When you talk about tourism, a vast majority of the world’s population mechanically thinks of Paris. Such is the lure of the French capital. They say that change is the only constant. However, there has been no change in mankind’s love for the City of Lights. There are multiple reasons for that. Paris truly understands the fine balance that fascinates the human imagination. It is a city of magnanimous architecture and quaint streetside cafes. Its appeal lies as much in the high-end restaurants as in the nonchalant Seine. But ultimately, it’s the soul and spirit of the city that we all love. And if you decide to visit Paris in May, you will know exactly what we are talking about.
What makes Paris in May a must-visit?
- Spring in Paris is possibly the ideal time to be in the city. The weather just about warms up enough to free you of extra layers of clothing. For most days, the sky is clear enough to get yourself a fill of tourism.
- Paris in May is also one of the times when the city appears its prettiest. The bloom paints the city in bright colors and makes it more photogenic than it already is.
- Although a lot of tourists are already in the city, Paris is yet to receive the summer crowd in May. As such, most of the attractions need a little patience but are definitely worth the wait.
- Paris really wakes up from its hibernation in May and begins to celebrate the weather with numerous events, such as the Taste of Paris Festival, the Jazz Festival, and more. May is the time to be in Paris.
Paris in May: Weather
Paris in May is as pleasant as it gets in the age of heat waves. The average temperature hovers around 15°C or 60°F. The average low is around 12°C and the average high is around 19°C. This is the perfect time for those fabled romantic walks in Paris. The clear days also make for a good time to queue up at the popular Parisian attractions. However, in May, there is a looming chance of rain in Paris at all times. May is said to bring more downpour than April, and you should be prepared to postpone a few plans.
Paris in May: Things to do
The Eiffel Tower
We begin with a spot that represents not just French tourism, but the entire industry. This metallic behemoth is not something any sensible person would think of missing out. Not only does it look great in photos, but the view from atop the structure is also breathtaking. In May, even with the crowd, you would be well advised to include the Eiffel Tower in your itinerary.
9:30 AM - 11:45 PM
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France,
Getting There ›
Everything about this place is downright magnificent. The structure is surprisingly modern, and the collection is exhaustive and compelling. It would be a no-brainer to visit the Louvre on a trip to Paris. If you find yourself in Paris in May, check out the Archaeology Goes Graphic exhibition that is on at the Louvre Museum.
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM/9:45 PM. Check here for daily timings
Musée du Louvre, 75001 Paris,
Getting There ›
Palace of Versailles
Why wouldn’t you want to visit an attraction as elegant as this during the closing of springtime in Paris? This World Heritage Site has 2,300 rooms occupying over 63,154 square meters. Not only will the palace delight you with its rich architecture but as a bonus, you get to enjoy the Palace garden. The stroll in the lush greenery may just make your day.
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM (The Palace)
7:00 AM - 8:30 PM (The Gardens)
Closed on Mondays
Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles,
Getting There ›
Saint Chapelle is a visual treat that you must catch no matter when you arrive in Paris. The stained glass work within the chapel is famous all around the globe. The stone for this structure was laid in the mid-1200s. Saint Chapelle has numerous biblical relics, including Christ's Crown of Thorns. In May, you can experience Saint Chapelle in the pleasant weather and explore the structure at your own pace.
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM Daily
Closed on May 1
8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris,
Getting There ›
Seine Dinner Cruise
The allure of the Seine river has been hard to resist for filmmakers (and musicians) around the world, which is why you end up seeing the river cruise in every other foreign film shot in the city. Take a cruise on the serene river to get a unique perspective of the City of Lights. A dinner cruise on a pleasant May evening will reveal the secret behind the city’s romantic repertoire.
Port Solferino, 23 Quai Anatole france
Getting There ›
Père Lachaise Cemetery
This is the largest cemetery in the city and is, therefore, a sought-after destination in Paris. Come spring, you can enjoy a stroll in the cemetery with many other visitors, and observe the tombs of known and unknown departed souls. It is an eerie experience, especially during the twilight hours. Although it would be crowded in May, the sheer size of the cemetery would ensure a little quiet corner every now and then.
Mon to Fri - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sat - 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Sun - 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris,
Getting There ›
Musee de L'Orangerie and Musee d'Orsay
Finally, we come to the museums that are a must visit, given the prominence of their collection. For an art aficionado, Paris serves a generous dose of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works of art by Cezanne, Monet, Matisse, and Renoir through the museums of L'Orangerie and D'Orsay. It is almost always a high season at these museums, and more so in May, but there is simply no way you would want to miss out on their sprawling collection just to avoid the crowd.
Musee de L’Orangerie: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Musee d’Orsay: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Getting There ›
Paris in May: Events to Look Out For
TASTE OF PARIS
May 9, 2019 (Tentative)
The Taste of Paris Festival is one of the events that you must not miss if you find yourself in Paris in May. It is one of the major attractions in the city and attracts a lot of tourists. The interactive experiences available at the festival forms the basis of its popularity. You must check out the gourmet food and artisan producer markets at the festival.
EUROPEAN MUSEUMS NIGHT
May 15 to 18, 2019
Every year, for a few nights, museums around Europe do not charge and remain open late to usher in new visitors. The tradition itself began in Germany and since then, has been adopted all around the continent. A few thousand museums in France take part in the event including a few of the notable ones in Paris. Make the best use of this opportunity.
