As I recently found out, after only being there before in the summer months, Paris can get absolutely freezing in winter!!
But, as Cole Porter said, you can still love Paris even ‘in the winter when it drizzles‘.
So if you ever find yourself in Paris in chilly weather, why not try out some of these activities to help you make the most out of your trip?
Start your day on Paris’s Left Bank by heading to Éric Kayser on the Rue du Bac to try out their amazing cakes and pastries.
Once you’ve had your fill of baked goods, head to the Musée d’Orsay, which is just a 5-minute walk away. The museum is closed on Mondays unfortunately, but well worth going to if you’re in Paris on any other day.
It’s built on the site of the Gare d’Orsay, an old train station, and a lot of the original architecture has been preserved.
The roof of the entrance hall is made up of rows of ornate arches and skylights, which gives it an impressively spacious feel.
It has the largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world, with quite a few paintings by Gauguin, Monet and (my personal favourite!) Van Gogh.
If it’s not too chilly, have a wander from the Musée d’Orsay to the Boulevard St Germain, which was once the intellectual and bohemian centre of Paris.
I’d also suggest visiting the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg if the weather’s not too bad, and your toes and fingers aren’t in danger of falling off!
Of course, if the weather does its best to stay grey and miserable, this is the perfect excuse to stop off somewhere for a warming hot chocolate 😉
Find out more about where to find the most delicious hot chocolate in Paris with my guide here.
Next up to explore are two of Paris’s most famous sights, and one that’s perhaps slightly less well-known: Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle, and the Église de Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, the oldest church in Paris.
I really recommend getting tickets for a concert at the Église de Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. They have regular classical music concerts, where musicians come from all over the world to perform on the church’s grand piano. You can normally find reasonably-priced tickets here and here.
If you’re coming from Dalloyau, it’s a 14-minute walk along the Boulevard St Michel to the Sainte-Chapelle, or a 9-minute bus ride, which you can use your metro tickets for.
It’s a 16-minute walk or 10-minute metro journey on Line 4 from the Café de Flore to the Sainte-Chapelle.
Find out more here about travelling by bus and metro in Paris.
Hop on Line 1 of the metro from Hôtel de Ville station (or Line 9 from Pont-Marie) to Cojean Louvre for lunch, or work up an appetite during an 18-minute walk from Notre Dame.
Healthy fast-food restaurant Cojean has branches all around Paris, as well as one in London.
Their menu changes every few months, but their pasta salad with melon and Parma ham is one of my go-to favourites, or their orzo pasta salad with courgette and Parmesan!! 😍
Walk down the Rue de Rivoli for 5 minutes to reach the Louvre museum, perhaps best known for the Mona Lisa and the fact that part of the museum sits inside a giant glass pyramid.
Time for another hot chocolate, perhaps? Or how about a Mont-Blanc (layers of meringue, sweet Chantilly cream and piped chestnut cream)?
Walk along the Rue de Rivoli and have a detour in the Tuileries gardens before another all-important hot chocolate or dessert stop at Angelina.
Visit the Église St Roch, one of my favourite churches in Paris. It’s just a 5-minute walk from the Angelina via the Rue de Rivoli and the Rue Saint-Roch.
Walk over to the Rue Saint-Augustin in Paris’s 2nd arrondissement for dinner at Domaine de Lintillac. The restaurant serves dishes from the south of France like cassoulet, and also specialises in duck.
Read more about the restaurant in my post about what to eat in Paris here.
Have a look at the gorgeous Christmas decorations on the Rue St Honoré and Place Vendôme on the way to drinks at Bar 8 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Head to the Place du Trocadéro for great views of the Eiffel Tower (and, with the early morning start, beat the tourists while you’re at it!)
Take the metro to Café Craft to try some of the best coffee in Paris, and feast on pastries at nearby Du Pain et des Idées.
I definitely recommend the pancettta and reblochon cheese mini-pavé, and the chocolate and pistachio escargot (a snail-shaped sweet pastry made out of croissant dough, and filled with chocolate and pistachio).
Pastry in hand, walk along the Canal St Martin to the Place de la République if it’s a nice day. Or if not, take the metro from Jacques Bonsergent to République.
If you’re an Édith Piaf fan, try and visit the Musée Edith Piaf, a tiny museum in an apartment in the 11th arrondissement.
There’s all sorts of memorabilia in the museum, from the black dress that she wore at her concerts to her handwritten letters and gifts that she was given after her performances.
Although it’s free entry, entrance is by appointment only, so if you’re interested, do ring ahead to see whicht time slots are available for visits.
Why not go to the Père-Lachaise cemetery if the weather’s pleasant?
It’s a 19-minute walk from the Musée Édith Piaf, or à 15-minute ride on the metro on Line 3 from Saint-Maur to Gambetta.
Pop along to L’Artiste, a reasonably priced bistro near Père-Lachaise, for endless people-watching opportunities on the heated terrace and SERIOUSLY good food 👍
Top tip: try the café gourmand if, like me, you’re indecisive and you’ve got a sweet tooth. I’m not quite sure words do it justice, so here’s a picture for you 😍😍😍
If you’re not totally tired out by playing ‘spot the famous Paris landmark’ by this point, take Line 9 on the metro from Voltaire to Havre-Caumartin for Christmas decorations, Eiffel Tower views (from the terrace on the 7th floor), a floor perfect for sweet-lovers and THE DOME (the star of the video below).
It’s Montmartre time! Jump on metro line 12 at Gare Saint-Lazare and get off at Pigalle. And then, if you’re feeling brave (and are armed with emergency rations from Galeries Lafayette), why not have an invigorating walk up the hill to Place du Tertre?
Explore the Place du Tertre, warm up with a coffee at the historic Tire-Bouchon bar where Jacques Brel started his career and (definitely, a hundred gazillion percent) make sure you visit the Sacré-Cœur!!
Eat proper Breton-style crêpes and galettes (savoury crêpes) at Crêperie Brocéliande on Rue des Trois Frères 🥞
And if you feel like a cocktail (or two) afterwards, try the amazing mojito menu at the bar La Famille, also on Rue des Trois Frères. Santé! 🍸
Head back down the hill to Place de Clichy to catch a show (make sure you pre-book!) at the Moulin Rouge. If you book the show on its own, it’ll start at 11pm, but show and dinner packages start at 9pm.
Et voilà – that’s (more or less) 48 hours of wintry Parisian sightseeing all wrapped up!
What do you love to do and see in winter in Paris?
Let me know in the comments below – it would be great to hear from you! 😊
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À bientôt, tout le monde!