In all honesty, there is no such thing as the wrong time to stay in Paris. The snowy winters are enchantingly romantic, the soothing autumn palette feels like living in an impressionist painting, while summer is rich with festivities. However, spring is a special treat for spending time in this sleepless, timeless city. Drier than those autumn days, and much more pleasant than the summer sizzle, this is the season that makes Paris truly blossom!
What makes it all the more appealing for first-time visitors is that during spring months of the year, you’re able to enjoy its streets and hidden nooks without all the tourist crowds that congregate during summer. You can forget about lengthy museum lines and waiting for hours for a famous French baguette sandwich while you take a stroll by the Seine at your own pace.
Parisian art galore
Every year, the French capital opens its mesmerizing doors to everyone in Paris to experience their museums and galleries free of charge. The event is called La Nuit des musées and it takes place on the third Saturday of May, which means that there will be art lovers flocking to Paris on the 19th this particular year. While it’s impossible to sneak a peek into every major museum available, you can at least stop by some of their most world-renowned collections.
Since the Louvre takes weeks to absorb its wonders, you might want to dedicate the entire night for just this famous ensemble of art, but you can also leave it for another time and head to Musée d'Orsay and Palais de la Découverte instead. The list is practically endless, so it’s best to do your homework before you arrive and have a night of falling madly in love with all the artists hiding in this breathtaking metropolis.
Even though Paris is a favorite destination for travelers in spring, if you opt for mid-week getaways and book ahead, you will likely have a plethora of affordable accommodation options to choose from. Both hotels and private residencies cut their prices significantly during this pre-tourist season, and flights are even easier to come by if you look for them a few months in advance.
Due to the wonderful weather, you can visit some of the city’s most notable monuments and spots which are completely free of charge. Nothing sings Parisian life quite like a walk by the Seine or a sightseeing afternoon on Montmartre, where you can see the picturesque Sacré Cœur and a stunning panoramic view of the city stretching before your feet.
Basking on the Seine
Since it’s impossible to catch a glimpse of every single architectural marvel around, Paris has come up with other creative ways for you to explore the city. If you want a unique vantage point of this European gem, opting for barge cruises in France is a seamless way to travel via Parisian waterways to discover this city’s immortal charms.
Now that its streets are in full bloom, the allure of everything on the sightseeing menu is all the more awe-inspiring. You can enjoy a slow-paced cruise down the Seine and the well-known Canal Saint-Martin, and immerse yourself in the ingenious creativity that surrounds you: the Eiffel Tower feels as if it’s at your fingertips, while Cathédrale Notre-Dame will take your breath away as soon as you lay your eyes on its towering beauty.
The mecca of shopping
No place in the world screams fashion quite like the capital of France, hence the need for every fashionista to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the birthplace of haute couture, from Coco Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, the city prides itself on massive shopping centers created for your ideal shopping spree, as well as vintage stores tucked away in the bosom of Paris.
Head straight to designer depots where you can find famous and less-known designer clothes for a bargain, such as the Priscilla Depot-Vente with a vast selection of classics such as Kenzo and Dior. For a complete shopaholic experience, head to some of Paris’s shopping streets where bags rustle and heels click-clack almost non-stop.
French breakfast with a view
Couples will adore a brief escape from the city centre and into the Bois de Boulogne, the largest verdure-laden slice of Paris with so many romantic picnic spots that you’ll have a hard time settling for one. If you cannot stay still, then by all means, rent a boat on the lake, and enjoy your meal on its crystal waters. Wine aficionados will love that Paris hides in its embrace numerous boutique vineyards that are lesser known to tourists than you’d expect – consider trying Clos de Belleville’s Chardonnay, or another delicious vintage during your stay.
In the mood for a more urban breakfast? Then you can take your pick from a wide range of cafes and restaurants that serve incredible local delicacies. For those who have never had the pleasure of tasting Parisian culinary wonders, go to Colorova Patisserie for a classic toasty croissant with a fresh cup of coffee. Le Bal Café is famous for their pancakes, and their coffee also makes it to the top of the list of Parisian tastiest treats.
Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.
Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.