With chocolate bunnies and their delicious aroma wafting from local confectioneries tucked away in picturesque corners, Paris during Easter is a colourful time to be around. As the City of Light gears up to celebrate spring, you may find yourself wandering from one event to another during Easter. The city being home to some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals witnesses a number of large-scale services being held on Easter Sunday. From indulgent chocolate tasting sessions at chocolatiers, to festive brunches and treasure hunting activities fit for your entire family — there’s always something for everyone in Paris during the festive season.
Here's how you can spend Easter in the city if you're planning a visit to Paris during your Easter break!
Easter in Paris 2019
Easter in Paris this year falls on Sunday, April 21st. Although most places choose to remain open on this day, the day after Easter (April 22nd) is a public holiday this year.
Several shops and restaurants are scheduled to remain shut on Monday, however you may still be able to roam about as city buses and metro will be running on a limited schedule. You will also find wonderful church services at cathedrals across the city during this week.
The three day weekend ( 19th to 21st April) draws a whole lot of crowd from in and around Europe, hence it is best to come prepped with an online pass that can get you through the longest of queues in no time.
Easter in Paris – Traditions and Festivities
Several religious services and magnificently decked up churches are amongst a few things that will instantly greet you during Easter in Paris. The city celebrates the festival with some of the largest egg hunts taking place across the city and special Easter concerts happening in spectacular settings. If you’re in the mood for some delicious chocolate, this is also the season in Paris to go chocolate tasting. There are various chocolate tasting tours being conducted during Easter that you could and should be a part of! While there may be some restaurants closed for the holiday, this is also an ideal time to combine activities with a lunch or dinner to make the most of your day and avail some attractive discounts.
What’s Closed on Easter in Paris
In Paris, the day after Easter Sunday known as Easter Monday is an official holiday through France. Banks, public services, small restaurants & cafes will be closed and even the public transit will run with limited holiday hours.
Good Friday is not an official holiday in France, hence most shops, museums and restaurants are open. However, know that train stations will be packed as most Parisians are probably leaving town for the 4 day weekend.
A day before Easter, chocolatiers, fromageries and most markets where food and wine are sold will be jam-packed with locals stocking up for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. If you're traveling with kids and need to stock up, Saturday would be a good time. Through Sunday and Monday, expect limited services through the city.
Those looking to explore Paris during Easter, you're in for a treat because most of the attractions like Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Grevin Paris Wax Museum, Guimet Museum of Asian Arts and a few more are open through the weekend. Make sure you buy tickets in advance as they sell out like hot cakes during the holiday season.
How to Celebrate Easter in Paris
1. Indulge in an authentic Easter lunch on Seine River
Take a relaxing boat ride down the Seine enjoying a special Easter lunch. Experience the iconic monuments of Paris in a new perspective as you sip on champagne. Relish a three course authentic French meal aboard La Marina which includes a choice of starters, main plates, a cheese platter and a choice of desserts. The two hour cruise will acquaint you to some of the many bridges of Paris such as the splendid Pont Alexandre III and the romantic Pont des Arts and also some various other famous sights like Notre Dame Cathedral, Musee d’Orsay, Palais Bourbon and Grand Palais.
Top recommended Seine lunches during Easter
2. Go for the Secours Populaire Easter Egg Hunt
The Paris Federation of Secours Populaire holds an exciting Easter egg hunt every year, and this year it is bigger than ever! This year, the traditional Secours Populaire Easter Egg hunt will once again take place on the Parc André Citroën. Experience an exciting day out with your children with several activities lined up such as the Electric Road, Colouring, Shake-Everything apart from various workshops held on their premises on the 1st and 2nd of April. Children between the age group of 3 to 6 years have to look for eggs before they can feast on a chocolate snack. The event will feature 5 giant styrofoam eggs, "Groz'oids", one of which is two meters high, designed by Street Artists.
Now all about this years Secours Populaire Easter Egg Hunt here.
3. Attend a mass at Notre Dame Cathedral
While there are several notable churches in Paris, Notre Dame takes the cake when it comes to a wonderful Easter morning service. It opens at 7:45 AM in the morning which is an ideal time to take a seat for the 8:30 AM mass at the cathedral. It follows with a Gregorian Mass at 10:00 AM and an International Mass at 11:30 AM respectively. The cathedral is known for its poignant history and beautiful gothic architecture. Adorned with gargoyles, a little known fact about Notre Dame is the beautiful panoramic view you get from its top.
Top recommended Notre Dame experiences during Easter
4. Devour a scrumptious Easter Dinner on the Eiffel Tower
Make the most of your trip on Paris during Easter with an unforgettable dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower. Avail a skip the line feature to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, where you will be escorted to 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant for your dinner. Spend a magical evening looking out at the romantic city of lights while enjoying a delectable 3 course meal — including a selection of starters, a main course and a dessert with half a bottle of wine. End your dinner on a high and catch a fantastic panoramic view of the city at night.
