Paris is a city that changes with every season, what you may experience during summer time isn’t going to be the same as what you will experience in Paris during the winter.
The landscape of the city if forever changing throughout the season and winter is no exception as you may imagine, thus, you should know that visiting Paris in Winter has its pros and cons. This will help you decided what’s the best time to visit Paris for you!
Visiting Paris In Winter: The Pros and The Cons
Winter in France (and Europe) starts a little before the year ends and finish early or mid-March. However, the drop in temperature can be felt early in November, therefore it already feels like winter, thus, November will also be included
Let’s start off with some positivity and tackle the many pros that come with a winter visit to Paris, maybe it will sound like the best time for you to visit!
PROS OF VISITING PARIS IN WINTER
AVOID THE CROWDS
As soon as the holiday season is over and we set off into the first day of a new year you can expect the crowd to decrease day by day. This means no endless queuing to go to museums or famous landmark. That’s a plus when you have to queue outside!
For exemple, you never want to set a foot in Versailles in the middle of summer, it’s absolutely hell on earth, not kidding, you can’t enjoy your visit. Versailles in winter is a lot smoother!
Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you would like to visit for Christmas and do some Christmas activities, such as seeing the illuminations or visit Christmas Markets. If you want to do that I recommend doing it early December before the holiday starts in France during a
Winter also means this is the holiday season in Paris, the city is twinkling and sparkling from the streets to the windows displays. Everything all throughout the French capital is in a festive mood, it’s both delightful for the mind and the body with all the delicious food you can enjoy and smell floating in the air. It’s the perfect
Some good displays to see during the winter in Paris are the one from the big shopping centre like; the Galerie Lafayette, where each year they put another themed tree and coordinate the windows display to it.
Another famous attraction near the Champs-Elysée is the Dior Shop where they put up a new festide facade every year.
France is holding two big sales every year, the first one of the year usually starts mid-January, so if you’re dreaming about that Parisians shopping session winter is the perfect time for this!
The sales are for all kind of stuff, designer brand also so them. To be honest I have never quite looked into their sales but if you fancy some nice pieces maybe you will find something you like on sale!
As soon as the holiday season is over in Paris the prices both in term of accommodation and transportation to visit the city of light tends to lower by a decent chunk. As we enter the off-peak season and a lot of people are reluctant to visit some places during the winter.
It’s the perfect opportunity if you’re on a budget! Think about all the other interesting things you could do or eat with that budget.
HOT BEVERAGES AND FOOD
Read here Vin Chaud, Chocolat Chaud that you can enjoy throughout the cold days and en terrace, please. Or stay cosy in a tea salon!
Christmas Market are popping left and right before winter and some stay until the mid-January. They are filled with sweet smells of mulled wine, warm chocolate, doughnut and other local food that are brought to you by the local farmers and businesses.
Of course, there is still plenty of other food you can enjoy in Paris all year round including winters such as the infamous macaroons, the traditional éclair
CONS OF VISITING PARIS IN WINTER
CONDITIONS / UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER
No blue sky, I mean unless you’re lucky you can have it sometimes, otherwise, the grey sky is the norm in Paris during winter. While that might sound a little depressing, it’s not! You can still pack up your day with plenty of activities. And, even if it rains there’s plenty of activities to do on a rainy day.
Winters aren’t that cold for the most part of it if, however, sometimes it can get really cold, so, staying outside isn’t always fun.
The trick to fight the cold is to layer your clothes!
Also with the cold and wind, activity such as river cruising in open boat isn’t quite fitting for winter if that’s something you wish to do.
NO LUXURIOUS GARDEN
Paris has a lot of beautiful lush gardens and parks full of vibrant flowers or perfect to picnic you would love to visit. Just, not in winter, obviously, if you come here to see this. If you want to chase the cherry
Also, as I said above with the river cruising, some activities that imply to stay outside for a rather long time can turn into more of a hassle than something you’d enjoy if it’s too cold.
WINTER IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PARIS IF:
- You don’t mind the cold weather walking with the crisp air of the winter on your face doesn’t bother or the occasional moody rain then you will be more than fine visiting Paris in winter!
- You don’t like to queue! If you have a lot of museums or famous landmarks to visit then it’s best to visit them during the winter in the off-peak season.
- You’d like to save money: it’s a no brainer travelling during the off-peak season the flights/trains/accommodations are cheaper. If you’re on a budget it’s a good season to visit Paris (albeit during Christmas)
If that fits your criteria then head over to the city of light in winter and have a blast! If you have ever been to Paris during the winter let me know if you enjoyed it!