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Paris in May: tips and recommendations to make your trip unforgettable

Spring is coming to an end, everything is open, and the best thing is that in May you will enjoy great weather and amazing events without suffering the crowds!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Paris in May: tips and recommendations to make your trip unforgettable

Night at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. | ©Craig Philbrick

Whether you're in the mood for some excellent brunches or you prefer a visit to a quiet museum, both fit in this spring month that puts an end to the green stage of Paris. So don't forget to visit a green space or two to say goodbye to this season in style.

The city of light always has a lot to offer throughout the year but May is a month full of fun, art and shows. La foire du Trone, May Day or the Bread Festival are just some of the many unique events of this month. Let's get started!

1. Don't miss the Foire du Trone

Entering Foire du Trone| ©Marcel Jarron
Entering Foire du Trone| ©Marcel Jarron

At the Throne Fair you can enjoy various circus attractions from the quietest to the most energetic, from the car tracks to the most striking Ferris wheels and roller coasters. Admission is completely free; however, you have to pay to get on the attractions a price ranging between 2 and 10 euros. The throne fair takes place between the months of April and May, so if you missed the opening in April, you should not miss the peak of the event, where you can enjoy the 350 attractions that populate more than 10 hectares.

The fair takes place at the Pelouse de Reuilly (Vincennes Forest) from 12 noon to 12 midnight. If you go by metro I recommend line 8, and if you go by streetcar, line T3.

The Foire du Trône is undoubtedly the oldest fair in France. Its history dates back to the time of Lotario, in the year 957, but it was not until 1805 when a small amusement park appeared that has been gaining fame to become what is the fair we know today.

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2. Spice up your trip with the Taste of Paris

Taste of Paris| ©Monparingo
Taste of Paris| ©Monparingo

The Grand Palais will be transformed into a showcase for the finest restaurants and artisanal food producers for four days of gourmet food tastings, cooking shows and meetings with France's top chefs. The event usually falls in mid-May.

You can sample exclusive dishes in small proportions and served by both young and emerging chefs as well as Michelin-starred chefs in restaurants under the iconic glass dome of the Grand Palais.

Celebrity chefs such as Anne-Sophie Pic, Frederic Anton, Gregory Marchand and Kei Kobayashi will be present at the Theatre des Chefs for master classes and special workshops. For more information, feel free to visit the event's website. You're sure to enjoy it!

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3. Take a Stroll through the Paris Street Art Festival

Street Art of the City| ©InfoParis
Street Art of the City| ©InfoParis

This annual festival celebrates the art of street performance along the Canal Saint Martin and throughout the 10th arrondissement. The wonderful performances and festive atmosphere make this a fantastic way to spend the day. If you're in Paris at the end of May, be sure to take a detour to check out this event! Also, if you are traveling to Paris with children, don't forget to bring them with you to this event.

This free festival features street performers of all kinds: clowns, circus acts, magicians, puppet shows, music, theater and more. Near the canal there are several places to eat, including Parisian creperies.

The energy of the open event is also transmitted to the 18th and 19th arrondissements especially near the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, an area where the Parisian tourist buses also pass. In any case if you want more information I recommend you to visit the event's website.

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4. Bread Festival in Paris

Bread of the Bread Festival| ©Grace
Bread of the Bread Festival| ©Grace

The festival is located in Paris Notre Dame, there are live demonstrations, sampling stations and the opportunity to purchase award-winning bread throughout the duration of the festival.

Held annually during the first weekend in May, the Paris Bread Festival celebrates all things baguette, croissant and French bread.

If there is one thing the neighborhoods of Paris are known for in the morning, it is the beautiful smell of homemade bread, so imagine what it's like to wander those streets in the middle of the bread festival , you can't miss it!

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5. Enjoy the music at the Paris Jazz Festival

Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis
Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis

Elegant boutiques, historic cafes and world-famous hotels: Saint Germain des Prés is known for many things, but above all for its annual jazz festival.

The annual event is usually held in mid-May and you can enjoy recitals by jazz legends at the Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe, for more information on rates and schedules visit the event's official site.

Without a doubt, this is one of the May events you should not miss. And if you love jazz music, regardless of whether you go to Paris for a single day, you should consider it.

Some of the concerts are free to enjoy, so don't forget to visit the event's website for more information.

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6. Join a Night of Museums in Paris

Façade of the Museum at Night| ©Lonni Besançon
Façade of the Museum at Night| ©Lonni Besançon

The night of the museums sees many of the best Parisian museums open their doors for free. The event takes place on May 18 and sees the participation of many of the most famous cultural centers.

