up much, even if it’s snowy.
  • Visiting the Toronto Islands:
    The Toronto Islands are made up of three major islands, Centre, Ward’s and Algonquin, with bridges, boardwalks and paths that connect them all. They can be reached with just a 10-minute ferry ride across the Inner Harbour and offer a relaxing respite from the city with car-free streets, charming cottages and beachfront attractions. During summer weeks, Center Island will be filled with kids and parents, and weekends often have special events, adding further to the crowds. The best time to go is in the morning during the week, especially before or after summer vacation. If you do go in the summer, you can still find some relatively quiet spots, but you’ll want to avoid Center Island unless you have kids along who are looking forward to going on the rides.
  • Visiting the CN Tower:
    If you’re hoping to beat the crowds and avoid long lines, you’ll definitely be able to do so in the winter, but the problem is that when bad weather hits, you’ll risk not being able to see anything from the tower at all – and, the Outdoor SkyTerrace may be closed. Those who visit during this season should check the weather frequently and try to go on a clear, sunny day. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast no matter what time of year you go, to visit without big crowds, go early in the morning, around 9am, or in the evening after 5pm. During the early morning hours, you might even be able to enjoy it alone. Also keep in mind that as with most attractions, there will be fewer crowds in the middle of the week than on the weekend.
  • Visiting the St. Lawrence Market:
    The best time to hit this popular market is on a Saturday morning. If you’d like to have the opportunity to take photos and/or browse all of the produce and other items in peace, arrive before 8am. This is also a good time to go and speak to the vendors to find out a little more about their food for a tasty and educational experience. Stick around through mid-morning and things will really get lively. While it’s still going at noon, it will start to wind down shortly afterward, with inventory depleting quickly.
  • Attending the Theater:
    Toronto’s thriving theater scene offers fantastic live performances all year long. The Entertainment District is among the largest theater hubs in the English-speaking world, just behind New York and London. Visit in spring or summer, though, to attend one of the many vibrant theater festivals. For example, Toronto Fringe Festival, held in July is the largest in the city and features a selection of un-juried plays; InspiraTO is a medley of 10-minute plays held annually in June.
  • Attending Art Events:
    The city comes alive with art, music, film, and dance beginning every spring and lasting through the tail end of summer. Toronto hosts several film festivals, beginning with Hot Docs in April and finishing the season off with the largest event, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September. For families, don’t miss TIFF Kids Festival in April, featuring movies made for and by kids of all ages. North by Northeast and Luminato, two outstanding music, film, and arts festivals, take place in June. Plan on booking hotel stays well in advance if your travel dates overlap with these events, especially during TIFF.
  • Spending Time Outdoors:
    Spectacular Niagara Falls is the most popular outdoor attraction in the area, just a little over an hour’s drive away. June and September are the best months to visit, since the weather is warm and the site is less crowded than in July and August. The Toronto Islands are a wonderful destination year-round, with an amusement park open all summer and cross country skiing in the winter. For more cold weather fun, visit Harbourfront Centre for DJ Skate Nights, a huge outdoor on-ice party, every Saturday from December through February. Hiking is most popular in the summer, but is best experienced in late spring and early fall to avoid the stifling summer heat. August is great for beginning surf or SUP, with a contest held each year at Cherry Beach, but the biggest waves come in fall and winter. Sportfishing, especially for salmon, can be enjoyed year round but is best from April through September.
  • Canadian Sports:
    Ice hockey is Canada’s official winter sport, while lacrosse is the official (and oldest) summer sport. Hockey season runs from October through April, with the NHL playoffs lasting from April through June; lacrosse season begins in April and ends in August. Curling is supremely popular throughout Canada, and matches can be seen from August through April. Basketball, invented by a Canadian doctor, is second only to hockey in popularity here. Catch a Toronto Raptors game from October through May.
  • Restaurants and Food Events:
    Toronto is a foodie’s paradise with culinary events taking place several times a year. The largest is Summerlicious, a two week festival held every July with prix fixe lunches and dinners offered at over 200 restaurants in the city. Its counterpart, Winterlicious, runs for two weeks at the end of January through early February. Le Burger Week awards the city’s best burgers in multiple categories, including most creative and tallest burger, every year September 1-7, while its sister contest La Poutine Week runs from February 1-7 yearly.
  • Avoiding Crowds:
    Winter is the quietest time in Toronto, especially from December through February. These months also have the most bitterly cold temperatures of the year, averaging from a high of -1°C through a low of -5°C. To avoid the crowds, while still having relatively pleasant weather, plan your trip for late April, May, September, or October (with the exception of the days surrounding Canadian Thanksgiving, the second Monday of the month).
  • Great Deals:
    Because of its icy weather, winter is the least popular time to visit Toronto, meaning that flight and hotel prices plunge. This is a great time to explore the city on the cheap; just be sure to bring your winter gear, including a parka, scarf, gloves, and hat. Toronto has tons of indoor activities to be enjoyed (often at reduced rates) in the winter months, including theater, comedy, dining, and shopping. Many restaurants and bars also have heated patios, so you can enjoy a sidewalk or rooftop drink, even in the cold.

Toronto Travel Seasons

  • High Season (June through mid-September):
    Toronto’s high season is all summer long, from June through September but especially in July and August. School is out in most of the U.S. and Canada, and families flood the attractions. The city’s biggest festivals are in full swing, and the streets lively up through the evenings, when temperatures cool down to offer a break from the days’ heat and humidity. This is a fun time to visit for people who love outdoor activities and events and who prefer a party atmosphere over relaxation. Because of increased demand, prices on flights, hotels, and attractions will be at peak levels during these months.
  • Shoulder Season (February through May, mid-September through mid-November):
    Spring and fall are great times to travel, offering low prices on transportation and accommodation, combined with comfortable weather. September and October perfect months for catching the colors of falling leaves, but avoid traveling during the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving (the second Monday in October), as prices temporarily rise. The months of April and May offer warming temperatures, tulip blossoms, the first festivals of the year, and the re-opening of seasonal attractions without the crowds of later peak months.
  • Low Season (mid-November through January):
    Winter is Toronto’s low season, running from November to March. Flights, hotels, and many attractions are available at reduced rates. Exceptions to this rule fall during Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in November) and Family Day weekend (third Monday in February). Though the temperature is low and the days are shorter, this is a great time to enjoy Toronto’s world-class theaters, performing arts, museums, and other indoor activities. Many restaurants and bars have heated outdoor patios open year-round, unfazed by the most inclement weather. This is also a great time for cold-weather outdoor activities, like skiing and ice skating, or for taking in a Maple Leafs game.

Toronto Weather by Month

Toronto truly experiences all four seasons, with hot, steamy summers, subzero winters, and moderate-to-cool springs and falls. July is the hottest; January is the coldest. Rainfall is staggered throughout the year, with July having the heaviest amount of rain and December having the least. May has the most number of rainy days (around 16), but is also one of the drier months (around 30 mm total). There is no dry season here; always be prepared for at least a little rain.

  • Toronto Weather in January: On average, January is the coldest month of the year, with temperatures averaging around 3°C, though the coldest nights can plunge below -20°C. The heaviest snowfall occurs this month, and though extreme blizzards are rare, they are more likely in January than during any other month. Snowpack this time of year averages around 7cm. It’s a good idea to bundle up; be sure to pack a parka, boots, gloves, hat, and a scarf. (Average Max Temperature 0°C, Average Low 5°C, Average Precipitation 40mm, 3 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in February: The cold temperatures continue into February, with an average of 3°C. Precipitation holds steady at the same amount as January, but spread over fewer days. In fact, February has the fewest days of rain of the year despite being cloudy most days. The snowpack is still heavy this month, though there are slightly fewer days where the depth is over 7cm. Most days see 1 to 5 cm of snow cover. (Average Max Temperature 0°C, Average Low 5°C, Average Precipitation 40 mm, 3 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in March: Temperatures just begin to thaw in March, seeing an average of 1°C with snow starting to melt away, especially toward the end of the month. The snowpack is thinner, less than a centimeter on most days. Evenings are still long and cold, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers, especially if you plan on traveling around town. (Average Max Temperature 4°C, Average Low -2°C, Average Precipitation 40 mm, 6 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in April: April is usually the final month that sees snow before spring fully begins, though usually less than a centimeter sticks, if any falls at all. Temperatures average around 7°C. About half of the days this month will see either rain or snow, so be sure to pack a light waterproof jacket, just in case. Expect to see the first daffodils and tulips of the year around mid to late April. (Average Max Temperature 9°C, Average Low 5°C, Average Precipitation 50mm, 8 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in May: Spring is in full force in May, with longer sunshine hours and warming weather with most days hitting the high teens. Snow is rare this time of year; if it comes at all, it’s never more than a quick flurry. May can feel balmy during the afternoons, though temps drop after sunset, and mornings are chilly. (Average Max Temperature 17°C, Average Low 10°C, Average Precipitation 30mm, 9 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in June: In June, the weather is really beginning to warm, with high temperatures rising five degrees to 22°C. Night time temperatures are refreshingly cool, though early in the month it can be pretty chilly after dark, with lows still dipping down to 10°C. There is 68mm of precipitation on average, falling over 13 days in June, but it’s generally light and you’ll enjoy plenty of sunshine in between. You’ll also have lots of daylight to take advantage of the warm weather, with June bringing the longest day of the year, and sunset at around 9pm through the month. June enjoys some of the most comfortable weeks of the summer, when a sweater or light jacket that can be taken off and carried delivers all the warmth you’ll need. During the day, shorts or lightweight pants and short-sleeved shirts are typical attire, and you’re likely to need some sunscreen too. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Low 10°C, Average Precipitation 40mm, 10 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in July: July is both the hottest month of the year and the rainiest, with highs in the mid to upper 20s and around 60mm of rain. This is a particularly muggy month, with humidity averaging around 70%. Now is the time you’ll really need that summer gear, like tank tops and shorts, dresses and sandals, as well as sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Despite the heat, rain, and humidity, July is a peak month for travel and events, with the long daylight hours bringing tourists and locals outdoors for festivals, street food, and patio bars. If you plan to participate in a lot of outdoor activities, consider clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton or hemp, or items with special wicking properties that help keep moisture away from the skin and dry quickly. You’ll also want to bring lightweight long pants and a sweater or light jacket for cooler evenings as well as for overly air-conditioned restaurants and malls. (Average Max Temperature 25°C, Average Low 17°C, Average Precipitation 60mm, 11 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in August: Although August is similar to July, bringing lots of sizzling hot temperatures, those temps will slowly begin to drop as the month progresses, with the average high dipping a degree to 24°C. There is slightly more precipitation, with 80mm falling over nine days, but you can expect plenty of sunshine for enjoying the outdoors. Native blackeyed Susans are blooming now, and goldenrods are just getting started, making High Park flora a delight to see. At the same time, with humidity levels nearly 90% throughout the month, prepare to be hot and sticky. Again, wearing items with wicking properties that dry quickly, or those made from natural fabrics, can help. Pack as you would for July and you’ll be well-prepared. (Average Max Temperature 24°C, Average Low 17°C, Average Precipitation 50mm, 10 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in September: September is a wonderful time to be in Toronto, with pleasant temperatures throughout the month, and daily highs decreasing from 22°C to 18°C as it progresses, only exceeding 26°C or dropping below 13°C one day in ten. Humidity levels drop significantly, and there are less days of rain, with 75mm of light or moderate rain falling over five days in September. As it’s no longer uncomfortably hot or humid, the cold hasn’t arrived and there are many dry sunny days, outdoor activities can still be enjoyed comfortably. Plan to pack a range of clothing that can be layered, including both long- and short-sleeves shirts, long pants and shorts; sweaters and a light jacket. Sunscreen and sunglasses are still appropriate too. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C, Average Low 13°C, Average Precipitation 40mm, 9 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in October: Autumn has arrived, and with that, gorgeous fall foliage just outside the city, along with significantly cooler temperatures, though not uncomfortably so. The average high drops 8 degrees to 14°C, and although there are more rainy days, with 60mm of precipitation over 14 days this month, it’s still usually a very pleasant time to be in Toronto. The days are getting shorter now, with sunset at 6:09pm by October’s end. Once again, be prepared for a variety of temperatures. It’s unlikely to get very hot, but with the sun out often, you’ll still need those sunglasses, and in the evening it can actually get quite cold, with temperatures dropping down to 8°C overnight. There is even (very occasionally) a chance of snow at the tail end.Pack clothing that can be layered, including long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and a warm jacket. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C, Average Low 8°C, Average Precipitation 40mm, 6 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in November: With winter now just around the corner, temperatures can get quite cold, but usually not all that unpleasant, especially if you’re prepared. The average high is now just 8°C, and lows dip down to just about freezing at 2°C. Snow is possible now too, though most precipitation, 70mm on average, comes in the form of rain. As the more the month progresses, the greater the likelihood of snow. You’ll still want to pack clothing that can be layered, as most days it will be cold, but the heat is often cranked up in places like malls and restaurants. With the clocks changing backward an hour earlier in November, by mid-month, expect the sun to go down just before 5pm. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C, Average Low 2°C, Average Precipitation 50mm, 5 hours of sunshine.)
  • Toronto Weather in December: December ushers winter in, and with that, you can expect it to be cold and snowy. The average high is just 1°C, and lows are below freezing at -3°C. There is 73mm of precipitation, and it most commonly falls in the form of light snow. The days are darker and shorter, with this month bringing the year’s shortest days and sunset as early as 4:41pm during the first half of December. Even though the weather ranges from freezing to ridiculously freezing this month, you can expect lots of people to be out and about in the city, but they’ll be appropriately dressed to stay comfortable. You’ll best be prepared by bringing a warm winter coat with a hood (a Canada Goose jacket is ideal), waterproof boots, warm gloves, a scarf and clothing that can be layered. Fleece-lined leggings are highly recommended as well. (Average Max Temperature: 1°C, Average Low -3°C, Average Precipitation 20mm, 3 hours of sunshine.)

Toronto Events and Festivals

Toronto in January

  • New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Toronto, and throughout the country, which means government offices, banks and the post office will be closed, although many attractions, malls and restaurants remain open. You can explore the Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Ontario Science Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. One of the most popular things for locals to do, is to plunge themselves into the icy waters of Lake Ontario as part of the “Polar Bear Club,” celebrating the upcoming year. If you aren’t up for that yourself, you can always watch the fun – most years it includes other festivities too, like live music.
  • Long Winter – Every year on a Saturday in mid-January at the Great Wall, this event features an array of art-based performances and exhibits that include some of the finest musicians, dancers, artists and speakers.
  • WinterCity Festival – The WinterCityFestival is actually three festivals in one, taking place over 14 days starting in late January. In 2017, it will run from January 27 to February 10. It includes Winterlicious, a culinary celebration offering a variety of experiences like cooking classes and demonstrations, dinner theater, tastings and pairings, and intimate chef dinners. The WOW! Series features open-air theater, dance and chef demonstrations, all paired with live music from every genre. Finally, the Warm Up Series takes place at indoor venues across downtown Toronto featuring multi-media events and performances with a range of events for both families and more mature audiences.
  • Winter Exhibitions – This annual event starting in late January and running through early May at Harbourfront Centre showcases exhibitions that incorporate photography, film, sound and art installations.

Toronto in February

  • Family Day – Family Day is observed on the second Monday of February in Ontario and four other Canadian provinces. Throughout the long weekend, you’ll find a wide range of events held at various venues in Toronto, like Kids Fest, offering the chance for children to ride, bounce and slide on fun inflatable items as well as take part in games, crafts and other activities. Many popular attractions across the city offer discounts and even free admission for kids, including the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • Kuumba Festival – Two weekends of events make up Toronto’s longest running Black History Month festival. Held at Harbourfront Centre for the past 20 years, the event highlights musicians, filmmakers, workshops, and comedy that fosters discourse on historical and contemporary issues.
  • Bloor-Yorkville IceFest – Typically held over the third weekend in February, the IceFest features spectacular works of art made from ice, ice carving demonstrations, street performers and more. Some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants will be serving all types of refreshments like hot beverages, soups and desserts too. This is an outdoor event, so bundle up!

Toronto in March

  • Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival – Family-friendly event, featuring maple syrup samples and demos, horse-drawn wagon rides, and lots of food. The event takes place at four locations outside of the city over the course of the month. Online tickets are available.
  • Canada Blooms – Held over 10 days in mid-March, this annual flower and garden festival is the largest of its kind in the city, featuring floral arrangements, landscaping projects and horticulture as well as showcasing more than 25 gardens created by expert designers. There are often well-known experts, including TV personalities, that provide gardening advice as well. It runs adjacent to the National Home Show which includes the largest selection of products and expertise in home décor and renovation with a range of companies and exhibitors.
  • Toronto ComicCon – Toronto ComicCon is one of the most popular events of the spring season. Held over three-days in mid-March at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, it features hundreds of exhibitors with collectibles, exclusives and more, as well as more than 100 retailers selling everything from video games to comic books, workshops and presentations. Attendees also have the opportunity to meet comic characters and celebrity guests.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – On the Sunday closest to March 17th each year, Toronto hosts one of the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day parades in North America. The 90-minute procession attracts more than a half-million spectators, and afterward, the celebration continues at many of the city’s pubs, bars, restaurants and other venues, some of which host special events for the Irish holiday, like McVeigh’s, an Irish bar that’s been in the same location at Church and Richmond for nearly a half-century.
  • Toronto Storytelling Festival – Beginning in 1979, this is one of the largest and longest running urban storytelling events. Featuring international and local storytellers at venues across the city, plus special concerts, workshops, and family activities.
  • One of a Kind Spring Show – An annual five-day event held at Enercare Centre in late March, this popular craft show features art, designs, one-of-a-kind fashions, accessories, housewares, gifts and more. More than 800 artisans and designers exhibit their hand-crafted works of art, including paintings, prints, jewelry, furniture, ceramics and clothing.

Toronto in April

  • TIFF Kids Film Festival – A spinoff of the mega-sized Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF Kids celebrates children’s movies, with selections juried by young film fans and including works by young filmmakers.
  • Toronto Food & Drink Market – Held over three days at Enercare Centre in early April, this fun festival features a wide variety of products exhibited by over 100 vendors as well as a farmers market with local food and drink, master classes with top chefs, cooking demos and some of the most popular food trucks in Toronto.
  • Arts and Fashion Week – This week of fashion in mid-April showcases over 200 designers, performers and visual artists with photography exhibits, live music, runway shows and more. More than 100 different designers take part in the runway shows and other artwork exhibitions throughout the week.
  • Khalsa Day Parade – This event celebrates the Sikh New Year and the founding of the Sikh community in 1699. People from all backgrounds and religions are welcome to attend. The event is preceded and followed by hymns, prayers, speeches, snacks, and music.
  • Four Winds Kite Festival – This weekend festival at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in late April showcases unique interpretive kites, spring-themed activities and professional kite demonstrations as well as offering guided hikes in the late morning and early afternoon.
  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival – The largest documentary film festival in North America, featuring over 200 films. Established in 1993, this Toronto staple marks the beginning of festival season and features a forum and market.

