Visiting Paris In Winter: The Pros and The Cons

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 week day. This way while they might be some tourists like you, although, you won’t also be flooded with the local as kids are in school and adults at works for most!

HOLIDAY SEASON

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 cozy Christmas feeling!
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-ElysΓ©e is the Dior Shop where they put up a new festide facade every year.

WINTER SALES

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!

LOWER PRICES

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 Γ©clair au Chocolat or my personal favourite the “Mille-Feuilles” (although, know that the Tarte au Citron is close behind) if you have a sweet tooth. Or a nice toastie Croque Monsieur to fill up for a crisp day of adventure in this concrete jungle.

CONS OF VISITING PARIS IN WINTER

Survival French Phrases for Travellers
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 blossooms around the city then winter in Paris is definitely not the season for you!


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!

IF YOU LIKE ME, PIN ME!

Hey there! This post may contain affiliate links. It means I earn a bit of money if you purchase products through me, there is no extra cost to you and it helps me maintain this blog. Read more in my Privacy Policy
Follow:
Share:

Leave a comment !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

18 Comments

  1. 13/01/2019 / 00:01

    After reading this I think Paris is definitely better in the winter! Its so pretty and I really do love the crisp air on my face. And in my head you are only doing Paris right if you are walking around in an elegant winter coat. At least that is what the films tell me!!! Haha.

    • Lyne
      Author
      15/01/2019 / 01:09

      Ahahah πŸ™‚ Wearing an elegant coat is the perfect way to stroll around Paris! It’s a great winter city!

  2. 13/01/2019 / 06:59

    Oh, I so agree on the pro’s. I visited Paris off season (beginning of March) and I loved it! There were relatively little people and you could easily see anything you want. But my friend who visited in July absolutely hated it, exactly for the Versailles reason you mention πŸ˜€

    • Lyne
      Author
      15/01/2019 / 01:13

      I can understand why, Paris is also beautiful in the summer (and any seasons really!) but the flow of people can be overlwhelming and ruin a trip sadly.

  3. Anya
    16/01/2019 / 13:26

    I absolutely love Paris in the wintertime! I think it brings out a charm that the city doesn’t have in the Summertime. I mean either way, Paris isn’t exactly a bad place to be πŸ˜‰

    • Lyne
      Author
      19/01/2019 / 22:00

      Ahah, true this! Paris in winter is magic.

  4. 16/01/2019 / 13:45

    Great tips! I have been planning a trip to Paris for ages but never got a chance yet. I think visiting in winter is so magical, with all the decorations and holidays. Perhaps I should start planning my trip now, before winter ends!

  5. 16/01/2019 / 15:16

    I am going in Paris in early April with two friends of mine. I have only visited in this period before and there was a lot of tourist in Versailles, even though it wasn’t summer. Visiting in winter doesn’t sound so bad. It can be a bit cold, but so was it in March when I visited. My boyfriend is actually French and he has friends who live in Paris, so I am sure I will get to visit in winter as well. The only problem I find is that close to Christmas the ticket prices are very high, so it has to be at the end of November probably, as I really want to see the Christmas lights and decoration.

  6. 16/01/2019 / 15:53

    Off season travel is one of my favorite things! I would love to visit Paris in Winter because I could just imagine all of the snow making the city even more beautiful. Plus saving $$$ also doesn’t hurt! πŸ˜‚

  7. 16/01/2019 / 16:13

    OK OK you’ve convinced me – I’ll go! There’s something so romantic about huddling over a hot chocolate under Christmas lights. I feel the same about London, personally I think it’s at its best when the pubs’ fireplaces are lit!

  8. Susanna
    16/01/2019 / 19:30

    I mentioned this before, but I’ve only been to Paris in the winter, and totally agree with all the pros. Paris can be a crowded and expensive city and to me, avoiding crowds and saving money is totally worth it. However, I have yet to see a lush green Parisian garden, so I think next time I should try summer or fall.

  9. 17/01/2019 / 02:53

    This article reminds me of my visit to Paris during winter. I was cold and drank a lot of coffee. As you said I missed seeing the greenery around. Nevertheless, I enjoyed but would love to go back sometime during summer. By the way, I am in love with your pictures. They are beautiful indeed.

  10. 17/01/2019 / 09:37

    Ive ben 3 times in Paris, Once in Spring and the last two in Autumn and I can say that one time in autum we had the worse weather not because of the cold because it wasn’t so cold but it was raining a lot and with the rain you can not see anything. This year in autumn, we had a great weather instead. But I think regarding to the queues there are always queues in Paris in every season haha but the city is really beautiful!

  11. jenantipodean
    17/01/2019 / 16:38

    I’d always prefer to visit in Winter because of the option to layer your outfits for insta shots πŸ™‚

  12. 18/01/2019 / 00:16

    I LOVE that photo of that demoiselle in front of Dior :’) haha honestly I feel so honoured that you used me in the post so thank you Lyne! The hot chocolate in Paris definitely makes winter much more pleasant as well as all the different types of tea and coffee that you don’t get anywhere else in the world. Winter in Paris definitely makes the city feel so much more personal because the city really empties out! Its a shame there’s no luxurious gardens but honestly there is so much else to do in Paris that it almost doesnt matter <3
    love the post! xxx

    • Lyne
      Author
      19/01/2019 / 21:56

      Ahaha I know right that demoiselle is so fabulous! Of course, I love that photo it fits a Paris in Winter post perfectly! Agree, Paris in winter is still magical! Thanks girl ❀

  13. 09/02/2019 / 10:51

    Great post – I am thinking about going at the moment and this is really helpful. Thank you

    • Lyne
      Author
      13/02/2019 / 15:26

      Thanks! Happy it helps πŸ™‚

shares
%d bloggers like this: