One time of year that is often overlooked in Paris is the wintertime. However, I am a huge fan of Paris in the winter because of the holiday decorations, there are less tourist, when it snows it’s magical, and because it’s hardly ever too cold to go outside. Today, I’m going to share with you my favorite things to do in Paris in the winter!
Ice Skating in Paris
What I love about the winter in Paris is that there are so many magical things you can do, and ice skating is definitely one of them. The best part about ice skating during the winter is the average temperature in Paris this time of year is between high 30s and high 40s so it’s not freezing. Ice skating in Paris should definitely be at the top of the list if you are visiting Paris in the winter.
Drink Hot cider at the Jardins Tuileries Christmas Market
Do you love hot cider or hot wine? Then head over to the Jardin Tuileries. Much like the summer when there is a carnival, the Jardin Tuileries is filled with an incredible holiday market. I recommend arriving to the Jardin Tuileries Christmas market early as it tends to get very crowded. I’ve purchased tons of unique gifts for family and friends at this market every year!
Take a stroll down the Champs Élysée
One of the most beautiful places this time of year is the Champs Élysée. The trees are covered in beautiful Christmas lights. What is so nice about the Champs Élysée during the winter in Paris is every year they change their light color! Plus if you are going to be ringing in the New Year Champs Élysée is where the city celebrates with the NewYear’s countdown being projected onto the Arc de Triomphe
Enjoy delicious food and hot Wine at Le Marché de Noël / Christmas markets
The Christmas markets are absolutely magical and Le Marche de Noel is no different. Come enjoy hot wine, traditional Christmas market snacks, and a place to purchase holiday trinkets. This is a little smaller Christmas market than the others but it’s definitely worth checking out. One great thing about the wintertime in Paris is the Christmas markets.
Go shopping and enjoy the Winter Sales!
The wintertime in Paris means sales, sales, and more sales. Paris has sales twice a year and one of those times is during the winter. What is great about the winter sales in Paris is that everything that didn’t sell during the holidays is discounted. During the winter sales in Paris, I’ve been able to find extremely nice winter coats, boots, and even handbags.
The difference between sales in the USA and sales in Paris, is that Paris has designated times that stores are able to put items on sale. Paris Department stores, mom-and-pop shop and even luxury brands participate in the sales. If you are looking for an even steeper discount then I highly recommend that you go shopping at the outlets in Paris to receive double discounted prices.
Head over to your favorite museums
Now is the time to visit your favorite museums. With many tourists being absent from the city, it’s an ideal time to visit some of the most popular museums in Paris. During the winter in Paris many times the museums will be almost empty. This is an ideal time to spend appreciating famous works of art without dealing with big crowds. Now is the best time to get your selfie with the Mona Lisa at the Louvre!
Take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at Concorde
Grab your winter coat and head over to Concorde to ride the giant Ferris wheel. Riding the Ferris wheel is always fun, but going during the winter is magical. You’ll be able to see Paris’s building covered with Christmas lights from high in the sky. Plus, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of all of Paris’s favorite monuments, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Concorde, and many more.
Check out the famous holiday window display at the big department stores
Every year the big department stores in Paris decorate their windows with an incredible holiday display. One of my favorite things to do is go see the new window displays. If you are fortunate to be there during the window unveiling it is a truly remarkable experience and I highly recommend going. The best part is that every year the window displays change so you never know what is going to be unveiled. Typically, they will have one theme and the brands will build out their window display in accordance to that theme. My favorite places to see the window displays in Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
Book a cooking class
With the cold weather and sometimes gloomy skies staying inside is also a great option. If you are looking for an indoor activity then I highly recommend you book a cooking class. There are so many options out there when you can do a specific course like learning how to make macarons or more of a generic cooking class. I took a few cooking classes from Galeries Lafayette, and from local Parisians in the area and thoroughly enjoyed my time learning how to cook something new
Grab some hot chocolate and walk around covered passages of Paris
In my opinion, wintertime is the best time to grab some hot chocolate and walk around the city. Paris is filled with hundreds of places to grab hot chocolate in the city. Luckily for you’ve I’ve outlined the best places to get hot chocolate in Paris. What is great about Paris during the winter is that restaurants turn on their heat lamps outside, so even though it’s cold you can still sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere.
Final Thoughts on Paris in the Winter: 10 fun things to do in Paris in the Wintertime
If you are looking to book a trip to Paris, then you should consider the wintertime to visit. There is something so magical about Paris being free from tourist and being able to enjoy everything the city has to offer. I’ve spent almost 8 winters in Paris and it’s easily one of my favorite times of the year. I’d love to hear in the comments, have you ever considered visiting Paris during the wintertime?
Sincerely Petite in Paris,