What are the signs of Easter in Paris?
You'll know Easter is approaching when you see elaborately decorated cakes luring you into your favorite pâtisserie, gorgeous sweet-scented bouquets of Easter lilies elegantly displayed in front of florist shops, and festive chocolate bunnies and candy eggs on the shelves at every Parisian chocolatier,
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In 2024, Easter takes place on Sunday, March 31. Although only the Monday following Easter (ie, "Easter Monday") is an official public holiday in France, in reality many if not most French people also take Good Friday (Vendredi Saint, or Holy Friday, two days before Easter) as a holiday. In fact, Good Friday is an official public holiday in the Alsace and Moselle regions of northeastern France due to their historical and cultural connections with Germany, which does observe it as an official holiday.
As a result, you should expect many smaller shops and restaurants to be closed as many Parisians take advantage of the 4-day Easter Weekend holiday to go away. The metro and city buses will run but on a limited holiday schedule.
Of course, many people also visit Paris from other parts of France as well as Europe and UK on this weekend, so the city can feel quite crowded and getting an affordable hotel room at the last minute can be quite difficult - more about that in a moment!
If you're visiting Paris on Easter weekend, you'll find plenty of things to do. Favorite Paris Easter activities include religious services in the city's magnificent churches, special Easter concerts in spectacular settings such as Sainte Chapelle's stained glass chapel, and of course Easter egg hunts in the most beautiful Paris parks, chic neighborhoods, and breathtaking venues.
And don't forget all those chocolate rabbits and other confections - it's the perfect time to conduct your own tasting tour of Parisian chocolate makers and pick your favorite!
The 4-day Easter weekend gives you the perfect excuse to enjoy the beginning of spring weather in Paris - go for a picnic in a park, a cruise down the Seine, or even a museum.
Pro Tip (which we learned the hard way): As already mentioned, Easter Weekend attracts a LOT of visitors to Paris, and if you wait until the "last minute" (i.e., 5-7 days in advance) to make hotel reservations, you'll find scarce availability combined with very high rates.
So don't wait to book! Use our Paris Hotel Guide to find great choices your favorite neighborhoods.
This article includes our best tips for celebrating Easter in Paris:
- Where to Attend Easter Concerts
- Where to Enjoy Easter Chocolates
- Where to Eat When Restaurants Close on Easter Day (& Easter Monday)
- Where to Attend Easter Services in Paris (English & French)
- Where to Enjoy Easter Egg Hunts
- More Fun Things to Do on Easter Weekend
Top photo: Easter Eggs at Foucher, top Paris chocolatier, (c) Paris Discovery Guide
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Easter Concerts 2024
Special Easter concerts take place in several beautiful Paris churches and chapels - a memorable experience. To ensure your place, get your tickets early as they usually sell out in advance.
Concerts in Historical Churches on Palm Sunday and Easter Weekends
- Bach's Saint John Passion - Saint Louis en l'Ile Church - March 22
- Cappella Amsterdam: Saint John Passion - Saint Roch Church - March 22
- Four Seasons & Ave Maria - Saint-Germain-des-Pres Church - March 23
- Les Violons de France: Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Madeleine Church - March 23, 31
- Concerts at Sainte-Chapelle - Sainte-Chapelle - March 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31
- Ensemble Royal de Paris: Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart - Saint Julien le Pauvre Church - March 31
Where to Indulge in Easter Chocolates
Easter inspires Paris chocolatiers to fill their windows with beautiful Easter eggs, rabbits, and other creatures almost too beautiful to eat - but of course you must! Here are locations for nine of the most famous chocolate shops:
- Jean-Paul Hévin - Superb traditional chocolates and macaroons; don't miss the tearoom upstairs! - 231 Rue Saint Honoré, 1st arrondissement; Metro: Tuileries; plus about 5 other locations; website
- Chocolat Foucher - Family-run chocolatier offering hand-crafted chocolates, bonbons, and macaroons in two locations; the Rue du Bac shop has a wonderful tearoom - 134 Rue du Bac, 7th arr, Metro: Sèvres-Babylone; also 30 Avenue de l'Opéra, 2nd, Metro: Pyramides; website
- Joséphine Vannier - Artisan chocolate maker in the Marais, known for her elaborate chocolate Easter eggs; you should also try the gourmet ice cream - 4 Rue du Pas de la Mule, 3rd arr, Metro: Bastille; website
- Fauchon - Their intricate Easter eggs could double as works of art; treat yourself in the tearoom while you're there - 11 Place de la Madeleine, 8th arr, Metro: Madeleine; website
- Pierre Hermé - Better known for their exquisite macaroons, but the chocolates are also mouth-watering - 72 Rue Bonaparte, 6th arr, Metro: Saint Sulpice; many other locations; website
- Chocolats Richart - Intricately decorated ganache with amazing flavors - 27 Rue Bonaparte, 6th arr.; Metro: Solférino; website
- La Maison du Chocolat - A justly famous global brand with its origins in Paris - 225 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arr, Metro: Ternes; several other Paris locations; website
- Jeff de Bruges - Founded in Belgium by a Frenchman who combines the secrets of famous Belgian chocolates and ensures quality by growing his own cocoa - 144 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 12th arr; Metro: Faidherbe-Chaligny; website
How Do Easter Eggs Get Delivered in Paris?
