frgtt!:What to do in Paris in March and April 2023

Springtime returns to Paris in March and April, bringing a wealth of events with it.

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!

Art exhibitions and events in Paris in March and April 2023

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 2023

The Musée d’Orsay celebrates two great masters of 19th century painting, with a special exhibition Manet-Degas, from 28 March to 23 July 2023. Produced in association with the Musée de l'Orangerie and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the exhibition is conceived as a dialogue between the works of the two artists who were first partners and then rivals. More than 150 masterpieces are brought together for the first time.

From 15 March 2023, the Musée du Luxembourg pays tribute to Léon Monet, the overlooked brother of Claude Monet who played a decisive role in the career of the artist. The exhibition sheds new light on the friendship between the two men, their shared interest in colour, their links with the major Impressionist painters and their works.

From 7 March 2023 to 16 July 2023, the Palais Galliera throws the spotlight on the year 1997, with the exhibition 1997, Big Bang Fashion. Marking the end of the 1990s and paving the way for the designs of a new millennium, 1997 was a turning point in the history of contemporary fashion. An original angle from which to approach fashion.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is creating a buzz with a highly anticipated exhibition: Basquiat X Warhol. Painting Four Hands, from 5 April to 28 August 2023. The exhibition brings together a hundred works co-signed by the two icons of the New York underground in the 1980s. A colourful testimony to a historic friendship between two major artists. Another exhibition entitled Basquiat soundtracks, presented by the Philharmonie de Paris, will also delight Jean-Michel Basquiat fans from 6 April to 30 July 2022. The exhibition focuses on the artist's relationship with music.

And, not to miss: the exhibition Matisse in the 1930s at the Musée de l’Orangerie (from 1st  March to 29 May 2023) and Giovanni Bellini at the Musée Jacquemart André (from 3 March to au 17 July 2023).

An important anniversary in Paris: the 100th anniversary of the death of Sarah Bernhardt

The actress Sarah Bernhardt is one of the great female artists being honoured this year by museums in the capital. From 14 April to 27 August 2023, to mark the centenary of her death, the Petit Palais is devoting an exceptional exhibition to the woman Jean Cocteau described as being a ‘giant’ of the stage. In an exhibition of over 400 works, the public is invited to discover the life and artistic work in painting and sculpture of one of the greatest actresses of the 19th century.

Picasso Celebration: 1973-2023

The 8th of April 2023 is the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso. To mark the occasion, the year 2023 celebrates the artist and his work, as well as his artistic heritage, with special exhibitions worldwide.

In Paris, the Musée Picasso-Paris pays tribute to the master of Cubism from 7 March 2023 and invites British designer Sir Paul Smith to sign the artistic direction of an exceptional exhibition. Titled ‘Picasso Celebration: The collection in a new light 1973-2023!’, it is an opportunity for the public to rediscover the museum’s collection, via a more contemporary reading. Many other exhibitions can be seen in Paris throughout the year.

Exhibitions still running in Paris in March and April 2023 :

Open air exhibitions in Paris in March and April 2023

Musée Rodin, le Penseur vu de face dans le jardin, Paris © Alexis Berg

Paris is a veritable open-air gallery that inspires artists and delights visitors!

Between the Seine, the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens, the Tuileries Tunnel is being transformed into an art gallery until the summer of 2023. Street-art murals by a dozen European artists (Andrea Ravo Mattoni, Hydrane, Lek & Sowat, Erell, Madame, Sifat, etc.) are visible over a distance of 800 metres. A unique opportunity to learn about urban art in an exceptional setting. 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.

In the Jardin des Plantes, insects and their methods of flight are the subject of the amazing photo exhibition Mini-Acrobats, until 14 May 2023.

The other major art-related events in Paris in March and April 2023

Le 104 / Cent Quatre - Musée Paris - Nef curial écuries

From 25 March to 21 May 2023, 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, Bulgaria is in the spotlight.

From 30 March to 29 April 2023, the multi-disciplinary festival 100 %, mixing theatredancecircus arts, music and contemporary art, will be back at La Villette.

Art Paris Art Fair 2023

Grand Palais Éphémère - Perspective, Paris

From 30 March to 2 April 2023, Art Paris Art Fair brings together nearly 150 galleries at the Grand Palais Ephémère. A major event on the modern and contemporary art scene, this 25th anniversary edition focuses on two major themes ‘commitment’ and ‘exile’. Art Paris Art Fair is committed to an eco-design approach and has set itself the goal of bringing contemporary art to as many people as possible. 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.

Another big art-related event : the Semaine du dessin from 22 to 27 March 2023, when many venues in Paris and Ile-de-France put the spotlight on drawing. Other not-to-miss event: Drawing Now Art Fairthe contemporary drawing show, at the Carreau du Temple (from 23 to 26 March 2023). Under the magnificent glass roof, some 70 galleries exhibit more than 2,000 works.

