France this April: what’s in it for you ?
Weather might still be a little random, but spring has definitely come. And with it, gorgeous flowers blossom all around France! In gardens, castles, countryside or cities, it can’t disappoint you !
Every month, we’ll post about what to do in France, for you to save the best activities and events in your agenda. Don’t forget to also check our “How do the French do it?” section, with the cultural insight of the month.
01 Romantic Cherry Blossom in Paris
Yes, you’ve read it: Paris. We’ve all met countless people heading to Japan for Cherry Blossom. But this year, amazing cherry blossom spots all along the Seine river and in some confidential locations in Paris could just help you win the contest of the most unexpected cherry blossom photo contest ! Watch out for Notre-Dame, Le Marais city gardens and the Eiffel Tower for scenic pictures. And if you are willing to take your time, head to castles’ gardens around Paris or Disneyland for Sakura profusion !
02 Monet Gardens Giverny
April marks the beginning of Giverny’s annual flowery parade, in Monet’s former residence. The gardens start blossoming, with narcissuses, tulips and yellow violets opening the season, and then competing with the more colorful Fritillaria. Visiting Giverny in spring is not only the opportunity to enter an Impressionist painting, walking along all the fruit trees blossoming; it’s also the best way to avoid the frustration of summer season’s crowds.
03 Fairytale Castle in the Loire Valley
The Chateau de Villandry is a gem in the Loire Valley. Joachim Carvallo, the great grandfather of the current owner restored Villandry to its original style at the beginning of the 20th century. But more than the beautiful building, what distinguishes Villandry from all its Loire neighbors, is its three-tiered , carefully crafted garden. The gardens are arranged in several partitions, for flowers, vegetables, water gardens or decorative plantings, each of them conveying unique visual and sensory memories!
Yes, you are not mistaken. This romantic European courtyard is a vegetable garden!
Spring also brings refreshing exhibitions and events !
01 Martin Margiela
From March 3rd to July 15th, Palais Galliera in Paris is presenting an unprecedented retrospective of the 20th century fashion designer Martin Margiela. Fashion and design community connoisseurs love the simplicity and deconstruction in his style, as Margiela was known for questioning the codes of fashion, shape and clothes. The exhibition reviews Martin Margiela’s work from 1989 to 2009, showing more than 130 images, show videos, archives and special installations. For those who haven’t seen enough, an option is to continue with the exhibition at Musee des Arts Décoratifs “Martin Margiela: Hermès’s Years” covering his 12 series launched at Hermes from 1997 to 2003.
02 Louis Vuitton Senior Leather Workshop Open Day
Until the 15th of April, Louis Vuitton is exceptionally opening its leather workshop to visitors! Located in Asnières, a quiet town in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, this workshop is known as the “heart of Louis Vuitton “, where craftsmen and women make the most exceptional products quality, including custom luggage and rare leather goods which have made the glory of the brand.
Plan ahead if you intend to visit: tickets sell really fast!
03 Atelier des Lumières, Digital Art Center, Paris
Beginning on April 13th, the Atelier des Lumières, completed after four years of works, will welcome its first exhibition. Originally a cast-iron factory, this industrial building in the heart of Paris was acquired by the Martin family, who, together with Culturespaces decided to transform it into a huge digital arts center. Culturespaces also runs the Carrières de Lumières, in Baux-de-Provence, Southern France, where it organizes a famous annual projection show, displaying digital art images onto the walls of the former underground mine.
In this exhibition, Culturespace used 140 projectors and dedicated space acoustics, to display the works of two famous Austrian painters,Gustav Klimt and Friedrich Hundertwasser on over 3,300 square meters
A three-month railway strike begins in April 2018. The French National Railways (SNCF) are affected, as well as some of the Paris RER, TRANSILIEN, and tramway lines.
Paris Metro and bus lines (operated by RATP) will run normally. Basically, if your commuting stays within Paris, you should not be affected by the strike.
However, for taking the train to other French cities, it is recommended to check the below calendar with days of SNCF strike. You may also check the SNCF website and app which will announce the affected rides every day at 5pm for the next day. Passengers who have already booked tickets will be reminded by email or text message.
How do the French do it? – Easter celebration
In France, like in many other European countries, Easter (Pâques) is originally a religious holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. These days, Easter is very much about parents hiding chocolate eggs at home or in a garden for children to find them during a treasure hunt. But why chocolate eggs actually? They progressively became a commonly used symbol of Easter for two reasons. The eggs represent a symbol of birth and life associated with the Christ coming back on Earth, while chocolate is a nice gourmet treat after the fasting period that many Christians use to undertake before Easter. Chocolate eggs therefore mark a joyful celebration for French families!