The idea of flitting to the other side of the world is a tempting one, but if you’re planning on travelling to Australia this summer, you must remember you are heading into winter … which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! You could also make the most of the summer weather and head across the ditch to the likes of a city like Paris. Here’s the deal on both kinds of holidays so you can decide what works best for you!
The Lowdown on Paris in Summer
Paris city breaks are always a good idea. Whatever the season, Paris is an undeniably magical city. It comes alive even more so during the summer, as tourists from all over the world make the most of a European summer. The temperature in Paris over the summer period sits around a pleasant 25 degrees — quite different from the likes of stifling Rome. During this period, it rarely dips below the mid-teens, with over eight hours of sunshine per day. Occasionally, these pleasantries are interrupted by a shower or two as Paris receives over 60mm of rain each summer.
The atmosphere of a Parisian summer is electric; an assortment of tourists and locals, all embracing the beautiful weather and the city’s wonderful food, fashion, art, fun and festivities. The one downfall is that prices are hiked up for attractions and accommodation during this period — although this is the same for most of Europe as well.
The events Paris has from June through September are awesome. Besides the usual attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Palace of Versailles, Champs-Élysées, and Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris is host to a number of great events and attractions over the summer months. Three of the most noteworthy include the Rock en Seine, Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) and Cinéma en Plein Air (outdoor film).
Taking place at the end of August, the three-day annual Rock en Seine festival attracts music lovers from all over. This year, the line-up features huge international acts such as System of a Down, Franz Ferdinand and The Bloody Beetroots. Tickets start at €49 and camping facilities are available. The Paris Plages is a wonderfully unique and free event that started in 2002. Throughout August, three areas of the Seine are transformed into beaches complete with sand, water sports and outdoor concerts. It’s suitable for the whole family. One of the other top attractions is the Cinéma en Plein Air, the outdoor cinema that runs over the summer months at Parc de la Villette in northern Paris. Kick back with a glass of champers on a fold-out chair and enjoy some recent Hollywood movies as well as classic French favourites.
The Lowdown on Sydney in Winter
Booking city breaks to Sydney over the U.K. summer means you’re heading into a New South Wales winter. This coincides with the off-peak tourist season, which can lead to some great savings on accommodation, flights and attractions. It also adds to a more chilled-out atmosphere with fewer tourists and backpackers. The weather in Sydney over the summer is quite different from that of the U.K. in winter. It’s mild and dry, with average air temperatures sitting around the mid-teens and a sea temperature of approximately 19 degrees – so don’t rule out swimming!
Sydney during winter offers a wonderland of festivals and attractions including the Bondi Winter Magic Festival, whale watching, day trips to the snow, and if you’re lucky, some swimming and surfing. The Bondi Winter Magic Festival is one of the highlights of a Sydney winter. The beach suburb of Bondi comes alive with art, music, food and winter-themed entertainment. Two of the best events are Art on the Streets and Music on the Streets. These are both designed to showcase local talent. Other highlights include the kite-flying festival, The Festival of the Winds, which takes place on the 8 Sept. and the world-famous Sculpture by the Sea. During Sculpture by the Sea, the beautiful coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama is transformed into an art gallery.
Winter in Sydney also coincides with two important other seasons: ski season and whale-watching season. Some of the best skiing in Australia is located a few hours from Sydney at the Thredbo and Perisher resorts. The coast of NSW is also one of the best places in the world to see whales. They make their annual migration over the winter from Antarctica up past Sydney’s east coast searching for the North Tropical Queensland’s warmer waters.