13 Reasons why you have to visit Paris in winter time

by Toti

Thinking about charming European cities in wintertime, Paris is one of the best. The magical atmosphere of the city is something incomparable. This list is the ideal to tell you a few reasons why you have to visit Paris in winter time. The city is transforming, with the lights warming up the atmosphere.

You can breathe the Christmas walking through the amazing Champs-Élysées, or going for a hot chocolate on the hill of Montmartre surrounded by artists and amazing landscapes.

You can’t miss during your visit to Paris in winter to get a ride on the famous boat on the river. It is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris in winter. Take your other half in the city of love.

Paris in the winter

It is always a good idea to plan a trip to Paris. The French Capital is capable to warm up your heart and make you happy even if is dead cold. Start to plan your itinerary, with our list of the best things to do in Paris in winter. The flights to Paris in winter are a lot cheaper than other seasons, but the city preserves its charm. We have been travelling in Paris at Christmas and it was a low fare flight.

The atmosphere was amazing and most of it, there was no queue for the attractions. We bought a regular ticket for the Tour Eiffel, and surprisingly we were up to the monument in 10 minutes.

Paris is less expensive in winter even for the accommodation, hotels, hostels and even Airbnb are cheapest. January is the ideal month to travel in Paris in winter, for prices, not overwhelmed with tourists and still some markets around the city.

PARIS IS WORTH A VISIT IN WINTER

Monmatre for a weekend in Paris
  1. Paris winter markets
  2. Disneyland Paris
  3. Cooking class in Paris
  4. Discover the Art museums of Paris
  5. Christmas lights
  6. Go wine tasting
  7. Tour Eiffel Ice Rink
  8. Enjoy the snowy Paris
  9. Watch a show at the Moulin Rouge
  10. Hot Chocolate and a book in Montmartre
  11. Enjoy the view from the top of Tour Eiffel
  12. Breakfast on the Tour Eiffel
  13. Go shopping in Paris on the Champs Eliseu

Paris in winter things to do

most instagrammable spots in Paris - Paris photography locations louvre museum la gioconda
The louvre Museum is one of the most photographed places in Paris

Visiting Paris in winter you will enjoy some parts of the city just for yourself. It is unbelievably nice when you have the city all for you. Stroll around Montmartre and visit La Maison Rose for an amazing hot chocolate in Bohemian style.

The pretty streets of Montmartre are perfect for some instagrammable photos of Paris. If you are looking for shopping, the store windows of the Champs-Élysées is all yours. It is one of the glamorous streets of Paris, where you can find all the popular brands in fashion.

Let’s go to the cultural side, with a visit to some of the best museums in Paris. In our guide about the best things to do in Paris in winter, it is included a visit to the Museum du Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. But if you are more interested in this kind of visit to Paris, check our blog post about 2 days in Paris.

Try some of the best of the french gastronomy visiting fine restaurants in Paris. You can also go for lunch or dinner on the boat on the River, surrounded by the popular sight of Paris.

Winter is often associated with Christmas, and what is better than the markets in winter in Paris. Just in front of the Tour Eiffel, before you get up, you can enjoy the most popular Paris Christmas Market at the Champs de Mars.

Paris markets in winter

Paris Christmas Market in front of Tour Eiffel
Paris Christmas Market in front of Tour Eiffel

Christmas is one of the best periods to visit Paris. This is the time of the year when the city dress to impress, with thousands of sparkling lights everywhere, the shop windows looking great and the famous Christmas markets.

The city in winter is full of markets around the arrondissement. This is where you can taste the best street food, with the local tasty cuisine, wine from the best vineyard surrounding.

The most impressive market in Paris is in La Défence. Visiting Paris in Christmas time you can’t miss visiting the over 10,000 square metres Xmas decored stalls. Over 300 stands are full of craft, wine, food and beers. Other important markets too are in Place Joachim-du-Bellay in Les Halles.

If you are heading to Paris in winter 2020, we suggest you check the official online guide to the Christmas Markets in Paris.

You can find incredible information about the Tuileries Gardens and Notre Dame Cathedral Christmas Markets too.

What you have to try in the markets of Paris in winter

Vin Chaud: This well known as mulled wine. It is typical of the Christmas time
Fondue: Fused cheese that you can eat in a baguette
Freshly baked baguette: It is one of the well-known products from France
Chocolate Chaud: The typical hot chocolate
Châtaignes: roasted chestnuts that you can also find from individual street vendors in the streets of Paris
Caramelized apple: You know what we are talking about

The markets of Paris are filled with any kind of goods, are the ideal opportunity to buy some souvenirs or gift from the Capital of France.


