A Guide to Visiting Paris in the Spring

Paris is a beautiful city, and it’s also the capital city of France. While it’s a great place to visit year-round, visiting Paris in the spring is a fantastic sight. Spring time in Paris is truly remarkable; you’ll find it full of flowers, trees, lively crowds and an overall fantastic atmosphere.

The weather starts to clear up after the cold winter months, leaving you with the wonderful scents as the spring flowers start to bloom. What could be better than witnessing the changing of seasons from frost to flower? 

Spring is truly a magical time in Paris. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to Paris in the spring time.

See also: Paris for Beginners: Where and What to Eat, See or Do

Paris in the spring
Spring blossoms in Paris, France

Paris weather in spring

Spring in Paris is one of the most popular times of year to visit, and the season lasts from March to May. You can expect Paris weather in spring to start out chilly, with highs of 54°F/12°C in March, 61°F / 16°C in April and 68°F / 20°C in May. 

The average lows for March are 41°F/5°C, you can expect 45°F/7°C lows in April and 52°F/11°C lows in May. As you can see, the weather warms up in May but remains cool throughout the season, especially at night. Don’t forget to pack warm clothes for your Paris weather in spring, especially if you visit in March. We highly recommend traveling with Merino wool clothes as they work well for all weather types.

Tips for visiting the “city of love” in the spring 

Having a Paris spring is nothing short of amazing. Still, there are some things you should know before visiting to make your holiday and planning process more enjoyable.

  1. Paris is always busy, no matter what time of year you decide to visit. This is especially true when you book tickets for a significant landmarks or museums. You’ll likely need to book for famous sights like the Eiffel Tower or Catacombs weeks in advance. Social distancing measures have also limited the number of visitors allowed per day, and some ticket booths are even closed. So make sure to book your tickets ahead of time!
  1. Book a central hotel. Paris is a beautiful city for walking around at any time of day. Spring is even better, as it offers cherry blossoms, sunshine and a fantastic atmosphere. There are many great forms of accommodation, from hotels to guest houses and apartments. 
  1. There are a lot of public holidays during spring time in Paris. The high season really kicks off in April, and Easter is the first major holiday of the year for the French. You can expect Paris to be especially crowded during the Easter holidays, as well as holidays like Labour Day and Victory Day in early May. 
  1. Be prepared for flexibility on short notice. Spring time brings unpredictable weather with it. While it’s rare that you’d lose a whole day to rain, it could definitely ruin your plans to walk in Monet’s Gardens or other outdoor activities in Paris. 
  1. Pack enough to keep warm. While Paris in the spring is not the coldest time of year, it sometimes shows off its four seasons in a day. Packing a lightweight jacket, like a puffer or down jacket, should be enough to keep you out of the cold that you’ll find in a Paris spring. There is an extensive range of temperatures in a Paris Spring, so bear this in mind when you start packing. Check out our stylish city packing guide.
  • Get the Paris city card. Save money and get access to two of the most iconic locations in and around Paris: the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower along with enjoying a cruise along the Seine. Buy the Paris City Card.
Get the Paris City Card
What you get with the Paris City Card

Related read: The Paris Pass and Why it’s Worth it

Top things to do during spring time in Paris

Paris has rightfully earned its popularity as one of the most famous cities in the world. Naturally, the number of things to do in Paris is nearly endless. While you don’t need to specifically wait to visit Paris in the spring, some places and activities are much nicer when visiting in the spring time.

  • If you are an art lover, you need to visit the Atelier des Lumières and the Louvre. The Palais Royal is an elegant and historical building offering covered galleries worth a visit. 
  • Since Paris has pleasant spring weather, you might enjoy a sightseeing bike tour. If you don’t feel confident on your own, you can book a guided bike tour of Paris to give you the best overview of the city.

Related tour: Paris: Charming Nooks and Crannies Bike Tour

  • You could book a relaxing cruise on the Seine. This is one of the most budget-friendly activities to enjoy when visiting Paris. 

