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Paris in May 2022 – Quick Guide by a Local


Transportation Strikes in France 2022


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04/09/22

May in Paris [2022]

All you need to know and what to do in Paris in May 2022.

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, here’s our quick guide with the best things to do in Paris in May 2022.

Iconic picture at Eiffel Tower

PARIS TRIP PLANNER

Practical Info

» 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 GuideParis 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 Paris main attractions you will need advance tickets for and have added links to my favorite trusty providers for your convenience.

Weather in Paris in May

Le Marais - Cafe

How is the weather in Paris in May? In May, spring is well underway in the city. In Paris in early May, you might have occasional showers but in general, 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% chances of rain.

What to Wear in Paris in May [2022]

What to wear in Paris in Summer and Spring

May in Paris is usually warm and overall dry. 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! May in Paris is sunny, and you will need your sunglasses for sightseeing.

You will then 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 somewhere else. 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 some extra holidays to take care of kids during school holidays, France’s offices look pretty empty. Here’s why:

23 April to 7 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 2022 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 2022 is Armistice Day, commemorating the end of WW2.

26 May 2022 is Ascension Day.

This year 2022, Pentecost Day falls in June.

GOOD TO KNOW: Oh la la! This year, there is only one long weekend in May in France! If you can, avoid traveling the weekend of ‘the Ascension Day’ (26 to 29 May 2022): this is when all the French will travel!

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 2022

If this is your first time in Paris, perhaps you wish to visit some of the main tourist sights? The itineraries below are great for a first trip to Paris, and they are planned around the main neighborhoods and top tourist attractions:

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 in May 2022. Some of the events (or the dates of certain events) are not confirmed yet, so keep clicking for the latest updates.

CLIMB UP TO THE EIFFEL TOWER

View from 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 know 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 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

Parisian Cafes - Terraces

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

Louvre at night

On the third Saturday in May (this year, 21 May 2022), 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 but also to 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

Music Festivals in Paris

If you are looking for musical Paris events, 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 (16 to 1 May 2022), or the Villette Sonique Festival (27 to 29 May 2022) at Park de la Villette.

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TAKE A (SELF-GUIDED) STREET ART TOUR

Paris 13 - Street Art

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

Cakes in Paris

Taste of Paris is one of France’s most famous food festivals, 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 FestivalsTaste 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.

CELEBRATE THE FRENCH BREAD AT THE FÊTE DU PAIN

– Date to be confirmed –

In May, Paris celebrates La Fête du Pain, the bread festival, to honor one of France’s most precious food.

The city invites bakers to show their know-how and best pains for this food festival through outdoor events around this theme, always in a festive atmosphere. Of course, the traditional Parisian baguette is represented and more elaborated bread.

During this event, 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 to serve his baguettes to the Presidential Palace for a year!

CHECK OUT THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS IN PARIS IN MAY 2022

Create your Louvre Guide

If you visit Paris in May for a cultural weekend, you may want to check the list of temporary exhibitions, especially if this is not your first time in Paris and you already know the permanent collections in the main museums.

Here’s the list of some top exhibitions planned for Paris in May 2022:

Cézanne, Lumières de Prvence – Atélier des Lumières, from 18 February 2022 to 2 January 2023.

Le Monde de Steve McCurry – Musée Maillol, from 9 December 2021 to 29 May 2022.

Gallen-Kallela, Myths and Nature – Musée Jacquemart-André, from 11 March to 25 July 2022.

Romy Schneider – L’Exposition – Cinémathèque Française, from 16 March to 31 July 2022.

Bertrand Lavier – Bourse de Commerce, from 19 May 2021 to 1 July 2022.

Pioneers-Artists in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties – Musée du Luxembourg, from 2 March to 10 July 2022.

Gaudi l’Exposition – Musée d’Orsay, from 12 April to 17 July 2022.

Charles Ray – Musée Pompidou, 16 February to 20 June 2022

Tribute to Notre-Dame de Paris. The Spire of the Cathedral and its Sculptures – Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, from 16 February to 19 October 2022.

Macchu Picchu et Les Trésors du Pérou – Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine, 16 April to 4 September 2022

A History of Fashion – Palais Galliera, from 2 April to 26 June 2022.

Pharaon des Deux Terres – L’Epopée des Rois de Napata – Musée du Louvre, from 28 April to 25 July 2022.

Aristide Maillol, la Quête de l’Harmonie (The Quest for Harmony) – Musée d’Orsay, from 12 April to 21 August 2022.

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 unique 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 take your breakfast or a drink.

Click here for the Latest Prices

And there you have it, the list of best things to do in Paris in May 2022 for a unique trip. Bon voyage!

Click here for more travel tips

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