Paris in January - the holiday hubbub has lulled, the winter drowsiness has passed and the New Year brings with it a fresh spirit in the air. Everyone's flocking the streets because the skies are finally clear and there's no better way to bask in the after-holiday glow but the yearly shopping ritual (Paris Winter Soldes!). If you ask us, Paris in January is the best season to visit the City of Lights. Wondering why the bold statement? Read on to know more about Paris in January.
What makes Paris in January a must-visit?
- Less Tourist Hordes - Paris in January takes a quiet note and does not attract as many tourists as other months. This is perhaps because most people go back after their December holidays, schools reopen and the beginning of the year is quite hectic for most companies. Hence, not many people travel to Paris in January, resulting in a sober undertone throughout the city.
- Best of Both Worlds - Since the winters haven’t completely gone, you can still ice skate in the open. At the same time, you can take a day trip from Paris, simply because you won’t freeze by stepping out but will have the company of a nice chill breeze.
- Cafe Weather - There’s no better time to enjoy the warmth and charm of Paris’s snug cafes than in January. Make sure you stock up on books to keep you company while chugging mugs of hot chocolate. If you’re into cafe hopping, spend a day at the Latin Quarter or in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
- Great Flight Deals - As always, off season flight tickets are quite cheap and if you book well in advance, you can get a great deal
Paris in January: Weather
Paris in January sees occasional icy rain and is on the colder side, however it does not snow. The weather is a clean blend of cold and wet, so make sure to pack everything you need to keep yourself warm, high and dry. You can expect about 17 rainy days (with light and moderate rainfall) and about 2 hours of sunlight during January in Paris. You can expect highs of 7° C and lows of 3° C through the month. Below is a depiction of the weather in Paris during January as compared to other months.
Paris in January: Things to do
The Eiffel Tower
Be it January or July, no trip to Paris is complete without visiting the Eiffel Tower. It is advisable to buy skip the line tickets to summit in order to avoid queuing up in the cold. Somedays due to cloudiness, the visibility might be compromised, so check the weather forecast before buying your tickets.
9:30 AM - 11:45 PM, with the last elevator ascending at 10:30 PM
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France,
Getting There ›
Louvre Museum - Japonisms Exhibition
If you're one to like musing and lingering over your favorite paintings in a peaceful environment, then there's not better time to visit the Louvre than in January. You can watch the Mona Lisa for as long as you please and till January 13 2019, you can even view the Japonisms Exhibition, an ode to the 160 years of Japan - France relations.
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Refer here for daily timings
Musée du Louvre, 75001 Paris,
Getting There ›
Notre Dame Cathedral
The dramatic spires, stained rose glass and piercing towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral make it arguably the most stunning gothic cathedral in the world. This cathedral was the very heartbeat of medieval Paris and sees about 13 million visitors per year ( more than the Eiffel Tower).
7:45 AM - 6:45 PM.
Place du parvis de Notre Dame, 4th Arrondissement, France
Getting There ›
Centre Pompidou is a shrine dedicated to modern art in the form of exhibitions, dance performances, cinemas and artifacts. It boasts of the largest collection of modern and contemporary art coupled with high-tech architecture and incredible visual appeal in all of Europe Enjoy panaromic vistas of the Parisian skyline from its top most floor.
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris,
Getting There ›
Montmartre Walking Tour
Visit the bohemian neighbourhood of Montmartre, nestled on top of a hill above Paris’ Right Bank. Feel the January breeze in your hair as you walk down the winding cobblestone streets and steep staircases and experience the traditions, lifestyle, and bohemian character of this artsy neighbourhood on a 3-hour walking tour led by a local historian.
Montmartre, 75018, Paris
Getting There ›
Musée d'Orsay & Musée de l'Orangerie
Musee D’Orsay has the best collection of French art, and the Musee de l’Orangerie has a vast repository of the world’s best impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. There are many temporary exhibitions that take place here through the year, and coming January 2019 visitors can enjoy the following exhibitions.
9.30 AM to 6:00 PM
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Getting There ›
Palais Garnier, also known as the Opera Garnier Paris holds a prime status in Paris’s ballet and classical music milieu. An ode to Parisian architecture, the Palais Garnier is undeniably one of the most distinguished and grand opera houses in the world. Check the schedule for January and catch a world class opera performance.exhibitions.
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris
Getting There ›
Paris in January: Events to Look Out For
PARIS WINTER SALES
10 January – 20 February
From the beginning of January, you'll see Soldes signs in store windows all over the city, often followed by a 30-40% discount in the beginning which goes upto 70-80% towards January end. “Soldes” – the fabulous winter sales in Paris is when shopaholics from all around the world descend to grab the fabulous deals. Pick up your French chic staples on a budget while you escape the winter cold.
PARIS FASHION WEEK
17 January – 25 January
The much coveted Paris Fashion Week happens in caps off the international design season after shows in New York, London and Milan and takes place in January. This is when the Haute Couture Spring and Summer Collections for the year is revealed. While the shows invite only, many events take place at the Carrousel du Louvre, so take a walk by and you'll catch a glimpse of the fashion in the air!
