What to do in Paris in January

by Ali Postma

It’s a New Year and it’s January again (even though last January seems like just yesterday!) Everyone’s recovering from a busy holiday season, and it’s quieter and calmer in Paris. But there’s no shortage of things to do. Keep warm by catching that exhibition you were meaning to see, listen to some classical music in a Paris church, or grab a bargain at the winter sales:

Two images of the stained glass windows in La Saint-Chapelle church in Paris.
La Sainte-Chapelle by Mitya Ivanov (left) and Yomex Owo (right)

New Year’s Concerts – Various locations & dates

There are many New Year’s concerts in Paris, including on January 1: Don Quixote at Opéra Bastille (also on Jan 2), concerts at the Eiffel Tower and Église de la Madeleine, as well as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & Christmas Songs at Église Saint‐Eustache, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & Mozart’s A Little Night Music at Église Saint‐Germain‐des‐Prés (also on Jan 29). There’s also Chopin with candlelights at Église Saint‐Éphrem (also on Jan 17, 21, 26).

For the rest of the month, there’s a New Year’s concert with Champagne, wine, and tapas at La Sainte‐Chapelle on Jan 2; Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on Jan 2, 4-9; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at Église de la Madeleine on Jan 8, 14, 21, 29; Brahms, Beethoven & Chopin at Église Saint‐Éphrem on Jan 19 and 27.

Left: the interior of Saint Eustache church in Paris. Right: a model in a red dress standing on a roof in Paris with the French flag blowing in the wind behind her.
Left: Saint Eustache by Anthony Bevilacqua. Right: Vogue Paris 1920-2020, image courtesy of Paris Musées

Soldes d’Hiver – Jan 12 – February 8

If Santa forgot a few things from your wishlist, the winter sales are your opportunity to fill in the gaps and save at the same time. Prior to the public sales are typically soldes privées (private) or VIP sales. But don’t be dissuaded—here’s a tip: usually all you have to do is sign up to the brand’s newsletter to access the sale! 

Two black and white photographs by Vivian Maier.
Left: Vivian Maier, Chicago, Sans date, © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY. Right: Vivian Maier, Sans lieu, septembre 1961 Tirage argentique, 2020 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Vivian Maier – Musée du Luxembourg – until Jan 16

Catch the exhibition by American street photographer Vivian Maier before it ends. The exhibition reveals archives that were discovered in 2007 and have never been seen before, including vintage photographs printed by Maier, super 8 films that have never been shown, and audio recordings. This exhibition allows the full extent of the eminent artist’s work to be appreciated, and for her work to be placed in the history of photography.

Two black and white photographs by Vivian Maier.
Left: Vivian Maier, Chicago, 1957, Tirage argentique, 2012 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY. Right: Vivian Maier, New York, 29 septembre 1959, Tirage argentique, 2020 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Botticelli: Artiste et Designer – Musée Jacquemart André – until Jan 24

The Musée Jacquemart-André celebrates the creative genius of one of the most well-known Renaissance artists in Italy, Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), and his workshop’s activity. The museum exhibits around 40 works by the master, along with several paintings by his contemporaries, who were greatly influenced by him.

A large horizontal painting by Botticelli.
Alessandro Filipepi dit Botticelli (vers 1445 – 1510) et assistants (Jacopo di Domenico di Papi da San Gaggio ?), Le Jugement de Pâris, 1483-1485, Détrempe sur bois, 81 x 197 cm, Venise, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Galleria di Palazzo Cini, Venezia, © Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Vogue Paris 1920-2020 – Palais Galliera – until Jan 30

The Palais Galliera presents a major new exhibition celebrating 100 years of Vogue Paris magazine. The exhibition illustrates the magazine’s ability to create, adapt, and anticipate over the past 100 years. For Vogue Paris 1920-2020, around 400 items have been brought together, mainly from the magazine’s archives—photographs, illustrations, magazines, documents, and films—as well as more than 15 haute couture and prêt-à-porter models. 

Left: the exterior of Palais Galliera in Paris. Right: an installation shot of the exhibition Vogue Paris 1920-2020 at Palais Galliera.
Left: Palais Galliera by L. Julliand. Right: Vogue Paris 1920-2020

Piinpi: Contemporary Australian Indigenous Fashion – Australian Embassy Paris – Jan 31 – April 19

The first major survey of contemporary Indigenous Australian fashion, Piinpi sheds light on a blossoming industry that is set to become a major fashion movement. Piinpi: Contemporary Australian Indigenous Fashion celebrates Australian Indigenous art, history, and culture through the lens of contemporary fashion. The exhibition will also take place in the Observatory of the BHV Marais as part of the Australian takeover of the store (January 29 –February 27).

Two images of an Australian Indigenous model wearing clothes by an Australian Indigenous fashion designer.
Piinpi: Contemporary Australian Indigenous Fashion

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Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

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2 comments on “What to do in Paris in January

I have a wonderful showroom/store in Philadelphia which is full of products from France and Paris. I come to Paris three times a year to shop for my showroom. January is also my favorite month to be in Paris. I arrive a day or two after Christmas and stay until end of January to attend the M&O, the fashion related events and take an advantage of amazing sale!
Best Regards,

My husband and I went every year in January. Fewer tourists and not so bad weather were always reasons. Thé soldes also provide a wonderful pastime. I am pretty jaded, but the small boutiques where I am known put things aside for me.
I love Paris????!

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