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The 50 Most Glorious Things To Do In Paris For May 2019

We love May in Paris — it feels like we're in the City of Eternal Spring. Walking almost anywhere in the city is a delight. With warmer weather we recommend you book a day trip to Versailles, Monet's gardens at Giverny, the D-Day beaches of Normandy, or a spectacular Loire Valley castle jaunt with tastings of local wines. And don't forget to book a skip-the-line tour of the Eiffel Tower !

Most Popular Activities

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

Why Stand in Line at at the Eiffel Tower?

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tour

The lines at the Eiffel Tower are always long, and that's particularly true during the lovely days of May. Since we know you don't want to spend your valuable time in Paris standing in line, we strongly recommend you sign up for a tour that lets you bypass the ticket lines. Click below to view readers' favorite tour. If you can't find your dates, check the Big List of Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tours….

La Marina de Paris Lunch Cruise on the Seine

Lunch Cruise on the Seine

Visitors are loving this fun, casual, and affordable lunch cruise along the Seine — you see so much of Paris while dining on a classic 3-course meal. A cruise down the city's famous river is something you must do while in Paris, so why not have lunch at the same time? Combine great dining with a tour of Paris. This lunch cruise is very popular, so book early.

Skip the Lines at the Louvre

Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Guided Tour

With nearly 10 millions visitors a year, the Louvre is another über-popular site in Paris, which again means long, long lines. But, a great tip is to book a guided tour of the museum, that leads you past the lines and right to the most famous works of art, also allowing you plenty of time to wander. Another tip — these tours sell out, so be sure to book early. Also see, How to Beat the Long Lines at the Louvre…

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Evening Tour of the Louvre + Wine Tasting

Better yet, go for our personal favorite. This full-evening activity combines three of our top activities — being in Paris, viewing world-famous art with a guide who can explain it all, and wine tasting with an expert sommelier in the most popular wine cellar in Paris. You also get to skip the lines at the Louvre!

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge + River Cruise

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge and Seine River Cruise

Experience the best of Paris in one fun-filled evening. Before your cruise you take time for a leisurely dinner on the Eiffel Tower at Restaurant 58 with its spectacular views of the city. Then, after the cruise, you're whisked to Montmartre for a cabaret show (complete with champagne) at the famous Moulin Rouge. Everything's been arranged for you, just sit back and enjoy. Also see, The 6 Best Evenings In Paris…

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Paris + Champagne! Is it any wonder that we love this cruise? You start at the front of the line, with priority access to your bateaux. On board you are seated in an exclusive area at the front of the boat. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery. And what scenery it is! Glide past world-famous monuments while sipping bubbly presented by your very own sommelier.

Paris-in-One-Day Sightseeing Tour

Paris-in-One-Day Sightseeing Tour

Make every minute count. This tour plays out like a lovely orchestrated piece of music. Highlights of the Louvre museum — check. Seine River cruise — check. Eiffel Tower lunch — check. The finalé is a skip-the-line visit to the 850 year-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral on the picturesque Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris. Everything is included, from entrance fees, lunch, to Seine river cruise. This is a superb package. Also see, The 6 Best Paris City Tours…

Bateaux Parisiens VIP Dinner Cruise with Live Music & Hotel Pickup

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

This VIP dinner cruise gets you a prime table at the front of the boat for the best views of the city's must-see attractions. As you dine aboard one of the classy Bateaux Parisiens boats, the band entertains you with live music while you take in the city lights. Hotel pickup is included as is champagne and wine. Also see, The Six Top Dinner Cruises in Paris…

Night Bike Ride + River Cruise

Paris Night Bike Tour

May is also a great month for a guided cycling tour around the city's most famous monuments and landmarks. Cruise around the ancient and modern streets of the city as you visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and glide down the Champs Elysées. Then you hop on a river boat for a nighttime cruise on the Seine.

Catacombs of Paris – Priority Access

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

The Catacombs tour is the eeriest of popular Paris activities. It takes you 130 steps underground to visit the final resting place of 6 million historic Parisians. It's a truly amazing, if creepy, place. It is also very, very popular, which is why we always choose a skip-the-line tour with an expert guide who also explains the history of this dark landmark.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne

Moulin Rouge Cabaret

We love evening in Paris — there's so much to do and see and there's a kind of magic in the air. And the Moulin Rouge is one of the top places to be — it's still the number-one rated nightclub in Europe. Take in the amazing cabaret show, sipping champagne as you marvel at the costumes, sets and dancers. You can also opt to combine a nighttime tour of Paris. Also see, 7 Ways To See The Hottest Show in Town…

Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends Night Walking Tour

Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends

On a warm evening in May take a tour of the dark side of the City of Light. Our readers love this walking adventure with an informative guide exploring the winding streets and hidden alleys of the city with over 2,000 years of history. That's plenty of time for lots of legends and stories to arise — about ghosts, the Black Plagues, the wars, and the unexplained. Also see, The 10 Best Walking Tours Of Paris…

EXCLUSIVE – Marie-Antoinette's Versailles

Chateau de Versailles + Marie-Antoinette's Trianon

What we love about this exclusive, small group tour is that it combines the best of Versailles with a dedicated visit to Marie Antoinette's fairytale getaway. Le Petit Trianon, and her idyllic hamlet, was the queen's private residence where she could escape the constraints of palace life. On this 5-hour tour, you visit Marie Antoinette's palace as well as the Versailles chateau and gardens. Round trip transportation from Paris is included.

The French Revolution Walking Tour

The French Revolution Walking Tour

History comes alive on this walking tour that takes you to the main sites of the French Revolution of 1789. The storming of the Bastille, the guillotines, the prisons, the Reign of Terror, the beheading of Marie Antoinette — you learn about all the famous (and infamous) events as you visit the places they actually happened.

Airport Transfers

Airport Transfer

Here is one of our best Insiders tips — pre-arranging transfer from the airport. We find it's comforting to be prepared and to know what's going to happen when you arrive. Readers love these affordable shuttle van services that take you right to your hotel and pick you up when you're ready to leave. It's convenient — and cheaper than a taxi. Also see, Airport Transfers – Our Complete Guide

VIP Private Airport Transfer

Airport Transfer

But, this is our very best tip — arrange to ride into Paris in a luxurious private car. You will value the comfort of having professional driver Manu, meet you at the arrivals gate to whisk you into the city in his well-appointed Mercedes S-Class

Paris Insiders Pass – NEW!

Paris Insiders Pass Discounts

Our very own Paris Insiders Pass saves money & time — you get into the museums for free and ride the Metro for free. But the big advantage is bypassing the long Paris lines. If you've ever stood in line for hours at the Louvre, you'll appreciate how important that is. Even better, we've arranged special savings for our readers. Use the discount code INSIDERS5 for extra savings. Also see, Complete Guide to the Paris Insiders Pass

The Top Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

Best of Versailles with Skip-the-Line Access + Grand Canal Lunch

Versailles Guided Tour & Grand Canal Gourmet Lunch

A symbol both of grandeur and of royal decadence — the chateaux and gardens of Versailles are don't-miss destinations when you're in Paris. It's an easy day trip, but instead of worrying about trains, maps and guidebooks, we recommend you go the royal route. Book a private van with a driver/guide to make the past come alive. Includes transportation to and from your hotel. This is likely to sell out.

VIP Versailles Tour With Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters

VIP Versailles

Feel like royalty as you slip past the guards and the velvet ropes to to see Versailles' secrets normally reserved for dignitaries. Here's what's in store on this VIP tour — Louis XVI's apartments, his personal library, the Royal Chapel (built for the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). Visit the Hall of Mirrors with a twist — you see it before the palace opens, before the angry mob arrives. We recently did this tour and there's nothing quite like it!

Versailles En Bicyclette – Day Tour

Versailles by Bike Day Tour

Make your visit to Versailles just a little bit different. Cycle the idyllic countryside around Versailles and shop the local markets for picnic supplies. You stop for an al fresco lunch in — you guessed it — the gardens of Versailles! Then use your priority-access ticket to explore the palace. Book early, this activity is likely to sell out.

Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

A Day In Champagne

Visit the Land of Bubbly as your private driver picks you up at your Paris address and whisks you away along the route des vins. At Reims, capital of the Champagne region, you tour the historic city, and visit the famous cathedral. There's lunch, of course, plus sampling a lot of bubbly at the famous producers! Can you think of a better way to spend a day? Also available as a private tour.

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Another Superior Champagne Day Tour from Paris

This small-group tour takes you directly to the Land of Bubbly for a full-day exploration. Running Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in May.

Loire Valley Chateaux + Loire Valley Wines

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Chateaux of the Loire Valley Day Tour

The beautiful Renaissance valley is known for more that just its famous chateaux. The Loire Valley also produces world-renowned wines. This tour includes guided tours of the 3 most famous castles. It also includes a wine tasting of the best varietals from the region — that all happens during a bountiful French lunch. It's like two trips in one glorious day! You skip the lines at the castles.

