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A view over the rooftops of Paris
A view over the rooftops of Paris | © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
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What's on in Paris in February

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 23 March 2017
Yes, February, with its dreaded/adored Valentine’s Day, is a time for lovers and Paris is the City of Love but there’s more to do here this month than take cute selfies and eat candlelit dinners with your soulmate. There are exhibitions and fairs featuring the best of art and design, concerts and festivals for lovers of classical and electro music, and spectacular parades to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Carnaval de Paris.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1st – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5th

Works by Picasso and Giacometti │© François Philipp / The 40-year-old Centre Pompidou │© Sean Liu (Escaping to real world) / Chinese New Year celebrations in Paris in 2014 │© Charles Talbot
Works by Picasso and Giacometti │ | © François Philipp / The 40-year-old Centre Pompidou │| Sean Liu (Escaping to real world) / Chinese New Year celebrations in Paris in 2014 │| Charles Talbot

ART │ Catch Picasso-Giacometti and other fall exhibitions while you still can

📅 Until Sunday, February 5th

The Picasso-Giacometti exhibition, the first ever combined showing of these two 20th-century masters, is composed of more than 200 artworks from the Musée Picasso, the Fondation Giacometti, and private collections. A number of the other big shows from the autumn season, which started in September and October, will also be closing in the coming weeks.

Tickets: €12.50

📍 Musée National Picasso, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France. +33 1 85 56 00 36

ART │ Pop open the bubbly and toast the Centre Pompidou, 40 and still fabulous

📅 Saturday, February 4th – Sunday, February 5th (10AM to 11PM)

The year-long and nationwide celebration of the Centre Pompidou 40th birthday kicks off on the first weekend in February with 48 hours of free access to all of the museum’s exhibits. The Saturday program also includes a surrealist parade, impromptu concerts, and a Monochrome Ball in the evening. On Sunday, you can take part in a philosophical aerobics session (whatever that entails) among other festivities.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France. +33 1 44 78 12 33

HOLIDAY │ Celebrate Chinese New Year in Paris’ Asian Quarter

📅 Sunday, February 5th (1PM to 5PM)

Chinese New Year has been celebrated in Paris’ Asian Quarter with a massive street party since the 1980s. More than 200,000 people line the boulevards of the 13th arrondissement to watch the colorful parade, which is made up of 40 groups and more than 2,000 dancers. Afterwards, everyone streams into the neighborhood’s amazing restaurants and bars for some tasty food and an evening of merriment.

Tickets: Free.

📍 The parade starts on Avenue d’Ivry, 75013 Paris, France.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6th – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12th

Rétromobile in 2014 │© Thibault Le Mer / Orchestra at the Maison de la Radio │© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Opening of the 2015 Six Nations at the Stade de France │© Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay
Rétromobile in 2014 │ | © Thibault Le Mer / Orchestra at the Maison de la Radio │| Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Opening of the 2015 Six Nations at the Stade de France │| Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay

TECH │ Cruise on down to Rétromobile to see some incredible vintage cars

📅 Wednesday, February 8th – Sunday, February 12th

Whether you love vintage cars for the quality of their craftsmanship and design or because they awaken in you the feeling that you might just be a James or Jane Bond in the making, there will be over 500 spectacular models to admire (and maybe touch) at Rétromobile. This is the best international classic car show of them all and more than 550 exhibitors will travel to Paris, eager to make sales and inspire a new generation of enthusiasts.

Tickets: €18 (free for under-12s).

📍 Paris Porte de Versailles (VIPARIS), 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France. +33 1 40 68 22 22

MUSIC │ Meet the newest crop of contemporary composers at the Présences festival

📅 Friday, February 10th – Sunday, February 19th

Every year, the people in the know at Radio France invite the brightest talent in contemporary composition to give a series of concerts at the Maison de la Radio‘s awesome auditorium. Présences is now on to its 26th edition, promising once again to deliver the music of our time.

Tickets: €10

📍 Maison de la Radio, 116 Avenue du Président Kennedy, 75016 Paris, France. +33 1 56 40 22 22

SPORT │ Get your head in the game with the start of Six Nations rugby

📅 Sunday, February 12th

The first match of this year’s tournament on French soil will see the home side take on their kilted friends in the north, Scotland, and it’s sure to be an exciting one. If you prefer the convenience of a city center bar to the atmosphere of the national stadium, then check out these Parisian venues with big screens and low prices.

Tickets: €15 to €125.

