Springtime returns to Paris in March and April, bringing a wealth of events with it. There will be new exhibitions, activities for children and large-scale popular events. Here is our list of not-to-miss events!
Spring 2022: Reopening of the Musée de Cluny - Musée national du Moyen-Âge in Paris
Located amid the vestiges of Gallo-Roman public baths and in a 15th-century private mansion in the Latin Quarter, the musée de Cluny - Le monde médiéval is reopening in spring 2022 after a complete makeover. The new 250-m2 reception areas over two levels have been designed by the architect Bernard Desmoulin. The exhibition spaces and visitor trails have been altered and now present the collection – more than 23,000 items! – in chronological order, from Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages. The Gallo-Roman vestiges have been consolidated and the medieval residence of the abbots of Cluny has been restored. Besides the exhibitions that are regularly held here, talks, debates, concerts, themed or storytelling tours and workshops for children provide opportunities to explore or to rediscover fascinating subjects such as the world of knights and chivalry and courtly love in the presence of masterpieces such as the Pillar of the Boatmen and the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry.
Two not-to-miss anniversaries in Paris in 2022
2022: Bicentenary of the decipherment of hieroglyphics by Jean-François Champollion
The year 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphics by Jean-FrançoisChampollion, the first curator of the Louvre’s Egyptian museum. On this occasion, the Luxor Obelisk, the oldest monument in Paris, which has stood on the famous Place de la Concorde since 1836, is to be restored. The sculpted granite monolith was a gift from Egypt to France to mark the harmonious relationship between the two countries.
The Bibliothèque nationale de France is celebrating this historic anniversary with a major exhibition titled Champollion’s Adventure: The Secrets of the Hieroglyphs (from 12 April to 24 July 2022). The exhibition makes use of 88 volumes of Champollion’s handwritten notes and drawings to illustrate his scientific approach but also his personality, his intuitions and his exhaustive work. Manuscripts, prints, engravings, photographs, paintings, papyruses, sculptures and antique coins bring the story of one of the greatest discoveries in history to life.
At the Louvre, the exhibition Pharaoh of the Two Lands – the African Story of the Kings of Napata (from 28 April to 25 July 2022) also features a lot of hieroglyphs. The exhibition turns the spotlight on a Nubian kingdom and its capital Napata, as well as the dynasty of Kushite pharaohs who ruled over it for more than 50 years.
2022: The year of Molière in Paris
In 2022, Paris is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière. The Comédie-Française is hosting a season entirely dedicated to Molière (jusqu’au 25 juillet 2022). Famous works such as The Misanthrope, Scapin the Schemer, The Miser and The Affected Young Ladies as well as other lesser-known plays are to be performed during the exceptional anniversary season. More than 200 artists and technicians have worked behind the scenes to create brand-new decor and costumes for the actor-members of the prestigious company.
The Château de Versailles is giving people the chance to see shows connected to the dramatist’s work. From 13 to 17 April 2022, the Opéra Royal will be putting on The Imaginary Invalid, a comedy-ballet in three acts and in prose performed for the first time in 1673 by the Troupe du Roi (the King’s company) on the stage of the Palais-Royal in Paris. Book the best seats in the house to turn it into a VIP experience. You will be offered a glass of champagne and the programme.
Until 17 April 2022, an exhibition titled Molière, la fabrique d’une gloire nationale (1622-2022) – Molière: the making of a national treasure – at the Espace Richaud in Versailles depicts how Molière became a national treasure and a world-renowned figure. There are more than 200 items on display: antique and modern editions, archive material, manuscripts, director’s notes, preparatory sketches, photographs of the stage, photograms, paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolours, sets and costumes.
Art exhibitions and events in Paris in March and April 2022
In March and April, new exhibitions will be on view in art and historical venues in Paris, while others will continue to be open.
Exhibitions in museums in Paris in March and April 2022
From 5 March to 10 July 2022, the Palais Galliera is paying tribute to the fashion designer Alber Elbaz, who passed away in April 2021, with the exhibition Loves Brings Love. The event draws inspiration from the collaborative show of the same name that ended Paris Fashion Week in October 2021.
On 16 April 2022, a big immersive exhibition titled Machu Picchu and the Treasures of Peru will open at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. The exhibition retraces 3,000 years of pre-Colombian civilizations and includes a virtual reality expedition to mysterious Machu Picchu.
Two other must-see exhibitions are The origins of the Water Lilies: The Impressionists and decoration at the Musée de l’Orangerie (from 2 March to 11 July 2022), and Pioneers at the Musée du Luxembourg (from 2 March to 10 July 2022).
