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June/July vs September for Paris and Venice

June/July vs September for Paris and Venice

Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 04:25 AM
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June/July vs September for Paris and Venice

Hi, hoping some of you frequent travellers to Europe or locals could lend a little advice.

My daughter (age 15 by the time we go) and I are planning out a trip together to Paris and Venice in 2023. We may also go overland and make a short stop to check out the Swiss Alps along the way.

The question is about the relative advantages and disadvantages of two possible school breaks - Late June into July or the alternative is to wait until late September. Obviously hotter weather is one key difference (though we're not unfamiliar with heat from our Southeast Asia trips and the fact that it regular gets to 120F here in the part of Australia we live in).

I'm more curious about the differences in terms of tourist loads (lines), possible closures and most of all, pricing for accommodation. We'll be very budget conscious on this trip. I'm finding it very hard to compare the two periods right now. September *looks* a lot more expensive in both hotels and airfare than June does on all the booking sites. But I thought it may be because we're close enough to *this* September that it's impacting the search results?

Thoughts? Anything else we ought to know about this decision?

(and I'm not too proud to admit I'm not looking forward to hotter days but at the same time, 3.5 extra months of waiting to finally travel abroad again should come with some very compelling reasons).
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 09:49 AM
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I would opt for late September just because of the weather. I loved Venice but we visited in late October and it wasn't hot and no humidity. I think I might have hated Venice if I had visited in the summer: too hot and too crowded.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 10:00 AM
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Late September over June/July! Much more comfortable weather at that time of year.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 12:04 PM
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I agree with late September. I think the weather will be better and places mayl be less crowded.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 12:30 PM
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I’ve never been to Venice so no comment on that.

I’ve been to Paris twice in June with granddaughters on their school break…way too crowded, make sure you have “skip the line” tickets for everything ahead of time.

I’ve been to Paris many times in September or early October….Perfect!


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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 12:38 PM
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Definitely September/October. No contest.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 02:32 PM
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Count me in for September/October travel for both cities! Been to Paris 6 times and Venice 3 times, and Fall is great. In Venice recommend highly stying in the Dorsoduro area on the "other side" of the GC, but so, so lovely and not jammed with tourists. Easy walk down to the Peggy Guggenheim and up to Ca Rezzonico, both of which deserve an hour each. Walking along the Zattere along the Giudecca Canal is lovely. We stay at a small hotel behind the Accademia Gallery, bridge right there is convenient to other side of GC. We avoid St Marks Sq and Rialto areas as much as we can.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 02:38 PM
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We rented an apartment in the Dorsoduro and thought the location was perfect. There was a full moon while we were there and it was so fun to walk at night and see the light shining off the canals while we dead ended into brick walls or water. I loved wandering around at night. It was so quiet. We also loved the Campo Santa Margherita in that area. So many families and students!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 02:52 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. I thought sure we'd probably enjoy September weather more. I remember trudging around Galle in Sri Lanka during sauna-like weather. It'll wear you out!

Interesting how much the lines increase in June. That's a big thing to consider. Neither of us is keen to do a *lot* of ticketed attractions but I'm sure we'll do a couple. She tells me she's "going for the food" and can't wait to tuck into any local food she's not tried before, particularly escargot and frog legs. We'll try to get signed up for a cooking class (or two) in each place.

I was primarily considering the differences I am seeing in the costs of accommodation. The same type of rooms at the same budget to mid-range hotels, when they show availability, are currently quoting prices considerably more for the upcoming Sept period than for the following June. I'm checking this September because none of the engines will yet let me search for Sept 2023.

Just curious is that difference normal or maybe instead, is it due to that we're only 45 days away from the September period this year? That price difference, if it exists, could dictate where we stay or for how long. I just can't tell if it's real!


