In the depths of winter, as the mercury drops sharply in the French capital, lovers’ hearts are ablaze on 14 February, Valentine’s Day.
Throughout the month, Paris has any number of things for couples to do: exhibitions, concerts, shows, fairs and more. Take your pick!
More info on Romantic Paris
Sit back and enjoy a live performance of classical music!
The pianist Martha Argerich and the cellist Mischa Maisky will perform a recital at the Philharmonie de Paris (on 4 February 2020) of music by Brahms, Schumann and Shostakovich.
Other must-sees at the Philharmonie: a recital of works by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy by the renowned pianist Nelson Freire (on 10 February 2020), not to mention the piano superstar Lang Lang’s much-anticipated return to Paris (on 24 February 2020). He will be accompanied on this occasion by the Orchestre de Paris under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach.
Love is the theme of two of major exhibitions that are well worth seeing: De l’Amour (On Love) at the Palais de la Découverte (on until 30 August 2020) et Cœurs. Du romantisme dans l’art contemporain (Hearts. The Romantic movement in contemporary art) at the Musée de la Vie Romantique (from 14 February to 12 July 2020).
The Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac is hosting an exhibition titled Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths until 29 March 2020, with 230 exceptional pieces providing unique insights into the traditional skills of West African blacksmiths. An exhibition at the Fondation Cartier contemporary art museum focuses (from 30 January to 10 May 2020) on the work of one of Brazil’s best-known photographers, Claudia Andujar, and her activism on behalf of the Amazon Basin’s Yanomami Indians.
The Palais de la Porte Dorée is devoting an entire exhibition (from 26 February to 26 July 2020) to the iconic French shoe designer Christian Louboutin and the influences that have informed his creative practice. Artificial intelligence and neuroscience are the focus of Neurones. Les intelligences simulées, an exhibition (from 26 February 2020) at the Pompidou Centre.
The Musée Marmottan Monet is hosting an exhibition titled Cézanne and the Master Painters. A Dream of Italy (from 27 February to 5 July 2020). More than 60 artworks show how Cezanne’s painting was influenced by great Italian 16th-to-19th-century painters such as Tintoretto, El Greco, Giordano and Sironi. Visitors will be able to admire such Cezanne masterpieces as Montagne Sainte-Victoire.
The South of France provides the setting of an exhibition opening at the Atelier des Lumières (on 28 February 2020). The immersive show, titled Monet, Renoir … Chagall. Journeys around the Mediterranean, examines the way in which the Mediterranean Sea impacted painters working in a variety of styles, from Impressionism and Pointillism to Fauvism and modern art. This new exhibition will appeal to visitors of all ages.
Last chance to see
In February there’s still time to catch up with some of the top 2019 exhibitions, after which it will be too late.:
- Kiki Smith at the Monnaie de Paris (until 9 February2020)
- Le Greco at the Grand Palais (until 10 February 2020)
- The Golden Age of English painting. From Reynolds to Turner. Masterpieces from Tate Britain at the musée du Luxembourg (until 16 February 2020)
- Contrepoint contemporain / Tosani. Reflets et transpercements at the musée de l’Orangerie (until 17 February 2020)
- Luca Giordano (1634 - 1705). Le triomphe du baroque napolitain at the Petit Palais (until 23 February 2020)
- Pierre et Gilles, la fabrique des idoles at the Philharmonie de Paris (until 23 February 2020)
- From the Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine at the Musée Maillol (until 23 February 2020)
- Le monde nouveau de Charlotte Perriand -at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (until 24 February 2020)
- Léonard de Vinci at the musée du Louvre (until 24 February 2020)
Fairs, festivities and festivals
As the new year unfolds, the Maison de la Radio will be filled with the music of our time at Présences, Radio France’s festival honouring young musical composers. The 30th edition of the festival will take place( from 7 to 16 February 2020).
February is also carnival month. Mark your calendars: the Carnaval de Paris takes place on Place Gambetta (on 23 February 2020). This joyful parade of floats and people wearing colourful costumes adds warmth and sparkle to a chilly winter’s day!
Classic car enthusiasts will also be drawn to Porte de Versailles to visit Rétromobile (from 5 to 9 February 2020), the international show with superb vintage and heritage cars on display.
Contemporary dance is on the agenda in February, with a tribute to George Balanchine (from 3 February to 1 April 2020) at the Opéra Bastille and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne paying homage to the great French choreographer with a show titled Béjart fête Maurice (from 26 to 29 February 2020) at the Palais des Congrès de Paris.
Swan Lake is being performed at La Seine Musicale (on 1 and 2 February 2020) by the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre and subsequently (on 21 and 23 February 2020) at the Palais des Congrès de Paris by the Russian State Ballet & Opera. And, if you are fascinated by magic (particularly illusions), don’t miss Dani Lary’s new show Tic Tac (on 21 and 22 February 2020) at the Casino de Paris.
Music fans are spoilt for choice this month with several big must-see concerts: Madonna (from 18 February to 8 March 2020) at the Grand Rex; Angèle (from 18 to 20 February 2020), the Jonas Brothers (on 22 February 2020) and Lana del Rey (on 23 February 2020) at the AccorHotels Arena; DJ Snake (on 22 February 2020) at Paris La Défense Arena, and Liam Gallagher (on 21 February 2020) and James Blunt (on 27 February 2020) at the Zénith de Paris – all in all, a line-up with broad-ranging appeal.
Are you a rugby fan? February marks the kick-off of the legendary 6 Nations Tournament. Head to the Stade de France on 2 February for the France v. England game and on 9 February for the France v. Italy game.
On the athletics front, the Meeting de Paris Indoor (on 2 February 2020) at the AccorHotels Arena will bring the top French and international stars together to compete under the same roof.
Tussles on tatami mats are also on the cards at this time ! Judo fans, mark your calendars - the AccorHotels Arena will host the Paris Judo Grand Slam 2020 (on 8 February 2020), with the most experienced judokas involved in the competition.
Hip-hop dance and breakdancing will take the spotlight at the Théâtre du Châtelet (on 8 February 2020) during the Paris Battle Pro French championship. This is a great opportunity for fans of street dance and urban dance culture at large to watch performances by some of the world’s best dancers.
This is also a good month for ice hockey enthusiasts, as the French Cup final will be played at the AccorHotels Arena (on 16 February 2020).
Children in Ile-de-France look forward to February, because they have a two-week break from school. If you’re wondering how to keep them entertained, don’t worry: there’s no shortage of ideas for things to do in Paris and around!
The city’s museums have a variety of exhibitions suited to young visitors, ranging from contemporary art shows to more classic art displays.
The Petite Galerie at the Louvre is hosting Figure d’artiste (until 29 June 2020), an exhibition examining how the figure of the artist as we understand it today emerged, while the Musée en Herbe has put together an exhibition (until 22 March 2020) focusing on the work of the street artist L’Atlas.
Introducing small children to classical music: that is the mission of the Orchestre Colonne. Several times a month, the musicians put on concerts specially designed for children at the Salle Wagram. On 9 February 2020, the children will play Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2.