The biggest Paris event in April is the Paris Marathon, one of the biggest in the world due to its beautiful and mostly flat route past spectacular scenery and famous monuments.
Other top April events include major art and craft expositions, a huge "fun fair" dating back to early medieval times, the 4-day Easter holiday near the beginning of the month (both Good Friday and the Monday after Easter Sunday are public holidays in France), and the arrival of spring in Paris.
You can expect to see every flowering tree in the city burst into bloom, sidewalk tables full of people soaking up the sun in front of brasseries and cafes, and cruise boats gliding down the Seine River.
Lots of wonderful concerts pack the April calendar, with Easter concerts in historic churches, dinner concerts at Sainte-Chapelle, and wekk-known artists performing at iconic venues such as the Bataclan, Trianon, and AccorHotels Arena.
And don't miss new and recently opened Paris art exhibits at Grande Halle de la Villette, Atelier des Lumières, Centre Pompidou, and Musée de l'Orangerie.
Top photo: Magnolia trees blooming in early April, with Saint-Augustin Church dome in the background, (c) Paris Discovery Guide
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Easter in Paris - 2023
Displays of chocolate bunnies and brightly colored eggs in the windows of chocolate makers announce Easter in Paris a couple of weeks before the actual holiday.
In 2023, Easter takes place on Sunday, April 9, and the following Monday, April 10 is also a holiday for many Parisians - so be sure to buy your chocolate Easter treats a few days in advance, as many stores and restaurants will be closed on these days.
Popular Easter activities in Paris include attending religious services (beginning on Good Friday), strolling through the city's lovely parks to see spring flowers, enjoying a picnic (many restaurants will be closed), and attending an Easter concert. If you're visiting with children, don't miss the Easter egg hunts!
Concerts on Palm Sunday and Easter Weekend
- Bach by Candlelight: Suites for Cello Solo - Saint Ephrem Church - April 8
- Festival Lyrique at Sainte-Chapelle - April 9
- Ensemble Royal de Paris: Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart - Saint Julien le Pauvre Church - April 9
- Les Violons: Vivaldi's Four Seasons - La Madeleine Church - April 9
April Concerts in Paris - 2023
- Black Eyed Peas - La Defense Arena - April 20
Palm Sunday & Easter Weekend Concerts
Interesting Paris Tours for April
These highly-rated tours show you the best of Paris . . . and beyond!
- Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line and Summit Access Tour - No need to wait in a long line at Paris's most famous attraction when you're with this guided small-group tour. With your guide, you get priority access to the Eiffel Tower's 2nd level, and will learn about some of the famous monument's unique history. Head up to the tower's summit on your own and experience the amazing views (and perhaps a glass of Champagne). More
- Moulin Rouge Show with 3-Course Dinner & Champagne - Pamper yourself with a fabulous 3-course dinner and Champagne and then watch Paris's famous Moulin Rouge cabaret show. More
- Champagne Region Small Group Day Trip from Paris - A full-day guided visit through Champagne country, vineyard tours with free Champagne tasting, a traditional French lunch in Reims and a tour of its stunningly beautiful cathedral, a visit to the Moët and Chandon cellars, plus pickup/dropoff at your hotel . . . it's the perfect day trip from Paris! More
Musical Fountain Shows Begin at Versailles 2023
You will know spring has arrived in Paris when the Musical Gardens and Musical Fountains Shows start for the season in the Gardens at Palace of Versailles in early April. These special presentations continue through late October/early November.
Hours: The Palace is open from 9am - 5:30pm, and the Gardens are open from 8am - 6pm. Both are open daily, except Mondays, Christmas, and New Year Day.
Tickets to Versailles & Musical Gardens or Fountain Show
Here are two highly-rated guided tours of Versailles that include Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains (on days when they take place):
- From Paris: Versailles Sunset Bike Tour with Musical Fountains & Fireworks Show
- Skip-the-Line Versailles Palace Tour by Train, Plus Musical Fountains/Gardens Show (on days when offered)
Prefer to explore on your own? Get a Versailles Palace & Gardens "Passport" Ticket that includes the shows on days when they are available.
More Ways to See Versailles:
Getting to Versailles from Paris
Take the RER C from Paris - about a 30-minute ride - and get off at the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. The Palace is about a 10-minute walk along a well-marked route.