Toronto in May

  • Canadian Music Week – For a week in early May, the biggest new music festival in Canada hosts hundreds of bands at over 60 venues throughout the city. It includes a variety of new and experienced performers from around the nation, and the world. Just a few of 2016’s artists include the X-Ambassadors, Wild Nothing and Black Lips.
  • Contact Photography Festival – Held throughout the month of May, this festival features exhibits in galleries, museums and in installations on city streets with the works of more than 1500 local and international artists showcased.
  • Doors Open Toronto – Around 150 significant buildings open their doors for free to the public for one weekend a year. Participating buildings include museums, historical sites, government buildings, broadcasting facilities, houses of worship, and other attractions.
  • Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon – On the first Sunday of May each year, this marathon that’s an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon, is one of the most challenging and popular in the city. In addition to the marathon, there is a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and relay race.
  • Science Rendezvous – Annual science festival featuring live demos, experiments, and lab tours in the streets and at several venues around the city. Family-friendly, free, and great for science enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Victoria Day – This national Canadian holiday is celebrated on the Monday before May 25th; government services and banks will be closed. The long weekend features a variety of events, including cruises, tea at historic sites, and a fireworks display over Ashbridges Bay.
  • Inside Out LGBT Film Festival – Taking place over 11 days in late May and early June, this festival includes panel discussions, screenings, installations, artist talks and parties, highlighting over 200 LGBT films and videos from Canada and beyond.

Toronto in June

  • Luminato Festival – A mostly free, ten day arts event, featuring local and international talent. Visual arts, performances, music, and even magic are all celebrated here. Since its inception, the event has commissioned nearly 100 original works and showcased thousands of artists from around the globe.
  • North by Northeast Music and Film Festival – Annual festival focusing on music but also including a film festival, plus comedy, visual arts, and most recently, video games. Around 50 venues participate citywide, with around six bands playing each stage, every night. Emerging and established artists are featured in a variety of settings, from outdoor spaces to dive bars.
  • Taste of Toronto – Taste of Toronto is one of the top global food festivals, held at Fort York Historic Site over four days in late June. It includes live music and entertainment, more than 70 producers of outstanding food and beverage, a food market, master classes, artisan stalls and more.
  • Toronto Craft Beer Festival – Independent craft brewers of beers and ciders are highlighted here. Expect a raucous weekend of fantastic drinks, great food, plus live music and activities.
  • InspiraTO Festival – This ten-minute play festival takes place over ten days every summer. Emerging playwrights, directors, and actors present works of beauty and brevity designed to push boundaries and inspire audiences to think and artists to get involved in theater.
  • Pride Toronto Festival – The 10-day Pride Toronto Festival caps off Pride Month in late June and early July, which includes parades and marches celebrating gender and sexual diversity as well as parties and other festivities.
  • Fringe Festival – Toronto’s liveliest grassroots festival, the Fringe Festival is held for nearly two weeks beginning in late June. This theater festival is best known for featuring un-juried plays; a lottery, rather than a committee decides the lineup, anyone can enter their work and pretty much anything goes. The audience tags along for the adventure.

Toronto in July

  • Redpath Waterfront Festival – This exciting family-friendly festival in early July is held along Toronto’s waterfront from Spadina to Sherbourne. It’s action-packed, celebrating Latin and Caribbean talent with live music, dance routines, games and more.
  • Beaches International Jazz Festival – Held annually for two weeks in mid-July in the heart of the lakeside neighborhood, this festival celebrating music features multiple stages with a wide array of free jazz performances along with an excellent line-up of gourmet food trucks.
  • Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition – The largest outdoor art exhibition in the country, this three-day event in mid-July typically features some 500 artists as a free alternative to more conventional art shows and galleries.
  • Caribbean Carnival – AKA Caribana. This celebration of Caribbean culture and music is one of the largest street festivals in North America, attracting over a million visitors every year. Events take place for a few weeks ending with a huge Parade of Bands with live calypso music and wildly dressed dancers.
  • Summerlicious – One of the city’s favorite culinary celebrations. For two weeks each year, over 220 restaurants city-wide offer three-course, prix fixe lunch and dinner service at a set rate. This is a fun way to try lots of new foods and restaurants without breaking the bank. Reservations are recommended but not required.
  • Brickfete – Weekend-long LEGO fan festival, featuring exhibits of over-the-top sculptures of historical buildings, castles, sci fi creations, and other sculptures, made by fans and entirely using LEGOs. Build your own works on site, shop for custom LEGOs, and talk with other enthusiasts.

Toronto in August

  • OVO Fest – This hip-hop festival established by Toronto rapper Drake is held at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre and runs throughout the month of August. It often features Drake himself, along with numerous other artists.
  • Taste of the Danforth – This three-day festival in early August celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of Toronto and is hosted in Greektown. It features fantastic Greek cuisine from local restaurants, including stuffed grape leaves and authentic souvlaki as well as Indian, Cuban and Thai fare. Other festivities include traditional Greek dancing, music performances and challenges from professional Toronto sports teams.
  • Canadian National Exhibition – AKA The Ex. The largest fair in Canada features a carnival midway with rides, live music, shopping, farm displays, casinos, acrobatic acts, dog shows, and more. Food is a key component here, with the stars being the outlandish fried options, including deep fried red velvet Oreos, churro cheeseburgers, and cartoon dogs (bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with PB&J, spicy mayo, and Cap’n Crunch).
  • Ashkenaz Festival – One of the largest global celebrations of Jewish music and arts, the Ashkenaz Festival began in ’95 as a Klezmer and Yiddish music fest and has since grown to cover dance, visual arts, film, and more. All attractions here are family-friendly, and most are free. This is a biennial event, as of now occurring on even-numbered years, though smaller events take place year-round.
  • Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Fest – A fun-filled day of mock meat comfort food, dairy-free desserts, craft beers, and booze. Enjoy live music and dancing on the Fort York garrison commons, plus ping pong, and lawn games.

Toronto in September

  • Buskerfest – Four days of street performance: music, comedy, jugglers, acrobats, breakdance, and more. The festival includes the “Be a Busker” Zone, where kids learn fun acts, like aerials and magic, plus a car show and beer garden. No set admission; pay what you wish. Proceeds support Epilepsy Toronto.
  • Small World Music Festival – Eleven days of international and Canadian music, fusing contemporary with traditional sounds. Concerts take place all day on weekends and evenings during the week. Put on your dancing shoes!
  • Fan Expo Canada– One of the largest fan events in North America, and the largest in Canada, the Fan Expo is held for four days in early September at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. It celebrates gaming, comics, horror, anime and sci-fi through family-friendly events and celebrity guests.
  • Toronto International Film Festival – One of the largest film festivals in the world, TIFF has been growing in size and influence since its inception in 1976. This star-studded event draws crowds of nearly half a million and screens almost 300 films over its eleven-day run. Buy tickets and book your hotel early!
  • The Word on the Street – Toronto’s largest literary festival, celebrating books, magazines, and all forms of the written word. Authors and publishers present their latest works and discuss literacy issues, and the book market features over 250 vendors.
  • Southside Shuffle Festival – An annual music festival over three-days in mid-September, this event features jazz and blues in Toronto’s Port Credit area by Lake Ontario with more than 150 Canadian and international artists.

Toronto in October

  • Toronto After Dark Film Festival – This critically-acclaimed festival brings nine nights of horror, action, sci-fi and cult movies to Toronto. It includes new independent pieces from across Europe, Asia and North America.
  • Thanksgiving – Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the second Monday in October, is a national holiday, which means government services and banks will be closed as most Canadians celebrate the day by sharing a meal with family, although you’ll find a wide array of restaurants and stores that remain open.
  • International Festival of Authors – With readings, book signings, talks, and panels, this eleven-day event celebrates contemporary literature from Canada and around the globe. Featuring a number of special events and kid-friendly activities, all at Harbourfront Centre.
  • Nuit Blanche Festival – An all-night, citywide art fest from sunset to sunrise. Most of the activity goes on between 11p to 3a, when the city is taken over by thousands of artists, creating thousands more unexpected contemporary art installations in public spaces.
  • Toronto Chocolate Festival – Chocolate lovers can delight in chocolate in all of its tasty, magnificent forms at this three-week festival that kicks off in mid-October. A variety of decadent events are hosted, including chocolate eating contests, chocolate tastings and chocolate-making exhibitions.
  • Queen West Art Crawl – Three-day art celebration in Trinity Bellwoods Park, featuring over 200 jury-selected artists, plus live music, a beer garden, and food. The art walk offers interactive areas for kids and adults, with a number of free art-making stations, games, and pay-what-you-can face painting.
  • Halloween – Halloween in Toronto is celebrated in many different ways, with events for kids and adults alike. There are multiple family-friendly farms with pumpkin patches, corn mazes and wagon rides, as well as haunted houses, ghost tours and parties throughout the city on the big day.

Toronto in November

  • Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – Held over 10 days in early November, this annual event brings more than 300 vendors, regal horse shows, dog shows and more.
  • Toronto Christmas Market – Opening in mid-November and running until just before Christmas, this annual market offers a bit of the Old World and New, with the charms of a European Christmas Market along with hundreds of unique, local handcrafted items.
  • Santa Claus Parade – Featuring twenty-five animated floats, two dozen marching bands, a hundred celebrity clowns, thousands of costumed characters, and of course Santa Claus. A Canadian tradition, this parade is one of Canada’s longest running (for over 100 years). Bundle up, bring a thermos of hot cocoa, and get there early to grab a good viewing spot.
  • The Royal Agriculture Winter Fair – The largest indoor agriculture and horse show in the world comes to Toronto every year. The equestrian competition is the biggest draw, though the fair also features over 5000 animals, amazing food and culinary competitions, and craft beer, wine, and cider.
  • Cavalcade of Lights – On the last Saturday in November, the annual Cavalcade of Lights is hosted at Nathan Phillips Square and includes live performances, the first light of the city’s official Christmas tree and a magnificent fireworks display.

Toronto in December

  • Toronto Christmas Festival – Starting in mid-December, this 10-day festival features a sleigh ride with Santa, live music, laser lights shows, shopping and more in Toronto’s Harbour Front Centre.
  • Kensington Market Winter Solstice – Every day on the longest, darkest night of winter known as Winter Solstice, December 21st, a lantern festival with music, drumming and puppets is featured at the Kensington Market.
  • Magical Winterland Nights – Visit Casa Loma any Wednesday night in December to see Canada’s castle decked out in lights. Featuring 10 celeb-decorated trees, an illuminated garden, a sing along with carolers, and a holiday magic act.
  • 12 Beers of Christmas – Craft beer-tasting party hosted by The Gladstone Hotel. The $5 cover will give you unlimited tastings, plus there’s a cash bar for wine and cocktails, an ugly sweater competition, and free entry to the Christmas karaoke party following the main event.
  • Christmas Day – Most residents throughout the province will be spending the Christmas holiday with family, and the majority of businesses will be closed, including all of the major shopping malls, although some restaurants and movie theaters will be open.
  • New Year’s Eve – Parties and a host of events celebrating the upcoming New Year will be held on December 31st throughout Toronto. One of the most popular ways to celebrate is to attend the all-ages party at Nathan Phillips Square which will be capped off with fireworks at midnight.
  • New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza – End the year with a good laugh after a night of stand-up comedy sets punctuated with live music. A Toronto tradition since 2001, live at Massey Hall.
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Best Time To Visit Thailand

Updated: January 26, 2017

When is the best time to go to Thailand?
The best time to visit Thailand is between late November and early April when there is lots of sun and little rain. If swimming and sunbathing are your main interests then visit from January to April. For sightseeing the best months are December, January, and February. For scuba diving the best times are different for the east and west coasts.

When is the best time to go to Thailand for good weather?

Thailand – When To Visit

  • Best Time for Good Weather: December to May
  • Best Time for Diving: November to April (west coast), May to August (east coast)
  • Best Time for Surfing: April to October (only west coast)
  • Best Time for Sightseeing: November to February
  • Best Time for Honeymoon: January to April
  • Best Time for Nightlife: December and January
  • Best Time for Saving Money: May to September
  • Best Time for Beaches (west coast): late November to April
  • Best Time for Beaches (east coast): late December to May
  • Best Time for Chaing Mai (northern Thailand): November to February
  • Best Time for Bangkok: November to March

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Best Time To Visit San Francisco

Updated December 6, 2016

Q. When is the best time to visit San Francisco?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time to enjoy walking around the city and seeing the sights, is in what’s referred to as “Indian summer,” just after Labor Day weekend through September, and often well into October. Typically, after enduring a cool, foggy summer, suddenly in September, the skies clear and the thermometer rises – locals head to the beach, while many tourists have gone home. As the winter here is fairly mild, it’s a good time to come if you’re looking to avoid the crowds – as long as you don’t mind bundling up a bit, the weather shouldn’t get in the way of your plans. Summer may be the worst time as tourists pack into the city, and often stand shivering in the unexpectedly cool weather, waiting in long lines.
  • Best Time for Shopping: San Francisco is a shopper’s paradise year-round. There are no specific times to go for sales, but if you’re looking for unique vintage items or just a great bargain, consider heading to one of the city’s flea markets like the Treasure Island Flea or Alemany Flea. Arrive early in the morning as all of the best items will be quickly grabbed by store owners, collectors and designers by 10am. If your goal is clothing, the day after Christmas is the best day of the year for great fashion buys, though you will have to wade through the hordes of other shoppers returning unwanted gifts. During other seasons, experts say Thursday evenings are the best day and time of the week for clothing buys as you’ll hit the early part of weekend sales, with good discounts and the best selection.
  • Best Time to Walk the Golden Gate Bridge: If you’d like to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, the best time to be here is in September or October, after the fog dissipates and warmer temperatures arrive. If you go in the summer, in the morning it’s likely to be engulfed in fog – while it usually clears by early afternoon, be prepared for the wind and the cold.
  • Best Time for Visiting Pier 39: Pier 39 is one of the city’s most popular and busiest attractions, but it’s really nothing more than an outdoor strip mall along the water. If you visit by car in the summer, parking can be such a nightmare that you may want to turn around. Your best bet, no matter what the time of year, is to go very early in the morning, or later in the evening, when you can watch the sea lions (the highlight of Pier 39) without bumping elbows with countless other fanny pack-wearing tourists, or having to battle for a parking space.
  • Best Time for Riding Cable Cars: Riding a cable car in San Francisco is the quintessential must-experience, but as the trolleys are such a popular attraction, you can end up waiting over an hour for a ride, with lines sometimes stretching for two blocks or more. On weekends, and in the busy summer tourist season, it’s best to be at the cable car turnarounds as early as possible, or to plan a later evening ride. If possible, avoid the summer months as the views are likely to be blocked by the ever-present fog, and plan to be here sometime after Labor Day weekend and before about mid-November for the best weather and fewer crowds.
  • Best Time to Visit Alcatraz: The best time to visit Alcatraz Island is during the warmest months of the year, after the majority of the fog has lifted, September and October, as the main cell block is cool most of the year. While January and February will be cooler and there’s a greater chance for rain, this is a perfect time to go if you don’t want to battle crowds – and, as the ferries have covered seating, they aren’t cancelled due to wet weather. The worst time to go is on a summer weekend, when the crowds are at their peak and fog frequently enshrouds the city, particularly during the morning hours.

San Francisco Travel Seasons

  • High Season (mid-May through early September): The high season is generally summertime, June through Labor Day weekend. This is when you’ll find the biggest crowds, and with tourists filling the hotels, it’s also the time when accommodation rates peak, though it’s not generally the best period for good weather. Much of summer is marked by morning fog that brings a chill in the air, with days mostly overcast and cool, though the fog begins to dissipate in August or early September, bringing warmer weather that frequently sticks around through November.
  • Shoulder Season (March through mid-May, mid-September through November): In the spring, the weather is generally mild with average high temperatures hovering around 17°C; hotel prices aren’t at their peak and the tourist rush has yet to hit. While you probably won’t be soaking up the sunshine on the beach, it’s a good time to explore the city’s sights. Early autumn may be the best time to be in San Francisco all year long, as the sun makes an appearance more often and it’s warmer now than it is in the summer. Plus, with kids back in school, the big crowds of tourists have mostly exited so hotel rates drop too.
  • Low Season (December through February, except around the holidays): Winter is the least crowded time, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend as well as just before Christmas through New Year’s Day. While it can be chilly, especially when the wind hits, the temperature rarely dip below 6°C. You can expect temperatures to range from around 10°C to 13°C, but between the fog and biting winds, it often feels colder. If you’re willing to bundle up and occasionally brave the rain, this is a time when you can usually strike the best deals of the year on accommodation.

