Before I went to Paris just before Christmas, I honestly didn’t think I would love Paris in winter any more than Paris in spring. I wasn’t expecting how beautiful it would be in December, with all the festive lights and the market along the Champs Elysees, but now the nights are getting lighter and days are getting warmer (by like a degree?), and it’s OFFICIALLY spring, I do remember why I love Paris so much at this time of year.
Cherry blossom at Notre Dame
Notre Dame itself is very gothic looking, a big medieval cathedral that towers over the Seine. In spring the trees that surround it break out into beautiful pink blossom, totally hiding the bottom level so it peaks out over the top. It’s a beautiful setting and lovely to walk through or admire from afar as you walk along the river. The pink blossom extends across to the Shakespeare & Co. bookshop as well, transforming the old medieval building into another pretty picture.
Sometimes put off by the weather street artists are a lot fewer in winter, but in spring they are everywhere you turn! They line the little pop up stalls by the river, literally the whole way along in central Paris, and at Montmartre the square is filled with them. After experiencing the pink blossom trees around Paris, you’re definitely ten times more likely to purchase even a small canvas showing the same scenes you’ve just witnessed first hand.
Located right in the centre of Paris in the 6th Arr. is the chateau style Luxembourg Palace and gardens. It’s very beautiful especially in spring, with extensive French and English gardens to wander around, an orchid and a historical fountain. The gardens can be enjoyed free of charge on their own, or you can buy tickets to go inside for a tour. The building has a long history of uses, for politics, royalty, a museum and even a prison at one point.
While the cafe culture never stops in Paris, it is obviously best enjoyed in the spring and summer sunshine. A glass of rose while watching the world go buy is literally unbeatable. My favourite can be found in the Village Royale. Their breakfasts are pretty amazing too. Paris in spring at its best!
Laduree at Easter
It’s obviously a very typical thing to do when in Paris, but you can’t really be there and not pay a visit to Laduree. The shop is fully decked out in it’s signature pastel tones year round, but the displays at Easter are extra special.
What better place to start your summer wardrobe shopping that in Paris?! There’s literally every shop imaginable, all the designers some of which even originated in Paris, and a trip to the French capital isn’t complete without even a small purchase. Even if you have to save for months! At least in spring your Christmas bills should be well forgotten about! I’ve bought myself anything from a butterfly Tiffany necklace, to my first pair of Louboutins in Paris, and it’s way more fun swinging those carrier bags and newly bought treats through the French capital than ordering online at home and having them delivered by DPD – trust me.
Paris Fashion week
So actual fashion week in Paris occurs before the spring, but all the runway collections are in the stores by now, and some are even on special displays in hotels. It’s fun to see them even if all you can do is dream and watch as the rich French folk try it all on for their summer retreats to St Tropez.
Sit in the Tuilleries
A walk through the Tuileries gardens is a must on any visit, but in the spring you can actually sit around the fountains on the picnic chairs provided without getting cold. You can pass hours there, it’s very quiet and peaceful for being the centre of the city, between Place de la Concorde and Le Louvre. You’ll find tourists and locals alike sat in the sun enjoying the weather, reading, playing music – very French.
Enjoy time on/by the river
The batobus is the best way to get around Paris, its cheap, the day passes are great and you can hop on and off at all the major attractions, as well as seeing the city from a different perspective while you’re chugging along. It can get pretty cold in winter, but in summer you can stand outside and enjoy it. Along by Notre Dame where you can get down on the banks to walk along the cobbled promenade it gets very busy with people just sitting by the river enjoying an ice cream and being outside.
Ride a merry go round
There are four main merry go rounds in Paris that I can think of, one outside Hotel de Ville in the square, one among the trees of the Tuileries gardens, one by the Eiffel Tower, and one at the bottom of Sacre Couer. The Sacre Couer one is my favourite, as it’s often quieter and a lot less kids. It’s definitely not as weird for adults to have a go in Paris either, it’s almost expected!
I’ve personally never been in Paris when the marathon has been on, but my dad ran it himself a few years ago and said the atmosphere was brilliant. He said running 26 miles was a lot more attractive when the streets of Paris provide the backdrop and running along the Champs Elysees was incredible. My mum went with him, and reports that it’s also very easy to kill the four hour running time in the spring, she enjoyed a cafe or two, and walks through the central gardens.
Other Paris posts
Pin this post!