May 26 to June 9, 2019
The marquee event of the famous French summer is the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open. See homegrown stars like Rafael Nadal or Pierre-Hugues Herbert in action or root for the legends like Serena Williams or Roger Federer at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris. For a sports fanatic, the French Open in itself is a reason to be in Paris.
May 18 to 19, 2019
This is one of the grandest events in the horse-racing calendar, and hence the name. Covering a total distance of 6000 meters, the Grand Steeplechase’s repute comes from its challenging 23-obstacles course. It is believed to be not only a test of speed but also of composure and endurance.
FESTIVAL JAZZ A-SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRES
May 26 to June 9, 2019
Paris and jazz mix like salt and water. And if you like this marriage, Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés is for you. Held in the intellectual district by the name of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the festival brings together the best of the best artists of the jazz scene. This magical event will transition you to a state of absolute bliss with its acoustic spell.
PRINTEMPS DES RUES
This is a street art festival in Paris unlike any other in the world. Along the banks of Canal Saint-Martin, artists have been displaying artworks for a weekend in May for over 20 years. The event attracts visitors as well as street performers from far and wide. It’s a celebration of freedom of thought and expression, and definitely should not be missed.
Paris in May: 5-day Itinerary
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
Paris Weather in May
Paris in May is known for its traditionally warm weather. However, recently, there have been a few hot days interspersed with the pleasant ones. An average high of 19°C and an average low of 12°C is maintained during the month. Be prepared to encounter over 25°C of temperature and frequent rains during the month of May.
Where to Stay in Paris
May is in no way a cheap time to be in the city. Original rates are firmly up, and you should not be surprised to see a lot of hotels already full. However, this is not something new, and therefore, you will always have options to fit your budget.
- 5 & 4 star hotels – Ritz Paris, Le Bristol Paris, Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Goralska Residences Paris Bastille
- Mid-range hotels – Hôtel Keppler, Maison Souquet, The Hoxton Paris, Hotel Wilson Opera
- Budget Hotels – Hôtel Auguste, Résidence du Pré, Hotel Virginia, Source Hotel
What to Pack for Visiting Paris in May
Parisian weather is notoriously erratic. Although the temperature remains pleasantly warm on most days, the mercury may soar to freakish levels without warning. Pack enough breathable and light clothes. A lot of your sightseeing spots will involve walking, which is why you should pack a small bottle of water and walking shoes. May is also a rainy month. Packing waterproof coats and shoes are a must. And last but not least, carry plenty of sunblock.
Getting Around Paris in May
Traveling in Paris is not a major headache. Most of the means of transport are unified under the RATP. It would be wise of you to get an RATP pass that would cover the underground metro, bus, Noctilien, and rail systems transport. Out of the six transport zones, zone 1 and 2 are the more important ones for the tourists. The metro covers most part of the city and should be convenient for sightseeing. Buses/night buses offer a great alternative as well.
Paris in May - Must Try Delicacies
This is a Paris basic. A baguette is a long loaf of bread that is devoid of a lot of kinks. It is generally made of lean dough. The crispy crust is quite unique to the baguette. It is a French staple and is available everywhere. But if you were to have the very best, you’d better get it from Boulangerie Brun or Aux Délices de Glacière.
A very familiar name in the French culinary tradition, the Croque Monsieur is a ham sandwich that has a generous helping of cheese to go with it. The béchamel sauce foils the crispiness of it. A variation of this popular cafe dish is the Croque Madame, which adds a fried egg to it. You would find one of the best Croque Monsieur at Café des Phares.
Spring in Paris must be enjoyed in accompaniment of a spring salad. Some of the freshest produce in the market are brought together to create this healthy dish. Though it has now made itself available everywhere in France, it originated in Nice. Head to L'Entrecôte de Paris for the best Salad Nicoise.
Choucroute is the French version of the Sauerkraut and proves to be a brewery essential in Paris. White cabbage is cooked in riesling, duck/pork fat before it is garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables. Ham and bacon are then added to the dish. For the best Choucroute, head over to Bofinger.
When King Stanislaus was serving his exile in the 18th century, he ordered his cooks to prepare a raisin brioche with Tokaji wine. The wine has been replaced with rum which lends a considerable richness to it. Pastry cream adds another dimension to it. Find the best Baba Au Rhum at Stohrer or Bistrot Paul Bert.
Tips to Visit Paris in May
- May is essentially peak tourist season, so remember that queueing up will be necessary at all spots. Leave for sightseeing as early in the day as possible.
- If you have made prior bookings at a place, reach at least 30 minutes in advance so as to not miss your slot.
- As spring recedes, make the most of this beautiful season by taking a walk in the numerous parks in the city.
- Ask local people for spots that are less known among tourists to avoid the crowd.
- Pick one of the day-trips from Paris to use up any extra time you have left in your trip. The best ones are Disneyland Skip The Line with Luxury Coach, Guided Tour of the Reims Champagne Region, Half Day at Provins, and Mont St. Michel’s Abbey Full Day Trip.
Explore Paris by Months
Planning to Visit Paris in May?
Here are a few quick guides that will come handy to help you plan your trip better!