Do you want to know what to wear in France in Spring? Then you have come to the right place. No matter whether you are going to France’s most beautiful cities like Paris, Rouen or Cannes or heading to the countryside or to a beach destination we will tell you exactly what you should pack for France in March, April and May.
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Weather in France in Spring (March, April and May)
Spring in France is classified as March, April and May no matter which part of the country you are in. And as with much of Europe in Spring, the weather in France in Spring is very changeable and varies considerably depending on which month you are traveling. So what can you expect from French weather in Springtime?
How cold is France in Spring?
How cold France is during Spring depends on your month and travel and the region you are traveling to. March is typically the coldest month with average temperatures in the capital being 12°C / 54°F but the temperatures rise swiftly in Spring average around 20°C / 68F by the end of May.
However if you are in the North or at higher altitudes you can expect the temperatures to be cooler while the South of France tends to be the warmest region.
How rainy is in France in Spring?
Again it very much depends on where you are in France to how rainy it will be.
Generally speaking across the country March will average around 14 days of rain but by May this has reduced to around 10 days. Again, the North tends to be much wetter that the South.
Does it snow in France in Spring?
Snow is not common in the South and cities in France, even in Winter. However the ski resorts in France can expect snowfall from November until late April.
Note: For more specific guidance on what to wear in France in Spring check out our regional guides:
Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
How do local people dress in France in Spring?
No matter what time of year you visit France you will find that the locals are always stylishly dressed.
In March you will find that lots of the locals are still wearing their Winter Capsule Wardrobe which includes stylish coats and winter accessories. While by Spring the locals are fully in their spring capsule wardrobe. Black is always a popular color choice in France, however in Spring you will notice more pastels and florals sneaking into French wardrobes.
What to Wear in France in Spring
When looking at what to pack for France in Spring, layers are going to be your best friend no matter whether you are traveling in March, April or May as this will make your wardrobe versatile enough to handle whatever the French spring weather throws at you.
What to Wear in France in Spring for Women
A top layer is still essential in France in Spring. For early March we recommend sticking to a heavier weight coat. However as Spring progresses you will be able to reduce the thickness down to a puffer jacket and eventually a trench coat or even a denim jacket by end of May.
Again, it depends on the month of travel as to what trousers are most appropriate. I think jeans are fine to travel with no matter what spring month, however if you are visiting the South of France in May you can’t go wrong with linen trousers.
Just remember that if you pack jeans to pack a more tailored pair in a darker color which is more in keeping with local style.
I also think you can’t go wrong with a pair of black pants for France no matter the time of year. One of my favourites at the moment is the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel which is great for restaurants and for airplane outfits.
Skirts and Dresses
As the weather begins to warm up skirts and dresses are more appropriate for daytime sightseeing. In March and early April, you may still want a sweater dress or jumper dress with tights however in May a wrap dress is a great pick!
A loose blouse works for the evenings or days layered with a cardigan or sweater. As a personal style choice I like a floral blouse in pastel colors as it matches more of my items in my Spring capsule wardrobe (for more information on how I put together my capsule wardrobes check out my guide to sudoku packing)
T Shirts are a great base layer for French cities in Spring. To be more in keeping with the local French style we recommend sticking with plain t shirts or those that are lightly patterned instead of graphic or slogan tees.
Although Winter is over you will still want lots of light layers for your European spring vacation as the weather is still changeable.
We recommend lighter thinner layers for Spring as they are easier to pack and layer. Personally for Spring in Germany the layers I pack are:
- a hoodie – great for daytime sightseeing in places such as museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay for instance
- a merino wool sweater – great for restaurants, and
- a cardigan – that can be used as a layer both day and night.
It doesn’t matter where I am traveling to in Europe a pashmina is always on my packing list. A pashmina can be used as a scarf or lovely accessory but can double up as an added extra layer in Spring.
PJs, Underwear and Socks
What to pack for Germany in Spring for Men
The packing list for men is quite similar as the ladies packing list for Spring. The items we recommend adding to your packing list in spring include:
The thickness will depend on which Spring month you are traveling to.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of long and short sleeve t shirts is a good idea, as well as a button down shirt for fancier restaurants.
For March travel I would add more long sleeve tees to the packing list, and gradually replace these with more short sleeves as you head into May.
Jeans are great for sightseeing in Spring. You may want to add a smarter pair of chinos or linen trousers to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners.
A hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in France.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
Goes without saying.
Best Shoes for France in Spring
Sneakers are my number one shoe anywhere in Europe in Spring even in France. I know a lot of people worry about wearing sneakers in France but you shouldn’t. They are the perfect shoe for long days of sightseeing visiting museums and walking on cobbled stone streets.
My favorite sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and All birds. But I also love the versatility of a white sneaker especially in Spring when my wardrobe becomes more colourful and pastel. One of my favorite white sneaker is the Addidas Cloud Foam as I find them comfortable for walking long distances.
Ankle Boots or Sandals
I always try and limit the number of shoes I pack, as I find them easiest to overpack on. In March, I still recommend packing a boot. Ankle boots are easier to pack than longer length ones but go with the style you feel most comfortable in.
However by May a sandal is more appropriate given the weather in most of France. Just be sure to pick a sandal that has good arch support and can cope with its of walking.
Note: hiking boots are only really necessary if you plan on going on hikes outside of the cities.
What to pack for France in Spring (Non Clothing)
- Crossbody Bag – unfortunately any tourist site attracts pickpockets and France is no different especially in the big cities such as Paris and Lille for instance. We recommend you protect your belongings by having a crossbody bag with lots of zips that act as a deterrent. My favorite brand of travel bag is travelon.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Travel adaptor – France uses the traditional European plugs (though the UK has a different plug). So if you are coming from the UK or USA etc you will need an adapter to make your electronics work.
- Power Pack / battery packs
- Sun screen
- Compact Umbrella – France can be rainy in Spring. For this reason we always recommend traveling with a compact travel umbrella.
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
- Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here.
How to dress in France in Spring for Special Events
There are very few events in France in Spring that have special dress codes attached to them. So while you will find the French having public holidays around Easter and for May Day and La Fête du Travail (workers Day) none of these will have an implication on what you will wear.
Have you been to France in Spring? What did you wear? We would love you to tell us in the comments below!