Disneyland Paris is open in winter

Disneyland Paris in France
The amazing dreamy castle of Disneyland Paris in France

Let’s leave the festive mood to get another good news. For who is a remaining kid inside, or have sons, is well to know that the famous theme park Disneyland Paris in winter time is open.

The popular attractions are open as usual with the typical parade, fireworks and themed celebrations. Grab the chance to visit one of the most popular parks in Europe and in the World.

The ticket with the FastPass to the park starts from 56 euro, following this link!

Check also: One day Entrance with Fast-Track and Multi-day Entrance with access to the Walt Disney Studios. For an easy way to Explore the park, Disneyland Express – Entrance + Transport is what you need!

Shuttle Service from the Airport to the Park – 23 euro

Take a cooking class in Paris

France is the home of delicious food and delicate cuisine. Why don’t grab the occasion to learn some tricks from some of the best chefs. This will be your personal souvenir when back home. You could be ready to prepare for the next dinner for your family and friends. Take a cooking class in Paris is easy. Your guide and chef will take you visiting some of the best markets in town, and teach how to buy the best fresh ingredients.

Check some of the classes that we suggest to you!

Learn how to make macarons in Paris

Make your own French Croissants

From visiting a local market to pick up the ingredients, to learning how to make everything from macarons to a three-course lunch, there are plenty of classes to choose from.

Discover the Art museums of Paris

Le Louvre - 4 days in Paris
Le Louvre Museum of Paris – The biggest museum in the World

If you are visiting Paris without getting into its museum, it is meaning that you are not experiencing anything of the real city. Out to the amazing architecture of the building and the sight of Paris, the landmarks that we prefer are the museum of Paris. Obviously, the most well-known museum is the Louvre. There you can admire priceless masterpieces and enjoy the world’s largest collection of artworks.

Those are just some of the best museum you have to pay a visit in Paris

Louvre Museum

This is the most iconic museum in the World. An almost 800 square feet area filled with priceless masterpieces from the most important artists in the World. Nice as a preview for a paragraph for the Louvre Museum. The world’s largest museum was originally a Castle, hosting the King of France Luis XIV.

When the king chooses Versailles as his home, the Louvre become the place where the Royal family showed their personal collection. The collection of the museum increased year after year collecting masterpieces not just from French artists but from everywhere.

The most important and iconic piece in the Louvre Museum today is the picture of Leonardo da Vinci “La Gioconda”.

If you want to visit the Louvre Museum and skip the line, check the ticket here for just 17 euro.

Centre Pompidou

This art gallery is one of the best in the World. Not only the masterpieces, but also the architecture of the building is priceless itself. The gallery exposes a modern collection of art, but is not limited to that. You can explore the public library and the awesome cafè.

For full immersion in the Centre Pompidou arts, Check for the ticket online and skip the queue.

Musée d’Orsay

City Dusk Castle Architecture Bridge Building
City Dusk Castle Architecture Bridge Building

It is formerly railway station, that’s giving the amazing indoor architecture. The structure was built between 1898 and 1900 and refurbished to be adapted as Museum. The Musée d’Orsay is today one of the most popular in the world and one of the most visited in Paris. The galleries of this building host mainly French artists, with sculptures, paintings and photography. Head here if you want to admire the masterpieces of worldwide recognized artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat and many others.


Christmas Lights in Paris

Paris Lights at night - One of the best landscapes views of Paris
Paris Lights at night – One of the best landscapes views of Paris

We have told you already that we have been to Paris at Christmas. The lights of the city make you feel the atmosphere of the moment. Everything is sparkling and glint. The Cathedral of Paris, Notre Dame is usually decorated with lights that celebrate the beautiful lines of the church.

We have loved the lights around the Tour Eiffel glint, visible from everywhere in Paris. The Champs Eliseu is decorated for the party, with many stands on the side.

The Christmas finery will steal the scene from mid-November. The city will become more glamorous, sparkling for the festive season. The twinkling lights and colourful decorations will open your eyes in all the central arrondissement of the city.

You will see the best of it on the famous Champs Elysées light up from November 24th 2019 until January 8th 2020. Other interesting streets with the best Christmas decor in Paris are Rue Faubourg-St-Honoré, Place Vendôme, Avenue Montaigne and Bercy Village. If you are interested there is a Christmas lights Bus Tour that will show off the best illuminations of Paris from a double-deck bus.

