How to Enjoy Paris in the Rain
While the city of lights is best enjoyed outside — wandering the streets and having picnics in the park, don’t fret if you find yourself in Paris when it rains. You might not be eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower or sipping an espresso outside a cafe, but you’ll find there’s still plenty of things to do. So find your chicest trench coat, and enjoy this guide on how to enjoy Paris in the rain!
Paris Travel Guide
- The 10 Top Sights in Paris
- How Much Does a Trip to Paris Cost?
- The 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Paris
How to Enjoy Paris in the Rain
Visit the museums
Do you NEED a better excuse to visit Paris’ world-class museums? (*Cue Chandler Bing’s voice*). Paris holds some of the world’s best museums, and you’re really missing out if you don’t see one of them during your time.
The most popular one would be The Louvre, the largest museum in the world. It houses classic art and is the home to the Mona Lisa, which will easily entertain you for hours. Get tickets here to skip the line at the Louvre and get a 2-hour guided tour
If you’re more into modern art, you can’t skip Centre Pompidou (tickets here). My personal favorite is Musee Jacquemart-André, a stunningly lavish 19th-century mansion owned by a banker-artist couple with a habit of collecting classic art.
What better city and weather for some shopping? Of course, you cannot miss is the 100-year old Galerie Lafayette, the most famous French department store. It has more than sixty locations worldwide, but the most famous one is the one on the Boulevard Haussman, one of Paris’ most well-known shopping streets.
Cuter perhaps is to wander into one of the glass-roofed shopping galleries, les passages couverts, which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wandering these galleries will transport you right back in time, and if you #havethisthingwithfloors, you’ll be obsessed with the tiled patterns you’ll find there. Galerie Vivienne is the prettiest gallery of all.
Go to a Vintage Cinema
A rainy day is a good excuse for a midday trip to the cinema, and in Paris… those can be dreamy in itself. You can’t miss a visit to Le Louxor, arguably the most eclectic French cinema. Built in 1920, it is one of the oldest cinemas in Paris, but that’s not what makes it special. It’s the Egyptian-inspired design, which will make you feel like you’re living in the Great Gatsby. If you want to enjoy a movie with your 2,799 closest friends, be sure to head to Le Grand Rex, one of the biggest cinemas in Europe.
Enjoy the Food
French cuisine is one of the best in the world, and a rainy day is the perfect excuse to indulge in one of the classics… such as onion soup, escargot, or coq au vin. Watch the rain tap on the window of your little French bistro and dream away. Two of my favorite bistros are Le Bistro Marbeuf and Les Parigots.
People-Watch in a Café
If you’re more a tea and pastries-person, you’ll want to head to one of Paris’s many tearooms. Some of the ones you should try are Carette, Angelina, and Ladurée. If you want to feel like you’ve wandered into Marrakech, head to La Mosquée du Paris, where you can enjoy Moroccan sweets and tea.
Go Underground to the Catacombs
A dark, gloomy and rainy day is the perfect time to go underground to a whole other realm in Paris. This is where you’ll enter the kingdom of the dead, a.k.a. Les Catacombes. If you weren’t aware, below Paris lies a 190-kilometer-long tunnel complex. Part of that is now used as an underground ossuary, housing the bones of over six million Parisians.
You can visit about 1.7 kilometers, and I can tell you… it’s kind of spooky, but also absolutely surreal and pretty cool. These bones were put here when the overfilled cemeteries Paris where closed and emptied for public health reasons in the 1780s. Though all the dead are anonymous, the ossuary does house the bones of some famous victims of the French Revolution. Get tickets here to skip the line
Get a Cute Umbrella and Savor It
My favorite thing to do when it rains in Paris? It’s to grab an umbrella and wander the streets anyway. There’s something inherently romantic about Paris in the rain, and it, therefore, shouldn’t really surprise you that my favorite movie is Midnight in Paris (who remembers the rain scene??). Stroll the streets, watch the rain falls into the Seine, and find a cute local to share your umbrella with. After all… Paris is the city of love.
What would you spend a rainy day in Paris?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe