/ / 12 Best Things to do in Paris in January + Where to Stay, What to Pack & The Weather

12 Best Things to do in Paris in January + Where to Stay, What to Pack & The Weather

Planning to travel to Paris in January but not sure how to plan your trip? This post will give you all the details from what to wear, and where to stay to what to do!

January may not be the best time of the year to visit Paris for most people but even with the low temperatures, Paris still has so much to offer at the start of the year.

Avenue de New York is one of the cute Paris streets

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So if you want to escape the crowds and visit Paris in January, I am here to give you all the details you need to know.

Whether you need ideas on what to do in Paris in January, need suggestions on where to stay, or what to even pack, I will share with you all the details you need to know before making your way to the French capital in January.

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)  

Psst… Before traveling to Paris or France in general, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! I always use World Nomads on all my trips and I am happy to recommend it to you. You can easily request a quote from World Nomads from here for FREE!

Why Should You Visit Paris In January?

Place de la Concorde is one of the places to visit on your 2 day weekend Paris itinerary

January is the quietest month of the year in Paris! The crowds that come with Christmas in Paris have disappeared, the days are so short, the temperatures are low and the skies are as gloomy and grey as misery! Paris in winter literally becomes a totally different place!

So with all that, why should you really travel to Paris in January?

Even with all that, Paris can never lose its charm of being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

And while many people travel to Paris during January for various reasons, If you’re still questioning yourself about traveling to the city of love during this time, below are some reasons why you should book your flight ticket already!

Fewer crowds

La Maison Rose street in Montmartre

There is no secret that Paris is one of the most visited places in the world which means you can expect a swarm of tourists, especially during summer.

Traveling to Paris in summer is obviously ideal but that means queuing for hours and hours at various attractions especially if you don’t know the secret tips to skip the long lines.

But during winter, since most people chose to stay away or opt for winter sun destinations, you’ll get to enjoy Paris fully without competing with a million other tourists!

Also, that means that you may not need to book way in advance for things like restaurants or even some hotels! Finally, you can be spontaneous in Paris.

Low rates on accommodation, flight fares, and activities

Exploring Montmartre is one of the top things to do in Paris

Since fewer people travel during the winter, many businesses suffer a bit! This means that the only way they can “entice” people to travel or even stay at their hotels and make some bit of money is by reducing fares!

By traveling to Paris in January, you’ll save a huge chunk of money if not 50 percent compared to what you would have spent if you traveled during the high season!

If I’ve helped you gather your confidence back about visiting Paris in January, now let’s look at other practical info that will help you plan your trip with ease.

Weather In January In Paris

best views in Paris

January in Paris is the coldest month of the year! The sun rises late and sets really early which means that the days are also shorter.

Paris winter temperatures in January oscillate between 3° C (37 °F) low and 8° C (46 °F) high. The chances of rain are also high with the average rain being 46 millimeters (1.8 inches).

It’s also unlikely to snow in January but on rare occasions, it does!

Now that you know the Paris weather in January, let’s look at where to stay plus what to pack and what to wear in Paris in winter for an amazing trip.

Where to Stay in Paris in January

There are so many places to stay in Paris but I’ll give you just a few options for all kinds of budgets.

Budget Accommodation

The People Hostel – Paris 12

The People Hostel – Paris 12 in Paris

If you’re traveling on a budget, then I recommend staying at the People Hostel – Paris 12. It might be called a hostel, but this place not only has dorm-like rooms but also private and family rooms for people who want to test out hostel life while still enjoying the privacy of a separate room.

Besides that, it is in close proximity to popular Paris attractions like Sainte-Chapelle, Louvre museum, Opéra Bastille, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Honestly, you can’t ask for more for such a price while still being in the center of Paris.

And did I tell you how friendly the staff is? The rooms are also large enough and nothing beats the terrace where you can enjoy some epic views of Paris.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

 Hotel des Arts

 Hotel des Arts is one of the places to stay in Paris in Janauary

Located in the 9th arrondissement, Hotel des Arts is in my opinion the best budget-friendly hotel in Paris for people who are looking for a perfect location. Besides being centrally located, this hotel is close to Richelieu-Drouot, which leads directly to the Eiffel tower!

The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly and you can’t beat the delicious continental breakfast they serve.

