There are so many great events in France in April 2023. They range from antique fairs to music festivals. Parks and gardens start to blossom and bloom and the wonderful, huge International Flower Festival opens in the Loire Valley at the Château de Chaumont.
To Apr 2, 2023: Les Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art (European Days of Crafts) throws open galleries, studios and workshops across Europe, with exhibitions, installations, open houses, performances and more. Meet the artists and craftspeople, learn something of their craft and get inspired.
To Apr 2, 2023: Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival is a classical music festival that runs from Thursdays to Sundays over the month. Founded originally by Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, it features some of the great European orchestras and takes place in different venues in Monte-Carlo.
To Apr 2, 2023: Quais du Polar in Lyon sees international names celebrating authors and filmmakers of crime fiction. Around 60,000 fans come for the debates, meetings, readings, signing sessions, concerts, plays and crime film screenings that are chosen by the authors. The free events take place at city hall, the Opera and Palais de la Bourse. It’s one of the biggest crime fiction events in France.
To Apr 2, 2023: International Cheese and Wine Fair at Coulommiers in the south of France. Exhibitors and craftspeople set up their stalls in the forecourt of the sugar factory offering local product tastings, a livestock exhibition and contests as well as the chance to buy all those tempting goodies.
April 1, 2023: April Fool’s Day is known as le poisson d’avril in France. Why fish? The origins of le poisson d’avril are veiled in obscurity, like so many traditions, but it’s believed to go back to a tradition of giving fish as a gift to celebrate the beginning of Easter and the end of Lent. There’s a tradition of sticking paper cut-out fish onto people’s backs without them knowing so watch your back.
Apr 2, 2023: Paris Marathon is now one of the most important marathons in the world. 40,000 entrants from over 100 countries battle it out over the 42.195 km of this mythical athletics challenge.
Apr 7-10, 2023: Easter Feria in Arles. This is the first event in the French bullfighting season. There are corridas in the arenas, bull running, street events, musical entertainment and more. But if you’re not a fan, keep away.
Apr 7-10, 2023: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Antiques Fair is one of the great antiques events of Europe and of all the events in France in April, it’s one of my favourites. It takes place in the pretty south of France town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, one of the antique capitals of France. It’s the place for a bargain or a masterpiece depending on your budget.
Apr 8, 2023: Paris-Roubaix cycle race challenges top riders during the race called the ‘Hell of the North’. It follows a circuitous route over 172 kms. In fact it’s three races so if you’re in the area, check first to make sure you don’t get caught up in it!
Apr 8-10, 2023: The International Kite and Wind Festival takes place in the seaside resort of Châtelaillon-sur-Plage in Charentes-Maritimes. It’s a spectacular sight as over 800 kites fill the sky. To add to the excitement there are kite-surfing demonstrations, kite creation workshops for children and more.
Apr 9, 2023: Easter Sunday. Despite being such a catholic country, France only observes Easter Sunday and Monday as public holidays, not Good Friday. But with healthy commercial and gourmet interests at heart, the pâtisseries and shops fill with Easter bunnies and all kinds of goodies weeks before and after Easter.
Apr 15 2023-Jan 2024: Chartres en lumières (Chartres Illuminated). This was the first city to light up its glorious buildings every night and it’s still one of the best light shows in France. Wander the streets to see monks walking, the theatre resplendent and the cathedral turned into the story of its past.
Apr 15-23, 2023: The famous north France International Kite Festival takes over the sandy beaches of Berck-sur-Mer as thousands of extraordinary looking kites take to the skies. If you’re in the UK this is one of the great events in France in April 2023 that is easy and quick to travel to.
Apr 18-23, 2023: Le Printemps Bourges. Both famous and young up-and-coming musicians come to Bourges for a variety of rock, rap, electro and more concerts. Don’t miss events like films and talks and there are free concerts on outdoor stages and in 20 or so bars. A fringe festival takes over the streets.
Apr 22-30, 2023: Festival de l’oiseau et de la nature (Bird and Nature Festival). The 9-day festival takes place in the beautiful Somme Bay. It always attracts families with trips on foot, on horseback, in a carriage, a kayak or boat introducing you to the environment, the birds, seals in the Bay and more. Plus animal documentaries to watch on screen, exhibitions and more.
Apr 21-23, 2023: The Paris Book Fair is an important European event taking place in the temporary Grand Palais in the centre of Paris. Porte de Versailles. Over 1000 publishers and 2,000 authors meet the public at around 500 stands.
Apr 22-29, 2023: The Sailing World Cup Hyères is the third event in sailing’s premier international Olympic-classes regatta series with 574 sailors from 47 nations.
Apr 25-Nov 5, 2023: International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire Château in the Loire Valley is a fabulous, huge Festival, the Chelsea Flower Show of France. The Château and grounds are lovely and the festival of a series of gardens from international designers always delivers some surprises.
Events in France in 2023
Have I missed an event you think I should include? Please do let me know.
Events in France in January 2023
Events in France in February 2023
Events in France in March 2023
Events in France in May 2023
Events in France in June 2023
Events in France in July 2023
Events in France in August 2023
Events in France in September 2023
Events in France in October 2023
Events in France in November 2023
Events in France in December 2023
Here’s a quick guide to the French regions and departments to help you find where the events are taking place.