In France, church bells (also called "flying bells," or les cloches volantes), rather than Easter bunnies, bring chocolate Easter eggs to children across the country.
Why does this happen? Well, here's the reason...
As you may have noticed, France's church bells normally ring on many occasions throughout the year - but on the Thursday before Easter (Maundy Thursday), they suddenly go silent.
According to French Catholic folklore, that's because the bells have sprouted wings and flown to the Vatican in Rome, carrying with them the grief of the devout after Jesus's death.
Then a few days later after Jesus's resurrection, they fly back to France, dropping chocolates along the way, and ring celebratory peals to announce the good news.
Where to Eat When Restaurant Are Closed on Easter Weekend (Or Any Day)
Many Paris restaurants will close on Easter Sunday and even on the following Monday - so why not combine sightseeing with a gourmet meal on these fun dinner cruises and tours:
- Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Dinner Cruise - You'll enjoy a memorable evening as you float past the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame aboard a luxury river cruise boat. Customize your experience on this popular gourmet dinner cruise by choosing departure time, number of courses, beverages, and more. Cruises with 8:30 departures offer Champagne and live music. Reserve now
- Eiffel Tower Dinner, Cruise, & Champagne at Moulin Rouge Show - Combine three iconic Paris experiences when you enjoy a delicious dinner at the Eiffel Tower's "58 Tour Eiffel" Restaurant, and then cruise down the Seine River on a glass-enclosed boat past the Notre Dame Cathedral and other top attractions. When the cruise ends, you'll be driven up to the Montmartre neighborhood to the famous Moulin Rouge caberet, where you'll watch the fabulous "Feerie" show featuring 60 Cancan dancers while you sip Champagne. Reserve now
- Rive Gauche Bus Toqué Lunch & Sightseeing Experience - Fun, gourmet dining (4 courses plus champagne), excellent service, and panoramic views of top Paris attractions from this glass-top luxury double-decker bus. Reserve now
- Versailles Palace and Gardens Guided Tour with Gourmet Lunch by Chef Ducasse - This guided tour from Paris to Versailles by train lets you skip the line (except for a security check) at Versailles, where you'll visit the Hall of Mirrors and other top attractions, stroll through the gardens, enjoy the Musical Fountain Show, and then gaze at the Royal Courtyard as you savor a 3-course gourmet lunch with a glass of wine and coffee at Café Ore, an elegant contemporary restaurant designed by renowned Chef Alain Ducasse. Reserve now
Easter Religious Services in Paris Churches
Want to attend Easter church services in Paris? You'll find lots of wonderful options throughout the city, including six churches offering Easter services in English.
Please check church websites for Easter service schedules, in case of any last-minute changes.
Easter Services in English
- American Cathedral (23 Avenue George V, 8th arr, Metro: Alma Marceau) - Episcopal church with numerous Holy Week and Easter services. The 11am Easter service is a Festival Eucharist with a choir and brass, followed by an Easter egg hunt. Website
- St Michael's Church (5 rue d'Aguesseau, 8th arr; Metro: Madeleine) - Anglican church serving a diverse community. Holy Week and Easter services in English and in Tamil. Website
- St Joseph's Catholic Church (50 Avenue Hoche, 8th arr, Metro: Étoile) - The only English-speaking Catholic church in Paris. Multiple Holy Week and Easter services. Their website is under construction but you can find up-to-date information about services on their Facebook page.
