What to do in Paris this Winter
One of the most romantic cities in the world is perfect to enjoy winter, perhaps more so when snuggled up inside a big coat, heading across the cold waters of the Seine to step into a warm café to see people pass.
But then... what?
Here we have made a selection of fun, romantic, interesting and exciting things for you to do this cold season in Paris.
Drink a nice "Chocolat Chaud" & "Vin Chaud"
We adore sipping on delicious Chocolate Chaud with a good book in a café while waiting for snow (or rain to pass). We wrote a whole article on where to find the best hot cocoa in Paris!
To add fresh Crème Chantilly with your hot chocolate (typically made at the restaurant instead of squeezed out of a can) you have to ask for a Chocolat Viennois.
Its amazing quality will make those with a sweet tooth swoon in delight.
The Vin Chaud or Hot Wine is most commonly served at charming sidewalk carts or in the christmas markets. It has a spicy, cinnamon-like flavour and could be compared to a wintery version of sangria and a wonderful way to keep the body warm during a cold winter evening.
The summer's can be a very busy time to tour the museums with lots of people searching for air conditioning. While in winter museums have less visitors allowing travellers to soak up the paintings without the crowds around and if you're lucky almost in private!
The big museums like the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay may have visitors year-round but the Musée Rodin and L'Orangerie can be explored practically empty on weekday mornings in winter.
Window shop 'til you drop
The windows in Paris are known for their elaborate displays. We love the most fancy and less know department stores like Le Bon Marché, La Samaritaine or the BHV.
Although Galeries Lafayette and Galeries Printemps are also great but usually always full of clients at al times. The winter sales will end this year 2023 on February 7th, and you'll be sure to find great deals in all this places.
The best shopping streets to find the most boutiques with elegant displays are Avenue Montaigne (8 Arr.) and Rue Saint. Honoré (1Arr), Rue Faubourg Saint. Honoré (8Arr).
Ice skating is a wonderful activity to do during the holiday season, indoors or outdoors, some Christmas markets, like the one at the Tuileries Garden and the Hotel de Ville offer a this activity. But once the holidays are over, we still have wonderful places to ice skate the rest of the winter.
Montparnasse Tower: This is the highest skating rink in France. It will stay at the summit of this skyscraper from 4 February to 5 March 2023. Perched on the 59th floor of the Tower, this 230 m² synthetic ice rink invites young and old to lace up their skates, while having a wonderful view towards the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur or La Défense.
Pailleron: Their ice track awaits you to discover or relive pure sliding sensations. A landscaped area allows time for rest and discussion. Around the ice ring, circulate easily to enjoy the spectacle of arabesques for young and old.
When Benjamin Britten produced his first opera, Peter Grimes, for the reopening of Sadler’s Wells in London in 1945, its success was both immediate and resounding. Drawing inspiration from a poem by George Crabbe, the British composer did more than simply set to music the text by his compatriot. This character is one of the most fascinating in the operatic repertoire. Invited to the Paris Opera for the first time and a fine connoisseur of Britten, Deborah Warner preserves all the mystery of this complex work, whilst emphasising the conflict between the group and the individual – a particularly burning issue.
From 23 January to 24 February 2023 in the Opera Garnier.
Drawings of Mathias Augustyniak
Temporary Exhibit at Orsay Museum
Mathias Augustyniak evaluated the Musée d'Orsay in 2021, not only its halls but also its storerooms and graphic art and photographic cabinet. The artist sat there for hours with a sketchbook. During his voyage, he developed and traced an alphabet book, in which each letter of the alphabet correlates to a meeting with an artist in the collections. For the first time ever we can enjoy seeing his drawings that will be on display in the Orsay museum until the 12th of March 2023.
La Chandeleur (festivity)
Every year on the 2nd of February, people all over France get crepes to celebrate this holiday.
Formerly named Chandeleuse, Candlemas derives from the term "candle" and the Latin expression "festa candelarum" which means "festival of candles". On this day, a candle blessing was held. Candlemas is associated with several superstitions: The pancake is a gift to the gods, without whom wheat would not grow: peasants prepared pancakes for Candlemas to assure a bountiful crop and healthy finances.
There are many legends surrounding this Roman holiday, our favourite is that a successful flipping of the crepe promises a good year!
Remember that the crepes are originally from the northern region of Bretagne, but in Paris we have some recommendations for you:
Le Colors Festival (Street Art)
If you are interested in street art and emerging talent, this activity is for you!
Starting the first week of February, Le Colors Festival is returning for a third stunning exhibition. Over 80 street artists and 4500m2 of space to explore the art. Come see the most colorful exhibition of the year, with everything from street art to painting and photography. Porte de la Villette is an interesting location that offers many other activities including a large park that are accessible year round.
Reopening of the Lido
The cabaret Lido has been offering performances since the aftermath of World War II. From 1946 until May 2022 when it was suddenly closed. After a period of extensive renovations it has reopened this winter ready to start a new chapter. The boss of the place, Jean-Luc Choplin chose the mythical musical, "Cabaret". Forget the feathers, the magazines, and the dinner show. It is the original 1966 version of the "musical", which will be presented, in English. The story of a young American writer's encounter with a Kit Kat Klub singer in 1930s Berlin.
Enjoy a host of candlelit concerts performed live by musicians in some of Paris' most iconic venues during the candlelight concert series.
A truly amazing experience, all ages gather to listen to these music that can be from a tribute to ABBA ,to Jean-Jacques Goldman or to Muse... to a 80' Rock Concert!
So much wonderful music in the best settings!
While Paris is beautiful at any season, doing a private tour is specially practical during the winter. This because during a private tour your guide can adapt the stroll to you (and your party) according to the weather. Our guides are Paris experts and can take you to those hidden places that only locals know and where you can find shelter while discovering something new and interesting at all times.
We hope that you can take good advantage of these original ideas for your trip to Paris in winter. And remember that if you wish a local expert to help you put together a personalised plan for your next visit, we will be happy to be your Trip Planners! Click here to book the best time and date to schedule your online meeting and get things started!
See you in Paris!
Written by Julia Orr and Pamela Breit