When spring arrives in Paris, there’s a collective sigh of relief and a distinctive sense of thaw: the city bursts back into color and the locals come out of a period of near-hibernation. I’ve lived here for over a decade, and I’ve never stop marveling at what feels like an overnight transformation. The capital’s many lovely parks and gardens are thronged by picnickers eager to enjoy the open air again, and you can feel a palpable change of mood. In short, people seem to “bloom” as much as the trees and flowers do. Parisian joie de vivre is back!
What to do?
If you’re lucky enough to be planning a springtime sojourn in the city of light, know that you’ll be joined by many others eager to capture a slice of Paris at its most iconic. It’s still possible to capture the essence of the city as it’s been imagined by countless poets or Hollywood films, but a little careful planning is necessary if you want to make the most it (and avoid crowd burnout).
On clear spring days, getting out there and enjoying the open air is something I highly recommend. Try taking a stroll in the early to late morning at stately parks and gardens such as the Jardin de Luxembourg , or, heading northward, the less touristy, highly romantic park known as the Buttes Chaumont, full of rolling hills and man-made grottoes and waterfalls. You might want to find a corner bakery or local market and stock up on some goodies for a simple picnic.
And of course, hopping on board one of our many bike tours is a perfect way to spend a lovely spring day!
For Rainy Days (and Art Lovers)
Some great exhibits and events guarantee that even on rainy days, there’s plenty to do. Make sure to check out the last days of an exhibit on Surrealist favorite Salvador Dali at the Centre Pompidou (through March 25th– see our own Emily Rucke Keene’s review here).
Meanwhile, The Paris Book Fair (link to our own piece eventually?) is always much-anticipated by bibliophiles, and takes place March 22nd-25th at the Porte de Versailles Convention center in the city’s southern tip (metro Porte de Versailles).
Other Great Springtime Outings
March 17th is St Patrick’s Day, so bask in the vibrancy of the local Irish community by enjoying a pint of Guinness at a local pub such as The Green Linnet (8, avenue Victoria, Metro Chatelet-les-Halles or Hotel de Ville) or by enjoying a traditional evening of Celtic music at the Irish Cultural Centre.