Winter in Paris

Your guide to cultural events and entertainment in the capital this January and February

Soldes d’Hiver 8 January to 11 February

Even if you are feeling the post-Christmas pinch, it will be hard to resist the allure of the annual winter sales that take place across France. In the capital, the five-week state-regulated season sees both designer-brand and high-street shops knocking down the price tags on the previous year’s stock, drawing in fashion lovers and bargain hunters hoping for a piece of Parisian chic on the cheap.

Renaissance et Rêve

Until 26 January

Dreams, nightmares and other ethereal visions found in Renaissance art make up the themes of this exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg. Around 80 works are on show from such European masters as Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, El Greco and Paolo Veronese.

Tel: (Fr) 1 40 13 62 00

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Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain

23-26 January

Since its launch in 1977, Paris’s annual circus festival has grown into an important showcase for young talent from around the world. More than 1,000 acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers, clowns and trapeze artists perform for the audience and judges under the big top of the Cirque Phénix in the 12th arrondissement.

Tel: (Fr) 1 40 68 07 72


5-9 February

Thousands of motoring fans and collectors will be making tracks for the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre for the 39th running of the Rétromobile classic car show. The event is now so popular that it is being staged for the first time in the largest pavilion, which has more than 40,000 square metres of display space. Around 400 exhibitors are showcasing 500 examples of automotive excellence, which include displays of vehicles from World War I and luxury cars once owned by Indian maharajas. Beyond the car displays, visitors can browse through art galleries and trade stands selling auto memorabilia and equipment. A highlight of Rétromobile in recent years has been the auction of some of the world’s most desirable cars. The pressure is on to beat last year’s total of €14.6 million, a record for such a sale in France.

Tel: (Fr) 1 76 77 13 01

Raymond Depardon: Un Moment si Doux

Until 10 February

Photographer and documentary film maker Raymond Depardon is probably best-known for his official portrait of President François Hollande, standing in the Élysée Palace gardens. However, an exhibition at the Grand Palais shows the richness and diversity of his work in a career that has lasted more than half a century. Gathering together more than 150 images, half of which have never been seen in public, the display traces a career that has taken the around the world. After viewing his iconic monochrome pictures of Parisian streets and a portrait of the singer Édith Piaf, visitors can follow the photographer to the open spaces of the USA, Africa and South America.

Tel: (Fr) 1 44 13 17 17

Serge Poliakoff: Le Rêve des Formes

Until 23 February

The Musée d’Art Moderne dedicates a large-scale retrospective to the Russian-born French abstract painter whose post-war art was characterised by bold colours and geometric shapes. This first major exhibition of his work since the 1970s will feature 150 paintings from 1946 until his death in 1969.

Tel: (Fr) 1 53 67 40 00

Salon International de l’Agriculture

22 February to 2 March

A taste of country life comes to the capital as France’s top agricultural show takes over the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. The show, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, offers a variety of pastoral pleasures: children will love petting their favourite farm animals, while adults can pick up regional produce and find out more about gardening, animal rearing and organic agriculture.

Patinoire Hôtel de Ville

Until 2 March

Embrace winter and work off some of those Christmas indulgences by whizzing around the outdoor ice rink set up in the square in front of the city hall. Entry is free and skate hire is available on. Experienced skaters can practise their figure of eight on the main rink while novices and younger skaters can use a smaller adjacent rink.