Paris in March 2017 – what’s on in spring?

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“When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in Paradise”, so said Henry Miller in his 1934 novel, ‘Tropic of Cancer’.

Paris in March has the first wonderful hints of spring in the air, perfect for spotting the beginnings of blossom on the trees in one of Paris’s many parks, or soaking up the gentle warmth of sunlight at a terrasse de café.

As the temperature slowly creeps up and the days get longer, there is plenty to do in the City of Light. It’s time to throw off the winter blankets and get ready to embrace crisp spring days! Our list of the best events and things-to-do in Paris will keep you occupied all month.

Pound the pavements of Paris!

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Ready to test your New Year’s resolution to get fit? The Fitbit Paris half-marathon attracts around 40 000 applications, including 4000 foreigners. If you’re a runner already, what better way to see the city than to join the throng of like-minded people and follow the 21.1km course past some of the sights of Paris.

Starting at Esplanade du Château de Vincennes you’ll head into the 12th arrondissement before hitting the Place de la Nation, Place de la Bastille and Châtelet before receiving your finisher’s medal (hopefully!) at the Parc Floral.

When: 5 March 2017
Where: Bois de Vincennes, Esplanade Saint-Louis 75012
Métro: Château de Vincennes

Indulge in good food

Now in its 12th year, the Omnivore World Tour 2017 kicks off in Paris in March. A trendy and modern food festival, this year promises to be as unconventional as ever. With its tag line of ‘100% jeune cuisine’ this festival represents a different side of French cooking – valuing innovation as well as tradition.

MyFrenchLife™ – - Paris in March - 2017 - Paris in spring - whats on - Omnivore World Tour - Food Festival

This year’s demonstrations from young artisan food producers includes the pâtissier-chocolatier, Sébastien Bouillet. You can also expect demonstrations by chefs such as newcomer Gaëtan Gentil from PraiRial restaurant and for the first time ever there will be a craft alcohol distillery.

When: 5 – 7 March 2017
Where: Maison de la Mutualité, 24 rue Saint Victor 75005
Métro: Maubert – Mutualité

Marvel at fashion history MyFrenchLife™ – - Paris in March - 2017 - Paris in spring - whats on - Balenciaga - Fashion Exhibition

Fashion lover? An exhibition of the Spanish designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work is opening at the Musée Bourdelle.

Known as “le maître” and “le couturier des couturiers” Balenciaga continually revolutionised the fashion world with his avant-garde designs throughout his 30 year career.

Titled ‘Balenciaga: l’oeuvre au noir’ (working in black) it will exhibit more than 100 items from the couturier’s archive.

The theme of black has been especially chosen to highlight the sculptural silhouettes that the designer pioneered.

When: 8 March – 16 July 2017
Where: Musée Bourdelle, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle 75015
Métro: Falguière

Admire works of art

‘Au-delà des étoiles. Le paysage mystique de Monet à Kandinsky’ (‘Beyond the stars. Mystical landscapes from Monet to Kandinsky’) is an exhibition focusing on mysticism and its depictions in the Western art canon.

MyFrenchLife™ – - Paris in March - 2017 - Paris in spring - whats on - Vincent van Gogh - The Sower - Le Semeur - Art Exhibition

Focusing on landscape paintings, works by Gauguin, Denis, Hodler, Klimt, Munch and Van Gogh will be displayed, in an attempt to show the spiritual element of art that is found across different continents and religions.

When: 14 March – 25 June 2017
Where: Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007
Métro: Solférino

Paris in March: the perfect time to see a ballet 

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What could be better than watching a ballet in Paris in March?

In honour of George Balanchine, the famous ‘father of American ballet,’ Opéra de Bastille is performing ‘Songe d’une nuit d’été’ throughout March.

First choreographed in 1962, the ballet uses Balanchine’s traditional neo-classical style to tell the story of Shakespeare’s ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ alongside the music of Felix Mendelssohn. Dreamy!

When: 9 – 29 March 2017
Where: Opéra de Bastille, Place de la Bastille 75012
Métro: Bastille

Educate yourself through film

The annual international documentary film festival ‘Cinéma du Réel’ has been taking place in Paris in March since the 1970s. The festival showcases documentary films with a strong ethnographic or sociological angle.

This year’s line-up includes a full retrospective of recently-deceased Italian film director Andrea Tonacci, who documented the struggle of indigenous Amazonian tribes. There are also four competitive categories which award prizes to new films.

When: 24 March – 2 April 2017
Where: Le Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou 75004 (see programme for other sites).
Métro: Rambuteau

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What do you like to do in Paris in March? Do you have any top tips for places to go and things to see? Share your recommendations with us in the comments!

Image credits:
1. ‘Paris au Printemps’ by João Ernani Oliveira, via Flickr
2. ‘Pas loin …, … d’ici!’ by Marc Caraveo, via Wikimedia Commons
3. ‘SDBay Wine Food Fest’ by Fast Forward Events, via Flickr
4. ‘”Colette” in a Balenciaga suit 1950’ by Kristine, via Flickr
5. ‘Le Semeur’ by Vincent Van Gogh, via Wikimedia Commons
6. ‘Ballet dance dancers’, via MaxPixel
7. ‘Yahua Blowgun Amazon Iquitos’ by Jialiang Gao, via Wikimedia Commons

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon -

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