Paris doesn't usually slow down after the holidays, in fact, in a normal year it starts gearing up for even more events. Alas, January 2021 is not a normal month in Paris — or anywhere else, for that matter! However, and despite the pandemic, there are a few socially-responsible, Covid-aware events taking place like Paris Fashion Week, the Advent of the Artist exhibition at the Louvre, and the Maison & Objet product show, with in-person as well as on-line activities.
Through these unusual times, we'll continue to show you our top recommendations for activities, day trips, and food events. As you may guess, offerings and schedules are uncertain. So, be sure to use the links to check tour availability and well as current information for each event or museum.
Nothing is going to change our love for Paris or our joy in helping travelers plan their time in the City of Light. As 2021 unfolds and things begin change — and events and activities and restaurants and museums start to open up — we'll stay on top of all the news in order to keep you informed about best things to do in Paris… whenever you arrive.
|The Top Day Trips from Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Best Ways To Visit Versailles|
|The Best Food & Wine Activities||The Hottest Events In Paris||New Exhibits At The Museums|
It's easy to understand why travelers rave about this nighttime activity — it combines the best things to do in Paris all in one stellar evening. The night begins on a boat, with a glass of champagne; in front of you all the fabulous architecture of Paris drifts past your window table. After dinner, take in a bird's eye view of the city from the Eiffel Tower. Et finalement, a trip to Moulin Rouge to see firsthand why this legendary cabaret is still as popular as it was when it opened in 1889. Includes transportation to and from your hotel.
Save Time. Stay Warm. Be Happy.
Baby, it's cold out there! This tour gets you ahead of the loooong lines and into the world's largest & most popular museum in no time flat. With close to 10 million visitors each year, it's essential to find a way to skip the line. Group size is limited, so personal attention is a high priority.
This is what we want! If you know us you won't be surprised to learn that this is our favorite way to visit the Louvre. Following an evening guided tour of the museum, head over to a nearby wine bar for an after-hours guided tasting. Great wine + great art — does Paris get any better than that? Friday evenings in January.
Our secret way to avoid the long lines at the Eiffel Tower is to sign up for a skip-the-line-tour. Meet your guide at the base of the tower and follow her past the long lineups. You get priority access, plus your guide fills you in on the history and fun facts. Since availability at the Tower changes, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check with the Skip the Eiffel Tower Lines link below. Also see, Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…
Everything looks better from a boat cruising down the Seine! On this relaxing ride you see Paris from a different perspective. All the famous landmarks will pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal with wine. If you want to splurge, book the Service Premier option, which gets you a private table at the front of the boat. Every evening in January. Also see, The Six Top Dinner Cruises in Paris…
We're adamant — there's no better way to celebrate your stay Paris than a champagne-fueled cruise down the Seine, the most romantic river in the world. You'll also discover it's the very best way to see the sights of the city as you glide past the monuments on a bateau sipping bubbly! Thursday, Friday, Saturday in January.
The fun starts with a leisurely multi-course meal featuring classic French food and wine. Then, settle back and enjoy the timeless cabaret show. The best part? All the details have been arranged for you — tickets to the show, dinner, and even transportation to and from your hotel. This sells out weeks in advance, so be sure to book early! Also see, The 6 Best Evenings In Paris…
A fun art-centered tour of the fascinating hilltop village of Montmartre, where you focus on the history of the artists who once lived here as you visit places like Van Gogh's house, the windmill-cabaret painted by Renoir, the site of Picasso's early studio, and more. Also included is a skip-the-line ticket for the famous Impressionist museum, Musée d'Orsay. This activity has hundreds of 5-star reviews, so be sure to book early,
Here's how to feel like you're starring in your own movie set in Paris. Climb into the back seat of a sleek, black Citroën Traction Avant from the 1940s, driven by a "gentleman driver". It's so much fun seeing the sights like this, and made even better with the sun roof opened all the way. As we say in our review, this is "retro luxury from another era."
If there's any place that out-spectacles Moulin Rouge it's Lido de Paris, located on legendary Champs-Elysées. We found the show to be absolutely thrilling. This activity also packs in a dinner cruise on the Seine and an evening visit to the Eiffel Tower, making for a never-to-forget night out in Paris. Fridays and Saturdays in January. Includes transportation between venues.
