Paris in February: the secrets to get the most out of your trip
Visiting Paris is always a good plan, characterized by being one of the most vibrant cities on the planet, it offers interesting activities all year round. February in Paris is the month of romantic cruises on the Seine, carnivals, world fairs and more.
If you're considering a trip to Paris in late winter, congratulations on that! Spring is just a few weeks away and although the cold still dominates the scene, the carnivals, festivities and celebrations taking place all over the city help you cope quite well.
If you're looking for activities to do in Paris in February I hope you enjoy these ideas I've worked out for you. If your stay in the City of Light contemplates a little more time, you can also check out the compilation of activities and events to do in March in Paris or in January in Paris.
1. Celebrate Valentine's Day in the capital of love
Being lucky enough to be in Paris for Valentine's Day and celebrate such a special date in the world famous capital of love is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Join the romantic and festive atmosphere that permeates the entire city and celebrate with that special someone at any of the many events and celebrations that take place every year on February 14th.
Where it takes place
The places for Valentine's Day celebrations in Paris are diverse. Here is a list of some of my favorite ideas.
- Valentine's Dinner on the Bateaux Parisiens: Take one of the dinner cruises on the Seine that also include champagne and live music.
- Valentine's Day at the Lido: Lido is the most popular cabaret in Paris and every year for Valentine's Day it organizes a special evening full of glamour, dinner and orchestra for lovers.
- Valentine's Day at the Moulin Rouge: the legendary Moulin Rouge also welcomes lovers in a show specially prepared for Valentine's Day. Book your ticket to the Moulin Rouge with dinner.
- Dinner for two at the Eiffel Tower: One of the restaurants of the Eiffel Tower prepares every year a special menu for Valentine's Day. On February 14 you can enjoy a romantic evening with one of the most perfect views of the city. If you do not want to participate in the dinner you can buy your night tickets to the Eiffel Tower and climb to the top just to enjoy the view.
- Attend a musical: Musicals in Paris are becoming increasingly popular and a fantastic option if you are in February at this time of year.
2. Learn how to make French pastries at la Chandeleur
As in many other countries, February 2 is celebrated in France as Candlemas Day; in the Christian tradition this day was the day of the purification of the Virgin Mary after her birth. Today La Chandeleur in Paris is better known as the day of crepes, a date in which families and friends prepare and enjoy together this delicious dessert.
If you are in Paris for these dates come to one of the best Parisian creperies that will surely join the party preparing a special menu.
Where to make it
In particular I consider a complicated task to choose only one option, so I present you a list of my particular favorites. This is a list so feel free to explore new options on your own.
- La Cuiller en Bois: 108 Rue des Entrepreneurs. 75015.
- Le Petit Morbihan: At 20 rue d'Odessa, 75014
- Le Breizh Café: At 109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
- Crêperie Suzette: At 24 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004
Take advantage of the date and sign up for a pastry class where you can learn to make your own French bread or exquisite croissants with a real master pastry chef. Can't your mouth water?
3. Take your kids to the Louvre to celebrate the winter vacations
Winter vacations in Paris begin every year on February 18 and end on March 7. If you are visiting Paris with children during the month of February, you should attend the activities that take place all over the city during this period; you can find: hiking, free exhibitions, themed learning workshops, creative workshops, concerts, discounts on games and attractions, and much more. Here are some examples.
- The masterpieces of the Louvre explained to children. Available for children ages 7 and up.
- Fun visit to the Opéra Garnier. Available for children ages 5 and up.
- Visit to Versailles with children. Available for children from 5 years old.
Where to go
You will find them all over Paris: museums, bookstores, parks, entertainment and cultural centers of all kinds. If you want to stay up to date, you can visit the Parisinfo website and see the calendar available for your travel date.
4. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Paris
Chinese New Year in Paris is traditionally a week of festivities open to the public. The New Year celebration is one of the most important events in the Chinese tradition, held every year between January 21 and February 20; it heralds renewal and the beginning of a new cycle. Chinese communities around the world join this celebration allowing the rest of us to know a little more about their fascinating traditions.
In Paris this festival is very special, it attracts tourists from all corners and includes celebrations in the different Parisian neighborhoods:
- Shows with the philharmonic
- Costume parades in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. They start at the Place de la République.
- Traditional dance show.
5. Enjoy the Paris Carnival procession
Every year on the Sunday before Mardi Gras, the Carnival festivities take place. Although the date varies each year, it is generally held during the month of February or early March. The celebration includes a festive parade, known as the "Promenade du Bœuf Gras" and lots of costumes! The mascot of the carnival is a limousine cow with reddish fur that leads the procession in style.
The tradition of the Paris Carnival was almost completely forgotten for most of the 20th century; however in the 1990s efforts were made to revive it and since then it has been held every year. As time goes by, the level of elaboration, the colors and the costumes become more and more impressive.
