Paris in the springtime

From culture to cuisine – what’s not to love?

Stroll through the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries with the flowers in bloom. Wander arm-in-arm along the banks of the Seine. Or dive into the myriad of events and festivals – from cinema and art to jazz and jogging. Spring is when the city really bursts into life.As well as boasting some of the world’s best hotels, Paris is alive with things to see and do at this magical time of year. Here are just some of our favourites:

For culture vultures…

Watch ground-breaking documentaries
From 23 March to 1 April the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival arrives at the Centre Pompidou. It’s the ideal place to see the latest in French and International documentary and experimental filmmaking. Sit back and watch the avante-garde in action.

Spend a night at the museum
On the third Saturday in May, the museums of Paris – and many other French cities – celebrate Nuit Des Musées. It’s one evening when they throw open their doors for free and welcome visitors late into the night. Many also hold special activities, shows, readings and concerts to mark the occasion.

For sporty types…

Race up the Eiffel Tower
You can’t miss the iconic Eiffel Tower. Most people choose to take the lift to the top but, on 15 March, it’s all about manpower. 128 elite and amateur athletes will race up the 1665 steps to the summit in the Vertical® challenge. All of the spaces are already taken for this year, but do drop by and cheer on the competitors.

Pound the pavements
If the Paris marathon (taking place on 8 April) seems a step too far, you could always try something a little shorter. There’s the Paris Half Marathon on 4 March. Or the Paris Color Run on the 15 April – an exuberant, eye-opening, kaleidoscopic event, held over 5km.

Catch the Six Nations action
As ever, the Six Nations will be drawing in rugby fans from far and wide. The tournament kicks off with France v Ireland on 3 February. And, on 10 March, France take on England. Both matches are held at the Stade de France and there’s sure to be a buzz around the capital.

For out-of-the-ordinary celebrations…

Celebrate Chinese New Year
2018 is the Year of the Dog and, on 16 February, Chinatown (in the 13th Arrondissement) will come to life with parades, paper lanterns and plenty of authentic, mouth-watering food.

Taste an award-winning baguette
Paris is renowned for its bread and pastries, so why not sample the best of the best? From 15 to 21 May the city will be holding a Fete du Pain outside the Notre Dame Cathedral. There will be plenty to see and do, including the chance to marvel at the best baguette of the year.

Share a bottle at Canal St. Martin
As the evenings get brighter and (hopefully) warmer, make a beeline for Canal St. Martin. It’s a lovely spot to sit outside, eat, drink and people watch. One of Paris’s best kept secrets, it’s a great way to meet the locals and see the Boho crowd in their element.

Satisfy your inner foodie
During the spring, the markets of Paris really come into their own. One of our favourites is the Marché Bastille which is crammed with local cheeses, saucisses, olives, fruit and more gourmet temptations than you could shake a baguette at. The food market takes place twice a week and, on Saturdays, food vendors make way for local artists and craftsmen.

For putting your feet up in style…

When it comes to places to stay, you’re spoilt for choice. Paris is home to some of Europe’s best hotels, including the boutique retreat Le Narcisse Blanc. Step out and explore the City of Light’s most dazzling sights then return and cocoon yourself in luxury. Recharge in the sublime spa. Or sample fine French cuisine at Le Narcisse Blanc’s restaurant, Cléo.

Settle in and savour Paris as it should be: romantic, cultural, beautiful, and utterly effortless. You can’t help but fall for its charms. Then the next time you hear Frank or Ella and wonder – “Why oh why do I love Paris?” – you’ll know what they’re singing about.