San Francisco Weather by Month

  • San Francisco Weather in January: January is one of the rainiest and coldest months of the year in San Francisco. While the cold is nothing compared to places like Chicago or New York City in the winter, you will need a warm jacket along with an umbrella; a scarf can make a big difference when it comes to warmth, especially on a windy day. An average of 119mm of rainfall occurs, which can be in the form of anything from light rain to heavy downpours. The city rarely sees snow, though occasionally a few snow flurries may drift through the air, with flakes melting before they hit the ground. Typically temperatures hover around 10°C, increasing to 13°C on a nice afternoon, while overnight lows average around 7°C. Early in the month the days are fairly short, with sunrise just before 7:30am and sunset around 5pm, but by January’s end the sun will stick around until 5:30pm. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 119mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in February: February is still cool and wet, though the rain decreases somewhat to 97mm, while the average temperature rises a degree to 11°C, and on some days it will get as warm as 15°C. When the sun comes out, it may even feel a bit too warm if you’re bundled up, so plan to dress in layers with clothing that’s easily removable so that you can take it off or put it on easily when necessary. In the evening, a warm jacket is a must if you plan to do much walking outside as temperatures can get as chilly as they did last month, dipping down to 7°C. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 97mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in March: March brings gradually warmer days, with the average high notably increasing to 16°C., and precipitation lessens too, with 79mm of rain coming down over just 10 days this month. When rain does fall, it’s usually light to moderate rather than heavy downpours. The days are getting longer, and in part thanks to Daylight Savings Time, by March 31 the sun won’t go down until about 7:30pm. If you plan to be here during the first half of the month, there’s a greater chance for rain, so you might want to have an umbrella handy just in case. As you would for February, plan to dress in layers to be prepared for fluctuating temperatures. Keep in mind that the weather can change in an instant, even from one part of the city to another. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 79mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in April: The rainy winter season has come to an end, with just 38mm of rainfall on average over six days in April. You’ll see the sun more often, and longer this month too, with roughly 10 hours of sunshine a day and sunset holding off until 8pm by April 30. You won’t need a heavy coat or shorts, as it’s unlikely to be very cold or very hot, but temperatures can fluctuate all the way from 10°C to as warm as 17°C, though it isn’t unheard of for the mercury to rise as high as 23°C occasionally. Keep an eye on the forecast, and remember that different areas of the city can vary quite a bit, with light rain and 16°C temperatures in Golden Gate Park to sunny skies and 19°C in the Mission District, for example. In general, the west side of the city near the ocean will be cooler than the east, which sits along the bay. Again, it’s all about layers when it comes to packing; a light, wind-resistant jacket, a couple of sweaters along with short-sleeved shirts for warm days is your best bet. Don’t waste the room in your suitcase by bringing an umbrella, as you’re unlikely to need it. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 38mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in May: May is almost a carbon copy of April, though there is even less chance for rain with just 18mm coming down on average over four days. Some years May can be on the cool side, with winds coming off the bay making it feel even colder, so you’ll appreciate having a fleece jacket, or something comparable to keep you warm, although some years bring lots of sunny days and temperatures in the mid-20s. The odds of being able to comfortably wear shorts are quite slim, but you will want to toss both long- and short-sleeved shirts into your suitcase, and bring a pair of sunglasses too, as you’re likely to see the sun on some days during your trip. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 18mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in June: While the average temperature in June creeps up two degrees to 19°C, it’s unlikely to feel anything like summer as most people know it, though rain is practically non-existent this month, with just 3mm over two days. Fog is a common occurrence in the summer, and it can get pretty chilly when it rolls in. Now is a great time to have a fleece-lined nylon shell windbreaker with you as wind is common at many of the popular tourist sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and any spot near the water. If you plan to explore inland areas outside of San Francisco, such as Napa Valley you’re likely to experience more summer-like temperatures that can be as warm as 28°C. June brings the longest days of the year, with sunset at around 8:30pm throughout the month. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 3mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in July: Like June, although you’re now in the middle of the summer, expect to experience cool, damp weather during the majority of your trip unless you plan to spend time further inland, where the climate warms significantly. In fact, it’s not unusual for it to be 19°C in San Francisco and well into the 30s or even low 40s in the Central Valley, including places like Tracy, Modesto and Stockton just a little over an hour’s drive east. While July brings virtually no rain, the fog is a common occurrence now, and the average temperature is just 19°C, with lows dipping down to around 22°C, though occasionally it can get as warm as 22°C. Once again, layering is best, though you’ll probably need your sweatshirts and jeans the most. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 0mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in August: August starts out very similar to July. Most mornings the city will be blanketed in fog, with the sun making its presence by early afternoon, and it will still feel cool with average temperatures of around 19°C, occasionally rising as high as 22°C. As the month progresses, San Francisco begins to warm up, experience more summer-like weather. Evenings will be cool, with overnight lows at 14°C, so don’t forget to throw a few sweatshirts into your luggage, as well as long-sleeved shirts and pants. During the day, there may be times that you can get away with shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, and you’re more likely to need sunglasses now too. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 0mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in September: As summer comes to an end in much of the world, here in September, it’s only just getting underway. This is arguably the best time to be in San Francisco, with the thick crowds of tourists thinning as kids go back to school, and the fog lifting, giving way to warmer days are pleasant enough for enjoying the beach. Sea temperatures hover around 15°C, which is the warmest they’ll get here all year, so you may see some locals taking a dip, but it’s still rather chilly for most. There is only a slight amount of precipitation on average this month, with 8mm falling over two days, and when it arrives it’s usually in the form of drizzle and is unlikely to interfere with outdoor activities. Pack as you would for August, and leave the bathing suit at home unless you’re a hardy soul or will have access to a heated pool. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 8mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in October: While the average high temperature officially dips a bit in October to 20°C, this month can be the warmest of the year, with temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s not unheard of. It’s often characterized by dry, sunny days, and odds are, you’ll experience a fair amount of sunshine, though the days gradually get shorter as the month progresses, with sunset at about 7pm on the 1st, and just after 6pm by October’s end. There is a slightly greater chance for rain, with precipitation increasing to 25mm over four days, though most of it arrives later in the month and it’s unlikely to cause an interruption in your plans for exploring the city. Once again, think layers. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in November: November ushers in a return of the rainy season, with at least some precipitation more likely this month as 64mm comes down over eight days on average. The rain is likely to be light or moderate, but it may become heavy at times, so it is a good idea to bring an umbrella along with you now. Appropriate attire most often will be some type of fleece jacket and long pants. While it’s not unbearably cold by any means, the average high temperature this month noticeably drops three degrees to 17°C, and it can get as chilly as 10°C at night. With clocks changing backward an hour due to Daylight Savings Time in early November, you’ll want to plan your outdoor activities accordingly as sunset is around 5pm throughout much of the month. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 64mm.)
  • San Francisco Weather in December: In December, the rainy season is well under way, with precipitation nearly doubling over last month to 112mm over 10 days, though rainfall can vary from year to year depending on El Nino, which brings warmer wetter conditions, or potentially less rain and cooler temperatures. The average temperature this month hovers in the 13°C to 15°C degree range, so you will need a warm jacket along with that umbrella; gloves and a scarf are helpful too, particularly when chilly winds hit. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average precipitation: 21mm.)

San Francisco Events and Festivals

San Francisco in January

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st is a national holiday, but in San Francisco, just about everything, particularly places that cater to visitors like restaurants and shops, will be open; government services like the post office, and banks will be closed. Public transit runs on a Sunday/holiday schedule. A number of eateries offer New Year’s Day brunch, and you can visit the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park for free.
  • FOG Design+Art – This event held annually over four days in mid-January, January 12-15 in 2017, is a platform for contemporary design and art displayed through a wide variety of forms and dimensions held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration – Held annually on the third Monday in January, this celebration honors the late civil rights leader with a festival, march and parade around Yerba Buena Gardens.
  • Anniversary of the Sea Lions Arrival – The sea lions that lounge on the docks at Pier 39, have been one of the city’s most popular attractions for years. This event held over several days in mid-January, commemorates the time they arrived in droves, just after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit the city in October of 1989. Discovering the protected environment and plentiful supply of herring, they decided to stick around and make K-Dock their new home. Visitors can take part in Sea Lion Encounter Walking Tours, enjoy special discounts, refreshments and more.
  • San Francisco Noir City Film Festival – Held at the Castro Theatre over ten days in late January, this festival dedicated to noir philosophy, style and attitude in films, art, music and books, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and includes special guests as well as very rare films.

San Francisco in February

  • Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year officially begins on January 28 in 2017, but the highlight is the Chinese New Year Parade which will kick off at 6pm on February 11, 2017. Named one of the top ten parades in the world, it was started in the 1860s by the Chinese in San Francisco, and today more than 100 units participate. Other festivities to celebrate include the Chinese New Year Flower Fair, the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant and the Chinatown Community Fair, which all take place between late January and mid-February in San Francisco’s Chinatown District, the first, and one of the largest, most prominent and highly visited Chinatowns in the Americas.
  • Union Street Valentine Wine Walk – Union Street hosts a fun Valentine Wine Walk, in the days leading up to the romantic holiday, on February 9 in 2017. The annual tasting event includes merchants and restaurants that offer wine samples, finger foods and special treats.
  • San Francisco Independent Film Festival (SF IndieFest) – This event held over two weeks in February celebrates maverick filmmakers by screening films made by independent producers at various theater venues in the Mission District.
  • Tulipmania Festival – Held for a little over a week in mid-February, Tulipmania brings more than 39,000 colorful tulips and seasonal garden favorites to Pier 39. Visitors can enjoy free guided and self-guided tours as well as learn helpful gardening tips.
  • San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition – The largest competition of American wines in the world, over 5,000 wine enthusiasts gather to enjoy a day on the bay in mid-February (February 18 in 2017), with breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge views as well as samples from more than 800 wineries and a variety of fine food.

San Francisco in March

  • San Francisco International Chocolate Salon – Held annually in early March, chocolate lovers can enjoy indulging in premium, gourmet and artisan chocolates from over 50 confectioners and chocolatiers during this event at the Fort Mason Center Herbst Pavilion.
  • CAAMFest – Formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, this festival held for 10 days in mid-March, is an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers and screens 130 films in San Francisco as well as Oakland and Berkeley.
  • Bay Area Brew Festival – This newer festival, held on a Saturday in mid-March at Pier 35, features dozens of international and domestic beers along with San Francisco’s best food trucks.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – As the home of many Irish immigrants, San Francisco celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. The highlight is the parade, one of the longest-running in the U.S., dating back to 1852, generally held on the Saturday before or on March 17. Thousands participate to honor Irish culture with over 100 colorful floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands. After the parade, the day is celebrated with live music and dance as well as traditional Irish cuisine and Guinness.

San Francisco in April

  • Cherry Blossom Festival – This annual two-weekend-long celebration in April takes place in the Japantown neighborhood of San Francisco and offers the chance to sample gourmet treats, listen to traditional Japanese music and buy or browse dozens of other vendor stalls featuring arts-and-crafts and other items. Visitors can also watch origami making and flower arranging demonstration, along with a parade that celebrates cherry blossoms and Japanese culture.
  • Green Film Festival – This week-long festival in mid-April showcases more than 60 films from over 20 countries around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Korea and Japan, focused on our impact on the earth and the ways we’re trying to save it.
  • Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival – Celebrating the life and work of labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez around the anniversary of his death on April 23, this festival in the Mission District includes a parade that starts at Dolores Park as well as entertainment, music, and arts and crafts booths along 24th Street between Treat and Bryant.
  • San Francisco International Film Festival – Held over two weeks in mid-April and into early May (April 21 – May 5 in 2016) at Sundance Cinemas Kabuki Theatres and Castro Theatre, this festival is a spectacular showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation featuring over 150 films from more than 50 countries, including live action, animated shorts, television and theatrical dramas, and feature films.

San Francisco in May

  • Cinco de Mayo Festival – May 5, Cinco de Mayo, is observed in a bigger way here than it is in Mexico. This is a time when the Latino community celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French in 1862, with dancers, mariachi bands, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, food and more, usually in the Mission District’s Dolores Park.
  • Uncorked Wine Festival – Held in early May, May 7 in 2016, this one-day event at Ghirardelli Square in Fisherman’s Wharf offers the chance to sample up to 50 wines from local wineries as well as enjoy music, food and wine tasting seminars.
  • Oysterfest – Also on May 7, 2016, held annually in early May, Oysterfest is all about oysters. Taking place in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadows, visitors can enjoy oysters and other outstanding cuisine as well as local beers, wine and premium spirits, along with live music.
  • Bay to Breakers – The world’s largest footrace takes place on a Sunday in mid-May, May 15 in 2016. This 12k race, continuously run for over a century, now brings together over 70,000 costume-wearing runners and walkers that make their way from the bay near the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach along the Pacific Coast.
  • San Francisco International Arts Festival – This three-week long festival kicks off during the second half of May, May 21 in 2016, and features performances by over 70 dance, music and theater ensembles from the San Francisco Bay Area and overseas.

San Francisco in June

  • Union Street Art Festival – This two-day outdoor fair held along Union Street in the Marina District, features gourmet food booths, music, entertainment and an art show with works by more than 250 artists during the first weekend in June.
  • Haight-Ashbury Street Fair – Held on the second Sunday of June every year along Haight Street, this eclectic and somewhat gritty fair attracts a significant number of hippies and street kids with its ethnic foods, rock bands and alternative crafts.
  • Ethnic Dance Festival – Taking place over three weekends in June at the Palace of Fine Arts and San Francisco City Hall, this event features dance and music performances from more than 20 cultures around the world.
  • San Francisco Jazz Festival – This long-running festival held for nearly two weeks in June in various venues throughout the Bay Area, with most concentrated in San Francisco’s center, offers more than 30 jazz shows.
  • San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade & Celebration – This event, usually held during the third or last weekend of June (June 26, 2016), draws as many as one million participants to its parade which proceeds west on Market Street, culminating at the Civic Center where there are hundreds of food, art and information booths. There is live music and dancing in the streets all day long.

San Francisco in July

  • Fillmore Jazz Festival – Held the first weekend in July in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, the upscale portion of Fillmore is closed to traffic for one of the largest free jazz festivals on the west coast. Instead of cars, the streets are filled with live jazz, unique arts and crafts, and gourmet food.
  • Fourth of July Waterfront Festival – While this event can often be a disappointment due to the fog that rolls in the city, making it nearly impossible to enjoy the million-dollar fireworks show, if it’s clear, a spectacular display from the waterfront at Pier 39 is guaranteed. And, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, those who attend can enjoy some great local bands, food and arts and crafts.
  • Salsa Festival on the Fillmore – Three city blocks are closed off for this fun event that features free concerts, salsa lessons and outdoor dancing at the Fillmore Center Plaza over a Friday and Saturday in mid-July each year, July 15-16 in 2016.
  • The Renegade Craft Fair – Over a weekend in mid-July, July 16-17, 2016, this fair held at Fort Mason Center brings some of the best makers of handmade goods from throughout the S.F. Bay Area and beyond. Attendees can purchase items and enjoy interactive workshops focused on indie-craft culture.
  • J-Pop Summit Festival – This one-of-a-kind summer festival celebrates Japanese pop culture and Japantown over three-days around the third weekend in July at various venues, including Fort Mason Center, Union Square, New People Cinema and Castro Theatre. Enjoy new films, special guest appearances, live music, fashion, entertainment and food.

San Francisco in August

  • Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival – Held at Golden Gate Park, this massive three-day event in early August, August 5-7, 2016, is one of the largest outdoor live music festivals in the city. In addition an incredible line-up of bands, including artists like Elton John and Mumford & Sons, who have performed in the past, it features gourmet food, internationally recognized wines and hundreds of works of art on display.
  • Nihonmachi Street Fair – This Asian-Pacific American festival held in Japantown during the first weekend of August, features live musical and cultural performances, delicious foods from Asian-Pacific countries and San Francisco delights, Asian artisans, music, a variety of exhibits and more.
  • Jerry Day – Honoring the late Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia on a Sunday in mid-August at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, August 14 in 2016, this event features an outdoor concert and fun family-oriented activities.

San Francisco in September

  • Sausalito Art Festival – Just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, and easily accessible by ferry from Pier 41, this annual three-day art festival takes places around the first weekend in September. It’s held along the shores of the bay and showcases more than 20,000 original works of art as well as jazz, rock and blues performers from around the SF Bay Area and beyond.
  • San Francisco Fringe Festival – Over two weeks in mid-September, September 9-24 in 2016, this festival held at a number of different venues in downtown San Francisco, is a marathon of more than 40 shows, include a wide range of classical, alternative, comedy and cabaret.
  • Autumn Moon Festival – This two-day festival held in mid-September in Chinatown, features live multicultural entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, moon cakes and other traditional Chinese cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities and a lantern village.
  • Oktoberfest By The Bay – Held at Pier 48 near AT&T Park for three days around the third weekend in September, Okotberfest features non-stop music, singing, dancing, German fare and beverages.
  • Folsom Street Fair – This unique street fair, typically held on the last Sunday of September, is the world’s biggest leather, alternative and fetish event in the world, attracting around 400,000 visitors every year – most of whom are dressed in leather, rubber, a variety of uniforms, drag, or practically nothing at all. As this gay-centric extravaganza is rather hard-core, it’s generally only for the very adventurous and open-minded.

San Francisco in October

  • Artspan – Kicking off on October 1 and running throughout the month, into early November, this event includes some of the city’s most exciting artists who open up their doors to the public, revealing their latest projects, how they work and pieces that are available for sale.
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – Hosted in Golden Gate Park’s Hellman Hollow, Marx and Lindley meadows, this free annual music events attracts thousands who enjoy three days of music, beer and marijuana over the first weekend in October.
  • Castro Street Fair – This gay-friendly fair held on the first Sunday in October, features arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, music and dancing around the intersection of Castro and Market Streets.
  • Fleet Week San Francisco – Taking place for a week in early October along the waterfront at Aquatic Park and Pier 39, the highlights of this event are the navy ship tours and the spectacular Blue Angels air show, which will be featured on October 8-9 in 2016.
  • Halloween – San Francisco doesn’t take Halloween lightly. On October 31st, there will be parties and costume contests hosted throughout the city. Castro Street is famous for its massive Halloween Street party, but it isn’t as wild as it used to be, though you will still see some residents in drag enjoying music and costume contests.

San Francisco in November

  • Hip Hop Festival – For three days, usually around the second weekend in November, this festival offers the chance to see award-winning hip hop artists from around the world at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.
  • Tree Lighting Ceremonies – Starting in late November, usually around Thanksgiving, tree lighting ceremonies are held throughout the city, including Union Square, Pier 39, Presidio and Ghirardelli Square.
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair – Running for five weekends starting just before Thanksgiving, this fair has an old English Victorian Christmas theme complete with a music hall, dance parties, theaters, shops, stalls, taverns, food, street vendors and period costumes.
  • Another Hole in the Head Genre Film Festival – This film festival that begins in late October or early November and runs for about two weeks, screens sci-fi, horror, dark fantasy and exploitation films at the New People Cinema in Japantown.

