Want to travel to Paris in May but not sure what to expect? This post will give you all the best practical tips on the weather, where to stay plus what to do!
With the onset of the gorgeous summer comes the month of May, identified in most parts of the northern world by cool refreshing drinks, swimming pools, and a minimum of one popsicle a day.
A paradise of pleasant weather, exciting festivities, and more, Paris in May is truly a delight!
Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using one of our links. It’s okay – We love all of the products we recommend anyway, and you will too! Also, that commission helps us keep this awesome free blog up to date! You can read our full disclosure here for more details!
You’ll get a chance to explore the city in the most pleasant weather (though you might also witness some rain), just as the summer crowds pick up and the city gets taken over by people from around the globe.
Visiting Paris in May is definitely a favorite time because of the endless opportunities to explore and learn more about the city.
So, are you ready to get to know more about your favorite city in May, the best things to do, where to stay and so much more? Continue reading to discover how to fully enjoy May in Paris.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Psst… Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.
The weather in Paris in May is pleasant and days on average are pretty sunny. While the days remain warm and pleasant, the evenings can get slightly chilly.
The month of May in Paris is also the time of frequent spring showers, so expect rainfall on some days during your trip.
On the brighter side, the sun rises at around 6:30 AM (a reasonable time to catch a Parisian sunrise) and sets by 9:30 PM, so the days are long and perfect to lounge in the beautiful Parisian gardens blooming with fresh spring flowers.
To understand more about the weather and how you can be best prepared for it, here are some specifics about the temperature in May.
- Temperature in Paris in May: 19.6°C (67°F) High and 10.9°C (52°F) Low with an average of 15°C (59°F).
- Average humidity in Paris in May: 68%
- Average days of rainfall in Paris in May: 13 days
If you’re searching for the best places to stay while in Paris in May (that range from budget-friendly to homestays), keep reading to find the best one for you!
Saint Georges Lafayette: Located in the 9th Arrondissement, Saint Georges Lafayette is a beautiful contemporary property where you can stay without hurting your wallet! You’ll have access to all the basic amenities and are sure to have a comfortable stay. Best of all, you’ll be within walking distance of the iconic Moulin Rouge, the streets of Montmartre, Opera Garnier, Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and more. With easy access to the Pigalle Metro station, you’ll have easy access to the city’s iconic monuments if you stay at this hotel!
Hotel Duquesne Eiffel: A typical Parisian property with a modern touch, Hotel Duquesne Eiffel is located in the 7th Arrondissement and has rooms with breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower. Besides that, you’ll be close to landmarks like Champs de Mars, Les Invalides, Luxembourg Gardens, and the Ecole Militaire Metro Station, connecting you to the rest of the city with ease. This hotel is known for its kind staff, bar lounge, and quintessential Haussmannian balconies where you can grab a drink with your loved one as the sun goes down!
Hôtel Raphael: If you’re searching for a place that exudes luxury, Hôtel Raphel, located in the 16th Arrondissement is the ideal choice. This 5-star establishment is known for its expansive terrace with panoramic views of the city, a gastronomic restaurant with a menu that an award-winning chef curates, and a fully-equipped sauna and fitness room. A short walk from Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, this iconic hotel will leave no stone unturned in providing luxury during your stay in Paris.
Citadines Les Halles Paris: Located in the 1st Arrondissement, this aparthotel is the perfect place for a vacation to the city of light. You’ll be a short walk from famous landmarks like the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Saint-Jacques Tower, Pompidou Centre, and the Châtelet-Les Halles Metro Station, which will get you to any place you wish to visit in the city. The apartment serves a buffet breakfast every morning and is equipped with meeting rooms, a business center, Wi-Fi, and other fundamental facilities. And the best part? It’s pet friendly, so you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home!
These are some of my recommendations but if you can’t see what you like, you can check out my complete list of Paris hotels with Eiffel Tower views or these hotels near the Louvre Museum if you prefer to stay near Mona Lisa.
