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What to Pack for Paris in the Winter

what to pack for paris in the winter

What to Pack for Paris in the Winter 

When it comes to Paris, most people think of the spring and cherry blossoms or seeing the city in the fall. Don’t underestimate the winter months in Paris. If you are looking for fewer tourists, less crowds, and a more local experience, booking a trip early in the year is a good idea. There are some great options for less expensive hotel rooms. You can also splurge on a higher-category hotel room at a better rate in the off-season. Save this post for ideas on what to pack for Paris in the winter.

Parisian winter view

Paris Winter Forecast

A winter trip to Paris can be a great time of year to experience the city. Expect the colder months to be average temperatures in the ’30s and ’40s F. Paris’s winter weather may even bring in a few snowflakes if you are lucky. It rarely snows in Paris, but when it does, it is magical as long as you don’t have any place to be. I was lucky to have snow on my latest trip to Paris in January. The roads and rooftops were dusty with snow, and the city had an exciting energy. January is one of the coldest months of the year. Winter days are short, with the sunrise happening at around 9 am and the sunset at around 4:30. 

Keeping warm in Paris in the winter is all about layers. You can look stylish and warm simultaneously with a few key pieces.

What to Pack for Paris in the winter

What to pack for Paris in the Winter Everyday Parisian

Paris Winter Weather

A winter trip to Paris can be a great time of year to experience the city. Expect the colder months to be average temperatures in the ’30s and ’40s F. Paris’s winter weather may even bring in a few snowflakes if lucky. It rarely snows in Paris, but when it does, it is magical as long as you don’t have any place to be. They aren’t the best at clearing the roads because it doesn’t happen regularly.

snow in place des vosges winter in Paris

What to Expect in Paris in the Winter

The Christmas markets run from late November to early January, depending on the market. Most of the larger markets and holiday lights will be up for the early parts of the new year. You will see Christmas decorations and lights up if you visit in January. The energy of Christmas will be replaced with quiet streets and cafés, but the decorations and lights will still make the city feel festive.  You can find hot wine (vin chaud) or hot chocolate to keep warm as you explore the city of lights. Stroll the streets of Paris, and people watch at cafés to warm up.

Paris café at Christmas

Paris in the winter everyday parisian

What Shoes to Pack for Paris in the Winter 

what shoes to wear in Paris in the winter

Warm socks are essential with winter boots. Go for Chelsea ankle boots or waterproof boots when planning for cold temperatures. If you are looking for packing tips for a carry-on, wear your biggest boots on the plane with you. In the winter months, you won’t be changing out of shoes very often. Choose winter boots that are comfortable and stylish and go with anything. Brown or black boots should do the trick. I did notice a lot of Parisian women wearing black boots over brown, which made me regret my decision to pack my brown boots. 

Paris long wool coat and sneakers winter look for Paris

If the weather isn’t too cold, Parisians will wear sneakers on the weekends. You will want comfortable shoes for walking around the city. These Vejas are a good choice and a popular brand and style for Parisian women and men. For an affordable option, I love these from Madewell. Just make sure you break them in before you leave for your trip. 

What to Pack for Paris in the Winter

Winter Parisian Wardrobe Everyday Parisian

What to pack for Paris in the winter everyday parisian

Winter Coats to Pack for Paris

coats to wear in Paris in the winter

A winter coat is a must, and a long wool coat is what I have seen most Parisian women wearing. You will see black, navy, and camel colors in Parisian fashion. Leave the trench coat at home for the warmer months. It will be perfect for spring. The cold weather will require you to have a warmer jacket. Check out this coat edit here for ideas. I would most likely pack this coat or this coat if I were packing for Paris in January. Parisian style for winter includes Chelsea boots, a scarf, and a wool coat. These are the most important things to keep warm.

What to pack for Paris in the winter

Warm Layers for Winter in Paris

layers to wear in Paris in the winter

Paris winter cold weather accessories

How the French Stay Warm and Stylish

How the French Stay Warm

Paris weather is cold and damp. Layers are essential to keeping warm. These inexpensive finds from Uniqlo from their Heattech line are excellent options and can be purchased in advance or person.

