Exciting Paris events during February include final Winter Sales (look for the biggest bargains this month!), a trio of Chinese New Year parades, a lively roster of concerts and museum shows, a big Mardi Gras parade, and believe it or not, the first signs of spring toward the end of the month.
Visiting Paris in February?
If you're coming to Paris this month, consider booking your "bucket list" tours and activities ASAP to make sure you get your top choices.
Top Paris attractions & experiences:
- 1-Hour Seine River Cruise - Relax while you see iconic Paris sights
- Eiffel Tower Entry Ticket with Optional Summit Access - Most popular choice
- Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket with Host for Mona Lisa
Most popular Paris destinations this month:
- Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket - Favorite family-friendly activity
- Versailles - Skip the Line tour of Palace with Garden Access - Sells out fast
- Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne - Top-selling cabaret experience
February gets off to a tasty start with La Chandeleur (a.k.a. "Pancake Day"), when everyone in France eats crepes.
Valentine's Day means you'll see lovely displays in bakery windows, and special menus in the city's romantic bistros. If you're visiting, don't miss the romantic dinners, shows, and cruises on this day.
With warmer temperature, noticeably longer days (especially toward the end of the month), and the first flowers appearing on early-blooming cherry trees, February is a wonderful time to explore Paris, visit museums, and enjoy hints of romance in the air.
Want to celebrate being in the "City of Love"? Pose for a photo in front of the famous blue and white Wall of Love in Rictus Square in Montmartre where you'll see I Love You written 311 times and in 250 different languages.
Top photo: Le mur des je t'aime (the Wall of Love) in Rictus Square in Montmartre, (c) Paris Discovery Guide
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Valentine's Day in Paris: Celebrate Your Love in the City of Love
It's hard to imagine a more romantic city in the world than Paris - so what better destination to celebrate your love on Valentine's Day, especially if you plan to propose?
Spend the day exploring the city and enjoying a leisure lunch in a cozy bistro.
As night falls, head out to one of these romantic destinations for the perfect place to propose:
- Valentine's Day Seine River Cruise with 5-Course Gourmet Dinner & Live Music - Champagne, wine, and live music round out this wonderful experience for February 14. Find out more
- Romantic Dinner Cruise with Champagne - Available every evening, this gourmet 3-course dinner cruise down the Seine lets you enjoy beautiful illuminated top Paris attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum. Find out more
- Moulin Rouge Dinner Show with Champagne & Transportation - Celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th at Paris's legendary Moulin Rouge cabaret while you savor a 3-course gourmet dinner, sip Champagne, and enjoy the fabulous "Feerie" show. Book now
And if a proposal might happen - or if you just want to commemorate the day, consider getting romantic photoshoot to capture your special day in Paris.
February Concerts in Paris - 2024
Paris concerts during February include an exciting mix of opera and ballet, top contemporary artists, and classical concerts in historical churches, where you can hear favorites such as Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Vivaldi, and more. Valentine's Day concerts usually sell out far in advance, so if you're interested, don't wait to book!
Best Paris Sports Events in February
Don't miss these top Paris sports events taking place during February:
- Saint-Germain vs Brest - Coupe de France - Parc des Princes, 16th arr - February 7
- Kickboxing World Championship - Grand Palais Éphémère, 7th arr - February 8
- Saint-Germain vs Lille - Coupe de France - Parc des Princes, 16th arr - February 10
If none of these dates work for you (or even if they do), consider a behind-the-scenes tour of Stade de France, Paris's largest stadium and home to many of France's top championship games such as Fifa World Cup.
Winter Sales on Designer Fashions - Final Days
The famous Paris winter sales end on February 6.
By early February, Soldes signs in store windows all over the city will be announcing final reductions - as high as 70-80%, and occasionally even more.
Savvy shoppers know that these last few days are when you'll find the biggest bargains.
Can you still find any desirable items in the sales area? Absolutely!
PDG Publisher's Note: I've snatched up some of my favorite capsule wardrobe pieces for unbelievably low prices during the last day or two of the Paris sales. Always check to see what's left on the rack! ~ Susan
Paris Tours for Fashionistas
La Chandeleur in Paris: Crêpe Day!
In case you've never heard of La Chandeleur, it takes place on February 2 and is the day in France when everyone eats crêpes. (In English, it's called "Candlemas" - or just "pancake day.")
Why? The date is based on a rather obscure Roman Catholic holiday that celebrated the presentation of Baby Jesus at a temple 40 days after Christmas, which is the 2nd of February.
