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France Travel in May

Glorious Spring Weather, Cannes Film Festival and a Wealth of Events

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Elevated cityscape of Bordeaux
Allan Baxter/The Image Bank/Getty Images

May is a wonderful month to visit France, and along with September, is one of the most popular times. The weather is warm, but still mild and comfortable and the country looks gorgeous. While there are crowds in the more popular resorts, they aren't at their summertime height. There are many events, festivals and activities to keep visitors busy, and inparticular the Cannes Film Festival that attracts celebrities and commoners from around the globe.

Weather

In May the weather is generally mild, though there can still be spring showers and chilly evenings. But you can mainly count on wonderful blue skies, and warm temperatures. According to where you are in France, there are variations in climate, so here are the weather averages for some major cities:

  • Paris:
    Temperature ranges from 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) to 18 degrees C (64 degrees F
    Average temperature is 14 degrees C (57.2 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 12
  • Bordeaux:
    Average temperature ranges from 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) to 19 degrees C (66 degrees F)
    Average temperatures is 15 degrees C (59 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 13
  • Lyon:
    Temperature ranges from 9 degrees C (48 degrees F) to 20 degrees C (68 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 15 degrees C (59 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 13
  • Nice:
    Average temperature ranges from 13 degrees C (55 F) to 20 degrees C (68 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 17 degrees C (63 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 8
  • Strasbourg:
    Average temperature ranges from 8 degrees C (46 degrees F) to 20 degrees C (68 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 14 degrees C (57 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 13
  • Find out more: Weather in France

    What to pack

    It can be challenging to pack for France, particularly if you are travelling around and visiting different cities. You will need a variety of spring clothing and also layers in case the evening weather is cold. Be prepared also for the occasional hot day of walking. You will probably find some rain and wind, especially in Paris. Your packing list should include:

  • A warm jacket for the evenings
  • Sweaters or cardigans
  • Good walking shoes.
  • Sturdy umbrella that can resist the wind.

Find out more on Packing Tips

Why visit France in May

  • The weather is beautiful and Spring is in full spate
  • There are festivals and events throughout France as the season gets under way
  • The countryside look gorgeous
  • The tourist season is officially starting, with expanded hours at tourist attractions

Why not to visit France in May

  • Rates are beginning to climb on airfares and accommodation
  • Crowds are starting to pick up, and lines get longer

Events and Festivals in May

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