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 !
|Top Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Top Food & Wine Activities|
|All The Best Events in Paris||Classical Music, Opera & Ballet||New Exhibits at the Museums|
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….
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…
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.
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…
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!
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 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.
Here's yet another perfect evening in Paris — dining on the Eiffel Tower and then ending the evening with a nighttime river cruise. You begin with skip-the-line tickets to get you up to tower to restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel. On this night you have two stunning views of the City of Light — from up above, at the tower; and from a bateau cruising along the Seine.
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. Also see, The 6 Best Paris City Tours…
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.
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.
These are two of the most visited attractions in Paris and this special package lets you skip the line at both the Louvre and the bell towers of Notre Dame. It also includes a guided tour of the cathedral, and of Île de la Cité, the island where Notre Dame is located, as well as a 3-hour guided tour of the Louvre, with the all-important priority access. This is a very good deal.
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. Also see, 7 Ways To See The Hottest Show in Town…
On a warm evening in May take a tour of the dark side of the City of Light. Our readers have loved 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…
Musée d'Orsay is in the same league as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. That is, the only way to avoid the long lines at these mega-popular attractions is to book a skip-the-line tour that takes you in through the priority entrance. This Impressionist museum is utterly fantastic… and very busy. After the two-hour tour ends, you're free to spend as much additional time as you like in the museum. Also see, The Top 10 Ways To Skip The Lines In Paris…
This new VIP city tour covers a lot of Paris in one day. Two great features are skipping the lines (at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower) and hotel pick-up and return. The exclusive, small-group tour, ensures personal attention, and your expert guide leads you through each of the attractions & neighborhoods.
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.
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 us into the city in his well-appointed Mercedes S-Class. Really, it's the only way to do it! Questions about Manu's service? Ask us…
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.
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!
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.
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.
This small-group tour takes you directly to the Land of Bubbly for a full-day exploration. Running Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in May.
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.
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.
In May the luscious gardens of Claude Monet are at their peak of perfection. For 43 years Monet used them as his inspiration. Here you will see his Impressionist world blossom in front of your eyes. You are picked up at your Paris address, driven through the pastoral countryside with plenty of time to visit Monet's pink mansion, rambling gardens and the famous Japanese bridge.
VERSAILLES + GIVERNY = ART + ARCHITECTURE IN ONE DAY
Small-group tour with hotel pick-up. Also available as a private tour.
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 chateau. Luckily, you don't have to choose. Everything is included — tickets, guides, meals, accommodations, and a guided tasting of Loire wines on day two.
There's so much you can see from Paris in one day, and these suggestions are just the beginning. To learn more, read our complete guide to historic D-Day landing beaches, to the World War I battlefields, Disneyland Paris, and even London!
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!
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.
Opera & ballet lovers unite! Shakespeare's timeless and universal love story is told through opera and dance with modern choreography by Sasha Walz and classical music by Hector Berlioz. These final performances will sell out quickly, so book now!
• Opera Bastille
• May 2 & 4, 2018
Fall under the spell of Parsifal, Wagner's final opera. Based on the knight Percival and his quest for the Holy Grail, the three-act opera was first staged in Bavaria in 1882. Performed in German with English and French subtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• May 5, 10, 13, 20 & 23
Two breathtaking operas in one performance. The night begins with Ravel's Spanish Hour, a comedie musicale set in Spain, about a clockmaker and his unfaithful wife. Then it's Puccini's libretto Gianni Schicchi, which premiered 100 years ago in New York. Performed in French with English surtitles.
• Opera Bastille
• May 17, 19 & 27
Music by Beethoven, Schonberg, and Bartok, choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker with dancing by the Les Etoiles of the Paris Ballet corps. The choreographer's work is presented in three parts: Quatuor #4, Die Grosse Fuge & Verklarte Nacht.
• Palais Garnier
• May 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12
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.
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.
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.
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.
Didn't we just say that Paris and wine went together? Well, how about Paris, chocolate and pastries? Is it a 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.
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!
Would you really expect to get a fine dinner on top of the most popular monument in the world? Well, it's true, and you can book your table that gives you a view across Paris. In fact, we've given you the only link that will guarantee you a window seat for you and that Special Someone. In Paris. On the Eiffel Tower. At night.
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.
Paris and wine simply go together, so take the chance to learn about the country's wine regions and taste the wines, with guidance from an expert sommelier. We particularly like the 2-hour grand cru tasting — it provides the rare opportunity to taste some of the finest wines of France. It all takes place in a charming wine bar very near the Louvre.
Combine a glamorous dinner in Paris with sights of the city's must-see attractions on this 3-hour evening sightseeing dinner cruise aboard one of the classy Bateaux Parisiens boats. As you dine, 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…
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.
This new activity is pretty much three things in one. You dine on a 3-course lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel, the restaurant on the first level of the tower. (You have priority-access tickets, of course.) But you also have tickets to get you to the second level and even to the very top for a birds-eye view of Paris. Once you've taken it all in, there's a river boat at the foot of the tower waiting to take you on a cruise of the famous river.
Take a culinary jaunt up the hill for delicious tastes and artistic discoveries at every turn. Sample crusty baguettes, tender crepes, cured speciality sausages and a glass or two of wine at the many charming wine bars along the route. As you taste your way around the neighborhood you'll also learn about the many hidden & artistic landmarks of Montmartre.
Pianist Jean-Francois Zygel will play a benefit concert for the French charity Partage dans le Monde (Sharing in the World), which carries out humanitarian aid in Nepal & India. Also appearing will be Nicola Sergio and a quartet of jazz musicians.
• Salle Gaveau
• May 22, 2018
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.
• Tuesday, May 1
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 27 to June 10, 2018
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
• Ends May 8
After training as an engraver, Israël Silvestre (1621-1691) turned to cityscapes. He started with small drawings of his hometown Nancy, his later works were panoramas of Paris, with royal festivities and of the cities conquered by Louis XIV. This series also includes his beautiful drawings of local landmarks like Vaux-le-Vicomte, Meudon, Montmorency and Versailles.One hundred drawings, 400 prints, and eighty-eight copper plates.
Fifty works from the Louvre, Musée National, Versailles, and Beaux-Arts illustrate the evolution of political power. Spanning from antiquity to present day the works in this collection highlight the evolution of political power as expressed through art.
The exhibition presents Baltic Symbolism from the 1890s to the 1920s. And who doesn't love a bracing dose of Baltic Symbolism? Hands, please.
200 never-before-seen works demonstrate the evolution of the Western perception of distant and not-so-distant populations, societies and territories.
Famous for his landscapes, Camille Corot was also n prolific painter of figures. See 60 of his nudes and portraits.
Discover What's On When You're There
• April in Paris 2018…
• May in Paris 2018…
• June 2018…
• July 2018…
• August 2018…
• Month-by-Month Calendar…
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