San Francisco in December

  • Noe Valley Holiday Wine Walk – This December 1st wine walk is held along 24th Street from Diamond to Chattanooga and Castro Street and features finger foods, wine samples and special treats.
  • Union Street Fantasy of Lights – A month-long celebration starting on the first Saturday in December, this event along Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner features Santa Claus, costumed characters merchant open houses and children’s activities.
  • Parol Lantern Festival & Parade – Hosted by the Filipino-American Development Foundation on the second Saturday of December, this festival has become a must-see event during the holidays featuring a night filled with sparkling lights, music, games and prizes as well as a parade that starts in Yerba Buena Gardens and proceeds to St. Patrick’s Church.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – On Christmas Eve, many restaurants offer special holiday dinners, and the internationally renowned San Francisco Ballet performs two Nutcracker shows at the War Memorial Opera House – book early as they sell out quickly. On Christmas Day, many attractions will be closed, but multiple restaurants remain open, often with menus geared for the holiday. There are also a number of dinner cruises on the bay.
  • New Year’s Eve – Parties will be held to ring in the New Year throughout the city, but the highlight is the impressive fireworks show over the bay that begins at 11:59pm on December 31st. It can be viewed anywhere along the eastern side of the city near the waterfront as well as Treasure Island, or by embarking on a New Year’s Eve cruise, which offers the very best views, often with dinner and live entertainment.
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Best Time To Visit Madrid

Updated December 6, 2016

Q. When is the best time to visit Madrid?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: May and October are both ideal months to enjoy sightseeing in Madrid. In May, the intense heat of summer has yet to arrive and crowds are more manageable too. In October, with autumn in full swing and the kids back in school, the city begins to cool down, golden hues blanket the parks and you won’t have to worry about bumping elbows with hundreds of other tourists. If you decide to visit during the summer, with its intense afternoon sun, it’s important to plan your sightseeing early in the day and do what many locals do – take a siesta (or at least a break indoors) by 3pm, and wait until about 7pm before heading outdoors again. If you’re hoping to avoid the biggest crowds, especially in the summer months, try not to go to the most popular sights and attractions, including museums like the Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) between 10am and noon. In fact, you may want to skip your nap, and visit indoor sights like these instead. They’re air-conditioned, and you can enjoy the exhibits without hordes of others blocking your view in the late afternoon when everyone else is enjoying a snooze.
  • Best Time for Visiting the Royal Palace: The Royal Palace is the No. 1 attraction in Madrid, and many come to see the changing of the guard. If watching that event is at the top of your wish list, you may not want to visit the city during the peak of the summer months, July and August, as it’s frequently cancelled due to the heat. If you’re here during the high season and don’t want to wait in long lines, plan to arrive about 15 minutes before it opens, or near the end of the day, about two hours before closing. The winter months, or low season, is arguably the best time to visit for the optimal experience. While there are still crowds in line before 11am on Wednesday, when the ceremony of the changing of the guard is held, and longer lines on the weekend, by arriving just before the palace opens, or at about 3pm on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, you’ll have the best chance to enjoy it in relative peace.
  • Best Time for Watching a Bullfight: If you want to watch a bullfight, you’ll need to be in Madrid sometime between mid-May and October, as there is no bullfighting in Madrid outside of this period. Bullfights are held every Sunday during bullfighting season at 7pm.
  • Best Time for Nightlife: Madrid is where the party is. Renowned for its nightlife, many first-time visitors to the city are surprised at the Spanish schedule, which generally runs later than most, but even more so here. If you’d like to experience it at its peak, visit during June or July, or around the holidays when there is an especially festive atmosphere. In Madrid, many people eat their evening meal at 10pm – and a night on the town doesn’t even get started until the pubs are closing in many other European cities. It doesn’t end until the sun comes up and “salir,” which means “to go out,” only counts if you make it past 4am.
  • Best Time Shopping: Madrid stands out when it comes to shopping because of its sheer variety. Here retailers and their products are never limited to a particular style, or a single look. This is a city where almost anything can be found, along with unique treasures you never expected to find. To find the best prices, you’ll want to come during either the summer or winter sales, which offer discounts of as much as 70 percent. The winter sales begin on January 7, just after the Festival of Kings, and run through the end of February, or until inventory is depleted. The summer sales begin in early July and are held until late September. Generally, if you want the best choice of items without having to battle crowds, shop during the second week of the sale during either season.

Madrid Travel Seasons

  • High Season (July and August): Visiting Madrid during the high season generally isn’t recommended unless you’re coming for a specific event. This is the hottest time of the year, and the time when the majority of tourists come. During the month of August, many locals are on vacation, which means that lots of businesses will be closed, while the streets are still filled with sweaty visitors and accommodation rates are at their highest. There is a “mini high season” around the Christmas holidays, from about mid-December through the first week of January. If you plan to come during this time, be aware that the city is hectic. You’ll need to book your room well in advance, and it may still pose a challenge to find one, particularly at the cheapest accommodations.
  • Shoulder Season (March through May, September and October): The shoulder season is an ideal time to be in Madrid, with the second half of May and the second half of September considered the very best. Temperatures are usually just right, and walking around the city is enjoyable. There won’t be as many tourists as there will be in the summer months, but you’ll still have long days to take advantage of for sight-seeing.
  • Low Season (November through February, except around the Christmas Holidays): Winter, other than Christmastime, is low season in Madrid. The number of tourists is significant lower than other times of the year, plus you’ll enjoy a wide variety of accommodation options along with lower rates. Most of the sights and attractions can be enjoyed at a more relaxing pace, and while the weather can be a bit chilly, it rarely gets below freezing, and often the sun is shining, making it feel warmer than it really is.

Madrid Weather by Month

  • Madrid Weather in January: Winters in Madrid are colder than many other places in Spain, but they’re rarely bitterly cold. January is the coldest month of the year, though the temperature can reach as high as 10°C on a sunny afternoon and the average low is just above freezing at 1°C. While the surrounding mountains generally see lots of snow during this time year, the city itself is unlikely to. As long as you pack a warm winter coat (and nothing too serious like you’d need for the frigid winters in places like Chicago or Stockholm), a few sweaters and perhaps a scarf and a pair of gloves, you’ll be more than comfortable enough to enjoy seeing the sights. Plan to dress in layers, such as wearing a t-shirt under your winter clothing for those frequent sunny spells too. While it may rain a little, you’re unlikely to need an umbrella as just 40mm of precipitation is seen on average this month. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in February: February is very similar to January, though the high temperature increases to a pleasant 12°C, so you’re more likely to enjoy at least a few relatively warm afternoons. The days are shorter and darker during the winter, with about 10 hours of daylight on February 1, and 11 hours by the end of the month, but there’s a good chance you’ll have at least some bright sunshine for exploring the city on foot in relative comfort too. Pack as you would for January, with warm clothing along with a few short-sleeved shirts for those days you get to enjoy the rays of the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in March: Spring is on its way, and you’ll really be able to tell, with the high temperature increasing to 16°C this month. There is even less rain in March than there was in the previous two, with 30mm of rainfall coming down over eight days. Thanks in part to Daylight Savings Time, you’ll get over 12 hours of daylight with the sun sticking around until after 8:30pm on March 31. Early in the month you may still need a light winter coat, but with the changing weather, the best rule of thumb to follow is to bring layers that can easily be peeled off or put back on as temperatures fluctuate. (Average Max Temperature: 16°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in April: April is one of the rainier months in Madrid, with 50mm coming down over 10 days, though it’s not usually enough to put a damper on your plans. Plan for relatively cool weather, with average temperatures of 11°C this month, though on many days, especially during the second half of April, it can get as warm as 17°C. Once again, plan to dress in layers; bring a light jacket and perhaps a sweater that you can carry around for cooler mornings and evenings. A small, portable umbrella is a good idea too, just in case you get caught in a downpour. On the other end of the spectrum, heat waves are a possibility, so you may want a skirt or a pair of shorts if you happen to be here when temperatures rise higher than normal. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in May: Spring doesn’t stick around long in Madrid, with summer fast approaching in May as average high temperatures increase five degrees to 22°C this month. While this is considered one of the rainier months, May averages less precipitation than April with 40mm of rainfall, and there’s generally lots of beautiful sunshine to enjoy on most days. Many visitors feel this month is an ideal time to be in Madrid, with the big crowds yet to arrive and weather often idyllic. The occasional showers are a perfect excuse to cozy up in a café until they dissipate if you don’t have an umbrella. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in June: The high temperature really shoots up this month with summer officially here, increasing seven degrees from May to 29°C. While it is quite warm, it won’t be as hot as the next two months, and June is usually a good time to be in Madrid. Rain is minimal, so you won’t have a need for an umbrella, with just 30mm falling over six days in June. The nearly 15 hours of daylight means you’ll have plenty of time for enjoying the sights, just be sure to slather on the sunscreen to avoid a burn, and you may want a wide-brimmed hat if you’re especially sensitive to the sun; lightweight clothing, sunglasses and sandals are the standard attire now.(Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in July: July is the hottest month in Madrid, with the average high rising to a sizzling 33°C, and little if any rainfall to cool things off with just 10mm of precipitation this month. During this time of year, many of the shops and some cafes close their doors to customers during the peak of the heat to take a siesta break, opening again in late afternoon. To avoid sunburn and/or heat exhaustion, you may want to follow suit by enjoying a nap or at least spending time inside an air-conditioned building like a museum when the rays of the sun are at their most intense. With the weather so hot during the day, and the evenings warm, this is a good time to enjoy the nightlife. As the heat can make sleeping uncomfortable, try to book an air-conditioned room. Just as you would for June, pack your summer gear, including sundresses, short-sleeved shirts, shorts, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in August: August continues to bring scorching hot weather, with afternoon highs reaching 33°C and sometimes stretching all the way to 37°C or even hotter. Just like last month, there is very little rain to bring relief, with 10mm of precipitation over three days. In August, many people are on vacation from work, and with people living the city, many businesses shut down. If you decide to visit Madrid this month, it’s best to get up as early as possible in the morning so you can enjoy the outdoors before it gets too hot, generally around 2 or 3pm. Use the time to rest, relax or take a nap and then head out again when it’s more comfortable, around 7pm. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in September: September brings relief from summer’s most intense heat, with the average high dipping down once again to 29°C. Early in the month, it’s likely to still feel quite hot, but as the month progresses, it becomes more and more pleasant. The second half of September with its slightly cooler daytime and evening temperatures, make this a fabulous time to visit. The mood throughout the city is different too, with everyone returning to work or school, and relieved that the hottest months are behind. While there’s a slightly greater chance for rain, with 20mm falling over six days, there’s usually no need for rain gear. Pack your summer clothing along with a light sweater for the evening and you’ll be well-prepared. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in October: October is a wonderful time to be in Madrid, with much cooler, pleasant temperatures that make exploring the city on foot very enjoyable. The average high dips eight degrees to 21°C, and while there is a bit more rain with 40mm over 10 days this month, it’s still fairly minimal and you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of sunshine too. Early in the month, there is nearly 12 hours of daylight, but with clocks moving back an hour on October 30, the sun sets at about 6:15, leaving about 9 ½ hours of daylight by month’s end. Like spring, you’ll need to bring clothes for a range of temperatures. It’s unlikely to get so cold that a decent sweater won’t keep you comfortable, but you may want to bring a portable umbrella due to the higher risk for rain. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in November: It’s noticeably cooler by the time November hits, with high temperatures generally not exceeding 15°C. It’s rainier too, with 50mm of rainfall over nine days this month, though usually nothing an umbrella can’t fend off. November can be unusual, however, with some years bringing t-shirt weather and other years bringing a chill that requires a winter coat and a scarf. If you plan to visit this month, you may want to bring the full gamut of clothing, including winter wear along with lighter clothing for layering. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Madrid Weather in December: While it may be chilly, Madrid is a colorful, vibrant place to be in December. You can expect temperatures to hover around 7°C, but on some days it creeps up as high as 11°C. Most days are cool and crisp, but you’ll still see the sun. The rainfall is consistent with last month, with 50mm falling over nine days, and while it occasionally snows, it rarely accumulates. Bring warm clothes, including a winter coat, gloves and perhaps a light jacket for warmer days, along with a few sweaters. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)

Madrid Events and Festivals

Madrid in January

  • New Year’s Day – On this national holiday, most residents in Madrid and throughout Spain take time to rest and recover from the previous night’s festivities. While many shops, businesses and museums are closed, you might want to take advantage of the empty streets to enjoy the city’s diverse barrios like Alonso Martinez, a picturesque area with beautiful architecture and hidden plazas, or head to the Madrid Zoo, which is open at 9am on January 1.
  • Three King’s Parade – This annual celebration on January 5 is one of the most anticipated of the year. Madrid’s parade is one of the best in the entire country, and welcomes the arrival of the Three Kings known as Mechior, Caspar and Balthazar. It features elaborate costumes and floats along with marching bands, music, horses, oxen and burros. It typically begins at 6pm along Avenida de la Castellana, passing in front of the Plaza de Colon.
  • Feast of the Epiphany – The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated in many places around the world, including Spain, is on January 6. On this national holiday, residents usually enjoy an Epiphany cake, or Roscon de Reyes, after lunch or in the evening. The huge pastry-type sweet cake is decorated as a crown and may be plain or stuffed with custard or cream. Inside, the baker inserts a special prize and a dry bean. The person who gets the prize is allowed to wear the golden cardboard crown that’s included with the purchase of the cake. The one who gets the bean has to purchase the cake the following year.
  • San Anton Festival – This celebration of animals is held throughout Spain on January 17. In the Chueca district of Madrid, you’ll see animals being blessed and shown off to the crowd. The Blessing of the Animals involves blessing the creatures as well as their owners to ensure another year of good health and protection.

Madrid in February

  • Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria) – Held annually on February 2, this festival honors the Virgin of Candelaria which typically involves colorful processions through the streets of Madrid. You’ll see clowns dressed as farmers pushing around young bulls that are made of wood, while “bullfighters” don colored silk pants with lassos and paper flowers to mock bullfights. In the city center in the evening, the makeshift bull is then “killed,” and everyone celebrates by drinking sangria, which symbolizes its blood.
  • Carnival – Carnival in Madrid, and the rest of the world, marks the start of Lent, 40 days before Easter. In Spain, it’s known as Semana Santa. Madrid’s Carnaval, while not nearly as elaborate as others, takes over the streets for nearly a week, from February 24 to March 1 in 2017. It kicks off with a big parade that runs along the Paseo de la Castellana, and culminates with a masked ball at the Circulo de Bellas Artes. Throughout the week, festivals feature music and dance from around the world, children’s parades, traditional musical ensembles and more.
  • International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO) – One of the biggest draws on the cultural calendar in Spain, this event, generally held over five days in mid- to late-February, showcases the best in contemporary art from Europe and the U.S. The exhibition, held at the Crystal Pavilion of the Casa de Camp, brings galleries from throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas as well as the works of regional and internationally-known artists.
  • Valentine’s Day – El dia de San Valentin, as February 14 is called here, isn’t a Spanish holiday but it is celebrated with lots of merriment. The restaurants and shops are decked out with hearts and roses, and many eateries offer specials that cater to couples who are celebrating the romantic day. In old Madrid, several restaurants and bars feature flamenco shows and traditional Spanish meals.

Madrid in March

  • Festival of Jesus de Medinaceli – Annually on the first Sunday of the month in the Jesus de Medinaceli hermitage, participants observe the tradition of making three wishes before heading to an Andalusian-style fair.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – While St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, it’s becoming increasingly popular in Madrid due to the growing number of Irish pubs in the city. Both locals and Irish ex-pats celebrate in a big way, with traditional food from the Emerald Isle, lots of Guinness and live Irish tunes. A St. Patrick’s Day parade is hosted Cabo Roig, usually on March 17 at 5pm. It’s preceded by all sorts of entertainment and activities that kick off at noon.

Madrid in April

  • Easter and Holy Week (Semana Santa) – Holy Week is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday in Spain, and many other countries around the world. It falls in either late March or early to mid-April; in 2017, it will be celebrated from April 9-15. In Madrid, visitors can enjoy some of the most elaborate festivities in the country. The streets in many neighborhoods throughout the city host colorful processions and other events. You’ll see beautifully decorated floats carrying the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, accompanied by marching bands and followers. The most emblematic religious procession in Madrid, held on Good Friday, is the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, which leaves the Basílica del Cristo de Medinaceli in the Plaza de Jesus around 7pm, parading through the central streets, including Plaza Cibeles and Puerto de Sol. The main event on Easter Sunday is held in the Plaza Mayor, which includes a gathering of dozens of different types of drums that beat a continuous rhythm, representing the earth tremors that were said to have occurred when Jesus died on the cross.
  • Madrid Open – In late April (April 29, 2016), the Madrid Open kicks off, bringing together nearly 200 tennis stars, many of whom are internationally-renowned, for a thrilling tournament that takes place over 10 days.
  • Festimad – This long-running music festival features rock, pop and electronica, and takes place over more than two weeks from mid-April to early May. Artists like Beck, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead have been featured in the past. 2016’s lineup includes The Posies, The Long Riders and A.N.I.M.A.L.

Madrid in May

  • Labour Day – Celebrated annually on May 1 honoring the people of Madrid who in 1808 rose up against the occupation by Napoleon’s army, the holiday in Madrid features a large May Day march that attracts over 60,000. Afterwards, many of the participants head to the Casa de Campo, where there is a huge, lively party with music and all sorts of eats.
  • Dos de Mayo– May 2 brings the commemoration of the valiant but unsuccessful uprising against occupying French forces in 1808. Flamenco shows and concerts are held in the Dos de Mayo square in Malasana, where the rebellion began, and in other parts of the city.
  • Fiesta de San Isrido – This festival honoring the Patron Saint of Madrid takes place on May 15, though there are events held before and after the day as well. You’ll find food fairs, parties, music, street parades, dances, bullfights and more. San Isidro marks the start of Madrid’s bullfighting season and is the world’s largest event, attracting all the top bullfighters and bull breeders.
  • Feria del Libro – This annual book fair hosted in Parque del Retiro for two weeks starting in late May, brings together leading international novelists and historians who come to promote their latest works.

Madrid in June

  • MULAFEST – Held annually in late June, June 23-26 in 2016, MULAFEST is an urban culture event that’s become an important platform for launching new trends and hidden talents. It brings together everything from dance and music, including open-air concerts, to theater, art and tattoo work.
  • Festival of San Juan – Held over June 23 and June 24 in the Parque del Retire, fireworks and bonfires celebrate the shortest night of the year.
  • Orgullo Madrid – One of the biggest gay pride events in the world, the Madrid Orgullo is held between mid-June and early July, June 19-July 2 in 2016. While it originally was mainly for gays and lesbians, it’s gradually become a festival for all, with activities like parties and free live acts centered around the Chueca area. Its gay pride parade is by far the largest of its kind in Spain, and attracts more than 1.5 million people to the city.

Madrid in July

  • Veranos de la Villa – Known as “the summer binge” of Madrid, this event features an open-air cinema in the Parque del Retiro as well as pop music, classical music, folkloric dancing and flamenco at various venues throughout the city held during the month of July. Many of the events are free.
  • Nuestra Senora de las Victorias – The first Sunday of July brings celebrations to the Tetuan district, including several concerts.
  • Virgen del Carmen – For a week in mid-July, towns across Spain and Madrid’s neighborhoods honor the Virgen del Carmen. Festivities are concentrated in the La Latina, Vallecas and Carabanchel neighborhoods of Madrid, and feature a host of sporting and religious events, one right after the other.

