Springtime is probably the most popular time of year to visit Paris. Visitors flock to the city in search of the Paris springtime portrayed in movies and the media, and for the most part, the city does not disappoint. The weather in Paris during the spring is lovely and mild, and as the season progresses, the city seems to burst into bloom. The gardens and landscapes of Paris this time of year are definitely not something to be missed. Remember that this is a busy time of year for tourists in the city, so be prepared for crowds and lots of company. As long as you’re okay with that, though, you’ll enjoy the time you spend there. Here are some suggestions to help you spend a beautiful spring day sightseeing in Paris.
- Museums and Monuments. A visit to the Eiffel Tower is a must during a visit to Paris, and the spring is an excellent time of year to make the trip. The Tower’s three levels are open to the public, except in the case of heavy wind, which will result in the closing of the third level. Another obvious choice is the Louvre, known for housing the famous Mona Lisa, among other famous works of art. The museum has more than 35,000 pieces of art on display, but it’s better to take your time than to become overwhelmed trying to see it all at once. For a smaller, but still impressive, museum experience, try the Musee d’Orsay, where you can view an impressive collection of works by Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Matisse.
- Outdoor Excursions. The whole point of spending a spring day in Paris is to enjoy the outdoors. You can do that starting with a stroll down the Av des Champs-Élysées, the iconic avenue that has symbolized Parisian style and attitude for decades. You should also take some time to explore the chestnut groves at the Jardin du Luxembourg. The Cimetìere du Père Lachaise, the world’s most visited cemetery, is another relaxing place to spend some time outdoors on a spring day. Here you can visit the graves of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Sarah Bernhardt. Bike riding is also popular in the Spring along the Siene river. Also, on Sundays between 10 am and 4 pm the quayside streets are closed to car traffic between Place de la Concorde and Pont de Sully and Musee d’Orsay and Passerelle Debilly.
- Parks. Another great way to spend a day in Paris during the spring is to enjoy one of the many beautiful parks throughout the city. Parc des Buttes Chaumont is the most rugged of the parks in Paris. There is a lake that has a small island you can access by boat or suspension bridge. It is one of the few parks in Paris that you can sit on the grass and picnic. Parc Monceau was frequently painted by Claude Monet and is a longtime favorite of Parisians. Place des Vosges is one of the most historic created in the 1600’s by Henri IV. There are roofed promenades around the public area with several cafes and restaurants. Parc Monceau offers quaint scenery including an English garden, a duck pond, a grotto and lots of greenery and flowers. This is a great place to walk or jog.
- Parisian Edibles. You’re liable to work up an appetite while sightseeing, and of course, you’re in Paris, surrounded by good food on all sides. You’ll want to eat at some point during your day, preferably more than once. Visit Le Jules Verne on the second level of the Eiffel Tower for dishes like pan-seared veal with creamed spinach. For elegance and delicacies like caviar, truffles, and foie gras, visit Comptoir de la Gastronomie. Or visit La Closerie des Lilas to eat and drink in the same place that such notable figures as Hemingway, Picasso, and Sartre enjoyed.
It’s easy to get around in Paris, France. The bus and metro system are both exceptional, there is plenty to see if you choose to walk, and you can even rent a bike using the Vélib system. It should be a breeze for you to enjoy your spring day in the City of Lights. If you looking to experience something different, consider a France river cruise.