15 of the best things to do in Paris in April 2023
What to do in Paris in April?
With spring in full swing and an Easter chocolate feast on the calendar, events in Paris move up a gear and increasingly move outdoors. As ever, art and cultural fairs are high on the agenda. But with a school vacation during the month, there’s plenty of family entertainment too. We take a look at the main events and a few inspired ideas in our guide to the best things to do in Paris in April.
The 15 best things to do in Paris in April
Get lost in a shopping extravaganza at the Foire de Paris (April 27 – May 8, 2023)Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
The annual Fair of Paris is a springtime favorite in the French capital, having first set up shop in 1904. The vast retail fair at the Paris Expo is renowned for selling a huge variety of products. Recent fairs have showcased over 3,500 brands. From food to furniture, toiletries to technology, there is innovation and quality throughout.
If you’re looking for top-quality ‘Made in France’ products or ideas and inspiration for your home, the Foire de Paris is for you. If you simply want to enjoy the ultimate window-shopping experience safe from the rain, it could be the ideal day out.
Beware the Poisson D’Avril (April 1 every year)Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
April Fools’ Day in France is marked a little differently. Pranks are still on the agenda, but you may also see the occasional paper fish (the titular poisson) attached to people’s backs. The traditional method of celebrating April 1st is a centuries-old tradition of surreptitiously attaching fish to unsuspecting friends and family.
These days, the custom of the April fish has faded away. But schoolchildren still try to revive the flagging tradition.
Oh, be skeptical of news articles on the day. The more widely practiced tradition of jokes and pranks is still very much alive, and there are bound to be some bizarre news headlines that day.
Amuse restless children at Europe’s biggest funfair, the Foire du Trône (March 31 – May 29, 2023)Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
If you’re looking for family fun in Paris in April that will amuse children big and small, the sprawling Foire du Trône thrills and entertains all through the month.
The annual funfair is centuries old and has grown to be the biggest in Europe. With 350 rides and games, the fête foraine now occupies the open spaces of Pelouse de Reuilly in the expansive Bois de Vincennes. The high-spirited gathering fills up every evening and is packed with thrills, spills, and sugar-fueled mayhem.
More sugar-fueled fun at the Musée du ChocolatMuseum in ParisAdd to myTravel added
Where better place to take your family for an Easter celebration than Paris’s museum of chocolate? Billed as the complete ‘Choco Story,’ the experience is somewhere between Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and a serious education on all thing’s cocoa.
Feeding minds and sugar cravings, you can meet the chocolatiers, make your own cocoa confections, and marvel at edible sculptures.
The museum is compact. Yet it is utterly irresistible if you love chocolate. Which probably covers just about every family visiting Paris in April!
Get your book signed at the Festival du Livre (April 21 – 23, 2023)Museum in ParisAdd to myTravel added
France’s largest book fair takes place every April in Paris. For 2023, the fair will be hosted in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower at the Grand Palais Éphémère.
Naturally, the book fair is dominated by French publications and authors. But there’ll be a sizeable section of English language books. Even better, many authors will be there to talk about their works and sign books.
After the sugary pleasures of the Musée du Chocolat and Foire du Trône, this is one of the more grounded and educational things to do in Paris in April.
Cheer on the runners at the Paris Marathon (April 2, 2023)Sports Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
April kicks off with the best long-distance runners in the world competing in the Paris Marathon. With 50,000+ participants pounding the streets of Paris, it is one of the great sporting spectacles in France.
The race begins with a bang on the wide spaces of Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Following a 26.2-miles (42-kilometer) loop past iconic Parisian landmarks later, the potential winners emerge onto Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe, just a short distance from the start line.
The Paris Marathon takes place early on the first Sunday of April, and crowds line the route to urge the runners forward. Get there early to bag a spot and join the carnival-like atmosphere as thousands of exhausted runners stream past.
Kaleidoscopic exuberance at the Color Run (April 15-16, 2023)Sports Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
For an altogether more animated run through the streets of Paris, you can join the internationally popular Color Run. Unlike the Paris Marathon, this ‘sporting’ event is aimed at amateurs and fun seekers.
The run begins with a party and ends with an even bigger party. Along the way, participants are dusted in multi-hued powder. The colors change every kilometer as runners follow the banks of the Seine. By the time participants reach the finish line 3.1-miles (5km) later, they are coated head-to-toe in a rainbow of colors.
The run takes place in cities around the world, with funds directed toward charities. The event is open to all and easily one of the most high-spirited things to do in Paris in April. Even if you don’t join the run, you can go along to enjoy the multicolored party.
Get a taste of traditional French cuisine during the annual Goût de France (April 13, 2023)Eat & Drink in ParisAdd to myTravel added
Every April, France rallies restaurants across the country to promote traditional foods and ingredients. Goût de France means ‘Taste of France,’ and the aim is to demonstrate why French gastronomy earned its enviable global reputation.
The global event encourages chefs to put together their favorite French dishes. Organized dinners take place in cities and French embassies around the world. Some restaurants in Paris will also vary their menus, creating dishes with gallic flavors and ingredients. You don’t have to look hard to find classic French food in Paris, but you’re assured of even more on the menu during the Goût de France.
Admire the personal collection of Pablo Picasso at the Picasso museumMuseum in Quartier des ArchivesAdd to myTravel added
Although born in Spain, Picasso was a giant of the Parisian art scene and spent most of his life in the French capital.
Picasso died on April 8, 1973, aged 91. Upon his death, a vast personal collection of his own art and paintings he had acquired were passed to the French government in place of inheritance tax. That collection was ultimately housed in the resplendent 17th century Hôtel Salé and became the Picasso Museum of Paris.
