What to Do in Paris in January

This post lists several fun activities, tours, and events you can enjoy in Paris during the month of January, updated for 2020. 

If you’re looking for even more ideas, check the following posts:




This list will include a variety of different family-friendly, nighttime and free activities for audiences of all ages. 

Don’t forget to check our what to do in Paris post for additional attractions.

1) See a Concert

January is the perfect time to catch live music in Paris, especially since the evenings will be cold. Find all of the Paris concerts here.

You can find some major touring artists as well as some great regional singers below: 



Find all concerts in Paris here.

2) Attend a Pro Sporting Event

Sports fans can find a few games and tournaments to attend this month.

The NBA is traveling Europe, which means in January you can catch two American NBA teams. 





If you’re looking for another sports-related outing that could be fun for the whole family, you can take a guided tour of Stade de France. Admission is included with the Paris Pass!

Find all sporting events in Paris here

For more family-friendly things to do in Paris, check out our full post.

3) European Pastry Cup 2020

Fans of baking and pastry competition shows can see pastry chefs work their magic in person at the European Pastry Cup. 



The Cup is being held in Paris for the first time since year 1 of the competition, which means there will be excitement and fanfare from the crowd and the organizers.

4) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

No matter where you’re planning to go this January in Paris, you can save some euros using a tourist attraction discount pass.

While some of these services offer admission to dozens of attractions over the course of a set number of days, others allow you to pay one flat price for a specific number of activities.




They don’t just offer discounts – keep in mind that most of these passes offer skip-the-line access at several notable landmarks.

Here are a few of the more popular attractions included with various Paris tourist passes:

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • River Seine Boat Cruise
  • Montparnasse Tower
  • Opera Garnier Tour
  • Picasso Museum
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Wine Tastings
  • Notre Dame
  • The Louvre

Depending on which pass you choose and how you use it, you could save anywhere from 15% – 50% off general admission prices.

For more details, please read our post covering Paris tourist passes.

5) International Automobile Festival

Find beautiful and exotic cars on display at the International Automobile Festival. 

One of the biggest exhibition displays will be for concept cars that are one-of-a-kind from big-name manufacturers.



They even let the public vote on which model will win the most beautiful car of the year.

  • Dates: January 29 – February 2, 2020
  • Prices: Adults €15, Age 10-18s and Students €8, FREE to Under 10s, Military, and Disabled Visitors
  • Click here for more information.

Gearheads and petrolheads of all ages will love walking the show floor! 

If you’re looking for more family-friendly events and activities, take a look at our post about things to do with kids in Paris.

6) Catch a Theatre or Cabaret Show

What would a trip to Paris be without seeing an iconic show at the Moulin Rouge? January is the perfect time to catch one of the most famous cabarets in the world, since tickets will be easier to come by. 

Performances will still fill up, so you should still plan on getting your tickets a few weeks in advance.

For classical theatre fans, there will be multiple opera and ballet productions running at Opera Garnier throughout the month. 



Il Barbiere di Siviglia the opera has several evening performances, and the ballet company is putting on La Vague which is specifically suited to younger audiences.

However, even if you can’t make it to a show, you can use an Explorer Pass to get admission to a guided tour of the opera house!

You can find all the theatre productions in Paris here.

If you’re looking for more evening activities or family-friendly entertainment, we have full posts with more ideas!

7) Explore The Food Scene

French food is famous all over the world for being delicious and high-quality. And during the cold of January, what could be better than warming up with some savory French treats? 

If you don’t know where to start or want to get the best overview possible, why not take a Parisian food tour?



Some of these restaurants are also local favorites:

Many of these places are great for family time or for entertainment at night.

8) Celebrate New Year’s Day

Parisians know how to celebrate the New Year. If you still have energy from the New Year’s Eve celebrations, or if you’re just arriving in the city, there are multiple festivities to take part in for January 1, 2020, and beyond.



Head to Champs-Elysees for the 13:00 (1:00 pm) parade. Keep in mind there will be a massive crowd in the area, so watch out for your pockets!

TIP: Before or after the parade, head to a sweets shop or supermarket to pick up a traditional New Year’s papillotte. These chocolates will have you celebrating like the locals.

9) Explore the Montmartre Neighborhood

This trendy neighborhood used to be the home of many aspiring artists in the 1800s and is now one of the fun hotspots of Paris. 

During the day you can hit up some fun museums, like the Museum of Montmartre or the Dali Paris, as well as architectural attractions such as the Sacre Coeur Basilica.



These super popular sights will be less crowded this month, which makes it a perfect time to venture out into Montmartre.

In the evening you can find cabarets and bars where you can warm up after a cold January day of sightseeing.

Read more about Montmartre in our full post, or take a look at the tours offered in this neighborhood.

10) Go Ice Skating 

You can find several ice skating rinks that remain open past the holiday season and into January.

Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a fun family activity, everyone can participate.



  • The world’s largest indoor skating rink at Le Grand Palais is open through January 8, 2020.
  • Skate with a great view on the Grande Arche rooftop through January 5, 2020.
  • Have fun on the rink located on the first level of the Eiffel Tower through mid-February 2020.

Admission ranges from free to €17, and skate rentals begin at about €3 per person.

If you’re looking for more family fun, take a look at our post covering family-friendly activities in Paris.


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About the author

Christina studied art history and French literature at the Sorbonne for a year in Paris as an undergrad. Now based in Washington, DC, she visits Paris as often as possible and loves introducing family and friends to her favorite places there. She has worked as a travel writer, museum professional, English tutor, and editor, and her favorite French cheese is Pont l'Eveque.