Soft music playing at a cafe lit with fairy lights, where the serveur brings you a delightful cup of hot chocolate and macaroons - a classic winter evening in Paris! From November to February, Paris is mesmerizing and intriguing at the same time. The temperature dips to a chilling 4 degree Celsius and sometimes lower, making it- the best time to flaunt those cozy mufflers and jackets, while walking down streets lit with Christmas and New Year decorations. Exploring the museums, cafes and quaint vintage shops swaddled in warm winter clothes and walking along snow- carpeted rues makes for the picture perfect year-end getaway. The glittering Eiffel Tower, illuminated every night with 20,000 light bulbs, is not the only reason to visit the mystical and romantic ‘La Ville-Lumière’ or the City of Light. We bring you a host of interesting reasons to put Paris on your winter itinerary!
Average Temperature During Winter In Paris
If you have the winter wanderlust bug in you, then Paris is the perfect place for you to visit this holiday season. The winter months, November to February, are chilly in Paris and the average temperature is 5°C in January and 3°C in February. There are many perks of braving the cold - fewer tourists around, Christmas sales and ice skating to name a few!
5 Reasons To Visit Paris In Winter
1. ‘In Vino Veritas’ : In Wine Lies the Truth
The French are true masters of wine making!A glass of lightly spiced mulled wine is a great way to stay warm and savor the fine flavors of French vineyards.
2. French Retail Therapy
Who doesn’t like to shop on a vacation? If you visit Paris between January 8th and February 11th, get ready for a luxurious makeover at 75% slashed prices!
3. Floating on Ice in the Midst of Architectural Gems
Ice skating at the Patinoire Pailleron, a renovated Art Deco sports complex, offers an 800-meter ice rink experience at only €3.50 per person. There are many such ice skating rinks across Paris when you visit in the winter!
Big Savings on Airfare
While airlines mark up most domestic and international tickets during the holiday season, (especially in December), flying to Paris is considerably cheaper in February through March with special prices right before spring.
Escape the Crowds and Glide into Attractions
Since the cold temperature dissuades many tourists to skip the winter months, it’s a perk for those who like to travel at their own pace and enjoy the hidden gems of a city. All the museums and attractions are less crowded and local transportation is smoother during the winter months.
Things To Do In Paris During Winter
Visit One of the Many Museums in Paris
Paris houses over a hundred museums, from the famous Louvre Museum to the Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin Museum. You can pick from the largest museum in the world - the Louvre or the Louis Vuitton Foundation, a mecca for fashionistas; you can never go wrong with museums in Paris.KNOW MORE
Experience Paris’ Cityline Draped in Snow from the Eiffel Tower
Paris’s most icon site, the Eiffel Tower, is a relatively recent addition to the city’s architectural gems, opened just 130 years ago. During winter it offers a spectacular view from its glass-floored observation platforms - a snowy city under a starry night.KNOW MORE ABOUT VISITING EIFFEL TOWER AT NIGHT
Top Eiffel Tower Experiences
Stroll by Champs-Élysées and Visit the Arc de Triomphe
The world- famous Avenue des Champs-ÉElysées, is a must visit while in Paris. It’s nearly 2 kilometers in length and runs from the Place de la Concorde to the grandiose Arc de Triomphe. With picture perfect shops, cafes and corners, this landmark is every shoppers delight. You can wrap up the evening at the Arc de Triomphe, a famous monument at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.KNOW MORE ABOUT VISITING ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Catch a Show at the Opera National De Paris
Savor the rich history of the Opera National De Paris with a show. Founded as a dance training institute, the Paris opera evolved into a ballet and eventually an opera house. This theatre has many layers of hidden stories to be explored.KNOW MORE ABOUT VISITING THE PARIS OPERA
- July 15th to September 10th - 10:00 AM to 5.30 PM
Revel in the Beauty of Sainte Chapelle
This 13th-century cathedral is among one of the most visited sites in Paris for all the right reasons! The monument, one of the fastest built churches in its time, was created specially to store the relics of Christ including the Crown of Thorns. History apart, it's a feast for the naked eye - shades of red, blue, and purple comes to life when the sun streams through the 6,500 square feet of spellbinding stained glass adorning the walls of this chapel.KNOW MORE ABOUT VISITING SAINTE CHAPELLE