If you love art and are looking for an inspiring evening stroll through some of the most interesting museums in Paris, feel free to visit the event's website to stay up to date.

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7. Go to the Fête de la Victoire

Taking Photo at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©Sebastien Gabriel
Taking Photo at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris| ©Sebastien Gabriel

During this World War II Victory Day ceremony, the President of France lays flowers at the Arc de Triomphe to honor the liberation of France.

It was on May 7, 1945 that the Nazis officially surrendered to the Allies, and the final battle took place on May 8, marking the end of World War II. Although celebrated for decades, it was in 1981 that President Francois Mitterrand declared Victory Day a French national holiday. So don't forget to stop by the Arc de Triomphe on May 8 with a sprig of flowers symbolizing peace.

8. Moments of peace at the Yoga Paris festival

Yoga Festival| ©Clothilde Berruet
Yoga Festival| ©Clothilde Berruet

The Yoga Festival Paris is an annual event and one of the largest of its kind in France. For four days, visitors will be able to meet experts in yoga and similar disciplines. 90 free yoga classes will be offered in three studios! Also on the agenda are conferences focusing on self-care and nutrition. There are also healing workshops and yoga master classes. The program is a blast and will take place at the Porte de la Villette Convention Center.

9. Enjoy the May Day festivities

Cruise near the Eiffel Tower| ©Heather (Gruber) Williams
Cruise near the Eiffel Tower| ©Heather (Gruber) Williams

May 1st is a very special day in Paris when the Pelouse de Reuilly park is completely illuminated thanks to fireworks, colored lights. The fountains are not left out either and participate in this day with some water shows. Undoubtedly, the park becomes one of the best places to be at night in Paris. Given the proximity of the park to the Seine River, you can also focus your attention on the illuminated cruises along the Seine River.

Today, La Fête du Travail is a public holiday, which means that almost everything is closed. In France, one of the most beautiful traditions that takes place on May 1 is the gift of lily of the valley flowers, which are known as 'muguet' in French. This tradition dates back to Celtic times where giving these flowers meant that summer in Paris is very near.

Walking around the city of Paris beyond the park you will see a lot of atmosphere fromstreet vendors selling bell-shaped flowers to union marches everywhere.

10. Take a day trip to the Loire Valley

Loire Valley| ©Pedro Szekely
Loire Valley| ©Pedro Szekely

With everything in bloom and summer in Paris on its way, there is perhaps no better time to enjoy the Loire Valley without the crowds than in May. Remember that spring in Paris doesn't last forever, and taking in the beauty of the Loire Valley in May is not the same as doing so in the height of summer, and even less so if you go to Paris in winter.

Best known for its world-famous abundance of French châteaux, all the châteaux are actually open, while there are still far fewer tourists than in the real high season.

Weather in Paris in May

Pantheon in Paris,| ©Moonik
Pantheon in Paris,| ©Moonik

Summer is finally on the horizon, the days are getting longer and the weather is finally getting warmer. Average temperatures in the French capital for the month of May fluctuate between 11 and 19 degrees Celsius, which means that while the temperature is pleasant it is not warm enough to walk around in summer clothes. Like the rest of the spring, rain showers are always likely, so be sure to bring your umbrellas!

What to Wear in Paris in May

Preparing Luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich
Preparing Luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich

In warmer temperatures, it is best not to bring thick jackets or coats . While temperatures can reach 20 degrees, nights remain cool, so it's imperative to bring a warmer jacket so you don't stay cooped up in your lodging at night watching TV. Skirts with tights, t-shirts with thin cardigans and comfortable flat shoes are some of the most usual outfits for this month of the year in Paris.

Other things to do in Paris in May

Picnic in Versailles| ©Viator
Picnic in Versailles| ©Viator

You can't visit Paris during the spring and not enjoy a Parisian picnic, or two, (Or three!) And when it comes to Paris in May, there's no shortage of good weather to make the most of the late spring flowers and grassy green plains.

While many people claim that Paris lacks parks compared to other European cities like London, you'll see how that's not an entirely correct statement!

Paris in May

View from the Montparnasse Tower in Paris| ©Guilhem Vellut
View from the Montparnasse Tower in Paris| ©Guilhem Vellut

While it is true that it is not the month with the least number of tourists, there is no color if we compare it with the summer months in Paris, where the tourist influx soars. Therefore, if you like to enjoy good weather without the exaggerated crowds, May is a good choice without a doubt.

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