Ahh! Spring is the perfect time to visit the French capital. While there is never a bad time to visit the city, with warmer weather, sunshine, fewer crowds and flowers in full bloom, April is one of the best months to visit. It’s a wonderful time of year to see the sites, and take in culture and art in the City of Light. Being the shoulder season means you can avoid the long lines found in the summer months. If it is your first time visiting you’ll find the popular attractions less crowded than during peak tourist season (though even with fewer tourists, some of the most popular attractions will remain busy such as the Louvre Museum). Below is our complete guide for enjoying Paris in April. Discover our picks of the best places to go and the best things to do.
Paris weather in April has an average temperature that is generally mild and pleasant. As with most times of year be prepared for rainy days and pack an umbrella in case of rain showers. You will need a light jacket, clothes for layering (including a sweater) for chilly nights, and a scarf. There may be unusually warm weather and sunny days too, so pack accordingly. The average high temperature in April is 62°F (17°C) while the average low temperature is 43°F (6°C).
With the more pleasant temperatures and longer days it is a great time to begin enjoying the outdoors, with plenty of things to do. Enjoy an early morning run or a stroll through local markets, the Latin Quarter or Île de la cité. Picnics are also a good idea, in the gorgeous outdoor spaces such as the Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes, along the river Seine, Butte Chaumont, Canal St. Martin, just to name a few.
Cherry blossom, magnolia, and wisteria spotting – various locations
Paris is known for its beautiful gardens, and April is the best time to see the colors of spring. Check out the cherry blossoms, magnolia, and wisteria trees in full bloom before they lose their flowers. For cherry blossoms, go to Jardin des Plantes, Champ de Mars, Square Gabriel-Pierné, outside Shakespeare and Company, and Square Paul-Langevin. To see magnolias, go to: Jardin de Palais Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg, Champ de Mars, and the side of Hôtel de Ville. Finally, to view wisteria, head to the Grande Mosquée de Paris and Rue de l’Abreuvoir.
If you want to enjoy the blossoms in a calmer environment than the Tuileries Garden or Jardin du Luxembourg, there are plenty of trees in Parc Clichy-Batignolles, a park well-known by locals of the neighborhood but not by many tourists. Other beautiful and lesser-known spots include Jardin Saint-Simonian in the 20th arrondissement and Square Gabriel Pierné just a quick walk from Pont des Arts.
Festival du Livre de Paris – April 21-23
The Paris Book Festival, or Festival du Livre de Paris, takes place at the Grand Palais Éphémère in the 7th arrondissement. The Festival includes over 250,000 books for sale throughout the weekend. There are more than just books though. There are also workshops for adults and children alike, interviews with authors, and lots of opportunity to interact with different genres and styles of writing. It is the perfect event for bibliophiles and professionals in the industry looking to mingle!
Top Secret: Cinema and Espionage – Presented until May 21
This exhibition at La Cinémathèque Française focuses on the contribution of historical and fictional spy characters in media and film. Featuring the likes of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Edward Snowden, the exhibition also presents costumes, tools, gadgets, and other media featuring these characters. A compelling portion of the exhibition highlights women in spy films. The exhibition seeks to deconstruct common sexist representations of women in these films, while celebrating the contributions made by the actresses and characters themselves.
Circulation(s) Photography Festival – Events through May 21
Circulation(s) is a festival highlighting young European photographers. This year, the 13th edition features photographers of 14 different nationalities. Through photo studios, screenings, and weekends specifically for photography professionals, this festival seeks to unify photographers, professionals, and the general public with the art of photography. The festival takes place at the Centrequartre-Paris, in the 19th arrondissement.
Art Paris – March 30 – April 2
At Art Paris’ 25th anniversary edition, both established and up-and-coming artists gather at the Grand Palais Éphémère to discover contemporary art in different mediums. This year’s themes are commitment and exile. Featured artists and exhibitions seek to look further into these themes and how they affect the modern age.
The Paris Marathon – April 2
Over 100 countries come together to complete this annual event, pounding pavement through some of the City’s best known streets to cross the finish line. From the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Elysées, and all the way to Place de la Bastille, amazing views including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral ease the rigor of one of the most well-known athletic events in Europe. Soak up the atmosphere of the large crowds and cheer on this year’s runners!
The Paris-Roubaix Challenge – April 8
The Paris Roubaix cycling challenge, following the same route as the professional 170 km route is a long and demanding course. It is not for the faint of heart, especially with the 50 km of cobblestones along the route. Nearly 2,000 cyclists participate every year. Even if not participating in the challenge itself, cycling fans will have a blast watching the event.
Tour Auto – April 17-22
Tour Auto is a car show and race event that dates back to 1989. Originally called the Tour de France Automobile, competitors follow a route of more than 2,000 km from Paris to Cannes. Festivities will begin on April 17 with an exposition of all competitors and their vehicles at the Grand Palais Éphémère. The official starting point of the race is the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Maincy, a town 50km southeast of Paris. It is a great event for car enthusiasts looking to connect with other enthusiasts and drivers.
Gold by Yves Saint Laurent – Until May 14
For lovers of the iconic luxury brand Yves Saint Laurent, the Gold exhibition at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent features the importance of the color and how it has played an essential role in the designer’s work. The exhibition features 40 essential gold couture pieces from the YSL collection, including dresses, accessories, jewelry, and glittering objects bearing the hallmark of YSL’s golden touch.
Sayed Haider Raza – Until May 15
Paris’ iconic Centre Pompidou presents an exhibit of Sayed Hadier Raza, an Indian painter and founding member of the Progressive Artists Group. Raza lived in Paris in from 1950 to 2011. His work represents a perspective often overlooked in modern European art. His formative years in India and transcultural dialogues in 20th-century art are the focus of this must see show.
