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Paris in Spring
Paris in spring is a beautiful place to be. After a gray and gloomy winter, spring begins to bloom, and the city becomes a more vibrant, fun place to visit.
And so do locals’ social lives! As spring arrives, Parisians get excited about flower shows, festivals, street fairs, and awesome outdoor flea markets. You will also see them spending time in the city’s great parks, and the Parisian cafes and terraces return to life come springtime.
If you’re in Paris over the next few months, follow this quick guide to spring in Paris, so you too can make the most of your stay in Paris in the spring.
Tips for Visiting Paris in the Spring
SPRING MONTHS IN PARIS
Spring in Paris corresponds to March, April, and May. Check out our specific guides for these three months.
1. SPRING IN PARIS IS SHOULDER SEASON
Except for Easter week, spring in Paris is a relatively quiet time before the summer hordes arrive. Take the opportunity to visit the city’s top sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or Versailles without too much company and enjoy wandering around town with the locals.
During the Easter week, Paris becomes a coveted destination for a cultural holiday in Europe, and skip-the-line tickets are paramount to avoid the longest lines. 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.
2. LEARN ABOUT THE SPRING HOLIDAYS IN PARIS AND FRANCE
There are many holidays in Paris in spring when it is recommended to book things in advance. This is especially important with train and flight tickets from /to Paris. Here’s the full list of spring holidays in France:
4th April 2021 and 5th April 2021 (Sunday and Monday Easter).
17th April to 3rd May 2021 is school holiday in Paris, and, commonly, parents take one week off for a family cultural trip somewhere else in France or Europe.
1st May 2021 (Labor Day).
8 May 2021 is Armistice Day, the commemoration of the end of WW2.
13 May 2021 is Ascension Day.
24 May 2021 Pentecost Day.
3. FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
If you can be flexible with dates and pick the right moment, Paris in spring can be cheap and the attractions quiet.
Visit Paris out of the holidays mentioned above and look for accommodation and airline deals. Often empty hotel rooms and airplane seats need to be filled last minute, meaning there is room for some off-season bargains.
- Find flight tickets for your spring holidays in Paris
- Find train tickets for your spring holidays in Paris
4. STAY IN AN AREA THAT’S CLOSE TO EVERYTHING
Walking around is one of Paris’s pleasures in spring, so we recommend staying central for short or no metro rides and more walks.
There are so many sights to see in Paris; most places in central Paris will be close enough to at least a couple of things you have on your itinerary. By strategically planning where you stay will limit the amount of time you spend in the metro.
If you are visiting Paris for the first time, have a look at our Districts of Paris Guide here below to find your bearings in Paris and our suggestions on where to stay.
5. WHAT TO PACK FOR SPRINGTIME IN PARIS
What to wear in Paris in spring? Spring in Paris means unpredictable weather with warm and sunny days but also rainy and chilly days. You’ll still want to pack some warm clothes, particularly if you’re visiting Paris in April, as it can sometimes feel colder than you expect.
If you visit Paris in springtime, you need to be prepared for anything! When thinking about clothes to wear in Paris, layering is essential, and your packing list will definitely include a jacket or a trench coat for rainy days.
Items like a foldable umbrella and a light scarf will be your best allies in Paris in spring, so don’t forget to include them in your packing list.
Check out our Spring in Paris Packing Lists and get ready for a wonderful spring in Paris.
6. EAT SEASONAL SPRING FOODS
Eating seasonal produce is an important part of everyday French life that can help you eat healthier, support local farmers, and save money.
Indeed, most of the Parisian bistros and restaurants only work with fresh seasonal produce, which means that their menus often change according to the seasons.
Check out this list of seasonal produce in France and look for popular food in Paris that includes them. If you are renting an apartment in Paris, you can also visit open-air markets like Marché Aligre or Marché Place des Fêtes and buy seasonal produce to cook in your Parisian home.
- Artichokes /Artichauts
- Asparagus /Asperges
- Avocados /Avocats
- Beets /Betteraves
- Carrots /Carottes
- English or Snow peas /Mange-tout
- Fava beans /Haricots de Fava
- Green beans /Haricots verts
- Potatoes /Pommes de terre
- Radishes /Radis
- Rhubarb /Rhubarbe
- Spinach /Épinard
- Bitter lettuces /Laitues amères (Roquette, Endives françaises/belges, Escarole, Chicorée)
- Vidalia onions /Oignons de Vidalia
- Zucchini /Zucchini
- Apricots /Abricots
- Cherries /Cerises
- Strawberries /Fraises
7. ENJOY SPRINGTIME IN PARIS OUTDOORS
Some of Paris’ top tourist attractions can be found en plein air, which means Paris in spring is the perfect time to visit. The clear blue sky and warm light showcase Paris at its best and the temperature is ideal for exploring the streets and sights of the city.
Spring in Paris is also the ideal time to enjoy the sidewalk cafes in the city. With their laid-back feel, Parisian cafes play an essential role in the city’s cultural and social life, and spring is a wonderful time to enjoy them in their full splendor – outdoors, without the crowds yet but with enough life to live up the atmosphere.
8. VISIT PARIS’ PARKS
Paris boasts beautiful green spaces, so make the most of this glorious time of year with a tour of the capital’s parks and gardens to take in the fresh air.
You have plenty of options to choose from, but the Tuileries Garden and the Luxembourg Gardens are the most central, and they have stalls offering drinks and sometimes also cheap eats. In the lesser central districts, the rolling lawns of Parc Buttes-Chaumont or Parc de Belleville offer simpler pleasures and great views.
TIP: If you visit Paris in March or April, don’t miss the beautiful cherry blossoms or magnolia blossoms flowering all over Paris.
Out of Paris, the Gardens of Versailles are beautiful to explore too! You can visit them for free until the end of March, or with one of the garden shows from April on. Beware that the Musical Fountains Show is the only spring festival that sees the Fountains of Versailles running.
9. TAKING TO THE WATER
In spring, when the days are longer and the weather in Paris starts getting warm, locals crowd the Seine River’s banks for waterside pétanque, drinks along the bar-terraces, or casual picnics with their feet dangling over the water.
One of the most popular activities in Paris amongst visitors is the River Seine night cruise to admire the city’s main historical monuments. A Canal Saint-Martin boat tour, instead, allows you the exploration of other wonderful areas in Paris.
However, the coolest option is sailing the Seine on a private boat with a skipper and perhaps a glass of champagne.
10. PARIS SPRING FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Beyond holidays, there are plenty of annual events to get excited about in Paris in the springtime.
The Paris Marathon is a great race to watch or run, and Museums at Night (May) sees Paris’ museums open their doors for several evenings of special events, late openings.
There are many Paris food festivals, like the best Parisian baguette award (April) or the national cheese day (March). Spring in Paris is also the season of several wine festivals and music festivals like Saint-Germain’s Jazz Festival or the Villette Sonique festival in May.
Spring in Paris: Conclusion
Spring is the best time to travel to Paris; the weather makes it a wonderful time to visit the city. Paris in springtime is also the best time to visit the city to avoid crowds, at least until school holidays or Easter arrive in Paris. Enjoy Paris’ main tourist attractions without the lines or very short lines!
In short, spring is the best time to go to Paris and explore the city by bike or on foot! Bring comfortable shoes for walking, and don’t forget a jacket and an umbrella in case it rains, and you’re in for a treat in Paris in the spring.
Have you spent spring in Paris? What are your favorite things to do in Paris in the spring?
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