Last edited by CounterClifton; Aug 2nd, 2022 at 03:08 PM. Reason: so many grammar errors for a guy whose first language is English
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
We rented an apartment in the Dorsoduro and thought the location was perfect. There was a full moon while we were there and it was so fun to walk at night and see the light shining off the canals while we dead ended into brick walls or water. I loved wandering around at night. It was so quiet. We also loved the Campo Santa Margherita in that area. So many families and students!
That sounds so nice! You'll have me researching that whole area now. lol I've been so trying to learn about Paris since it's her top pick and haven't even started on Venice. That's the sort of traveling we prefer - more about the walk, and the environment, than necessarily whatever it is you're walking to. All our best memories seem to be of the non-famous stuff. Though she has asked if we might be able to try a ride on one of the gondolas.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 03:08 PM
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CC, we're not very good at museums or churches. I far prefer to walk around and see what we want to see. I don't know about the hotel prices for September v. June. We tend to travel late October or November or March when it's off season (we pulled our daughter out of school a fair amount to keep the travel costs lower, but it wasn't an issue to do that at her schools).
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by aliced View Post
Count me in for September/October travel for both cities! Been to Paris 6 times and Venice 3 times, and Fall is great. In Venice recommend highly stying in the Dorsoduro area on the "other side" of the GC, but so, so lovely and not jammed with tourists. Easy walk down to the Peggy Guggenheim and up to Ca Rezzonico, both of which deserve an hour each. Walking along the Zattere along the Giudecca Canal is lovely. We stay at a small hotel behind the Accademia Gallery, bridge right there is convenient to other side of GC. We avoid St Marks Sq and Rialto areas as much as we can.
Thank you Alice. I kind of felt like we'd want to peek in on those two famous areas because you can't miss them all together but probably not hang out too much. Neither of us love crowds all that much. Good tip about staying near one of the bridges. I'd wondered about transport at night and if Dorsodoro might feel "cut off" from a late night or late return (not that we're suited for night life, lol)
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 03:36 PM
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kurieff, you're our kind of traveller. We've dodged so many "possible" stops once we get to our destination, see that long queue and find we're pretty happy just soaking it all in. Curious how long did you spend in Venice and did the duration seem about right for that type of visit?

L thought that she might like to see the Mona Lisa.... she's intrigued with Da Vinci (and hasn't seen the Hanks flick so not sure where she came to know about him). But then she saw a photo of the room where Mona's hung and all the people standing there and changed her mind. Said we should try the d'Orsay (ok, I may have "helped" with that decision) as our main museum stop. I've been eyeing Florence though... a place I've always wanted to see and a lot of Da Vinci connections there!

Part of this is that we were never high season travellers and then this came along and the June break was the closest one after my birthday (one with a zero), which is partly what this is to celebrate. Prices looked good (as good as travelling from all the way down here can anyway). But then I thought about the weather and maybe crowds and noticed she has the September break. Then choked on the change in prices! lol I hate taking her out of school too much, she'll be in 10th grade and into advance placement classes next year. (though oddly, down here, only year 12 classes counts towards qualifying for university). I could see maybe pulling her out a couple of days early for a head start though.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 06:36 PM
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CC, I loved art history and love art, but I struggle with museums. Too big, too much, sensory overload. I wish I could manage a museum an hour at a time, and that is what I do now when I visit a city. I take an hour or two and just focus in on a few things. I figure I can always come back and that has made for much better museum (or church) experiences for me.

We’ve stayed a few different places in Paris. Out by the Catacombs when we had nine days, and a 30 minute Metro ride to the city center wasn’t a big deal. The 11th with my siblings a couple years ago and loved the younger vibe. The 2nd when we had just two days last year so that we could walk everywhere easily. I think the metro is easy and don’t mind staying a little less central. Not really a fan of the St. Germain and dislike the Champs Elysee area.

Wishing you and your daughter the best trip! We had such a fun Paris/Barcelona trip last November with Kate. We just booked tickets for her to visit a foreign exchange student that she got to be very close with this last year in Sweden. She is visiting over her freshman college winter break in January (not great weather), but we are so excited for her first solo trip!