La Chandeleur is also associated with superstitions about prosperity (you'll lose it if you drop a gold coin held in your left hand while holding the crepe pan in your right hand and flipping the crepe) and the weather (rain on February 2nd predicts 40 more days of rain - similar to Groundhog Day in the U.S. and Canada).
Bottom line: If you're in Paris on February 2nd, head to the nearest creperie to celebrate this tasty French tradition.
Fun Ways to Tour Paris in February
What to see Paris from a fun, slightly off-the-beaten-path perspective? Take a look at these interesting ways to experience the city's culture:
- Paris Speakeasy & Hidden Bars Guided Tour - Your guide will lead you through secret passages to hidden underground bars while sharing insights into their rich history
- Urban Art Mural Walking Tour - See some of the best and biggest murals in Paris and learn about their international artists from your guide as you explore one of Paris's lesser-known districts
- Montmartre Cheese, Wine, & Pastry Guided Walking Tour - Sample delicious delicious French cuisine and wine at 8 stops as you soak up the ambiance in one of Paris's most romantic neighborhoods
Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows during February
These are just a few of the top exhibitions you can see in Paris this month:
- Fondation Louis Vuitton: Blockbuster retrospective exhibition of around 115 works by American abstract painter Mark Rothko, with some displayed in conjunction with large-scale sculptures by Alberto Giacometti - Through April 2, 2024; book in advance
- Centre Pompidou: Chagall at Work: Drawings, Ceramics, & Sculpture, 1945-1970: Lots to see here, but the real show-stoppers are Chagall's creations for theaters: costumes and stage curtains for Stravinsky's The Firebird, plus his sketches and designs for ceilings at the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) - Through February 26; book online or enter free with your Paris Museum Pass (does not include all shows)
- Atelier des Lumieres: Egyptian Pharaohs - Discover ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs in this virtual journey along the Nile River in Upper and Lower Egypt as you see legendary rulers, great battles, famous temples and tombs, and majestic landscapes; purchase online; you can also purchase at the door for 2€ more per ticket but there's no guarantee you'll get in as timeslots are often fully booked
Dates: February 9, 2024 - January 5, 2025
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
"One Thousand and One Orchids" Show at Jardin des Plantes 2024
Chase away the final dregs of winter at the Botanical Garden's annual display of 1,001 rare and fabulous orchids (just a tiny fraction of the Garden's collection of 92,000 specimens) arranged in natural settings throughout the garden's enormous greenhouses.
You can even experience orchid animations between February 10 and March 3, and buy a beautiful orchid at the temporary onsite pop-up store.
Dates: February 8 - March 4, 2024
More information: website
Tickets: 9€ adults; buy online or at the greenhouse entrance (admission to the Botanical Garden is free). Please note: It's best to buy online in advance because dates fill up quickly as this show is extremely popular.
Location: Greenhouses, Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier, Paris 5; Metro: Jussieu, Place Monge, Austerlitz, or Quai de la Rapée (walk across the Pont d'Austerlitz bridge to the garden)
Chinese New Year Parades in Paris - Dates & Locations - 2024
Chinese New Year parades, festivities, and other events span about two weeks during late January / early February in Paris, home to Europe's largest Asian community. Don't miss the chance to experience the big parades with Lion Dancers, colorful dragons, drums, firecrackers, food, and activities!
Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year, or Têt) falls on Saturday, February 10 in 2024, which marks the Year of the Dragon. According to traditional beliefs, people born in the Year of the Dragon are believed to be intelligent, charismatic, confident, powerful, and lucky. In China, celebrations take place over about a 15-day period.
Most Chinese New Year events in Paris take place this year in January. Here are dates and locations of the biggest New Year parades and other celebrations:
- Chinese New Year Celebration at Bastille Market - Saturday, February 17, 12 noon - 9pm - More than 40 stands offering delicious Chinese and other Asian food specialties in the Bastille Market area along Boulevard Richard-Lenoir near Place de la Bastille. Entertainment with Lion Dances, martial arts, and other traditional cultural arts and activities starts at 4pm.
- Faubourg Saint-Honoré (where it intersects Rue Royal) - Tuesday, February 13, 1:30 - 3:30pm - Festive red lanterns and a colorful parade with about 30 lion dancers, dragons, and drummers.
- 13th Arrondissement Spring Festival & Parade - Sunday, February 18, 2:30-5pm. The largest Chinese New Year Parade in Paris with lion and dragon dances, and many marchers and even more watchers. The 13th district reflects numerous Asian cultures: Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Tibetan, Mongolian. Parade route & more details
- Belleville Chinese New Year Parade - Saturday, February 3, 2pm, with food stands available along the route from 12 noon-9pm - The parade kicks off at 56 Rue de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement.
