Things to Do on Easter in Paris in 2024

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Easter is almost upon us! Known in France as Pâques, the spring holiday is coming up on Sunday, March 31, as indicated by the influx of Parisian chocolatiers starting to tempt passerby with elaborate displays of chocolate eggs, hens and bells — with very few bunnies to be found.

Whereas American lore says that the Easter Bunny is responsible for bringing chocolates (as well as candy-laden gift baskets) to children on the holiday, French custom eschews bunnies for bells (les cloches). As legend has it, the bells fly off to Rome a week ahead of the holiday (la chance!), and their musical return on Easter Sunday signals that they’ve successfully made their return flight and have scattered chocolates for children to find along the way. Another difference: The French take Easter Monday off; Americans do not.

So, if you’re lucky enough to be in Paris to celebrate, there are plenty of ways to get in on the chocolate-filled fun, from Easter egg hunts (at various châteaux, parks and museumspas mal, hein?) to services in famous churches like Sacré-Cœur, as well as concerts, brunches and beyond. 

While there will be plenty to keep you busy, it’s good to note that as a rule, Paris is fairly sleepy on Sundays and Mondays, and you can expect even more businesses than usual to be closed for the holiday. Buses and metro lines will still run, but on a limited holiday schedule. 

Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to have a Joyeuses Pâques.  

Easter Egg Hunts in Paris

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

An hour-and-a-half south of Paris, this stunning Château in Maincy, France, is a fun day trip on any occasion, but particularly for Easter: it’s home to the largest chasse aux œufs (egg hunt) in France! Over 90,000 chocolates are hidden in the castle’s 33-hectare garden, and hunts will take place from Saturday, March 30 – Monday, April 1, starting at 10am — it’s sure to be an egg-cellent time! 

La REcyclerie

An eco-center, repair shop, urban farm and airy café housed in a former train station on the Petite Ceinture (a now-defunct circular railway), La REcyclerie is one of the hippest, most bucolic places to be in Paris. Situated at the far edge of the city near Port Saint-Ouen, it’s certainly worth the trek (especially when the nearby weekend flea markets are open just outside the péripherique, aka the main highway that delineates Paris proper from the surrounding suburbs). For Easter, there’s plenty to attract kids and adults alike: there will be an Easter fair (kermesse) all weekend long, and afternoon egg hunts on Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31. The on-site farm is on-theme as well, with chickens roaming free. 

Easter Chocolatiers 

The one drawback about Easter in Paris is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find any marshmallow Peeps or speckled Cadbury chocolate eggs. But no need to fret — the artisanal creations of French chocolatiers are sure to distract you in no time. With a focus on chocolate eggs of all sizes, as well as chocolate hens and bells, these are a small sampling of some of the best chocolate shops around town: 

À la Mère de Famille

Paris’ oldest chocolate shop, founded in 1761, has kept its original decor from the early 20th century and maintains an old-world charm that merits a visit almost as much as the tantalizing treats inside. For Easter, check out their dazzling selection of tiny praline eggs, wrapped in jewel-tone paper and tucked into a real egg carton, or their rather charming chicken-shaped chocolate figurines

Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse

One of France’s most renowned celebrity chefs is broadening his Easter range this year from the classic collection of lambs and eggs to include sardines, lobsters, and other critters. The geometric chocolates may seem a bit untraditional to Americans, but they’ll be sure to impress any French friends. While he has a smattering of locations around Paris, the Michelin-starred chef’s original Rue de la Roquette chocolate shop is also a marvel for its small size and bare-bones décor. 


Maison Lenôtre is another Parisian classic, dishing up all sorts of Easter-themed goodies this year, from luscious dark chocolate hens to eggs filled with tiny chocolate seahorses and turtles, or even a brioche rabbit!

Easter Church Services in Paris


Whether you’re looking for a religious experience or just to visit the Montmartre landmark, a visit to the iconic white basilica is a must, if only for the panoramic view over all of Paris. On Easter, masses will be held at 7am, 11am, 6pm, and 10pm, and Easter Vespers will take place at 4pm. (It is recommended to arrive half an hour in advance for the 11am and 6pm mass.) More information on the weekend’s programming can be found on their website here

L’église de la Madeleine

Located in the 8th arrondissement, this enormous church is instantly recognizable for its facade — which appears less like a religious building and more like a Greek temple, thanks to Napoleon, who wanted it created in honor of his army. For Easter, they annually host a morning and evening mass, with a number of activities in the week leading up to Easter Sunday, including the Stations of the Cross. They will also have a concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at 8pm on Sunday, March 31.

Sophie Dodd is a writer for Frenchly who covers all things Paris, travel, wine and lifestyle. She also writes for Travel + Leisure and PEOPLE. You can follow her adventures in Brooklyn, Paris and beyond on Instagram

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