Exhibitions still running in Paris in March and April 2022 :
- The paired exhibition Picasso-Rodin, being held simultaneously at the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Musée Rodin Paris, until 6 March 2022
- In the footsteps of Napoléon I. For the best and for the Empire at the Musée de la Monnaie, until 6 March 2022
- Fantasies for a palace at the Château de Rambouillet until 6 March 2022
- Georg Baselitz. The retrospective at the Pompidou Centre, until 7 March 2022
- A History of Fashion. Collecting and Exhibiting at the Palais Galliera at the Palais Galliera, until 13 March 2022
- Julie Manet. An Impressionist Heritage at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, until 20 March 2022
- The Morozov Collection. Icons of Modern Art at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, until 3 April 2022
- Marcel Proust. A Parisian Novel at the Musée Carnavalet, until 10 april 2022
- Thierry Mugler : couturissime at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, until 24 April 2022
- D’or et d’Orient at the Château de Champs-sur-Marne, until 30 April 2022
- James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), masterpieces from the Frick Collection at the Musée d’Orsay, until 8 May 2022
- The Sensory Odyssey at the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, until 4 July 2022
- Sneakers at the Musée de l’Homme, until 25 July 2022
- We are leaving tomorrow at the Shoah Memorial, until 22 December 2022
Yves Saint Laurent in Paris museums
Six prestigious Paris museums are paying tribute to the famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent on the 60th anniversary of his first catwalk show on 29 January 1962. The Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent is celebrating the anniversary in style by organizing a major collaborative exhibition titled Yves Saint-Laurent aux musées (Yves Saint Laurent in museums) – a one-of-a-kind creative trail in six cultural institutions in the heart of the capital. At the Pompidou Centre, the iconic Mondrian dress is displayed next to the painting that inspired it. The display at the Musée national Picasso-Paris highlights similarities between Picasso’s paintings and the designer’s Picasso-inspired creations. The sumptuous Galerie d’Apollon at the Louvre is exhibiting a selection of magnificent outfits that emphasize the diversity of Saint Laurent’s sources of inspiration. The tribute is also taking place at the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris and, of course, at the Musée Yves-Saint-Laurent Paris (until 16 September 2022).
Open air exhibitions in Paris in March and April 2022
The palisades around the forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral are displaying a free exhibition of drawings depicting the reconstruction work by Mathieu Sapin, François Schuiten and other comic book authors.
The gardens of Paris museums are peaceful green settings where one can stroll around and admire some striking works of art. Works by contemporary artists are regularly put on display in the garden of the Fondation Cartier. The three-hectare garden of the Musée Rodin is dotted with a few of the sculptor’s most famous works. The monumental sculptures at the Musée Bourdelle appear to be rooted in the greenery.
The other major art-related events in Paris in March and April 2022
From 2 April to 29 May 2022, the Centquatre will be holding a new edition of Circulation(s), the festival dedicated to emerging European photographers. The programme includes exhibitions, round table discussions and screenings ... This year, Armenia is in the spotlight.
Art Paris Art Fair 2022
From 7 to 10 April 2022, Art Paris Art Fair will bring together nearly 150 galleries at the Grand Palais Ephémère (the pop-up version of the Grand Palais). The 2022 edition of this major modern and contemporary art event focuses on the environment with two themes, Natural Histories and Art & Environment, and the fair itself is being sustainably organized – a first on the art fair circuit. Art Paris’s objective is to get as many people as possible interested in contemporary art. Those who cannot attend the event in person at the Grand Palais Ephémère can take a virtual tour of the fair on the event website.
Outings for children in Paris in March and April 2022
April marks the spring holidays – or Easter holidays – in Paris and France and there are plenty of activities for families.
The dates for the 2022 Easter holidays in Paris and the Paris region (Zone C) are as follows: 23 April to 9 May 2022 (from 16 April 2022 to 2 May 2022 for Zone A and from 9 to 25 April 2022 for Zone B).
Older kids will be interested in the Banquet exhibition, which is inspired by the success of cooking shows. It is a sensory journey through food, on until 7 August 2022 at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie.
There is still time - until 6 March 2022 – to go to some must-see shows with the family: the Folies Gruss circus in the Bois de Boulogne and the Cirque Bouglione’s show Dingue; the musical Charlie et la chocolaterie at the Théâtre Marigny (extended until 7 May 2022), and the magical Thoiry Lumières Sauvages lantern festival at the Thoiry Zoo.
On 3 April 2022, the superstar magician Dani Lary will amaze and enthral the audience with some fantastic magic tricks at the Palais des Congrès de Paris.
This year, Easter Sunday falls on 17th 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
Sports events in Paris in March and April 2022
Horse racing, rugby and football in Paris in March and April 2022
In springtime, the Dimanche au Galop (Sunday at the races) event, which gives young people an opportunity to get interested in horse racing, returns to the Auteuil and Paris Longchamp race courses. And from 18 to 20 March 2022, the Grand Palais Ephémère will host the 12th edition of the Saut Hermès, one of the toughest and most prestigious competitions on the international circuit.