Related tour: Seine River Sightseeing Cruise with 3-Course Dinner

  • Spring time in Paris is not complete without visiting one of many parks. Paris has over 400 parks, so there is definitely no shortage of variety to choose from! It’s also a great time to take a day trip to Versailles.
  • Go for drinks and dinner at a restaurant. Enjoy an apéro, which is a drink and small nibble before dinner. Check out our guide to the nightlife in Paris.
  • Paris has 5 hills. If you’d like to stroll through Paris on a less-crowded route, walking on the slopes can offer fantastic panoramic views of the city without the extensive foot you might find on the streets.

Related read: A Guide to the Arrondissements of Paris

  • If you are a fan of architecture, visit the Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood. It offers beautiful art deco buildings with unique colours. Rue Montorgueil is another great neighbourhood that offers a mix of rural villages and urban sights.
Famous Eiffel Tower with spring tree in Paris, France - depositphotos.com
Famous Eiffel Tower with spring tree in Paris, France – depositphotos.com

Blossoms, fresh air & a new lease on life

It’s a great idea to visit Paris in the spring time. From the relatively mild Paris weather in spring to the fresh blooming scent of new plant life, much of the liveliness of Paris returns in spring.

Spring also offers excellent opportunities for visiting the many parks that Paris offers, visiting famous museums, taking a bike tour of the city, or even visiting a food market.  

Regardless of your interests, we’re sure you will find something to do that is unique to Paris – whether you’re an art lover, urban explorer, foodie or photographer! 

Visiting in winter? Check out our guide to winter in Paris!

How to Explore the Best of Paris in a Day

Can a city as big and beautiful as Paris be explored in a day?

Sure! If you know where you’re going, that is.

If you’re short on time in the city of lights, we’ve got the perfect itinerary for you to explore the best of Paris in a day! From visiting the top Paris landmarks to squeezing in a few quintessential Parisian experiences into your day.

See also: Winter in Paris: A Unique Guide to Exploring the City of Lights

Paris in a day itinerary

When we say you can explore Paris in a day, we mean visiting the most popular landmarks in the city. Many of them are within easy commuting distance and can be visited within a few hours—you just need to know what order to visit them in!

First off, start your day early by going for a morning walk along the city streets and look for a quaint French café for breakfast. A typical French breakfast is light and fairly simple—and usually something sweet! To make the most of your day in Paris, opt for a coffee/tea and a delicious pastry of your choice.

Check out our guide on Paris for Beginners: Where and What to Eat, See or Do

After breakfast, it’s time to head out for a Paris in a day tour. Here are the top landmarks and tourist sites to check out on your day tour of Paris:

1.      Montmarte

Start your Paris in a day tour at Montmarte, a large hill in the 18th arrondissement (here’s our guide on the Paris arrondissements). This charming quarter (near Abbesses Metro station) is famous for being a square of artists and for the Sacré-Coeur Church.

You’ll find many open-air art galleries and museums with works from Renoir, Picasso, Dalí, and Toulouse Lautrec.

Montmarte Paris
Montmarte Paris

2.      See the Opéra Garnier and Place Vendôme

Opéra Garnier and the Place Vendôme are about a 10-minute walk from each other. Opéra Garnier is a 19th-century theater art architecture. You can visit the 1,979-seat opera house for a guided tour inside to witness the beautiful masterpiece.

Place Vendôme is one of the city’s most famous squares. It currently houses famous high-end stores, such as Dior, Chanel or Cartier.

See also: Wine, Dine and Shopping Tips for Opera in Paris

3.      The Louvre

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world and one of the most popular and iconic landmarks in the city. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

If you have the time, you can join a tour of The Louvre, but waiting times are often long. So, if you’re only exploring Paris in a day, then you may only have time to walk about the outside and take a few classic photos.

The Louvre in Paris, France
The Louvre in Paris, France

4.      Notre-Dame Cathedral

While the Notre-Dame Cathedral is still under renovation after the 2019 fire, you can still see the iconic Cathedral from the outside.

5.      Les Invalides

Another popular landmark, Les Invalides was built in 1670 to 1676 as a place of retirement for French war veterans. Today, it contains museums and monuments relating to the military history of France.

6.      Pont Alexandre III and the Grand Palais

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge over the Seine of Paris. It connects the Invalides with the Champs-Elysées and is one of the most ornate, extravagant bridges in the city.

The bridge leads to Grand Palais on the right bank. Grand Palais is a historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located at the Champs-Élysées.

Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III

7.      The Champs-Elysées Avenue

The Champs-Elysées Avenue is a 1.9-kilometre avenue running between the Place de la Concorde in the east and the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. This famous street is known for its cafes and luxury shops. A stroll down the Champs-Elysées is a must for all first-time visitors to Paris.

Tour Paris in a day
Sam Driver in Paris Car Tour Paris with Flora Goldenberg Tour Guide and Sam Driver

8.      Eiffel Tower

What better way to end your day than visiting the Eiffel Tower? Whether you just see the bottom area to witness the grand tower up close or choose to go up to the top, you can’t leave the city without a classic selfie with the Eiffel Tower.

Don’t forget to eat

While doing your Paris in a day tour, lookout for a classic Parisian restaurant to stop at for lunch. Or, look for a quaint bakery to pick up a few goodies for a picnic if the weather is good. Check out our guide on food in Paris for some inspiration.

After your day of exploring, you’ll be hungry. Trendy restaurants in the city often require reservations weeks, if not months in advance. So, unless you planned to trip in advance, you may be better off strolling along the city streets looking for restaurants with an open table (hopefully a good one!)

Street cafe in France
Stop for lunch at a Paris café

Save the hassle of getting around on your own and book a car tour

Getting to grips with using the Paris metro is enough to delay your exploring, so why not book a car tour Paris and reduce the stress of getting around the city on your own.

Tour Guide Paris has partnered up with a driver called Sam to deliver high-end car tours in the city of lights. The four-hour tour is in a Mercedes car (Class V: 6 seats / Class E or Class S: 2 seats) and includes the driver and a tour guide to take you to all the above-listed landmarks and sightseeing spots.

Travelling around the city by car isn’t easy with the eco-friendly laws in the city, and many roads are closed off and only accessible to taxis and delivery vehicles. Luckily, Sam has a special Taxi + VTC license that allows you to navigate the streets of historic Paris and see the Louvre and other historical attractions.

Book your Paris car tour with Sam.

Car Tour Paris with Sam
Car Tour Paris with Sam

Paris for Beginners: Where and What to Eat, See or Do

What is it about the charm Paris has upon even those who have never visited the “City of Light”?

The glamour, the history, the exquisite gastronomy and the mixture of different movements of art this city embraces, creates an inner longing to be part of that mystique and bohemian atmosphere, we have only seen in the movies or read in novels.

So yes, Paris for beginners is all about materializing that imaginary world!

Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose, small cafes, palaces, opera, ‘croissant au chocolat’, will all be on the menu.

So first of all, Paris is a city for walking, and walking and walking.

So pack your comfy shoes (no bulky tennis shoes that scream “I’m a tourist” please), and casual/formal/chic clothes!

Let the journey begin from the moment you start arranging your trip. Buy a travel-guide book about Paris and download it on your phone or small tablet for less weight (you’ll want to carry it around during your trip). Knowing the history behind the beauty you’re watching will make a big difference and lend to a memorable experience.

A guide to Paris for beginners

Booking for your trip:  I really recommend at least 5 days in Paris… no less but much more if you can!

Choosing the Hotel – Where to Stay?

Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements or districts. Remember Paris is for walking, but still, you’ll have to take the Metro more than once, so as long as you stay near a metro station on any of the these districts, you’ll be close to most destinations: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9th ARR.

Read our guide to the arrondissements of Paris.

Arriving in Paris

Before leaving the airport, find yourself a city map. If you don’t find one, ask for it at your hotel.

You’ll have the option to take the RER Paris city train and connect with the METROPOLITAIN (subway, tube, etc) or take a cab. If you just landed from a transatlantic flight and can afford a 40 € fair, I would definitely recommend the cab over the train, otherwise, the train will be fine. Just think about it when packing your bags because you’ll have to haul it up a couple of flights of stairs and walk with it for a while.

Many applications for your phone help you establish train and metro routes and estimate duration of the journey specifically for Paris, a well-spent $1, or use the free one that RATP (transport authority) provides.

Check out our guide to using the Paris metro.

Montmartre, Paris - Paris for beginners
Montmartre, Paris

How to plan your beginners Paris sightseeing route

How much time you spend at each site, is all up to you, your style of traveling and the time you count on. Museums take a lot of time to really savor them, but no matter what, visiting the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée du Louvre is a must!

