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 Easter holiday toward the end of the month, and the arrival of spring in Paris as every tree in the city bursts into bloom, sidewalk tables fill up in front of brasseries and cafes, and sunshine makes everyone slightly giddy.
Lots of wonderful concerts pack the April calendar, with Easter concerts in historic churches, dinner concerts at Sainte-Chapelle, Lukas Graham at Le Bataclan, Mahalia at Le Trianon, and Michelle Obama at AccorHotels Arena.
And don't miss new and recently opened Paris art exhibits at Grande Halle de la Villette (the major Tutankhamon exhibit), Atelier des Lumières, Centre Pompidou, and Musée de l'Orangerie.
Paris Marathon 2019
The Paris Marathon 2019 kicks off on Sunday, April 14 at the Arc de Triomphe as 55,000 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 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 26.2 mile (42.2 km) 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 on April 11-13 at Porte de Versailles, where you can also pick up your bib, and an untimed 5K Breakfast Run on Saturday, April 13 past many of the famous sites runners will see on the full Marathon route the next day.
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
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
Easter in Paris 2019
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 2019, Easter takes place on Sunday, April 21, and the following Monday, April 22 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, 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 city's largest Easter egg hunt in Parc André Citroen sponsored by Secours Populaire Français.
The beauty of April in Paris is legendary. With 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
@ Grande Halle de la Villette - Through September 15, 2019 - This traveling blockbuster exhibition makes its first stop in Paris with a collection of 150 exceptional masterpieces, many never shown outside of Egypt before and not likely to again. Tickets are 22€ for adults and 18€ for children; purchase online in advance is highly recommended (Tutankhamon website) Where: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement Metro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de La Villette
Van Gogh, The Starry Night
@ Atelier des Lumières - Through Dec 31, 2019 - Immersive digital exhibition of Van Gogh's masterpieces accompanied by original music. Tickets are 14.50€ at the door and online; purchase online to go to front of entrance queue (L'Atelier website); includes 3 current immersive exhibits Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Saint-Maur
Museum in Works(s)
@ Centre Pompidou, through Dec 30, 2019 - The new presentation of Contemporary Collections on the 4th floor features large installations from the late '60s including works by Dubuffet, Bruce Nauman, Guy Cointets, Louise Bourgeois, Mike Kelley, and more. Included with general admission of 14€. Location: Place Georges Pompidou (4th arr) - Rue Beaubourg between Rue Rambuteau and Rue Saint-Merri. Nearest Metro: Rambuteau
Franz Marc and August Macke, 1909-1914
@ Musée de l'Orangerie, March 6 - June 17, 2019 - This exhibition brings together two major figures from the hedonist, colorful, and seductive side of German Expressionism and explores the influence of French artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin as well as the Fauvism movement on their work during this pre-World War I period. Tickets 9€; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass Location: Jardin des Tuileries, 1st arr. Nearest Metro : Concorde
Yves Saint Laurent: New Show
@ Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Through December 31, 2019 - This new presentation of the museum's permanent collection features trend-setting designs in the famous fashion designer's 16th arrondissement former haute couture workshop. Tickets 10€; open Tuesday - Sunday 11am-6pm (until 9pm on Fridays). Location: 5 Avenue Marceau, 16 arr
Nearest Metro: Alma Marceau More info: https://museeyslparis.com
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
Get free admission and skip-the-line access to 60+ museums in and near Paris when you have a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days. More info
Paris Foire du Trone - Throne Fair
Visit Paris's huge Foire du Trone, and you'll become part of a tradition stretching back to 857 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, carnival rides, stuffed animals, fries, and beer rule as the fair attracts an estimated 5 million visitors during its 2-month spring season.
When: Through May 26, noon to midnight (1pm on Saturdays and the eves of public holidays) Where: Bois de Vincennes, 12th arrondissement (Look for the fair on your right after you pass through the entrance near the Porte Dorée metro station) Metro: Porte Dorée Admission: Free - plus reasonable prices for food, drinks, rides, etc
Art Paris Art Fair 2019
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 to immerse yourself in the works of over 1,000 artists from 142 galleries from over 70 countries exhibited under the huge glass dome.
Special shows to seek out: an in-depth look at women artists in France; established and emerging artists from Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, and Mexico City; solo exhibits for numerous artists. Digital projections across the front of the Grand Palais add to the excitement.
When: April 4-7 Tickets: 25€ per day Where: Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondissement
European Craft Days in Paris - 2019
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. With over 200 open studios in Paris, you'll have a wealth of choices.
When: April 1-7 Admission: Free, but many venues are small and limit participants, so advance registration is usually required. Where: All over Paris (and France as well as the rest of Europe)
More Fun Things to Do & See in Paris in April
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