What changes in France in April 2024

The Local France
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What changes in France in April 2024
People sit on outside extended terraces, in Paris, on May 19, 2021 (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)

From a day off from work and practical jokes to extended café terraces, plus changes for motorists and spring festivals to enjoy - here's what is happening in France in April.


Easter and the 'Poisson d'avril'

April 1st is the day of 'April fish' - when France goes crazy for practical jokes. Basically France's version of April Fool's Day.

READER QUESTION: Can you explain the French 'poisson d'avril' tradition?

This year, April 1st is also Easter Monday, which is a bank holiday (jour férié), meaning workers across the country will have enjoy a day off. Here are some ways French people enjoy the festival.

End of the winter 'Trêve Hivernale'

During winter months, tenants who stop paying their rent cannot be evicted in France due to the trêve hivernale (winter truce). However, this ends on March 31st, meaning on April 1st evictions in France can begin again.

Paris café terraces extend

As soon as April rolls around, Parisian restaurants, cafés and bars can opt to extend their terraces. About one in five venues choose to do so.

This year, thanks to the Olympic Games, the summer terraces will be able to remain until midnight, open two hours later than the usual rule.

Revaluation of benefits

Social benefits, such as the CAF family allowance, disability benefits, as well as unemployment payments, will increase by 4.6 percent starting on April 1st, following the yearly revaluation.


End of green insurance cards for motorists

Starting on April 1st, motorists in France will no longer have to show the green insurance card (carte verte), which had been a requirement for over 40 years. From April onward, only electric scooters will need to have the physical green insurance sticker displayed. As for all other vehicles, the proof of insurance will become digitised. 

READ MORE: 7 things to know about the change to France's 'carte verte' car insurance

Possible strikes

Some sectors have already begun calling for strikes and industrial action during the month of April.

Unions representing teachers have called for walk-outs on Tuesday, April 2nd in protest against streaming (tracking) in lower-secondary schools. 

As for public transport in Paris, the CGT union for RATP workers has called for strikes on Thursday, April 4th, as part of a push for wage increases.

Keep an eye on The Local's strikes section for updates.

Paris Marathon 

The 47th edition of the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris will be held on Sunday April 7th. Once again, the runners will cross the capital, passing through some of the most beautiful places in Paris. You can see the route here.


Income tax declarations

Starting on April 11th, you will be able to go online to the Impots.Gouv.Fr website to filling in your tax declaration. Depending on your location and situation, you have between 6-8 weeks to file the declaration.

Almost everyone who lives in France has to do this, as do some second-home owners with earnings here, and the deadline for doing so depends on how you declare and where you live. 

READ MORE: The bumper 2024 French tax guide


For Muslims around the world, the conclusion to Ramadan is expected to fall either on the evening of April 9th or 10th this year, depending on the lunar Islamic calendar.

Spring holidays for schools

Schools also get a two-week break during the spring, but the exact dates vary between the different school holiday zones.

Zone C, which includes Paris, Toulouse and Montpellier, runs from April 6th to 22nd. Zone A, which includes both Lyon and Bordeaux, has holidays from April 13th to 29th. Zone B, which includes Aix-Marseille, Nice, and Strasbourg, has holidays from April 20th until May 6th. Finally, Corsica has its spring holidays from April 27th to May 13th.

Spring festivals and fun

The Foire au Jambon, located in Bayonne in southern France will run from April 4th - 7th. It celebrates every stage of the creation of the famous hams that proudly bear the Basque town’s name. 

On April 6th, cycling fans will be excited to follow the Paris-Roubaix challenge, which follows the 170km route of the official ‘hell of the North’ race – including the 50km of cobbled road.

During the middle of the month, book fans can enjoy meeting authors, getting autographs and listening to readings at the annual Salon du Livre. It will take place at the Grand Palais Éphémère (located at the end of the Champ-de-Mars, near the Eiffel Tower). Last year, over 100,000 people attended. More info here.


And at the end of the month, mark your calendars for the Printemps de Bourges (running from April 23rd - 28th). The popular outdoor music festival takes place in the central French town of Bourges. This year it will feature artists like Clara Luciani, Béatrice Dalle, Mika, Shaka Ponk - and numerous others.

READ MORE: Places to visit and things to do in France in Spring 2024

Fifth anniversary of Notre Dame fire

There will be a short religious service - a Te Deum - on April 15th to mark the fifth anniversary of the fire. The cathedral is on track to reopen in December 2024.

Start of technical inspection for two-wheelers

After having been postponed several times over the course of nine years, the contrôle technique (roadworthiness test) for motorised motorbikes, tricycles and quadricycles, will be phased in starting on April 15th. 

The deadline for when inspections must be carried out will depend on the date of the vehicle's registration - those with registration dates prior to 2017 will make up the first wave, with a requirement to carry out the test sometime before mid-August 2024. 

Metro closures in Paris

From road work to metro closures, there have been several projects to improve public transport ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris.


As such, several Metro lines will be closed during April. The Metro line 11, between the stations of Belleville and Mairie des Lilas, will be closed for 16 consecutive days, running from Friday, April 12th to Saturday, April 27th. As such, the stations of Pyrénées, Jourdain, Place des Fêtes, Télégraphe, Porte des Lilas and Mairie des Lilas stations will be inaccessible, and Belleville station will become the temporary terminus.

The Austerlitz station, which serves lines 5 and 10, will be closed half of April, but it is slated to reopen on April 17th.

Finally, the RER B will be closed between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2-TGV during the weekend of April 20th to 21st. As such, travellers should plan alternative routes to get to the Roissy airport - you may consider taking the Roissy Bus or a taxi between Paris and the airport.

Keep in mind that there are set fares for licenced cabs.

100 days until the Olympics

April 29th will mark exactly 100 days until Paris hosts the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

READ MORE: Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Paris for the 2024 Olympics


The Jewish festival of Passover will begin before sundown on Monday, April 22nd. It will end after nightfall on April 30th.

Announcement of budget cuts - In response to France's budget deficit reaching €154 billion, or 5.5 percent of GDP, the country's finance minister Bruno Le Maire will present a package of budget cuts to ministers on April 17th, entitled the programme de stabilité (PSTAB). 


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