What to do in Paris in March and April

Sport, exhibitions, festivals, fairs and shows to suit all tastes: there’s no lack of things to see and do!

Springtime returns to Paris in March and April, bringing a wealth of events in its wake. There will be new exhibitions, activities for children and large-scale popular events. Here is our list of not-to-miss events!

Sports

Running

Marathon de Paris © Thinkstock

From 4 March, runners will be starting off the month on the right foot. Runners will be starting off the month on the right foot by assembling at the Bois de Vincennes for the Fitbit Paris half-marathon. Nearly 40,000 people gather in the French capital to run the 21.1 km marathon. On 15 March, the French capital’s most iconic monument will enter the fray, hosting the Verticale de la Tour Eiffel challenge. The goal is to be the fastest to climb the Eiffel Tower’s 1,665 steps.

The month of April has its own running event, with the 42th edition of the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris, one of the world’s top races, taking place on the 8th. Drawing nearly 57,000 participants each year, it is run over a 42-km stretch through some of the top Paris sights, including the Champs-Élysées, Concorde and the Eiffel Tower.

Runners of all levels have their very own trade show, the Salon du Running, from 5 to 7 April at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. Drawing more than 90,000 visitors, this is the biggest fair devoted to a single sport in France.

Fans of equestrian events ?

Saut Hermès - Romain Duguet © DR

Mark your calendars: 16, 17 and 18 March are the dates for the 9th edition of the Saut Hermès, the prestigious show jumping competition, where you can see the world’s finest riders in action in the magnificent setting of the Grand Palais

In March, the Dimanche au Galop (Sunday at the races) event takes over the Auteuil and Saint-Cloud racecourses for nearly the entire month.

And if you like horse jumping events, don't miss the Paris Horse Jumping and Dressage finals at the AccorHotels Arena (from 11 to 15 April), the best riders in the world will be there.

Rugby, martial arts, vintage car fans

Rugby will be in the spotlight at the 6 Nations Tournament 2018. On 10 March, the Stade de France will host the face-off between France and England.

Fans of Bruce Lee movies take note: the 33rd Festival des Arts martiaux opens on 24 March at AccorHotels Arena, and is expected to draw roughly 10,000 martial arts enthusiasts.

On 23 April, vintage car fans will flock to the nave of the Grand Palais to admire the vehicles chosen to take part in the 26th edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 before they hit the road. This year, Italian brands are honoured, the opportunity to go back in time to classic models Autobianchi, De Tomaso or Osca.

Exhibitions

Expo 2018 Mary Cassat Musée Jacquemart André

In March/April, new exhibitions take place in art and history heritage venues in Paris.

At the Palais Galliera, spring is celebrated with elegance! On 3 March, the fashion museum inaugurates an exceptional retrospective dedicated to the designer Martin Margiela, a central and singular figure of the 20th century, adept at sobriety and deconstruction.

Over at the Musée Jacquemart-André (from 9 March to 23 July), the long-awaited retrospectiveMary Cassatt: an American in Paris brings together collections from the most prestigious American and French museums for a unique tribute.

At the Grand Palais, don't miss the exhibition dedicated to František Kupka, one of the pioneers of abstractart (from 18 March to 30 July).

The 80th anniversary of the creation of Guernicais being celebrated at the Musée Picasso, in an exhibition about this major work by Picasso (from 27 March to 29 July).

At the Centre Pompidou, the exhibition Chagall - Malévitch - El Lissitzky, l’Avant-Garde Russe à Vitebsk features more than 200 works from all around the world illustrating the beginning of modernity (from 28 March to 16 July).

While at the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, the exhibition Ghosts and Hells explores the underworld in Asian art – its spirits and infatuation with terror (from 10 April).

At the Musée d’Orsay, the focus is on Eastern Europe. The exhibition, Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States, provides an insight into the elements and influences including popular culture and folklegends that have led to an art of great originality (from 10 April).

Plus ... the Musée Maillol focuses on the 30s with the exhibition Foujita: Painting in the Roaring Twenties (from 7 March), the Louvre Museum opens the new cultural season with two not-to-miss shows: France Viewed from the Grand Siècle. Drawings by Israël Silvestre (1621–1691) (from 14 March to 25 June) and Delacroix (from 28 March to 23 July), whilst machines take control at the Grand Palais with Robots and Artists (from 2 April). Movement is beautified at the Musée Rodin through Rodin and Dance (from 6 April), and tribute is payed to Japanese architect Junya Ishigami at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain (from spring).

