Whether you’re single or attached, you should definitely go to Paris this February for Valentine’s Day.
If you’re in a relationship, when it comes to Valentines Day, no place could be more romantic than the City of Lights. If you’re single… TREAT YO SELF TO PARIS, YOU DESERVE IT!
It’s still the winter months, so there’ll be very few tourists or long lines. The end of February is when schools have breaks, so native Parisians and students are away on vacation. You’ll basically have the city to yourself, an unforgettably magical experience. If Paris is calling your name this coming month, here are ten February activities to enjoy on a wonderful trip.
1. The Centre Pompidou’s 40th birthday (February 4th-5th)
This year, the famous Centre Pompidou modern art museum celebrates its 40th anniversary. For visitors, this means free access to the museum, and a weekend of concerts and events. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this iconic museum, so be sure to drop in free of charge for its birthday celebrations.
Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris
2. The Chinese New Year Parade (February 5th)
Every winter, Paris celebrates Chinese New Year with a colorful array of parades and celebrations. (The Ile-de-France region has a significant Chinese population–64,000 in 2013!) On February 5th, stop by the Quartier Asiatique (Asian Quarter) in the 13th arrondissement to see a highly-anticipated parade with over 2,000 performers, and a wide variety of impressive costumes and props.
Avenue d’Ivry, 75013 Paris
3. River Cruise with Les Bateaux Parisiens (Any time, but we recommend February 14th)
What could be more romantic than a dinner cruise on the Seine? (Correct answer: not much!) If you’re in Paris for Valentine’s Day with your significant other, be sure to catch a cruise with Les Bateaux Parisiens. They’re offering a special dinner event for the occasion that you won’t want to miss, complete with appetizers, main entrees, cheese, wine, chocolate, and all the works. Tickets can be purchased here.
Alternatively, if you’re single, go any day other than February 14th. The evening cruises are the best because you get to see the sunset, when the Eiffel Tower lights up.
Port de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris
4. The Vermeer Exhibit at the Louvre (February 22th-May 22th)
Calling all art lovers–the Louvre has a new exhibit on display this month. Stop by the world’s most famous museum to gaze at the works of Vermeer, as well as other featured artists such as Gerrit Dou and Gerard ter Borch. The display is organized in partnership with the National Galleries of Art in Washington and Dublin, will be located just under the famous glass pyramid in the Hall Napoléon.
The Louvre Museum, 75001 Paris
5. Chocolate at Pierre Hermé
No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to a chocolatier, especially in February! The iconic Parisian brand Pierre Hermé is known for its high-quality chocolate, sweets, and macarons. Pastry chef Pierre Hermé is so good, Vogue called him “the Picasso of Pastry.” (Special deal: with every purchase of a Valentine’s gift box, you get a special gift!) They have many locations around Paris, so you likely won’t have to travel far to find one. Specifically, we’d recommend heading to the boutique on Rue Bonaparte in the 6th arrondissement. The street is lined with beautiful stores full of chic things, and if you head south, you’ll find the Fontaine and Eglise Saint-Suplice.
72 rue Bonaparte, (6th arrond.), 185 Rue de Vaugirard (15th arrond.), 18 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie (4th arrond.), and more
6. LGBTQ Charity Run (February 18th)
You can’t ask for a more beautiful running course than the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. If you’re looking to stay fit and support a great cause, consider signing up for the annual Course de la Saint-Valentin. The event supports the LGBTQ+ community, and has been running since 2000. Choose between a 10k or a 5k, departing at 10am from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Sign up here by February 13th (with a doctor’s note), and join the runners on February 18th.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 75019 Paris
7. Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Opéra Bastille (January 23rd- February 23rd)
Looking for Valentines Day date ideas? We recommend impressing your significant other with how extremely cultured you are by seeing an opera. This month will feature Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Opéra Bastille. The show will be in German, with the accompaniment of the orchestra and choirs of the Paris National Opera. If you’ve never been to the opera, don’t worry that it’s in German. Operas are so expressive, dramatic, and physical, you’ll understand what’s happening! Tickets are on sale here.
Place de la Bastille, 75011 Paris
8. International Agricultural Show (February 25th-March 5th)
If you’re interested in farming and local food in France (or just want to go see some farm animals), check out the annual Salon international de l’agriculture. The expo will feature livestock, fruits and vegetables, culinary expositions, agricultural experts, and more. This year’s theme is “Farming: a Passion, a Set of Ambitions.” Check out the culinary products section (free tastings!), the crops and plants area (a great breath of fresh air), and the livestock breeding section (where there will probably be animals!). Insider tip, there’s a special entrance for families (entrance B) where you can get special I.D. bracelets for children. Tickets are available for purchase at the door; the full price is 14€ but there are plenty of discounts available for very young children, kids, students, and disabled visitors. See ticket prices here.
Paris Expo Porte de Versailles- 1 Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris
9. Paris Carnival (February 26th)
Dating back to the 16th century (at the earliest!) Paris has held a carnival following the Feast of Fools. For about 40 years the parade went on hiatus, finally returning in 1997. For it’s 20th revival anniversary, this year’s Paris Carnival will take place on February 26th, starting at Gambetta at 2 p.m (Paris 20ème, métro Gambetta) and marching all the way to the Place de la République, where the party will continue until 8 p.m. Expect to see bright colors, costumes, performers, live music, and lots of excitement. This year’s theme is La Ronde des fruits et légumes autour du monde, or the “Circle of Fruits and Vegetables Around the World.”
Place Gambetta, 75020 Paris
10. Frédéric Bazille Exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay (November 15th, 2016-through March 5th, 2017)
There is no style of art more emotional than impressionism, where brush stroke, color, and light reign powerful. To see some of the best of this style, check out another of Paris’s famous museums, and see the Musée d’Orsay‘s “Frédéric Bazille: The Youth of Impressionism” exhibit. The exhibit shows Bazille’s paintings among those of other artists, such as Monet, Renoir, and Delacroix. The display runs all through February at the museum’s Exposition temporaire on level five. As with any art display in Paris, this will be sure not to disappoint.
Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris