The Best Things to Do in Paris in the Spring
Paris in the Spring is truly magical and thanks to this curated list, you’ll know exactly what to do when you visit.
A walk through the French capital is never as romantic as when the blossoms grace the trees and the first flowers begin to pop up across the city. You sit in the Luxembourg Gardens at sunset biting into a butter, cheese and ham sandwich (ingredients listed in order of importance) and then realise the early evening air feels warm. There’s no better time to visit the City of Light: here's Plum Guide's advice on what to do in Paris in the Spring.
Stop and smell the blossoms
Paris in April and May is abundant with spring flowers. From trees dripping in veils of blossoms to the city’s manicured gardens bursting with tulips, the blooms this time of year are a pastel dream and really seem to usher in a new season.
When it comes to the cherry blossoms, some of the best spots to see them are the Trocadero Gardens surrounding the Eiffel Tower, the Place Jean XXIII near Notre Dame and if you don’t mind heading slightly out town, the cherry orchard at the 17th-century chateau Parc de Sceaux.
Normally the cherry trees flower sometime in April, but don’t worry if you miss them. Paris in the Spring is a time for all types of flowers from wisteria to magnolia, daffodils, tulips and every bride’s favourite: peonies. The Luxembourg Gardens are another beautiful spot to take in the blooms. Grab a chocolate or coffee eclair from local pâtisserie Sébastien Degardin and head over for a walking picnic. If you're visiting Paris with kids, don’t miss taking them to the playground here. It’s a blast for the little ones and will give you a much needed chance to sit back and relax.
For a special something to bring home to your luxurious Plum Guide flat, Fashion a bouquet of your choice at the Marché aux Fleurs on the Île de la Cité.
Pull an all-nighter but make it artsy
The only thing better than Paris in the Spring has to be Paris after dark, and what better excuse to pull an all-nighter than a museum? The Nuit des Musées or Night of the Museums is a 15-year strong tradition whereby the museums in multiple cities across Europe stay open extra late every third Saturday in May. Over 150 local museums and galleries participate in the event including heavy hitters like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Pompidou Centre.
The best part of it all? Entry is free and that means more money spent on a fancy dinner and shopping - you’re beaucoup welcome. On a warm evening, enjoy walking between the museums, obviously stopping for snacks and libations along the way. Most of the institutions have special events going on apart from just the exhibitions, so get into the experience and if you can keep yourself away from the amazing bed waiting for you at home, don’t come home ‘til dawn.
Shop ‘til you drop
We both know you didn’t come all the way to Paris to be frugal and with the weather taking a turn for the better, Paris in the Spring is the ideal time to shop at the city’s many outdoor marketplaces. Neighbourhood farmers markets will entice you with the first asparagus of the season, bread, cheese and even piping hot rotisserie chickens to take home for dinner. Some of the best local markets include Marché Bastille, Marché Mouffetard and the shopping street Rue Montorgueil.
If you’re not in the mood to cook at home - even though you do have a perfect open-kitchen at your Plum Guide crash pad - why not hit the flea market, known here as the marché des puces. You’ll undoubtedly find enough unique homeware to bring home that you’ll require an extra suitcase. The Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is the biggest and busiest with 3000 traders every weekend. For a slightly more chill vibe, try the Porte de Vanves or Montreuil markets, where there will likely be more bargains and less tourists.
Get your groove on
Each May since 2002, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood hosts a fun and fabulous jazz festival. There are free and paid gigs to check out from musical acts ranging from international stars to up-and-coming local talent. Some of the concerts are outside, which means you can take full advantage of the weather and your TikTok obsessed tweens will love the opportunity to practice their dances or even make up a new one.
The French have a strong appreciation for jazz, the genre having been popular in France since the 1920s so expect to be wowed by the whole ordeal and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes (even if you do have two left feet).
Feel like a Royal
When you’re looking for the kind of interior inspo that could send even your family into bankruptcy, there’s nowhere better than the 17th century Palace of Versailles. Located 12 miles outside Paris, it makes for a truly beautiful day trip if you visit Paris in the Spring as the 2000 acres of grandiose gardens are at their best this time of year. If you're visiting Paris in March, poking around the interiors of this royal residence is a great option for getting away from the slightly cooler weather.
One of the largest palaces in the world, the interiors here are the definition of lavish. Most famous perhaps is the hall of mirrors, a sumptuous Baroque style gallery created to illustrate the power of Louis XIV as the absolute monarch. In case you think the room might have a similar effect on your kids, think again, you’ve spoiled them way too much for that already.
Back to the gardens, the Grandes Eaux Musicales happens here yearly from April to October. This spectacular show sees the fountain’s water dancing to the sounds of Baroque music on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. Make sure you’re at the Neptune fountain for the grand finale and grab a skip-the-line ticket if you’re worried about queuing (or just like to feel like a VIP).