Madrid in August

  • San Lorenzo, San Cayetano and Virgen de la Paloma Festivals – These festivals all take place within close succession, mainly in Madrid’s historic center, over August 6-15. Locals often dress in traditional clothing, and there is much rejoicing, dancing and music in the streets.
  • Running of the Bulls San Sebastian De Los Reyes – The second most famous bull-run in Spain, after the San Fermin festival in Pamplon, is held in Madrid in late August. Participants wear red and white, and spill as much sangria as they drink while trying their luck outrunning the huge beasts.

Madrid in September

  • Fiestas del Motin – Generally taking place over the first weekend of September, this festival features re-enactments of famous local mutinies. Each district in Aranjuez, just south of Madrid, depicts scenes of mutiny that are acted out by hundreds of residents.
  • Vogue’s Fashion Night Out – VFNO is an evening in mid-September that includes over 160 stores offering discounts on high-end merchandise, much of it focused on fashion. In addition to savings, participants can enjoy a glamourous night with champagne, a peak at the coming fashion trends and red carpet photo-ops.
  • Fiestas of la Virgen de la Torre – The fiestas of la Virgen de la Torre are held in the Villa de Vallecas district during the second week of September.

Madrid in October

  • Fiestas de Otono/Autumn Festival – Throughout the month of October and into November, the Autumn Festival features a wide variety of music and dance, theater, workshops and circus events at various venues across the city.
  • Dia de la Hispanitat – This national day that commemorates Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the New World, also known as Hispanic Day, is more about celebrating Spain in all its glory than honoring Columbus. Taking place annually on October 12, Madrid parades its fleet of military equipment down Paseo de Recoletos while fighter jets fly overhead and royals sit at curbside to watch the procession pass by.
  • Halloween – Although Halloween is not a Spanish tradition, nowadays, just about every nightspot in Madrid throws a Halloween party. Huertas, a centrally-located neighborhood, is best known for its October 31st festivities, which can be found in a multitude of restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs – many of which offer costume contests with cash prizes.

Madrid in November

  • All Saints’ Day – This national holiday on November 1 is celebrated by locals visiting and laying flowers on the graves of loved ones. While banks and government-run establishments are closed, many shops, restaurants and attractions like museums remain open.
  • Virgen de la Almudena – On November 9, the Patron Saint of the City, Virgen de la Almudena, is honored with festive celebrations in the city center.
  • Feriarte Art and Antiques Fair – This annual art fair is held in late November, November 19-27 in 2016. It features an enticing selection of furniture, jewelry and works of art, with more than 16,000 unique, high quality pieces on sale to the public.

Madrid in December

  • Christmas Market – One of the country’s most beautiful Christmas markets, Plaza Mayor opens in mid-December and runs through January 5. Its market stalls are made up of over 100 log cabins, most of which offer traditional Christmas items, including decorations and nativity sets as well as handmade crafts.
  • Parque Warner Madrid –.In December, Madrid’s popular theme park, home to a wide variety of rides, adds bonus attractions for Christmas, including a parade, fireworks, traditional music, fake snow and Santa Claus.
  • Christmas Lights City Tour on the NaviBus –.The Navibus will take you on a tour of all the Christmas lights throughout Madrid, starting and returning at the same stop, Calle Serrano between Goya and Jorge Juan.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – December 24 and 25 are all about family and food, generally with seafood and sparkling Cava wine as the focus in Madrid. Nearly all businesses, sights and attractions will be closed on Christmas Day, though a number of restaurants remain open. Most area churches hold Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, with visitors welcomed to attend.
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31st brings one of the biggest parties of the year. Thousands fill Madrid’s main plaza, Puerto del Sol, and as the ancient clock strikes 12, revelers eat 12 grapes to bring them luck in each of the coming year’s 12 months. Afterward, the crowd goes wild kissing and hugging each other, popping bottles of cava, and enjoying the amazing fireworks display.
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Best Time To Visit Austin, Texas

Updated December 6, 2016

When is the best time to visit Austin?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time to walk around the city, enjoying the sights and beautiful parks like 351-acre Zilker Park, is in the spring and autumn when the weather is often ideal. These seasons also bring the biggest crowds, so if you’d rather enjoy the city during a more peaceful time, you might want to consider visiting in November or February. Temperatures are often rather pleasant then, although you may need a rain jacket for the occasional wet day. The worst time for sightseeing is during the peak of summer, July and August, when temperatures are scorching and just a short stroll down the street can be rather miserable.
  • Best Time for Barton Springs Pool: No matter what the weather brings, the spring-fed waters of Barton Springs Pool, one of Austin’s most popular attractions, stays at a steady 20°C year round. This is the place to be in the summer, when everyone is seeking relief from the heat. Summer weekends are the busiest, so if you come during this time, arrive before 8am (it opens at 5am) or be prepared to wait in a long line, and know that parking is at a premium. Another option for avoiding crowds (and the fees), is to go during the hour of free swimming, every night from 9pm to 10pm. While you can go at other times of the year, many feel the water is too chilly to brave unless it’s at least 32°C outside, which can happen outside the summer months, usually in May, September and October.
  • Best Time to Visit the State Capitol: The Texas State Capitol building sits atop a hill with a picturesque view of downtown Austin and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the city’s most rewarding attractions, free guided tours are available daily throughout the year with the exception of major holidays, Monday through Saturday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. To avoid waiting in line, secure a reservation and plan to come on a weekday as early in the morning as possible. Even if you have a reservation, due to security and screening, you’ll need arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled time.
  • Best Time to See the Bats: Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, with 1.5 million bats. Every March, the bats return to give birth and raise their pups, sticking around through October. The best time to come and see them is in late August and early September when the babies join their mothers in flight. Each evening, just before the sun sets, visitors gather on the bridge to watch the bats emerge. While it usually happens at sunset, it can happen up to 30 minutes before or after, so you’ll want to arrive early to ensure that you don’t miss it.

Austin Travel Seasons

  • High Season (March through May, September and October): Austin’s high season comes twice each year, mainly during spring and fall, when the weather is generally mild and the city hosts a number of festivals, concerts parades and festivals. This is when you’ll experience the biggest crowds and usually the highest rates, though compared to many other cities, Austin is relatively affordable even during the busiest times of year. You’ll get the best rates by planning ahead, especially if you go during major festivals such as South by Southwest in March, and in late September/early October when the Austin City Limits Music Festival arrives. If you’re looking for a cheap room at the last minute during high season, you may need to raise your budget a bit, or stick to bare bones, economy accommodation.
  • Shoulder Season (November through February, June): Once November rolls around, you’ll have a much greater choice of affordably priced rooms. Booking at the last minute is likely to be easier, and temperatures remain fairly pleasant, even throughout much of the winter, typically ranging from 13° to 18°C. It’s a perfect time for enjoying the areas outdoor activities, and sometimes, you’ll even be able to enjoy the numerous biking, hiking and horse riding trails all to yourself.
  • Low Season (July and August): The peak of summer in Austin means scorching temperatures that keep many tourists away, but if you can stand the heat, you’ll be able to take advantage of a significant drop in hotel prices as well as thinner crowds.

Austin Weather by Month

  • Austin Weather in January: January may be the coldest month of the year in Austin, but it’s actually quite pleasant compared to many other parts of the country. Afternoon highs of 18°C mean that you can enjoy many of the area’s outdoor activities comfortably, even in the middle of winter. Overnight lows average around 5°C, so you will need a warm jacket in the evening, but snow or freezing temperatures are rare. Bringing some wet-weather gear, like waterproof shoes or boots, an umbrella and rain coat, is probably a good idea, as Austin averages 50mm of precipitation in January, spread out over 14 days. In between those rainy days, you’ll still have an abundance of sunshine, so you may need your sunglasses and sunscreen too. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Austin Weather in February: While the weather can be unpredictable in February, with some years bringing generally warm, sunny days and others bringing cooler, rainy ones, temperatures are increasing, with the average high rising two degrees to a pleasant 20°C. Typically by the middle of the month, you’ll experience chilly mornings and evenings but plenty of warm sunshine during the day. Snow and freezing temperatures are very unlikely with lows at 6°C, though precipitation increases a bit to 60mm over 12 days. This means that if you plan to visit in February, you’ll want to bring a range of clothing – in fact, it may even be warm enough to wear shorts. By packing both long- and short-sleeved shirts, long pants and shorts or dresses, along with rain gear, you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather might bring. Don’t forget those sunglasses and sunscreen, as odds are, you’ll need them. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Austin Weather in March: Average highs creep up several degrees to 23°C in March, and winter is over, really even before it began. More and more Austinites can now be seen enjoying the outdoors and the often beautiful spring weather, and with that an increasing number of people come into town, particularly during the second half of the month with the arrival of the South by Southwest Festival. Although there is still likely to be some rain, with 60mm falling over seven days in March, it generally comes in short-lived showers. Temperatures can dip as low as 11°C at night, so if you plan to be out and about after dark or up early in the morning, you’ll need a sweater or a light jacket. Layers are essential this time of year, as you might start off with a long-sleeved shirt and jacket, but as the day progresses, the typically constant sunshine will leave you wanting something lighter and cooler. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Austin Weather in April: April in Austin is usually very pleasant, with average temperatures around 21°C and afternoon highs reaching about 26°C. It’s a good time to take advantage of the warm days and cool nights to enjoy some camping, with overnight lows now a fairly comfortable 15°C. You’ll also have plenty of daylight to enjoy, with sunset just after 8pm by April 30th. Precipitation tends to vary with the year, though on average, April is not a very rainy month – about half the time, it will bring 20 to 70mm of precipitation, while one in four years will be much drier, and another one in four, wetter. When it comes to packing, focus on warmer weather attire, while bringing a few items for cooler days and evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 53mm.)
  • Austin Weather in May: While summer may not officially arrive in May, here in Austin, it will feel like it has, with the mercury now rising as high as 29°C in the afternoon. This is the city’s rainiest month, with 140mm of precipitation on average over 13 days, which means you’re likely to experience not only some sizzling heat, but quite a bit of moisture as well. The good news is that warmth, sun and rain results in gorgeous blooming flowers that can be seen throughout the region. In between the rain, there is still quite a bit of sunshine with an average of 11 hours a day. For a trip in May, bring your summer wear, including lots of sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, as well as quick-dry, lightweight clothing, a portable umbrella and shoes you don’t mind getting wet. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 140mm.)
  • Austin Weather in June: June ushers summer in, and some of the hottest weather of the year, though the worst of the extreme heat doesn’t arrive until next month. Average highs increase several degrees to 32°C, and it will even feel pretty warm at night, with temperatures generally only dropping to 22°C – and for one or two days this month, the temperature exceeds 38°C. A visit in June also means that you’ll experience some of the longest days of the year, when during much of the second half of the month, there is more than 14 hours between sunrise and sunset. An average of 110mm of precipitation is seen in June, and combined with the heat, it can make for some pretty incredible lightning storms. This is definitely the time to bring shorts, short-sleeved shirts, tanks and/or skirts and dresses, as well as a bathing suit so that you can cool off in one of the area’s swimming holes. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are all highly advisable for protection from the intense rays of the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 110mm)
  • August Weather in July: July is rather predictable when it comes to the weather: hot or sizzling hot. This is the year’s hottest, driest and sunniest month, with high temperatures averaging 35°C, and some days it can get as hot as 38°C or even higher. Overnight lows aren’t very low at 24°C, so you’ll learn the true meaning of the phrase, Warm Texas Nights. There isn’t much rain either, with 50mm of precipitation over six days in July. Pack as you would for June, with lots of loose, lightweight clothing, a bathing suit and sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Austin Weather in August: August brings more of the same: heat, heat and more heat, with very little precipitation. The weather rarely varies from hot and sunny this time of year, and you may even notice the meteorologist start to get bored, announcing the same thing day after day. The average high remains 35°C, and nights only cool to around 24°C. An average of just 40mm of precipitation is seen this month, and when it does rain, it’s usually warm and the moisture doesn’t do much in the way of cooling things off. The good news is that there are lots of swimming holes, pools and lakes where you can find relief, and if you can lengthen your stay into September, you’ll enjoy gradually cooling temperatures. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Austin Weather in September: With September, comes autumn, and the light at the end of the tunnel. While much of this month is still quite warm, the average high dips back down to 32°C, and temperatures generally hover around 27°C to 29°C. During the first half of the month, it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise as high as 35°C, but just knowing the cooler weather is around the corner makes it a bit easier to deal with the heat. The evenings are a bit cooler too, with overnight lows now falling to 21°C, and rainfall increases slightly as well. September brings an average of 70mm of precipitation over eight days, and it often comes in the form of thunderstorms, with large amounts of rain falling within short periods of time. The storms quickly dissipate giving way to an abundance of sunshine once again, though rainfall amounts do occasionally exceed 125mm in just a few hours, causing flash floods. When it comes to packing, you’ll still want to focus on that summer attire, but you may want to bring rain gear too. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average precipitation: 70mm.)
  • Austin Weather in October: Now that autumn is officially here, everyone seems to breathe a sigh of relief after the hot, sweaty summer. It’s months like this that remind locals why they live here and you’ll enjoy your holiday during some of the most pleasant weather of the year, averaging in the low to mid-20s, with afternoon highs generally only reaching around 27°C, and lows now dipping down to 16°C. This is perfect weather for outdoor adventures, although rain may occasionally get in the way with 90mm of precipitation over nine days this month. Most days are warm, yet not scorching hot, which means summer clothing is still appropriate, along with rain gear for wet days. If you’re the type of person that chills easily, you may need a light jacket or sweater for mornings and evenings, but many people still feel comfortable going without. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 90mm.)
  • Austin Weather in November: November is typically a wonderful time to be in Austin, with mild temperatures and fewer storms as compared to the previous two months. Highs reach 21°C, with average temperatures ranging in the mid- to upper-teens. Early in the month, you’ll probably still see quite a few Austinites wearing shorts and summery dresses, but by the time November ends, the cooler temperatures are more consistent, and evenings can get as cool as 10°C. This is a time when you’ll want to bring clothing that can be layered, like short-sleeved shirts with light sweaters that can be easily removed if the afternoon sun gets to be too much. Jeans and long-sleeved shirts are generally worn in the evening, and you may or may not need a jacket. It’s always a good idea to bring one anyway this time of year. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
  • Austin Weather in December: While winter arrives in December, to most people, it won’t feel like it in Austin. It can get rather cool, but rarely cold, with high temperatures averaging 19°C, and most days ranging between 13°C and 16°C this month. You will need a warm jacket at night, and during the early morning hours, as overnight lows are now a relatively chilly 6°C. December usually brings the first frosts of the season, but on most days, the city basks in mild weather. One thing that is likely to be different, is that this month sees a lot more grey, cloudy days. Still, it tends to be about 50/50, with just as many sunny days as there are dreary. A warm jacket will be needed after dark and in the morning, but in between, long pants and long-sleeved shirts often suffice. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average precipitation: 70mm.)

Austin Special Events by Month

Austin in January

  • Free Week – “Free Week,” meaning the first week of January, is a great time to be in Austin, as hundreds of local bands participate in this annual event held at multiple venues across the city – and, the best part is that every show is (you guessed it) free.
  • Martin Luther King March and Festival – Martin Luther King’s legacy is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year, with an annual community march, kicking off with a short program at the civil rights leader’s statue on the University of Texas campus. The event is followed by a festival that features local musicians and a variety of vendors.

Austin in February

  • Austin Marathon and Half Marathon – This mid-February event that will take place on February 19 in 2017, brings over 20,000 runners and thousands more spectators as one of the largest combined marathons and half marathons in the country. Both courses run through some of the city’s most scenic and historic areas, including Lady Bird Johnson Lake, the Allandale and Hyde Park neighborhoods, Congress Avenue, the University of Texas campus, and the State Capital complex.
  • Valentine’s Day – Austin offers special events for just about everyone on Valentine’s Day, whether you’re looking to share the love or celebrate singledom. One of the most popular restaurants for romance is Green Pastures, set within a magnificent Victorian home serving gourmet fare, fine wine and Southern hospitality. Area wineries and hotels typically offer a variety of special romance packages for the holiday as well. One of the favorite “Anti-Valentine’s Day” events is the Home Wreckers & Heartbreakers Ball, hosted at Gibson Bar, where everyone celebrates being single, dancing the night away with old and new friends to a DJ that spins tunes all night long. Alamo Drafthouse presents “Love Bites” sing-along shows, where crowds of people gather holding lighters in the air and defying traditions by belting out anti-love power ballads.
  • No Idea Festival – The No Idea Festival is hosted over four days in late February and is focused on improvised music and performance art. It brings together musicians and sound artists from across the globe collaborating in multiple gradations of free improvisation, composition, noise, and sonic interventions.
  • Texas Union Film Festival – The annual Texas Union Film Festival held in late February, AKA TUFF, is a night that highlights the cinematic talents of the students at UT Austin.

Austin in March

  • Zilker Kite Festival – This fun, free event held in early March features a kite competition, using only homemade, single-line kites, and is open to anyone who wants to compete. A variety of contests are held, including kids only competitions, contests for the smallest and largest kites, oldest and youngest kite-fliers, and more. A VIP breakfast, as well as food and exhibitor booths are also hosted.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) – One of Austin’s biggest events of the year, the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals offer the latest and greatest in the music, film and interactive industries, along with performances by more than 2,000 bands from around the world. It takes place over 10 days in mid-March, March 10-19, 2017, at numerous venues across more than100 stages throughout central Austin, including the Austin Convention Center.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – St. Patrick’s Day in Austin brings a family-friendly event celebrating Irish culture, taking place annually on March 17th at Pioneer Farms. Festivities include two stages of local and international Celtic musicians as well as performances by Irish dancers and bagpipe bands. Of course, there will also be plenty of authentic Irish cuisine and Irish brews, including Guinness.
  • Rodeo Austin – This two-week long event in mid-March, March 11-25 in 2017, features a Top 10 ProRodeo, daily concerts, a livestock show and more.

Austin in April

  • Austin Urban Music Festival – A two-day festival held in early April, this event features a variety of family-friendly entertainment showcasing soul, R&B, hip hop, gospel and neo-soul, as a platform for talented local African-American artists to reach a diverse audience.
  • Zilker Garden Festival – Also held over two days in early April, the Zilker Garden Festival includes a flower show that showcases flowers across the state of Texas, a food court, beer garden, live entertainment, kids’ corner with activities that include building a birdhouse and making butterfly wings, and a host of vendors selling plants, pottery, garden-themed accessories, jewelry and herbal products.
  • Texas Community Music Festival – This festival held over 15 days during the second half of April at Central Market North, features free performances across a wide variety of music genres, including everything from solo acts to 70-piece ensembles.
  • Austin Reggae Festival – Featuring three days of reggae in mid-April, April 14-16, 2017, this festival takes place at Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin.
  • Texas Burlesque Festival – This three-day showdown in late April celebrates the revival of burlesque, vaudeville and cabaret through a variety of parties, a brunch/roundtable, workshops and performances.

Austin in May

  • Cinco de Mayo – Celebrating the day in 1862 when Mexican troops beat the French during the Battle of Puebla, winning their independence, Cinco de Mayo festivities are held at Fiesta Gardens Park on the weekend closest to the holiday. It includes food, fun and a host of live Tejano and Mexican music throughout the weekend,
  • Lone Star Jam – The Lone Star Jam is held over a weekend in early May, May 7-8, 2016, and showcases a diverse lineup of regional and national country music artists along with some of Austin’s best food trucks.
  • Pecan Street Festival – If you aren’t into country, the Pecan Street Festival is typically held the same weekend in May as the Lone Star Jam and is one of the longest-running and largest arts, crafts and music festivals. It takes place in the historic Sixth Street District and features an extensive lineup of music performances, street magicians, dance performers, a petting zoo, all sorts of foo options and a classic carnival.
  • Renegade Craft Fair – Every year over a weekend in mid-May, May 14-15, 2016, this fair held at Fair Market showcases some of the very best in modern craft and design with over 125 makers selling everything from jewelry, clothing and accessories to modern home décor.
  • Deutschen Pfest – Held annually on the third weekend of May, this festival in Pflugerville, 17 miles north of Austin, features a parade, live music and a carnival, include lots of rides, food and drink and vendors selling all sorts of wares.

Austin in June

  • X Games Austin – The X Games come to Austin in early June, June 2-5, 2016, featuring world-class action sports competitions, live music, interactive festivals and more.
  • Soul to Sole Festival – One of the oldest festivals of its kind, this annual celebration brings dancers and instructors from across the globe for five days in June, June 7-12, 2016, hosting tap jams, master classes, choreography classes, panel discussions and a variety of performances.
  • ATX Television Festival – Held over four days in June, June 9-12, 2016, this unique festival celebrates television through screenings, panels, Q&As and other industry events featuring people who work in all aspects of TV. It spotlights classic shows, shows that were cancelled too soon, cult hits, never-aired pilots and more.
  • Blanco Lavender Fest – Located in Texas Hill Country, less than an hour’s drive west of Austin, this festival held over three days in mid-June, June 10-12, 2016, is all about lavender. Admission to the area lavender farms is free and many offer special entertainment and activities, while some allow visitors to pick their own lavender. In Blanco, the whole town participates with restaurants serving lavender-flavored dishes and merchants offering all sorts of lavender merchandise. Speakers also provide lavender-related educational programs at the courthouse.
  • Keep Austin Weird Festival – This festival in late June, June 25 in 2016, is aimed at “keeping the weird tradition going strong.” It starts with a 5k fun run and is followed by a variety of local food vendors with delicious offerings, live music, games and entertainment. Costumes are encouraged, and the weirder the better.

Austin in July

  • Fourth of July Symphony & Fireworks – One of the largest Independence Day celebrations in Texas, this event is hosted annually on 4th of July each year at Circuit of the Americas. It features games and contests in the afternoon followed by a massive fireworks display accompanied by the sounds of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
  • Chamber Music Festival – For over two weeks in July, July 9-24 in 2016, this festival showcases classical music through free community concerts, workshops, master classes and behind-the-scenes lecture performances given by classical musicians.
  • Pachanga Presents – Formerly known as the Pachanga Latino Music Festival, this event in mid-July, July 16, 2016, takes place at the Moody Theater and features Latin music, culture and cuisine. There are also special events for the kids, including a piñata party, folk arts and crafts, and music workshops.
  • Float Fest – Held over a weekend in mid-July, July 16-17, 2016, at Cool River Ranch in San Marcos, about a 30-minute drive south of Austin, this outdoor music festival hosts a lineup of nationally acclaimed acts. Many attendees camp on the grounds and tubing companies offer inner tubes for floating down the San Marcos River as well.
  • Body Mind Spirit Expo – This two-day event is held around the third weekend of July, July 23-24, 2016 at the Palmer Events Center. It showcases alternative health products, psychics and mediums as well as wellness, health and fitness industry experts.

Austin in August

  • Austin Ice Cream Festival – A celebration of ice cream, this event takes place in mid-August, August 13, 2016, at Fiesta Gardens by Festival Beach. Attendees can enjoy lots of local and national ice creams as well as live music, contests, kids’ activities and more.
  • Austin Hot Sauce Festival – Also held in mid-August, August 13, 2016, at Fiesta Gardens, is the annual Hot Sauce Festival which attracts over 15,000 participants who sample as many different types of hot sauce as they can. There are over 350 varieties of hot sauce as well as lots of food, live music and entertainment.
  • Bat Fest – Another one of Austin’s most popular festivals, Bat Fest celebrates the one-and-a-half million Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown at dusk. Typically held on the third Saturday of August, it features three stages with live music, over 75 arts and crafts vendors, food and drink, children’s activities, a bat costume contest and other bat-related activities.
  • Pride Festival – Held on the last Saturday of August, August 27, 2016, this festival held in Fiesta Gardens on the shores of Lady Bird Lake celebrates gay pride with a variety of live performers followed by an evening parade with all types of grand floats that begins at the State Capitol.
  • Capital City Black Film Festival – Taking place over four days in late August, August 25-28, 2016, this festival brings together talented African Americans involved in media and the film industry, featuring films, acting seminars, panel discussions, weekend parties and more.

Austin in September

  • Austin Triathlon – Taking place annually on Labor Day, this event in the heart of downtown Austin begins with a swim in Lady Bird Lake, followed by a bike course with scenic views over Congress Street Bridge, and finishes with a run along the path at Auditorium Shores.
  • Eastside Kings Festival – This mid-September festival features a weekend of blues, gospel and jazz acts to celebrate some of the greatest living musicians. In 2016, it will be held over the weekend of September 10-11.
  • Austin Music Video Festival – This four-day festival celebrates music videos produced by local artists and provides a platform to connect with professionals in music, film, gaming and technology industries. Held in early September, September 7-10, 2016, it features an award show, screenings, interactive video technology, a live VJ battle, panels, workshops, live concerts and parties.
  • Texas Craft Brewers Festival – Held on the third Saturday of September, this is the state’s largest craft beer event focused exclusively on beers brewed in Texas. Taking place at Fiesta Gardens, beer enthusiasts can enjoy unlimited tastings from more than 60 breweries across the state.
  • Fantastic Fest – This cinematic celebration takes place around the last week of September, September 22-29, 2016, showcasing the best films in fantasy, sci-fi, horror and action. A movie marathon is hosted at Alamo Drafthouse, featuring more than 50 independent feature-length and short works. It also hosts Q&A sessions with actors and directors, film discussions with nationally recognized critics, movie-themed karaoke parties, live podcast recordings, geek pub trivia and award ceremonies.

Austin in October

  • Austin City Limits Music Festival – Generally held over two weekends in early October, with 2016’s festival taking place on September 30-October 2 and again October 7-9, this massive event at Zilker Park draws people from all over the world to enjoy multiple stages that host over 130 bands with a diverse range of genres and styles. It also includes a wide variety of fantastic local eats, a children’s area and family-friendly activities.
  • MondoCon – This celebration of art, comics, movies, music, toys and food is typically held over the first weekend in October and features artists and creators from across the globe as well as screenings, panels, food trucks and interactive events.
  • Austin Film Festival – Running for just over a week in mid-October, October 13-20, 2016, the Austin Film Festival (also known as the Writers Festival) is dedicated to the screenwriters of the film industry. It hosts some of the most acclaimed filmmakers for round table discussions, panels, and the judging of a famous screenwriting contest. It also screens more than 100 films, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and more.
  • Texas Trucklandia Fest – Celebrating Austin’s food truck culture, this six-day event in mid-October features the diverse cuisine from some of the city’s most popular food trucks which serve up their signature dishes and compete for cash prizes.
  • Austin Days of the Dead – Beginning in mid-October and running through early November, this cross-cultural celebration blends Halloween-themed festivities with the traditions of the Days of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). It features a variety of events held across the city, including parades, live music and cultural performances, exhibitions, workshops and more. Costumes are encouraged.

Austin in November

  • Fun Fun Fun Fest – One of the city’s biggest festivals, the Fun Fun Fun Fest features three days of music and comedy in early November, drawing over 65,000 each year. Big-name headliners as well as talented up-and-coming artists are featured, as well as unique entertainment like a live wresting ring, the Taco Cannon and a mechanical bull.
  • Austin Celtic Festival – Celebrating all things Celtic on the first weekend of November at Fiesta Gardens, the festivities include regional and international Celtic musicians, Celtic dance performers, Celtic sporting events, workshops and more.
  • Austin Powwow and Native American Heritage Festival – This event celebrating the culture and tradition of American Indians is held on the first Saturday of November at the Travis County Expo Center and features competition dancing, an authentic Indian market and educational and heritage programs.
  • East Austin Studio Tour – This event held over two weekends in the second half of November is a self-guided tour that features galleries, commercial studios, installations and art-themed parties. The opening party is a special culinary event highlighting local chefs, educational programs and competitions.

Austin in December

  • Austin Trail of Lights – Starting around the 1st of December and running throughout the month, the Trail of Lights held in Zilker Park is a festive mile-long walk through spectacular light displays.
  • German Christmas Market – This annual market held on the first Saturday of December at the German Free School, features traditional German Christmas music, authentic German items handcrafted in the country’s Erzgebirge region, German cuisine, St. Nikolaus and more.
  • Alice in Winter Wonderland – Held on a Saturday in mid-December at Fair Market, this event inspired by Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland with a special Winter Wonderland twist, features live music and chef demonstrations, brunch with mimosas, dinner, all-day tastings and the opportunity for holiday shopping.
  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – This 10-day event held at the Palmer Events Center in mid-December is an art fair and music festival featuring handcrafted items from more than 160 artists, live local music, and a full bar.
  • New Year’s Eve Festival – On December 31st each year, Austin hosts a free New Year’s Eve festival at Auditorium Shores & Vic Mathias Shores. It includes live music, local artists and exhibitors, entertainment such as aerialists and live painting, art installations, children’s activities and food trucks. It culminates with a spectacular fireworks finale at 10pm.
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Best Time To Visit Vancouver

Updated December 6, 2016

Q. When is the best time to visit Vancouver?

  • Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time for walking the streets of Vancouver and the city’s beautiful parks, without bumping elbows with hordes of tourists, is in May and September. During these months, you’ll have a good chance for sunshine and pleasant temperatures, along with spectacular views from spots like Grouse Mountain, but the crowds have yet to arrive, or are beginning to dissipate with summer coming to an end. As with popular attractions in most major cities, to avoid the biggest crowds at attractions like the Vancouver Aquarium or Vancouver Art Gallery, no matter what time of year you visit, plan to arrive either early or late on a weekday rather than the weekend.
  • Best Time for Whale Watching: One of the most popular activities in Vancouver and the surrounding region is whale watching. You’ll find a wide range of whale watching tours to choose from, and many offer a guarantee that if you don’t see whales on your first attempt, you’ll get a free trip aboard the same vessel you traveled on. For the best experience, include two days of whale watching in your itinerary just in case. Southern Resident orcas are frequently sighted between April and November, though sightings peak in July, August and September. If you hope to see humpback whales, your best bet is to go between late August and early December.
  • Best Time for a Cruise: Getting out on the water by taking a boat cruise is a great way to see some of Vancouver’s most stunning sights from a completely different but wonderfully spectacular perspective. If you’re hoping for a sunny day, on which you can step out on the deck, capture a photo and admire the views, the best time to hop aboard is in July, August or early September. If a cruise is on the top of your must-do list, keep in mind that most cruises run only between May and October, although special holiday cruises for Christmas and New Year’s Eve are available to and provide the opportunity to see the city lit up in all its glory.
  • Best Time for Skiing: Many people head to Vancouver for the opportunity to participate in snow sports, with Grouse Mountain just 20 minutes from downtown. The best time of the year for skiers is generally in the spring, particularly from mid-March through late April, though the mountain is often open from about mid-November through May, and sometimes even into June. Spring provides the best time for everyone from beginners to the most advance, with warmer temperatures, longer and sunnier days, incredible snow and awe-inspiring views.

Vancouver Travel Seasons

  • High Season (June through August): The summer months are the most popular for visiting Vancouver, due to the warmer weather, festivals and opportunities for practically endless outdoor activities. If you go during this time, expect bigger crowds and higher accommodation rates along with mostly sunny skies, especially in July and August. You’ll also need to book your room well in advance as hotels fill quickly. While this season does have its downside, it’s usually a very lovely time to be in Vancouver.
  • Shoulder Season (April and May): Spring may be the very best time to be in Vancouver, when the city typically enjoys mild, pleasant weather with a mix of sunny and wet days, though the rain usually isn’t enough to put a damper on outdoor plans. As the temperatures rise, the flowers begin to bloom, and this is a great time to score better bargains on hotel rooms, before the summer tourists and cruisers begin to flood in.
  • Low Season (September through March): The “low” season spans both autumn and winter, and for those who are hoping to find the biggest discounts on hotels along with fewer crowds, this is the best time to visit. September is a particularly fabulous month to be in Vancouver, with lots of beautiful, sunny days, though the temperatures gradually begin to drop as autumn officially kicks in. In the middle of winter, there were be lots of wet, gloomy days, though temperatures below freezing are fairly rare.

Vancouver Weather by Month

  • Vancouver Weather in January: You can expect the weather in Vancouver in January to be chilly and wet as this is one of the coldest months of the year, though it doesn’t snow often and even when it does, it usually melts by the time it hits the ground and doesn’t accumulate. The average high temperature hovers around 5°C to 6°C, and with 140mm of rain this month, you’ll definitely want to bring your rain gear, including waterproof boots. It tends to be rather grey and cloudy in January, with fewer days of sunshine than any other month except to December, and daylight is at a premium too, with sunrise around 8am and sunset as early as 4:25pm at the beginning of the month. In addition to rain gear, bring warm clothing, including a warm jacket and gloves. (Average Max Temperature: 6°C. Average Precipitation: 140mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in February: Temperatures start to warm in February, with the average high increasing two decreases to 8°C, though there is more precipitation this month than there was in January, with 150mm falling over 16 days. Although it’s likely to be cool, wet and grey much of the time, the weather is quite mild compared to the rest of the country, and some years it does bring a fair amount of sunshine too. In fact, you might even begin to see blossoms later in the month. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 150mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in March: March brings blooming spring blossoms and warmer weather, with afternoon highs averaging around 10°C. It’s starting to rain less now, with 110mm this month, though you’ll still want to prepare for wet weather on any given day. The days are growing increasingly longer, with sunset at about 7:45pm by March 31st, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. This month, you’ll still want to pack warm, waterproof clothing and rain gear, but you should also bring some short-sleeved shirts and lighter clothing for more pleasant days when the sun makes an appearance. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C. Average Precipitation: 110mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in April: Although April is still wet, it’s also mild, with high temperatures averaging 12°C. The spring flowers are now in full bloom, and you’ll start to see more people outside in places like Stanley Park, hiking, biking and roller blading. The city sees an average of 8 hours of sunshine now, though April’s weather is inconsistent, bringing a full gamut from cool, rainy and dark to pleasant, sunny spring days. Be prepared by packing for a wide range of temperatures and conditions, particularly if you plan to be near the water. You’ll want a light jacket and some water-resistant clothing as well as summer wear light sandals, a hat and sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 100mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in May: With summer now just around the corner, May can be one of the most pleasant months of the year in Vancouver. The days are long, the weather is getting warmer and the sun shines more often not. While it still rains, this month brings a significant drop in precipitation, with 60mm on average. Afternoon highs of 16°C, and sometimes warmer, means that more and more people are taking advantage of it to enjoy the great outdoors. Bring a range of clothing as you would for March, preparing for rain as well as the sun. You’ll still need a warm jacket as evenings can be quite cool, with overnight lows dropping to 9°C. (Average Max Temperature: 67°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in June: June is not much different than May, though high temperatures rise on average to 19°C. Some years, this month is characterized by lots of sun, but in others, it can be cooler and rainier than May. Summer here may or may not be like what you’re used to, as it’s rare for it to get very warm in Vancouver. As the days are fabulously long due to the city’s northern location, you’ll be able to enjoy sunlight until almost 9:30pm. Once again, pack for a range of temperatures and conditions so that you’ll be prepared. While the weather in June can be somewhat unpredictable, more often than not it’s a great time to be here. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in July: Along with August, July is typically the driest month of the year in the city. It has the fewest rainy days, the most hours of sunlight, and it’s comfortably warm with only moderate humidity levels. Now you’ll need mostly summer clothing, including short-sleeved shirts and sandals, though you’ll still need some long-sleeved shirts and a light jacket if you plan to spend an evening near the water. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are all appropriate too. If you prefer warmer weather and want to avoid the rain, July is usually the very best time to be in Vancouver. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in August: August is much like July, typically very dry, and you may not see any rain at all until later in the month, with 50mm of precipitation falling on average. Afternoon temperatures increase a degree to a very pleasant 22°C, with lots of comfortably warm, sun-filled days. Like July, you’ll need your summer attire along with a light jacket for evenings with lows averaging around 14°C. This is definitely the time to take advantage of the wealth of outdoor activities here, with 11 wonderful hours of sunshine a day. (Average Max Temperature: 22°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in September: September is another one of the best months to be in Vancouver. More often than not, you’ll have many consecutive days of warm sunny skies, although as the month progresses, it will start to feel cooler. On average, high temperatures reach 18°C, and although precipitation increases to 70mm over 10 days, much of it will fall later in the month. By visiting during the first half of September, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, with many of the tourists exiting, and lots of beautiful sunny days. To be prepared for whatever comes, plan to dress in layers, and bring both lighter and heavy clothing for warm and cool days, along with generally cooler evenings as temperatures can dip as low as 11°C. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average precipitation: 70mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in October: With autumn now in full swing, temperatures are noticeably cooler, and its wetter too, though early in the month it can be just like September, mild and clear. The later in the month you plan to be here, the more you’ll want to be prepared for grey, dark skies and rain, with an average of 100mm coming down in October. Bringing an umbrella and/or rain gear becomes advisable once again, along with sweaters and a heavier jacket, and you’ll also want to be prepared for shorter days, with sunset just before 6pm on October 31. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 100mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in November: The wet, cold and dark season has now arrived. Expect rain, rain and more rain, with November typically a very wet month, even by Vancouver’s already soggy standards. On average, there is 200mm of precipitation and just four hours of sunshine each day, meaning lots of gloomy, grey days. The good news is that if you’re a skier or snowboarder, rain in the city means snow in the nearby mountains. With the average high temperature just 8°C, you’ll want to bring your warm weather clothing, including waterproof attire and rain gear. Boots, hats and gloves are recommended as well. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 200mm.)
  • Vancouver Weather in December: December continues to be dark and gloomy, as it rains almost as much as it did last month, with 160mm on average. The days are even shorter, with sunset at about 4:15pm in mid-December. But the good news is there will likely be snow in the mountains and lots of dazzling holiday lights in the city to brighten things up. While snow in the city is unlikely, with overnight lows just above freezing at 1°C, be prepared for cold rain by bringing your warm, waterproof clothing and rain gear. (Average Max Temperature: 6°C. Average precipitation: 160mm.)

