What to do in Paris in the Spring

what to do in Paris in the spring everyday parisian

What to do in Paris in the Spring

Spring is one of my favorite times to visit Paris. The city comes alive when the weather breaks, the cafés are full of Parisians and tourists, and the city is buzzing with energy. It starts to warm up towards the end of March in early spring and gets hot towards the end of April. Remember that every year is different; it snowed on April 1st in Paris last year, and the first two weeks were freezing and rainy. It is always good to check the forecast before you go because the weather can be unpredictable. Below are my favorite activities for what to do in Paris in the spring.

What to Pack for Paris in the Spring

what to pack for Paris in the spring everyday parisian

Layers are essential when it comes to packing in the spring. For jackets, I recommend a leather jacket and a trench coat. If it is freezing, you can always layer the leather jacket under the trench, which I have done. A scarf is great as an accessory and for keeping warm on chilly days. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. For colder days in spring, boots are a great idea. I packed my Chelsea boots with no regrets. There are several ways to get around Paris, but walking is one of my favorite ways. Sneakers are a hot item right now; you won’t feel out of place walking around them. Vejas and these Madewell sneakers are blog reader favorites. Galleries Lafayette or BHV are two Paris department stores with anything you need if you forget to pack something.

Paris trench sezane 

what to pack for Paris in the spring

More details on what to pack for Paris in the spring can be found in this post. 

Packing for Paris? Let me help remove the stress with a PDF packing list and a detailed post.

What to do in Paris When it Rains

what to do in Paris when it rains everyday parisian

A few rainy days will always be in Paris, especially during the spring. Rainy days are a perfect time to explore the Paris passages. Most run from the 9th arrondissement to the center of Paris, leading you to Palais Royal through Galerie Vivienne.

Paris passages things to do when it rains in Paris

things to do in Paris when it rains

merci Paris bookshop

There will always be a few rainy days in Paris during your spring trip. April showers are very common, even on clear days when no rain is in the forecast. Don’t be surprised to have a mixture of sun, rain, and hail all in one day. Spring weather in Paris can be unpredictable. I highly recommend bringing a small umbrella in your bag while you explore the city. A rainy day in Paris is the perfect time to explore the covered passages. Most of them run from the 9th arrondissement to the center of Paris, leading you to Palais Royal through Galerie Vivienne. Enjoy a meal at Racines in Passage de Panoramas. 

This post is here for more details and a map to bookmark them.

Museums tend to fill quickly when rain is forecast, so plan and buy tickets. One of my favorite ways to escape the rain is to duck under a café terrace and people-watch. Bookshops are also great spots to escape for an afternoon. Bon Marché has a beautiful, large bookstore with English books, stationary, and souvenirs. 

Merci Bookshop is an excellent spot in the Marais. This post has other ideas for what to do in Paris when it rains. You can check out this blog post.

My Paris Spring 3-day itinerary has a detailed rainy day for you.

what to do in Paris when it rains everyday parisian

Enjoy a glass of rosé on a terrace.

Paris rosé picnic

Rosé season begins just as the Paris weather starts to warm up. Order a glass of rosé at just about any café in Paris. I recommend choosing one that has an active terrace or street to watch the world go by. This is a great afternoon activity in Paris, and it lets your feet rest after a day of walking or sightseeing. Not a rosé fan, but do not worry; you can order a coke or one of my favorites, citron pressé, which is fresh lemonade. The waiter will bring over a small glass of fresh lemon juice, a carafe of water, and some sugar. Pour and mix to your desired taste.

Pro tip: you will have the terrace table for as long as you want once you find the perfect place for a drink. Once you order something from the waiter, it will be up to you to ask for the bill. It isn’t like in the US, where they will rush you off to turn your table. Simply ask for “l’addition, s’il vous plaît?” To pay by card, they will bring a small portable machine over to tap to pay or insert your chip. Cash is also accepted. You will want to leave a few euros for your waiter for good service.

what to do in Paris in the spring

Stroll Through Jardin des Tuileries

what to do in Paris in the spring everyday parisian

The Tuileries Garden is just in front of the Louvre Museum. If some people in your group want to enjoy the Louvre, you can enjoy the park in the center of Paris. Close by, you can grab a coffee at Café Kitsuné or Angelina Hot Chocolate.

Tuileries garden spring flowers

Tuileries garden green chairs Paris

One of my favorite spots is tucked away in Palais Royal, which makes for great people-watching any time of the year.

Paris Palais Royal

Picnic on the River Seine

Grab a bottle of wine, a baguette, and your favorite cheeses, and picnic on the Seine River. Ask the wine shop to uncork a bottle; some will even have plastic cups for you. Those of you staying in an apartment can borrow the wine opener and glasses. (make sure to return them) Watch the sunset from the banks of the Seine, and people watch. Make friends with locals or other travelers while enjoying your Seine picnic. Watch your belongings, as those unattended can get picked up while you aren’t looking.

