Transportation Strikes in France 2023
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May in Paris 2023
All you need to know and the best things to do in Paris in May 2023.
What is Paris like in May? May is a wonderful month to visit Paris. If you are looking to find a balance between good weather and crowds, you will not find it any better than Paris in May. In May, spring is in full flow, days are longer, and you will find plenty to do in and out.
May in Paris is a great time to stroll through the city, enjoy the numerous parks’ colors, and have a drink in a sunny café.
Overall, Paris in May is a combination of city perfection & good weather with busy crowds (but not like in the summer). If you plan on visiting Paris in May 2023, here’s our quick guide with our top tips and the main events in Paris May 2023.
PARIS TRIP PLANNER
» Basics: Language is French, but English is widely spoken; Currency is Euro
» Paris Travel Guide
» Plan: Paris Travel Planner
» Flying to Paris: find the best prices and book your flight tickets with Omio
» Paris by Train: find the best prices and book your train tickets with Omio
» Where to Stay: Best Districts to Stay in Paris
» Find your Bearings in Paris: Districts of Paris Quick Guide
» Getting around: Metro of Paris Quick Guide; Paris by Bike Guide
» List of Best Paris Museums, with Admission Conditions
» Top-Rated Paris Tours & Tickets:
Want skip-the-line access and awesome discounts at museums & attractions in Paris? Get your hands on a Paris Museum Pass!
» Food & Drinks: Paris Food Guide
» Side Trips: Versailles Quick Guide, check out the Best Day Trips from Paris
Is Paris in May Busy? Crowds Forecast
May in Paris is high season, so it is a busy month. May also comes with many public holidays (there are four holidays in France in May!), and the city becomes especially appealing for the French for weekend getaways.
If you visit Paris in May, the crowds are still moderate, but booking accommodation and tickets to the main attractions in advance is paramount, especially during the long weekends.
Below I list the main Paris attractions you will need advance tickets for and have added links to my favorite trusty providers for your convenience.
Weather in Paris in May
How is the weather in Paris in May? In May, spring is well underway in the city. If you visit Paris in early May, you might have occasional showers but generally, expect blue sky and mild weather with occasional hot temperatures at the end of the month.
Overall, the Paris weather in May is good. In May, the average temperature in Paris is 19C maximum and 10C minimum, with 14% chance of rain.
What to Wear in Paris, May 2023
What to wear in Paris in May? May in Paris is usually warm and overall dry. In Paris in early May, you may still need a slight scarf in the evening or early morning, but you will be fine without a jacket during the day.
Over the month, the temperature changes significantly, and it can be hot in Paris in late May, but it is not an unpleasant heat for walking or sightseeing.
Don’t miss your sunglasses! Paris in May is sunny, and you will need your sunglasses for sightseeing.
You will also need good walking shoes (sneakers are perfect, it is still too early for sandals), socks, and long trousers. Finally, pack long sleeve tops, a light sweater, and perhaps a mid-season jacket if you visit Paris in early May.
Before leaving home for Paris, we recommend checking the weather forecast to understand the temperatures and chances of rain and review your packing list.
If you need more ideas for packing for Paris in May, check out our Spring /Summer packing lists.
Best Tips for Visiting Paris in May
May is a month with many public holidays, and Paris is an attractive destination for a European getaway whilst Parisians like to travel elsewhere. Therefore, expect higher prices for train and flight tickets and less availability for last-minute bookings.
Paris in May is a great cultural destination. If you visit Paris in May, skip-the-line tickets for Paris’s main attractions may be interesting.
If you plan on visiting many tourist sights, consider a Paris tourist pass to save you time and money. Check out this Paris Tourist Pass Comparison with all the options and do the math.
LIST OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE IN MAY
I always say that France’s GDP must drop in May because, with all these public holidays and parents taking extra holidays to care for kids during school holidays, France’s offices look pretty empty. Here’s why:
22 April to 9 May 2022 are school holidays in Paris, and, commonly, parents take one week off for a family cultural trip somewhere else in France or Europe. If you decide to come during this period, book things in advance, especially train and flight tickets from /to Paris.
1 May 2023 is Labor Day and one of the most expected dates for a European getaway. However, on 1 May, you should expect many shops and businesses to close, and it may also affect the opening hours of some tourist attractions.
