With its short days and grim weather, February can be a difficult month.
Fortunately, there is lots going on to keep you entertained.
Here’s our pick:
Virtual reality tour of Notre-Dame (all month) – Ever since being devastated by a fire in 2019, Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral has been largely closed off to the public. But since January 15th, visitors to the Espace Grande Arche de la Défense just outside Paris have been able to don a virtual reality headset and go on a journey through 800 years of the cathedral’s history.
A portion of the ticket sales go towards renovation works of the cathedral itself. The VR exhibition will move to Ile de la Cité in Paris during the Spring. You can buy tickets here.
La Chandeleur (February 2nd) – February 2nd marks La Chandeleur, aka the French pancake day. As well as eating lots of delicious crêpes, the French also have a complicated and fun set of superstitions around this day which apparently bring good luck for the year ahead.
If you’re not confident in your skills as home crêpe-maker, get yourself down to your closest Breton restaurant to celebrate in style.
Six Nations Rugby (February 6th and 12th) – The French rugby team is currently one of the best in the world. In February, the Stade de France stadium just outside of Paris will play host to two Six Nations games – the annual competition between the top European rugby nations.
On February 6th, France will play Italy and on February 12th, it will take on Ireland (The France v England game, known as Le Crunch is on March 19th). Tickets for the France-Italy game are still on sale here. A vaccine pass is required to access sports stadiums.
Winter sales (End on February 8th) – Most of France will be holding post-Christmas sales up until February 8th, but the businesses the départements of Moselle, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle and Les Vosges will have finished their sales by the end of January.
A Romantic Valentine’s in Strasbourg (February 10th-14th) – Many people think of Paris as the City of Love but if you want an alternative location to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Strasbourg is the place for you.
The city is beautiful at this time of year, with golden lights illuminating its medieval buildings. A four-day festival called Strasbourg Mon Amour leads up to Valentine’s Day. Visitors can take part in massage workshops, romantic cruises along the river and concerts. The festival will go ahead this year despite the Covid pandemic, although some activities will require you to hold a vaccine pass. You can read more HERE.
Nice Carnival (February 11th-27th) – The Nice carnival is ranked among the top three in the world alongside Rio and Venice and has been going on since the 13th century. The opening ceremony is scheduled for February 11th although a jam-packed calendar of activities is scheduled until February 27th. The theme of this year’s event is “King of the Animals”. You can find more information HERE. Naturally, changes may be made depending on the latest Covid situation.
Lemon Festival (February 12th-27th) – Never been to a festival with 180 tonnes of citrus fruit? Well this is your chance. Every year a lemon festival is held in Menton, which is in the southeast France, near the border with Italy.
There are exhibitions, talks and tastings on all things lemon. There are also parties, parades and spectacular light shows. Some of the events are free while others are fee paying. Mask wearing and vaccine pass rules will apply. Read more about this event HERE.
Winter Jazz Festival (February 17th-20th) – The northern French town of Le Touquet hosts a three day jazz festival with concerts held in bars, hotels, restaurants and in the street. Jazz aficionados will be impressed by this year’s headliners which include Michel Jonasz, Kimberose, Kurt Elling and Ibrahim Maalouf. You can find more on this event HERE.
International Games Festival (February 25th-27th) – This is a fun festival for people of all ages. Held in the Festival Palace of Cannes, it is a celebration of all things ludic with thousands of video games, board games, escape games, VR games, card games and more.
Visitors get the chance to play and learn about games and listen to talks from manufacturers themselves. This event is free but certain fee-paying VIP access is possible. The vaccine pass and mask wearing rules will apply. Read more about the event HERE.
Paris Agricultural Show (February 26th-March 6th) – While you might feel like a factory-farmed chicken when riding a crammed Parisian Metro service, it is actually pretty rare to come across farm animals in the city.
The annual agriculture fair, known as the Salon de l’Agriculture, provides an exception to this. Visitors get to see prize-winning livestock and learn all about French agriculture. There are also tastings, talks, bars and musical performances. You may even spot French President Emmanuel Macron and his rivals milling around. You can buy tickets HERE.