The saying “Paris is always a good idea” is true in autumn, spring, and summer nights.

But is it worth going during the dreary bitter days of winter?

Well, I can confirm, Paris in winter is magical enough to always be appealing—even though I do everything I can to avoid cold weather!

Over the last year I’ve spent about two months total in Paris, all during winter months, and I’ve come to this conclusion.

You can’t help but fall in love with “The City of Lights” no matter what time of year.

Paris is especially charming as you walk around with a mulled wine in hand, watching the city sparkle.

Not to mention that this city has so many amazing indoor activities to indulge in when you want a break from the cold weather.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the pleasures of raclette, onion soup, and hot chocolates.

I’m here to tell you, visiting Paris in winter is absolutely a good idea!

Overview of Paris in Winter

Pont Alexandre III Bridge Winter in Paris1

Paris is a city that is known for its beauty and charm all year round, but there is something extra special about the city during the winter months.

My favorite thing is bundling up and strolling around the city with a mulled-wine in hand while taking in the city’s magic.

The “City of Lights” gets turned into a winter wonderland with holiday lights and decorations, ice skating rinks, and Christmas markets.



Paris gets pretty cold during the winter, so bring layers.

While I was there in March, I was so thankful for my wool coat!

You’ll find that the temperature is between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. So layers are really important!

And you’ll absolutely want to bundle up at night when temperatures even dip into the 30s and daytime temperatures will reach into the 40s.



While the city is a popular tourist destination year-round, the crowds during the winter months are smaller than during the summer months.

Fair warning though, if you go during the holidays, you’ll encounter a fair number of tourists in town to enjoy the Christmas markets.

Climate and Weather

The Dome des Invalides in Paris in winter

Winter in Paris runs from roughly November to March, with average temperatures ranging from about 32°F to 45°F (0°C to 7°C).

I always pack plenty of layers, since you do get the occasional sunny day. Either way, a wool coat is a must.

I know I was so thankful to have mine while I was living in Paris last February and March.

Paris also gets a lot of rain, so don’t forget waterproof shoes and an umbrella.

Fun Fact: February is the coldest month, with an average high of 46°F (8°C) and a low of 36°F (2°C).

Best Things to Do in Paris in Winter

Visit the Eiffel Tower

Paris skyline at night from a boat ride down the seine eiffel tower full moon romantic night in Paris

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris, and really even the world.

It’s impressive to see during the day, but my favorite time to go is at night.

The tower is lit up with thousands of sparkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere that you’ll never forget.

If you want to go into the tower, it’s worth going up to the top level (you can either go up halfway or all the way).

You should also plan to take some time on the lower floor to enjoy a mulled wine and a view of the tower from within.

Local’s Tip: Don’t miss out on getting some signature macrons at Pierre Herme. They have a chocolate raspberry cookie and a mint chocolate one that they only sell at their tower location!

Explore Montmartre


Montmartre is one of the most charming neighborhood in Paris.

It’s famous for its artistic history, and home to iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

One of my favorite things to do is stroll around checking out all the art, before having a little sunset picnic near Sacré-Cœur on warmer evenings.

Go Ice-skating

Ice skating in paris

Another popular winter activity in Paris is ice skating.

There are several ice skating rinks throughout the city, including one with a view the Eiffel Tower (via Montparnasse Tower).

These are the top places for ice skating in Paris:

Visit the Christmas Markets

Holiday Market Paris

One of the top highlights of visiting Paris in winter is the Christmas markets.

They’re all around the city and have tons of cool booths, including ones with food, mulled-wine, and handmade crafts.

I love hitting these up to do my holiday shopping. It’s also a great spot to hit up at night for great eats and amazing mulled wine.

The last time I was there, my ex and I had such a magical date night at the market in the Tuileries.

Besides that one, you should also check out these other popular markets:

Warm Up with Hot Chocolate


Paris has some of the best hot chocolate in the world.

In fact, one of my favorite things to do in Paris is warming a cup of hot chocolate on a chilly day.

Fair warning though, Parisian chocolat chaud is typically thicker and richer than how most hot chocolates in the US are.

But don’t worry, they’re still typically served with whipped cream and or marshmallows.

Take a Cruise on the Seine River


Taking a cruise down the Seine River is one of the most romantic ways to see the city during winter.

Paris is absolutely stunning as you glide by all the iconic buildings lit up.

Though fair warning, the best seating on most tours is on top of the boat, where it gets cold.

So if you’re in town with extremely chilly weather, consider booking a dinner cruise or something a bit more insulated.

Go to a Museum


This city has some of the best art museums in Europe, so whatever you do, don’t miss out on exploring at least one or two of them.