Vancouver Events and Festivals

Vancouver in January

  • New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day is a national holiday in Canada, which means many businesses will be closed, including the popular Granville Island Market, but there will be plenty of restaurants open along with a few attractions like the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Vancouver Aquarium. The most famous event for New Year’s Day is the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim, in which locals and visitors, many of which wear costumes, take a dip in the chilly water off English Bay Beach.
  • PuSh International Performing Arts Festival – The PuSh Festival is one of the city’s signature events. Running over three weeks from mid-January through early February, it showcases acclaimed international, Canadian and local artists.
  • Vancouver International Boat Show – Taking place over five days in late January at BC Place Stadium, this long-running annual event is the prime boating event in Western Canada, and the largest showcasing of the recreational boating industry in British Columbia. Hundreds of boats are for sale, as are all kinds of motors and marine equipment. There are fishing boats, yachts, jet skis, kayaks and all sorts of watercraft on display. Seminar speakers, boating and sport fishing seminars, cooking demonstrations and a Kids’ Zone are all hosted as well.
  • Chinese New Year – As Vancouver is home to the second largest Chinatown in North America, Chinese New Year is a popular occasion with Chinese residents as well as the general population. Festivities include fireworks, a dragon parade, music, dancing, all kinds of fantastic food and more. In 2017, Chinese New Year will fall on January 28, though it often falls in February.

Vancouver in February

  • 24 Hours of Winter – Grouse Mountain, just outside Vancouver, typically hosts this event during the first weekend of February, starting at 8am Saturday and running through 10pm Sunday. It includes all-night skiing, snowboarding and ice skating; midnight and sunrise snowshoe tours, a torch parade, zip-lining and more.
  • BC Family Day – Family Day is observed on the second Monday of February in British Columbia and four other Canadian provinces. There are dozens of events that take place at various venues throughout the city over the long weekend, and many popular attractions offer discounts on the holiday too.
  • Vancouver International Wine Festival – This festival held over a week in late February features more than 150 wines from over a dozen different countries. It offers the rare opportunity to meet owners, winemakers and senior representatives from wineries around the globe.
  • Winterruption – This fun winter festival held over three days in mid-February features art, music, dance, theater, film, food, arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor activities and more.

Vancouver in March

  • CelticFest – This annual event takes place over St. Patrick’s Day week, celebrating everything Irish, and Celtic. One of its highlights is the parade, which generally takes place on the holiday or the Sunday prior to March 17. Visitors can also enjoy street parties, whiskey tastings, Irish theater, live music and more.
  • Coastal First Nations Dance Festival – This dance festival held annually over five days in early March is hosted by the Dancers of Damelahamid and the UBC Museum of Anthropology. It showcases First Nations dance and culture, including a dance around MOA totems.
  • Vancouver Women in Film Festival – The annual WIFF as it’s also called, showcases films from established and up-and-coming female filmmakers and takes place over nearly a week in mid-March.
  • Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival – Running for nearly a month starting in mid-March, this festival celebrates the cherry blossom with a wide array of events, including a concert, tree talks and walks, and the Sakura Days Japan Fair.

Vancouver in April

  • Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade – This annual parade not only includes a spectacular procession that begins at the Sikh Temple, but lots of food, music, singing and dance.
  • Vancouver Sun Run – This is the largest community 10k in the entire country, bringing together as many as 50,000 runners to the streets of downtown Vancouver.
  • Earth Day Celebrations – Earth Day takes place annually on April 22, and there are numerous events throughout the region to celebrate. The largest of them all is typically the Party for the Planet, which features concerts and performances on three different stages throughout the day. It takes place just outside the City of Surrey’s City Hall, in the suburb located about a 40-minute drive southeast of downtown Vancouver.
  • Vancouver ECO Fashion Week – This eco-friendly week in mid-April includes a panel talk with eco-conscious designers, a vintage catwalk show and other fashion events.

Vancouver in May

  • Vancouver International Burlesque Festival – This annual three-day celebration in early May is the most prestigious and longest running burlesque festival in the country. It showcases some of the finest local and international performers, fashion shows, parties, workshops and more.
  • Vancouver Marathon – Held on the first Sunday in May, the annual Vancouver Marathon, includes the marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon, as well as walking and wheelchair events.
  • B.C. Spot Prawn Festival – This fun event held annually on a Saturday in mid-May kicks off the prawn season with a variety of festivities, including free entertainment, a prawn boil, celebrity chef cooking demos, kids’ activities and more.
  • Vancouver International Children’s Festival – Taking place over the last week of May, this internationally-renowned festival focuses on performing arts for young audience through theater, music, dance, circus acts, puppetry, storytelling and more on Granville Island.
  • Vancouver Craft Beer Week – This 10-day-long event starts in late May, running through early June, May 27 – June 5 in 2016 and features concerts along with great food and some of the finest lagers and ales.

Vancouver in June

  • Vancouver Heritage Foundation Annual Heritage House Tour –The annual Vancouver Heritage House Tour is a one-day self-guided tour held on the first Sunday in June featuring 10 unique heritage homes in Vancouver.
  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival – One of the best jazz festivals in the world, and the best according to The Seattle Times, is held throughout the second half of June, with 1,800 musicians and 400 concerts held at 40 venues across the city.
  • Dragon Boat Festival – This annual multicultural event held over a weekend in mid-June, June 17-19 in 2016, attracts over 100,000 to enjoy boat racing, music, food and fun, along with more than 180 dragon boat teams from across the globe.
  • Make Music Vancouver – Water Street, located in Gastown, is blocked off from traffic for this free music festival which features sidewalk stages, 150 bands and street dance.

Vancouver in July

  • Carnaval del Sol – This annual festival held over a weekend in mid-July, celebrates Latin American culture including music, dance lessons, food, soccer and kids’ activities as well as Latin American and Native Canadian visual art displays, and traditional folk dancers from various countries performing different dance styles like folklore, Zumba, capoeira, belly dance and more.
  • Harrison Festival of the Arts – This nine-day festival that will be held from July 9 through July 17 in 2016, features an art market and performing arts performances.
  • Khatsahlano Street Party – This massive street party held on a Saturday in July, July 11 in 2016, showcases 50 of Vancouver’s top musical performers, artisans, street performers and special activities.
  • Vancouver Folk Music Festival – This legendary folk music festival features three days of music at Jericho Beach Park around a weekend in mid-July, July 15-17 in 2016. There are eight stages, 70 hours of folk and world music, a market, food vendors and more.
  • Caribbean Days Festival – Every July, the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of BC presents this festival held in North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park. The weekend of carnival, culture, cuisine and tropical rhythm will take place over July 23-24 in 2016.

Vancouver in August

  • Annual Powell Street Festival – This two-day festival over the first weekend in August is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage. It includes music, dance, film and video, visual arts, an amateur sumo tournament, martial arts demos, craft vendors, traditional displays, and plenty of tasty Japanese cuisine.
  • Harmony Arts Festival – Taking place in West Vancouver around the first week of August, this festival showcases art displays, live music, outdoor movies and other entertainment.
  • Vancouver Queer Film Festival – This annual festival features the best in queer independent cinema from Vancouver and across the globe.
  • Abbotsford International Airshow – A three-day event that will be held over the weekend of August 12-14 in 2016 at the Abbotsford Airport, the Abbotsford International Airshow brings aircraft and spectators from around the world. It typically includes the Canadian Forces parachute teams, Canada’s Snowbirds, entries from the Canadian Museum of Flight and more.
  • Pacific National Expedition – This annual fair has been a Vancouver tradition for more than a century. Taking place the last three weeks of summer, starting on August 20 in 2016, it includes a variety of amusement ride, live entertainment, fair food and more.

Vancouver in September

  • TAIWANfest – One of the world’s largest Taiwanese arts and culture events outside of Taiwan, this annual three-day festival is held in early September and celebrates Taiwanese culture, including lots of live music, cinema, culinary demonstrations and more.
  • Vancouver Zombiewalk – This zombie-focused event takes place every year, starting at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the first Saturday in September. You can join in or just watch the hundreds that participate, walking through downtown Vancouver dressed as creepy, bloody zombies.
  • Vancouver International Fringe Festival – The largest theater festival in the province showcases more than 600 performances over 11 days in mid-September.
  • Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival – This annual lantern festival is typically held on the last Saturday of September in the Renfrew-Collingwood area and features an evening of music, lantern installations, a parade and other festivities.

Vancouver in October

  • Canada Thanksgiving – Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the second Monday in October, is a national holiday, which means government offices, banks and most BC liquor stores are closed. Most Canadians celebrate the day by sharing a meal with family. The majority of shops in big shopping districts like Robson Street downtown remain open.
  • BC Craft Beer Month – The entire month of October is BC Craft Beer Month, which includes a variety of events at craft breweries and pubs.
  • UBC Apple Festival – Held annually over a weekend in mid-October, October 15-16 in 2016, the UBC Apple Festival is the biggest fundraising event for the UBC Botanical Garden. It includes live entertainment along with a ton of apples to buy and taste.
  • Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo – This fun event held in downtown Vancouver over four days in mid-October, October 13-16 in 2016, features comics, anime, cosplay, games, makeup, arts and performances.
  • Halloween – Halloween is celebrated in a big way in Vancouver, with haunted houses set up throughout the city as well as a Stanley Park Ghost Train, while multiple Halloween parties and costume contests are hosted at clubs and bars.

Vancouver in November

  • Vancouver Diwali Fest – This “festival of lights” is an East Indian festival that takes place for nearly two weeks in November. It includes events throughout Vancouver, like workshops, dance performances and an all-day celebration, Diwali Downtown.
  • Circle Craft Christmas Market – This annual Christmas market held over five days in mid-November attracts more than 250 Canadian artisans as the largest craft fair in Western Canada.
  • Vancouver Christmas Market – Starting around the third weekend in November and running through Christmas Eve, this market in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza is an authentic outdoor German Christmas village complete with holiday music and entertainment, unique holiday gifts, activities for kids, traditional food and drinks.
  • Candytown: A Yaletown Holiday Festival – Celebrating the winter holidays, this festival on the third Saturday of November includes a gift market, free horse carriage rides, Santa Claus and more.
  • Bright Nights at Stanley Park – Beginning on the last Thursday of November and running through just after New Year’s, this annual Vancouver tradition in Stanley Park includes a million dazzling lights that transform the forest around the park’s famous miniature train into a winter wonderland.

Vancouver in December

  • VanDusen Botanical Gardens’ Festival of Lights – Held throughout the month of December, this event transforms VanDusen Garden into a beautiful holiday spectacle with elaborate lights, a gingerbread walk, Santa’s workshop, a candy cane tree and more.
  • Rogers Santa Clause Parade – This parade through downtown Vancouver on the first Sunday of December includes festive floats, more than 60 marching bands, dance troupes and community groups.
  • Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – This annual event on December 21 celebrates the return of light after the year’s shortest day with lantern displays, live music and a variety of events in five Vancouver neighborhoods, including Chinatown.
  • Christmas Day – Most Vancouver residents will be spending the Christmas holiday with family, and the majority of businesses will be closed, although some restaurants and attractions, like movie theaters, Vancouver Aquarium and the local ski hills will be open.
  • New Year’s Eve – Vancouver hosts two fireworks shows on December 31st each year as part of its waterfront festival. One coincides with the midnight countdown on the east coast for families with young children, and the other is at midnight Pacific Time, when the fireworks are shot from a barge over Coal Harbour. Parties can be found throughout the city, and there are New Year’s Eve cruises as well.
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Best Time To Visit Las Vegas

Updated December 6, 2016

Q. When is the best time to visit Las Vegas?

  • Best Time for Bargains: One of the best times to find a bargain in Las Vegas is during the peak of summer, mainly mid-July through August as it will be sizzling hot, keeping many visitors away. There are also fewer conventions and special events during this time, meaning even fewer people will be visiting the city. If you come during the summer, while temperatures often soar into the 40s, you can enjoy outdoor activities fairly comfortably during the early morning hours, and at night. Take advantage of the numerous indoor attractions during the afternoon, or head to the nearby mountains where it’s cooler. Christmastime can also bring bargains, particularly the week before Christmas and just before New Year’s Eve, as many people plan to spend time with their families at home, rather than in destinations like Vegas.
  • Best Time to Book a Hotel Room: While you may think booking early is a good idea when it comes to reserving a Vegas hotel room, it generally isn’t, as many hotels don’t start offering discounted rates until about three months out. One trick is to book a room at one or more hotels that can be cancelled without penalty, and then see if you can find a reduced rate when it gets closer to your scheduled trip. You’ll usually find the best rates during mid-week no matter what time of year you go, with summer and Christmastime (before New Year’s Eve), generally offering the biggest discounts.
  • Best Time for Buffets: Buffets are very popular in Las Vegas, which means if you’re planning to indulge, you’ll want to go when the time is right to avoid waiting in line for potentially two hours or even more. At the same time, if you go when it’s too quiet, some of that food may have been sitting under the heat lamps for a bit too long. Generally, going just before lunch is switched over to dinner will bring the freshest food and the shortest lines. By doing this, you’ll usually pay the cheaper lunch price while being able to enjoy the more extensive array of dinner foods.
  • Best Time to Ride the High Roller: The Las Vegas High Roller is the highest observation wheel in the world. If you can get there near sunset, about 15 minutes before the Bellagio Fountains go off, during the 30-minute ride you can enjoy the daytime views, the spectacular water show, sunset and the dazzling city lights after dark.

Las Vegas Travel Seasons

  • High Season (January through April, October, major holidays): Las Vegas doesn’t have well-defined high and low seasons as this popular destination attracts crowds year-round, however, there are slight differences that can help you decide when to go. Things really shift into high gear around New Year’s Eve and the first week of January, with tourists packing the city through April. High season generally means the highest rates of the year and the biggest crowds, though not necessarily the best weather. It can get quite chilly in January and February, though March and April are usually quite pleasant.
  • Shoulder Season (May through June, September and November): The shoulder season is generally late spring/early summer and late summer through early autumn. By going during these times, you’ll avoid the biggest crowds and the worst of the summer weather, but you may not enjoy the biggest discounts. A mid-week stay in the shoulder season is your best bet for cheaper hotel rates.
  • Low Season (July and August): The sizzling temperatures of summer tend to keep some tourists away, though not all. This is the time of year you’re most likely to find the shortest lines and greater discounts, particularly for midweek dates at hotels. Be prepared to spend most of your time indoors due to the heat, and be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater for overly air-conditioned casinos, restaurants and other indoor locations.

