Exciting Paris events during February include the end of Winter Sales (look for the biggest bargains this month!), a lively roster of concerts, and believe it or not, the first signs of spring toward the end of the month.
Valentine's Day means you'll see lovely displays in bakery windows, and special menus in the city's romantic bistros.
With warmer temperature, longer days, 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.
Paris celebrates Mardi Gras with a huge parade based on ancient traditions called La Promenade du Boeuf Gras (literally, March of the Fat Beef Cow) featuring masks and processions. Led by Pimprenelle, a lovely French beef Limousin cow wearing a bright red dress, and her escort Pat the Clown, about 5,000 flamboyantly costumed paraders fill the streets of Paris with music and dancing and attract 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.
Carnaval de Paris (Mardi Gras) Parade Route: Starts at Place Gambetta 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
When: February 11, 2018 (always scheduled for the Sunday before Mardi Gras)
Not surprisingly, the City of Love pulls out all the stops on Valentine's Day. If you're visiting Paris on February 14th, romantic cruises down the Seine River give you the perfect combination of Champagne, a special Valentine's Day dinner, and iconic views as you pass by the Eiffel Tower and other top attractions. Here are two of the best, plus a spectacular Valentine's Day show and dinner:
- Valentine's Day Seine River Cruise with 3-Course Dinner & Live Music - Champagne, wine, and traditional Parisian love songs performed on board 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
- Lido de Paris Valentine's Day Dinner & Show - Celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th at Paris's legendary Lido de Paris caberet while you savor a 4-course gourmet dinner, sip Champagne, and enjoy the Lido's fabulous "Paris Merveilles" show. Find out more - or catch the same show with dinner and Champagne on another night
Chinese New Year parades, festivities, and other events span about two weeks during February in Paris, home to Europe's largest Asian community. Don't miss the chance to experience the Lion Dancers, colorful dragons, drums, firecrackers, food, and activities!
Chinese New Year falls on February 16 in 2018, with most celebrations taking place a week or two before or after this date.
Here are the 2018 locations and dates for the biggest Chinese New Year parades and other celebrations in Paris:
- 13th Arrondissement - Sunday, February 25, 1pm-5pm; parade kicks off at 44 Porte d'Ivry (near Metro station)
- Belleville (10th, 11th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements) - Sunday, February 18 (to be confirmed for 2018), 10:30am kickoff at the Belleville Metro station
- 3rd Arrondissement - No parade this year, but many Chinese cultural activities from February 12-17 at the 3rd arrondissement's Town Hall (2 Rue Eugène Spuller). For details: 3rd Arrondissement Town Hall website (in French)
Find out more about Paris Chinese New Year Parades including routes, other activities and things to do, and nearby places to stay
Future Chinese New Year dates: February 5, 2019; January 25, 2020; February 12, 2021; February 1, 2022; January 22, 2023; February 10, 2024; January 29, 2025
- Chopin with Candlelight - Saint Ephrem Church - February 24 - Tickets
- Bach Suites for Violoncello Solo - Saint Ephrem Church - February 22 - Tickets
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons - La Madeleine Church - February 27 - Tickets
- Mozart Requiem - La Madeleine Church - February 24 - Tickets
- La Traviata - Paris National Opera at Opéra Bastille - Feb 2, 5, 11, 17 - Tickets
- Eugene Onegin: Paris National Opera at Opéra Garnier ("Paris Opera House") - Feb 10-28 - Tickets
- Master Soloists of Notre Dame Cathedral - February 27 - Tickets
- Dropkick Murphys & Flogging Molly @ Zénith de Paris - Feb 16 Tickets - Feb 17 Tickets
- Goldberg Variations - Saint Ephrem Church - February 25 - Tickets
- Indochine @ AccorHotels Arena - Feb 16 Tickets - Feb 17 Tickets - Feb 18 Tickets
- Kendrick Lamar @ AccorHotels Arena - Feb 26 - Tickets
The famous Paris winter sales end on February 20.
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. Although sales may have already at some stores, savvy shoppers know that these last few days are when you'll find the biggest bargains.
Paris Tours for Fashionistas
Being Modern: The MoMA in Paris
@ Fondation Louis Vuitton, through March 5 - Masterworks from New York's Museum of Modern Art, including Walker Evans, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Frank Stella, and many more. Tickets 16€, with timed entry.
Location: 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi in Bois de Boulogne (16th arr). Getting there: Take the Fondation shuttle (2€) from Avenue de Friedland near the Étoile Metro exit
More info: Fondation website
Dada Africa: Roots and Influences
@ Musée de l'Orangerie, through February 19, 2018 - Explores the artistic exchanges between the Dadaists and African, Native American, and Asian works. Tickets 9€, with timed entry.
Location: Jardin des Tuileries, 1st arr. Nearest Metro: Concorde
More info: Museum website
Caesar, the Retrospective
@ Centre Pompidou (Rue Saint-Martin, 4e), through March 26 - A retrospective exhibit of the work of Parisian sculptor Caesar. Exhibit included with museum admission of 14€.
Location: Rue Saint-Martin, 4e. Nearest Metros: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet. RER: Châtelet les Halles, lines A, B, D