Europe has always been a perfect destination for everyone in any season. Be it in spring, summer, fall or even winter. Personally, coming from a tropical country I like experiencing winter in other countries because I wanted to see some SNOW. Yes, snow, and Paris is no stranger.
Does it Snow in Paris? Yes, the city of love has also the winter season. Thanks to its geographical location the city does showcase a winter wonderland paradise. But unlike in other northern European countries, their snowfall is not too harsh for beginners.
When does winter start in Paris?
The winter season usually starts from December-February. February is the coldest month throughout the winter season. But beware because even by the beginning of November, the city already starts getting chilly.
Shops and department stores start displaying their winter collection apparel to keep their people warm and still look “oh so fashionable” at the same time. The locals, in fact, start changing their wardrobe from summer clothes to winter gears as soon as the summer season is over.
How cold does it get?
According to accuweather.com and parisweather.com, the city’s temperature can average from 38-45 degrees Fahrenheit. During December it is a mixture of rain showers and gray skies averaging from 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
In January it picks up really fast for about 5 degrees colder. February was hailed as the coldest month that could reach up to below zero. And no I’m not kidding.
But don’t be intimidated by how cold this city could get. According to studies (via climatechangepost.com), the cold temperatures of the city has dropped drastically throughout the years and will continue to drop in the coming years. This year they had forecast the following:
- A decrease of 6 cold days per year
- The number of frost days will decrease to 50-60%
- Number of ice days will also decrease for 6 days per year
I bet we all know the culprit of these gradual changes in the climate. Global warming happened. Every year the world gets warmer and warmer. In fact, Paris has recorded the hottest temperature during the summer of 2019 which was just last year. The heatwave actually shook not just the Parisians but the whole European community.
No wonder that the winter season will be no longer that cold just like it used to be. The snowfall can even average now for about 10 days per year and even lesser. After that, the snow just fades away and rain showers will dominate the whole winter season instead.
How’s it like in Paris during Winter?
Most people can either love or hate the snow or winter in general, maybe because it could either just rain or maybe snow. At times its usually cold and gray and most people are grumpy during winter. Anyway, forget that grumpy part.
On a personal note, I beg to disagree about the “hating the snow” part. The winter in Paris is actually very beautiful and likable. Just try to imagine the picturesque Eiffel Tower covered in snow.
Then you turn and look around you, the plants and trees may have died but they look all something new covered in white-capped snow. It is like a different world out there.
For me, it feels different because it doesn’t snow from where I come from in Southeast Asia. There’s something about the snow that makes me excited and giddy whenever I see it and excuse me but I don’t mind the cold either.
I like walking on the snowy streets of Paris with my knee-high boots on while feeling cozy in my puffy jacket.
Believe me, winters in Paris made it more romantic than you could have ever imagined.
Winter Activities in Paris
Most kids and kids at heart are all excited when the winter season begins. But why is it? That is because the holiday season is fast approaching.
Just when you think that you can only do fun activities during the summer, well you have gotten it all wrong.
I got you at least a “top 10 to-do-list” that you can totally enjoy in Paris during winter.
1. Experience the Christmas Markets
If you are a fan of anything Christmas and jingle bell rock, then Paris is the place to be. The city center and even the rural areas are all thrilled to open their stalls every first week of December to sell all the limited Christmas edition goodies.
Head to the La Defense Marche de Noel to experience the largest Christmas Market in Paris with over 350 stalls to choose from. If you like it laid back, head to rural areas of Paris, their Christmas village markets are also charming and inviting.
2. Take advantage of its Winter Sales
Have you been dreaming to grab those Louis Vuitton or Chanel bags or yet those Gucci and Prada coats? Don’t fret my friend because in Paris they make your dreams come true.
Head to the luxury shops and malls because they drop those prices for as low as 50%. Isn’t that a great way to start your souvenir shopping, too?
3. Visit the Covered Markets
No cold weather can stop us shoppers to go shopping, right? Well, the city has a remedy for all the shopaholics. They have installed a good amount of covered markets during winter to keep you warm while shopping.
If you’re not a fan of outdoor shopping in winter like Christmas markets then this is for you. Just like the Christmas markets, they also got tons of stalls to choose from. My go-to is the La Beaugrenelle and Le 4 Temps in La Defense.
4. Go Ice Skating
The city boasts a good number of skating rinks that both the young and the old can enjoy. This is how most Europeans or Parisians enjoy their winter most of the time.
Even outdoor skating rinks are opened to cater to a bigger crowd and to also experience the outside world amidst the cold weather. Grand Palais has the biggest skating rink in the region. Millions of locals and tourists flock here to step in this famous attraction.
5. Fancy some Swimming?
Yep, you heard me just right. You can go swimming in Paris during winter. If you’re missing that summer and island vibe, they got you. They have their “Aquaboulevard” that you could enjoy, which is an indoor pool attraction that is both great for both kids and adults.
6. Be a Wine Connoisseur for a Day
To get rid of the cold weather, storm off to the French cellars nearby and register yourself for a grand french wine tasting. You will a tour inside with an expert and on top of that, you will also have an up-close learning session on how to spot a good wine.
Who knows maybe on your next dinner plans at home you’ll know which wine to pair. But remember, drink moderately!
7. Enroll for a Cooking Class
Have you always dreamed to become a pro-French chef? Take advantage and enroll yourself in their One Day or 2-day cooking courses. Michelin star restaurants and award-winning schools are offering special lessons for tourists who wanted to learn a crash course in French cuisine.
If it’s too expensive for your budget, Airbnb has activities offered similar to this one at a cheap price, where you can ask for a local to teach you how to cook some classic French dishes. Bonus: you get to eat all of it.
8. Ride the Seine River Cruise
Apart from summer, the cruise can also be enjoyed during the winter. The boats will be covered to protect its tourists from rain or snow. A special cruise at night is also offered to enjoy the magnificent view of the city.
9. Experience the Winter Magic in Disneyland Paris
Cheers to the place where all dreams do come true! Perfect when you’re traveling with your kids and also by the kids at heart. Every holiday season they’ve got special shows and performances prepared fit for winter.
Winter activities will be also available during this time. Get a 2 days pass and stay at one of their hotels to make the most out of your stay.
10. Join the New Year Countdown at the Eiffel Tower
How awesome will it be to celebrate NYE in no less than Paris! Their Eiffel Tower boasts an extravagant fireworks display as soon as the clock hits at 12 midnight. Locals and tourists gather together to celebrate with a glass of wine.
So Is it Worth It Going to Paris in Winter?
Oh, sure it does! Yes, it is cold but then again this is the time to flex that winter OOTD hiding in your dark closet. A time where you see lesser crowds of tourists because winter months is an offseason. That means all flight tickets and hotel accommodation prices are at an all-time low.
Even the queue to famous attractions and landmarks will no longer be painful. You can easily take a perfect shot whichever you like with zero photo bombers. Now that sounds great, right? It wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. Then again, Paris is still beautiful whatever the season.