And for people who enjoy eating out and the Paris nightlife vibe, you’ll be happy to know that it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the famous Le Marais neighborhood.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

Mid-range Accommodation

Maxim Folies

Maxim Folies Hotel in Paris

Maxim Folies is located in the heart of Paris in the 9th arrondissement. The rooms might be a bit smaller but the chic and clean design gives them a modern and comfortable feel.

And if you fancy a really good breakfast, you’ll be happy to know that Maxim Folies serves a full buffet breakfast every morning.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

Hôtel Eiffel Turenne

Hôtel Eiffel Turenne in Paris

If you prefer to stay near the Iconic Eiffel tower, then Hôtel Eiffel Turenne is the place to be. Besides being just 1 km away from the Eiffel tower, the rooms of this hotel are cozy and chic.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

Luxury Accommodation

Shangri-La Hotel Paris

Shangri-La Paris is one of the Best Hotels with Eiffel Tower View in Paris

Nothing commands luxury like Shangri-La Hotel Paris. With exquisite rooms and stunning views of the Eiffel tower, you’re in for a real treat if you stay at this hotel.

Being a former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte, you’ll feel like royalty staying at this hotel.

With 2 restaurants overseen by a Michelin-starred chef, a high-end wellness center, and an indoor swimming pool, this hotel will be the perfect escape when the weather is too bad to go outside. If you have the budget, this is one of those places you have to experience in Paris.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées

Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées in Paris

We have to agree that Shangri-La Hotel Paris is really expensive and not many people might want to spend that much money! So if you still want to enjoy similar luxuries with a lower price tag, then I recommend staying at Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées.

It is elegant in every way and the icing on the cake are the stunning Eiffel tower views you get from the private terraces of some rooms. The hotel is also a few minutes from the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe.

In summary, if you want affordable but extremely luxurious, then you won’t be disappointed by staying at Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées.

>>> Check rates and availability on Booking.com <<<

However, if you can’t find what suits your needs from the hotels I recommended above, then you can check out my complete list of the best hotels in Paris with Eiffel tower views.

But if you want a homey feel instead, you can either check out this list of the best budget-friendly apartment rentals in Paris or this list of the luxurious apartment Paris rentals if you prefer luxury.

Alternatively, you can use the interactive map below to browse the best place to stay in Paris while seeing the exact amount and customer reviews for each property using my favorite booking website, Bookings.com.

Booking.com

What To Wear In Paris In January

eiffel tower views

The trick about dressing up for winter is layering! Remember, January in Paris is super cold, so you’ll need to bring everything that will keep you warm.

Baselayer – Merino Wool Long-Sleeved Top

The first trick to staying warm in Paris in January is to wear a warm base layer and for that, nothing beats Merino wool long-sleeved tops. This merino wool long-sleeved top will not only keep you warm but also absorb any sweat to keep your skin dry. (Here is the men’s version).

However, just the top alone is not enough! You’ll need to keep your legs warm as well and in that case, I recommend buying this base layer suit. (You can find the men’s version here)!

This baselayer suit comes with both a long-sleeved top and bottom to keep your body insulated while roaming around Paris.

Mid-layer – Fleece/Sweater

For your mid-layer, I recommend taking a fleece. I personally like this Columbia fleece since it’s fairy-priced yet good quality (here is the men’s version) but I know some people swear by this Patagonia fleece.

If you’re not a huge fan of fleece, then you can opt for this really warm and cute sweater. (You can find the men’s version here.)

Outer layer – Winter coat

For the outer coat, I’d recommend taking something warm while still being water and windproof. I love this winter jacket as it meets all the above qualities and it’s fashionable enough to meet Paris’ fashion sense. (Here is the men’s version)!

And if you truly want to look like a Parisian, then this long trench coat will do the trick for you. (And here is the men’s version).

Pro tip* As you choose the jacket to buy, I’d recommend sticking to dark colors like dark blue, dark green, or even black instead of shouting colors.

This means that you can wear your coat with absolutely anything and you won’t have the need to pack more than 1 jacket especially if you’re in Paris for a weekend or even a week or so.

Thermal leggings

If the idea of the 2-piece baselayer I talked about earlier didn’t catch your attention, then you can opt for this pair of thermal merino wool leggings. They’re warm, thick, and soft on the skin too. (Here is the men’s version).