But if you’d rather sleep in an apartment to have access to a kitchen and have a homey feel, here is my list of apartment rentals with views of the Eiffel Tower, these budget Paris apartment rentals if you’re on a budget, or these luxury vacation apartment rentals if you’re all about luxury.
Now that you know the practical tips for visiting Paris, here are the best things to do in Paris in May that you shouldn’t miss out on.
12 Things to Do in Paris in May
Below are some of the fun things to do in Paris in May!
1. have Fun at the largest funfair in France
Believed to be the oldest funfair in all of France, La Foire du Trone can be enjoyed in the city in April and May (specific dates depend on the year).
While the fair has a vibrant history that dates back many centuries ago, it continues to be loved by all in the springtime every year.
Held on the lawn of Pelouse de Reuilly, the fair is now home to nearly 350 stalls and rides.
It is heaven for kids looking for thrilling roller coasters, adults looking for some classic fun fair games, and everyone searching for quintessential fair food like popcorn and candy apples.
And as a bonus, on May 1st (Labor Day), the fair puts on a spectacular display of fireworks to commemorate the day!
What could sound more French than Paris having an annual Bread Festival on the first weekend of May?
Held at Parvis de Notre Dame, you’ll be able to enjoy the festival for free as the scent of fresh bread will swarm the streets around you.
At the festival, you’ll witness bread sampling stations, competitions (like the national baguette competition), live demonstrations, stalls to purchase every bread and bread-related product that comes to mind, and more.
The funfair is a great way to gorge on delicacies and learn more about fundamental French food like bread, especially on a rain-soaked May day in Paris.
May 1st is famously known as Labor Day, where all employees across the country get a paid leave, with only essential services open for business.
While entirely unrelated, May 1st is also celebrated as “May Day” in several European nations including France.
It is a tradition to honor love (in all forms) and is believed to have begun centuries ago in Western Europe.
In Paris, people pay homage to the time of the Renaissance and give loved ones, friends, and family Lily of the Valley flowers which have evolved to become a symbol of love and adoration.
As the day approaches, you’ll notice pops of this beautiful white flower in candy stores, at florists, and even at bakeries.
One of the most iconic things to do in Paris in May is to celebrate La Nuit des musées, which translates to the night of the museums and usually takes place on the 3rd weekend of May.
This tradition was started by Germany years ago and adopted by nearly 30 other European countries, France included.
During this time, the monumental museums in Paris like the Louvre, and Centre Pompidou remain open until late and offer free admission to the public.
A great way to save on museum entry tickets and explore the beautiful exhibits at nighttime, la Nuit des musées is something you can’t miss if you’re visiting the city in May.
If you’re thinking about what to do in Paris in May, the city comes alive with its famous jazz Festival called the “Festival Jazz a-Saint-Germain-des-Pres.”
The event celebrates the city and the music and the blend of the two (how the city was a source of inspiration for so many jazz classics).
You’ll get to witness famous artists and bands perform across various locations, get a glimpse of some astounding performances, and get a chance to mingle with the locals and tourists alike!
The gardens of Paris are indeed like nothing else in the world. Surrounded by countless Parisian monuments and the brilliant May weather, you must take advantage of the long days and picnic in the Parisian gardens.
There are so many parks to choose from such as Jardin du Luxembourg, Palais-Royal Garden, Jardin des Plantes, Trocadéro Gardens, and more.
Be sure to visit a local Parisian bakery, pick up some quintessential French desserts and pastries, make a quick run to the coffee shop for iced lattes, and carry a picnic blanket to lay on the ground to picnic in Paris in style.
7. Celebrate Fête de la Victoire With the Locals
Translated as Victory Day, May 8th is a public bank holiday celebrated as the day World War II ended.
On May 8th, 1945, the leader of the Free French Forces announced the end of the gruesome prolonged second world war that had caused so much devastation and loss across Europe and the rest of the world.
Traditionally, the day is commemorated with the head of the State paying respects to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the iconic Arc de Triomphe.
The day also involves a parade, plenty of ceremonies, church services, and other festivities that you can join in.
