Things to do in Paris in May
Paris in May is one of the best times of the year to visit the City of Light. The sun is back, flowers are blooming, terraces are full of cheerful Parisians, and great activities take place during this month. Read on to find out more about all the best things to do in Paris in May!
Buy a bouquet of lilies
On the first day of May, the locals buy bouquets of lilies to offer to their loved ones! On this day, we comemorate Labour Day and the arrival of warmer weather! Is the custom of buying lilies related to the Labour Day? It is not, let me explain how it began.
First, the Celts celebrated the beginning of summer on May, 1st and considered the lilies, which bloomed during this time of year, to be a lucky charm! Then, during the Renaissance era, May, 1st, used to represent the Celebration of Love. For this celebration, people used to make flower crowns to offer to their significant others. As the lilies bloom during this time, they were frequently used for the making of the crowns. Around this time, the King Charles IX received a few lilies as a lucky charm on a first of may. This is when he decided to offer lilies to all the women of the court on the first day of May every year.
This custom remained to our days. Everyone can sell lilies on the streets, there are no formalities nor taxes on this day. So you will easily find a lilies seller on the streets around Paris. Do as the locals and get a few lilies for the people who matter to you and wish them good luck!
Saturday Night Fever at Museums night
Each year, most European museums open during the night and propose many different activities, such as concerts, quizzes, light shows, fluorescent make up, and much more. Usually, everyone from all ages participate. It is so much fun! This year, the Museums Night happens on May, 18th. You will have to check each museum program, to see which one suits better your interests!
It is the opportunity to see a different aspect of museums from which we are used to. Also spending a saturday night at a museum is pretty unusual and cool. Visiting museums during the night is really interesting. It is nice to see how interested people are in culture: sometimes the queues are unbelievable! What I mean is that making friends during the queue is likely to happen! This creates a very friendly atmosphere. Paris in May is much livelier during such nights.
Treat yourself at: Foire de Paris
The Foire de Paris (Paris fair) goes on for two weeks, from the 27th of April until the 8th of May. There are more than 3000 exponents presenting and selling their products. Paris Fair exhibitors are divided into three main themes: gastronomy, housing, fashion and beauty. I can assure you will be amazed by the quantity of innovating and top-quality products that are to be launched. It is a unique chance because you will get to see and try the products before anyone else!
You can go to the housing area to take a look at the most incredible handmade decorations for your home, then you might want to go to the Fashion and Beauty area get a massage and try the best-smelling 100% natural soaps, and to finish, head to the Gastronomy area to discover and taste new flavours, unique cocktails but also traditional dishes, as well as exotic food you won’t be able to try anywhere else! Spoil yourself, treat yourself, and be ready to travel through senses and discover new stuff from stand to stand. Plus, this year is pretty different from the previous fairs editions, because overseas islands-inspired parades happen every single day during the whole fair! This year’s Foire de Paris will definitely bring colorful and one-of-a-kind items to you!
Be ahead of your time and attend this fair because it is, for sure, one of the most eclectic things to do in Paris in May.
Relax at Flowery parks
Paris in May is super colorful and all the trees are flowery again! The best places to enjoy Spring are ovbiously parks and gardens. To lay down on the grass and to take a nap is the best! It is one of my favorite things to do in Paris. If you want to relax, just prepare some lunch and do a picnic in one of our parks or gardens. My favorite parks to enjoy a sunbath and admire flowers are Buttes Chaumont, Montsouris and Vincennes’s floral park.
Little tip: If you want to feel as if you were in Japan, just go to the Paris suburbs, in Sceaux’s Park, and sit under the cherry blossoms.
Music to your ears at Jazz Festival
From the 16th of May to the 27th of May, the Jazz Festival happens again for its nineteenth edition!
Saint Germain des Prés is well known for its intellectual and classy atmosphere, and also for its great jazz clubs. Every year, the neighborhood is the heart of this jazz festival that gathers young talents as well as experienced and famous musicians. Conferences, exhibitions and concerts (some of them are free) are organized, sometimes in unusual places. For example, in heritage Paris settings such as the Paris-Sorbonne University, the Church of Saint-Sulpice, the Musée de Cluny, and many more. This festival is a must for all jazz lovers!
Take two of our free walking tours: The Saint-Germain tour and the Latin Quarter tour
Since you’re in the neighborhood for the Jazz Festival, it would be a shame to miss some of our free walking tours! The Saint-Germain and the River tour starts the 19th of April and goes until the 15th of October. You will find out where Picasso painted his greatest work “Guernica”, which can now be seen in real life at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, you will explore the Paris of Jazz, and learn a lot about the city’s history, arts and fashion. Our guide will lead you through the neighborhood giving advices about the best restaurants, bars and clubs. You will feel like a local!
Another free walking tour I highly recommend is the Latin Quarter Left Bank tour. From the 19th of April also, an extra tour will be added everyday. The tour starts everyday at 11 am and a second one starts at 2.30 pm. You will feel like a student again in the Paris where students and masters have perfected the art of student lifestyle for centuries. You will discover how was the neighborhood a source of inspiration for Picasso, Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and Cyrano de Bergerac. This tour will increase your thirst for knowledge and give life to your intellectual projects.
Join tennis fans at Roland Garros
The end of the month marks the beginning of the famous French tennis contest: the Roland Garros. If you’re interested, a ticket for the small tennis courts is not that expensive. Nonetheless, if you are a tennis fan and want to see your favorite players, the ticket prices for the contest in general and for the finale are obviously more expensive (it starts at 140€). But Roland Garros atmosphere is a really nice experience. The place is full of tennis lovers with their tennis balls waiting for their champions to sign it. You often hear cheers from Chatrier and Lenglen courts. It is a great opportunity to share a sporty and friendly moment amongst tennis fans.
I hope you enjoyed our selection of things to do in Paris in May. As you can see, those events are unusual but so much fun! May is one of my favorite months of the year, because it’s almost summer, and you can see people are already much more relaxed! But let me give you some advices about what type of clothes you should bring for your stay in Paris, because the weather in May is quite unstable. Do not forget a rain coat or an umbrella, as well as closed toed shoes, it might rain! During the night, it can get very cold, so a pullover might come in very handy! However, in May temperatures are getting warmer and the sun begins to shine. Do not hesitate to bring your sunglasses and some t-shirts, especially for the end of the month! À très bientôt!
Contact us for further information, we will make sure you spend the best time of your life in Paris!