Weather in France in February

Is February a good time to visit France?

There are few tourists at this time of year, making airfare and accommodation more affordable in February than in other months.  The main museums, galleries and attractions are primed for leisurely enjoyment, and it is an ideal month to experience the local French culture. Ski resorts have specials during February and the South of France is relatively warm, especially when compared to Eastern American cities and the rest of Western Europe, which makes it a great winter escape destination.

February is wintertime in France, so temperatures in France are cold and it is rainy, with snowfall in alpine areas and some parts of the north. One of the downsides of winter is that some attractions, hotels, museums and castles close for the season, so to avoid disappointment, be sure to confirm their availability in advance.

Climate in France in February

February is winter in France and it is generally a cold and wet month throughout France. Central, northern and eastern regions average 2°C (36°F), western areas between 4°C to 5°C (39°F to 41°F) and the South of France is the warmest region with a 6°C (43°F) average. It is sometimes below freezing in northern and northeastern areas, as well as at alpine and elevated areas.

Rainfall is consistent throughout the country, averaging between 60mm to 80mm (2.4in to 3.1in) and there is snowfall in alpine and parts of the north.  It is also important to consider that in recent year there has been flooding, especially in southern parts of France, so please be cautious of weather warnings around this time of year.

What’s on in France in February

Nice will have its annual Carnival, that predates New Orleans Mardi Gras, and there are grand parades, sensational foods and fun for all ages. In addition, Paris is the perfect place for Valentine’s Day on 14 February and lovers can walk the romantic streets of Paris arm in arm, while enjoying its winter charms. This is also peak skiing season so there will many events on resorts and fun for the whole family.

This time of year has few tourists and the restaurants will be full of locals enjoying authentic French cuisine.  Museums and other attractions have virtually non-existent queues and smaller towns are tourist free, allowing for a more full-bodied experience of local living. There are winter sales during February throughout France, so come prepared for Haute Couture shopping in Paris at lowered costs.

What to pack for France in February

February is a winter month so warm and waterproof clothing is the key for comfort. Pack thermals, long sleeved tops, trousers, jeans, long skirts or dresses, warm jerseys, coats and raincoats. Hats, gloves and scarves as well as a strong, wind resistant umbrella are advisable extras. Because of the rain, light clothes will easily become dirty, especially trousers, dresses and skirts, so it is advisable to pack some darker shades for this season.

Sturdy boots or walking shoes are essential for hikers and walkers. Some events and establishments will require formal attire, so pack something smart to enjoy traditional French cuisine in style or, alternatively, leave some space to buy some elegant and affordable French fashion at the winter sales.