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January in Paris 
All you need to know to visit Paris in January 2021.
January in Paris is a special time to be in the French capital. January is the heart of winter in Paris. The days are short, the temperatures low, and once the festivities are over, the city slowly settles into its most local, everyday life pace.
January is the quietest time of year to visit Paris and possibly the cheapest. If you decide to visit Paris in January, you will find cheaper flight tickets and train tickets, especially if you travel during the week, plus many hotels offer reductions at this time of year.
In January, sales are also on, so you can review your winter in Paris packing list and shop at some of Paris’ top shopping destinations for less.
January in Paris is a great month for a cultural getaway, and also a shopping weekend. Here is our guide to making the most of your time in Paris in January 2021.
Heads Up! We are working hard to be accurate but these are unusual times so please always check before heading out.
Is Paris in January Busy? Crowds Forecast
January in Paris is low season. You can expect many visitors during the first days of January, but after the New Year’s celebrations, crowds leave the city, and this is the best time to see some of Paris’ most popular attractions without booking months in advance.
Paris in January is a great time to visit your favorite exhibitions or bigger museums like the Louvre or Orsay. Even the free museums in Paris can be visited without the crowds!
Also, when the crowds are gone, waiters, receptionists, and salespeople are less stressed and kinder, and it is much easier to go local.
January Weather in Paris
If you are visiting Paris in January, you can expect cold weather and the occasional rainy day. Expect daily highs of 8°C and nighttime temperatures near freezing.
Snow occasionally covers the rooftops of Paris in January, but it does not last long.
However, don’t be discouraged: there are many indoor activities in Paris if it is too cold to be outside!
Make sure to wrap up warm when out exploring Paris in January. Then, take refuge from the cold in one of Paris’ quintessential cafes with a hot chocolate, or enjoy your favorite cocktail with a view on a heated rooftop terrace transformed for winter.
What to Wear in Paris in January 2021
What to wear in Paris in January 2021? The key to dressing in Paris in the winter is a good, warm coat. Still, it is a good idea to dress in layers because in some places like the museums or the metro is too warm, and you are likely to be ok with less layers.
What to pack for January in Paris 2021? In January, the weather in Paris calls for good walking shoes (sneakers or Chelsea boots), warm socks, scarves, gloves, thermal underwear (if you plan to do long walks), and a good warm jacket.
For a more local look during your trip to Paris in January, have a look at our winter packing lists for men and women:
Best Tips for Visiting Paris in January
1st January (New Year’s day) is a national holiday in France. This impacts the opening of several museums and attractions, bars, and restaurants, so be sure to plan this day in Paris carefully (more on this below).
6th January (Epiphany) is not a national holiday in France so expect all shops and Paris attractions open.
If you are flexible with your travel dates, come after the first week of January to avoid the crowds. January 6th is the last day of the French Christmas holiday and the end of the high winter season in Paris.
Always have a B plan for the rainy days in Paris. If you need some ideas, check out our list of fun things to do when it rains in Paris, which is also handy for the coldest days in Paris.
A week before the departure, have a look at our Transportation Strikes in Paris post, which is always up to date. Just in case . . .
Need insurance for France? Be sure to check France travel insurance rates and coverage with our recommended provider, SafetyWing.
Top Things to Do in Paris in January 2021
If you visit Paris for the first time, you may want to tick some of Paris’ must-see attractions off your bucket list. The itineraries below are thought for first-time visitors in Paris, and they are planned around the main sights and the most popular neighborhoods in Paris:
- 1 day in Paris itinerary
- 2 days in Paris itinerary
- 3 days in Paris itinerary
- 4 days in Paris itinerary
- 5 days in Paris itinerary
- 6 days in Paris itinerary
If you want to visit Paris for New Year’s celebrations, check out our article on New Year’s Eve in Paris.
Here’s the list of the best things to do in Paris in January 2021. Some of the dates and activities are still to be confirmed, so keep clicking for the latest updates.
LOCKDOWN EASING IN FRANCE 2021
- The terraces of cafés and restaurants will open on 19 May.
- Cafés and restaurants (inside) will open on 9 June.
- Museums, cultural spaces, theaters, cinemas, and cabarets will open on 19 May.
- Non-essential shops will open on 19 May.
- Fairs, exhibition halls will open on 9 June.
- Foreign tourists will be able to travel to France from 9 June.
- Curfew in all the French territory from 7 pm to 6 am. Then from 9 pm to 6 am (19 May to 8 June), from 11 pm to 6 am (9 to 30 June).
JANUARY 1st, 2021 IN PARIS
– Cabarets and Cultural Spaces will remain closed until the end of January 2021 at least –
After midnight, continue the New Year’s Eve festive fun during the first hours of January 1st. You can check how to celebrate the New Year in Paris here.