Art events

Art Paris Art Fair - Galerie Flatland © E. Nguyen Ngoc

From 5 to 8 April, aficionados will flock to spring’s big art event: Art Paris Art Fair. The four-day event will be held at the Grand Palais, with 140-odd galleries from 20 countries exhibiting. Europe is the theme of this year’s edition. Another very popular event is PAD Paris Art + Design at the Tuileries from 21 to 25 March. Contemporary art enthusiasts will also been keen to visit the Grand Marché d’art contemporain on Place de la Bastille from the end of April.

From 16 March to 5 May, Centquatre will be holding the 8th edition of Circulation(s), a festival devoted to young contemporary photographers. The programme features exhibitions, round table discussions, screenings and more – not least a photo studio (over the weekend) where you can have your portrait taken by a professional photographer.

To admire the work of emerging artists, head for the Salon de Montrouge: the 63rd edition is on from 28 April to 23 May at the Beffroi de Montrouge (92) cultural centre. Focusing on young artists, the event has become a must-see for art insiders. It provides a launching pad for promising artists. It was here that Felice Varini and Hervé Di Rosa were first spotted.

Another big art-related event in March is the Semaine du dessin, when many venues in Paris and Ile-de-France put the spotlight on drawing. Other not-to-miss events: the Salon du dessin at Palais Brongniart from 21 to 26 March, Drawing Now Paris, the contemporary drawing show, at the Carreau du Temple from 22 to 25 March, and DDESSINPARIS, to be held at Atelier Richelieu from 23 to 25 March.

Children

Pâques, chasse aux oeufs, Bergerie Nationale, Rambouillet © Bergerie Nationale

In April, there’s plenty to do in Paris with the kids during the school holidays.

Step into the wonderful world of Disney, which celebrates the 80th anniversary of the creation of its animated movies. The programme of festivities includes: Tale as Old as Time, a special movie-concert to celebrate the heroes of our childhood, at the Grand Rex (10 March).

Until 25 March, the Disneyland Paris Park offers intergalactic excitement with the Season of the Force, a must for any true Jedi, young or old.

The focus is on children at Bercy Village during Kids, Let’s Play. This day-long festival features entertaining workshops and shows and even a party just for kids.

There are plenty of exhibitions to choose from. The Semaine du Cerveau at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, explores the latest advances in scientific research on the brain (from 13-18 March)! Then the exhibition Fires (from April 3) looks at how man masters fire and its importance for humanity.

This year, Easter Sunday falls on 1st April, and there will be egg hunts for children in many different parts of the French capital. Bring your baskets!

For more information, see our ‘Easter in Paris’ section

See also...

Funfair, fairs and trade shows

Springtime is funfair season, and children in Paris look forward in particular to the Foire du Trône, which will be back on the Pelouse de Reuilly from 30 March to 27 May. Considered the biggest fair in all of Europe, it has attractions galore, and plenty of surprises in store.

For shopping with an innovative twist, don’t miss the Foire de Paris from 27 April to 8 May. This is Europe’s biggest fair!

Also on the calendar this spring: the 100% organic show Vivre autrement at the Parc floral de Paris and the wine trade’s Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants at the Espace Champerret.

Music and shows

Benvenuto Cellini - 2015 © Matthias Baus - Opéra national de Paris

A number of big names will be playing concerts in Paris in March and April! Rock, electronic music, classical orchestras ... There is something for everyone! Harry Styles is playing at the AccorHotels Arena (13 March), as well as 30 seconds to Mars (14 March), Arcade Fire (28 April) and Sam Smith (30 April.)

The Zénith also has a packed line-up: The Killers (3 March), Parov Stelar (15 March) and Macklemore (13 April). Not forgetting, Liam Gallagher, who will be on stage at Olympia (2 March).

The Opéra Bastille features the composer Hector Berlioz with the 2-act opera Benvenuto Cellini (from 17 March to 14 April). 

Festivals

Les Grandes Eaux Musicales à Versailles © JCN'Diaye

Springtime in Paris is also a time for festivals, with themes ranging from music and art to food. The 13th edition of the Omnivore at the Maison de la Mutualité will get things rolling in March: three entire days devoted to young chefs with master classes, dinners, workshops and tasting sessions.

In March, movie goers can take advantage of a new edition of the Printemps du cinéma to see a film: for three whole days, you can buy a ticket for any show of any movie at any cinema for just 4 euros!

From 1st March to 30 April, the multi-disciplinary festival 100 %, mixing theatre, dance, circus arts, music and contemporary art, will be back at La Villette.

Relive the heyday of the reign of Louis XIV with the Musical Fountains Show at Versailles (31 March - 28 October) and the Musical Gardens Show (27 March - 15 May).

And for those who like a ‘head’ on their beer, the Planète Bière Paris is back for a new edition at the Cité de la Mode et du Design (25 and 26 March).


Delacroix (1798-1863)

Exhibition
from 29 March 2018 to 23 July 2018
Musée du Louvre - Pyramide du Louvre, Paris

A monumental exhibition tracing the master’s career

Foire du Trône

Celebration
from 30 March 2018 to 27 May 2018
Pelouse de Reuilly - Bois de Vincennes, Paris

Some 350 attractions on more than 10 hectares of land at the Pelouse de Reuilly.

Musicora

Trade fair, trade show
from 01 June 2018 to 03 June 2018
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

Jazz meets classical.

Salon du dessin

Trade fair, trade show
March 2019
Palais Brongniart - 28 place de la Bourse, Paris

This one-of-a-kind event in Paris unveils a wide selection of works on paper

Drawing now

Trade fair, trade show
March 2019
Le Carreau du Temple - 4 rue Eugène Spuller, Paris

Focus on contemporary drawing.

Saut Hermès

Sport
March 2019
Nef du Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

The elite of show-jumping in the heart of Paris.

Six Nations Tournament

Sport
February 2019
Stade de France - Porte H - Avenue Jules Rimet, Saint-Denis

The top rugby-playing nations in Europe will fight it out in the eagerly awaited Six Nations Tournament.

Martial Arts Festival

Sport
March 2019
AccorHotels Arena - 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris

Martial arts show by more than 300 experts, masters and champions, all disciplines included

Art Paris Art Fair

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
April 2019
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris

Art in the spotlight at the Grand Palais.

Paris Half Marathon

Sport
March 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

The 21.1km race will take participants on a course around the East of Paris

Paris Marathon

Sport
April 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Every year some 50,000 runners come to Paris to run the Paris Marathon. Start: Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

Salon du Running

Sport
April 2019
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

For all running fans!

Frantisek Kupka

Exhibition
from 21 March 2018 to 30 July 2018
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris
Book

The Grand Palais pays homage to a pioneer of abstract art

Rodin and Dance

Exhibition
from 07 April 2018 to 22 July 2018
Musée Rodin Paris - 77 rue de Varenne, Paris

Rodin’s dance-inspired sculptures

DDESSIN Paris

Exhibition
from 23 March 2018 to 25 March 2018
Atelier Richelieu - 60 rue de Richelieu, Paris

L’art du dessin présenté sous un jour nouveau

Enfers et fantômes d'Asie

Exhibition
from 10 April 2018 to 15 July 2018
Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac - 37 quai Branly, Paris
Book

Spirits and other mysterious creatures from Asian cultures come to haunt the Musée du Quai Branly.

Margiela / Galliera, 1989 – 2009

Exhibition
from 03 March 2018 to 15 July 2018
Palais Galliera - Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris - 10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, Paris

The first retrospective dedicated to this major figure of fashion

Foire de Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 27 April 2018 to 08 May 2018
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

A showcase of culture and food from around the world, the fair is also an opportunity to celebrate innovation

France Viewed from the Grand Siècle

Exhibition
from 14 March 2018 to 25 June 2018
Musée du Louvre - Pyramide du Louvre, Paris

The Louvre is exhibiting the drawings of Israël Silvestre, illustrator and engraver from Lorraine

Wild Souls. Symbolism in Baltic Art

Exhibition
from 10 April 2018 to 15 July 2018
Musée d'Orsay - 1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris

Temporary exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay devoted to Symbolist painters from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Arcade Fire

Modern music
from 28 April 2018 to 28 April 2018
AccorHotels Arena - 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris

The Canadian rock group takes to the stage of the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on 28 April 2018

Sam Smith

Modern music
from 30 April 2018 to 30 April 2018
AccorHotels Arena - 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris

The British singer, known for the single ‘Money on My Mind’, is on stage at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris

Salon de Montrouge

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 28 April 2018 to 23 May 2018
Le Beffroi de Montrouge - 2 Place Emile Cresp, Montrouge

A look at the contemporary art scene of the future.

Le Printemps du cinéma

Celebration
Mars 2019
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Des séances de cinéma à un tarif exceptionnel.

100%

Festival
from 01 March 2018 to 30 April 2018
Parc de La Villette - Plein Air - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

Multidisciplinary festival at La Villette

The Color Run Paris

Sport | Celebration
April 2019
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

The concept of The Color Run™ is unique: a colourful 5 km run through the streets of Paris