Two major sporting events for runners from around the world are the Paris half-marathon and the Paris marathon. The half-marathon, known as the Harmonie mutuelle semi-marathon de Paris, will take place on Sunday 6 March 2022. The 40,000 registered runners meet up in the Bois de Vincennes to start the 21.1 km race. The bravest runners will meet up on Sunday 3 April 2022 to run the legendary Paris marathon, the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris. The 42.2-km route takes in well-known places in the capital such as Rue de Rivoli, Place de la Bastille and the Bois de Boulogne. The records to beat are 2:04 for men and 2:20 for women. Both events draw a crowd of fans as well as the merely curious, who come to encourage the brave runners in a friendly atmosphere.
In March and April 2022, the French football championship will be in full swing. The Parc des Princes, the home stadium of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) club, is set to host several matches: on 13 March 2022 (against the Girondins de Bordeaux), 3 April 2022 (against FC Lorient), 17 April 2022 (against Olympique de Marseille) and 24 April 2022 (against RC Lens).
The Grande Course du Grand Paris Express race
On 13 March 2022, take up the challenge of running the Grande Course du Grand Paris Express, a sustainably organized race along a 10-km route from Place de la République to the Stade de France plus a semi-marathon. After starting from the Parc du Tremblay in the town of Champigny-sur-Marne, the semi-marathon runners go through the Bois de Vincennes and then join the 10-km route starting from Place de la République. There is also a 1-km route marked out on the safe track at the Stade de France especially for children from 5 to 12 years old.
This sustainably organized race (eco-box machines to collect empty plastic bottles, free tabards to refugees, waste prevention, precise waste sorting, eco-friendly aid stations) was created in 2017 to erase the border between Paris and its suburbs. It has since become a very popular fixture on the Île-de-France calendar.
The other major events in Paris in March and April 2022
Funfair, fairs and trade shows in Paris in March and April 2022
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. Considered the biggest fair in all of Europe, it has attractions galore, and plenty of surprises in store.
For some savvy shopping, head to the Foire de Paris (from 28 April to 9 May 2022). If the health situation permits, exhibitors and visitors will be at the Paris – Expo Porte de Versailles, Europe’s leading trade show! Discoveries and innovations from the world of the home, craftsmanship and gastronomy are always on the agenda. Not to miss, the Concours Lépine an annual award for the best in innovation.
Likewise, Rétromobile, the classic and vintage car show, will not be taking place in 2021 but has been postponed to 2022, from 16 to 20 March 2022.
Women are in the spotlight at two events taking place in spring 2022 – the ‘Carnaval des femmes’, a large and lively procession through central Paris on Sunday 27 March 2022, and the ‘Festival international de films de femmes’ (from 11 to 20 March 2022), which has screened films by women directors since 1979 at the Maison des arts de Créteil.
Every year, the European Artistic Craft Days showcase artists and artisans in Paris and the Ile de France region. After being cancelled in 2020, they are reworking the theme of Materials from 28 March to 3 April 2022. Artisans, training organizations, project leaders … All the expertise will be on show at meetings, open days and conferences.
Hiking enthusiasts will want to visit the Destination Nature show at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles trade fair grounds from 17 to 20 March 2022 to browse all the latest trends, clothing and equipment. A new ecotourism area at the fair brings together environmental players who seek to protect the planet.
The annual ‘Livre Paris’ festival at the Grand Palais Ephémère is a paradise for readers of any age, with a wealth of art books, comic books, adult and children’s fiction, cookery books, etc. It is on from 21 to 24 April 2022.
For pet owners and people wanting to adopt one or more pets, the Paris animal show on 12 and 13 March 2022 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles is the place to go. Besides a huge adoption centre, there are products and innovative ideas, and events and workshops geared to the wellbeing of our furry friends.
Concerts and shows in Paris in March and April 2022
There are plenty of concerts and shows to choose from this spring.
Opera fans go to the Hôtel Dosne-Thiers, a superb mansion house in the Nouvelle Athènes district, for an exceptional evening event. The Opera a Palazzo experience invites thirty or so privileged spectators to discover an adaptation of the opera ‘La Traviata’ by Verdi in the former private residence of Adolphe Thiers. A different way of enjoying an opera, closer to the singers and musicians. Performances on 18 and 31 March 2022, and on 7 and 16 April 2022.
Some big-name musicians will be giving much-awaited concerts at the Accor Arena, including Andrea Bocelli on 3 March, Jean-Louis Aubert on 22 March, Hans Zimmer on 6 and 7 April and Julien Doré from 8 to 10 April 2022.
From 24 March to 10 April 2022, the dance company Momix will be presenting its new show Alice, down the rabbit hole at the Folies Bergère in the 9th arrondissement of the capital. This enchanting and inventive show partners dance with illusion, with choreography that is beautiful and athletically powerful.
Fans of equestrian shows should snap up tickets to the latest show by Bartabas, titled Le cabaret de l’exil. This very successful show will be on until 27 mars 2022 at the Théâtre équestre Zingaro in the Fort d’Aubervilliers.