Paris picnic on the seine

Seine Paris picnic things to do

Read a book in Luxembourg Gardens.

Paris Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens is a favorite Paris garden on the Left Bank of Paris. Are you traveling with kids? You can push boats around in the pond for a small fee, which will entertain them. Grab an empty green chair and stay a while, read a book, or pack a picnic. There will be plenty of people watching to keep you entertained. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

luxembourg spring boats what to do with kids in Paris
luxembourg spring

what to do in Paris in the spring

Paris in the spring Luxembourg Gardens

what to do in Paris in the Spring

Paris spring Luxembourg gardens

Visit the Marais on a Sunday

place des vosges spring

Sunday is one of the best days to visit the Marais; the area is full of energy, musicians, and cafés. Some of my favorite places to stay in the Marais include Place des Vosges, a little park in the center, great for little ones to play for a bit or have a picnic on the grass. The Bastille Market is nearby, a great place to pick up picnic essentials. Rue de Rosiers has the famous falafel restaurant L’As du Fallafel, which is a great cheap eat but comes with long lines. I personally love Miznon, just across the street for Israeli street food. My guide to the Marais is here for more ideas.

place des vosges paris what to do in the spring

Chez Janou Parisian café in the Spring

The Best Rooftop Bars in Paris

pont neuf Paris sunset

There are so many rooftop bars popping up in Paris. You can visit a rooftop at Galleries Lafayette and Printemps for a great view of the center of the city and the Eiffel Tower. Kimpton Paris St Honore had a great rooftop with a city view. Hotel Madame Rêve has a beautiful rooftop in central Paris with a great perspective of the city’s architecture and fun drinks. For other spots, visit Le Perchoir on the top of BHV, which overlooks Hôtel de Ville. Also nearby is Cheval Blanc, which offers a great view of Paris over Pont Neuf to the Eiffel Tower.

Rooftop views of Paris in the spring  Kimpton St Honore

Paris spring rooftop views Cheval Blanc

Paris Ice Cream Favorites

There are a few spots to get Berthillon ice cream, with the original location on Ile St Louis. The lines will be extended on the weekend, so I highly recommend going on an off time or weekday. Chocolate noir and framboise (raspberry) are my top choices. île St Louis is located in the heart of the city and is worth the visit to walk around the island. Check out Noir coffee, order a street crêpe, or enjoy the terrace at Café St Regis.

Paris berthillon ice cream

For a different experience, try Une Glace À Paris, which offers unique flavor combinations. They have shops in the Marais and Montmartre.

I love Folderol, a wine shop, and an ice cream shop. The flavors change daily, and you never know what will be offered. I enjoyed the olive oil flavor on my visit and can’t wait to return.

Paris ice cream spring activity

Seine River Cruises in Paris

An excellent activity for kids is the Seine River cruise in Paris. Spend an hour off your feet and discover a different perspective of Paris. For those of you who are short on time or have already been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, this is a great way to see the city of light. For Seine River cruise options, take the Batobus, a hop-on hop-off experience that will run you around 20 euros for adults and gives you access to different drop-off points at various Paris monuments for 24 hours.

Bateaux-Mouches are larger boats that run every 45 minutes. The total cruise time is 1 hour and 10 minutes. The price is 15 euros for adults and 6 euros for kids. I vote for a sunset cruise if you are looking for something romantic.

seine river cruise everyday parisian

Paris sunset on the Seine in the spring

Where to Visit a Brocante (Flea Market) in Paris

Paris flea market Puces weekend spring activity

A Brocante is a flea market. In Paris, they have them every weekend in a different arrondissement. I wish I could bring everything home: dishes, glassware, and the incredible gold mirrors. It’s fun to look at even if you can’t get it all home. You will find this post helpful if you want to discover a Brocante in Paris. There are also designated areas in Paris towards the city’s north that have flea markets every weekend. A Brocante is a great place to browse antiques and small collectibles. I have fallen in love with large mirrors, frames, and leather chairs; they will happily help you bring it all home for an extra shipping cost.

Paris flea market

What to do in Paris in the Spring: Shop a Paris Food Market

Visit a food market in Paris for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. You don’t have to have a kitchen to enjoy a food market in Paris. Pick up meats, cheeses, and a baguette and make a picnic. Experience French culture this way and see how Parisians live and shop. Visit this post to see how to shop a French market like a local.