Go wine tasting in Paris

The vineyards around Paris producing some of the best and finest wines in the World. Go to Paris, without roaming around cellars is impossible. Go wine tasting is something that you have to add on your list of things to do in winter in Paris.

Another thing you can do in Paris in winter is to try the vin chaud. This is the French version of the mulled wine, or gluhwein in Germans.

Enjoy a two-hour session in the heart of Paris, with a riverboat siping some of the best French wines. Included in the wine tasting, also a champagne flute ins pure French style.

For a more intense class, we suggest this one.  An informative experience through the best French wines in Paris. You will be guided through the Wine Regions of France, in a virtual tour with an expert sommelier, sampling those amazing nectar of the gods. Check this suggestion for you!

Ice-skating in Paris in winter 2020

In your list of things to do in Paris at winter, you can’t miss planning to go ice-skating. Write down this information, because we think you will love it. One of the best rooftops of the city has got a free ice skating rink open all winter from 9.30 am to 8.30 pm. The Department store Galeries Lafayette has got one of the best views of Paris. This is included in our list of best photo spots in Paris.

This year they are offering the ice rink entrance for free. Head to the shopping centre during the sunset to enjoy the best lights of Paris, and then you will see the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the dark night of Paris.

The Eiffel Tower Ice Rink

Do you love skiing? So, this is the right experience for you in Paris. Right up the Eiffel Tower every year is installed an Ice Rink. It is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris in winter. The access to the ice rink cost around 7 euro per person. You will not just have the pleasure of skiing 57 metres above the ground, but also enjoy the amazing view over Paris.

There are a few shops on the same level selling hot soup, sandwiches, waffles, crepes. Take a break and sip a hot chocolate up to the most iconic monument of France.

Enjoy the snowy Paris

It is not quite common to see the snow alight over the building of Paris, but when it does the atmosphere is like in a fairytale. The magical scenario of Paris with the snow is surreal and you will enjoy the hill of Sacre Cour of Paris or Montmartre area. The whitewashed roofs are the perfect picture to take of Paris. In the past few years, Paris has got several snowy occasions, be ready for it.

Watch the show at Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge - Paris, France - Famous places in Paris
Moulin Rouge – Paris, France – Famous places in Paris

This is another iconic piece of Paris, the Moulin Rouge is for many a place where luxury and glamourous life meet. Why don’t watch the show at Moulin Rouge? Becomed popular thanks to a Hollywood movie is today one of the most popular attractions of Paris.

It is considered the birthplace of the modern Can-Can dance, the typical seductive way for the courtesans to attract. Today the Moulin Rouge, attract mainly tourists and curious, still offering high-quality entertainment for the visitors. The building itself is maintaining the club’s decor, with the appliance in stile romance of fin de siècle.

Check for the ticket for the next show at the Moulin Rouge for a unique experience in Paris in winter.

Hot Chocolate and a book in Paris Montmartre

Paris roofs for the best landscape of Paris

Talking about crazy scenarios of Paris, we will help you to imagine the next one. Pick a cosy bar in Paris and lie down with a book and a hot chocolate. Like in the best bohemian story, we will give you some insight that we think will make your visit to Paris more interesting.

Actually, just strolling around the picturesque borough of Montmartre you will run into some of the cosy coffee shops and boutique of all Paris. One of our favourite to enjoy this Parisian vibes afternoon is Meson Rose. If you are not fancy to check an afternoon cafè alone, check those tours that will help you a lot.

Cafè Le Flor is hosting also a French Lessons if you want to practice the language too.


See Paris from another point of view – Go up the Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower is a point on the map for every tourist visiting Paris. Not everybody will go up to the Eiffel Tower because of the long queue. If you want to skip, the price is really worthy. Check here to skip the queue at the Eiffel Tower. Or you can grab Priority access to the 2nd Floor or to the Top of Eiffel Tower.

From the top of the most famous tower in the world, you can admire the French Capital from another point of view. The Tour Eiffel can help you with a 360 view of Paris, worth at any time of the day. We enjoyed going up when the sunset was almost gone and, enjoyed the view even at night. All the light of the city were on for an unreal atmosphere.

If you want to visit the Tour Eiffel at the sunset there is an amazing tour for you for just 50 euro.

Breakfast on the Tour Eiffel

Paris itinerary 4 days
Paris 4 day itinerary

This will be one of the most romantic things to do in Paris in winter. The Breakfast on the Tour Eiffel will cost you less than you are expecting. For 39 Euro you can grab a cosy breakfast on one of the most important monuments in the World. With a proper french croissant and a passionate guide that will help you to discover the city starting from the Eiffel Tower.