📍 Stade de France, 93216 Saint-Denis, France. +33 1 55 93 01 49

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13th – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19th

Bercy Village │© Gaurav Mishra / Grand Palais │© Fred PO / Music festival │© Unsplash
Bercy Village │ | © Gaurav Mishra / Grand Palais │| Fred PO / Music festival │| Unsplash

HOLIDAY │ Pinch the pennies (if nothing else) this Valentine’s Day at Bercy Village

📅 Tuesday, February 14th

As you can imagine, the influx of romance-seeking tourists to Paris around Valentine’s Day makes the holiday seem like it’s on steroids. One of the less touristy places in the city to spend the day is Bercy Village. This former wine stockyard, which has been transformed into an outdoor shopping and restaurant complex, will be turned pink for the day and, if you can handle that, there will also be booths offering free beauty treatments for women and men.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Bercy Village, 28 Rue François Truffaut, 75012 Paris, France. +33 825 16 60 75

ART │ Spend big at Art Capital or don’t at the Grand Salon d’art abordable

📅 Wednesday, February 15th and Friday, February 17th – Sunday, February 19th

Two essential art shows to check out in one weekend? Only in Paris! The first of the two, the prestigious Art Capital, held in the phenomenal main hall of the Grand Palais, will bring together the work of 2,500 international artists. The second, called the Great Affordable Art Show in English, will take place at the rather more understated La Bellevilloise, a bar and music venue in Belleville. There will be around 400 artworks on sale, with price tags ranging from €50 to €5,000.

Tickets: €15 or €8 for Art Capital and €5 for the Grand Salon d’art abordable

📍 Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris, France. +33 1 44 13 17 17

📍 La Bellevilloise, 19-21 Rue Boyer, 75020 Paris, France. +33 1 46 36 07 07

MUSIC │ Shake your tail feathers at The Peacock Society Festival

📅 Friday, February 17th – Saturday, February 18th

February might seem a bit early in the year for a garden party but the flamboyant folk at The Peacock Society aren’t bothered with such trivial details as snow and frostbite. For their annual festival of techno and electro, the collective will be taking over a corner of the gorgeous Parc Floral in Paris, one complete with a converted warehouse, chill out spaces, and literal think tanks. You can expect amazing DJ sets, cool art exhibitions, decent food, and plenty of drinking options.

Tickets: €35 to €44 per night.

📍 Parc Floral de Paris, Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris, France. +33 1 49 57 25 50

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20th – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28th

One of 1,600 posters on the streets of Paris, London, and New York on the theme of sport │ Courtesy of the Graphic Design Festival / A horse show at the Salon international de l’agriculture │© Marc CARAVEO / A painted parade member in the Promenade du Boeuf Gras │© belgianchocolate
One of 1,600 posters on the streets of Paris, London, and New York on the theme of sport │ Courtesy of the Graphic Design Festival / A horse show at the Salon international de l’agriculture │ | © Marc CARAVEO / A painted parade member in the Promenade du Boeuf Gras │| belgianchocolate

DESIGN │ Marvel at hot new trends at the Graphic Design Festival

📅 Until Wednesday, February 22nd

The Graphic Design Festival, which is running for five weeks between January 11th and February 22nd, aims to provide a meeting place for practitioners and an entry point to this cool and creative world for interested outsiders. Already, 1,600 posters designed specifically for the event and on the theme of sport have been spread across Paris. (Can anyone smell an Olympics bid?) Other events on offer include film screenings, workshops, and conferences with some of the biggest names in design.

Tickets: Free.

📍 All over Paris but based at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 44 55 57 50

FOOD │ Get your farmer on at the Salon international de l’agriculture

📅 Saturday, February 25th – Sunday, March 5th

Traipsing around vast convention halls filled with horses, cows, and pigs as well as other, more exotic farmyard animals, not to mention several tons of their combined droppings, might not seem like a particularly Parisian way to spend an afternoon but it is, in fact, an amazing day out, and one the locals are extremely enthusiastic about. It is also a great way to sample some delicious regional cuisine from France and further afield without having to go to all that hassle of leaving the city.

Tickets: €7 to €14.

📍 Paris Porte de Versailles (VIPARIS), 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France. +33 1 40 68 22 22

CULTURE │ Heat up the coldest month of the year at the Carnaval de Paris

📅 Sunday, February 26th

The festive, costumed parade from the Place Gambetta through the streets of Paris is the centerpiece of the Carnaval de Paris, an event that has been celebrated in one form or another for nearly 1,000 years. The party will start at 1pm and the parade will set off at 2pm. The theme this year is typically French, which is to say completely bizarre to outsiders: round fruits and vegetables of the world. You can pick up a suitably fruity outfit at one of Paris’ best costume shops.

Tickets: Free.

📍 All over Paris but the parade starts at Place Gambetta, 75020 Paris, France.