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.
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.
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: 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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
Shop for Souvenirs
Some of my best-selling photographs in The Print Shopare 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!
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