Go shopping in Paris on the Champs Elysees

What is better than a walk along the Champs Elysees, the iconic fashion street of Paris. This will be the perfect adventure for fashion lovers and not only. In winter the street is full of lights that will become romantic and glamourous at Christmas time.

Going from the top of the Arc of Triomphe down the street there are all the best fashion brands in the World. Not only, but the street also offers a wide choice of cafes, restaurant and elegant boutique. 

The sales in France will start after Christmas, so is fine if you are checking for a trip in January. Mind that Sales in French is “Soldes”. If you are looking for a shopping trip in Paris, check out also Galeries Lafayette, a kind of Harrod shop in London.

The January sales are pretty incredible

As says before January is the ideal time to visit Paris for a shopping trip. In France, by low, the shops are allowed to hold sales just twice a year, in a fixed timeframe. One of them is in January and is about wintertime. Luckily the sales time in France is in January that is the best period to catch bargains for flights to Paris and cheap accommodations.

PARIS IN WINTER WEATHER – WHAT’S PARIS’ WINTER WEATHER LIKE?

Paris map - Paris in winter
We have explored Paris in winter time, was amazing to get around the city without crowds of tourists

The weather in Paris in winter is completely unpredictable. Generally doesn’t rain so much, but the sky is pretty grey all the time. We were lucky that close to Christmas time we didn’t get any raining day, with sunshine especially in the early morning and wasn’t that cold. But Paris is really cold, especially in January.

The temperatures are pretty the same from December to February, going from 3 to 8 degrees, 46°F to 37°F. December in Paris in our opinion is less coldest compared to January and February. 

The position of Paris, in the middle of the country, make it really cold during the winter months. The French Capital can get frosty at night.


Which month of winter should I visit Paris in?

Visiting Paris in winter is always beautiful, for the atmosphere, the glamourous of the city, the romantic lights and landscapes. But, like any city in the world, there are some months that are highly advised to travel in Paris, more than others.

From our experience, is our opinion that Paris is worth a visit in Winter, especially in December. This is the most charming time of the year to discover Paris. But for price reasons, January is the cheapest one. Check below for a detailed list of the winter months to visit Paris.

Despite the cold temperatures in winter in Paris, the city is plenty of things to do indoors. You will always find a warm spot to thaw out in, cosy cafès and cutest restaurants.

Paris in December

The city in December has a particular look. The festive mood is taking Paris to show the best in the city. Loads of Christmas markets are making hot the atmosphere of the period. Of the three winter months, December is the one we suggest for a quick escape to Paris.

Paris in January

January is the coldest month of the year in Paris, it is true. But on the other hand, it is the month with the best chances to see the snow. Not only, as you have read before is when the sales start. It is not a horrible month by the way. January has still got a chance to be picked for the lowest prices.

Despite that, there are not many tourists as the other months. Which is good, because Paris tends to be overcrowded sometimes.

Paris in February

This month is ideal if you are thinking to declare your love. Paris is so romantic and February is when Valentine’s day is happening. Pick your best romantic spot in Paris and enjoy the atmosphere.

Paris in winter what to wear

A list of a few things you don’t have to miss in your luggage heading to Paris in winter.

  • Comfy shoes (You will walk a lot)
  • Trendy scarf
  • Colourful dress (if you are a woman)
  • Cosy hat
  • Warm Jacket

Inspiring Outfits for winter in Paris

Those are some of the best outfits we found through Instagram. Take some inspiration from those amazing Instagrammers. Chose the best winter in Paris outfits.

What to pack for Paris in winter

Notre Dame - What to do in Paris in winter
The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, need to be in your list of things to see in Paris in winter

Heading to Paris in some of the coldest months of the year, needs detailed planning. What to pack for Paris in winter is not always easy to explain. It is obviously depending on how many days you are staying in the city.

One of the thing that we think you have to pack is an umbrella. In many years around the world, we always have learned that a waterproof bag can save your life. Travelling in winter we always carry with us an extra layer in the bag, just in case, you know!

By the way, is good to choose wholly scarfs, a couple of jumpers. Check the weather forecast a couple of days before, to be sure to pick the right shoes. We always advise getting a pair of shoes waterproof as well, or just a spare one. We also suggest to invest in a waterproof bag, that can keep dry your valuable, clothes and cameras. Check what which bag we use in our trips.


