Paris in January


Being in Paris in January is fabulous, and whenever I am, I hum that old song, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”. My friends roll their eyes, but I love it :-)

Paris in January - Galette de Roi, Ice skating, New year's day

Even though I’m not in Paris right now, I can smell the roasted chestnuts at the vendors’ stalls, in the brisk cold of a winter’s day. You buy a packet of hot hot chestnuts and eat them as you walk down the street, with the added bonus that they keep your hands warm.

If you’re interested in ice skating, there are several free skating rinks in Paris at this time of year.

I’ve listed them below – and just in case you don’t know, ‘patinoire’ means ‘skating rink’.

Paris January things to see and do

01 Jan – Jour de l’An – New Year’s Day

The Grande Parade de Paris is a must! There’ll be floats and bands and dancers.

06 Jan – Fete des Rois – Epiphany [Festival of Kings]

Paris in January - Galette de Roi

All patisseries [cake shops] will be selling the annual galettes des rois (cakes of kings), which are filled with frangipan.

Inside each galette is a tiny charm called a fêve, and they are also sold with little gold crowns – truly delightful.

I’ll be writing about the history of this wonderful cake very soon, as I delve more into its origins.

20 Jan – Mass for Louis XVI (16th)

Chapelle Expiatoire – The royalists and right-wing crackpots will today mourn the end of the monarchy.

Ongoing events : Paris Skate

Paris in January - Paris skate - exhibitions - photography - polar

Paris sur Glace : Paris on Ice : Dec to March

Throughout the Christmas season various venues provide free outdoor ice rinks

Patinoire de Noël : Christmas Skating Rink : Mid Dec to late Jan

For an unforgettble experience, head over to the Eiffel Tower, 1st floor (1ere Etage).  Hire a pair of free skates and do a few figure 8s!

Patinoire de Montparnasse : Skating Rink

Parvis de la gare Montparnasse, 75015 Paris

Free access to the skating rink – rent ice sckating blades for 5 Euro.

Patinoire de la Bibliothèque François Mitterrand

rue des Grands Moulins at rue Olivier Messiaen
75013 Paris

For nearly a month in December – January, the city of Paris will host a public ice skating rink near the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand in the 13th.

Patinoire de l’Hôtel de Ville : Dec to March

Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris

The public skating rink in front of the Hôtel de Ville has skating and sledding runs.

Paris in January - Paris skate - exhibitions - photography - polarPolar Exhibtion at the Eiffel Tower : Dec  to Jan

The creators of the “Rendez-vous aux pôles” exhibit taking place on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower hope to transport Parisians to the icy polar regions without ever leaving town.

You’ll be invited to put on snowshoes to go 57 meters above Paris. Very cool!

avenue Anatole France
75007 Paris, France