France in April - Weather, What to Pack, What to See

Provence house
Serge Vuillermoz / EyeEm / Getty Images

April is a really good month to visit France. The weather is great in the south, not too hot but already warming up well, and mild in the north. This is the month when all the major attractions and sights begin to open. You can enjoy the towns and villages without the great summer crush of people in the most popular seaside resorts. The gardens are either beginning to bloom (in the north) or are already showing off their gorgeous plantings; the trees have that sharp green foliage that heralds Spring in the great forests that you find all over the country, and the great rivers of France are sparkling in the bright Spring sunlight.

 

Check out Easter in France.

Check out the guide to special Events and Festivals in France in April 2017.

Weather

In April, the weather turns mild, sometimes astonishing with high temperatures. But there are also surprises with spring showers, and sometimes chilly evenings. There are major variations in climate depending on where you are in France, but here are weather averages for some major cities:

  • Paris:
    Temperature ranges from 7 degrees C (45 degrees F) to 15 degrees C (59 degrees F
    Average temperature is 10 degrees C (50 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 12
  • Bordeaux:
    Average temperature ranges from 6 degrees C (43 degrees F) to 17 degrees C (63 degrees F)
    Average temperatures is 12.5 degrees C (55 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 13
  • Lyon:
    Temperature ranges from 4 degrees C (42 degrees F) to 15 degrees C (59 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 11.5 degrees C (53 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 12
  • Nice:
    Average temperature ranges from 9 degrees C (48 F) to 17 degrees C (63 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 10 degrees C (50 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 7
  • Strasbourg:
    Average temperature ranges from 6 degrees C (43 degrees F) to 17 degrees C (63 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 10 degrees C (50 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 13

    Find out more: Weather in France

    What to pack

    Packing for a France holiday in April can vary according to which part of France you are visiting. If you are in the south, the centre and the west coast, generally the weather is mild. Though do remember that if you are going to the Alps it will almost certainly snow, particularly at the beginning of the month. So include the following in your packing list:

    • A good winter coat
    • A warm jacket for daytime
    • Sweaters or cardigans
    • Scarf, hat and gloves
    • Good walking shoes
    • Sturdy umbrella that can resist the wind

    Find out more on Packing Tips

    Why visit France in April

    • Parks and gardens are coming to life with the gorgeous light green of Spring colors
    • The tourist season is officially beginning, with expanding hours at tourist attractions
    • The weather invites you to sit at pavement tables watching the world go by
    • The shopping is very good, with open-air markets filling the streets

    Why not to visit France in April

    • Rates are beginning to climb on airfares and accommodation
    • Crowds are starting to pick up, and lines get longer
    • Hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation is also rising, but you can always get bargains by booking as far in advance as possible.

    Top Events and Festivals in France in April

    There are many major events in April.

    Some happen each year; others are one-offs. Easter is a major weekend in France when a whole mass of events are organised, so check out the local tourist office where you are staying for details. It's the weekend particularly of large markets like that at L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue where the biggest flea market and antique show in Europe takes over the small town for 4 days. Also in the south, the great Roman arena in Nîmes echoes to the roars of the crowds at the annual Roman games; while on the west coast just south of La Rochelle, the skies above the beaches of Châtelaillon-Plage fill up with the most weird and wonderful kites you can imagine.

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