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What to do in January 2024

Happy New Year 2024!

December has just ended, and the Christmas holidays are drawing to a close. After spending a lovely end-of-year holiday season with family, it’s time to get a breath of fresh air. In January, step out of your cozy home to enjoy the great events in the capital: culinary fairs dedicated to diving and architecture; exhibitions to see at the Museum of Decorative Arts or the Quai Branly Museum; a gigantic immersive light-filled journey through a tropical jungle at the Jardin des Plantes; a scavenger hunt in a must-see monument; an extraordinary and unprecedented exhibition paying tribute to the unforgettable king of rock, Johnny Hallyday; and the magical shows of Fashion Week. A cultural program and experiences not to be missed for well-filled winter days! And what would a January day be without a slice of King’s cake? This delicious treat, perfect to enjoy with a hot cup of tea or chocolate after a day out or shopping, is ideal for celebrating Epiphany. Forget about Europe: grab your ticket to discover Paris and other regions of France. Colivys reveals its best outing ideas in this article!

Gourmet stop for a King's Cake!

If there’s one must-have in January, it’s the King’s Cake. Tasty and rich, it originates from a Christian feast celebrating the arrival of the Messiah (and not Lionel Messi, just to be clear). Celebrated on January 6 or the first Sunday of the month. Historically, it symbolizes the search for and celebration of divine light, becoming a symbol of Epiphany over the centuries. Beyond its religious aspect, which has become embedded in secular culture over time, this culinary gem particularly excites those with a sweet tooth.

Whether it’s the King’s Crown in Spain or Portugal, or the King’s Cake (galette des rois in French) in France, there are various delicious variations. In France, pastry chefs offer delicious versions, from the traditional frangipane-filled galette to the most contemporary creations. More than just a pastry, it represents the emblem of France this month. If you’re a sweets enthusiast and want to partake in this celebration, with family, friends, or roommates, know that all bakeries in France offer it.

We have our favorites in Paris that we recommend you try! If you like to cook, you can even make it yourself, like a chef. And what’s more, it costs almost nothing. You’ll see, your ordinary winter day will have a much better (and tastier) flavor.

The Jungle comes to Paris

Meet at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris for the 5th edition of an unprecedented and extraordinary journey. This year, the museum takes you on a sensory journey to the four corners of the world to discover sublime biodiversity. Amphibians, fish, flowers, and other living beings from Latin America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa: the humid tropical forests account for nearly half of the world’s animal and plant species. The Jardin des Plantes has decided to highlight these animals alongside the flora by offering a path of illuminated statues, sculptures, and animations.

Open until January 21, “Mini-World Set For Illumination” promises beautiful and unusual nighttime strolls. Evenings spent wandering, eyes filled with wonder at the beauty of this staging, rediscovering your inner child. The purpose of this beautiful activity is not just aesthetic. This journey also raises awareness about the conservation of this ecosystem.

An exclusive visit of the Panthéon

Move over, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and other well-trodden Parisian landmarks. We suggest a unique outing to one of the most beautiful temples: the Panthéon. The exclusive tour of the Panthéon offers a unique perspective, far from the usual tourist clichés. Until January 24, the Latin Quarter’s cultural hotspot is hosting a few nocturnal visits for its 7th edition. Guided by your flashlight, you’ll wander through the famous crypt where great figures who have marked France’s history are buried: Joséphine Baker, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Simone Veil. This is followed by a stroll to discover the Nave and all the hidden artworks. The highlight of the tour is at the base of Foucault’s Pendulum.

The walk is interspersed with quizzes to find clues that will help you understand this place. Each question leads you through the corridors of the Panthéon, revealing its historical significance. More than just a visit, it’s a deep dive into the past, a journey through French culture and history, all within the impressive setting of the Panthéon.

January means winter sales!

Are you a shopping enthusiast or just need to refresh your wardrobe? An essential activity of the season, the winter sales are in full swing from January 10 to February 6. Downtown boutiques or shopping centers across France: all will offer their best deals. It’s the perfect time to put on your boots and embark on a shopping expedition for incredible finds. The sales aren’t limited to fashion

Whether you’re passionate about music or photography, these sales offer the opportunity to find unique items. For sports enthusiasts, this period is ideal for finding quality sports equipment at advantageous prices. With these discounts, it’s a great way to spend the money you might have received for Christmas, right? A tip to make your shopping even more enjoyable? Go at night. Whether you’re in the capital or other cities like Lille, Strasbourg, or Lyon, the downtown streets offer a unique shopping experience. Between the modernity of the stores, the architecture of the facades, and the surrounding atmosphere, it’s an experience you’re sure to enjoy.