Tourist Attractions and Museums Opened on January 1st, 2021:
- The Eiffel Tower
- Musée Grevin
- Musée Dali
- Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck
- Musée de Montmartre
- Musée du Luxembourg
- Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Montmartre
- Musée du Quai Branly
- Musée d’Orsay
- Musée Maillol
- Château de Versailles
- Domaine de Chantilly (Château + Horse Museum)
- Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
- Centre Pompidou
- Grand Palais
Parisian Cabarets proposing a show on January 1st:
TIP: If you are unsure what is the best cabaret for you, check out our Parisian Cabarets Quick Guide
ENJOY THE LAST DAYS OF THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN PARIS
– This event is cancelled –
During the first days of January, you can still enjoy some Christmas activities, including a couple of Christmas Markets, ice skating rinks, and festive shows.
You can find our recommendations on what to see in Paris at Christmas time here.
– This event is cancelled –
The Festival of Lights at Jardin des Plantes (Paris 5) is an enchanting experience for kids and adults with monumental light structures set in the alleys and pitches of this beautiful garden.
The exhibitions usually aim to raise awareness about the importance of protecting endangered species and the environment in general and are always very beautiful.
We still don’t have any information about this year (2020-21) so keep clicking for the latest updates.
– Disneyland Paris will remain closed until 12 February 2021 –
There’s nothing more magical than Christmas at Disneyland Paris. Disney’s Enchanted Christmas wraps everything that makes Christmas special in the most enchanting of seasonal settings.
Disney’s Enchanted Christmas festival lasts until January 7, 2021, so you cannot miss it when you visit Paris!
CELEBRATE THE EPIPHANY WITH A GALETTE DES ROIS
The Galette des Rois is a cake traditionally made and consumed in most of France on the occasion of the Epiphany (on January 6), a Christian festival that celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus.
Traditionally, we eat a piece of galette with family, friends, or even at work (there’s always somebody who brings a galette in the office), and you should definitely try one!
Despite the tradition to eat it on January 6, bakeries start proposing galettes from Christmas until mid-January, so many people end up eating many slices of (very) caloric galettes for a week or two.
– Parc Astérix will remain closed until 3 April 2021 –
During the winter holidays, Astérix, Obélix, and their tribe invite you to discover the Gallic Christmas at Parc Astérix.
Snow-covered menhirs, delirious sliding activities, a charming little Christmas market, and new shows are to be discovered for a unique Christmas!
Christmas at Parc Asterix lasts until January 3, 2021, and it’s definitely a very original way to start January in Paris.
If you like shopping, January in Paris is a bit of a treat! January is when the much-awaited winter sales happen in Paris, with important discounts in all the Parisian shops.
This is definitely the perfect time to review your wardrobe, perhaps with a Parisian touch.
This year, the winter sales will happen from 20 January to 16 February 2021.
LE FESTIVAL DU MERVEILLEUX
– This event is cancelled –
During the Christmas holidays, the Musée des Arts Forains becomes the theatre of a wonderful array of festive shows and performances. Storytellers, magicians, aerial silk dancers, funambulists, musicians, puppeteers, tap dancers, and other artists create dreamlike stories whilst mechanized music performances, automatons shows, and optical illusions succeed one another all day long.
This festival usually is extended until the Epiphany, for the joy of kids and adults!
TRAVERSÉE DE PARIS EN ANCIENNES
The Taversée de Paris en Anciennes is one of the biggest events in Paris for old car amateurs. For a morning, the capital’s streets are invaded by vintage cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and buses, a crazy ride that finishes at Château de Vincennes.
This year, the Traversée de Paris will take place on Sunday, 31 January 2021.
At the end of the parade, the cars stay parked for a while in the car-park behind the château. It’s a great opportunity for photography amateurs to take cool pictures of beautiful vintage cars and chat about cars with their passionate owners.
PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK
In January, Paris is on the top of the podium with the Fashion Week. For the occasion, the biggest names in the field, people, and journalists flock to the capital of fashion to discover the new trends in prêt-à-porter and haute couture.
The dates for 2021 are a bit later than usual. Parisian men’s Fashion Week is thus announced from January 19 to 24, 2021, followed by Haute Couture from January 25 to 28, 2021.
Even if the catwalks and after-show parties are reserved for professionals and VIPs, the show also takes place in the street, particularly around major Parisian places such as the Grand Palais, the Palais Brongniart, or the Palais de Tokyo. It is not uncommon to meet stars, models, and fashion designers there, so keep your eyes open!
FOOD FESTIVALS IN PARIS IN JANUARY
Food festivals are always a good idea to start a new year, especially in France, world-reputed for its incredible food, cheese, and wine.
Check out our article on the best French food festivals in Paris to see what January has to offer.
CHECK OUT THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS IN PARIS IN JANUARY 2021
– Museums and Cultural Spaces will remain closed until the end of January 2021 at least –
Museums and art galleries are always a good idea in Paris in January, especially on those days when it’s too cold outside.