Pair of Jeans

A pair of jeans or even 2 are a must-have when visiting Paris in January. When paired with a really nice jacket (like the ones we looked at above) and a nice scarf, Jeans can look really fashionable.

I love love these Levi’s high-waist skinny jeans! They’re comfortable, look chic, and can look good on literally anyone. My only tip is to buy black or dark blue so that you can wear them with almost everything and recycle them as well.

Other Accessories to Pack for Paris in January

Packing the right essentials is one of the tips for having a great time on a weekend in Paris
  • Woolen Socks: These woolen socks won’t only keep you warm but will also keep your feet dry at all times. They’re a bit pricey compared to others but are worth every penny. But if you prefer something budget-friendly without compromising on quality, then you can buy these ones instead.
  • Scarves: A scarf is a must-have when traveling to Paris in January. This scarf is not only very warm but also looks stylish. And since it’s big enough, it can also work as a blanket when you want to be cozy on your couch or even back at the hotel.
  • Gloves: I love these pair of gloves as they’re not only warm but also touch screen sensitive so you can use your phone while still wearing them.
  • Windproof Umbrella: Rain doesn’t mean you should hide away in your hotel and lose time. And sometimes, a rain jacket alone may not be enough. So to fully protect yourself, add this windproof umbrella to the list of things to pack for Paris in January
  • Power bank: We all know that cold weather drains batteries like nothing! So stay connected at all times by taking a power bank. I like this power bank because it’s portable and can also charge the phone a number of times before it runs out.
  • Travel Insurance: Regardless of where you’re traveling to or what time of the year it is, you need travel insurance. After trying out various travel Insurance, I settled on World Nomads as it covers various activities and the claiming process is not a rat race like some others.

These are some of the things to pack but for a complete list, you can check out this list of what to pack for Paris in winter or the general Europe packing list for winter.

Ok now that you know all the best tips for visiting Paris in January, let’s look at the best things to do in Paris in January.

What To Do In Paris In January

Unlike the usual things to do in Paris, here, I will be focusing on just the things that can only be done in January.

1. Shop till you drop during the winter sales

Shopping during the winter sales is one of the things to do in Paris in January

If you ever wanted to buy something in Paris but were always put off by the Price, January is a great time to get it as almost every shop offers discounts.

With discounts going up to 70%, sometimes 80, you can’t have a better time to go on a shopping spree in Paris than in January.

But don’t just show up at any time in January and think you’ll get the best deals! Through the official 3 weeks period of the winter sales, prices drop systematically.

At the beginning of the Soldes period (discount period), first shoppers get the best selection of items as you’d imagine (first come first serve) but also, the discount rate is still a bit low! Anywhere between 20-40%.

But as time goes on, prices drop even much lower sometimes even reaching 80% but that means the items have also reduced.

So you have to decide on what you prefer! Better items with a low discount or high discount with a few items to choose from! But regardless of when, you’ll be able to get some of the best deals on several items!

Yes, even big brands like Dior, Chanel, Prada, Hermès, and so many others participate in the winter sales.

If you see the word “SOLDES” on the shop’s door, just know they’re offering discounts! So just pop in, browse and you might just get your favorite item at half the price.

2. Attend the Paris Festival of Lights

 Attending the Paris Festival of Lights is one of the things to do in Paris in January

For an exciting night in Paris in January, attend the Paris festival of lights! Every year usually from November to January, Jardin des Plantes lights up in a spectacular setting that amazes kids and adults alike.

The theme of the festival changes every other year but the general focus is the flora and fauna and sheds light on how we can protect the earth while telling a story through art and lights.

With shimmering sculptures of animals that change color every now and then during the show in the alleys of the gardens, a visit to this incredible park is a must to be amazed by the artistic and creative concept behind the show.

Due to the popularity of the festival of lights, it’s better to buy your ticket on the official website to skip the lines — trust me, it’s not fun queuing for so long when it is super cold outside.

While you can buy the ticket online, make sure that you choose the exact day and time slot you want to attend as it can’t be rescheduled.

3. Enjoy the Paris cocktail week

Enjoying the Paris cocktail week is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Do you love cocktails? If you answered yes, then you should travel to Paris in January! With various bars participating in this event, you get a chance to taste different cocktails – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic to appreciate the creativity of various mixologists or bartenders.

If you’re wondering what makes the cocktail week different from other days where you can just enter a bar and request a cocktail, here is your answer.