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Loire Valley's Luxurious Castles

If you want to concentrate on the castles then opt for this fun day trip from Paris, sans wine, that gets you to the three most important chateaux – Cheverny, Chenonceau and Chambord.

Versailles + Claude Monet's Gardens in One Day

Monet's Magical Gardens at Giverny

Start the day with a visit to the chateau and gardens of Versailles. You next visit the luscious gardens of Claude Monet in nearby Giverny at their peak of perfection in May. Here you will see his Impressionist world blossom in front of your eyes. On this small-group tour you are picked up at your Paris address and driven to both locations for guided tours. Lunch is also included on this very popular day trip from Paris.

Mont Saint-Michel, Loire Valley Chateaux + Wine Tasting

Mont Saint-Michel

Spend two days exploring the coast of Normandy, the castles of the Loire Valley, and regional wines on this popular tour from Paris. We're not sure which is more breathtaking — the "floating" island of Mont Saint-Michel or the Loire Valley chateaux. Luckily, you don't have to choose. Everything is included — tickets, guides, meals, accommodations, and a guided tasting of Loire wines on day two.

The D-Day Beaches of Normandy

D-Day Tours

74 summers have passed since the Allied Forces arrived onto the D-Day beaches of Normandy. Starting out from Paris, spend the day exploring the beaches, monuments and museums that mark the beginning of the end of World War II. Choose the small group option (8 person max.) and you will be picked up at your Paris hotel and delivered back at the end of the tour.

6 Essential Summertime Day Trips

Day Trips from Paris

There's so much you can see from Paris in one day, and these suggestions are just the beginning. To learn more, read our guide to the best long-day, summertime day trips that take you to historic Rouen, to the World War One battlefields, Bruges, and even London!

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Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Check with Booking.com to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!

Booking.Com Paris Hotel Deals
Find hotels in the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower.
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Classical Music, Opera & Ballet

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

Concerts at La Sainte Chapelle

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

La Sainte Chapelle

Now that the warm weather has returned, so have classical music concerts at the acoustically-perfect La Sainte Chapelle, the 13th-century gem of a church on Île de la Cité. It's no wonder this is travelers' favourite venue for music in Paris. Sitting among the amazing stain glass while surrounded by the music of Vivaldi, Pachelbel, and Albinoni is an opportunity not to be missed. Highly recommended.

Hear Music at Notre Dame

Music at Notre Dame

Flying buttresses, menacing gargoyles, soaring spires & the occasional hunchback, Notre Dame is also home to one of the world's largest pipe organs. A concert here will be a top highlight to your trip to Paris. Added bonus — only ticket holders are allowed into Notre Dame during the evening concerts.

Église de la Madeleine

concerts at la Madeleine

The church is a powerful legacy from both the last kings of France and its first emperor — Napoleon. Today it's a popular venue for classical music concerts. And, after the performance, you're in the center of Paris ready to explore.

Performances At Église Saint-Ephrem

Performances At Eglise Saint-Ephrem

Eglise Saint-Ephrem also has had a rocky history. The first church was built on the site in 1335, for Italian students living in Paris. In 1677 Irish priests built a new church here. The current church was built in 1733, ceased religious activities in 1825, and was given to the Syrian Catholic Church in the 1920s. Today its also a popular venue for classical music.

The Best of Classical Music in Paris

The Best of Classical Music in Paris

This month is a great time to be in Paris to take in a concert at one of the many historic churches and cathedrals that span the city landscape. Choose from concerts performed at La Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Saint Ephrem, Saint Germain des Prés, or ballets and opera at Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille.

The Top Food & Wine Activities

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

Travelers' Favourite

Chocolate and Pastry Walking Tour

We always say that Paris and wine go together? And that also applies to Paris, chocolate & pastries. Is it any wonder that we (and our readers) like this guided walking tour? It gives you a chance to get behind-the-scenes of Paris dessert specialities, along with plenty of sampling of course, including regional specialities.

Small-Group Gourmet Food Walking Tour

Gourmet Walking Tour

Take a walk with a culinary expert to discover the foods that France is most famous for. Start at a traditional fromagerie to learn about the country's cheeses. Move on to freshly baked baguettes. The tour takes in French wine and even foie gras! And, don't worry — any calories you take in at delicious taste samplings are going to be burned off by the walk!