We loved this evening out in Paris — a classic 3-course dinner at the Lido followed by the entertaining show. All in all, it's a class act. Includes transportation from and to your hotel. Highly recommended by us.
One of our most appreciated pieces of advice is to arrange your transportation from the airport into Paris before you leave home. It's comforting to be prepared when you arrive. One easy and affordable way is to book a shuttle van service right to your hotel.
The historic and charming Latin Quarter is one of the best places to stay in Paris. Luckily, it's also home to some of our favourite hotels in the city. Here, you are in the center of things, with easy access to Saint-Germain, the Marais, the Seine, the Paris Islands and Notre Dame Cathedral. Let's take a look at the new 2021 list of the best hotels in the Latin Quarter, with current prices.
You'll feel like a royalty on this magical day in Versailles. You're driven directly from your Paris hotel to the royal estate where priority access gets you ahead of the lines and directly into the grand chateau for a guided tour. Afterwards, stroll through the winter garden until lunch on the Grand Canal. There's plenty of time to visit the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's fantasy village farm. Also see, The 5 Best Ways to Visit Versailles…
If you want to send only half a day at Versailles, this tour is a great way to visit royal estate and skip the lines here. Led by an expert guide this activity includes transportation right from your hotel. It's available in the morning and in the afternoon.
It's known as the Land of 1000 Castles and it's easy to get from Paris to the splendid chateaux of the Loire on a day trip. Take a leisurely tour of the magnificent castles on the banks of the river. Step back in time as you wander the gardens, mazes and traverse the moats of the Renaissance castles. Includes hotel pick-up and return.
On this day trip you concentrate on the castles and spend more time visiting Chenonceau, Cheverny & Chambord, the three most spectacular castles in the valley. We like this activity because lunch is included as well as pick-up from your Paris address. Also available as a private tour.
Your car winds way through the celebrated vineyards and villages where champagne has been made for centuries. On this small-group tour, your driver will take you along the picturesque Route de Champagne with plenty of tours and tasting at top producers. Pick up is at your Paris address, so sample all you want while someone else does the driving. Wednesdays & Fridays in January. Also see, The 3 Top Day Trips to Champagne…
This small-group tour takes you directly to the Land of Bubbly for a full-day exploration that includes 8 champagne tastings. Available Mondays & Thursdays in November.
Seven decades have passed since the Allied forces came ashore at Normandy. See for yourself the beautiful Normandy countryside and the most important sites of the invasion. You spend the day exploring the beaches, monuments, and museums that mark the start of liberation for France. This small group tour picks you up at your hotel and delivers you back at the end of the day.
Why not spend a day out of Paris exploring the coast of Normandy and the fairytale island of Mont Saint-Michel? Visit the Benedictine abbey that becomes separated from the mainland during high tide. Wander along the narrow streets, the shops, and the abbey's ramparts. On your way you drive through the picturesque Normandy countryside. Lunch is included, as is pick-up at your hotel.
It seems incredible that high-speed trains & the channel tunnel now make possible to visit London on a day trip from Paris. Your journey starts at Gare du Nord in Paris, where you meet your guide and hop on the famous Eurostar train to London. In store for you is an extensive, open-top bus tour around London and guided tours, including The Beatles London Walking Tour. It's a wonderful day that gets you back to Paris the same evening.
These travel ideas are only a few of the wonders of France within easy reach of Paris. You might also think of visiting wine regions, Euro Disneyland, even Bruges or London! It's always worth it to plan for a day or two to explore beyond the city gates to visit France Profonde or even elsewhere in Europe.
Go behind the scenes on this small-group tasting tour to some of the best patisseries and chocolatiers in this iconic neighborhood. Don't miss the chance to taste regional specialties and find out how all those delectable delights are made. Choose from one of two gourmet havens — the morning and afternoon tours in Saint-Germain, of an afternoon tour in the Marais.
This very popular food tour takes you back to the Marais to visit the top food & wine shops in the historic quartier. You learn about and taste the best of French foods like baguettes, chocolate, cheese, charcuterie, and wine. Start off at the oldest food market in the city. This one is garnering high praise from hungry travelers.
Take a break from sightseeing for a fun, casual, and affordable lunch cruise along the Seine. Getting out on the river is something you must do in Paris, so why not have lunch at the same time? Look out the window at the monuments of Paris passing by. Combine great dining with a tour of Paris… riverside. Available everyday. This lunch cruise is very popular, so book early.
