You'll know Easter in Paris is happening soon when chocolatiers display festive chocolate bunnies and candy eggs,pâtisseries fill their shelves with elaborately decorated cakes, and florists perfume nearby streets with the sweet scent of Easter lilies.
In 2021, Easter takes place on Sunday, April 4. The Monday following Easter - April 5 this year - is a public holiday, so you should expect many smaller shops and restaurants to be closed. The metro and city buses will run but on a limited holiday schedule.
Please Note: Due to the ongoing pandemic and the third lockdown, some events such as Easter egg hunts and most Easter concerts will not take place.
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 3-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.
Here are our best tips on how to celebrate Easter in Paris.
Top photo: Easter Eggs at Foucher, top Paris chocolatier
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
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
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
Pierre Marcolini - Flavors change with the seasons, but are always wonderful - 89 Rue de Seine, 6th arr; Metro: Mabillon
Fauchon - Their intricate Easter eggs could double as works of art; treat yourself in the tearoom while you're there - 30 Place de la Madeleine, 8th arr, Metro: Madeleine
Pierre Hermé - Better known for fabulous macaroons, but the chocolates are also mouth-watering - 72 Rue Bonaparte, 6th arr, Metro: Saint Sulpice; many other locations
La Maison du Chocolat - A global brand that began in Paris, and justly famous - 225 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arr, Metro: Ternes; several other Paris locations
Jeff de Bruges - Founded in Belgium by a Frenchman who combines the secrets of famous Belgian chocolates; look for shops in almost every Paris neighborhood - Shown in the photo above: 297 Rue de Vaugirard, 15th arr, Metro: Vaugirard
Un Dimanche à Paris - A chocolate empire owned by Pierre Cluizel, scion of a famous French chocolatier, and a master in his own right - Cour du Commerce Saint-André, 6th arr, Metro: Odéon
Where to Eat When Paris Restaurants Are Closed for Easter (Or Any Day)
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
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 at Café Ore, an elegant contemporary restaurant designed by renowned Chef Alain Ducasse. Upgrade your tour, if you wish, to include Marie Antoinette's retreat, Petit Trianon. 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 note: There are some changes this year due to the pandemic. Please check websites carefully before going.
Please check 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.
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
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.
Easter Egg Hunts in Paris - 2021 - Canceled
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.
UPDATE: All of these Paris Easter Egg hunts are canceled for 2021.
Here's the schedule of Paris Easter Egg Hunts in interesting (and a couple of unusual) locations:
Parc André Citroën (2 rue Cauchy, 15th arr, Metro: Javel or Balard) - Hunt for 40,000 hidden chocolate eggs and enjoy games, dancing and craft workshops. For 3-10 year olds, with hunt times based age. Dates: Not scheduled Cost: 5€ for the basic hunt, up to 14€ for the hunt plus access to a variety of other activities; fees help fund other kids' activities
More information & registration: Federation de Paris
Parc des Buttes Chaumont (1 rue Botzaris, Buttes-Chaumont, Belleville, 19th arr, Metro: Buttes-Chaumont or Botzaris) - Join the hunt for delicious eggs by famous chocolatier A la Mère de la Famille, and enjoy games and other activities held at the Pavillon Puebla. Dates: Not scheduled Cost: None
Jardin des Champs Élysées (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8th arr, Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau) - Join the hunt for special eggs by top Paris patisserie chefs, and join in games and other activities. Space is limited, so to participate, email email@example.com. Dates: Not scheduled Cost: None
Montparnasse Tower's Easter Garden (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8th arr, Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau) - New this year: Hunt for Easter Eggs high above Paris (4-11 year olds; April 10, 2pm-6pm; April 11-12, 10am-5pm, and April 13-126, 2pm-6pm), and visit a special animation of a mini-farm with animals, duck fishing, gardening, and a make up workshop (4-11 year olds; April 19-27, 2pm-6pm. Space is limited. Register and buy your tickets online (click on Special events). Dates: Not scheduled
Renoir Gardens at Musée de Montmartre (12 rue Cortot, 18th arr, Metro: Lamarck-Caulaincourt) - No Easter egg hunt this year. Instead, there will be an Easter egg workshop and party where children draw inspiration from the garden to decorate eggs with paints and fabric.
Dates: Not scheduled Cost: 8.50€ for children 5-12; adults 12€
Grande Arche Rooftop (1 parvis de la Défense, take Metro Line 1 or RER A to La Défense Grande Arche) - The Arche's rooftop will be transformed into a farm for Easter weekend where you and your little ones can pet and feed donkeys, rabbits, chickens, and baby goats. Kids can take part in a daily Easter Egg Hunt, enjoy a maze ,and learn about farms. Dates: Not scheduled Cost: Adults 15€ and Child (2-12) 7€, under 2 years free, plus 5€ egg hunting fee More information: https://www.lagrandearche.fr/actualites/toit-de-grande-arche-se-transforme-ferme
Jardin du Palais Royal (8 rue Montpensier, 1st arr, Metro: Palais Royal/Palais du Louvre) - Search for yummy eggs created by a famous Paris chocolate shop hidden in the beautiful garden near the the black and white columns designed by artist Daniel Buren in this special place dating back to 1633. Ages 3-12. Organized by Boutiuque Senoble, 11 Rue des Petits-Champs, 1st arr. Registration required: email firstname.lastname@example.org and give the names and ages of your children. Dates: Not scheduled Cost: None
Paris Zoo (Parc Zoologique de Paris) (Avenue Daumesnil, Bois de Vincennes, 12th arr, Metro: Porte Dorée) - Celebrate Easter with an egg hunt and other activities in the Clairières area. For children under 6, who each get a 10 minute session and the chance to find up to 5 eggs.