Outings for children in Paris in March and April 2023

Musée Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

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: 22 April to 9 May 2023

Older kids will enjoy Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs, where more than 180 original objects are presented, some of them for the first time in France. A priceless treasure that is sure to take your breath away! At the Grande Halle de la Villette, from 7 April 2023.

Book your tickets for the exhibition Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs

From 22 March to 7 January 2024, enjoy a family visit to the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle’s major spring exhibition: Felines. An incredible panorama of the world's felines.

There is still time - until 5 March 2023 – to go to some must-see shows with the family the Folies Gruss circus in the Bois de Boulogne and the Bouglione circus’ show Fantaisie, the musical show Black Legends at Bobino (prolonged until 26 March 2023) and the magical Thoiry Lumières Sauvages lantern festival at the Thoiry Zoo.

From 19 to 30 April 2023, Once upon a time the Nutcracker is showing at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Artistic director Karl Paquette shares his passion for dance, magic, and enchantment with young audiences (from 6 yrs). Also, not to miss, the traditional show by the Ecole de Danse of the Opéra national de Paris is this year celebrating the 90 years of Claude Bussy and commemorating the 30th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Nureyev (from 15 to 18 April 2023).

This year, Easter Sunday falls on 9th 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 2023

Horse racing, rugby and football in Paris in March and April 2023

Les dimanches au galop 2017 - Course de poneys, Paris

The closing match of the Six Nations Championship between France and England (18 March 2023), a not-to-miss event for rugby fans, will take place at the Stade de France.

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 5 March 2023. TThe 40,000 enrolled participants run a distance of 21.1 km through the Bois de Vincennes, along the banks of the Seine, passing by Paris City Hall, etc. The bravest runners will meet up on Sunday 2 April 2022 to run the legendary Paris marathon, the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris. The 42.2 km route also includes iconic places in the capital: 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.

The 36th Martial Arts Festival returns to the Accor Arena on Saturday 11 March 2023, with demonstrations ofaikido, bulkempo, capoeira, Russian combat and artistic martial arts.

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 5 March 2023 (against Nantes), 12 March 2023 (against Brest), 2 April 2023 (against Olympique Lyonnais),  23 April 2023 (against  Angers SCO) and 30 April 2023 (against FC Lorient).

The Grande Course du Grand Paris Express race

Stade de France - Octobre 2018, Paris

On 12 March 2023, take up the challenge of running the Grande Course du Grand Paris Express, a sustainably organized race along a 10-km route plus a semi-marathon. After setting out from the Vincennes racecourse, the runners participating in the half-marathon cross the Bois de Vincennes to join the 10 km course starting from the 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.

The other major events in Paris in March and April 2023

Funfair, fairs and trade shows in Paris in March and April 2023

Foire du Trône, Paris

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 27 April to 8 May 2023). If the health situation permits, exhibitors and visitors will be at the Paris – Expo Porte de VersaillesEurope’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.

The Paris Fan Festival, a great celebration of Pop Culture is back on 15 and 16 April 2023.

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 19 March 2023, and the ‘Festival international de films de femmes’ 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 27 March to 2 April 2023. 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 16 to 19 March 2023 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 23 April 2023.

For pet owners and people wanting to adopt one or more pets, the Paris animal show on 11 and 12 March 2023 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 2023

There are plenty of concerts and shows to choose from this spring.

Opera enthusiasts go to the Opéra Bastille for an exceptional evening event. From 8 March to 9 April 2023, Krzysztof Warlikowski stages the famous play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Ariodante by Georg Friedrich Haendel illuminates the Palais Garnier from 17 April to 20 May 2023. Maurice Béjart, at the Opéra Bastille (from 20 April to 28 May 2023), The Dante Project at Palais Garnier (from 29 April to 31 May 2023), Carmen (from 24 April to 4 May 2023) at the Opéra Comique, or Mystery Sonatas / for Rosa by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker at the Théâtre du Châtelet (from 22 to 25 March 2023).

Top artists on the music scene will be giving much-awaited concerts at the Accor Arena: Lizzo on 5 March 2023, Justin Bieber on 6 and 7 March 2023, Maneskin on 13 March 2023, and Robbie Williams on 20 March 2023. After an absence of 9 years, Michael Bublé is back in France for a single concert date on 24 March 2023, at Paris La Defense Arena.

Until 5 March 2023, there is still time to go and listen to the great tenor Roberto Alagna in Al Capone, the latest musical at the Folies Bergère, inspired by the legendary gangster. Fans of equestrian shows should not delay in booking Bartabas' latest creation ‘Cabaret of Exile. The successful new show runs until 2 April at the Théâtre équestre Zingaro at the Fort d’Aubervilliers.