Fashionistas: Fashion Week is back!

Let’s continue talking about fashion. Men’s Fashion Week lands in Paris, the capital of fashion, for a new edition! From January 16 to 21, the most anticipated international show returns to present its men’s haute couture collections for Autumn-Winter 2024-2025. Fashion Week is much more than a mere clothing parade: this is where trends are born. Organized in prestigious and iconic locations like the Palais de Tokyo or on the street, on a sidewalk, the shows offer a carefully thought-out staging. A real alchemy or deliberate contrast between clothing design and modern art.

As you may know, Fashion Week is selective. You can’t enter without an invitation. Major fashion houses have sought to flip the script and make this bustling moment accessible to all by broadcasting their shows on social media.

So, you can admire the creations of French designers Paul and François Loui, Jean-Paul Gaultier, or Chanel. It’s an opportunity to check out the latest trends and discover emerging talents. A spectacle watched closely by fashion enthusiasts, celebrities, and influencers from around the world.

Exhibitions galore!

Cinema is not to be overlooked!

We agree, when the winter chill sets in, we’d rather stay cozy in bed than venture out. The weather might not be the most pleasant, but we’ve found a way for you to enjoy your January: museum-hopping! It’s the perfect time to explore the numerous museums scattered throughout France. Since museums aren’t just in Paris or the Île-de-France region, here are our favorite exhibitions to admire in all the cities where Colivys is present:

  • In Paris, head to the Quai Branly Museum. It presents the “Shamanic Visions” exhibition, exploring contemporary issues related to the relationship between hallucinatory images and iconographic productions of the Peruvian Amazon “under influence”. In a different style, the exhibition “Loading: Urban Art in the Digital Age” might catch your fancy. The Grand Palais Immersif (offspring of the RMN – National Museums Reunion) offers an ode to street art, mainly found in the subways of New York and the alleys of Miami. Also on display are Johnny Hallyday the exhibition, Berthe Morisot and 18th-century art, and many more.
  • In Lyon, the Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication has opened “La Fabrique” to two resident artists. Hadrien Pelletier and Laura Ben Haïba share their visions and reflections in images on what the book of the future could be, sharing their influences and daily work. The Galerie Le Réverbère, meanwhile, extends its exhibition “Inde(s) au pluriel” until January 27. Six photographers offer to (re)discover nearly 70 years of digital snapshots reflecting this South Asian country.
  • In Marseille, the City History Museum hosts the activist exhibitionWhere There Was Oppression, There Was Resistance – 1983-2023 – The March for Equality and Against Racism”. It traces 40 years of the fight for equality and against racism across France. A necessary exhibition to better understand this collective history. In a completely different register, the exhibition “Poetry & Light – Jean-Pierre Blanche”, pays tribute to this artist. As a visitor, you’ll discover at the Museum Regards de Provence various representations of the beauty of Southern landscapes, skies, fields, and seashores under the brush of this painter who passed away in 2022.
  • In Toulouse, the exhibitionReversed Reality” questions the relationship to reality in a constantly changing world at the Cultural Center Théâtre des Mazades. The Toulouse Museum, for its part, reveals a little-known facet of plants and animals in “Sex-Appeal, the Scandalous Life of Nature”. An exhibition that will undoubtedly make you reflect on certain aspects of your life?
  • Finally, in Strasbourg, the 5th Lieu lets you discover the city through its entrails in the exhibition “Strasbourg: River and Port Metropolis“. A discovery of the different water transport networks and uses of ports, from rivers to ports. The Archaeology Museum welcomes the exhibition “A Dinghof in Schiltigheim. Archaeology on Every Level”. A discovery of the neighboring city of Schiltigheim, from prehistory to the present day, through archaeological excavations.