April in Paris - Spring Arrives!
The beauty of April in Paris is legendary. With Kwanzan cherry trees and other flowers blooming everywhere you look, plenty of sunny days (usually), and warm temperatures, April gives Paris visitors and residents the perfect excuse to stroll through the city's loveliest parks. Here are several familiar and less-known Parisian Edens you won't want to miss:
- Jardin du Luxembourg (Rue de Médicis/Rue de Vaugirard, 6th arr.) - In the heart of the Left Bank, the park's mix of formal French gardens, English-style winding paths, and over 100 statues provide the perfect setting to discover early spring flowers. Metro: Rennes
- Palais Royal Garden (8 Rue de Montpensier, 1st arr.) - Almost hidden behind Daniel Buren's columns in Palais Royal's courtyard, the garden is a tranquil haven from nearby Rue de Rivoli and the Louvre. Look for magnolias and daffodils in full bloom in early April, followed by foxgloves and roses as days grow warmer. Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre
- Square Georges Cain (7 Rue Payenne, 3rd arr.) - On a quiet side street in the heart of the Marais, this small oasis captures the afternoon sun. In April, look for small blooming bulbs amid the statues and historic artifacts. Metro: St Paul
Popular Seine River Cruises
Paris Museum Shows & Exhibitions - April 2023
Manet/Degas @ Orsay Museum
An exploration of the differences and even conflicts in their depictions of modernity in their works created between the 1860s and 1880s.
Dates: March 28 - July 23, 2023
Musée d'Orsay Tickets: 16€ adults. Book a reserved-access ticket for skip-the-line access, or use your Paris Museum Pass for free entry
Location: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris 7; Metro: Pont de l'Alma; Invalides
Kimono @ Musée du Quai Branly
Exploration of the history of the Japanese kimono, including modern use by designers such as Galliano and McQueen, and innovative and subversive use by younger Japanese .
Dates: Through May 28, 2023
Tickets: 12€ adults; includes permanent collections & temporary exhibitions in the Garden Gallery; some special shows may require a separate ticket. Book online, or get free entry (not including ticketed shows) with a Paris Museum Pass
Location: 37 Quai Branly (almost next door to the Eiffel Tower), 7th arrondissement; Metro/RER: Pont d'Alma
Paris Foire du Trone - Throne Fair - 2023
Visit Paris's huge Foire du Trone, and you'll become part of a tradition and cultural event stretching back to 957 when 15-year old King Lothair established the first Fun Fair, once a festive market featuring gingerbread as a top seller and acrobats and gambling to entertain the crowds. Today, roughly 350 attractions including carnival rides, stuffed animals, fries, and beer rule as the fair attracts an estimated 5 million visitors for the shared goal of having fun during its 2-month spring season. Especially if you're staying in the Marais, getting to the fair takes less than 10 minutes on the Metro's Line 8.
When: March 31 - May 29, 12 noon to 11pm (1pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and nights before public holidays)
Where: Bois de Vincennes on the Reuilly Lawn (Pelouse de Reuilly), 12th arrondissement (Look for the fair on your right soon after you pass through the entrance near the Porte Dorée metro station, or just follow the crowds)
Metro: Porte Dorée
Admission: Free - plus reasonable prices for food, drinks, rides, etc
More information: Faire du Trone website
Paris Book Fair (Festival du Livre de Paris) - 2023
Paris is a city that takes books seriously, and no where is that more evident than at the massive 3-day Paris Book Fair held each spring with 150,000+ visitors from more than 50 countries. This year, the fair honors the literature of Italy.
You can buy books, chat with some of the almost 4,000 writers at the presentations and publishers' booths (they'll also sign their books for you), and attend your choice of 2,500 events including signing sessions, readings, concerts, workshops, interviews, and debates. You can also buy books in a convenient centrally-located bookstore. If that's not enough, check out the 1,200 or so exhibits put up by major and indie publishers, themed stages, bookstores, specialty forums on genres such as detective fiction and young adult, news organizations, book sellers, digital and audio producers, and university presses. There are even four literary cafés.