Top recommended Eiffel Tower experiences during Easter
5. Go on a chocolate tasting marathon
It's safe to say that Easter in Paris is synonymous to chocolates! From the Chocolate Eclair to Macarons and Pain Au Chocolat, the city is breathing chocolates during Easter. Going on a chocolate tour around the city and nibbling into bites of rich French chocolate can be quite the Easter adventure. Take your friends along and go on a chocolate tasting marathon and end Easter on a sugar high note!
6. Getaway to the Palace of Versailles
Travel to the outskirts for a day long trip to the glorious Palace of Versailles. Listed as the World Heritage Site for the past 30 years, it is remembered as the old hunting pavilion that was also used by Louis XIII’s as his residence back in the day. The palace today is open to visitors who can tour its sprawling 63,154 m2 and visit its various exhibitions. Spend your Easter Sunday wandering through the Palace’s expansive gardens that are a must visit site. Ornate and well maintained, these gardens have musical fountain shows and other activities planned time to time.
Top recommended Palace of Versailles experiences during Easter
7. Wander the Centre Pompidou with your loved ones
Spend your Easter wandering around the marvellous Centre Pompidou museum which expects a minimum crowd during this time of the year. The 20th century architectural wonder was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and is best known for being a home to the National Museum of Modern Art that is internationally known for its contemporary art collections. The building can be instantly recognised by its striking exteriors and tubing. Some of the most iconic works of arts are displayed here in chronological order and visitors may also get a breathtaking view of the city from on top of the museum. For a fun family time after your Easter lunch, head here!
Buy your Centre Pompidou Priority Access Ticket today and save time at the counters on Easter!
8. Spend your day at the Louvre with lesser crowds
The Louvre chooses to remain open for its visitors on Easter, and you can make the most of it by choosing to opt for a skip the line pass for your day! Follow your skilled guide into the world’s largest museum and spend a day educating yourself about the museum’s eclectic art and history collection. Witness the beauty of the famed Mona Lisa from up close and browse through the various milestones of France’s history in a series of remarkable artworks. The elaborate walking tour will allow a small group which makes the tour comfortable and according to your convenience.
Top recommended Palace of Versailles experiences during Easter
9. Easter Hunt at Disneyland Paris
Surprise your toddlers and teens with a fun-filled easter egg hunting experience at Disneyland Paris. Scurry through Disney Village with some of your favourite characters and look for easter eggs that are carefully hidden across its sprawling premises! The exciting morning will also feature some entertaining shows and circus acts amongst other activities lined up for the day. Relish your love for chocolate with some delicious sweet treats that will be laid out for all chocolate lovers at the park. Known for one of the biggest egg hunts in Paris, this is one experience you take home with you for life!
Check out this luxury coach trip from Paris to Disneyland, ideal for an Easter getaway with the family!
10. Watch a Charismatic Cabaret
Celebrate Easter with pomp and glitter by catching a fabulous cabaret show at the iconic Moulin Rouge in Paris. Known for its troupe of talented dancers, witness ‘Feerie’ an extravagant show involving 100 performers and 60 Doriss Girls. Sip champagne whilst marvelling at the stunning acrobatics and costumes that the troupe puts on for a wonderful evening. Witness a play of light and sound along with grooving to an evening of foot-tapping songs at Paris’ several other famous cabaret bars. To make this spectacle an event to remember, pair it up with a lavish dinner to make the most of it.
Top recommended Cabaret experiences during Easter
Easter Dining in Paris
Perhaps the best way to celebrate Easter is by indulging in a rich chocolate eclair which is also a well known Paris specialty. Get one on the go from L'Eclair de Geine.
Colourful, delicious and world famous — these delicate pastries are a must-have during Easter! If you’re looking for a selection of sumptuous macarons, head to Laduree Paris for a bite.
Pain Au Chocolat
A chocolate croissant would be a great snack in any occasion, let alone Easter! But if you’re celebrating the festival on a sweet note, get some delicious croissants at Ble Sucre.
Weather during Easter in Paris
While the temperature during spring in Paris is pleasant, it could fluctuate anywhere from being warm to sunny and extremely wet. However, it ideally stays between 8°C to 18°C (45 to 65°F) from the end of March to April. Rain showers are a regular deal during this season, so make sure you keep your umbrellas and rain shoes handy, just in case! The skies remain overcast for most of the time and it could get chilly during the early mornings or evenings, so a light jacket or two would be advisable while you’re packing other essentials for the trip.
Tips for Visiting Paris During Easter
- Easter in Paris is a busy time of the year, so make sure you book your tickets well in advance.
- Reach the venue before time to avoid unforeseen delays.
- It could be cold as well as wet. So make sure you’re equipped with the right kind of clothes for your trip.
- Keep a check on the places you visit as there are chances they may be closed on or around Easter.
- Since most restaurants remain closed around the Easter week, buy combo tickets to attractions that allow you to devour a meal as well. Dinner on the Eiffel, lunch on a Seine cruise, Cabaret with dinner and the works