'I love Paris in the springtime,' sang Ella Fitzgerald. 'I love Paris in the fall...' The city that inspired thousands of books and movies may be a treat in any season, but when the winter clouds lift and spring has truly sprung, it's hard to beat the sun-kissed Paris that brings the beau monde to pavement cafés, fills gardens with picnicking families and sees an enthusiastic blossoming of exhibition openings and music festivals. Our selection below of things to see and do and places to go in Paris in spring will see you embrace it all with the best of them...
Get out and about at these spring festivals
Since 1979, the hugely successful and respected Cinéma du Réel festival has screened international ethnographic and sociological films annually at the Centre Pompidou. This year, as well as the international competitions, debates and workshops, there are special sections on Chile and Stephen Dworskin, and a series of screenings 'hors les murs' at venues around the city. Ten days of new perspectives, wide horizons and true stories, from 'The Lebanese Rocket Society' to 'The Battle of Chile' – brilliant.The festival screenings take place at the Centre Pompidou, the MK2 Beaubourg, the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles and the Nouveau Latina from 21-31 March 2013. For the full programme, click here. If French subtitles pose a problem, check the screening information in advance.
Well-known and loved to Parisian music fanatics, Musiquepointdoc is an eclectic selection of music documentaries screened annually at the Gaîté Lyrique. 2013's highlights include 'Metallica: Some Kind of Monster' and 'Pulp: The Beat is the Law'.For the full programme, click here.
For the last seven years, the Villette Sonique festival has brought the Parc de la Villette to life every spring, and since the renovations of the Grande Halle, it's become an unmissable rock and electro event for music-mad Parisians. The line-up has expanded year on year, and 2013's is better than ever: a head-turning selection of rock that includes the Melvins, The Flaming Lips, Neurosis and the Swans. For electro, the excellent South American label Comeme gets a special mention with its own 'Comeme Night'. The biggest advantage of the festival are the numerous free open air gigs in the park (this year, don't miss David Fenech or Mykki Blanco). Doubtless, thousands of Parisians will once again descend on Villette for five days of underground bands, visiting the weekend-long Village Label artists' market or taking part in masterclasses.For the full programme, click here.
January 29-April 25 at the Théâtre de Vanves The Théâtre de Vanve's dance and theatre festival, Artdanthé, may be 15 years old this year, but there's nothing terrible about this teenager: Founder José Alfarroba's two-month-long event is going from strength to strength, bringing together 53 theatre and dance troupes for no less than 64 shows that push the boundaries of contemporary dance and theatre.For the full programme and to book tickets, click here.