When: April 21-23
Where: Grand Palais Ephémère on Champ de Mars, 7th arrondissement
Metro: Ecole Militaire
Livre Paris website for more information: www.festivaldulivredeparis.fr
"Art Paris" Art Fair 2023
If modern or contemporary art fuels your passion, put the massive Art Paris Art Show at the top of your "must-see" list for April and head over to the Grand Palais Éphémère to immerse yourself in the works of over 900 artists from 133 galleries from over 25 countries exhibited under the huge temporary "Palais" (in case you're wondering, the actual Grand Palais is getting much-need renovations/updating and will reopen in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris).
Special shows to seek out: Natural Histories, a curated selection of 20 artists who focus on the natural world, plants, and animals; Art & Environment, a show of 17 artists who express their relationship to the world through ecology; Promises, a look at emerging galleries; plus solo exhibits for numerous artists as well as other special exhibitions.
When: March 30 - April 2
Tickets: 25-30€ per day, 30-35€ for 2-day passes, cheaper rates for students; buy in advance on the event's website
Where: Grand Palais Éphémère, Champs de Mars, 7th arrondissement; enter on the Ave de la Motte-Picquet end on the side near the Ecole Militaire metro station
Metro: Ecole Militaire
Bastille Design Center Events: Vintage Markets, Creators's Exhibitions, Contemporary Art, & More
If you're a fan of shopping for vintage items, artisan creations, contemporary art, and indie designs, all of which are super-trendy in Paris right now, then you'll want to check out the almost-weekly pop-up markets in the Bastille Design Center (74 boulevard Richard Lenoir, 11th arrondissement).
Most pop-ups take place over 2-4 days, and almost all offer free admission. The Design Center typically announces upcoming events several days in advance - usually, although not always, on the preceeding Monday or Tuesday.
Best of all, prices typically are very affordable. For example, vintage clothing at a recent pop-up was sold for 30€ per kilo. You can find event and reservation details on the market's Facebook page.
More places to shop for vintage clothing in Paris: Marais, especially along Rue de Rivoli; Rue de Martyrs neighborhood in 9th arrondissement - don't miss the shops on Rue Clauzel
Paris's biggest flea market at Saint Ouen: Let an expert guide show you the best vintage sellers
European Craft Days in Paris 2023
The European Days of Crafts (Journées Européennes des Métiers d'Art) takes place all over Europe and showcases contemporary expressions of traditional crafts by opening the doors of professional artisans to the public for a week each spring.
This is your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at bookbinders, costume makers, jewelry designers, leather toolers, bicycle makers, stone carvers, tapestry weavers, furniture restorers, and much more, many of them at the city's top cultural institutions such as the Louvre and the Paris Opera. Go to the JAMA website to see what's on offer. Use the map to search; you'll have to click about 10 times to drill down to Paris events, but it's worth the effort. With over 200 open studios in Paris, you'll have a wealth of choices.
When: March 27 - April 2
Admission: Free, but many venues are small and limit participants, so advance registration is usually required and some fill up very quickly
Where: All over Paris (and France as well as the rest of Europe)
Paris Marathon 2023
The Paris Marathon 2023 kicks off on Sunday, April 2 at the Arc de Triomphe as 65,000 runners from all over the world start the race course down Champs-Élysées and about a quarter of a million spectators line up along the 26.2 mile (42.2 km) route to watch. The first group of Elite runners depart at 8:20am, with other groups following in waves until 9:50am.
Whether you're running or watching, the Marathon's mostly-flat route gives you spectacular close-up views of iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, plus interesting tours of Paris's two huge wooded parklands. Thanks to the relatively flat route, the winner typically crosses the finish line in just over two hours, although you can still see plenty of runners along the route until at least mid-afternoon.
Events before the race include the 3-day Paris Marathon Expo at Porte de Versailles, where you can also pick up your bib, and an untimed 5K Breakfast Run on Saturday before the race past many of the famous sites runners will see on the full Marathon route the next day.
More Fun Things to Do & See in Paris in April
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More Articles about Things to Do in Paris in April
- Where to watch the famous April race & what to expect if you're running
- What's happening in Paris during Easter
- Which Paris flea markets are the biggest and best
- Where to stay near the Paris Marathon route
- How to get fast entry to top Paris attractions with skip the line tickets
- What to do on your first day in Paris