A Quick Guide to Surviving Paris in the Winter

If you’re not used to low temperatures then Parisian winters can be a complete shock to your system. Late sunrises, early sunsets, lots and lots of rain followed by icy winds and even some snow can surely put a damper on any exploring you have planned. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Paris can be unbelievably beautiful in the winter. To help you along I have compiled a list of essential tips to help your survive your Parisan winter.



Before you start your day of exploring ensure you are dressed for the occasion. Paris is one of the most fashionable cities in the world so of course you’ll want to look great while still ensuring you are snug and warm. Layering yourself is a great idea. That way, when you do start feeling warm, you can just peel off a few layers and keep going. It’s also a good idea to invest in a good pair of low heel boots that will be sturdy for walking in rainy or snowy weather. The last thing you want is soggy socks. Investing in a warm waterproof winter coat is another good idea since you’re going to be outdoors for most of the time. Winter accessories like ear muffs, touchscreen gloves and scarves are important too.



Wandering outside in minus-something temperatures is fun but at some point you will find your toes numb and close to freezing. Cafes are a great way to seek shelter from the cold weather and warm up at the same time. There are tons of cafes, tearooms and coffeehouses all around Paris offering warmth and something delicious inside. This could also be the perfect time to experience traditional Parisan croissants, pastries or even a five course meal. Find a cafe overlooking the Eiffel Tower and settle there for a while.



After warming up with your cafe au lait and croissant, it can be an easy fix to just stay there and snuggle down with a French newspaper, After all, it’s not unusual for Parisians to spend an entire afternoon at a cafe, so you should too right? Wrong! You’re in Paris! You’re here to explore and see the wonders of this romantic city and while it might be cold out, some sites and attractions are just made for the winter. Seek those out. You will find a range of outdoor ice rinks and Christmas markets scattered all around Paris. There is also a famous Parisian Christmas tree that goes up in the main square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral between December and January. The Paris cityscape is extra beautiful in winter too, with thousands of fairy lights creating a magical atmosphere all around you. Grab your camera, slip on your touchscreen gloves and just go.



This may seem like an obvious one but it has to be said. If you’re out exploring and find yourself getting cold but don’t want to sit down at another cafe then buy a coffee to go. I can’t tell you how many times when exploring I just buy a cappuccino-to-go and use it to warm my fingertips… and myself from the inside out.



Many Parisians prefer indoor activities when the weather isn’t good. There are tons of exhibitions, museums, theaters, cinemas and concerts all around Paris. Many cinemas screen English films but why not try watching a French movie in Paris? Also, look around for the SOLDES signs. These indicate shopping sales! Winter sales take place between January and February so be sure to keep an eye out for those and grab some great bargains.

Share you tips for surviving a Parisian winter below!

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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

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