- American Church (65 quai d'Orsay, 7th arr, Metro: Invalides) - Inter-denominational Protestant church. Easter services include a Good Friday service, Easter Sunday sunrise service on the quai overlooking the Seine River, two traditional services, and a contemporary service. Don't miss the two Tiffany stained glass windows toward the back of the church - the only Tiffany windows in a French church. Docent tours of the church are offered each Sunday (except for the first Sunday of each month) and at other times during the week. Website
- Temple de Pentemont (United Protestant Church of Pentemont-Luxembourg) (106 Rue de Grenelle, 7th arr, Metro: Solférino) - Protestant church carved out of a 17th century convent in the mid-1800s by famed architect Victor Baltard, who also installed a huge Cavaillé-Coll pipe organ. Check their website for Easter service information: https://www.epupl.org/
- Trinity International Church of Paris (58 Rue Madame, 6th arr, Metro: Rennes) - Christian church offering sermons in English with French subtitles. Website: http://trinityparis.com/
- The Scots Kirk (17 Rue Bayard, 8th arr, Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt) - The only Church of Scotland in France, as well as the only English-speaking Presbyterian church in France. All nationalities are welcome! Palm Sunday and Easter services. The Scots Kirk also hosts 2-3 concerts each month. Website
Easter Services in French
If you want to attend Easter services in Paris in French (you don't have to understand every word to have a meaningful experience), these famous churches offer Catholic services on Good Friday, Easter, and Easter Monday:
- Sacré Coeur Basilica (35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 18th arr, Metro: Abbesses or Anvers plus take the Funicular up the hill) - Sacre Coeur's beautiful white limestone facade atop a Montmartre hill can be seen across the city, and Paris views from the top are just as spectacular. Choose from multiple masses throughout Holy Week, Easter, and Easter Monday. Website
- Église Saint Germain des Prés (3 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, across the plaza from Les Deux Magots, 6th arr, Metro: Odéon) - The oldest church in Paris and after a recent renovation to remove almost 10 centuries worth of grime, one of the loveliest. The church offers many masses on Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, including some in Spanish. Saint Germain des Prés hosts many classical concerts throughout the year. Website
- Saint Sulpice (2 Rue Palatine; 6th arr; Metro: Saint Sulpice) - Numerous masses throughout Holy Week, Easter, and Easter Monday. Saint Sulpice is the second largest church in Paris, and one of the most compelling (you may remember it from international best seller and movie, The Da Vinci Code). Music lovers will not want to miss the world-renowned Cavaillé-Coll organ, which you can hear every Sunday at 10:45am as a prelude to High Mass at 11am, and then again after the mass at 12 noon for a longer period. The church offers tours in English on the first Sunday of each month at 12:30pm (after the organ concert); this schedule may vary on holy days such as Easter. Website
- Église Saint Eustache (146 Rue Rambuteau, 1st arrondissement, Metro: Les Halles) - Magnificent cathedral-like church, located in the Les Halles area - breathtaking Gothic architecture on the outside, a Renaissance interior, and a renowned organ, the largest in France. In addition to the services, don't miss the organ concert at 5:30pm on Easter Sunday (and every Sunday - a centuries-old tradition). Website
- Cathédral Notre Dame de Paris (6 parvis Notre-Dame, 4th arrondissement, Metro: Cité) - Considered a Gothic masterpiece, Notre Dame dates back to the 12th century. Masses take place throughout the day, with a Gregorian Mass at 10am on Easter (and every Sunday). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the tragic fire on April 15, 2019, masses cannot be held at this time. Please check Notre Dame's website for updates.
Where to Enjoy Easter Egg Hunts in Paris
Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities for children take place all over Paris in parks and other special venues. Look for chocolate eggs from famous Paris chocolate makers, confections from top pastry chefs, games, and other activities to celebrate the beginning of spring in some of the city's most beautiful places.
