What to Do in Paris When it Rains

What to do in Paris When it Rains

If you are headed to Paris in any Season, expect to find rain in the forecast. I learned the hard way that May is the rainiest month of the year, and I was caught in downpours more than once and was soaked down to my shoes. This post is designed to help you come up with ideas on what to do in Paris when it rains.

It is essential always to carry an umbrella even when there is no rain in the forecast. A trench coat is versatile in the Parisian weather and highly recommended for your Paris packing list.

what to do in Paris when it rains everyday parisian

When it comes to what shoes to wear when it is raining. I LOVE my Blondos. If you haven’t heard about these shoes, they are the best. They are super comfortable and stylish, and they are waterproof. I have owned mine for years, and they have been through many rainstorms in Paris.

The Parisians do still look stylish even in the rain. Make sure you pack the essentials if rain is in the forecast.

Rainy Day Activity: Walk the Paris Passages

The covered passages of Paris make for my favorite rainy-day activity. This is one of my favorite memories from living in Montmartre. You can easily walk from the 9th at the end of Rue des Martyrs through Galerie Vivienne by only taking a few steps outside. The covered passages in Paris are filled with shops and restaurants to help pass the time on a rainy day.

what to do in Paris when it rains everyday parisian

Start at Passage Verdeau and walk towards the seine river. You will then go through Passage Jouffroy and then Passage des Panoramas. This is a great place to stop for a wine or lunch. Book a reservation at Racines Paris for a lovely meal with a mix of French and Italian. We had a great dinner here in May, the inside is adorable, but the exterior provides excellent people-watching.

Gallerie Vivienne is one of my all-time favorite passages and leads you straight to Palais Royal. Enjoy a glass of wine at Bistro Vivienne or have lunch or dinner at Daroco, available to book online. I can never decide between pasta or pizza, and it’s best to bring a friend to split them both.

Chez Georges is also nearby and a classic French bistro that will transport you for a rainy afternoon.

This should take up an afternoon or evening of rainy weather in Paris.

what to do in paris when it rains covered passages

what to do in paris when it rains everyday parisian

What to do in Paris When it Rains: High Tea

High Tea is a real treat in Paris. A rainy day is a perfect time to spend an afternoon over tea in a beautiful hotel or one of the tea rooms in Paris. My favorite hotels with High Tea include The Bristol, George V Four Seasons, Le Meurice, and The Ritz. The tea will come with sweets, scones, and finger sandwiches.  The Bristol is lovely for high tea, and I took a box back to my hotel with sweets I couldn’t finish on my last visit. Arrive hungry for a high tea.

what to do in paris when it rains everyday parisian

What to do in Paris When it Rains: See A Movie.

Try one of the historical theaters in Paris, such as the Cinema de Pantheon. There are theaters close to the Odeon metro stop. Some of the movies offer English subtitles. It is the perfect excuse to enjoy the guilty pleasure of watching a film in the middle of the day. I saw Midnight in Paris in Nice at a theater, which is still one of my favorite solo travel memories.

what to do in paris when it rains

what to do in paris when it rains Paris odeon theater

Wait out the Rain on a Covered Terrace

The good thing about the Paris weather is that it eventually passes. Grab a glass of wine or tea/coffee and wait out the rain. You can still people-watch for a bit while the storm clears. Crack open a good book and enjoy it from a covered terrace. Don’t let a little rain ruin a trip to Paris.

what to do in paris when it rains

Visit a Museum

When visiting museums in Paris, I like to leave them for a rainy afternoon. You can visit the Louvre Museum and see Mona Lisa. The Musée d’Orsay is filled with French impressionist paintings. One of my favorite museums is Musée Nissim de Camondo which is close to Parc Monceau.

Purchase tickets for the Palais Garnier, which is stunning and worth visiting. A guided tour is also available for an additional fee. The Palais Garnier is very close to many shops if you want to do souvenir shopping or clothes shopping afterward.

Shop Museum Nissim de Camondo Paris Print Here

For 5 Museums that aren’t the Louvre, read this post.

Angelina Hot Chocolate

In the winter months, visit Angelina for their famous hot chocolate. It is decadent but a must-do at least once in Paris. They also have a cart outside on some days if the line is long to get inside, you can do takeaway and stroll around the arcades under Rue de Rivoli to wait out the bad weather.

angelina hot chocolate what to do in Paris when it rains

Shop for Souvenirs

Paris is not complete without a little shopping. Use the weather as a good excuse to pick up souvenirs from your trip to Paris. Check out this post with some souvenir ideas for Paris if you need help.

Galeries Lafayette is great for gifts and souvenirs. There is a top floor dedicated to gift items with various price-point options. You can spend an entire afternoon here between the restaurants and shopping. If you find yourself with a rainy day in the forecast while you are in Paris, take a little time to visit Les Grands Magasins (The famous department stores). Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are right next to each other. If the rain clears, head to the roof for a beautiful view of the city and the Eiffel Tower view.

Le Bon Marche also offers excellent shopping on the Left Bank of Paris close to Luxembourg Gardens. Having a backup plan is always good if you are out and about and the weather turns.

Galeries Lafayette department store ceiling. The best souvenirs in Paris

Embrace It

Some of my best-selling photographs in The Print Shop are from moments in the rain. I know I will get wet but exploring Paris in the rain is part of the fun. Grab an umbrella and go for a walk. The streets will glisten as the sun hits the cobblestones.

Wine Tasting in Paris

Enjoy a wine tasting at one of the many wine bars located in Paris. Some of them offer a covered outdoor terrace which is a great way to escape the weather or a quick shower. Some of my favorites include Septime La Cave, ô Chateau, Chez Georges, and Willi’s Wine Bar. You can do a quick google search on your phone if you need a good option. There is no better way to learn about French wines than a guided wine tasting.

Do you have a favorite rainy day activity? Comment below and share!


what to do in Paris when it rains everyday parisian

This post does include affiliate links that help contribute to my coffee and croissant research. Merci!

Photos of me by Jennifer Claire Watkins

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    • Cathy,

      That is a great idea! Do you mind if I add it to the list? I always forget about bus 69. I usually take the metro.

      Thank you!

  1. I agree about photographing in rainy weather – it adds another texture, reflections and mood.

    Walking les passages is on my list for the next trip. As a lover of film cameras, I recall there used to be a vintage camera/photo shop in one of the passages, but I can’t remember which one. Do you happen to know?

    • Hi Earl,

      Yes! I am so happy you agree about the rain.

      I do remember the little shop in the passages but I can’t remember which one. I am going back in November, if I see it or find out from someone, I am happy to let you know. I wish the film wasn’t so expensive to develop. I stopped using it years ago and relearned on digital.


  2. We did the covered passages too. Also had lunch at La Jacobine in Cours Saint Andre. Can also do the bateau mouche! Once actually did the Hop On Hop Off and my daughters got soaked as they still wanted to stay on top and take photos – got some lovely shots in fact! Many times waited it out at a cafe.

    • Yes, we highly recommend La Jacobine (make reservations, though, for dinner). Have been for dinner our past two trips to Paris, and it’s always excellent.

    • Hi Natalie,

      I am so happy you enjoyed the covered passages in Paris. They are one of my favorite walks. Bateau Mouche is a great idea! Thank you. I hope you make your way back to Paris soon.


  3. Hi Rebecca,
    My daughter and I enjoyed the Musee Grevin Wax Museum in Montmartre, as well as the BHV Marais department store on a rainy day.