If you have already checked the permanent exhibitions of the main museums in Paris, check out the list of interesting temporary exhibitions happening in Paris in January 2021.
The Collection Pinault at Bourse du Commerce opens in January 2021! This new foundation is to house the art collection of François Pinault, a great art lover, and strengthen the Les Halles district’s attractiveness. After some delays due to the pandemic, the opening is scheduled now for 23 January 2021.
Gabrielle Chanel, iconic fashion designer. This is her first retrospective at the Palais Galliera, from 1 October 2020 to 14 March 2021.
The Matisse exhibition at Centre Pompidou, from 21 October 2020 to 22 February 2021.
The Olmecs and the cultures of the Gulf of Mexico, at the Musée du Quai Branly, from 9 October 2020 to 25 February 2021.
L’Empire des Sens, the erotic exhibition at Musée Cognacq-Jay, from 2 December 2020 to 28 March 2021.
Marc Riboud, Histoires Possibles: the great retrospective (photography) at Musée Guimet, from 4 November 2020 to 1 March 2021.
Chagall and Zadkine: crossed paths, at Musée Zadkine, from 13 November 2020 to 25 April 2021.
A COZY BREAK IN ONE OF THE HEATED TERRACES AND ROOFTOPS IN PARIS
– Bars and restaurants will remain closed until mid- February 2021 at least –
Beautiful terraces and rooftop bars are not exclusive of summertime. There are some beautiful heated places in Paris where you can finish your explorations with your favorite drink and awesome views of the capital or in a warm, cozy atmosphere.
Some of these terraces and rooftop bars are part of hotels but also accessible to non-guests. Below, the list of our favorites:
- The Parisian Bubble – first floor of the Eiffel Tower, Paris 7
- La Bulle du Novotel Paris Les Halles – 8 Place Marguerite de Navarre, Paris 1
- The Chocolate Bar at Hotel Les Jardins du Marais – 74 rue Amelot, Paris 11
- The Royal Marché at Hotel Royal Monceau – 35-37 avenue Hoche, Paris 8
- Le Terrass Hotel – 12-14, rue Joseph de Maistre, Paris 18
- L’Hotel Amour – 8, rue de Navarin, Paris 9
- Les Climats (a bar-restaurant classed historical monument) – 41 rue de Lille, Paris 7
- L’Hotel the Westin Paris – 3 rue de Castiglione, Paris 1
- Le Hibou, a trendy bistro – 16 carrefour de l’Odéon, Paris 6
- Le Sinople. Inside Le Klay fitness club but also open to non-members – 4 bis, rue Saint-Sauveur, Paris 2
NEED MORE IDEAS FOR PARIS IN JANUARY 2021?
Where to Stay in Paris in January
We recommend Booking.com for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.
SLEEP WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS
If you have the budget, why not treating yourself with the pleasure of waking up with an amazing Eiffel Tower balcony view?
Some of the best hotels in Paris also come with awesome views of Eiffel Tower, especially beautiful during its night show!
The good news is that a cozy room with Eiffel Tower views is not exclusive to the best hotels in Paris. If you are looking for a more local experience, there are also beautiful, fully equipped apartments to rent with amazing Eiffel Tower views
HOTELS AT LE MARAIS IN PARIS 3
Le Marais in the Right Bank is a beautiful and central neighborhood perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options.
LE PAVILLON DE LA REINE & SPA, Paris 3, $$$$
Le Pavillon de la Reine is a luxury hotel & spa located at Place des Vosges in the Marais. The rooms are individually decorated and very spacious. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and hammam. Its beautiful secluded garden is perfect to end your day with a drink.
HOTEL DU PETIT MOULIN, Paris 3, $$$
Located at the heart of Marais and entirely designed by Christian Lacroix, this hotel offers the best combination history + design. Guests can use complimentary bicycles and enjoy free access to the spa at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, a 10-min walk away.
HOTELS AT THE LATIN QUARTER
If you prefer to stay in the Left Bank, the Latin Quarter is also a good option, usually with less expensive options. Stay close to the Luxembourg Gardens or the Jardin des Plantes but also to lively areas like rue du Mouffetard or the Sorbonne with many bars and restaurants nearby.
XHOTEL LA LANTERNE; Paris 5, $$$$
Hotel La Lanterne has an excellent location (between Notre Dame and Luxembourg Gardens), attractive rooms, and some great facilities like a spa, pool, or a private garden. Perfect to finish your exploring days in a more relaxing way.
OBSERVATOIRE LUXEMBOURG: Paris 5, $$$
Located close to Luxembourg Gardens, we find its design pretty cool. But of course, it is not all about decoration: the hotel’s comfortable rooms, French Brasserie, modern facilities, and cool staff are the perfect combination for a great stay in Paris.
We hope you found some inspiration for your coming trip to Paris in January 2021!