During the cocktail week, some of the participating best cocktail bars offer two cocktails — 1 alcoholic, and 1 non for a special price to people who would like to try out their new cocktails.

All you have to do is to book a ticket from the Paris cocktail week official website and choose a participating bar you’d like to drink at.

Disclaimer* You should be of legal drinking age and please drink responsibly!

4. Visit Paris’ Museums And Top Attractions

Visting the Opera is one of the things to do in Paris in January

There is no better time to visit Parisian museums than in January! Visiting indoor attractions is a safety net to escape the chilly weather outside while still enjoying the beauty of these French monuments.

The best part is that you won’t compete for space with other tourists since few of them travel to Paris in January!

You’ll be able to take a proper picture of the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre Museum without thousands of people hogging it.

So on days when it’s likely to rain or when the weather is just too cold to enjoy outdoor attractions, you can use that time to visit places like Orsay Museum, Pompidou Centre, the Opera, and some other hidden and popular attractions in Paris.

Pro tip* If you plan to visit various attractions in Paris, I’d advise you to buy this Paris city pass as it will help you save money while giving you access to almost all the major attractions.

But if you’re only into art and museums, then I’d recommend buying this Museum pass instead as it will give you access to all the Paris museums including the lesser-known ones.

Alternatively, if you think the Paris pass may not be worth it especially if you plan on just visiting a few places, then you can consider buying individual tickets. Below are some of the skip-the-line tickets you can buy online to save time.

You can also visit some of these free museums in Paris.

5. Go Ice Skating on an ice rink

Ice Skating is one of the things to do in Paris in January

During winter, Paris gets adorned with a number of temporary ice rinks where you can warm up while staying active and enjoying the outdoors.

Though some of them close with their respective Christmas markets, some of them stay open even a bit beyond January.

So don’t just stay indoors, get out, hire skates and test your balancing skills while enjoying this beautiful city.

Some of the ice rinks that stay open until the beginning of January include the ice rinks at Jardin des Tuileries,  Grande Arche de la Défense, and Plaza Athénée which actually stays open till the end of January.

6. Visit some Christmas markets

Visiting Christmas markets is one of the things to do in Paris in January
Visiting Christmas markets is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Though most Christmas markets in Paris end in December, some stay open until the first few days of January.

If for some reason you were unable to be there in December, you can still catch some of them at the beginning of January.

Some of the Christmas markets in Paris that usually stay open till January include; the Tuileries Christmas Market which is next to the Louvre, the Paris Christmas Market at Hôtel de Ville, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market, and Trocadéro Christmas Village (though in some years it doesn’t stay open through January).

7. Experience the heat of the Men’s Paris fashion week

We all know the heat the Paris fashion week causes in the French capital. I mean it’s one of the biggest and most publicized events in the world in the fashion industry.

While you may not be able to attend since it’s an only-invite event, the vibe it creates is always felt in Paris.

8. explore the covered passages of Paris

Exploring the covered passages of Paris is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Paris is famous for its beautiful covered passages and January is a perfect time to explore them, especially on days it rains heavily.

On top of escaping the harsh weather outside, you get to appreciate the architecture of the glass roofs that cover the passages as you hop from one shop to another.

There are a number of covered passages in Paris but the most beautiful ones to explore include the Galerie Vivienne which is the most iconic in Paris, Passage Jouffroy which has a hotel, museum, and a nightclub in its walls, Passage Verdeau which is perfect for antique lovers, Jardin Du Palais Royal & the surrounding galleries to feel like royalty and so many others.

So, if you’re looking for rainy day activities in Paris, exploring the covered passages is one of them.

9. Attend The Festival Du Merveilleux (Festival Of Wonder)

The Christmas festivities might be over but you can still enjoy some kind of festival even in the winter by attending the festival of wonder.

Just like its name suggests, Festival Du Merveilleux at the Musée des Arts Forains in Bercy is a true wonder that showcases various artists from storytellers, magicians, musicians, tap dancers, aerial silk dancers, puppeteers, funambulists to all sorts of artists to celebrate the festive season.

Besides enjoying the artistry work, you’ll be able to stroll through the charming village of Bercy and take in all its Christmas magic.

10. Attend an exhibition 

Attending an exhibition is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Being a place of art, Paris never runs out of exhibitions regardless of the time of the year and January is no exception.

