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Spring in Paris is literally divine. The blossoms colour the city that is emerging from a grey winter and the glorious scents ride the breeze. Henry Miller said it perfectly, “When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise.”
Here’s The Lowdown On Spring In Paris
1. Springtime In Paris: The Weather
Spring runs from March 20 – June 21 and so, of course, the weather varies quite a bit. Mornings and evenings can be a bit chilly with day time highs on sunny days feeling glorious.
|March||4°C |39°F||12°C |54°F||35mm |1.4in|
|April||6°C |43°F||16°C |61°F||42mm |1.7in|
|May||10°C |50°F||20°C |68°F||57mm |2.2in|
|June||13°C |55°F||23°C |73°F||59mm |2.3in|
In 2021, the end of March and beginning of April saw record-breaking temperatures reaching 26˚C. A week later there was a cold snap that saw snow flurries and frost. Be prepared for all kinds of weather!
2. Spring In Paris: What To Wear
The weather is variable so pack clothes that you can wear in layers. Bring comfortable walking shoes as strolling in Paris is the best way to get to know the city. You might even want to try to flâner as the French do. Definitely bring an umbrella.
In March and early April, the wind can be quite cold. Pack a warm coat or a lighter one that can fit a warm sweater underneath. Bring gloves.
In May, even when it’s quite warm, I have noticed that Parisians do not go bare-legged. There are many a time when I have bared my legs and noticed that Parisians are wearing jeans (I’d be boiling) and, of course, stockings. Parisian women love their stockings.
3. Paris In The Spring: The Holidays
Holidays are everything to the French. Honestly. Don’t mess with their holidays. Springtime is a top season for holidays. In fact, with so many holidays in May, some people wonder if it is a good time to visit Paris. I say, “Yes.”
If you are in France, a public holiday or bank holiday or statutory holiday is called a Jour Ferié. This means that businesses will be closed.
The other French phrase you may hear tossed around is “faire le pont.” The French “faire le pont” when they add extra holiday days to extend a public holiday. For example, many French take holidays between May 1 and 8 and also since Ascension falls on a Thursday, many will take the Friday off as well.
April 1, 2022, April Fool’s Day – Poisson d’Avril
Don’t be surprised to see fish of all sorts in the chocolate shops pre-Easter. They come in all sizes and are often wrapped in beautiful foil. Also, don’t be surprised if someone sticks a paper fish to your back as a prank on April 1! The French love a good prank on April Fools.
April 15 and 17, 2022, Good Friday and Easter: (public holiday/ jour ferié) Many Paris stores are open on Good Friday. Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (April 18, 2022) most are closed. But, there are exceptions. For example, my favourite bakery (Thierry Marx) had regular hours the entire long weekend. Do your grocery shopping in advance for this weekend. Don’t forget to browse all the exquisite Easter treats in the chocolate shops and pâtisseries. Did you notice the chocolate bells alongside the eggs?
April 24 – May 8, 2022, Paris School Holidays: France is divided into three zones for school holidays so that the entire country is not on holiday at once. Paris schools are in Zone C.
May 1st, 2022, Labour Day and May Day: (public holiday/ jour ferié) Yes, there are two celebrations on May 1 in France. On Labour Day or International Workers Day, all workers must legally have a paid day off from work. Expect demonstrations (manifestations) around the city.
May Day (La Fête de Mugeut) is celebrated by giving a little pot or bouquet of Muguet (lily of the valley) to your loved ones and friends. Lily of the Valley fill the florist shops and are sold on street corners.
May 8, 2022, Armistice Day: (public holiday/ jour ferié) This important day marks the official end of WWII.
May 26, 2022, Ascension: (public holiday/ jour ferié) This day commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven. It always falls on a Thursday, 40 days after Easter.
June 6, 2022, Pentecost: (public holiday/ jour ferié) Pentecost (Whit Monday) falls exactly 50 days after Easter and always on a Monday. It is a day that Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.
May 29, 2022, Mother’s Day: I think you know this one!
4. Springtime In Paris: It’s All About The Blooms
By about the end of February, depending on the weather, glorious shades of pink start appearing in Paris. Oh yes, springtime in Paris is here.
Paris in spring is a photographer’s dream. On the Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower, there are cherry blossoms framing the Iron Lady and one glorious magnolia tree.
Head on over to the Jardin du Palais-Royal and find more magnolias (I’ve counted 14). The magnolias bloom first and then the cherry blossoms. It is truly magnificent.
Spring in Paris also sees gorgeous lilac coloured wisteria cascading over walls and the stunning and most favoured Pierre de Ronsard Roses.
I, for one, had never been a rose fan until I started spending springtime in Paris, especially in May. The delicate scent of roses fills the air making it a most magical time to stroll the Paris streets.
Chestnut trees burst into bloom with trees laden with pink or white flowers. Head on over to Canal Saint-Martin to enjoy the majestic chestnuts lining the canal.
Read More: If you want to know more about Paris in Bloom, check out this book dedicated to floral Paris.
5. Spring In Paris: See The Major Monuments
Spring is shoulder season in Paris. Especially early spring. It’s the perfect time to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay with fewer crowds.
6. Paris In The Spring: Walk The Neighbourhoods
These articles will help you plan your spring visit to Paris. See the main sites and then walk the islands in the Seine and the neighbourhoods or quartiers. If you prefer cycling, this biking tour will have you hitting lots of highlights.
Enjoy Spring in Paris by Strolling the Islands:
Ile Saint-Louis: One of the oldest villages in Paris, you’ll always find some street music here, the perfect café to sit at and Paris’s famous ice cream store.