Last edited by kureiff; Aug 2nd, 2022 at 06:39 PM.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 07:38 PM
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Def the later dates - better weather, fewer crowds and lower prices in the "shoulder season" though sometimes Paris sees a lot of conventions/conferences/events in September, but still less tourist throngs.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 01:30 AM
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We took our boys to Europe in July school holidays several times (about your daughters’ age)
It’s such a long haul trip, as you well know, so we did pull them out of school as 2 weeks is way too short from Australia.
It was really hot in Italy, (Cinque Terre, Volterra, Florence, Venice), and so crowded.
We did visit the Dolomites for our mountains fix (after stopping in Verona and Trento), with our week in Ortisei.

You could mix Venice with the Dolomites as a more budget friendly option. I love Switzerland, but the Dolomites are just incredible. Our boys loved Ortisei. It’s a popular tourist destination, so lots of accommodation, restaurants, cablecars, good public transport).
And, weirdly, they loved the little town of Mittenwald where we stayed before returning from Munich. It was so quiet, relaxed, lovely scenery, and we (parents) loved the €90 per night apartments!!

I know your daughter is well travelled, so maybe this doesn’t apply, but our kids really liked not moving on too often, kind of enjoyed getting ‘familiar’ with a local cafe, and the local market shopping.

I agree with September. But, if going to a mountain destination, think about what you want to do, and if the cablecars are a priority, do check summer closing times. Some places very quiet by late September.

I’m not sure what to think about accommodation. Like flights, when I do a dummy booking for 2 months time, yikes, so scary. But, we want to go in late May and now that’s opening up, it looks more reasonable (still, more than twice what I’d booked for in June 2020).

I’m so glad we did those trips with the kids, I had a collage of travel photos put on a canvas for my son, now 25, and it sits pride of new apartment on a feature wall.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 05:09 AM
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Having spent time in both cities in early fall, I agree that late September would be your best bet - better weather and fewer crowds.

As far as the cost of accommodations, have you considered renting an apartment in Paris? We always do that; often the cost is equal to or lower than a hotel. With more room to spread out, as well as a kitchen to allow shopping at the amazing cheese shops and fruit/veg markets, that can save a little on breakfasts, coffee, etc while you indulge in the pricier restaurant delights. We have used a number of Parisian rental agencies, as well as airbnb, to find places, and have not been disappointed. Be sure any short-term rental comes with a legitimate registration number.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 06:15 AM
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September/early October is peak hotel season in Paris. Prices are at their highest, as is demand. Book as early as you can.

Be careful with rental apartments in Paris, arguably most are illegal. As the city has aggressively fined owners and forced the removal of short term apartments from the marketplace, they are not as attractive as they once may have been.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 06:45 AM
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I second Adelaidean's suggestion of the Dolomites. Ortisei is a good option in Sept./Oct. because a couple of cable cars will be running; otherwise, most lifts will be closing/closed at that time. If you're not into hiking, just drive the passes and visit some lakes and towns. The views are simply jaw-dropping. Maybe take a day to visit Cortina, partly for the charming town and partly for the gorgeous drive there and back. We've had wonderful weather at the end of September.

There's a bit of WWI history scattered around the area, and there is one museum in Bolzano that I can't recommend highly enough. The exhibits on Otzi the Ice Man at the archeology museum there are absolutely fascinating. We drove to Bolzano and parking was easy, but there is bus service Ortisei-Bolzano.

And a tip: As you drive the mountain roads, if you see several motorcycles parked outside a restaurant, it's a good indication of good food or great views or both.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 07:31 AM
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No, the Dorsoduro is a big hub of nightlife actually, as there are many restaurants along the Guidecca Canal and the wide Zattere beside it is popular for night-time strolls. But dont think have spotted gondolas on it, but there are several water taxi stops along it. This is the canal used by the cruise ships, but Venice has changed entry for that I believe.
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