Where it takes place
The Promenade du Bœuf Gras parade starts at Place Gambetta and ends at Place de la République, for a 2.8-kilometer route through the center of Paris.
How to buy tickets
There is no need to purchase tickets, the event is completely free and open to the public. Just arrive early to secure a good spot. The parade usually takes place in the afternoon and gathers more than 5,000 people. For more information you can consult the official website.
6. Take the opportunity to enjoy the Grand Slam of Paris
For about 50 years, the international Judo competition, Grand Slam de Paris has been held in February every year for two days. It usually takes place in the first days of the month and brings together the best representations of each nation in a competition that chooses the world champion for both the men's and women's teams.
If you admire this sport or if you have practiced it yourself in the past, it is a great opportunity to admire the most outstanding talent at the international level.
Where it is held
The event was originally held at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium; however, since 2000 it has been held at the Accor Arena; located on the Boulevard de Bercy, very close to the Bercy station, which connects to lines 6 and 14 of the Paris metro.
How to buy tickets
Tickets to watch the competition can be purchased directly on the Grand Slam website; the price ranges from 32 ¤ to 65 ¤ for one day, 50 ¤ to 107 ¤ for both days.
7. Join Les Front Runners de Paris
Since 2000 every year in February in Paris takes place "Les Front Runners" an event organized by the Association of LGBT runners of the city. Based on the fact that love is love, this celebration usually takes place on weekends and as close as possible to February 14. Two events are included in the race: a 5km individual course and a 10km couple's course.
The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the needs of the collective and to raise funds to enable them to continue their activism. In some years, raffles are held with proceeds going to the famous Grey Pride Association.
Where it takes place
This fun event takes place in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, usually the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
How to buy tickets
This is a free event and open to all the public who wish to support the cause; however, if you are interested in participating in the race as a runner, you can fill out the registration form on the official website
8. Go to a Dance Festival
Starting in the month of January in Paris and during the first days of February in Paris you can attend the Suresnes cités dans; an event convened with the intention of bringing the great diversity of styles and choreographic variants that swarm contemporary dance.
The festival had its beginnings in 1993, as an initiative supported by the City of Suresnes. At that time it sought to open the more structured dance schools to movements such as hip-hop or street dance that dominated the scene during the 80s.
Where it takes place
It takes place at the Jean-Vilar theater in Suresnes, a small community located just outside Paris. To get to Suresnes take the RER A train line.
How to buy tickets
Tickets for this event are available online at the official Suresnes Theater website
9. Enjoy the last ice rinks of Paris
During the first weeks of February you can enjoy the last ice rinks that take place in the city of Paris during the winter; if you like this beautiful activity, don't miss it! Ice skating outdoors under the shadow of monumental works of architecture is not something you can do every day or anywhere in the world.
Where to ice skate in Paris
- Place Athénée: Approximate cost 60€ with tea time
- Espace sportif Pailleron: It is an indoor rink open almost all year round, prices and schedules are published on their official website
10. Get in the heat with a "chocolat chaud" in Paris
After walking the streets of Paris and visiting the most important monuments of the city, the best way to rest is having a delicious hot drink. In Parisian gastronomy you can find many delicious drinks but the favorite of tourists and locals is the traditional Parisian hot chocolate.
When properly prepared, the popular drink is characterized by its sumptuous, not-too-sweet taste that is enjoyable on the palate without ever becoming cloying. Made from milk and bitter chocolate, many Parisian cafés and tea houses are known for creating this type of drink with their own twist. The experience of enjoying the comforting taste of chocolate in a beautifully decorated establishment, along with a rich dessert or savory snack will make you feel like a Parisian local and fill you with energy to continue your adventure.
Where to have the best hot chocolate in Paris
Some of the favorite establishments with top ratings are:
- La Chocolaterie de Cyril Lignac: located at 25 Rue Chanzy.
- Ladurée: located at 21 rue Bonaparte Paris 6 and Champs Elysees. Be sure to try the delicious macarons.
- Café de Flore: located at 172 Boulevard Saint Germain.
- Mamie Gateaux: at 66 Rue du Cherche-Midi
- Jean-Paul Hévin: located at 108 rue Saint-Honoré.
Tips for visiting Paris in February
As in January in Paris, the temperature for this month is still cold so I advise you to go properly prepared for it. This means that a good coat is a must, as well as your hat, winter gloves and waterproof shoes. Snowfall in February is not common in Paris but it can happen just like any other rainy afternoon.
The best thing about visiting Paris in February is being able to avoid the crowds. Whether you want to tour the most popular attractions or explore the French capital off the beaten path, this is the quietest time to travel to Paris of all. Have an amazing trip!