Spring in Paris is a wonderful time when sunny days, colorful flowers and fresh foliage add to the city’s charm. Time a trip from March to May to enjoy the great outdoors while soaking up spring romance. See our five inspiring ideas, from photogenic alfresco markets to picnic-friendly parks, guaranteed to put a spring in your step…
Paris Perfect’s rental apartments suit all size groups. Opt for pretty sun-lit, one-bedroom Castillon (sleeps two, currently with 30% off) on super-central Île de la Cité. Alternatively, for a bigger party, spacious Semillon hosts up to six in three bedrooms on market-strewn Rue Cler in the 7th. Spring into action and get booking!
Hunt for treasure at Marché aux Puces de Vanves
Nothing says Paris in spring like flea market foraging! The city’s largest is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (at northern Porte de Clignancourt). Smaller, and more homewares oriented, is the authentic Marché aux Puces de Vanves, south-west in the 14th. From furniture to lamps, tableware, and trinkets, it sells vintage and antique treasures aplenty, including boxes salvaged from house clearances. Source one-off souvenirs such as ceramics, glassware, paintings, postcards and religious curios, as well as toys, books, jewelry, and hats. It’s open every weekend, from 7am to 2pm, near Porte de Vanves metro station. Arrive early for happy hunting. Corner of Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014.
Enjoy oysters at Huîtrerie Régis
The best time to indulge in delicious oysters in Paris is between September and April, dovetailing with early spring. They’re usually safe to eat in any month with an r in it. The intimate, nautical, blue and white dining room at Huîtrerie Régis in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is perfect for a seafood feast. This specialist oyster diner in the 6th is open daily for lunch and dinner, sourcing its oysters from France’s esteemed Marennes-Oléron. Don’t miss the gourmet Fine de Claire oyster, fattened up in salt ponds. Book ahead and enjoy freshly shucked oysters, prawns, shrimps and sea urchins, washed down with white wine. 3 Rue de Montfaucon, 75006.
Wander Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Spring is an evocative time to stroll Paris’s famous cemetery Père-Lachaise, the city’s largest, established in 1864. Head east to the 20th, where the 110-acre sanctuary is home to legends of music, literature, and art. The illustrious list of those buried here includes singers Édith Piaf and Maria Callas, and playwrights Oscar Wilde and Molière. Writers Proust, Balzac and Colette, composer Chopin, artist Modigliani and mime Marcel Marceau also rest among the magnificent monuments. You’ll usually spy Doors fans hanging out by the grave of American rock star Jim Morrison. Request a map on entry or download one in advance. 16 Rue du Repos, 75020.
Marvel at the Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II
Capture the spirit of Paris in spring with a visit to its central flower market, full of vibrant blooms. You’ll find the Marché aux Fleurs at Île de la Cité between Notre-Dame Cathedral and Gothic chapel Sainte-Chapelle. Selling fragrant floral offerings since 1808, the market stocks seasonal flowers, orchids, plants, and trees a skip from the Seine. Wander the open-air and covered sections, sporting metal pavilions housing 15 boutiques, and pick up a bouquet for your apartment. It’s open daily beside Cité metro station, with a bird market on Sundays. For more jewel-bright colors, admire Sainte-Chapelle’s sublime stained glass windows. Place Louis Lépine, Quai de la Corse, Île de la Cité, 75004.
Stroll Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Paris is full of fabulous parks which come alive in spring, but this one’s an escape from the tourist hordes. In the north-east 19th arrondissement, 61-acre Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the city’s biggest green spaces. Founded as a garden showcase in 1867, perched on a hilly former quarry, it’s full of Victorian character. Discover lofty lookouts, landscaped slopes, a suspension bridge, grottoes, caves, waterfalls and an artificial lake. There’s even a cliffy island topped with a temple to Sibylle. Romantics will love picnicking here, among local and exotic trees and birds, while soaking up stunning views of Montmartre. 1 Rue Botzaris, Belleville, 75019.
For more spring larks, check out Paris Perfect’s guided walking tours. You can take in the city’s literary hot spots, explore historic Le Marais, or enjoy a Paris islands tour, followed by a concert at Sainte-Chapelle. Fancy a day trip? Take a small-group tour to artist Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny (March-October), especially enchanting in spring.