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Visiting Paris in the Winter

City of Lights, Squared

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Snow in Paris
Picavet/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
The winter months in Paris have a bad rap for being gloomy, dark, perpetually rainy and low-key, but with holiday festivities taking the city by storm for a good part of the season, Paris literally lights up more than ever. And if you enjoy indoor activities such as visiting museums and cathedrals or spending a few hours reading peacefully in a traditional Parisian cafe while nursing a good cafe creme or chocolat chaud, a winter sojourn in Paris may be ideal for you.

Why to Love It: The Pros Column

  • Winter festivities and decorations bring a surreal magic to the city, making for especially picturesque evenings out with the whole family (and can serve as a romantic backdrop for couples, too). See details on holiday events by scrolling down.

  • It's low season in Paris, meaning you'll have more of the city to yourself and won't have to compete with hordes of tourists for entry to exhibits, monuments or when making restaurant reservations. Not to mention the fact that air and trainfares are lower than in peak season
And Now The Cons:
  • The cold, often rainy conditions and short days can admittedly be a bit discouraging. You may find yourself spending more time indoors than you'd prefer when travelling.

  • Certain attractions and monuments are closed during low season. I recommend checking opening dates and annual closures ahead of time to avoid disappointment. However, this is often overstated: in reality, the summer tends to be the time when you see the most businesses close, as Parisians go off on vacation.

What to See and Do During the Winter? Despite appearances, there's plenty to do during your winter trip. As I mention above, many of these activities will be indoors, but provided that you pack correctly and bundle up, and it's not too wet out, a wintery walk through a gorgeous Paris park or an evening stroll around the brilliantly lit streets can be mesmerizing and peaceful.

Month-by-Month Guides to Winter in Paris:

Book Your Winter Travel Package to Paris Now:

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