Winter Sales, Concerts, New Museum Exhibits, More!
Paris events during January ring in the New Year with celebrations and good cheer.
Although days are still short and the weather can be damp and chilly, you'll find plenty of warmth inside cozy Paris bistros, jazz clubs, museums, and concert halls, making January the perfect month to explore the "real" Paris without lines of tourists everywhere.
The eagerly awaited January Winter Sales markdowns bring a lot of excitement almost as soon as the New Year's celebrations end, with discounts offered on almost everything in the city: designer fashions, decorative items, jewelry.
If you don't want to brave the weather, you'll find plenty of tours and cruises to keep you dry while letting you experience top Paris attractions.
Top photo: Signs in Paris stores in the Marais neighborhood announcing savings for the biannual sales
Winter Sales on Designer Fashions - NEW Dates for 2021
The famous Paris winter sales for 2021 run from January 20 - February 16 - moved out 2 weeks from the originally-scheduled dates to align with the planned reopening of restaurants and bars in France after the Covid-related closures.
When will the special Hermes sales start? Unconfirmed dates at this point are thought to be January 20 or 27 - or possibly not at all, depending on the state of the pandemic.
As always, savings will be spectacular - and, if rumors are true, discounts may be bigger than ever this year due to slower-than-usual holiday buying because of the Covid pandemic restrictions.
Look for Soldes signs in store windows all over the city, often followed by the amount of the reduction - typically 30-40% at the beginning but soaring as high as 70-80% at toward the end.
Best places to find bargains? Everywhere! Luxury labels such as Chanel, Valentino, and Armani draw huge crowds - ditto for the designer boutiques in the "Big 4" department stores: Galeries Lafayette, BHV, Bon Marché, and Au Printemps. But don't ignore smaller boutiques (head to the Marais, Les Halles, Saint-Germain-des Prés) and even global mid-market chains like Zara and H&M.
As usual, coveted Hermès bags, ties, scarves, jewelry, and other goodies go on sale for only 2-3 days - rumored to be January 8-9 at Palais de Congrès near Porte Maillot - but those dates are not yet confirmed, so check back again soon.
Paris Museum Exhibitions - 7 Must-See Shows for January
Picasso & the Comic Strip
@ Picasso Museum, Through January 3, 2021- Picasso loved comics! This fascinating, illuminating, and entertaining exhibition is the first devoted to taking a close look at the influence of graphic arts on his work - and vice-versa.
Admission: Exhibit included with museum admission. Get skip-the-line priority tickets online or with a Paris Museum Pass Location: 5 rue de Thorigny, 3rd arrondissement; closed Mondays
@ Musée d'Orsay, through January 10, 2021 - Aubrey Beardsley died far too young but his bold, erotic, and imaginative drawings had an outsize impact on fin-de-siècle England. You'll see 100 of them in this importand show, plus posters and some of the his illustrations appeared. Reserved-access tickets; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass
Monet, Renoir, Chagall - Journeys Around the Mediterranean
@ Atelier des Lumières - through January 3, 2021 - Immersive video/digitized exhibition of Monet's, Renoir's, and Chagalls's masterpieces accompanied by original music. Tickets must be purchased online on the L'Atelier website Open: 7 days/week Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Saint-Maur
Leonardo da Vinci
@ Musée du Louvre, October 24 - February 24 - This highly-anticipated blockbuster show marks the 500th anniversary of the painter's death and brings together 5 core works, includinging the Mona Lisa, plus many more of his paintings and drawings. The show is free, with the cost of regular admission, but you must reserve a date and time-slot ticket in advance online. Book as far in advance as possible to get your preferred date/time. Location: Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
Tickets: 17€ (purchased online); includes admission to permanent exhibits as well; free for under 26 Stay nearby:Hotels near the Louvre Nearest Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre, Pyramides More info: https://www.louvre.fr
@ Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Through January 1 - This new presentation of the museum's permanent collection features trend-setting designs in the famous fashion designer's 16th arrondissement former haute couture workshop. Tickets 10€; open Tuesday - Sunday 11am-6pm (until 9pm on Fridays). Location: 5 Avenue Marceau, 16 arr
Nearest Metro: Alma Marceau More info: https://museeyslparis.com
The Great Naive Masters
@ Musée Maillol, September 11 - February 23 - Maillol Museum brings together over 100 works created between the two world wars by Henri Rousseau, Séraphine Louis, and lesser-known "primitive" artists to examine their subversive statements against the modernism of that period. Location: 61 rue de Grenelle, 7th arr Tickets: 13.50€ (available online for timed entry) Nearest Metro: Rue du Bac More info: www.museemaillol.com
Golden Age of English Painting
@ Grand Palais, through February 16 - English masterpieces from the 1760s to 1820 - spectacular paintings by Reynolds, Turner, Gainsborough, and more.
Closed on Tuesdays. Tickets 14.50€ Location: Grand Palais, Avenue Winston-Churchill, 8th arr
Nearest Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau More info: https://www.grandpalais.fr
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
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Epiphany Day & Galette des Rois in Paris
Paris (and the rest of France) observes Epiphany, the arrival in Bethlehem of Three Wisemen bringing gifts to Baby Jesus, on the first Sunday after January 1st - January 4 in 2021.
The tradition in France is to celebrate with champagne and galette des rois - Kings' Cake. This delectible confection is made from buttery puff pastry and almond paste with a tiny porcelein figurine or bean - la fève - hidden somewhere inside. When the cake is sliced and served, whoever finds the fève (hopefully without breaking a tooth in the process) gets to wear a golden paper crown for the rest of the day and even better, enjoy good luck for the coming year. Even though Epiphany is only one day, bakeries keep their windows filled with tantalizing displays of galette des rois in all sizes throughout most of January. Then the cakes disappear for the rest of the year - but you can enjoy a similar taste with an almond croissant.
Paris Fashion Week - January
Fashion Week brings a special buzz to Paris during January, when designers, celebrities, and fashionistas from around the world converge to see the latest trends in Men's Ready to Wear (January 19-24) and Haute Couture (January 25-28). Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the expectation is that these shows will be primarily digital.
The best places to glimpse the models (assuming you're not going to the invitation-only shows) are around the venue locations - the Grand Palais in the ritzy 8th arrondissement, Palais de Tokyo in the 16th, Espace Eiffel near the Branly Museum in the 7th, Palais Brongniart in the 2nd, and at a variety of smaller, hipper venues scattered around the city. The trendy Marais neighborhood, especially around Place des Vosges, and Palais Royal are always good model-spotting locales.
Even if you're not remotely interested in these shows, here's what you need to know: every hotel in central Paris neighborhoods fills up with attendees and rates soar (unlike Paris hotel rates during the rest of January) - so if you're planning a visit during this period, book as early as possible to get the best rates. One silver lining to the pandemic - this probably won't be an issue in 2021!
More Fun Things to Do & See in Paris in January
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