You start your culinary afternoon on the historic Left Bank, a gourmet haven. At a traditional fromagerie you learn about French cheeses while you sample them. Next up are freshly baked baguettes followed by French wine. Don't forget the foie gras! Also see, Guide to Food & Wine Walking Tours…
The weather outside may be chilly but you'll be warm inside a charming wine cellar smack in the center of Paris. The professional sommeliers on these fun tastings cover a lot of French wine territory and deliver an extensive tasting of wines — from Champagne to Sancerre, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, from Alsace to the Rhône. It all takes place in a wine bar steps away from the Louvre. Also see, The Ten Best Food & Wine Experiences In Paris…
In this small-group food activity you learn all about the proper way to age the cheeses of France. In a fromagerie in the Marais you meet the affineur (expert in aging cheeses) and descend into the private cheese cellar where you taste seven classic French cheeses, along with wines. Discover how cheese became one of the most important food groups of France, along with baguettes and chocolate! The group size is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you. Also see, Five Top Cheese Tastings In Paris…
When in Paris why not take the opportunity to dine on top of the most popular monument in the world? Book a table under the new glass dome on Level One of the Eiffel Tower. For this lunch you will have a priority access pass to the Tower that gets you on the express elevator to the restaurant on Level One. After lunch you are free to take the stairs to Level Two for an even better view.
Imagine taking a leisurely cruise down the Seine in a bateau… while being served a 3-course gourmet meal prepared by a team of French chefs. Well, imagine no longer — all the details of this fabulous food activity have been arranged including round-trip transportation to and from your hotel.
The Left Bank is the perfect place to stay in Paris. Since Hemingway and the Jazz Age, the area has defined the essence of the city. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, and so are the best of the hotels in the quartier. In fact, here is our selection of the top Left Bank hotels — with a couple of bonuses as well!
In the new season of this on-going museum event, the Louvre's Petite Galerie continues its exploration of the transition from the typically anonymous craftsman of the classical period to the artist of the Renaissance, The Advent of the Artist. In 2021, Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Albrecht Dürer will be featured.
• Petite Galerie, Louvre
• Ends July 5, 2021
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), the Centre Pompidou pays tribute to him through an exhibition with more than 230 works and 70 documents, bringing together his essential works. This is going to be good!
• Centre Pompidou
• Ends February 22, 2021
Learn about the fascinating Olmec civilization and the little-known world of other pre-Columbian cultures of the Gulf of Mexico. The exhibition sheds light on this Mesoamerican civilization with rare items, shown for the first time outside Mexico.
• Quai Branly
• Ends July 25, 2021
Girault de Prangey (1804-1892) was a gifted painter, illustrator, and archaeologist. This exhibition features his photographs and illustrated books.
The next New Year's Day is Saturday, January 1, 2022. As this is a French National Holiday most shops, services, museums & restaurants will be closed, but just being in Paris at the start of the year is a pleasure. We've assembled a list of some of the things you can do on le jour de l'An.
On your mark, get ready, shop! In January one thousand Paris boutiques and grands magasins commence the annual beginning-of-the-year sales. France being France, even store sales must be authorized by the préfectures of each département (local government). It's hard to describe the shopping frenzy that the January sales inspire. Here are a few of our favorite department stores:
• Le Bon Marché…
• Galeries Lafayette…
The show must go on. In this case it's Paris Fashion Week starting January 19. Although you can't buy tickets to the fashion shows, if you hang out in the trendy bars around the Carrousel du Louvre you might have a celebrity sighting. Be on the lookout for a collection of tall, thin models. (Or is that a mirror you're looking in?!)
• January 19 to 24, 2021
Discover the latest trends in decoration, design, furniture, accessories and textiles. This year there are on-line and well as in-person displays and seminars, although the onsite, physical show won't be staged until September in 2021.
• Paris Nord Villepinte
• On-site show: September 9 to 13, 2021
• Online shows: January 27 to March 19, 2021
• On-site show: January 21 to 5, 2022
The hottest trot race in France, and one of the richest events in the world in this sport. In January 2021 qualifying races are being run, and it looks as if the finalé will take place at the end of January, with other races running to the end of February.
A fairytale, holiday setting and a wonderful show for the whole family. The 2020 circus shows were cancelled, but stay tuned for news in 2021.
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