Matisse: The Turn of the 1930s – Until May 29
This exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie centers on Matisse’s works in the 1930s and the decisive events of his life during the decade. Several works that are rarely displayed together in France are on show for this exhibition. Included are The Great Lying Nude, The Song, and the Romanian Blouses series – all on loan from various American museums. Discover the complexity of Matisse in this incredible exhibition.
Capitale(s) – Until June 3
For lovers of street art, Paris City Hall is offering a free exhibition about 60 years of urban art in Paris. More than 70 artists are featured, including the iconic works of Banksy and lesser-known street artists. From displays of paint, to huge displays of works by these artists, this is an incredible exhibition to celebrate an under-appreciated medium.
Manet / Degas – Until July 23
The Musée d’Orsay presents an incredible exhibition of the friendship between Manet and Degas, two similar yet distinct peers. Both are major contributors to Impressionism. The exhibition looks at the training and personalities of these artists. It examines how their art challenged and supported each other. With both striking similarities and differences, the exhibition is testament to the incredible partnership of the two artists.
Picasso Celebration – Until August 27
April 8th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso, one of the major events of the art world this year. There are major exhibitions all over the world including one at the Musée Picasso Paris. Milestones of his life are marked by the inclusion of other international contemporary artists, such as Guillermo Kuitca of Argentina and Obi Okigbo of Nigeria, to create new and interesting dialogues. The connections between the works of incredible artists provide more admiration for Picasso’s work and the era that was changed forever by his innovation.
Basquiat x Warhol: Painting Four Hands – Until August 28
This exhibition opens with portraits of Basquiat by Warhol and of Warhol by Basquiat. Their mutual admiration and friendship is displayed to the general public through paint instead of words. Explore this amazing relationship at the Louis Vuitton Foundation until August 28.
Before the Storm – Until September 11
This exhibition at La Bourse du Commerce takes the audience through a journey of spaces designed by 20 artists to create a social commentary surrounding climate change and the coexisting relationship between humans and animals through distorted and desynchronized landscapes through time. Audiences looking to connect to the real-world experiences of humans in our lifetime will love this thought-provoking exhibition.
Eternal Mucha – Until November 5
The Grand Palais Immersif offers an immersive exposition including traditional and digital mediums. It examines the amazing work (and hectic life) of Alphonse Mucha. Explore iconic images of daisies, poppies, lilies, and advertising posters that launched his career. This exposition is perfect for anyone with an interest in art nouveau.
Chagall – Until January 2024
Featuring the prolific painter Marc Chagall, the Atelier des Lumières presents an immersive exhibition about Chagall’s artistic universe. His pieces are accompanied by classical music and jazz to bring to life his characters. Turning imaginative and groundbreaking art into colorful, dreamy pieces, the Chagall exhibition is a must-see for lovers of the artist and of interactive and immersive art experiences.
Easter in Paris
Easter Weekend is a 4-day holiday for most people in France. April 9 is Easter Sunday this year and April 7 (Good Friday) is a public holiday, as is April 10.
Easter Egg Hunts – April 8-10
If you are planning to celebrate Easter in Paris, there are some great options to participate in an egg-hunt. Here’s a list of some places hosting egg hunts this year:
● Musée Rodin
● Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (outside Paris)
Attend a Holy Week Service
Dates for Holy Week are as follows:
April 2, 2023 Palm Sunday
April 6, 2023 Holy Thursday
April 7, 2023 Good Friday
April 8, 2023 Holy Saturday
April 9, 2023 Easter Sunday
The Basilica of Sacré Cœur, Saint-Eustache, L’église de la Madeleine and L’église Saint-Germain are some of the many awe inspiring churches in Paris where one can attend service. The Paris Tourist office has more information including a list of Stations of the Cross organized during the week.
Best for Kids and Families
Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris – April 15-16
The Modern Art Museum of Paris is hosting a free family weekend with activities, animated exhibitions, and free guided tours of the museum as a part of the free family weekends organized by Paris Musées. The program of the weekend is dedicated to culture and how we interact with others.
The Atelier des Lumières – Every Wednesday starting March 8
Every Wednesday, the Atelier des Lumières hosts a special event for families with reduced and free prices for entrants. The exhibitions are incredibly child-friendly, colorful, and immersive; and they won’t be as crowded as a regular day. Take advantage of no crowds and enjoy an afternoon with family, taking in incredible exhibits in the cultural center of Europe.
Musée Rodin – Starting April 15
The Musée Rodin hosts special workshops to bring out the inner Rodin in your children and introduce them to his amazing works. Participants discover Rodin’s favorite mediums: wood, bronze, and marble. They discover some of the artist’s most famous statues including The Thinker and The Kiss. Spend time with family while discovering art in a new medium with this awesome workshop.
If you really want to treat the children but are short on time you can take a day trip to Disneyland Paris which is just under an hour away. The theme park has a range of tickets and packages to choose from.
Green Day Trips
If you’re feeling worn out thanks to the hustle and bustle of the city, try taking a day trip to the countryside. We’ve compiled a list of the best green day trips from Paris for those wanting to wander out of Central Paris.
- Strikes are a staple of French life. If you’re traveling during one of them, learn how to navigate the strikes like a Parisian.
- Parisians are emerging from their homes as spring blooms. Find out what happens when Parisians see the first signs of spring.
- Find out the clue that always let people know this expat wasn’t a Parisian!
- Want to plan for May in Paris? We’ve done the legwork for you!
Written by Reagan O’Brien. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.