With the onset of the summer, the city begins to get crowded with tourists that have traveled far and wide to make it to Paris!
If you’re looking for a short getaway away from the crowds and hope to go on a day trip from Paris during your visit, there are many places just a short train ride away.
Two such places are the famous Palace of Versailles, the former residence of French royalty and one of the most beautiful castles near Paris, and the Loire Valley, a scenic valley in Central France, known for its signature white wines and for housing a number of opulent French castles.
Related post: Beautiful Cities Near Paris to Visit
The springtime in Paris is truly a sight to see, especially the flowers that bloom in May! The month is blessed with pleasant weather and spring showers which give way to the gorgeous lilac-colored wisteria.
You’ll be able to find them, particularly in Montmartre, down the historical Rue de l’Abreuvoir (which is home to one of the most loved cafés in Paris, La Maison Rose), and at Square Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet.
Other places include; Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, a charming restaurant on Île de la Cité, rue de Fourcy near the Seine, Grand Mosquée de Paris in the Latin Quarter, Square des Deux-Néthes in the 17th arrondissement, and many more.
One of the most incredible events in Paris in May is the French Open! One of the four grand slams that take place annually, the French Open is the royalty of tennis competition at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris.
The tournament begins in the latter half of May and if you happen to be a tennis aficionado or are simply looking for something fun and exciting, snagging a ticket to one of the qualifying matches of the competition is perfect!
The tournament is loved by people worldwide, so the tickets are usually booked well in advance.
So, if you want to watch an exhilarating tennis game, remember to plan your trip to the city accordingly and buy your tickets in advance.
Introduced back in 2015, the Taste of Paris festival takes place on the weekend in May and is a feast for the stomach, eyes, and soul!
The Grand Palais Éphémère or temporary Grand Palais hosts the event with renowned French and globally-acclaimed chefs cooking up a storm.
You’ll get to taste some of the scrumptious food from worldwide, prepared with precision and love.
It’s also a great place to immerse yourself in French cooking as you’ll have a chance to book a one-of-a-kind cooking workshop with some of the best cooks in the game and learn tips and tricks to try and bring the taste of Paris back home to your kitchen!
You’ll also learn a few facts about French cuisine in the process.
One of the most royal events of the sport, the Grand Paris Steeplechase, takes place in the city in May and is something you must watch if you love a good competition.
The competition’s history dates back to the 1870s when the course originated at Auteuil Racecourse.
The course has 23 obstacles and is considered a trial of stamina, speed, power, and courage, making the victory well-regarded in the horse-racing world.
Additional Things to Do in May in Paris
On top of the unique activities and Paris events in May, below are the “usual” things to add to your Paris itinerary.
13. Climb the Eiffel Tower
Regardless of when you visit Paris, climbing the Eiffel Tower should never miss on your bucket list.
You can check out my practical tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower, and before you go, make sure that you have your Eiffel Tower entry ticket to avoid wasting time in the long line.
14. Cruise the Seine
During May in Paris, the temperatures start getting warm which means that the Seine cruise will be enjoyable without you freezing if you opt for the uncovered cruise.
You can book this 1-hour Seine cruise to admire the landmarks of Paris like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Invalides, and more, but for a more memorable experience, I recommend booking this Seine dinner cruise where you’ll be able to enjoy the views while feasting on a 3-course meal.
15. Visit The Louvre Museum
One of the best places to visit in Paris in May is the Louvre Museum! Being the largest art museum in the world, it’s one spot you shouldn’t miss.
Since it’s usually crowded, make sure that you buy this timed-entry ticket to avoid wasting time, or go on this guided tour to know the history of the artwork and navigate the museum with ease with the help of a professional tour guide.
You can also learn more about the museum by reading my post on fun facts about the Louvre.
16. Explore Orsay Museum
If you’re more into impressionist or post-impressionist art, then one museum in Paris you shouldn’t miss is Orsay.
It has works of famous French painters like Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Edgar Degas, and so many more plus Van Gogh. (You can check out the best Van Gogh paintings in Orsay Museum not to miss.)
