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January in Paris
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.
Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy but there are many indoor activities in Paris. Also, the crowds are gone, waiters, receptionists, and salesmen are less stressed and it is much easier to go local.
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.
Paris’ attractions are quieter than usual this month, so it’s a great time to enjoy a stroll around a museum and avoid queues at popular attractions. Even the free museums in Paris can be visited without the crowds!
In January sales are on so you can review your winter in Paris packing list and shop at some of Paris’ top shopping destinations for less.
Make sure to wrap up warm when out exploring Paris in winter. 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.
January Weather in Paris
So how is the January weather in Paris? Expect daily highs of 8°C and nighttime temperatures near freezing.
Snow occasionally covers the rooftops of Paris but it does not last long. You are most likely to see rain: winter in Paris is tied with spring for the rainiest seasons.
January 1st, 2020 in Paris
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, 2020:
- 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
Things to Do in Paris in January 2020: Festivals & Main Events
During the first days of January, some Christmas in Paris events are still open and they definitely see lesser crowds:
Christmas at Disneyland Paris (until January 6, 2020)
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 6 so you cannot miss it if you are in Paris!
If you want to go to Disneyland Paris straight from the airport, you can check all the transportation options here.
Christmas at Parc Astérix (until January 5, 2020)
During the winter holidays, Astérix, Obélix, and their gang invite you to discover its 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 5, 2020, so hurry-up!
During the Christmas holidays, Le 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.
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. This year the show is dedicated to the Oceans, and it aims at raising awareness about the importance of protecting the endangered species of the oceans and the oceans and the environment in general.
Christmas Markets in Paris still open in January
- Tuileries Christmas Market (until January 5, 2020)
- Hôtel de Ville Christmas Market (until January 1, 2020)
- Saint Germain des Près Christmas Market (until January 5, 2020)
Christmas Holidays and New Year’s Eve festivals and shows are followed by interesting events of all kinds. Here’s the list of our favorite things to do in Paris in January 2020:
The Epiphany (and la 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 of each year), 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). 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!
January also opens with the launch, on Wednesday 8, of the eagerly awaited winter sales. If you are visiting Paris in January don’t miss the four weeks of sales, with important discounts in all the Parisian shops.
This is definitely the perfect time to review your wardrobe perhaps with a Parisian touch.
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 streets of the capital are invaded by old 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, January 12. This is a special year as the Traversée celebrates its 20th anniversary! To celebrate this important milestone, this vintage parade will drive through 20 iconic monuments of Paris with a slightly longer itinerary.
At the end of the parade, the cars stay parked for a while on the car-park near 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 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 men’s ready-to-wear (from January 14 to January 19, 2020) and haute couture (from January 20 to January 23, 2020 ).
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!
Chinese New Year
This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 25, 2020, so expect big celebrations in Paris during the last days of January.
Paris has 3 Chinese communities, located in Paris 2 (the oldest one), Paris 10 and Paris 13 and they are all organizing big events to celebrate the Year of the Rat in these 3 arrondissements of Paris.
As always, the big Chinese New Year’s Parade will take place in the streets of Paris 13. We will add the information as soon as it will be available so keep clicking back!
January Food Festivals in Paris
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 food festivals in Paris to see what January has to offer.
What to Do in Paris in January 2020: Festivals & Main Events
Museums and art galleries are always a good idea in January in Paris, 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 2020.
- Le Greco at Grand Palais, Paris 8
- The Golden Age of English Painting: from Reynolds to Turner at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris 6
- Leonardo da Vinci at Musée du Louvre, Paris 1
- Ocean, an Unusual Dive at Grande Galérie de l’Évolution, Paris 5 (until January 5, 2020)
- Degas at the Opera at Musée d’Orsay, Paris 8 (until January 19, 2020)
- Charlie Chaplin at Philharmonie de Paris, Paris 19 (until January 26, 2020)
- Marie-Antoinette, the Metamorphosis of an Image at Conciergerie de Paris, Paris 1 (until January 26, 2020)
- Mondrian Figurative at Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris 16 (until January 26, 2020)
- Toulouse Lautrec. Resolutely Modern at Grand Palais, Paris 8 (until January 27, 2020)
Heated Terraces and Rooftops in Paris in January
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 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
We hope you found some inspiration above for your coming trip to Paris in January!