Eiffel Tower Gourmet Dinner

Eiffel Tower Gourmet Dinner

It might be hard to imagine dining on top of the most popular monument in the world. But you can do just that by booking a table at restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel with its spectacular food, wine, and views above Paris. In fact, we'll share with you the only link that guarantees a window seat for you and that Special Someone. In Paris. On the Eiffel Tower. At night. Also see, Guide to the Eiffel Tower restaurants…

Paris Cooking Class & Food Market Tour

Market Tour & Classic French Cooking

Hone your French cooking skills in a small-group cooking class in Paris. Sign up to join a local chef to tour a local fresh food market, then return to the Paris cooking studio to create a stellar three-course meal. You will prepare a delicious lunch — including entree, main course and dessert — and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a glass of wine. Class size is limited to 8.

The Food & Wine of the Marais – NEW!

Food & Wine of the Marais

This is a new food tour that walks you through the Marais to visit the top food & wine shops in the quartier , tasting the best of French foods like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine. You start your tour at the oldest food market in the city. This one is garnering high praise from satisfied travelers.

Lunch on the Eiffel Tower Plus Access to Level Two

Lunch on the Eiffel Tower

Combine a priority access visit to the 1st and 2nd levels of the Eiffel Tower followed by 3-course déjeuner at the Tower's famous gourmet restaurant. You are met by your hostess at the base of the tower who conducts you past the long lines to the elevators. It's a wonderful way to lunch while you overlook the sights of Paris.

Wine & Champagne Masterclass

Wine Tasting

On an evening in Paris, in an elegant wine cellar, immerse yourself in the wonders of French wine during this introduction and tasting led by a wine expert. Learn about the country's wine regions and taste the wines, with guidance from your sommelier. This Masterclass also provides the rare opportunity to taste some of the finest champagnes.

The Best Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

Fête du Travail – May Day

May Day

Next to Bastille Day, May Day is the most popular holiday of the year in France. Most shops and museums are closed to celebrate France's Labor Day. Be on the look-out for lily-of-the-valley flowers which are a symbol of good luck in France. You'll see them for sale at flower vendors on nearly every street corner.

• Wednesday, May 1

The French Open

The French Open

This Grand Slam tennis tournament is the only one played on red clay. The French Open starts during the last week of May at Roland Garros stadium. If you're a tennis fan, this is one of the most dramatic tournament of the year. Expect to see plenty of red clay flying.

• May 26 to June 9, 2019
Website

Foire de Paris – The Grand Paris Expo

It's the largest home show in Paris and has been for 112 years. Discover the latest French decorating trends (who doesn't want in on that one?). More than 3,500 brands from Europe give you a chance to discover all the latest French house and home trends.

• Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles
• April 27 to May 8, 2019
Website

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La Fête de la Victoire
  • On this French National Holiday the President of France will lay flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honor the liberation of France.
    • Wednesday, May 8, 2019
    • Arc de Triomphe

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Jazz Festival at Saint-Germain-des-Prés
  • Hear top jazz performances in the heart of Paris.
    • May 16 to 27, 2019
    Website

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Nuit des Musées
  • It's an all-nighter at Paris museums. Free museum entrance, plus they stay open until the wee hours.
    • May 18, 2019
    Website

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Taste of Paris
  • Join top chefs and food & wine producers, with a line-up of dazzling cooking demonstrations and tastings.
    • Grand Palais
    • May 9 to 12, 2019
    Website

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Fête du Pain
  • Only in France, folks. It's a festival of bread where the prize for the best baguette of the year is awarded.
    • May 15 to 21, 2019
    Website

What's On at the Museums

Things to Do in Paris May 2019

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Calder-Picasso

Calder-Picasso

This exciting exhibition examines the similarities and the differences between these two great 20th-century artists. Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso changed the way we look at art, and perhaps the world.
Musée Picasso
• February 19 to 25 August 25, 2019
Information

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Franz Marc and August Macke – 1909-1914

Discover and learn more about two major artists of German Expressionism — Franz Marc (1880-1916) and August Macke (1887-1914).

  • Musée d'Orsay
  • Ends June 17, 2019

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Archaeology Goes Graphic

Follow in the footsteps of archaeologists to see how they discover treasures, unearth objects, classify them and interpret the past. All done in comic book form!

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Engraving for the King – The Chalcography Collections
  • Rotonde Sully, Louvre
  • Ends May 27, 2019

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Forgotten Kingdoms – Heirs of the Hittite Empire
  • Hall Napoleon, Louvre
  • April 17, 2019 to July 29, 2019
  • Information

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Black Models – From Géricault to Matisse

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