8 May 2023 is Armistice Day, commemorating the end of WW2.
18 May 2023 is Ascension Day.
29 May 2023 is Pentecost Day.
A week before the departure, check out this Transportation Strikes in Paris post, which is always updated with the latest information. You never know with the French . . .
Do you need travel insurance for France? Be sure to check SafetyWing, our trusted travel insurance policy for long and short trips (starting with a minimum of 5 days). Since August 2020, it covers COVID-19 for new policies purchased, and since April 2021, unplanned quarantine is covered, too.
Best Things to Do in Paris in May 2023 (and Events in Paris May 2023)
What to do in Paris in May? If this is your first time in Paris, perhaps you wish to visit some of the most famous landmarks in Paris? The itineraries below are great for a first trip to Paris, and they are planned around the main neighborhoods and top tourist attractions:
- Paris in one day
- Paris in two days
- Paris in three days
- Paris in four days
- Paris in five days
- Paris in six days
- Paris in 7 days
Combine these itineraries with some seasonal events for a unique trip to Paris. Here’s the list of the best things to do in Paris May 2023. Some events (or the dates of certain events) are not confirmed yet, so keep clicking for the latest updates.
CLIMB UP TO THE EIFFEL TOWER
When the sun shines and the sky is blue, climb up to the top of the Eiffel Tower for one of the best views of Paris. See the Seine River from above and admire Paris’ iconic landmarks like the Invalides, the Sacré-Coeur, or Notre Dame. It is amazing!
On the west, you can see the business neighborhood of La Défense and the (already) iconic building of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
A visit to the Eiffel Tower is also interesting to learn more about one of Paris’s symbols. Learn its history and some quirky facts related to its design and construction.
And there’s always something going on up in the Eiffel Tower! From a sunset toast with champagne to performances or treasure hunts, the Eiffel Tower is always full of surprises – Click here to buy your tickets to the Eiffel Tower
ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE DRINK ON A SUNNY CAFÉ-TERRACE
In Paris in late May, the first summer café-terraces pop up, and it is great to stop by and enjoy your favorite drink under the sun. After the cold winter months and the early spring showers, summer terraces are idyllic spots to enjoy spring in Paris.
CELEBRATE THE MUSEUMS AT NIGHT
On the third Saturday in May (this year, on 13 May 2023), many museums in France open their doors for a special cultural night. Apart from the usual exhibitions, expect side activities such as performances, readings, or concerts.
This is a great opportunity, for example, to visit the Louvre Museum for free and discover some lesser-known gems that usually come with shorter o no lines.
Some museums require advance booking for these activities, with limited spots, and you need to be very fast when they open the bookings. However, there’s always something fun to do on the go.
TIME FOR MUSIC FESTIVALS
If you are looking for musical events in Paris, May is a good month. In May, Paris kicks off the music festival season with some cool proposals of all genres. Locals’ favorites are the Jazz Festival in Saint Germain-des-Prés (10 to 17 May 2023) and the Villette Sonique Festival (TBD May 2023) at Park de la Villette.
TAKE A (SELF-GUIDED) STREET ART TOUR
In Paris, May is a great month for walking tours to explore a particular neighborhood or around a specific topic.
If you are interested in Street Art, street art walking tours are fun and perfect for a leisurely day off the beaten path. Along the main avenues of Paris 13, there are a good collection of big murals by famous street artists from all over the world, with plenty of colorful photo opportunities.
Check out our self-guided Street Art Walking Tour in Paris 13 and have fun exploring one of Paris’ lesser-known arrondissements through this colorful itinerary.
TREAT YOUR TASTE BUDS AT TASTE OF PARIS
Taste of Paris is one of France’s most famous food festivals in France, proposing the best food in Paris through ephemeral cuisines, gastronomic meetings with professionals and amateurs, and plenty of recipes and cuisine secrets.
Organized by Taste Festivals, Taste of Paris is part of a worldwide network of more than twenty food events in top cities like London, Sydney, Toronto, and Hong Kong. This year, Taste of Paris changes of scene, and it will be held at the Grand Palais Ephemère in Champs de Mars, from 11 to 14 May 2023.
CELEBRATE THE FRENCH BREAD AT THE FÊTE DU PAIN
In May, Paris celebrates La Fête du Pain, the bread festival, to honor one of France’s most precious food.
For this food festival, the city invites bakers to show their know-how and best pains through outdoor events around this theme, always in a festive atmosphere. Of course, the traditional Parisian baguette is represented together with more elaborated bread.