Las Vegas Weather by Month

  • Las Vegas Weather in January: January is the coldest month in Las Vegas, although it will probably feel more like a beautiful autumn day then what you’re used to during the winter, unless you’re coming from a particularly warm southern climate. On average, high temperatures reach 14°C, but it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise into the upper teens, and temperatures have even been known to get as high as 24°C. After dark, it does get rather cool, with overnight lows just above freezing at 1°C, and occasionally it can fall below 0°C, though snow is unlikely. Its dry desert location means that there is only an average of 13mm of precipitation, with just an 11% chance of rain early in the month, and 15% around January’s end. The most common form of precipitation is light rain, though light snow, moderate or heavy rain can occur. When it comes to packing, bring a warm jacket if you plan to walk around in the evening, along with clothes that can be layered so that you can remove items easily as needed when spending time indoors. As the days are fairly short in January, with sunset at 4:37am on the 1st, and just after 5pm by month’s end, you’ll also want to plan your itinerary accordingly. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 13mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in February: By February things are already beginning to warm, though it is the second coldest month of the year after January. Afternoon highs now reach 17°C, and as the month progresses, the chance for an especially warm and pleasant day increases, with the temperature sometimes rising above 22°C. Precipitation increases slightly to 19mm over six days, but most of the time the skies will be sunny and clear, and the odds of snow are virtually nil, with overnight lows averaging well above freezing now at 4°C. As the weather can be rather erratic in February, you may want to be a range of clothing, planning for some sunny, warm days as well as cooler, and possibly rainy days as well. (Average Max Temperature: 17°C. Average Precipitation: 19mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in March: With temperatures averaging as much as 20 degrees warmer than the U.S. average, March is typically an ideal time to be outdoors in Las Vegas. While the average high now rises to 21°C, temperatures have been known to reach 28°C, and occasionally even hotter. But keep in mind that some years, it can be rather cool in March, staying in the low to mid-teens. It will still be chilly at night, with temperatures dropping to an average of 7°C. That said, once again, bringing clothing that can be layered, including long- and short-sleeved shirts, a sweater and a light jacket, as well as a pair of shorts if especially warm weather hits, will ensure that you’re prepared for just about anything. With just 11mm of precipitation over five days on average this month, rain is unlikely to interrupt your plans. There is more good news for trips to Las Vegas in March – thanks in part to Daylight Savings Time, by month’s end, the sun stays up until about 7pm. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in April: With spring in full swing, you can expect near-perfect weather in April, with this month bringing an average of 12 hours of sunshine and few if any cloudy days. There’s even less chance for rain in April, with 5mm of precipitation on average over three days. Temperatures are definitely warming up too, with average highs at 26°C, and evenings that are cool but not cold, with overnight lows averaging 11°C. The mild temperatures make it pleasant to be outside just about any time of the day, but to stay comfortable you’ll still need of mix of clothing, including shorts and short-sleeved shirts or dresses for warm days and a light sweater or jacket for evenings and inside air-conditioned casinos. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 5mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in May: May is another great month to be in Las Vegas. Temperatures continue to warm, but it doesn’t get miserably hot just yet. Afternoon highs rise to 31°C, but keep in mind that the later in the month you arrive, the warmer is likely to be. It’s even pleasant after dark, and some may not even need a jacket or sweater to keep warm, with the average lows now at 16°C. If you visit in May, you’ll want to bring lots of summer wear, including lightweight clothing, shorts or dresses, sunglasses and sunscreen, although you may still need a light sweater for overly air-conditioned indoor spaces. You can expect a full 13 hours of sunshine each day and little to no rain, with just 3mm of precipitation on average. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 3mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in June: With summer officially here, you can expect Vegas to be very hot. Afternoons are scorching, with the mercury rising on average to a sizzling 38°C, and by month’s end, you can expect it to get even hotter than that. The good news is that the night will bring relief, with temperatures dropping back down to a much more pleasant 21°C; however nightfall doesn’t come until around 8pm throughout the month. Like May, there is very little if any rain to cool things off, with just 2mm of precipitation on average over three days in June. Plan to pack plenty of loose, lightweight clothing, lots of sunscreen and perhaps a sweater in case you get chilly indoors. (Average Max Temperature: 38°C. Average Precipitation: 2mm)
  • Las Vegas Weather in July: July is the hottest month in Las Vegas, with temperatures soaring all the way to 41°C in the afternoon now. Although it only happens an average of once every 10 days, temperatures can reach above 43°C. For those who are especially heat sensitive, this isn’t the best time to be in Las Vegas; however, if you plan your days right by staying indoors in the afternoon and venturing out in the evening when there are more pleasant temperatures in the mid-20s, you can make it work while also enjoying discounted accommodation rates, especially for midweek stays. Although there won’t be much in the way of rain to cool you off, precipitation does increase a bit to 11mm over five days. If you go in July, pack plenty of light, airy clothing and a boatload of sunscreen along with a sun hat for added protection. You’re likely to need a light sweater or jacket for overly air-conditioned indoor areas as well. (Average Max Temperature: 41°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in August: August is the second hottest month in Las Vegas, with the average high temperature now at 39°C, though the mercury can occasionally rise higher than 42°C. Like July, this isn’t the best time for heat sensitive people to visit, but you can potentially save money on your hotel room and you’ll still find plenty to do indoors with the endless casinos, shows and other attractions, so that you don’t have to endure the intense heat of the afternoon sun. The evening hours are still ideal for being outside, with overnight lows averaging 23°C. Precipitation increases slightly to 13mm over six days, and the further the month progresses, the greater likelihood for some rain to help cool things off a bit. No matter which part of August you’re here, you’ll have lots of bright, hot sunny days, so you’ll want to pack as you would for July, with all of your summer gear, including plenty of sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 39°C. Average Precipitation: 13mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in September: The weather gradually starts to cool in September, though it will still be quite hot early in the month. The average temperature is a little over 30°C during the first week, gradually dropping to 28.5°C by mid-September, and by the month’s end, it’s all the way down to 25°C. Afternoon highs average 35°C overall, so it won’t feel chilly by any means. The days are becoming shorter, with sunset at 6:25pm by September 30th, so you’ll have a little more time to take advantage of cooler evenings too. Don’t expect much in the way of moisture, this month is very dry with just 7mm of precipitation on average. As far as what to pack, summer wear is still the focus this month, with plenty of light and airy clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses, along with a sweater for cooler indoor conditions. (Average Max Temperature: 35°C. Average precipitation: 7mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in October: Now that autumn is officially here, you can expect much more pleasant weather conditions in Las Vegas. Early in the month temperatures may rise to 31°C, but on average the high temperature is now at a much more comfortable 28°C. It is getting slightly chilly at night, with overnight lows averaging 12°C, though it’s still usually quite enjoyable to walk around the city after dark with a light sweater or jacket all that’s needed to stay warm. Now is the time to think about packing clothes that can be layered – you’ll likely still need lightweight, summery clothing during the day, especially earlier in the month, along with long-sleeved shirts and pants for the cooler evenings. October is another very dry month, with only around 7mm of precipitation, so rain is unlikely to interrupt your plans. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 60mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in November: When it comes to the weather in November, it can be all over the place, with a mix of pleasant warm days as well as cool ones. The earlier in the month you arrive, the higher the temperatures generally will be, though the average high overall is a comfortable 19°C. Evenings will be cool, if not downright cold, with overnight lows dipping to 6°C. It is still quite dry in November, with just 11mm of precipitation, so you can expect lots of sunshine and clear, blue skies, but it might be a bit too chilly for lounging outside by the pool. When it comes to packing, to be prepared your best bet is to bring clothes that can be worn in layers, covering a range of temperatures. Though it only happens on an average of three days this month, the mercury can reach or even exceed 27°C, and occasionally drop to freezing or just below. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 11mm.)
  • Las Vegas Weather in December: With winter arriving in December, temperatures drop significantly, with afternoon highs only at 14°C, and lows dipping to just above freezing at 1°C. Although it’s unlikely to snow, with just 8mm of precipitation this month, a light dusting is not unheard of. With the shortest days of the year in December, you’ll have less daylight too, as the sun goes down just before 4:30pm throughout much of the month. While you’ll probably be spending much of your time indoors, be sure to bring a warm coat for cold days as well as a sweater or light jacket for warmer ones. Clothing that can be layered is helpful too, in case you begin to feel too warm in overheated indoor spaces. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average precipitation: 8mm.)

Las Vegas Special Events by Month

Las Vegas in January

  • New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day is unofficially known as Hangover Day in Las Vegas, and while it is a national holiday, its business as usual here, with all of the restaurants, bars, casinos, shops and attractions open. Many people watch the New Year’s Day bowl games that will be playing in just about every bar, and most casinos host sports pubs that provide options for watching on the big screen while sipping a beer, or three, to help that hangover disappear.
  • International Consumer Electronics Show – The CES is the biggest consumer electronics show on the planet, held in Vegas every year for the past half-century, serving as the launching pad for new technology and innovation that has changed the world. It showcases over 3,800 exhibiting companies, including developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, technology delivery systems, manufacturers and more. It also features a conference program with more than 300 conference sessions that draw over 160,000 attendees from 150 countries.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade – This annual parade held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed the third Monday of January each year) honors the leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement with floats, marching bands and an award ceremony recognizing those that have contributed to his Dream.
  • Adult Entertainment Expo – This annual event held over four days in mid-January, January 18-21 in 2016, is just what it sounds like. Known as the largest porn expo in the U.S., it attracts several hundred exhibiting companies and over 30,000 attendees. The highlight of the event is the huge awards show that honors adult film stars, and guests also enjoy autograph sessions with some of their favorite stars as well as the chance to attend a host of wild parties.

Las Vegas in February

  • Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year usually falls in February, but in 2017, the official day is January 28. Las Vegas hosts the week-long Chinese New Year in the Desert festival to celebrate, which features the traditional dragon dance, a dancing lion display, noodle pulling drum circles, acrobats, martial arts and kung fu demonstrations, and plenty of mouthwatering, authentic Chinese cuisine.
  • Vegas Shoot – The Vegas Shoot is considered to be the largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournament in the world, attracting novice to Olympic archers from all corners of the globe. Over 3,000 archers and thousands of spectators typically attend this three-day event that will take place February 10-12 in 2017.
  • Valentine’s Day – There are Valentine’s Day events galore in Las Vegas, including the mass wedding ceremony at LINQ Promenade where every year multiple couples are married at the same time, officiated by an Elvis impersonator. Restaurants, bars, clubs and resorts host all types of special events for the romantic day as well, such as the Skyfall Lounge at Delano which has traditionally offered “For the Love of Cocktails,” a gala event with over two dozen specialty cocktails, along with gourmet tastings and entertainment.
  • Black History Month Festival – Black History Month is celebrated with this festival, typically held on the third Saturday in February, featuring lots of food, music, dancing, carnival games, face painting and more at the Springs Amphitheater.

Las Vegas in March

  • Universal Whiskey Experience – Over four days in early March, this lavish affair that’s considered the premiere whiskey event of the year is hosted at the Encore. It includes a High Roller Whiskey speed dating event, opportunities to meet with some of the world’s best whiskey distillers, private tastings for rare drams, master classes and more.
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts this annual four-day event in early March, featuring free nightly entertainment, concerts and a weekend of racing.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – The Mayor of Las Vegas presides over a series of parades, and plenty of partying, throughout the downtown area for the Irish holiday. The Nine Fine Irishmen also hosts its annual Celtic Feis festival, and the O’Sheas BLOQ party on LINQ Promenade offers the chance to toast a Guinness to stilt walkers, kilted bagpipers and leprechauns.
  • Monster Jam World Finals – During the third week of March, monster trucks gather every year at Sam Boyd Stadium. More than 100 trucks and drivers participate in racing, freestyle competitions, meet and greets, interviews and more.
  • Extreme Thing Festival – Every year in late March, and sometimes in early April, this event held at Desert Breeze Skate Park features extreme sports like BMX and skateboarding as well as wrestling championships and extreme body modification, along with “extreme” punk music.

Las Vegas in April

  • Academy of Country Music Awards – This awards show is held at the MGM Grand every year in early April. It’s a great time for country music fans to get a chance to shake the hands of their favorite stars as they walk the red carpet or even attend the show.
  • City of Lights Jazz Festival – Jazz musicians from across the country gather at Hills Park in Summerlin, just 10 miles west of downtown Las Vegas, for this fun outdoor picnic festival held over a weekend in mid-April. In addition to great jazz music, there are a variety of concessions and crafts booths.
  • Great Festival of Beer – Typically held on a Saturday in early April, this beer festival features Nevada and national breweries displaying their products. It includes the chance to sample local and national favorites from breweries along with gastropub fare while enjoying music from local and regional musicians.
  • Indian Food & Cultural Festival – Held annually in late April, April 30 in 2016, this Indian festival offers the chance to try some of the best street food presentations, including Tandoori Chicken, Fish Pakoras, Kabobs and Chicken Curry. It also features Indian arts and crafts, henna, live music, a variety of vendors and more.
  • UNLVino – This one-day fundraising event in mid-April hosted by the Southern Wine & Spirits and UNLV Harrah College of Hotel Administration offers the chance to sip wine for scholarships.

Las Vegas in May

  • Cinco de Mayo – Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day in 1862 when Mexican troops beat the French during the famous Battle of Puebla, declaring their independence. Freedom Park is generally the center of the festivities for this annual celebration held on the weekend closest to May 5th. It includes parades, clowns and food booths, and there are also a variety of celebrations in local bars and other parks throughout the city.
  • Helldorado Days – This long-running event was created in 1935 in order to attract tourists to the area and has been revived to celebrate the city’s western roots and early beginnings. Held over four days in mid-May, May 12-15 in 2016, it includes rodeos, a downtown parade, golf and poker tournaments, trap-shooting contests, art auctions and trail rides.
  • San Gennaro Feast – Held semi-annually in honor of the Saint Gennaro, with the first in 2016 taking place May 4-8, the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy, this massive Italian food and music festival features a wide array of arts and crafts, ethnic food vendors, live international acts, amusement rides and games, home exhibits, a petting zoo, pony rides and more.
  • Exodus Festival – This annual music festival held over five days in mid-May, May 19-23 in 2016, features a number of epic parties that take place at various venues throughout the city. It merges the classic pool parties with exciting night clubs and includes DJs that play an eclectic mix of musical genres ranging from R&B and hip to to EDM.
  • Puerto Rican Festival – Typically held on the last Sunday in May, May 29, 2016, this vibrant celebration of Boricua heritage and culture offers the chance to taste amazing Caribbean cuisine as well as to enjoy live entertainment and an arts and crafts marketplace.

Las Vegas in June

  • Reggae in the Desert – Reggae fans from across the globe visit Las Vegas in mid-June to enjoy music from some of the biggest names in reggae along with showcases of cultural arts and crafts focused on Jamaican and Caribbean culture. 2016’s event will take place on June 11th.
  • Las Vegas Lift Off Film Festival – The only internationally recognized Las Vegas- based film festival where all attendees are admitted free, this event offers both first-time student and professional filmmakers a chance to showcase their work in an unbiased environment with awards given to categories that include drama, acting, artistic merit and story structure. It takes places for four days in late June, June 24-27, 2016.
  • Vegas Fringe Festival – A celebration of theatre, the Fringe Festival is held over 10 days in mid-June, June 10-19, 2016, and features a multitude of plays that showcase the talents of actors, directors, designers and companies, with everything from family-friendly musicals to improv shows and edgy debuts.
  • Electric Daisy Carnival – This popular Las Vegas event held over three-days in mid-June, June 17-19, 2016, is the largest celebration for electronic dance music lovers on the planet. Over 300,000 attendees come to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to the festival that showcases the top EDM DJs, circus-style performances, carnival rides, art and more.

Las Vegas in July

  • Fourth of July Fireworks – Las Vegas celebrates Fourth of July, Independence Day, every year with magnificent fireworks displays and other celebrations throughout the city. There is a big fireworks show over Caesar’s Palace as well as a number of other venues, like the Stratosphere Lounge, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Cashman Field.
  • Elvis Festival – This long weekend of entertainment over four days in mid-July, July 14-17, 2016, celebrates the life, music and legacy of Elvis Presley. It includes three headline shows, and a contest with some of the world’s top Elvis tribute artists who perform and compete.
  • Big Dog’s Summer Beer Fest – Generally held on the last Saturday of July, July 30, 2016, this beer and music festival is free to all and features over 40 brews from around the region and the world, along with live reggae music, raffles and great BBQ.
  • Dance in the Desert Festival – The annual Las Vegas Dance in the Desert Festival held at the Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center in late July, July 29-30, 2016, features dance performances by local, regional, national and international companies. In addition to performances, master classes are offered to festival performers as well as to the public.

Las Vegas in August

  • Tejano Music National Convention – Held over two days in early August, August 5th and 6th in 2016, this expo features over 60 booths and an entertainment stage hosting Tejano artists from across the country. This event is best known for its Vegas “Gran Bailes,” or Giant Dances, which feature the industry’s “best of the best” recording artists, including special one-of-a-kind performances. The convention also offers a variety of programs, including dance instruction for those who want to learn the basics of Tejano dancing.
  • DEF CON – The world’s largest annual hacker conventions is held annually over four days in early August, August 4-7, 2016. Running for nearly 25 years now, it brings together hackers, government agencies and corporate IT professionals to absorb cutting edge hacking research as well as to test their skills with hacking contests.
  • Super Toy Con – Super Toy Con is the largest diecast, toy, comic and pop culture convention in Las Vegas. Held at the Orleans Hotel and Arena over three days in early August, August 5-7, 2016, the extravaganza features over 10,000 collectors, an artist’s alley way, a downhill diecast racing track, celebrity appearances, autograph sessions, Q and A sessions, and more.
  • MAGIC Marketplace – MAGIC is the world’s largest fashion marketplace, made up of 11 unique communities which showcase the latest in apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing. Held over three days in mid-August, August 15-17, 2016, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Over 60,000 industry insiders from more than 120 countries attend each year.

Las Vegas in September

  • Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive – Over the first weekend after Labor Day, this four-day festival features shows, workshops, contests and all sorts of other entertainment in a variety of venues throughout the city.
  • El Grito de Vegas – Honoring Mexican Independence day over four days in mid-September, September 15-18, 2016, this event showcases authentic mariachi bands, musical performances by some of the country’s best performing artists and lots of traditional Mexican cuisine. Several venues throughout the city host live music as well as food and craft booths, with one of the most notable festivities at Freedom Park.
  • Life is Beautiful Festival – This one-of-a-kind annual music, culinary, art and learning festival takes place over three days in late September, September 23-25, 2016. It’s spread out over 15 city blocks, including the Fremont East bar district. In addition to the music, which has included the likes of Stevie Wonder, Weezer and Imagine Dragons, some of the food from the nation’s top chefs, along with an extensive section of wines and beers, is offered.

Las Vegas in October

  • Oktoberfest – The German-American Social Club of Nevada and the City of Las Vegas hosts an annual Oktoberfest at Centennial Plaza, located at the Historic Fifth Street School around the 1st of October. It features German music, dance, food and beer as well as children’s games and other activities. Watch for Oktoberfest specials offered at many of the city’s resorts, bars and restaurants as well. Golden Biersch frequently offers a special October menu inspired by the traditional German Oktoberfest as well.
  • Greek Food Festival – For four days in early October, Greek cuisine and culture is celebrated on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church. It includes live music, folk dancing and a bazaar.
  • Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival – This festival held over three days in early October, October 7-9, 2016, features a wide assortment of food and drink like roast turkey legs and steins of mead, as well as costumed maidens, chivalrous battles, live music, theater, merchandise and more.
  • Professional Bull Riders Championships – In late October every year, the best riders and the most challenging bulls come face to face in this four-day competition at South Point Arena.
  • Halloween – On October 31st, nearly every bar and nightclub in Vegas hosts a fancy-dress party for Halloween, with the Fetish & Fantasy Ball one of the most popular. Hosted by the purveyors of adult products, exhibitionists and others gather in costume to enjoy live music and a variety of contests on the weekend closest to Halloween.

Las Vegas in November

  • Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival – This festival held on the first Saturday in November each year celebrates the world of comic books, pop culture and illustrated fiction. A free event, it features film screenings, live music, a costume contest, guest speakers, publishers and other industry figures.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – This popular marathon held in mid-November offers the chance to run The Strip at night. In addition to the marathon, it includes a half-marathon, 10K and 5K, with races beginning in the late afternoon/early evening hours. In 2016, it will take place on November 12th and 13th.
  • Motor Trend International Auto Show – Hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center in late November, this event offers the chance to see the latest new models and prototypes from automobile manufacturers around the world.
  • DSOSN Festival of Trees and Lights – In mid-November, the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada hosts this premiere holiday gala. It includes the chance for kids to visit Santa, tree decorating contests, gift shops, craft displays and more. In the evening, silent and live auctions are held alongside a reception and dinner – all proceeds benefit DSOSN.

Las Vegas in December

  • Light the Night Spectacular – Throughout the month of December, this event hosted at Ethel M Chocolate showcases hundreds of cactus and desert plants that are lit up for the holidays. The chocolate factory itself offers tours during this time as well.
  • Nevada International Film Festival – The state’s annual celebration of the best in American and international cinema takes place over two days in early December, December 6-7 in 2016. It recognizes excellence in filmmaking through a number of categories like short films, feature films, documentaries, foreign films, music videos, animation, experimental works and a screenplay competition.
  • National Finals Rodeo – The National Finals Rodeo brings cowboys throughout the U.S. and Canada to participate in the rodeo’s equivalent of the Superbowl. Participants compete over 10 days in an attempt to place in any one of seven events.
  • New Year’s Eve – Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard are packed with parties on December 31st, with all sorts of wild rivalry, live music, air displays, fireworks and the occasional celebrity. “America’s Party,” includes fireworks that are set to music and fired from the roofs of seven casino hotels, including Aria, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, The Venetian, the Stratosphere and Treasure Island.