Visit the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is a new-age architectural masterpiece which houses over 100,000 pieces of modern art. This shrine dedicated to modern art has solidified itself in the art world ever since its opening in 1977 and has earned a name for itself in the world of arts. Whether you’re into the world or not, this museum is a place you have to visit, simply because of its high-tech architecture and visual appeal.KNOW MORE ABOUT VISITING CENTER POMPIDOU
Get Underground at the Paris Catacombs
Catacombes de Paris are an underground labyrinth of tunnels built in a former limestone mine which holds ghoulishly arranged skeletal remains of over six million people. Extending south from the ‘Gate of Hell’ which was the former city gate, this ossuary was created as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries. The catacombs are not to be missed if you're interested in exploring the City of light's "dark past".KNOW MORE ABOUT TAKING A PARIS CATACOMBS TOUR
Popular Paris Catacomb Tickets
Visit the Temple of Performing Arts in Paris - The Cabaret
Rhinestones, feathers, sequins, and, of course, the famous French can-can; the dazzling world of cabaret is a significant part of Parisian culture since the 19th century. From the plush velvet interiors at Crazy Horse to the iconic red windmill in front of the Moulin Rouge, Paris’ cabaret clubs ooze Vegas-style glitz, a sultry 1920s-esque ambiance, and avant-garde performances. It is bound to enchant you with its provocative concoctions of dance, music, and theater.KNOW MORE ABOUT THE BEST CABARET SHOWS IN PARIS
Best Cabaret Shows In Paris
Set off on a Romantic Seine Cruise
Whether you’re the kind who prefers taking in the amorous views of the city while sipping a flute of champagne, or the kind who simply wishes to view the city from a different panorama — visiting Paris is incomplete without a Seine river cruise. Tip: During winters, the cruise can get quite chilly. Wrap yourselves up and be prepared to brave the cold.KNOW MORE ABOUT THE BEST SEINE CRUISES IN PARIS
Popular Seine Cruise Tickets
Warm Up with a Cooking Class
There’s no better way to take home a piece of Paris with you than to learn how to whip up some local French delicacies. Learn how to cook a festive French meal with Michelin-star chefs and enjoy the yummies first hand. Also, what more fun to stay indoors than learning a new cuisine? Bon appetit!SIGN UP FOR A GOURMEY MACARON COOKING CLASS
Saunter about Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette, is an upmarket French department store that houses a wide range of brands for all budgets. Spread over 70,000 square meters, Galeries Lafayette is an embodiment of artistic and cultural expression with a fitting moniker - The Theatre of Fashion. This one-of-a-kind shopping experience with its very own ‘glass walk’ is a spectacular way to admire 120 years of French fashion and elegance.DISCOVER THE THEATRE OF FASHION WITH A GUIDED TOUR OF GALERIES LAFAYETTE
Popular Winter Events In Paris
Christmas Markets in Paris
From the end of November to the beginning of January, traditional markets mushroom in every quartier of Paris. The most charming however is the Christmas Market next door the Notre-Dame Cathedral with its colossal decorated Christmas tree. Shop around for regional artisan gifts with a mug of mulled wine on one hand and a bowl of roasted chestnuts in the other .
Festival du Merveilleux
The Festival du Merveilleux gives you the opportunity to discover Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum of funfair objects located within Pavillons de Bercy in the most fun manner . Every year since 2009, this museum opens every December and offers 10 days of performances and wonders to celebrate the festive season.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year in february sees a pompous Asian parade with dragons, paper lanterns, dancing lions, firecrackers, illuminated Chinese lanterns and the whole works. The Chinese New Year Parade is a gusto change after the rather tranquil Christmas festivities. Fun fact: The Chinese New Year Parade is the oldest parade in Paris!
Festival of Lights at Jardin des Plantes
The ‘Jardin des Plantes’, French for ‘Garden of the Plants’ hosts the festival of lights from mid-November to mid-January. This festival is dotted with live shows and workshops on nature and huge luminous structures representing flora and fauna; adding to the festive cheer in an eco-friendly manner.
Christmas In Paris
The City of Lights is at its brightest with an added dash of romance and magic during Christmas. Glowing under the dim light of a thousands of twinkling bulbs, festivity is wafting all around. You can dreamily window shop or amble about the many Christmas markets with a steaming cup of vin chaud.
