I typically tell people that rain in Paris is a matter of when not if. An umbrella is a necessary accessory but also there is thankfully so much to do in the City of Lights when it rains. I also always say that no matter if the weather is rainy, being in Paris in the rain is better than not being in Paris!
Explore Paris’ hidden Passages. Paris has a variety of passages that have managed to stay rather majestic and historic feeling despite the great change that has happened in Paris since their inception. A few to seek out include Galerie Vivienne, Passage du Grand Cerf, Passage des Panoramas and Galerie Véro-Dodat.
Go on a self-guided food tour. Pick a neighborhood and research the best spots in that arrondissement to indulge for a few hours. The best crepe at one spot, a croque monsieur to share at another. Chocolates at a chocolate shop, pastries at the best patisserie, baked goods at one of the well rated local boulangeries. You get the idea. Your sugar coma will be sure to distract you from any rainy weather.
Take a cooking class. I always send people to La Cuisine de Paris where I’ve had nothing but great experiences. The croissant class was my personal favorite and is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon hiding out from the rain. You need to book in advance so I’d recommend doing so for a day that shows rain all day with no sign of letting up.
Go shopping. Hide out in Paris’ famed department stores like Galeries Lafayette or Le Bon Marche which are both big enough to entertain for long stretches. Don’t miss their food halls either for delicious snacks. The Marais also offers loads of shops to be popping in and out of.
Warm up with hot chocolate. Seek out the famed hot chocolate at Angelina’s or Laduree.
Explore the museums. This is of course the most obvious choice for a rainy day in Paris and there is certainly no shortage of great museums to check out. Consider going to smaller ones such as The Musée Jacquemart-André to avoid major crowds.
Read at a cafe indoors or under a sidewalk awning. One of the best parts about Paris is its cafe culture that almost makes you relax and take in the world around you. Bring along your book and grab a spot at a cozy corner cafe. Soak in the ability to be doing a simple pleasure in as great of a place as Paris. You could also do so at one of many Paris’ charming coffee shops. Here are my favorites.
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I have been in Paris many times when it has been raining and I have to say I also absolutely love how romantic the city is in the rain. The streets become more quiet and the city takes on this beautiful, dreamy air. Pack appropriate shoes, a trench and an umbrella and allow yourself a stroll in the rain, too. You won’t regret it.
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