Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office
January in the French capital can seem a bit cold and quiet: the excitement of Christmas and the winter holiday season has come and gone, and locals tend to retreat indoors more at this time of year than most.
Yet there's still plenty to see and do in Paris during the opening month of the year: it's simply a matter of knowing where to look.
Festive events and activities and world-class exhibitions are among the draw cards this month. Read on for our top picks.
Festivals and Seasonal Events
Celebrating the New Year:
See our complete guide to bringing in 2018 in Paris here, with advice on the best parties in the capital, fireworks and other city events, eating out, local traditions, and much more.
Holiday Lights and Decorations in Paris:
Christmas may have passed, but the festive spirit remains: throughout most of January, Paris continues to be bathed in sparkling holiday lights displays. For a little inspiration, check out our photo gallery of holiday decorations in Paris.
Every winter, ice-skating rinks are set up at several locations around the city. Admission is generally free (not including skate rental).
Where: Info on 2017-2018 ice skating rinks in Paris
Maison & Objet (Home and Decoration Trade Show):
This annual trade show held just outside the Paris city limits is a good bet if you're looking for inspiration for home decor or remodeling.
It's worth the trek on the Paris RER (commuter train) if you're passionate about design and decor. Hint: it's on the way to the Charles de Gaulle airport (also on line B of the RER), so if your luggage is light, you might want to stop off at the fair on your way back home.
- Dates: From January 19th-23rd, 2018
- Location: 82 Avenue des Nations - Zac Paris Nord 2, 93420 Villepinte
- RER: Parc des Expositions (Line B)
- Visit the official website
Arts and Exhibits Highlights in January 2018
Being Modern: MOMA at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
One of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year, the MOMA at the Fondation Vuitton features hundreds of remarkable works of art generally housed at the world's largest modern art museum in New York City. From Cezanne to Signac and Klimt, to Alexander Calder, Frida Kahlo, Jasper Johns, Laurie Anderson and Jackson Pollock, many of the 20th century's most important artists and their work are highlighted at this exceptional show. Make sure to reserve tickets well ahead to avoid disappointment.
- Dates: Through March 5th, 2018
- Location: Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Art of Pastel, from Degas to Redon
Compared to oils and acrylics, pastels tend to be seen as a less "noble" material for painting, but this exhibit proves that all wrong. The Petit Palais' look at magnificent pastels from nineteenth century and early twentieth-century masters including Edgar Degas. Odilon Redon, Mary Cassatt and Paul Gaugin will make you see the world in a softer-- and quietly sublime-- light.
- Dates: September 15th, 2016 through April 8th, 2018
- Location: Petit Palais
Photographisme: A Free Exhibit at the Centre Georges Pompidou
As part of Paris Photography Month, the Centre Pompidou is hosting this remarkable free exhibit dedicated to exploring the creative fusion of photo and graphic design.
- Dates: November 8th, 2017 through January 29th, 2018
- Location: Centre Georges Pompidou
Picasso 1932: An Erotic Year
This joint exhibit between the Museé Picasso in Paris and the Tate Modern in London examines- you guessed it-- Pablo Picasso's particularly erotic themes and portraits across works produced in 1932. This is refreshingly restrained and careful look at a particular period and theme in the Franco-Spanish artist's vast oeuvre.
- Dates: Through February 11, 2018
- Location: Musée National Picasso
For a more comprehensive list of exhibits and shows on in town this month, including listings at smaller galleries around town, we recommend visiting the calendars over at Paris Art Selection and at the Paris Tourist Office.