Averages for Paris in May

What's the Weather Like in Paris in May?

Temperature

The weather in Paris, France improves dramatically in May, when the summer season is just around the corner. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city increases from 12.5°C on May 1st all the way up to 16°C by May 31st

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  • Temperature Temperature 15°C 59°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 20°C 67°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather 11°C 52°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 6 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 26 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 12 days

What's the Weather Like in Paris in May?

Temperature

The weather in ParisFrance improves dramatically in May, when the summer season is just around the corner. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city increases from 12.5°C on May 1st all the way up to 16°C by May 31st

Daily highs usually range from 17°C to 21°C throughout the month, very rarely rising above 26°C or falling below 12°C. Daily low temperatures rise from 8°C to 11°C across May, only exceeding 15°C or dropping below 4°C one day in every ten.

In recent times, the highest temperature which has ever been recorded in Paris in May is 32°C, with the lowest temperature ever recorded in the city during this month being 1°C. When you compare these temperatures to the average for the month – 15°C – it's easy to see that they're the extremes and aren't what you should expect during your holiday. In 2013, the longest cold spell of the year took place from May 14th to June 6th – that's 24 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures.

Rain

With an average of 26mm of rainfall divided across 12 days throughout May, there's a good chance you'll experience a shower or two during your visit. Moderate rain is the most common type of precipitation in Paris this month and usually falls around May 1st. Thunderstorms are the second most likely type of precipitation and tend to occur around May 29th, followed by light rain around May 11th.

The probability of rainfall decreases very slowly as the month progresses, dropping from 53% on May 1st down to 50% by May 31st. Despite the fair amount of rainfall, Paris is only affected by foggy conditions on less than one day each May. Fortunately, snow is extremely unlikely at this time of year, so you can leave your hats, gloves and scarves at home.

Average Sea Temperature and Humidity

The average sea temperature for Paris' closest coastal location in May is 11°C, which is significantly higher than the previous months. Even though it's much warmer than March or April, the sea in May is far too cold to go swimming and any more than a minute in the water would leave you feeling freezing. Across the month, the average daily humidity is 67%, created by lows of 50% and highs of 91%.

Average Sunshine Hours

Paris enjoys an average of nine hours of sunshine each day throughout May – that's the same as in April. Across the month, the daylight and sunshine hours both rise, with the length of the day increasing by one hour and 16 minutes between May 1st and May 31st.

Wind

Wind speeds usually vary from 1 m/s to 7 m/s throughout May, very rarely rising above 9 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s occurs around May 3rd, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. The lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to happen around May 23rd, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s.

Paris Hotels in May

The three-star Hotel Apollon Montparnasse is just a two-minute walk away from the nearest metro station and a 20-minute walk from Tour Montparnasse, making it a great base for exploring. This hotel provides small guestrooms, each of which features air conditioning, fridge, free WiFi access, flat-screen TV and private bathroom with hairdryer.

The Hotel Eiffel Turenne is set inside a traditional Parisian village, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and Place de l'Ecole Militaire. Here you'll find single, classic, classic plus, traditional, adjoining, club, superior and Eiffel rooms, each of which features air conditioning, free WiFi access, LCD TV and private bathroom with hairdryer and toiltries.

For a more modern and stylish option, consider Hotel Acropole. Within easy walking distance of bus, tram, train and metro stations, this hotel provides guests with 43 double, triple and family rooms divided between standard, comfort, superior and privilege categories. Each guestroom features free WiFi access, LCD satellite TV and large bathroom with shower and hairdryer. 

Nadaud Hotel is another chic and contemporary hotel in Paris. Located just 50m from the Père Lachaise Cemetery and 260m from the Gambetta Metro station which leads straight to the Place de la République, this modern hotel provides spacious and simply-decorated double rooms with flat-screen TVs, free WiFi access and private bathroom with hairdryer and shower.

For affordable luxury, consider the four-star Hotel Marcel. Set within the 10th arrondissement, close to Gare de l'Est, this avant-garde hotel provides guests with standard rooms, superior rooms, deluxe rooms, junior suites and family suites, each of which comes with city views, free WiFi access, flat-screen TV, air conditioning and private bathroom with bathrobe and slippers. 

Bars and Restaurants

Paris rightly vaunts its reputation as one of the culinary capitals of the world and the choice of restaurants and eateries is staggering. France celebrates its food culture and Paris showcases the best of what French cooking has to offer foreign visitors, but there's also a formidable range of international eateries which are also worth visiting.

Located near the Place de la Republique, Elmer is a bistro which combines the best of classic French dining and contemporary influence, and it's been catching the eye of locals ever since it opened. Expect efficient-but-friendly service, and a range of eating options that will delight all but the pickiest of diners. It's not the most cost-effective of places, but the quality of the food certainly justifies the price category.

For traditional yet stylish cooking served in a homely environment, head to Buvette. Situated in the Pigalle neighbourhood, this friendly bistro was opened by a New Yorker who wanted to recreate the ambiance of a French country kitchen in the heart of Paris. You'll find a pleasing array of familiar dishes on the menu, and vegetarians are well-catered for. There's also a strong selection of craft beers, artisan ciders and quality wines available. 