My recommendation for Paris for beginners

Trace a route around an arrondissement for each day, make a list of What to See and buy tickets in advance to avoid lines. Try not to be rigid about your times, because you won’t enjoy the real Paris if you have to keep up with it. Enjoy an extra glass of wine if you’re having a good time, sit on the green chairs of the Tuileries Garden and live the Parisian experience.

Places not to miss in Paris

There are so many things to do in Paris for beginners, here’s a few spots that you shouldn’t miss!

The Musée du Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Palais Royal, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Notre-Dame de Paris, La Sainte-Chapelle, the Hôtel de Ville (Paris city hall), Centre Georges Pompidou, Saint-Jacques Tower, Jardin du Luxembourg, Église Saint-Sulpice, Abbey Saint-Germain des Prés, Tour Eiffel and its Parc du Champ de Mars, Les Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, Ecole Militaire, Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Église de la Madeleine, Grand Palais and Petit Palais, Opéra Garnier, Montmartre, Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, Musée Rodin.

If you have the time, the Château de Versailles is only an hour away from Paris by train, but you’ll want to spend at least 4 hours there. So reserve at least half a day to go, you won’t regret it! If you don’t have the time, check out Napoleon the 3rds apartment at Musée du Louvre, which used to be the Royal Palace long ago, and get a small glimpse of what Versailles would be like.

This all might seem like too much to see and do, but actually you’ll find most of them to be close to each other.

Opera, in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, France
Opera, in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, France

Time and Budget for Shopping?

As to be expected, Paris has one of the most fashionable streets of the world, Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré where every major fashion house can be found. But Paris has options for all budgets and styles, Galeries Lafayette and Champs-Elysées offer a great variety.

Related Read: Wine, Dine and Shopping Tips for Opera in Paris

Must eat in Paris

Even though there are numerous plates to eat in Paris, you’ll probably eat some of these more than once… just because they’re too good not to.

I’ll make a list of the ones I consider are a must, and since I tried some of them in different places, I’ll suggest where I liked them the best:

– Croque-Monsieur (Sandwich) – Le Café de la Paix, famous restaurant across the Opéra Garnier, the most astounding Napoleonic Era building.
– Foie Gras – This we ordered in every single place we went for lunch, dinner or snack… they were all good but I can’t remember were I liked it the most.
– Foie Gras Poêlé (Fois Gras Seared) – L’Ilot Vache
– Côtelettes d’agneau – L’Ilot Vache
– Entrecôte – Le Relais de l’Entrecote
– Cheese – France has 56 cheeses classified and regulated by a protected designation of origin (AOC). So your options are broad. I would recommend you try: Brie and Neufchâtel. We ordered cheese at every café we went to, and we did great every time. French will have cheese as an entrance or as a dessert with fruits and sweet wine.
– Berthillon ice cream – Any where at Île Saint-Louis
– Galettes de blé noir ou sucrée au beurre (crêpe made from buckwheat flour with sugar and butter topping) – La Crêperie des Canettes a cozy little place in Saint-Germain
– Crêpe Nutella and Crêpe Sucre et Citron (with sugar and lime) – Anywhere on the streets
– Hot Chocolate – Le Café Angelina at Louvre Museum

Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, Ladurée is an emblematic French luxury bakery famous for the double-decker macaron, you’ll have to visit and try.

You’ll do fine with any French wine, but I really recommend those from the Bordeaux region, and Sauternes for dessert.

For a nice meal and great atmosphere, I also suggest trying: Le Mini Palais, Le 7ème Vin. any café at Le Tuileriesand at Le Jardin du Luxembourg.

Food in Paris - cheese shops
Food in Paris – cheese shops

Communication in Paris

Learn some useful phrases and words for exploring Paris for beginners: bonjour, merci, parlez-vous anglais?, oui, s’il vous plaît?, au revoir. Here’s a few more useful European phrases to learn.

But don’t worry; nowadays many Parisians speak English, or at least those who tourists usually interact with.

Learn a few basic French phrases in Babbel.

Go Back

You’ll always want to go back to Paris, and each time its charm will embrace you in a different way.

A few more tips for your first time in Paris