Not sure what to expect? You can check out my complete list of the best paintings in Orsay Museum.
17. Watch A Cabaret Show
Another thing to do when you visit Paris in May is to watch a cabaret show! There are 2 cabaret shows I recommend attending, especially if you’re visiting Paris for the first time.
The first is the Moulin Rouge cabaret show which is the most popular! The show is more traditional with fun and colorful attires and you can expect can-can dances.
The other one is Crazy Horse Paris! If you prefer a more s*nsual show that is also more modern, then this is the one I recommend.
As for Crazy Horse Paris, I recommend just going with this ticket that comes with Champagne as the one with dinner is not worth it in my opinion, since dinner is not served during the show. But if you still want to compare, then this is the ticket that comes with dinner.
18. Go on A Food Tour of Montmartre
One of my favorite Paris neighborhoods is Montmartre! With its cute streets, quaint cafes and restaurants, artistic history, and not forgetting the many landmarks it houses, it would be a shame to visit Paris in May and not explore it.
You can definitely explore Montmartre on your own or sign up for this Montmartre walking tour if you’re short on time and what to see the highlights, but I recommend seeing this district differently: By going on a food tour.
What To Wear In Paris In May + What To Pack
Here is a brief on what to pack for Paris in May plus what to wear. Packing for Spring in Paris can be a bit tricky since you need both warm and light clothes to suit the cold and warm weather but let’s look at the must-have items.
Umbrella: Yes, it does rain in Paris during May so take this sturdy and windproof umbrella to keep shelter.
Long-Sleeved Turtleneck Tops: This long-sleeved turtleneck top is perfect for those May chilly days.
Leather Jacket: Every girl needs a leather jacket in her closet and this one is my favorite to take to Paris.
Portable charger: Always stay connected even on the go by taking this portable power bank.
Warm socks: These Merino wool socks will keep your feet dry and warm at all times.
Alternatively, you can check out my complete list of what to wear in Paris Spring to know exactly what to pack.
FAQS About Visiting Paris In May
Is May a good month to visit Paris?
Yes, May is a good month to visit Paris! The weather is warm and enjoyable, the days are long and the crowds haven’t swarmed in! On top of that, May offers a tone of events to attend that wouldn’t be possible in other months of the year.
Is Paris crowded in May?
Unlike Paris in summer, May is usually not crowded! The crowds are starting to creep in but the streets are still walkable without encountering crowds of tourists! But you have to keep in mind that this is Paris which means that it will always have tourists, yes even in winter.
How should I dress in Paris in May?
How you should dress in Paris in May depends on the weather and we already know that it changes between warm and chilly throughout the month! So, I suggest carrying both clothes for warm days and those for chilly days; this includes a mix of summer floral dresses and some jackets. Overall, you should dress casually but smartly.
Is it rainy in Paris in May?
Yes, it rains in May in Paris! You can expect an average of 13 days of rain during the month.
How hot is Paris in May?
May is not what you would call hot but rather warm. Temperatures oscillate between 19.6°C (67°F) High and 10.9°C (52°F) Low with an average of 15°C (59°F).
Is May spring in Paris?
Yes, May is one of the Spring months in Paris! Other spring months are March and April.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Paris in May
Your trip to the beautiful city of Paris is bound to be one for the books, irrespective of the month you choose to visit.
However, with the gorgeous purple wisteria, pleasant weather, plethora of events and celebrations, and much more, a trip to Paris in May is an absolute dream and I hope that this post has helped you plan your trip with ease.
NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!
You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!
Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for
more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Best Things to Do in Paris in April
- What to do in Paris at night
- Best things to do in Paris in January
- What to do in pairs in February
- What to Pack for Paris in Winter
- Fun facts about Paris
- Best things to do in Paris in Spring
- Where to find the best views of Paris
- Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
- What to Pack for Paris
- Skip the line tickets for Paris’ popular attractions
- Interesting jokes about Paris
- Paris captions for Instagram
- Famous quotes on Paris
Was this post on what to do in Paris in May helpful? Then please consider sharing it with others.