Bonjour sunshine and au revoir three layers of sweaters. It’s springtime in Paris! Birds are chirping along the Champs-Élysées, cherry blossoms are in bloom at the Palais Royal, and your beret is perfectly titled. A trip to the City of Love this time of year guarantees beating the summer crowds (and heat). It also guarantees your photos won’t need filters — spring has a glow all its own. Before you start packing, make sure you know what you’ll be doing once you hit the city’s stylish streets. Read on for our top five things to do in Paris this spring.
1. Stroll through Pere Lachaise
Permanent home to Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Chopin, visiting the Pere Lachaise Cemetery feels a bit like walking through an enchanted labyrinth. This quiet cobblestoned corner of the city is a peaceful place to stroll. What’s more, it’s the resting place of the men and women who changed art, music, literature, and history. Head here to take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern-day Paris.
2. Take charge with an e-bike
Not to knock a good walk (we love them), but if you’re crunched for time, zipping from one patisserie to the next is très facile. Our tip? Seeing the city by electric bike on a tour of Paris’ hidden gems. After all, there’s a lot more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Instead, see the city’s lesser-known treasures as you cycle over quiet bridges, along shaded parks, and stop at trendy cafes for a tasty treat. And that electric motor? It comes in handy after you’ve stuffed yourself with cheese and baguette.
3. Say “oui” to your inner Parisian
Montmartre is the hub of all things Paris. Home to the Place du Tertre, or Artist’s Square, and the Moulin Rouge, taking an afternoon stroll through this neighborhood is highly recommended come springtime. The district’s winding streets won’t be packed, so you’ll have time to window shop at your own vacation-appropriate pace. There might even be room on the Sacré-Cœur’s lawns to take a break and enjoy a café crème in the sun.
4. Live like (pre-revolutionary) royalty
Only a hop, skip, and jump away from the city, the Palace of Versailles is world-famous for a reason. A tribute to excess, the palace is renowned for the Hall of Mirrors, as well as gardens manicured to a royal T. A springtime visit means skipping the crowds and getting to enjoy some pretty perfect weather. Just make sure you’ve got your camera fully charged for some seriously drool-worthy interior design.
5. Hit the town with a local
For all of its marquee attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, Paris also has some nooks known only among natives. By hitting the town with a local, you can discover some of the most Insta-friendly spots the city has to offer. Spend an afternoon in the Promenade Plantée or explore smaller galleries full of incredible art. Don’t forget to ask for tips on the best foodie spots in your area — with a culinary scene as diverse as this one, you could have one of the best meals of your life from a hole-in-the-wall takeaway.