The Saint Germain-Des-Pres neighbourhood is known for its cafe culture and one place to stop by if you're in the area is Cafe Louise. Occupying a prime position on one of its side streets, Cafe Louise makes a great place to stop and people-watch on the terrace as the days become warmer. Owner Louise is a constant presence around the bistro and happily provides recommendations from the menu, which is ideal for light lunches or afternoon meals. 

If you're looking for an evening hangout spot with a bit of history behind it, try Harry's New York Bar. Reputed to be the birthplace of cocktails like the Bloody Mary, this bar stands in a league of its own and is also said to have entertained past guests such as Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nowadays, the bar buzzes with tourists but the range of drinks and quality of service remains unchanged since its glory days. 

Trendy concept bars are rife in the French capital and one newcomer with signs of staying power is Solera. "Cocktail pairing" is the order of the day (or rather, night) in this hip new hangout, whereby drinks are paired to snacks and light bites from the bar's tasty tapas menu. This makes the ideal place to head to if you're looking for an easy evening meal while you drink. 

Things to do in Paris in May

Make the most of the pleasant May temperatures by spending an afternoon at Parc Monceau. Located inside the 8th arrondissement at the junction of Rue Georges Berger, Rue de Prony and Boulevard de Courcelles in Paris, this park is open every day from 7am until 8pm and covers 8.2 hectares. What makes this park stand out is that it's been designed in an English style, with an informal layout, randomly-placed statues and curved walkways.

Some of the most unusual pieces of artwork within the ark include scaled down models of a Chinese fort, an Egyptian pyramid, Corinthian pillars and a Dutch windmill. With two children's play parks, sandbox, ride, refreshment stall, skate park, public toilets, WiFi hotspots and loads of drinking water points, there's loads to see and do here.

Pont Alexandre III, a deck arch bridge which crosses the Seine, is considered the most elegant bridge in Paris. This bridge connects the Champs Élysées quarter with the Invalides quarter and the Eiffel Tower. Classified as a French Monument Historique, the bridge is decorated with ornate, extravagant artwork and, thanks to the Eiffel Tower which is clearly visible in the background, provides a fantastic photo opportunity. 

The bridge is a typical Art Nouveau structure and is lined with lamps, nymphs and angels. The most popular decorations are the four gilt-bronze 'Fames' statues which are supported on 17-metre-tall masonry socles.

Ile de la Cite is home to some of the biggest and best attractions in Paris – including the Notre Dame Cathedral and Palais de Justice – making it definitely worthy of a visit during your holiday. This area is where Paris as we know it today first began and is the best place to catch a glimpse of the traditional Parisian way of life. With an almost never-ending choice of cafes, bars, restaurants, crèperies and shops to wander around, you'll need a fair few hours to fully explore the Ile de la Cite.

A trip to Paris isn't complete without stopping by the Sacre Coeur. Located in the Montmartre district, this attraction sits atop a hill, awarding visitors with stunning views which stretch right across the city. The basilica is completely free to enter, but if you really want to make the most of your visit, you're best off signing up for a guided visit or thematic tour.

If you prefer to enjoy things at your own pace without having to keep up with a tour guide, consider opting for the audio guide – available in English and French – which allows you to learn all about Sacre Coeur in your own time.

If you fancy visiting a museum during your visit, consider popping into the Musée de Cluny, referred to as 'Musée National du Moyen Age' today. This museum is dedicated to the Middle Ages and features a collection of medieval artefacts, including gold, ivory, stained glass, illuminated manuscrips and antique furnishings which date back to the seven and the eight centuries.

Other permanent collections include those dedicated to the Roman world, gothic sculptures, new acquisitions, miniature paintings, everyday life in the Middle Ages, upholstery and fabrics. One of the most popular exhibits is the tapestry collection, which includes the 15th century 'La Dame a la Licorne' tapestry. Musée de Cluny is also home to various temporary exhibits, events, workshops, musical concerts and film screenings.

May events in Paris

National Holiday

Labour Day

1st May 2018

During Labour Day, almost all shops, supermarkets and government buildings will be closed whilst people take a break from work. It’s traditional throughout Paris for locals to sell the regional Lily of the Valley (the Muguet) to other locals and visitors for good luck.

Website:

http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/france/labor-day

Culture

Nuit des Musées

18th May 2018 to 19th May 2018

Nuit des Musées sees various museums throughout the city opening their doors to the public for free from around 5pm until midnight. Some of the most popular museums which regularly participate include the Musée Bourdelle, Musée d’Art Moderne, Victor Hugo’s House and the Petit Palais. In addition to the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions which the museums have, most of them also feature special workshops and events for the Nuit des Musées which aren’t available throughout the rest of the year.

Website:

http://www.paris.fr/english/visit/highlights/nuit-des-musees-museum-night/rub_8208_stand_34128_port_

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