Walks along the Seine, cheese board upon cheese board and incredible cultural sights, it’s not hard to wonder why Paris remains one of the top cities on people’s travel bucket lists and a top spot for romantic weekends away. If you’ve not yet visited Paris or you need to brush up on your knowledge of the capital, here are a few tips on how to make your stay in Paris special. The first thing you’ll need to decide on is where to stay. Luxury boutique hotel, budget boutique hotel or one of the larger, grander hotels? The choice is yours though there is so much choice you may find it difficult to settle on just one boutique hotel. We have narrowed down the selection for you to help you decide.
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel in Paris that oozes French style, look no further. The look and feel of Celeste Hotel & Spa are Parisian retro-chic and the design is heavily influenced by the art deco style of the 1920s. Inside you’ll find 30 gorgeous welcoming rooms and suites, a piano bar and a courtyard filled with white camellias. You’ll even find a wellness centre in the hotel, with sauna and Jacuzzi, perfect for a little relaxation after a busy day exploring. And explore you must. This chic retreat is tucked away between the Opéra Garnier and Montmartre, in close proximity to the Arc de Triomphe, making it the perfect base for your spring trip to Paris.
Paris Hotel Lumen is the hotel for you if you’re looking for comfort and luxury during your stay in Paris. Situated right next to the Louvre and the Palais Garnier Opéra House the Neo-baroque interior design is complemented with Hermès bath and body products, a Nespresso coffee machine in every room and Godiva chocolates. Every. Single. Day.
In the 5th district of Paris, a mere 500 metres from the Notre Dame Cathedral which will soon start being re-built, you’ll find Hotel La Lanterne. A beautiful boutique hotel featuring an indoor swimming pool, terrace and hammam (yes, you heard correctly!). Once in the room, you’ll be able to take full advantage of bathrobes and slippers provided, as well as the free body and body products too. The Metro is close by, with great links to the centre of Paris and it’s also close to the National Museum of Medieval Art and the Luxembourg Gardens.
Romance is the name of the game at this luxury boutique hotel, one of our favourites in Paris. The rooms aren’t big but what they lack in size they make up for in atmosphere, history and character. Once home to Oscar Wilde this little gem is hidden away on the Left Bank of Paris in Rue des Beaux-Arts, an artisanal district full of charming shops, cafés and restaurants and a short walk away from from the river. The sultry, velvet bar is perfect for a drink before or after dinner. The underground pool and hammam are a rare find in a hotel of this size.
This beautifully designed boutique hotel, in the fashionable district of Madeleine, is perfect if you’re looking for a little shopping and sightseeing while in Paris. Hotel Chavanel is an elegant and sophisticate family-owned hotel. The interiors have been carefully designed by architects and interior decorates and are complemented by pieces of design furniture which are a feature throughout the hotel.
What to do
There’s so much to see and do during a trip to Paris. Especially in the springtime. So we’ve found some of the best places to eat, museums to visit and festivals to attend.
Visit a Museum
Of course, the Louvre should be top of your list of museums to visit in Paris, but there are many more museums to take in. Take the Musée des Arts et Métiers, the oldest science museum in Europe, or The Centre Pompidou, probably one of the most famous sights in Paris, all thanks to it’s exposed brightly coloured pipes and air ducts. Or why not spend a little time at the Musée d’Orsay? This old train station is now home to one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and Post- Impressionist art. Plus it also houses a transparent clock, with breathtaking views over the Tuileries.
If you happen to be travelling to Paris in May, be sure to take part in the European Night of Museums. In Paris and in 30 other European countries, museums invite the public after hours to visit their permanent and temporary collections and enjoy a number of activities and special events throughout the night.
Take a walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg
An essential thing to do during your spring trip to Paris is a visit to the delightful Jardin du Luxembourg. Sit back and relax on a deckchair, watch the vintage wooden sailboats on the Grand Bassin pond or grab a picnic of local cheese and bread and find a comfortable spot in the park’s 23 hectares.
Enjoy the Parisian Café Culture
You don’t always have to be on the go in Paris. Sit back and enjoy the city, in the most Parisian way possible, over un café. Enjoy the weather spring brings at one of the city’s many pavement terraces and watch the world go by, an easy way to while away a few hours and rest your weary feet after a morning of pavement pounding. If you’re in Le Marais head to Café Charlot, Le Progrés is where to go in Montmartre and if you’re in the canal St-Martin area, experience Chez Prune, which is the café-bar which put this area on the map. One of our favourites though was a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway’s, Les Deux Magots in the Saint-Germain des Prés area of Paris. It was once the meeting place of many of the literary and intellectual élite including Pablo Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Watch the Paris Marathon
Heading to the streets of Paris on 5th April 2020 is the 44th Paris Marathon. The route offers the runners and spectators a chance to catch a glimpse at some of the cities sights; the Place de la Concorde, Place de la Bastille, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the Tuileries and of course the Arc de Triomphe for the finish line.
Visit a Festival in Paris
During the months of March, April and May, there is a lot going on in Paris in terms of its festival scene. Attending one is an absolute must if you’re visiting the city during this time. Here are just a few of our favourite springtime festivals in Paris.
Salon du Livre
A much-loved festival for book lovers, authors, agents, publishers and illustrators. It’s considered one of the most important book festivals in France.
20-23 March 2020
Cinéma du Réel
Having just celebrated its 41st year, this international documentary film festival is a highlight to any movie lover and makers calendar
Carnaval des Femmes
This one is for all the chic ladies (and men) out there! This old festive tradition, once organised by Parisian laundresses, has been running since 2008 and every year is a spectacle! Women take to the streets of Paris dressed as queens, and the men adorn themselves with dresses and wigs and become ladies for a day.
20 March 2020
Art Paris Art Fair
Art lovers rejoice, this festival is for you. This festival will be held in the incredibly stunning Grand Palais and will be delving into the common and uncommon stories of the French art scene, whilst also celebrating Europeans Southern Stars; Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid and Porto.
2-5 April 2020
Saint-Germain-Des-Prés Jazz Festival
Next year marks the 20th edition of this celebrated Jazz festival. Located in the famous Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris you’ll enjoy one of the greatest spring festivals there is. Witness exceptional shows by talented young artists, as well as some of the greats. In previous years the festival has seen the likes of Norah Jones, Lisa Simone and Ben l’Oncle in attendance.
And there you have it! We’ve given you the chicest, most comprehensive guide to Paris in the Spring. Boutique hotels in Paris, what festivals to visit and what to do when visiting the city during this beautiful season.