Springtime in Paris is rarely dull. The impression tends to be one of genuine rebirth, from bursts of color in the city's stately parks and gardens, to leafy green trees again lining the grands boulevards, to unusually laid-back, happy expressions plastered on locals' faces.
Whether you're heading to the French capital or just want a bit of seasonal inspiration to help you plan a future trip or figure out how to best spend your time, scroll down for a visual guide to le printemps in the city of light.
Spring Lounging on the Ile St Louis
The Ile St Louis is one of the more picturesque and elegant corners of Paris. Located near the historic central island known as the Ile de la Cité, St-Louis is an ideal place to lounge, picnic and enjoy the greenery and cool breezes off the Seine River during the springtime.
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Crowds assemble on the Ile St. Louis as soon as the mercury starts to edge back up (generally in mid-March). It may still feel a bit too cold for a long, lingering picnic until April or May, however.
The Eiffel Tower in Springtime Mode
Film crews tend to set up shots around the Eiffel Tower most frequently during the springtime months in Paris, since the painstakingly groomed flowers and plants around the tower add a naturally photogenic touch.
A walk on the Champ des Mars and on nearby Place de la Trocadero is always recommended on warm spring days and getting a panoramic view of the city from the tower's upper decks is very pleasant on a clear day.
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The Jardin des Plantes in the Springtime
Boasting dozens of varieties of plants, flowers and trees, well-groomed, wide lanes, and many benches, the elegant garden known as the Jardin des Plantes is one of the more pleasant places for a spring stroll in Paris, It offers a peaceful respite after a few hours of shopping, museum-going, or sightseeing.
Visiting with kids? The menagerie (zoo) at the Jardin des Plantes is a surefire way to entertain younger visitors, with its odd retro charm. Explore the historic Latin Quarter before or after a visit here.
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Sunbathers on the Seine, Circa 1956
This historic shot shows sunbathers on the Seine River in Paris during the spring of 1956. While the city has changed immeasurably since then (becoming, notably, much wealthier and offering a more modern infrastructure), the pace has remained easy and laid-back compared to other major metropolises.
Read related: These are the best places for picnics in Paris
Parisians working in the center of the city are still known to take their lunch breaks to picnic near the banks of the Seine, or to catch a few rays, much like the people in this vintage photo. After-work and weekend picnics and "apes" (drinks with small snacks) are also immensely popular.
Runners at the Paris Marathon, Classic Springtime Event
The Paris Marathon is one spring event that brings the city of light back to life, attracting thousands of eager limbs and thousands more spectators. This shot shows runners crowded on the iconic Avenue des Champs-Elysées. This is a yearly event that's well worth showing up to watch, or even to participate in, if you have the stamina and the will.
Spring at the Chateau de Versailles
A day-trip to the Chateau de Versailles is highly recommend in the spring months. The garden's extensive, impeccably groomed gardens offer an impressive variety of blooms and plants, and you can stroll around for hours without getting bored.
The French Open at Roland Garros: Coveted Spring Event in Paris
A shot showing the Roland Garros tennis stadium during the French Open in Paris. Roland Garros is one of the city's most popular annual spring events and attracts thousands of people each year to the matches.
- Complete Guide to the French Tennis Open in Paris
- Roland Garros in History: Past Winners of the French Open