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Parisian Winter Fashion

Parisian café what to Pack for Paris in the winter

Paris Christmas decor

Classic pieces for winter clothes are the best option, especially if you are packing a small capsule wardrobe. Stick with basic colors for sweaters, jeans, and black pants. I always pack a little black dress for date nights or a solo night out for dinner or drinks.

winter in paris everyday parisian

Chunky Knits for Paris in the Winter 

what to pack for Paris in the winter

A turtleneck sweater, chunky knits, and cardigans are all great pieces to have as an extra layer to keep warm. A chunky knit would have been ideal for the cold weather in Paris. I did spend a few spare moments inside shops looking at sweaters but eventually left empty-handed. My sweater collection at home is quite large, and I didn’t have a lot of room to bring one home. I call the perfect sweater for Paris a café sweater, ideal for keeping warm on cold or rainy days. You should be able to see yourself staying cozy on a terrace or inside a Parisian café with this knit.

Chunky knit sweaters for Paris in the winter

Tights for Paris in the Winter

Tights in Paris. Parisian trend for winter

Tights are very trendy in Paris right now. You will see most women in skirts or dresses with a pair of black tights. This is one of my favorite brands to buy in the US, and they hold up so well. If you want to buy tights in Paris, Sézane has an affordable pair, and I typically buy mine at Calzedonia, which has several locations in Paris.

Paris fashion tights

If all else fails and you feel you are not dressed to Paris style standards, you can duck into department stores such as Galeries Lafayette or Bon Marché to pick up a new coat or scarf. I love Sézane, which has a few locations, but I prefer the one in the 9th arrondissement.

My Paris Winter Packing List

I have a PDF that I have put together a complete list with everything you need to pack for Paris in the winter. It is free, and you can download my Paris packing list here.

paris in the winter everyday parisian

You will need warm gloves and a travel umbrella. Paris weather always has rain in the forecast at some point. I prefer to have a travel umbrella in my bag when I am out, just in case.The hotels and apartments typically will give you a larger umbrella, which becomes a pain if you are out and about all day. 

You can check out my favorite Paris boutique hotels in this post.

P.S. I always recommend travel insurance when heading out of the country and prefer World Nomads. I typically get the larger plan that covers my computer and camera. If you are just traveling solo and don’t need anything fancy, you can get by on the basic plan.

This post includes affiliate links. I make a small commission off of items purchased from my links at no cost to you. This helps contribute to my coffee and croissant research fund.

 

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  1. Bonjour, Rebecca. I’m visiting Paris with my two daughters to celebrate my 70th birthday! We’ll be there end of February/beginning of March. Is that still winter wardrobe weather or something else? Thank you. Lenni Snyder

    • Bonjour, Lenni! It all depends on the current weather in Paris. End of February can still be quite chilly but you may be surprised with warmer weather in March. Keep an eye on the forecast as it gets closer to your trip. I would still pack a longer wool coat and layers. You can always remove something if it is too warm. A scarf is a key Parisian accessory you will want to pack and comfortable walking shoes. Have a great trip!

  2. Happy New Year, Rebecca. This is a great list not just for Paris but also for New York in the Winter. I purchased the Blondo boots after reading your review about them. And…I did get them during the Nordstrom sale. They are wonderful — in rain or shine. Classic, warm and impenetrable. I love Paris in the Winter. The cool/chilly air keeps you moving and if you dress warmly you can stay out all day with small chocolate and wine breaks. I hope to bump into you again someday during a future trip. Maybe at Le Pré Aux Clercs. À bientôt.

    • Hello Amelia! Happy New Year to you too! I am so happy you love the Blondo boots. How is life in NYC? Do you have plans to return to Paris soon? Keep in touch! I would love to bump into you again. xo

  3. Great list! I have sadly "misplaced" my trusty black belted travel coat, so I am on the hunt for one. I like to also bring a very thin long sleeved shirt to slip under a sweater or blouse when chilled. Easy enough to throw into my bag if the days warm up later. I brought a wool blend pair of tights the past two January trips as well that fit under looser slacks…It is a wonderful time to be in Paris, great fares and no lines!

    • Layering is essential in cold weather. I can never find anything "cute" to go under sweaters. It is my Winter goal to find something that works but doesn’t look too awful. Tights are a great addition to the list. Have you been to calzedonia? I can’t not stop by and stock up when I am in Paris.

  4. Great packing list! I took almost an identical belted wool coat by Tahari in November, just as the weather turned from late fall to winter. It was really perfect! Closed it keeps your chest protected against the cold and open it has a a chic trench look.