Here's the schedule of Paris Easter Egg Hunts in interesting (and a couple of unusual) locations.
Parc André Citroën
Easter Egg Hunt for thousands of hidden chocolate eggs plus lots of games, dancing, craft workshops, and other activities. For 3-10 year olds, with hunt times based age.
Dates: Easter Sunday, , 9:30am-5:30pm
Cost: 6€ for the basic hunt, plus some other activities may require additional small fees. This Easter egg hunt is organized by a local charitable organization, the Secours Populaire de Paris (People's Relief of Paris), and proceeds help people in need
Location: 2 rue Cauchy, 15th arr, Metro: Javel or Balard
More information & registration: Secours Populaire de Paris website
The Rodin Museum and famous Parisian chocolatiere À la Mère de Famille, which has been creating delectible confections since 1761, will team up to stage a traditional Easter egg hunt (rain or shine!) as well as games, workshops, and other children's activities in the museum's gorgeous Sculpture Garden.
Cost: 10€ for adults, and free for children
Location: 77 rue de Varenne, 7th arrondissement; Metro: Varenne or Invalides
More information & registration: Musée Rodin website
Musée de l'Homme
The Easter Hunt at Musee de l'Homme takes the prize this year for the most unusual format! First, everyone in the whole family gets a short tour of the museum's skeletons, and then you get to search for chocolate bones. For age 3 and up, with timed entry slots from 10am-4pm.
Cost: 5€ per person
Location: 17 Place du Trocadero, 16th arr, Metro: Trocadero
More information & tickets: website
Paris Zoo (Parc Zoologique de Paris)
Search for 5 eggs of the same color hidden in the "Glades," the areas where the giraffes roam. If you find them, you win chocolates! Open to the whole family. There will also be crafts and face-painting.
Location: Avenue Daumesnil, Bois de Vincennes, 12th arr, Metro: Porte Dorée
Cost: None, aside from the zoo's admission fee (individual and family ticket options), but you must register when you get there.
More information: Parc Zoologique de Paris website
Musée de Montmartre's Renoir Gardens
Children wander around the garden and look for colored eggs brought by flying bells (the depositors of Easter eggs in France, rather than an Easter bunny) and when they find 5 of the same color, they can exchange them for chocolates. For age 2-12.
Dates: , 11:30-5pm.
Cost: Free for children under 12, 8€ for 13-17 year olds, 15€ for adults; registration required
Location: 12 Rue Cortot, 18th arr
More information & tickets: website
Children from 3 to 6, and from 7 to 11 hunt for chocolate eggs in different parts of this popular garden/children's amusement park. With over 50,000 eggs scattered in the search areas, finding the chocolates should not be difficult!
Dates: , 10:30am-12:45pm and 1:45pm-5:30pm - booking is for a 15-minute time slot
Cost: Varies; registration required
Location: Bois de Boulogne, Carrefour des Sablons (next to Fondation Louis Vuitton) 16th arr; nearest Metro: Sablons
More information & tickets: website
More Things to Do on Easter in Paris
Even though many Paris shops and restaurants will be closed on both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, a number of famous Paris museums and monuments will be open. Here is a small sample:
- Centre Pompidou (National Museum of Modern Art) - Place Georges Pompidou, 4th arr; Metro: Hôtel de Ville
- Choco-Story Paris - Gourmet chocolate museum - 28 Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, 10th arr; Metro Bonne Nouvelle - Get Tickets
- Guimet Museum of Asian Arts - 6 Place de Jena, 16th arr; Metro: Jena
- Grevin Paris Wax Museum - 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 9th arr; Metro Bourse
- Louvre Museum - 1st arr; Metro: Palais Royal
Paris parks including Bois de Boulogne (16th arr) and Bois de Vincennes/Paris Zoo (12th arr) are open. Pick a park, bring a picnic lunch and bottle of wine (many neighborhood bakeries and small produce stores will be open, although perhaps in the morning only), and spend the day relaxing and enjoying spring weather.
More Fun Things to Do in Paris
Need a Paris Hotel or Apartment for Your Easter Visit?
Planning a trip to Paris during Easter? Use this hotel map to find hotels and apartments during your travel dates:Booking.com
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