- Belleville Food Market (Boulevard de Belleville, 20th arr) - Thursday, February 15, 6pm-10:30pm - Asian chefs from some of the neighborhood's top restaurants will set up stalls and at the outdoor market and its adjacent food court. Come feast on all of the delicious Asian cuisine, and enjoy drumming and lion dance performances to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
- Guimet Museum - Saturday, February 10, 3pm & 4pm - Two colorful 40-minute shows with Lion Dances, drummers, and acrobats, free with museum admission. Check the museum's website for more details and to find out about other Lunar New Year events taking place between Feb 9 - 21.
- Marais Chinese New Year Parade - Parade starting from Place de la Republique - Date to be confirmed
Future Chinese New Year dates: January 29, 2025, February 17, 2026, February 6, 2027, January 26, 2028, February 13, 2029, February 3, 2030
Mardi Gras (Carnaval) in Paris: La Promenade du Boeuf Gras - 2024
Paris celebrates Mardi Gras with a huge parade based on ancient cultural traditions called La Promenade du Boeuf Gras (literally, March of the Fat Beef Cow) featuring masks and processions.
Led by Pimprenelle, a lovely French Limousin beef cow wearing a gorgeous red dress, and her escort Pat the Clown, about 5,000 flamboyantly costumed paraders fill the streets of Paris with music and dancing, attracting massive crowds of spectators.
The Paris Mardi Gras parade takes place in the 20th arrondissement, always on the Sunday before the Tuesday when Mardi Gras occurs. The event is free, free-form, and definitely one of the most fun things to do in Paris in February.
Want to march? Just join in. Want to watch? That's fine too. What should you wear? Whatever you want - but the more fanciful and flamboyant, the better!
Carnaval de Paris (Mardi Gras) Parade Route: Starts at Place Gambetta in the 20th, and goes down Avenue Gambetta past Père Lachaise Cemetery, turns right at Boulevard Ménilmontant and continues along Boulevard de Belleville, turns left on to Rue du Faubourg du Temple and ends at Place de la République.
Like every parade in Paris, unanticipated route changes can (and often do) occur - so check the Mardi Gras Carnival website for any last-minute updates.
Parade date: February 11, 2024
Ends: The parade ends around 6pm, followed by two hours of dancing around Place de la Republique, with the whole event ending at 8pm - so 7 full hours of fun and celebration
Nearest metro station to starting location: Gambetta
Future dates: March 2, 2025; February 15, 2026; February 7, 2027
Just a reminder - The parade takes place two days before Mardi Gras, which is on February 13 in 2024 (and in case you're planning ahead, March 4 in 2025, and February 17 in 2026). Like Easter, the date changes every year because it is based on the Gregorian calendar which calculates dates according to phases of the sun and moon. Mardi Gras always takes place 47 days before Easter.
Dragons & Lanterns Festival at Jardin d'Acclimatation 2024
Through most of February, the new Dragons & Lanterns Festival at Jardin d'Acclimatation (next to Fondation Louis Vuitton) transforms the garden into a fantasy land filled with giant illuminated dragons and flowers.
The family-friendly event takes place through February 25 from 6pm-10pm on Wednesdays through Sundays, excluding holidays. Find more information and a link to get the special tickets (not the regular entrance tickets) here.
Of course, you can also visit Jardin d'Acclimatation during the day as you stroll along the trails in this popular children's amusement park on the edge of Bois de Boulogne in Paris's 16 arrondissement, and explore the exquisite Korean Garden, Norman "hamlet" complete with farm animals, aviary, and wooded slopes.
Admission is 6.50€ (3.50€ seniors) at the gate (5-minute walk from Les Sablons Metro station) - or you can get free entrance to the park when you have a ticket to Fondation Louis Vuitton. Right now, the Mark Rothko show is still on (through April 2) - so if you haven't seen it yet, that's reason enough to go!
Festival d'Automne (Autumn Festival) Paris - 2024
The Paris Autumn Festival (which continues into February, despite having "autumn" in its name) showcases the latest creations and artists (international as well as French) in contemporary dance, theater, music, cinema, and visual arts at a variety of venues around Paris, include the Grand Hall at Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, the Pinault Collection at Bourse de Commerce and Louvre in the 1st, and Pompidou Center in the 4th, just to name a few.
This is a hugely popular festival, with over 50 events (many of which extend over several or more days) at more than 40 venues in and near Paris.
Most events are ticketed, and many sell out quickly, so don't wait to book, which you can do through the event's website.
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