During this event (15 to 23 May 2023), the city also chooses the Best Baguette in Paris, and it is a fun and, at the same time, important contest. Indeed, the winner has the honor of serving his baguettes to the Presidential Palace for a year!
CHECK OUT THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS IN PARIS IN MAY 2023
If you visit Paris in May for a cultural weekend, you may want to check the list of temporary exhibitions, especially if you are a Paris frequent traveler and you already know the permanent collections in the main museums.
Here’s the list of some top exhibitions planned for May in Paris 2023:
Arts and Prehistory – Musée de l’Homme, from 16 November 2022 to 22 May 2023
Gold by Yves Saint Laurent – Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, from 14 October 2022 to 14 May 2023
Chagall, Paris – New York – Atélier des Lumières, from 17 February 2023 to 7 January 2024
1997, Fashion Big Bang – Palais Galliera, from 7 March to 16 July 2023
Harry Potter, l’Exposition à Paris – Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, from 21 April 2023 to 1 October 2023
Elliott Erwitt – Musée Maillol, from 23 March to 15 August 2023
Manet / Degas – Musée d’Orsay, from 28 March to 23 July 2023
Giovanni Bellini – Musée Jacquemart André, from 3 March to 17 July 2023
Zanele Muholi – MEP Maison Européenne de la Photographie, from 1 February to 21 May 2023
La Fabuloserie a 40 ans – Halle Saint Pierre, from 25 January to 25 August 2023.
NEED MORE IDEAS ON WHAT TO DO IN PARIS IN MAY?
The proposed things to do in Paris in May are just a glimpse of what Paris offers. For more activities, check out our articles about April in Paris or Paris in June. Some of the activities suggested in these pieces are also great for May in Paris.
Where to Stay in Paris in May
As you make your bed, so you lie. Find the right accommodation in Paris – whether it’s a hotel or guesthouse, holiday apartment, or private apartment. We have them all! Book your accommodation by using the map below.
We recommend Booking.com for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.
SLEEP WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS
If you have the budget, why not treat yourself to the pleasure of waking up with an amazing Eiffel Tower balcony view?
Some of the best hotels in Paris also come with awesome views of the Eiffel Tower, especially beautiful during its night show!
Check out the best hotels with Eiffel Tower Views
The good news is that a cozy room with Eiffel Tower views is not exclusive to the best hotels in Paris. If you are looking for a more local experience, there are also beautiful, fully equipped apartments to rent with amazing Eiffel Tower views
Check out the best apartments with view of Eiffel Tower
HOTELS AT LE MARAIS IN PARIS 4
Le Marais is a central neighborhood in the Seine’s Right Bank, perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is beautiful, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options.
Click here for the best hotels in Le Marais in Paris 4
HOTEL DE JOSEPHINE DE BONAPARTE, Paris 4, $$$$
Located in a former convent, this charming hotel is inspired by Napoleon’s wife, Joséphine de Bonaparte. Its uniquely decorated rooms are elegant and romantic, and its cozy saloons are the perfect place for a last glass of wine.
Click here for the Latest Prices
HOTEL FRANCE LOUVRE, Paris 4, $$$
Hotel France Louvre is a typical Haussmaniann-style hotel located in Le Marais. The rooms are small but cozy, all elegantly furnished in Louis XIV style. Some of them have lovely views over Hôtel de Ville and Tour Saint Jacques.
Click here for the Latest Prices
HOTELS AT SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS
The neighborhood of Saint-Germain, on the Left Bank, is a great place to put your luggage down in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque and central, with many entertainments, beautiful cafes, and restaurant options.
Click here for the best hotels in Saint-Germain
XRELAIS CHRISTINE; Paris 6, $$$$
This hotel is set in a 16th-century private mansion in the heart of Saint Germain-des-Prés. Its rooms are unique, and designed in different styles. Guests can enjoy elegant common spaces, a garden, a spa, and a fitness center.
Click here for the Latest Prices
HOTEL CHAPLAIN PARIS RIVE GAUCHE: Paris 6, $$$
This chic and modern hotel is located only a few meters from Luxembourg Gardens and is one of the best mid-range hotels in Saint-Germain. The rooms are fancy and colorful. We especially like its chic dining area and floral courtyard, where you can have breakfast or a drink.
And there you have it, the list of best things to do in Paris in May 2023 for a unique trip. Bon voyage!
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