Magnolia blossom beside the Eiffel Tower in Paris in April
Ian Packham

What to do in Paris in April

April is such an extraordinary time of year to visit Paris that there’s even a song about it which has been recorded by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Frank Sinatra. The month sees café and brasserie tables spill out onto elegant boulevards once more, flowers erupt in bloom and several major annual events take place.

With the mercury steadily rising in thermometers across the French capital’s 20 arrondissement (neighborhoods), Paris in April is a great month to explore its many outdoor attractions. Its museums provide welcome respite from any incoming rain showers.

What’s more, the crowds of summer are yet to descend on Paris, and hotel prices are still for the most part significantly below their peak. Wondering if spring in the City of Light is for you? Check out the array of things to do in Paris in April below.

Get outdoors

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Although it’s the grand boulevards like the Champs-Élysées which are the focus of events such as the Bastille Day celebrations, Paris has several unmissable green spaces. The best-known name is perhaps the Bois de Boulogne, a former royal hunting ground gifted to the city by Napoleon III in 1852 and home to attractions including the Château de Bagatelle.

Public access to the Jardin des Tuileries, between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, dates to almost two centuries earlier. Its formal layout has become a place of celebration and relaxation. It’s also the location of the Musée de l'Orangerie, containing eight of Monet’s larger Water Lilies masterpieces.

The highlight of the Jardins du Trocadéro has to be its views across the River Seine to the Eiffel Tower, although the creatures at the Paris Aquarium come a close second.

Outside of the city, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles are usually free to enter, except for when their musical gardens and fountains shows are on. The shows start in April and continue several times per week until October.

Experience easter in Paris

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Taking place in April or at the very end of March, easter has transcended its religious origin to become a festival which anyone can enjoy. Beyond the services of Holy Week, Paris’s churches host an array of classical music concerts.

Often, all you need to do is turn up at the advertised time. But you can also do far worse than admiring the window displays of the patisseries and chocolateries of Paris, who go out of their way to outdo each other. Stepping across the threshold for a sneaky sample is a must.

Chocolate is a key element of the easter egg hunts put on by organizations and major hotel chains too. But if you’re looking for a more rounded meal, be warned that most restaurants close on Easter Sunday and Monday. Parisians take to the parks for picnics instead.

Take part in mass participation events

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As funfairs go, none are older than the Foire du Trône – or Throne Fair – in the Pelouse de Reuilly area of the Bois de Vincennes. Spread over 25 acres, the space provides temporary residence to 350 rides and stalls throughout April and May for a fair over a thousand years old.

Now in its fifth decade, the Paris Marathon has to be one of the most unusual ways to take in the landmarks. One of the largest races in the world, with up to 65,000 participants, its route begins on the Champs-Élysées and follows the Seine eastward past the Eiffel Tower before doubling back towards its finish line at the Arc de Triomphe.

One of Europe’s leading contemporary art shows, Art Paris also takes place in April. It brings together the collections of around 150 galleries from 20 countries within the impressive modern glass and steel structure of the Grand Palais Éphémère opposite the Eiffel Tower. Curated by a different figure in the art world each year, it’s one of the city’s most anticipated art events.

Adopt the Paris style

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If you’ve a fondness for style, then Paris doesn’t disappoint. For one thing, the world’s style capital boasts its very own Museum of Decorative Arts. Located within the majestic surrounds of the Pavillon de Marsan – part of the Louvre complex – the museum contains over one million objects. They span centuries of decorative arts and include furniture, wallpapers and ceramics.

But you certainly don’t need to head into the hallowed halls of the Louvre to become acquainted with Paris’ legendary elegance. Sit at a café table anywhere from Rue Bonaparte in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood to Rue Faubourg du Saint-Honoré, where luxury brands are based, and you can people watch with abandon.

Then consider heading to Boulevard Haussmann and the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette. Its intricate interiors are worthy of museum space in their own right.

What to wear in Paris in April

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Dominated by the arrival of spring, the weather in Paris in April is generally good. Average daily temperatures hit 15°C, but can occasionally fall as low as 10°C. Anticipate seven hours of sunshine per day. Rain is also frequent, although light, with just 25 mm falling during the entire month.

As a result, most visitors to Paris in April will want a light jacket for the early mornings, late evenings and the breeze that whips through the upper stories of the Eiffel Tower. There’s otherwise little wind to worry about.

Wearing layers will ensure you’re ready for anything, whether riding the roller coasters of the city’s theme parks, drifting along the Seine on a river cruise or hanging above the city in a hot air balloon.

Save on April Paris attraction admission

April is a great month to travel to Paris. Outside of the easter period, hotels tend to have reduced nightly rates and the city’s major landmarks are yet to see the crowds of summer. But this is not the only way to save on a vacation in gay Paris.

Go City gives you reduced admission to many Paris attractions whilst still giving you the flexibility you would expect to have on vacation. It’s really as simple as that.

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