Where to stay in Paris in winter

Paris is a big metropolitan city, with many borough and characteristic areas. There are so many places to stay in Paris. Going over the classic choice of Air Bnb, we will help you highlight the best areas where to stay in Paris in winter.

For sure the Latin Quarter of Paris is the most folkloristic area of the city. Here you can find one of the best choices the Seven Hotel. It is close to the Museum of the Armed Forces Health Service, in a really central position to visit Paris.

Accordingly, with Trip Advisors Maison Souquet is the most loved place by travellers. It is an expensive hotel close to the metro station of Pigalle, in the picturesque area of Paris, Montmartre. The Maison Souquet is all you want for a luxury escape in Paris.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Paris, has one of the best views of the Tour Eiffel of the city. It is true is another expensive hotels, but worth the money. You can find a bargain in the low season, travelling in January.

Hotel La Nouvelle République instead is a middle choice, between the cheapest solutions and glamourous venue. The hotel is located in the 11th district, close to Place de la République. It is a vintage stylish option to stay in Paris. Around this hotel, you can find a wide selection of bars, restaurants and clubs.

The last hotel that we will suggest to you is the Hôtel Da Vinci & Spa. As you can understand we have left it as last because is the magnificent one. Not just a hotel, but a beautiful Spa too. This is where your dreams come true, for a romantic escape to Paris.

The Hôtel Da Vinci & Spa is inspired by the masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, on the walls you can find the incredible artworks of the artist. Not only, in the small but unique building, you will find artworks of Botticelli, Raffaello and Michelangelo the leading artists of Italian quattrocento.

– This quirky Paris hotel looks like something straight out of a crazy dream. Inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, you’ll find incredible artworks a reproduction of the Florian café and an unbelievable spa inspired by the colours scheme for the Mona Lisa!

What is like to visit Paris during the winter?

Visit Paris during the winter is like to be in a big winter wonderland. A fairy tales location, that can be unique and extraordinary with white and soft snow. The French Capital is amazing in winter, when the Christmas markets, the sparking lights make the atmosphere particularly magical. But Paris is enthralling at any time of the year, with the glamourous cafè and restaurants.

Experience Paris in winter, perhaps will give you a complete view of the city, it is also the period less overcrowded of tourists. January and February are considered the quietest months in the city.

How crowded is Paris in the winter?

France Bridge Eiffel Tower Boats City Architecture
The view of the Tour Eiffel from the Seine River. That’s how look like Paris in winter

We have started this topic above. The wintertime in Paris is usually considered the lowest season talking about tourism. Excluding the days that are going from Christmas time to New year’s eve in Paris is the lowest season. Not many tourists around, that makes it the best way to explore the city. The department stores of the French Capital are not overcrowded, that make you shopping even more affordable, thanks to the sales of January.

If you are a cultural traveller, focusing more on the architecture and the museum visits, January and February are the right months for you. Place a winter in Paris in your bucket list, if you are lucky you will enjoy Paris in the snow.


Things to do in Paris winter 2020

If you are deciding to spend a few days in Paris this year, is well that you know some of the best things to do in Paris in winter 2020. From the Christmas lights to the best Christmas Markets in the city. The illuminations of the period are running from 24 November 2019 to 8 January 2020. The one you can’t miss has been created by lighting designers Blancère Illuminations.

The best and biggest Christmas market in Paris is in La Defénse. The over 10,000 square metres will open from the end of November until the first week of January. Sign it on your Bucket list of Paris in winter.

Another amazing event in Paris in 2020 to don’t miss is to visit the Musee De Arts Forains. It will seem to be back on time, with the awesome Festival du Merveilleux. The doors of the park open from December 26th 2019 until the 5th of January 2020.

Listen to a festive concert at Saint-Germain des Prés. It will take you into the festive atmosphere with a classical concert in a gothic church.


Winter trips from Paris

Unusual things to do in Nice view at night
This is Nice, Coté d’Azure – The best trip from Paris

Paris could be just a short break. A good point where to start a trip in France. The surrounding areas of Paris, looks fabulous in winter. Actually, France in winter is amazing, with cute villages and amazing landscapes. We suggest a few cities easy to reach from Paris on a short trip. From Paris, you can visit Toulouse, in about 2 hours by train.

It is also nice to visit the Provence Area, with cities like Marseille or Avignon. Bear in mind that the Cotè d’Azur is not that far, and in January is amazing and cheap. Visit Nice or the luxurious Montecarlo from Paris, reaching the area by train or bus for a ridiculous price.

If you like it, you might also like:
How to spend 4 days in Paris
Winter sun destinations in Europe

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