The collection has grown over the years with more works donated by family members using a tax law that accepts valuable artworks to settle unpayable bills. The resulting collection is a highly personal insight into the art that Picasso cared about, rather than the masterpieces displayed elsewhere. It is an intimate and inspiring exhibition and a must for Picasso fans.
Tip: You can visit the Picasso Museum for free on the first Sunday of the month.
View international documentaries at the Cinéma du Réel festival (March 24 – April 02, 2023)Event in ParisAdd to myTravel added
Founded in 1978, the international documentary festival is a vital part of the Parisian arts and culture scene. The event shines a light on documentary filmmaking techniques and eye-opening subject matter, and brilliant documentary makers from around the world submit their films.
Fittingly situated in the divisive Pompidou contemporary art museum, the festival dishes up a highly diverse program. From searing political critiques to heartfelt insights on obscure topics, the documentaries show a world we rarely see. There are usually 200+ films shown in the cinemas at the Pompidou Public Information Library.
Check the program: with such a broad range of films, there could be something that will appeal to you.
See the floral garden of Bois de Vincennes in full bloomPark in 12. ArrondissementAdd to myTravel added
Paris blooms with color in April as parks and public spaces spring to life in a riot of floral colors and scents. Cherry blossoms are one of the defining images of Paris in spring, and you see some of the finest pink blooms around Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
But flower patches bloom in parks across the city. One of the finest places to see this is in the aptly named Parc Floral de Paris. Situated in the immense Bois de Vincennes, the park is one of the prettiest places for a springtime walk.
As the name suggests, flowers and plants are the headline attractions in the calming green space. The botanic garden is just far enough off the beaten path to be a rare pocket of serenity in the French capital. There is a lot going on, including a Japanese garden, gaudy peacocks roaming around, and play areas for children. And some of the city’s most stunning floral and plant arrangements.
A promenade around Parc Floral de Paris is easily one of the most relaxing things to do in Paris in April. Especially if you want to see the colors of spring in full bloom.
Head out to Versailles for the light and sound spectacular in the gardens and fountains of the dazzling royal palace (April to October)Historic Building in VersaillesAdd to myTravel added
Piping baroque music through the majestic fountains of Versailles is a long-standing tradition. The fabled musical event happens on weekends (and Tuesdays) and adds richness to the splendor of the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Even more spectacular are the light and music shows that take place on some evenings every week from April to October.
Les Grandes Eaux Musicales, or Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, is a nighttime show that makes carefully choreographed use of water spouts, music, and lights. It is a remarkable sight, and if you plan to visit Versailles (which we can’t recommend enough), then timing your visit to see the light show will enrich your experience of France’s most fabulous château.
Art ParisGallery in ParisAdd to myTravel added
We close our guide to the best things to do in Paris in March with the ever-popular contemporary art fair, Art Paris. Divided into exhibitions for established and emerging artists, the event welcomes art galleries from around the world. In 2023, 130 galleries from over 20 countries are expected to display their works in the elegant spaces of Grand Palais (Grand Palais Éphémère for 2023.)
The much-anticipated Art Paris has grown into one of the leading art events of the year. It is more proof that the City of Light is one of the vital art capitals, where the world’s leading artists can feel right at home.
Taste heavenly chocolates from Paris’s leading chocolatiersEat & Drink in ParisAdd to myTravel added
You won’t have any difficulty hunting fine-quality chocolate in Paris. The city attracts the foremost chocolatiers, and heavenly chocolate boutiques are dotted all over the capital.
Some names stand apart, creating sublime cocoa confections worth making a detour for. Here are our favorite chocolate boutiques, assured to feed the most discerning chocolate cravings: Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, Debauve & Gallais and Jacques Genin.
Escape the rain down Paris’s atmospheric-covered passagewaysShopping Tip in ParisAdd to myTravel added
The evocative passageways of Paris are a portal to a forgotten Paris. Many of the city’s alleys disappeared during Haussmann’s renovation of the city. A few survived. Most were left to serve as pedestrian thoroughfares connecting the impressive new boulevards Haussmann created. That means they are often found in chic accommodations.
At one time, the Les Passages Couverts de Paris offered a refuge from muddy streets, where the wealthy could shop and dine without getting wet. Today, they are upscale arcades, home to refined boutiques and elegant cafés. Short and easy to explore, they are relics of a bygone Paris.
Is April a good month to visit Paris?
April is one of the best months to visit Paris and really explore the special city in France. Even if you need to carry an umbrella with you, the beautiful greening around the city will let you forget all about a few raindrops on your coat and make your vacation a trip to remember.
What to pack for Paris in April?
For your vacation in Paris in April, you don’t have to take your umbrella anymore and a light rain jacket might be enough. April is the time of the year when you can wear cool outfits in Paris and sit down to read in one of the cute cafés. Still pack a warmer coat, sweater and comfortable shoes.
What is the weather like in Paris in April?
April means springtime in Paris. Compared to March, the days are longer and a little drier. However, you may not feel a big difference, with daily average temperatures only hitting 61 °F (ca. 16 °C) on the upside, rainfall typically only appears for 12 days during the month. You might be able to ditch the umbrella some days and make the most of the weather in Paris in April.
What is the average April temperature in Paris, France?
With daily average temperatures only hitting 61 °F (ca. 16 °C) on the upside, there a a lot less rainy and cloudy days, so you can enjoy some of the first sunny days in the parks.
What to wear to Disneyland Paris in April?
If you go, the biggest attraction of Paris for kids, you should always wear something comfortable. It’s enough to wear sneakers, trousers, shirt and bring a hoodie. But remember: Always carry a rain jacket for some of the water rollercoasters in the park.
I love traveling! Whether it's the Australian outback, the fjords of Norway or city trips to the most beautiful cities in the world like Paris, Singapore, Barcelona or New York - I'll write down my best tips so that your trip will be a very special highlight.
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