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Paris in January [2021] Quick Guide by a Local

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11/23/20

January in Paris [2021]

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.

Paris in the Winter

Heads Up! We are working hard to be accurate but these are unusual times so please always check before heading out.

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PARIS TRIP PLANNER

Practical Info

» Basics: Language is French but English is widely spoken; Currency is Euro

» Paris Travel Guide

» Plan: Paris Travel Planner; check out when is the Best Time to Visit Paris;

» Flying to Paris: find the best prices and book your flight tickets with CheapoAir.com

» Paris by Train: find the best prices and book your train tickets with Trainline

» Where to Stay: Best Districts to Stay in Paris

» Find your Bearings in Paris: Districts of Paris Quick Guide

» Getting around: Metro of Paris Quick GuideParis by Bike Guide

» Top-Rated Paris Tours & Tickets:

Want skip-the-line access and awesome discounts at museums & attractions in Paris? Get your hands on a Paris Museum Pass!

» Food & Drinks: Paris Food Guide

» Side Trips: Versailles Quick Guide, check out the Best Day Trips from Paris

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 salesmen 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 in case 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

Paris Packing List Fall Winter

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? The weather in January 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 are in need of 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 are visiting 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:

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.

JANUARY 1st, 2021 IN PARIS

Cabaret Paradis Latin Pre Show

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:

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

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.

PARIS LIGHTS FESTIVAL

Paris Light Festival 2019

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 at raising awareness about the importance of protecting the endangered species, and the environment in general and they are always very beautiful.

We still don’t have any information about this year (2020-21) so keep clicking for the latest updates.

CHRISTMAS AT DISNEYLAND PARIS (UNTIL JANUARY 7, 2021)

Disneyland Paris, France

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!

Click here to book your Disneyland Paris tickets

CELEBRATE THE EPIPHANY WITH A GALETTE DES ROIS

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 which 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 before Christmas, and this until mid-January so many people end up eating many slices of (very) caloric galettes for a week or two.

CHRISTMAS AT PARC ASTÉRIX (UNTIL JANUARY 3, 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.

Click here to book your tickets with transfer to Parc Astérix

WINTER SALES

Shopping 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.

LE FESTIVAL DU MERVEILLEUX (CANCELLED)

Musée des Arts Forains Paris

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

Traversée de Paris - Vincennes

The Taversée de Paris en Anciennes is one of the biggest events in Paris for old car amateurs. For a morning, the streets of the capital 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, 10 January 2021.

At the end of the parade, the cars stay parked for a while in the car-park behind the château so it’s a great opportunity for photography amateurs to take cool pictures of beautiful vintage cars or 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

French Food Festivals

Food festivals are always a good idea to start a new year, especially in a country like 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.

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CHECK OUT THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS IN PARIS IN JANUARY 2021

Create your Louvre Guide

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 to strengthen the attractiveness of the Les Halles district. 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

Beautiful terraces and rooftop bars are not exclusive of summertime. In Paris, there are some beautiful heated places 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?

No problem! Have a look at our articles about December in Paris and also February in Paris, some of the activities proposed in these articles are also a good idea for Paris in January.

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!

Check out the best hotels with Eiffel Tower Views

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

Check out the best apartments with view of Eiffel Tower


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.

Click here for the best hotels in Le Marais in Paris 3

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.

Click here for the Latest Prices


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.

Click here for the Latest Prices


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.

Click here for the best hotels in the Latin Quarter in Paris 5

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.

Click here for the Latest Prices


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.

Click here for the Latest Prices

We hope you found some inspiration for your coming trip to Paris in January 2021!

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