If you’re looking to visit the most colorful market and grab a delectable meal afterwards, then head to the Le Village de Noël at Les Halles. This is the biggest Christmas market featuring over sixty chalets of seasonal crafts, decorations, and scrumptious season delicasies. Les Halles is also one of the most up and coming gourmet alleys in the city with restaurants like Les Fables de la Fontaine and Olive & Thyme.
Winter In Paris : 5-day Itinerary
Check out our carefully curated itineraries and plan your visit to Paris this winter. Whether you're visiting Paris for 1 day, 3 days or 5 days; our itineraries packed with top experiences and traveler tips are bound to come handy.
5 Days in Paris Itinerary
Getting Around Paris In Winter
Paris has one of the world's safest and most efficient public transportation systems. While the metro subway system is quite extensive, it's easy to use once you familiarize yourself with it a bit. The Paris metro runs across 16 lines – easily identifiable by number, color, and end-of-line names. This helps you figure out whether you're heading in the right direction and need assistance in planning line transfers. The metro opens early morning before 6 AM and runs late till 1.30 AM and is open 24 hours on special days like new-years eve.
Trains in Paris usually arrive on time; buses are well-appointed and spacious, and the RER service covers the city's most important stops in record time.
The RER is Paris' commuter train system, which consists of five express trains that travel within Paris and the greater region. Contrary to the metro, RER stops just outside the city limits and can get you to your destination much faster as it stops at fewer stations compared to the Metro.
Public transportation in Paris is not very accommodating for disabled visitors unless you’re using the bus. General traffic aside, the bus is much easier and accessible for elderly or disabled travellers.
Read our detailed blog on Public Transportation in Paris and travel like a local!
What To Pack While Visiting Paris In Winter
Don’t forget to pack a pair of comfortable, waterproof boots for the trip
Although they may pose an inconvenience for your Insta escapes hand warmers will keep you cozy during long walks around the city
Cable knit sweaters, cardigans and fleece tops are ideal to layer up for the cold Parisian months. It’s good to pack a few long sleeved t-shirts as well
Where else will you wear hats if not in Paris? Don’t forget to load up on as many as you can; there are never too many hats for a city like Paris
While you can buy this locally, it’s best to load up on the lotion and avoid the dehydrated and dry winter skin.
Seasonal Delicacies in Paris
Reinvented by the supreme patissier Pierre Hermé, these small and, smooth meringues filled with ganache are a must try at its birthplace - Pierre Herme Bonaparte.
Head to Le Bistro Marbeuf to taste the best risotto in the city. This cozy, softly lit restaurant is always brimming with locals and plates authentic French cuisine.
A dense cake with rum and vanilla cream prepared by the famous Chef Alain Ducasse is a signature dish in many of his Parisian restaurants- not to be missed!
Insider Tips For Spending Winter In Paris
To explore the city’s bohemian neighbourhoods, relish the best cafes and restaurants (minus the waiting list) and enjoy crowd-free experiences at the top museums and galleries, visit Paris in winter! Here are a few quick tips to help you plan your trip better.
- Check opening hours before hitting up the museums & galleries - Though most places are open as normal, quite a few galleries and museums have reduced opening hours as a result of the fewer crowds and shorter days. This could also be the case for restaurants and cafés. Make sure you check the timings before heading out.
- Curl up in a cozy corner at Shakespeare and Company – There’s nothing like getting lost in the reading room of the world-famous bookstore with a cup of hot chocolate
- Sit in your hotel room and sip on some Vin Chaud - Do it like the French! Cozy up next to a window in your room when it’s absolutely freezing outside and let the warm wine add a hint of rose to your cheeks!
- Splurge on a visit to ‘Sur Un Arbre Perché’ – Inspired by nature, wood and plants, this restaurant offers a scrumptious platter and seats guests on swinging chairs. They even offer massages at the end of your meal!
- Swim some laps in the beautiful “Art Déco” pools of Paris - lounge under high ceilings at indoor pools in the city in true Parisian style!
- Ice skating is a classic Parisian winter tradition, and courts are set up all over Paris–including at the Eiffel Tower!
- Disneyland Paris sees the least queues in winter, so head up there for a day of white-knuckle fun. Check out these discounted Disneyland Paris tickets
Not convinced about Paris in Winter?
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