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Paris in May

Enjoy the Full Bloom

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Enjoying the sun and poetic perspectives at the Parc Montsouris in Paris.

Enjoying the sun and poetic perspectives at the Parc Montsouris in Paris.

©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to About.com

Words that comes to mind when I think of Paris in May are flourishing and buzzing: the entire city is a hyperactive hive of visitors, lush blooms, and excitement. Tourism is at its hilt and even blase natives start to really see the city again, perhaps inspired by the infectious enthusiasm. If you're looking for a taste of the Paris you've seen portrayed in technicolor musicals, then visiting in May is for you. If you dislike crowds and want some of the city to yourself, however, I'd suggest you opt for another time of year.

Why to Love It:

May is a great time to enjoy the city's many beautiful Paris parks and gardens, read or discuss life's meanderings on a cafe terrace, or do some relaxed, entirely uncommitted window shopping in Paris' best shopping areas. May in Paris is also perfect for exploring the city with someone special, so be sure to check out our guide to the top romantic things to do in Paris.

A Few Highlights in 2013:

    May 18th: Museum Night-- As part of the global Museum Night event, Paris museums will open their doors free of charge to visitors until late until the night. Special events and illuminations await in many of Paris' major museums.

  • May 24th-27th: Artists' Open House in Belleville Galleries-- This annual event provides an exceptional opportunity to get to know some of Paris' contemporary artists and their work, as well as getting a glimpse of Parisian life from the inside. Nearly 250 artists open their doors to show off their work and spaces, daily from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

  • May 17th-June 5th: The French Open at Roland Garros-- Tennis fans should not miss one of France's most exciting and important tournaments. Tennis greats like Steffi Graf made their debuts at Roland Garros, and the French Open continues to host some of the world's unforgettable matches.

The May Thermometer

  • Minimum temperature: 10 degrees C (50 degrees F)
  • Maximum temperature: 18 degrees C (64.4 degrees F)
  • Average temperature: 14 degrees C (57.2 degrees F)
  • Average rainfall: 56 millimeters (2.2 inches)

How to Pack?

  • May in the city of light generally has both brisk and warm days, with average temperatures at around 57 degrees F. You might want to pack clothes that you can layer in case an unusually cool or warm day sneaks up on you. Bring light cotton clothes for sunny days, but also pack warm socks and a spring coat.

  • It's not usually excessively wet in May, but sudden thunderstorms are common. Pack an umbrella just in case one of these surprises you during a stroll or picnic.

  • Bring both closed-toe and open-toe shoes, if possible.. On hot days or excursions to the park you'll appreciate the open-toed pair, but you'll need a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes too, especially since visits to Paris usually involve lots of strolling-- not to mention metro stairs.

  • Consider bringing clothes for warm weather; you should have ample opportunities to laze around outside.

Find Travel Deals:

Plan ahead for your May trip by browsing for deals on Kayak (book direct).

Readers Respond: When is your favorite time of the year to visit Paris?

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