Ile de la Cité: This island has so many treasures. Notre Dame, although under reconstruction after the fire of 2019, is still a marvel to stare at, the Conciergerie, St. Chapelle and the royal square Place Dauphin.
Ile aux Cygnes: Further down the Seine, this man-made island has a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Explore Paris’s Neighbourhoods:
Spend time exploring Montmartre, one of my favourite areas in Paris. See Sacré-Coeur and also the hidden treasures of this quartier. Join a guided walking tour of Montmarte and see all its hidden gems!
Explore the hip area around Canal Saint-Martin. Stroll the quays, cross the bridges under the chestnut trees and watch barges navigate the locks. Oh… and don’t forget to have a picnic and visit one of my favourite bakeries.
Wander the tiny boutique filled streets of le Marais. You’ll pass gorgeous old mansions (hôtels particuliers) and don’t miss the stunning royal square called Place des Vosges.
Flâner around Montparnasse. Head up the Montparnasse Tower for amazing views over Paris, visit the Catacombs and then stay in the area and explore. There are many treasures in the 14th arrondissement.
And if you love the village feel and street art, explore the Butte aux Cailles. This tucked-away neighbourhood in Paris’s 13th arrondissement is a delight to stroll.
7. Springtime In Paris: Visit The Parks
The parks in Paris are an integral part of Parisian life. The classic green metal chairs and fountains are a gathering place for Parisians. Remember that Parisians live in apartments making their green spaces an important part of their everyday life. Springtime in Paris sees flowering trees along with stunning flower beds. Daffodils and hyacinths start the season!
Close to the Seine, wander in the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin de Palais-Royal. Sit by the fountains and enjoy the blooming magnolia trees.
Don’t miss the Jardin du Luxembourg! You might want to sail a boat in the fountain!
Other favourite parks include the Jardin des Plantes, Parc Montsouris and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
Why not try strolling along the Coulée Verte, the abandoned railway that became an urban walkway in Paris, inspiring New York’s Highline. You’ll pass gorgeous architecture, rose gardens, lime trees and parks just perfect for a picnic. When you arrive at the Bois de Vincennes, be sure to visit the Parc Floral de Paris. Paris in spring is a showstopper here when the blossoms arrive!
8. Spring In Paris: Find The Water
I love the sea. Living in Paris, two waterways have become my sea.
The banks of the Seine are the place to be during the spring in Paris. Bring a picnic. Bring a bottle of wine and sit as the Parisians do with your baguette and your friends. ( Notice that the baguette came first!) Take a cruise down the Seine giving you a different perspective on Paris’s landmarks. Try an evening dinner cruise timed perfectly with the Eiffel Tower glittering.
Bring your walking shoes! In my experience, once I start walking the banks of the Seine I always go further than expected.
As mentioned above, Canal Saint-Martin is a fabulous spot to explore.
9. Paris In The Spring: The Festivals Special Events
Nuit des Musées: Saturday, May 21, 2022: This is just a great event that I attended in 2019. If you are coming in May (one year in the future), google search it. The museums are free and open until midnight. There are jazz quartets and light shows and an incredibly festive and artsy vibe.
Taste of Paris: May 12 – 15, 2022: This four-day festival takes place at the Grand Palais. Taste the most delicious food in Paris at pop-up restaurants. Mmmm….Make sure you book your ticket in advance for this popular event.
Saint-Germain Jazz Festival: May 16 – 21, 2022: Who doesn’t love a little jazz in the City of Light? Jazz is performed in cafés, churches and museums. Buy your tickets in advance.
The French Open At Stade Roland Garros: May 16 – June 5, 2022, The French Open happens here in Paris on clay courts. The only Grand Slam tennis event to take place on clay. Fingers crossed the French Open will happen with regular-sized crowds in 2021.
Villette Sonique: May 27- 29, 2022: Tons of music at this event! What a way to celebrate spring in Paris!
The Paris Marathon: April 3, 2022. Stand on the sidelines and cheer the runners on or, lace up and join in!
La Fête de la Musique: June 21, 2022 I’ve experienced La Fête de la Musique in Paris, Aix-en-Provence and La Réole, France. It is a highlight of spring in Paris and springtime in France. On the longest day of the year, music is everywhere. It fills the streets, it floats out of cafés and bars and sees people dancing in the streets until all hours.
10. Springtime In Paris: The Markets
When the springtime produce starts to appear in the markets, I start to gawk! White asparagus and fresh artichokes catch my attention but the prize winner? It’s the early strawberries. The glorious sweet strawberries called the gariguettes. These elongated, delicate and rather expensive berries are fragrant and ultra-delicious. A sure sign of spring in Paris.
Visit the markets in Paris. Just remember not to touch the fruit and vegetables. Line up. Wait your turn and the vendor will select the produce for you.
You might want to visit the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris. It’s been around since 1615. Read more about it here.
Another grand idea is to visit one of Paris’s flea markets. Read here about how to visit Le Marché des Puces.
What is your favourite thing about spring in Paris? Drop a note in the comments.
Until next time,
More Travel Info:
Food Suggestions in Paris:
- Where to find the best croissants in Paris.
- And what about the tastiest patisseries? I tasted a lot to come up with this list of patisseries.
- There are also plenty of café suggestions for the Marais area in this post: Tips from a Local.
- And if you are exploring the area around Canal Saint-Martin, here are the best places to stop for a bite or to find the fixings for a picnic.
Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller.
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. I hope you subscribed to my newsletter to get my free download – An Amazing 2-day Itinerary in Paris.
If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.