If exhibitions and museums aren’t really your cup of tea, let yourself be tempted by the 7th art. Yes, we’re talking about cinema, and this year, the agenda is packed. Many films will be screened in your favorite Parisian and regional theaters this month. Here’s our selection to enjoy with some popcorn, chips, or chocolates:

  • Wonka: Released in mid-December, this film was one of the most anticipated at the end of 2023. A nearly 2-hour journey through the life of the young Willy Wonka, a chocolate expert, who wants to open his shop. Aided by his oompa-loompas, you’ll follow his adventures that gave life to an empire and a most zany universe (does Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ring a bell?). If you didn’t have time to see it before the holidays, don’t worry: it’s still in theaters.
  • Priscilla: This biopic retraces the life of Priscilla, the wife of the famous Elvis Presley, from their meeting to her emancipation from a life that was anything but smooth sailing. The King’s only woman, still a teenager, molded like a doll by her lover. An undisputed American icon who has spanned centuries.
  • The Three Musketeers: Milady: This film follows “The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan”, both adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel. In this new episode led by François Civil, Vincent Cassel, and Eva Green, D’Artagnan must free Constance Bonacieux, Anne of Austria’s loyal ally whom D’Artagnan falls deeply in love with. For nearly two hours, this fantastic film promises to take you on a journey through all the most beautiful castles, monuments, and sites of Île-de-France, Brittany, and the Hexagon. A visual stroll and a heritage highlighted in this film that will surely leave an impression on you.

Who said festivals are only made for Summer?

Indeed, festivals and concerts don’t wait for spring and sunshine to appear. Forget April; there’s no set date to enjoy them. Festivals are organized year-round, in November, December, January, and even February. Here’s our special music selection just for you:

  • Hyper Weekend Festival: Held at the Maison de la Radio site, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, facing the Seine, Radio France organized this festival. Get ready for 3 exceptional days to start the year on the rhythm of the new French scene. Philippe Katerine, Zaho de Sagazan, and Eddy de Pretto await you from January 26 to 28 for grand live concerts, far from those you may have already experienced.
  • Sons d’Hiver: Meet in several towns near Paris, in the Val-de-Marne department to enjoy about thirty concerts of all kinds. Jazz, rock, hip-hop, and more: an eclectic, captivating, and contemporary musical and cultural program. The festival isn’t just for entertainment. It’s a real discovery and opening to the world with numerous foreign artists coming to play in human-sized halls and theaters.
  • Plug & Play: Bye-bye Paris! Hello Lyon! Yes, it’s in the city of lights that the 13th edition of this unique festival takes place. A 15-day “marathon festival” where you can show off your best dance moves to a mix of pop, reggae, and folk sounds. About fifteen workshops and artistic performances will be organized, like the contemporary cabaret “Cirque Queer”.

Another leisure activity to add to your list of outings this month.

Plan your next trip with Tourissima!

This new tourism-focused fair is back for another edition. First stopping in Lille, before touring Lyon and Paris. If you’re craving an escape, this is the place to be from January 26 to 28

Your ideal guide. Three days to dream big with a wide range of wonderful destinations. For the seasoned traveler, you’ll have choices: camping in nature along a river in Savoie or Switzerland, lounging on the beaches of Mexico or the Indian Ocean (perfect for diving, by the way), a van road trip along the coast, an urban stay in New York, or renting a villa with a pool in Saint-Raphaël. You’ll have plenty to plan your next summer, September, or October holidays.

Even in winter, Versailles is always a good idea!

Our final stop, close to Paris, is at one of the most beautiful and must-see places in France: the Palace of Versailles. Put on your shoes and coat because you must visit it in winter. Less crowded than in summer, it’s during this season that it truly reveals itself. Winter brings a sumptuous light that shows the paintings in a different angle. A light that also reflects on the gilding on the mirrors and windows of the Hall of Mirrors. A natural spectacle that you will also find in the gigantic park.

A domain of several hectares, gardens as far as the eye can see, the Queen’s Hamlet, all accessible from a royal path: the Saint-Antoine gate. It may be a bit cold for hours of wandering, but all these surprises are worth it.

As you can see, January 2024 promises to be an extraordinary period, harmoniously merging a multitude of unique experiences.

January is also about renewal, so don’t hesitate to reflect on your resolutions for the year, sign up for a yoga or pilates class to relax, discover the newly restored Hôtel de la Marine, sing and dance in a concert pit, and most importantly, enjoy the pleasures of this month with your friends and loved ones. With this great program, you can make the most of your January. Which of these ideas do you want to try?