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5 Reasons Why Paris in January Isn’t Terrible

It’s a new year here in Paris, which means the doldrums of January have officially arrived. That’s right. I said it. The doldrums. As you’ve probably figured out, January is not my favourite time of the year. It’s cold, it’s usually raining, and all the beautiful lights that made Paris so magical in December are gone. So no, January is not my favourite month. But as the title above says, it’s not terrible. In fact, there’s many things about January that I look forward to every year. So if you’re going to be in Paris in the coming weeks, here are a few things you should definitely check out.

Galette Des Rois

Galette Des Rois is a pastry that is only sold during the month of January. It is a traditional dessert that dates back centuries, and it is absolutely delicious. Every galette also includes a small piece of plastic called a fève, which is baked directly inside each pastry. It is considered very good luck to be the one who finds the fève, so eat with care, and hopefully good luck will find you. To read more about Galette Des Rois, please read my story about this tradition from 2019.

Paris Fashion Week

Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and it’s one of the Big Four global fashion weeks, alongside London, Milan, and New York. In January, Paris hosts both a menswear and haute couture fashion week, meaning the streets of the city become a style watcher’s paradise. If fashion, celebrities, and paparazzi are your scene, you’ll love Paris in January.

Les Soldes

Paris is famous for its shopping, and twice a year, shopping becomes a little more easy on the wallet during Les Soldes; specific sales periods that happen in January and July. This is when retailers offer heavy discounts to clear out old merchandise and make room for new products. Discounts of up to 80% off can be found all over the city, meaning there will inevitably be lines outside the big department stores on opening day. You may not have the best weather if you’re visiting Paris in January, but if you like to shop, you’re guaranteed to find some incredible deals.

Dry January

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Dry January campaign that first originated in the UK back in 2013. Since then, it has become an annual event for people to take a break from alcohol after the booze-soaked holiday season. Dry January has become increasingly popular in France, with more and more people signing up every year. My personal favourite way to participate is La Paon Qui Boit, a store in the 19th arrondissement that sells alcohol-free beers, wines, spirits, and all other manner of specialty soft drinks. They even have dealcoholized sparkling wine, which sounds disgusting but is actually delicious. If you are participating in Dry January this year, I highly recommend a visit.

Museum Exhibitions

Most of the major exhibitions that opened in the fall run through January, which means you can visit some of the biggest exhibitions of the year with a fraction of the crowds. Personally, I already have my tickets for no less than seven exhibitions over the coming weeks, and I can’t wait. Click here for a list of everything that is closing this month so you don’t miss out.

It’s a New Year in Paris!

The holidays may be over, but there’s plenty to see and do to kick off a new year in Paris. If you will be visiting this month, I hope you take advantage of everything that January has to offer. Just be sure to bring an umbrella. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said it’s usually raining.

Bonne Année à tous!

Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.


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