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As Audrey Hepburn famously said in the film Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.” And there’s nothing quite like Paris in the spring! For those of us lucky enough to experience Paris when it’s in full bloom – either as tourists or as residents – it’s best to take advantage of this fabulous and fleeting season.
Here are seven of our favorite reasons illustrating why it’s best to visit Paris in springtime.
Explore Stunning Gardens: Luxembourg, Tuileries, and More
Paris blossoms and comes alive in the springtime. And there’s no better place to relish the glory of spring than in one of Paris’s many gorgeous gardens, like Luxembourg Gardens, Tuileries Garden, and Jardin des Plantes. In these gardens during the pre-summer season, you’ll discover some of the most luscious flowers, vibrant green grass, and sunny days that can’t be beat.
Relax at Night Along Canal Saint-Martin
While traipsing about in Paris gardens during the day is ideal, the spring nights are all about revelry, enjoyment, and joie de vivre. Grab a bottle of red wine, some cheeses and baguettes, and join other Parisians enjoying the mood along Canal Saint-Martin, where spring nights feel almost magical.
Worthy of note are Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis – both of these small Paris islands are also great for evening picnics in the spring. And I promise you, they will likely be lively!
Cruise along the Seine in the Bateaux-Mouches
Critics may say it’s a bit cheesy, but, personally, I love cruising along on the Bateaux-Mouches boats on a gorgeous spring night when the weather is just the right mix of cool and warm. There’s nothing quite like a Paris sunset seen from the river. If you’ve got the time, this activity is a good one to add to your list for a spring visit to the City of Light.
Marvel at the Stained Glass Windows at Sainte-Chapelle
And speaking of light – you need to look no further for some stunning displays of light than the stained-glass windows found inside Sainte-Chapelle. This Gothic-style royal chapel is within Palais de la Cité, the medieval residences of the Kings of France. It sits on Île de la Cité and boasts some incredible artistry in its stained glasse, peppered with vibrant blues, brilliant greens, and deep reds. On a sunny spring, beams of sun shoot through the glass, giving an electric display of glittering colors.
Address: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001
Explore the Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum may not be as popular as the Louvre or the Orsay, in the eyes of some. But for my money, the Rodin is one of the best museums in Paris. And during the warm-weather months, you can also enjoy the dreamy sculpture gardens at the museum. A spring day stroll through this garden will leave you with a real pep in your step.
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007
Celebrate Fête de la Musique on June 21
While it’s technically after spring is over, Fête de la Musique on June 21 is definitely not to be missed if you’re in Paris for the solstice. On this day and night, Paris becomes even more alive than it is already. The streets fill with music and dancing and parties. It’s truly a sight to behold, and it’s one of the best parts about being in Paris when the weather is warm.
Load Up on Spring Reading at Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore
American novelist and Tropic of Cancer author Henry Miller once said, “When spring comes to Paris, the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise.” I can’t say I disagree. Fill up your arms with thought-provoking works by writers like Miller and more on a shopping trip to Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Left Bank.
This storied shop feels like something out of Harry Potter – there’s a whiff of magic in the air, and you never know what you’ll find up the stairs or around the corner or in the reading nook. Spring is a time for fresh starts; pick up a new read you’ve been dying to dig into, and then sit along the Seine to get lost in your new book.
Address: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005
Lead photo credit : Jardin du luxembourg. © Marie Evano, Unsplash