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 the Easter holiday at the beginning 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, Joshua Bell at the Philharmonie, Macklemore at Zénith de Paris, and Imagine Dragons at AccorHotels Arena.
And don't miss new and recently opened Paris art exhibits at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Musée Picasso, Centre Pompidou, and Musée Jacquemart-André.
The Paris Marathon 2018 kicks off on Sunday, April 8 at the Arc de Triomphe as 57,000 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 5-7 at Porte de Versailles, where you can also pick up your bib, and an untimed 5K Breakfast Run on Saturday, April 7 past many of the famous sites runners will see on the full Marathon route the next day.
April Concerts in Paris - 2018
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons - La Madeleine Church - April 24, 28 - Tickets
- Dinner and Concert - Sainte Chapelle - April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 - Tickets
- Concerts at La Sainte-Chapelle on April 20, 21, 28 - Tickets
- Ave Maria at La Sainte-Chapelle: Masterworks of Sacred Music - April 22 - Tickets
- Bach Suites for Violoncello Solo - Saint Ephrem Church - April 23, 29 - Tickets
- Mârouf, Cobbler of Cairo - Paris Opéra Comique - April 23, 25, 27, 29 - Tickets
- Master Soloists of Notre Dame Cathedral - April 24 - Tickets
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Pachelbel's Canon & Vitali's Chaconne - Sainte-Chapelle - April 27, 29 - Tickets
- Romeo and Juliet - Ballet of the Paris National Opera at Opéra Bastille - April 20, 22, 25, 26, 28 - Tickets
- Niall Horan @ Zénith de Paris - April 18 - Tickets
- The Best of Chopin at Saint Ephrem's Church - April 21, 30 - Tickets
- Vivaldi Four Seasons, Caccini, & Schubert - Saint-Germain des Près Church - April 28 - Tickets
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
L'Atelier des Lumières, set to open in the 11th arrondissement near Place de la Bastille on April 13th, is Paris's first digital art center.
From the moment you enter this former iron foundry still filled with original metal structures, you'll be immersed in monumental floor-to-ceiling digital images of ever-changing art accompanied by original music. Look for three exciting exhibits: a digital immersion in the work of Gustav Klimt (through Nov 11), a short program featuring digitized imates of Viennese painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser (also through Nov 11), and a contemporary creation by the Ouchhh Collective of digitized forms, light, and movement based on artificial intelligence algorithms (through Aug 25).
When: Opens April 13 10am-6pm daily and until 22pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Tickets: 14.5€ at the door and online (L'Atelier website)
Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement
Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
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 2018, Easter takes place on Sunday, April 1, and the following Monday, April 2 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.
Special Easter Concert Schedule for 2018
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
Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Vanguard at Vitebsk (1918-1922)
@ Centre Pompidou, March 28 - July 16, 2018 - This major exposition of the post-World War I Russian avant-garde brings together 250+ works to explore the contributions of its three most emblematic figures. Tickets 14€.
Location: Place Georges Pompidou (4th arr) - Rue Beaubourg between Rue Rambuteau and Rue Saint-Merri. Nearest Metro: Rambuteau
Mary Cassatt: An American in Paris
@ Musée Jacquemart-André, March 9 - July 23, 2018 - This Mary Cassatt retrospective brings together works from top American and French museums. Tickets 13.50€
Location: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 8th arr. Nearest Metro : Saint Philippe du Roule
In Tune with the World
@ Fondation Louis Vuitton, April 11 - August 27, 2018 - Modern and contemporary works by 25 French and International artists exploring the place of humans in the universe through a reappropriation of founding myths. Tickets 16€.
Location: 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi in Bois de Boulogne (16th arr). Getting there: Take the Fondation shuttle (2€) from Avenue de Friedland near the Étoile Metro exit; copy of your Fondation ticket booked online in advance required to board the shuttle
Franz Marc and August Macke, 1909-1914 - Coming in 2019
@ 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
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 27, 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
If modern or contemporary art fuels your passion, put the 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 almost 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 Switzerland's art scene; emerging artists from a dozen recently-opened galleries; solo exhibits for 35 artists. Digital projections across the front of the Grand Palais add to the excitement.
When: April 5-8
Tickets: 25€ per day
Where: Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondissement