Best April Events in Paris: What's On?

2018 Guide

A shop window in Paris displays Easter chocolate treats.
••• A shop window in Paris displays Easter chocolate treats. Jim Linwood/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license.

Main Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office

Seasonal Events

  • Banlieue Bleues Paris Jazz Festival: Through April 13th, the northern suburbs of Paris are brought to life with exciting jazz and blues performances. It's well worth the short trek on the metro.
  • Easter in Paris: This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 1st, with the French bank holiday of Easter Monday the following day, April 2nd. Be aware that many places in the city will be closed for the occasion, including restaurants and some tourist attractions (though generally not the most popular ones). See our complete guide for ideas on how to celebrate. 
  • Passover in Paris: Passover is celebrated this year from Friday, March 30th through Saturday, April 7th, so find ideas on how to celebrate here.
  • Foire du Trone (Annual Paris Fair)
    Parents and kids can look forward to the annual Paris fair (Foire du Trône), which runs through the beginning of June and delivers all the traditional fun of a county fair, with Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and cotton candy all in abundance.

Arts and Exhibits Highlights 

There are several noteworthy exhibits on this April, but we think the following are especially worth a morning or an afternoon. 

The Art of Pastel, from Degas to Redon  

Compared to oils and acrylics, pastels tend to be seen as a less "noble" material for painting, but this exhibit proves that all wrong. The Petit Palais' look at magnificent pastels from nineteenth century and early twentieth-century masters including Edgar Degas. Odilon Redon, Mary Cassatt and Paul Gaugin will make you see the world in a softer-- and quietly sublime-- light.

 

Dutch Painters in Paris, 1789-1914: Van Gogh, Van Dogen, Mondrian

This temporary show at the Petit Palais is one that fans of Dutch painting should beeline to. Spanning more than a century of innovation among painters from the Netherlands, it brings together masterpieces from three very different artists, allowing visitors to consider unexpected common points and to witness the evolution of the medium from the neoclassical period into avant-garde modernity.

 

Dates: Through May 13th, 2018 

From Calder to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler 

Jewelry is, perhaps wrongly so, considered by most to be a "craft" rather than "high art". This show challenges those highbrow-lowbrow distinctions with a look at remarkable jewellery designed by major artists, from Pablo Picasso to Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons. To paraphrase the elusive street artist Bansky, you may find it difficult to find your exit from the gift shop, after visiting this show...

Venice in the Time of Vivaldi and Tieplo 

Seen by many as the great city that might disappear underwater in the coming decades due to rising sea levels, Venice is a city that has inspired artistic imaginations for centuries. In tribute to that rich artistic legacy, the Grand Palais is running a monumental exposition exploring the "floating city" and the art that has been made in and around it. A true multidisciplinary show bringing together media from painting to sculpture and music, the exhibit highlights work from painters such as  Piazzetta and Giambattista Tiepolo; sculptors including Brustolon and Corroding; and music from Italian composers such as Vivaldi.

Live performances will be held for several weeks of the exhibition, making it a genuine draw card for lovers of the arts.  

For a more comprehensive list of exhibits and shows on in Paris this month, including listings at smaller galleries around town, you might want to visit this page at Time Out Paris.

Read Related Features:

Trade Shows

Foire de Paris
This annual event at the Porte de Versailles convention center features expositions on home design, innovations in technology, world culture, and hobbies all under one roof. Eclectic types curious to learn about trends of all kinds will enjoy this event.
When: March 25th through to May 23rd, 2016.
Location: PARIS EXPO Porte de Versailles
1, place de la Porte de Versailles
Metro: Porte de Versailles
More information on this event

For a complete list of April events, visit the Paris Tourist Office Events Page.

More on Paris in April: Weather and Packing Guide