These are some of my favorite museums in Paris:

Take a Tour

Escargot Devour Food Tour Paris

Lately I’ve been really into taking tours whenever I can, I especially love hopping on a food or walking tour.

Last week while I was in Paris, I went on especially great ones with Walks Tours and Devour Food Tours.

I’d highly recommend Walks Skip-the-Line Sainte-Chapelle, Seine Cruise & Medieval Quarter Tour.

Our guide was amazing, and the entire tour was so informative!

And don’t get me started on how fun and delicious Devour’s Paris at Sunset: Aperitif, Food & Wine Tour and Paris Ultimate Food Tours are!

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Have an Immersive Experience

Atelier des Lumieres Immerisve Chagall in Paris

Immersive art installations are one of my favorite activities to hit up.

Thanks to Emily in Paris, Atelier des Lumières, is the most popular.

They do some amazing immersive art experiences. When I was there, the theme was Chagall.

Grab a Bite


Paris has some absolutely incredible restaurants, and some really unique dishes to try.

While you’re visiting don’t miss out on some of these popular French winter dishes:

  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Raclette
  • French Onion Soup
  • Hot Chocolate

These are some of my favorite restaurants in Paris to warm up with something hot and delicious:

Go Shopping

Le Bon Marche Paris

Shopping in Paris is always amazing, but it feels extra special when it means getting a chance to take a break from the cold.

These are some of the most popular shopping centers in Paris:

Local’s Tip: If you love shopping, January is the time for winter sales in Paris. You’ll find great deals at boutiques and department stores.

Take a Walk


One of my favorite activities is to just stroll around Paris taking in the energy of the city.

There’s so much good people watching to be had, not to mention all the art, history, and extraordinary architecture around every corner.

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Packing Essentials

Fashion Tips


Parisians are known for their chic style, so it’s important to pack fashionable yet practical clothing.

Layering is key during the winter to stay warm, so pack warm sweaters, thermals, and a heavy coat to keep you cozy.

When dining out, locals dress up a bit more than in other cities. Pack a dressy outfit or two for evenings out.

I always bring at least one little black dress with accessories to dress it up or down, depending on my plans.

Dark denim is also a must, since it always looks chic and can be dressed up easily.

I always bring leather ankle boots and sneakers, which are both comfortable and stylish choices.

Leather gloves are a chic and practical option to keep your hands warm.

And a scarf can add a pop of color to your outfit while also keeping you cozy.


What are some romantic activities to do in Paris during the winter season?

Ally in front of the Eiffel Tower in winter

We know Paris as the “City of Love”, and visiting during the holiday season adds a magical touch to its romantic atmosphere.

One of my favorite winter date nights in Paris was with my ex.

We celebrated my birthday with a cozy dinner of steak frites and a delicious bottle of St. Emilion, and chocolate mousse for dessert.

Then we took a stroll through a Christmas market, and along the Seine, with hot mulled wine in hand to keep warm.

It was extra magical, because right as we got near the Eiffel Tower, it began to sparkle.

If you’re looking for a romantic evening, copy this one. It was perfect!

Where is a good place to stay in Paris during the winter months?

Saint Germain des Pres Paris

There are many great places to stay in Paris during the winter months.

The Marais and Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhoods are popular choices. I love both for their charming atmosphere and central locations.

Though, I almost always end up finding better deals on places in the Marais.

You can also consider staying near the Champs-Élysées, which is home tons of luxury hotels and high-end shopping.

What is the weather like in Paris during December?

Arc de Triomphe Paris France

Paris is generally chilly in December, with temperatures averaging around 5°C (41°F).

You’ll absolutely want to pack layers, and ideally a nice warm wool coat.

It can also be rainy, so don’t forget to bring an umbrella!

Is it worth visiting Paris during the winter season?


Yes, it’s definitely worth visiting Paris during the winter. The city is less crowded, unless you visit during the holidays, meaning you can enjoy its many attractions without the long lines and crowds of tourists.

How cold does it get in Paris during the winter months?


Paris gets cold during the winter, with temperatures often dropping below freezing.

The good news is the city is well-prepared for the cold weather, and you can enjoy its many indoor attractions and cozy cafes.

Is December a good time to travel to Paris?

Paris at christmas

Paris is stunning in December with all the holiday lights and Christmas markets. Plus, there are many special events and performances to enjoy.

Final Thoughts


Thanks so much for reading, I hope this has inspired you to plan the perfect trip to Paris this winter!

I know writing it certainly has me missing Paris already (I was just there last week) and very excited to plan another trip to for early next year.

Let me know in the comments below what activities and foods you’re most looking forward to trying.

And most importantly, don’t forget to pack layers!


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