What to Do in France in April?

What to Do in France in April?

Spring is in the air! Blossoming fruit trees and longer days aside, France has a packed calendar of events celebrating ‘le printemps’. Here is France Today’s round-up of events, exhibitions and openings in France in April 2023 

Spring Events in France 

Easter at the Château de Chantilly, Oise – April 5 – May 8 

A tasty program of events celebrating spring will take place at the Chantilly castle, just 40km from central Paris, including a giant Easter egg hunt, workshops to learn how to whip Chantilly cream, towering chocolate sculpting as well as period costume renting and themed guided tours. Find out More

Bayonne’s ham festival is a tasty treat! © Mathieu Prat

Bayonne’s ham festival, Pyrénées-Atlantiques – April 6-9 

Who can argue with a tradition that dates back to 1462? La Foire au Jambon in Bayonne is a joyful celebration of Basque specialities in all their splendour. 

The kite festival in Châtelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime – April 8-10 

Watch as giant, feather-light creatures take off from the beach and glide up high in the air in the annual Festival International du Cerf-Volant near La Rochelle. Activities include kite-surfing demonstrations, workshops to make your own kite and rokkaku kite-fighting. High-flying fun for the whole family! 

The Chamber Choir of Namur at the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence © Eric Larrayadieu

Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône – March 31 – April 16 

Provence has become an unmissable spring rendezvous for music lovers, and 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the wondrous Festival de Pâques. For two weeks each year, the entire city of Aix-en-Provence comes to life with free open-air concerts and exceptional music events in historical venues. 

Fête de la Jonquille in Gérardmer, Vosges – April 15-16 

The sunny daffodil flower reigns for two days in this annual festival which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. A joyful parade with daffodil-covered floats takes place and this year’s festivities promise to be spectacular. Find out More

The Haute Vallée de l’Ognon in the Vosges © Seegal77 cc by s.a 3.0

Festival Mille Pas aux 1000 étangs, Vosges – April 16 – July 22 

France’s oldest hiking festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! Starting in April, you can join in on weekly hikes and rambles, every Sunday and bank holiday. Keep your camera handy: a photographer will be awarded a prize for the best snapshot of the hike. 

Printemps de Bourges music festival, Cher – April 18-23 

The opening music festival of the season in France, the Printemps de Bourges takes place not only on the festival grounds, but also in town where many free concerts, exhibitions and conferences are held in the streets of the city and on the riverbanks of the Auron river in the Printemps dans la Ville program 

Bird-watching in the spectacular Somme bay © Stéphane Bouilland

Bird and nature festival in the Somme bay,  – April 22-30 

Bird watchers and outdoor ramblers rejoice! This festival celebrates all things feathery at the perfect time for bird-watching over the whimsical Baie de Somme. Guided walks, conferences, workshops, music and artistic performances will keep you on your toes. Find out More

New exhibitions starting this month in France 

Métamorphoses at the Cité des Sciences, Paris – April 4 – November 24 2024 

Discover a playful and enchanting universe mingling science and imagination. This new temporary exhibition at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris is aimed at young audiences and explores different facets of metamorphoses and transformations. 

One of the paintings from the collaboration between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol in 1984-5 © Artestar, New York.

Basquiat x Warhol at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris – April 5 – August 28 

Following the success of the exhibition on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work in 2018, the Fondation Louis Vuitton now sets out to explore his storied collaboration with Andy Warhol, namely 160 ‘four hands’ paintings created in 1984-1985. 

Rhamses and the Gold of the Pharaohs at La Villette’s Great Hall, Paris – April 7 – September 6

Egyptian art lovers will be able to admire 3,000-year-old treasures including ancient jewels, royal masks and intact tombs, the highlight of which is certainly the coffin of Ramses II, exhibited for the first time in France since 1976! A journey through Ancient Egypt, enhanced by two new virtual reality experiences taking visitors to the temple of Abu Simbel and the tomb of Nefertari. Find out More

Picasso Through Others’ Eyes, Mougins – April 6 – September 30

With April 8th marking the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death, this exhibition at the Mougins Classical Art Museum invites you to discover the artist through the eyes of photographers that spent time with him, who he mentored and who bore witness to his abundant creativity.

Sarah Bernhardt at the Petit Palais, Paris – April 14 – August 27 

The Petit Palais dedicates an exhibition to the ‘divine’ Sarah Bernhardt, actress and artist, with 400 of her works. 

Reopening of the mine-museum of Carmaux, Tarn– April 21 

Renovation works completed and technology updated, the fascinating mine-museum of Carmaux is reopening this spring. This incredible experience takes visitors literally underground to understand the daily lives of the coal miners. 

Keep track of what’s on in France right now with our Events Calendar page

Lead photo credit : Celebrate spring at the Château de Chantilly outside Paris © Till Vallée cc by s.a 4.0

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Sophie is Digital Editor for France Today. Raised in Burgundy to British parents, she grew up bilingual in a small village where summers were about forest walks and lazy swims in the river. A Franco-British citizen, she studied literature, then journalism in Paris and Cardiff before quickly dipping her toes (and quill) into travel writing. She’s been specialised and writing about France since 2016 and now works from her home office in north-east France.

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