The shortest month of the year is not always the best when it comes to the weather, though it’s a fantastic time to visit the French capital nonetheless. After all, where else can you enjoy the most romantic night of the year along the River Seine or soak up over a hundred museums while sheltering from the rain? Here’s your guide to the best of Paris in February, as well as travel tips and things to know before you go!
La Chandeleur is celebrated at the beginning of February
As if you needed any more excuse to go out and eat crêpes, La Chandeleur, also known as Candelmas or Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, is quite literally celebrated in France in February each year. This annual religious celebration on the 2nd February, exactly 40 days after Christmas.
The Celebration of Lights was originally intended to mark three key events in the Christian calendar of events (the presentation of Jesus, The purification of the Virgin Mary, and Jesus’ first entry into the Temple of Jerusalem). However, eating crêpes has now become somewhat of a secular occasion and it’s thought that the peculiarity of eating crêpes is to do with superstition as opposed to anything else!
The City of Love is perfect for a romantic weekend
Of course, exactly mid-way through February (unless it happens to be a leap-year, such is the case with 2020), Valentine’s Day occurs. While many would wish to forget the day and instead spend time with their good friends, other couples opt to go full-out and spend the day indulging in romantic experiences and tours.
Some of my recommendations for romantic activities in Paris would be to book a River Seine dinner cruise like this one. Otherwise, a rather unusual way to cover ground in a short amount of time would be to book a Citroën 2CV tour of Paris like this one. These vintage cars give a unique perspective of the city and are oh-so photogenic in of themselves.
After enjoying some stunning activities, why not take yourselves out on a romantic date night? Some of my favourite date night restaurants include le Bistrot d’Henri (16 Rue Princesse, 75006 Paris), le Refuge des Fondus (17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris- they literally serve wine in baby bottles!), and for the vegans, Abattoir végétal st Germain.
You can warm up in a cute café
With rainy days and cold winds aplenty, cosying up in a café is one of the best ways to spend a lazy afternoon, all the while watching the world go by. So whether you fancy a speciality coffee complete with oat milk or would prefer a simply espresso, there’s a coffee shop for everyone to love when it comes to Paris (even if you’re not a coffee consumer)! Here’s my ultimate guide to the most Instagrammable cafés in Paris.
Discover some of the lesser-known museums of Paris
Of course, after you’ve visited the Louvre or marvelled at the works housed within the Musée d’Orsay, there are plenty of smaller and off the beaten path museums in the city worth discovering. And if you’re looking for free exhibitions, I can recommend none other than Musée Victor Hugo in Place des Vosges, Musée Cognacq-Jay in Le Marais, and Musée de la Vie Romantique at the base of Montmartre.
Head out for some vintage shopping!
By law, there are only proper ‘sales’ (known as ‘soldes’ in French) twice a year; once in the summer and then again in the early spring. The sales tend to start during the second or third weekend of January and then carry on through into the first or second week of February.
Visiting Paris in February will ensure that you get the best shopping deals as this is when the final markdowns are! From furniture shops to perfume ateliers, the city truly is your oyster when it comes to shopping experiences. However, if you want to enjoy just one type of shop when in the City of Light, I highly recommend you make it your mission to discover some of these vintage Paris shops.
Packing essentials for Paris in February
Of course, exactly what you must pack for Paris is entirely dependant on the time of the year it is. However, Paris essentials I recommend bringing year ’round include a universal travel adapter like this one and a simple French phrasebook like this one. Though English is widely spoken, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language.
When it comes to clothing items, be sure to leave your extra high heels at home! Instead opt for some cute boots as the city is home to a myriad of cobblestone lanes and you’ll likely be walking around a lot. You’ll also want to pack a warm coat and several layers of a capsule layers so that you can dress depending on the weather of that particular day. What this means is lots of jackets, cardigans, skirts, and tights!
Romantic hotels in Paris you’ll love cosying up in
Situated in the 11th arrondissement of the city and set against the backdrop of a former textile warehouse, Hôtel Fabric is easily one of the best places to stay in Paris. This four-star establishment makes walking around Paris very easy and is just a fifteen-minute walk or so away from Le Marais! Once inside, there’s a cool bar/ lounge area to hang out in downstairs and the bedrooms feature amenities such as Wi-Fi and luxe bathroom products.
If you’re looking for a unique experience paired with a fantastic price (for Paris, at least!) then you simply must book to stay in the well-reviewed Hôtel Chopin. Situated in Passage Jouffroy, one of the city’s illustrious covered passages, amenities of this two-star hotel include Wi-Fi, a spa, and being pet friendly.
The chic boutique hotel chain of Hoxton Hotels can be found throughout Europe (including in London) and their Parisian edition is particularly well situated. Close to Grands Boulevards (where many of the most popular bars of the city are), the illustrious shops of the semi-pedestrian street of rue Montorgueil, and many other Parisian attractions, this four-star hotel couldn’t be better placed! I particularly love their themed bar areas, including the first floor cocktail lounge.
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of unique and luxurious experiences at the foot of the butte Montmartre during Paris in February, then I can recommend none other than Maison Souquet. This five-star establishment boasts a cocktail menu which serves drinks that are part drink part dessert and has offerings such as a swimming pool, parking, WiFi, and more.