Is cold weather ravaging through Europe, but you still feel like visiting the City of Love? Fear not, despite the cold there are many amazing things to do in Paris during the winter. Click through to find out what they are!
- Museums! My friends and I have made the last few weeks our museum going season. When it’s freezing cold outside, there’s nothing like getting into the warmth and soaking in some marvelous masterpieces. My favorite museums are Musee D’Orsay, Picasso Museum, and L’Orangerie.
- Discover a new favorite cafe to warm up and get some work done. My favorite is the Anti Cafe, a cafe that charges for the time you spend there rather than the amount of resources you consume. Also recommend checking out the beautiful interiors of the Paris Mosque, and enjoying a 2 Euro sweet mint tea.
- On sunny days, grab your warmest jacket and head down to the banks of the Seine for a picnic. It tends to be warmest right by the water because the cold breeze doesn’t get down that low.
- Visit the “typical” spots. While the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame are crowded year round, in the winter these spots are a lot more bearable than in the summer. Shorter lines, less pickpockets, etc.
- Get to know libraries and bookshops around the city. I know this might not be for everyone, but for me there’s nothing nicer than an afternoon spent browsing. My favorites are Shakespeare & Co., Book Off (used books in all languages starting at 1 Euro) and WHSmith.
- Take in the beauty of Paris’ oldest department stores. Places such as Galleries Lafayette are a site to see, while the BHV Marais Department Store has the best stationary and home decor section ever.
- Go to the movies! Stop by La Defense’s CNIT theater, where tickets are a mere 7 Euros with a student card on weekdays.
- Go thrifting. If you are like me and don’t have a ton of money to drop on designer goods, thrifting is probably your best bet. Going in and out of stores will keep you warm (and as an added plus they don’t tend to have air conditioning, making thrift shopping a nightmare in the summer), and you’ll come out with some awesome new (inexpensive) goodies! My favorite neighborhood for this is for sure Le Marais, where there are shops such as The Kilo Shop, and Free ‘P’ Star. Another vintage treasure trove is down the street from the Porte de Clignancourt metro stop. Upon exiting the metro you’ll see the pick-pocket filled tourist trap. Keep walking down the street to get to an area filled with endless stalls of small retailers selling their vintage goods!
- Go for a walk. Yes yes, I know it’s cold. But pick a sunny day (and a warm jacket), and walking Paris in the winter is something for won’t regret. The air is crisp, and leaf-less trees allow for better photos. My favorite walk is on the left bank, starting at the Eiffel Tower and heading in direction Louvre. There is a special pathway right along the river, complete with tables for studying, sitting areas (with free wifi) for relaxing, and workout stations for those who’s hearts desire. Once you get to Place de la Concorde, cross over and continue your stroll through the Tuileries. End up at the Louvre glass pyramid, and, if you want to, continue until you hit Notre Dame!
- Go up and get your view, whether this be from L’Arc De Triomphe (my favorite one), La Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, or Tour de Montparnasse. In winter/spring Paris gets the most rain, meaning a lot of pollution is washed out of the air. You’ll get your clearest view!
I hope you have found this post helpful and informative, and that it has inspired you to visit the city of love while it’s still cold! Winter in Paris can be quite wonderful, despite this California girl yearning for some warmth. Comment below if you have any other recommendations!