Springtime in Paris is truly a sight to behold. After a long and bleak winter, the city seems to come alive overnight with a wash of color. The elegant, Haussmannian buildings of Saint-Germain-des-Prés are framed with vibrant pink blooms. The formidable Hôtel de Ville, a Grand Dame along the Right Bank, feels soft and feminine thanks to a sprinkling of Magnolia blooms that nearly covers its entire premier étage. Scroll down for a classic walk through the city and for some of my favorite Paris spring photography, shot entirely on medium format film.
Our spring stroll begins in the Medieval Marais quarter of the 4th Arrondissement. Begin on the corner of Rue des Francs Bourgeois and Rue Vieille de Temple and amble your way toward the Seine, stopping at Aux Merveilleux de Fred – a gorgeous patisserie that creates the most decadent petite cloud-like treats of meringue filled with Chantilly cream.
Continue down Rue du Pont-Louis Phillippe, pausing to admire the charming calligraphy shops on your left. My favorite of the bunch? Mélodies Graphiques, a beautiful stationary store with the most whimsical window displays. Be sure to admire the owner’s entire wall of envelopes that showcase her seemingly endless array of calligraphy styles.
Walk across the Seine, taking the time to admire the stunning view of Île de la Cite from Pont Louis Philippe, then turn left to explore my favorite street in Paris – the tree-lined Quai de Bourbon. The next few blocks are home to some of the most exquisite hôtel particulars in Paris. Take some time to explore this magical little island then continue over Pont Saint-Louis to the bigger of the two islands – Île de la Cite, also the home of the stunning French Gothic Notre Dame cathedral which is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees.
From here, we will make a slight detour back to Le Marais to visit one of my favorite Paris spring photography locations – Hôtel de Ville. Cross over to Pont d’Arcole to see the 16th-century French Renaissance masterpiece which houses the local administration of the city. Be sure to stop to admire the whimsical French carousel in front of the building and save some time to relax under the Magnolia trees in the pint-sized Jardin des Combattants Espagnols de la Nueve.
After resting your legs, we will be heading across Petit-Pont-Cardinal-Lustiger to the historic Latin Quarter which has been a center of global learning and higher education for nearly a thousand years. Stop at Square René Viviani which features a beautiful view of Notre Dame as well as one of my favorite buildings in the city – a pink Parisian apartment building! If you are feeling hungry, continue your stroll west into the Saint-Germain quarter to Le Comptoir du Relais – my absolute favorite brasserie in Paris. Order the tuna, scallops, and enjoy the incredible bread with the best butter in France.
After your stomach is sufficiently full, stretch your legs walking to my favorite garden in Paris – Palais Royal. This petite park on the Right Bank is a respite from the crowds of the Louvre and is filled with beautiful blooms almost year-round. Grab one of the iconic green garden chairs and lean back for a nap in the sunshine – you have earned it! Then, walk south toward the Seine to visit the apple blossoms of the iconic Jardin des Tuileries. I will often spend an entire afternoon strolling through this beautiful garden, so take your time.
Finally, make your way once more across the Seine and amble down Rue de l’Universitie toward the Eiffel Tower. For more beautiful blooms, take a one block detour to Square Samuel Rousseau which is lined with Magnolia trees and has a gorgeous view of Basilique Sainte-Clotilde. Continue west down Rue de l’Universitie and, as you get close, you will begin seeing the iron lady peeking out between the elegant Haussannian buildings – one of the most iconic sights in all of Paris.
All Paris spring photography by Molly Carr Photography | Contax 645 | Fuji 400h Film