1 December – 30 January
When the snow starts, so does ice skating in Paris. Many ice rinks are set up before the Christmas and stay in place through the middle to end of January. The Trocadéro Ice rink is generall open through the first week of January, while the Hotel de Ville is often open through the first weekend in March. Admission is generally free (exclusive of skate rental).
CIRQUE D'HIVER BOUGLIONE
October 2018 - March 2019
The Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione has been home to the shows of the famous Bouglione company for over half a century and is one of the oldest circuses in the world. Every winter, the Bouglione family present a new show with an international cast of clowns, animals, acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, jugglers and put on a magical show.
THE BIG WHEEL
January – May
The traditional Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde has been part of the Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées since 2000, enticing 300,000 passengers each year. With a height of 70 metres (76.6 yards), this is the world’s largest mobile Ferris wheel and, from its 48 pods, gives an incredible view over the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, and the Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysées.
AU FIL DES VOIX
January 29 – February 14
The festival Au Fil des Voix runs for 15 evenings, with 28 concerts, featuring artists from countries and cultures as diverse as Guadeloupe, Corsica, the Basque Country, Australia, Spain, Tunisia, Benin, Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal. It’s a festival with strong morals, amplifying voices that wouldn’t otherwise be heard, bearers of history, imbued with a culture worth sharing.
Paris in January: 5-day Itinerary
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
Paris Weather in January
January is the coldest and wettest month in Paris, France. The average temperature remains a constant at 5°C over the course of the month. Daily highs range from 6°C in the beginning of January to 8°C by the end of the month, rarely going above 12°C or falling below 0°C. Daily lows start off at 1°C and rises to 2°C toward the end of January, rarely falling below -5°C or rising above 8°C.
Where to Stay in Paris
Paris has accomodation to suit everyone's budget, so choose your pick and experience a Parisian stay.
- 5 & 4 star hotels – Relais Christine, Hotel Tolbiac, Le Narcisse Blanc, Maison Souquet, Hotel The Peninsula Paris, and Goralska Résidences Hôtel Paris Bastille
- Budget hotels – Hotel Paris Louis Blanc, Libertel Gare du Nord Suede, Nouvel Hotel, Hotel L’interlude, Hotel Darcet, Hotel de Flore, Art Hotel Congres
- Hostels – Les Piaules, Le Regent Montmartre, Le Montclair, St. Christopher’s Canal, Generator Paris
What to Pack for Visiting Paris in January
Here’s a handy list of packing essentials for a trip to Paris in January: A good waterproof coat, comfortable walking shoes, a warm jacket for the evening, a windcheater, pack warm, fuzzy socks, good gloves, scarves, a few thick sweaters or cardigans in case it gets really cold, and a sturdy umbrella that can resist the wind.
Getting Around Paris in January
The Paris public transport system is managed by RATP and comprises of the Métro (underground), tram, RER suburban express train (which interconnects with the Métro inside Paris), bus, and noctilien (night bus). Paris and its suburbs are divided into 6 zones.
For tourists, Zones 1 and 2 are the most important as they cover the city center and all Métro lines. RATP tickets and passes are valid on the Métro, tram, buses and RER. The Métro alone is very efficient and will take you anywhere you need to go within Paris city limits, and sometimes slightly beyond. Buses are less reliable but still offer a good service.
Paris in January - Must Try Delicasies
Galette des Rois is a frangipani tart made of butter, pastry and ground almonds. Parisians mark the end of mark the feast of the Epiphany on Saturday by scoffing down this pastry fit for kings. Here's the story of the Galette des Rois - the only tart that can make you feel like a king.
While walking through the chilly streets of Paris in January, you'll occasionally hear shouts of “Chaud les marrons!” from vendors selling chestnuts roasting on coals. These are just the perfect accompaniment to the cold weather, so grab a bunch!
In Paris, mulled wine isn't just for Christmas – it's served until early spring. The hot mulled wine, or Vin chaud à la française is made with dry red wine, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange zest and, for a bit more zing, cognac.
Angelina is famous for their hot chocolate (le chocolat chaud en francais), and is often cited as the best hot chocolate in Paris. French hot chocolate is nothing like the conventional hot chocolate we know. It's oozingly warm, thick, rich and marshmallow free. Must try!
Tips to Visit Paris in January
- While there are many advantages to visiting Paris in the off-season a relaxing cruise on the Seine River is something that is probably best left to the shoulder season or for those early risers in the peak months.
- It gets dark at 3:30 PM during the first half of January so, start your day early to make the most of it.
- There’s no city better suited to cinephilic fever than Paris. There are over 300 films screened per week and has more “salles” (theatres) per capita than a film lover could possibly dream of. Stay indoors, stay warm and watch a classic.
- Wander through the elaborate, elegant network of covered passageways in Paris to steer clear of the rain/cold in January.
Explore Paris by Months
Planning to Visit Paris!
For more Paris information, here are some helpful quick links!