Spring market in Paris pink peonies
Spring market Paris food and flowers

cheeseboard dinner in Paris

How to Flâneur in Paris in the Spring

Flâneur means to wander without a purpose, and it is one of my favorite things to do in Paris. There is no agenda; stroll the streets, observe, and people-watch. Pick a neighborhood and explore, soaking up the culture and the city.

Explore the Neighborhood of Montmartre

Montmartre will always have a special place in my heart because that is where I had my first apartment many years ago. The neighborhood has a lot of memories as my Paris story took shape. It is a destination but worth making a trip out of it. SoPi, south of Pigalle, has become a favorite place to hang out in Paris. The location is close to Montmartre, and the area is booming with restaurants and shops. Le Bon Georges is close by for lunch or dinner and is a fantastic French restaurant.

You can check out this post for more details on where to eat, drink, and explore.

Montmartre in the spring

You will find wisteria in bloom here in late spring.

purple wisteria montmartre

Soak up Cherry Blossom Season: What to do in Paris in the Spring

First comes the magnolia trees; second to bloom are the cherry blossoms, and then the chestnut blossoms. It’s a magical time in Paris to see everything in bloom. The parks and hidden spots all around Paris have their series of flowers. Go off the beaten path and discover something new in a different part of Paris. Just beyond the Sorbonne in the 5th arrondissement, you will find Jardin des Plantes. There will be one of the best spots in Paris to see the city in bloom. You will see some of the largest cherry trees in blossom right in the heart of Jardin des Plantes, and the garden is a free activity. Break up the day with kids and visit the carousel inside the park or stop by the Natural History Museum or Zoo.

Spring cherry blossoms in Paris Jardin des Plantes

shakespeare and Company Paris in the spring

Visit Musée Rodin in the Spring

Musée Rodin is a perfect spot to escape the rain or enjoy the gardens on a warm sunny day. The fee is a few euros to visit the garden, and worth checking out. Inside the garden, there are sculptures, and in the summer, the park is filled with roses. Stop by Café Varenne before or after for lunch or a glass of wine.

Rodin gardens in the spring Paris

Rodin museum Paris

Off the Beaten Path Paris: Spend an Afternoon Exploring Canal St-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin is a bit off the beaten path regarding the famous landmarks you would typically visit in Paris. It is worth visiting once you have knocked some other spots off your list. Take a boat ride down the canals, picnic, or stroll along. Restaurants and shops line the canals and are a great way to fill an afternoon in Paris.

Day Trips from Paris

Explore outside of Paris by train for a day or afternoon. Some of the best places to take a day trip outside of Paris include The Palace of Versailles, Giverny, and The Loire Valley. Versailles is a quick train ride away, and if you have the museum pass, this is included as part of your ticket. Fat Tire Tours also offers a grand tour of Versailles, consisting of the palace and a bike ride around the town and the grounds.

Champagne is a two-hour train ride by the train to Reims. Book a tour or two at a champagne house which you can reach from the city center.

Versailles Hall of Mirrors

Versailles a day trip outside of Paris

Parc de Sceaux, about a 30-minute train ride outside of Paris on the RER. In the height of cherry blossom season, you can picnic under a field of blossoms. I had the opportunity to do this a few years ago, and it was raining. Leave it to me to be determined to have this experience. I pushed through solo and still loved every minute of it. It is recommended to do this on sunny days if your schedule permits. There were pockets of sunshine between the rain storms, and it was one of my favorite Paris memories. Tucked just outside of the city center of Paris, this is one of the best things you can do in Paris in the spring.

visit Parc de Sceaux in the spring

parc de sceaux paris spring

Do you have a favorite activity to do in Paris in the spring?

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  1. Unbelievable how much information and great ideas were packed into this blog. Amazing, thank you for your work. Two comments on the comments: 1) to forgo Paris because of something someone said on Google there’s a French saying: Avoir le nez dans le guidon – being overly preoccupied with trivial matters. 2) my fashion advice for men (I live half-time in Paris) bring a couple of classic, tasteful outfits from the US to tide you over, spend some time soaking in how French men present themselves, and then buy the rest of your clothes in Paris. You will find flair, color, and taste, that you cannot find, or at least for anywhere near the price, in the US.

  2. I greatly enjoy your posts!
    I must share this with you…
    I happened to google a
    question…Why do some people NOT
    want to travel to Paris?
    I was then horrified about all of the
    comments about breathing in cigarette smoke everywhere, dodging all of the dog poo on the streets, people urinating on the
    streets, the Seine smelling like urine…
    Have to admit, I think I’ll head for Quebec countryside 😳.

  3. Given that my motto is « Vieux, mais pas encore mort », I am inspired by your blog to plot my next Paris adventure. Please expand your fashion recommendations to include guidance for men. How should the well-dressed flâneur attire himself?