With various museums, cultural centers, and art galleries always at work to present their best and new work, you can’t fail to find an exhibition to attend.

But since exhibitions keep changing year in, and year out, you can check out this website to find exhibitions in Paris slated for this January.

11. Watch A Cabaret Show

Watching a Cabaret Show is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Looking for ideas on how to spend your evening in Paris in January? Then watching a cabaret show is a good idea!

Spend your evening being treated to all sorts of entertainment by watching creative musical and theatrical productions that consist of singing, dancing, and playing instruments while enjoying a french meal or even champagne.

There are a number of places where you can enjoy a Cabaret show but the most popular one has to be Moulin Rouge Paris followed by Le Lido Paris and Le Paradis Latin Cabaret.

However, since these shows book out or at least the best seating positions, you’re better off booking your ticket online to be on the safe side.

You can book this show at Mouline Rouge that comes with dinner or this show that just comes with Champagne.

If you prefer a more traditional burlesque show at Le Lido Paris, then I recommend booking this show instead that comes with dinner or this one for just drinks.

And if you want to go where the locals go, then you’re better off going to Le Paradis Latin Cabaret. To reserve a seat there, you can book this ticket that comes with a french 3-course dinner or this ticket if you prefer just champagne.

12. Enjoy a Slice of Christmas at Disneyland Paris

Enjoying Disney’s Enchanted Christmas festival is one of the things to do in Paris in January

Disneyland Paris is the most magical place in France ( well, at least to me)! And of course, Christmas is the most magical time of the year! So when you get a magical time and put it in the most magical place, the result is just beyond magical!

That’s what Disneyland Paris becomes during Christmas through the beginning of January during Disney’s Enchanted Christmas festival.

From amazing decorations, and Disney characters that are dressed perfectly in their best Christmas attire to a holiday-filled atmosphere, what more can you ask for?

Experience the most magical time in January by booking your Disneyland Paris ticket here to make sure that you don’t miss out on this special event.

Related Posts
Best tips for visiting Disneyland Paris
How to get from CDG airport to Disneyland Paris
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FAQs About Visiting Paris in January

views of eiffel tower

Is January a good time to go to Paris?

This really depends on you on what you plan to do in the city of lights! If you prefer winter activities, then it’s a good time, if not, you might just consider visiting other times of the year. But with this post, I hope that I showed you that there are a number of things to do in January in Paris.

What is there to do in Paris in January?

As I explained in the post above, there are a ton of things to do. From enjoying the Christmas markets, and attending the Paris lights festival to going skating, there are various activities to do.

What is Disneyland Paris like in January?

If you visit Disneyland Paris at the beginning of January, then you enjoy the magical festivities of Christmas!

With the lights, the decorations, and the beautifully dressed characters, Disney is even more magical at this time of the year. But after those initial days of January, the Christmas theme ends and it goes back to the usual Disney we know – still magical if you need to know!

What’s Paris like in January?

To give you a general view, Paris gets quiet, cold, and chilly, with fewer crowds and it’s generally grey with short days.

Does it rain a lot in Paris in January?

The simple answer is yes! It does rain in January but not heavily though! However, always take a rain jacket and a windproof umbrella because it can rain abruptly.

Where should I stay in pairs in January?

I gave you a number of options above but to summarize them, I’d recommend staying at The People Hostel – Paris 12 if you’re traveling on a budget, Hôtel Eiffel Turenne if you’re on a mid-range budget, and Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées for a luxurious stay.


Final Thought on the Best Things to do in Paris in January

January might not be the most ideal time of the year to visit Paris but as you can see, there is so much the city of love offers even when the temperatures are really low!

So if you were asking yourself whether it’s a good idea to travel to Paris in January, I hope that this post showed you all the possibilities and I hope it helps you make a decision to visit.

Have you been to Paris in January before? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below and if this will be the first time, you can still let me know what you’re most excited to do when you reach Paris.

NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!

You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!

There are many Travel Insurance companies out there, but I love World Nomads! They cover almost every single thing you might face/do while in Paris or even France in general, it is easy to request a quote, and if you ever need to claim, the claiming process is not a rat race!

I’ve used World Nomads on all my trips, and I am confident and happy to recommend it to you!

No worries if you’re not yet ready to book your trip, you can request a free quote from World Nomads here and see if it suits your personal needs!

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