Looking for what to do on a rainy day in Paris? This article will show you all the activities you can participate in to have fun even when it rains in Paris.
“Rain rain go away, come again another day, little ‘insert your name’ wants to Play”! I don’t know about you but this song was a hit during my kindergarten days, especially at play times.
First forward, I am all grown up but I find myself singing the same exact song when it starts to rain while visiting popular landmarks in Paris.
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While it’s not the most desirable thing to happen especially if you planned a lot of outdoor activities, there is not much to do to change the weather but rather change the activities.
I mean, imagine the pain of waking up when it’s raining a lot when you planned to go on a Parisian picnic! I know that feeling very well.
And doing nothing because it’s raining is kinda a waste especially if you just have a weekend in Paris or even a few days.
Of course, you may say, but why not just check the weather forecast? Yes, you should but sometimes even the weather forecast doesn’t get it 100%, after all, it’s just a forecast and not a guarantee!
But it’s not all bad because I am here to tell you that there are tons of things to do in Paris on a rainy day.
And as someone who has had their own share of being in Paris on rainy days, I can assure you that your day won’t go to waste.
So, without any further ado, here are the best things to do on a rainy day in Paris, France.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Things to do on a Rainy Day in Paris
Here is exactly what to do on a rainy day in Paris to get the most out of your wet day in the city of love.
1. Enjoy Art at Various Parisian Museums
One of the best indoor activities in Paris is to explore various museums. There is no city that has so many museums as Paris. In fact, you can find well over 130 museums all showcasing something different.
Whether you want to admire the stunning paintings in the Louvre museum including the famous Mona Lisa, want to discover some of the famous paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, or other impressionist paintings in the Orsay museum, admire the gigantic Water Lilies paintings by Claude Monet in Musée de l’Orangerie there are so many museums worth exploring.
And it’s not just the famous Parisian museums, you call also explore smaller museums like the Musée Cluny, Musée National Eugène Delacroix, Musée Marmottan Monet, Musée Rodin, or even opt for free museums in Paris like Musée de la Vie romantique, Petit Palais, Maison de Victor Hugo, and so many others.
However, as you plan to visit these museums, make sure that you buy skip-the-line tickets in advance so that you don’t queue in the rain for long.
Alternatively, you can buy this Paris museum pass as it covers over 60 museums and attractions. Not sure if you should buy it or not? You can first read my detailed Paris museum pass review to decide.
If you choose to buy individual tickets, below are some of the skip-the-line tickets to popular museums.
- Louvre museum skip the line ticket
- Orsay museum skip the line ticket
- Orangerie museum skip the line ticket
- Centre Pompidou skip the line ticket
- Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac skip the line ticket
- Musée Rodin skip the line ticket
- And many others.
2. Explore the Covered Passages of Paris
When you think you’ve discovered every little corner in Paris, that’s when you’ll find something new to blow you away and the covered passages of Paris are among those things.
With a history dating back to 100 years, these passages were constructed as shopping arcades and today, they still have the same purpose but have upgraded to even include things like hotels, restaurants, cafes, and high-end shopping centers.
Besides taking shelter during the rain, you’ll enjoy browsing various shops from vintage to fashion or even sit down for a quick bite.
Some of the beautiful covered passages of Paris you should explore include Passage Des Panoramas in the 2nd arrondissement, Galerie Vivienne in the 2nd too, Passage Verdeau in the 9th, Passage Jouffroy in the 9th, Passage du Grand-Cerf in the 2nd, and so many others.
3. Warm up with Hot Chocolate or Coffee at Parisian cafes
One of the best Paris rainy day activities is actually getting a warm drink. Paris has a huge coffee and hot chocolate culture and there is no better time to enjoy it than when it’s raining.
There are so many coffee shops in Paris that you can go to for a perfectly crafted Parisian coffee.
But if you’re a hot chocolate person, places like Angelina or Jean-Paul Hévin will not disappoint when it comes to serving the thickest and most delicious hot chocolate in the city.
So, if going out to museums is not your ideal way of spending a rainy day in Paris, then spend it at one of the cute cafes of Paris warming up with a hot something.
4. or Warm Up with Afternoon High Tea Instead
Tea lovers are usually left behind in Paris but thanks to the lovely neighbors across the English channel, the idea of high afternoon tea exists in Paris.
Whether coffee is not your cup of tea (pun intended) and just prefer tea or you just want to try out the tradition of afternoon tea, tea rooms in Paris will not disappoint.
Of course, they may not be as many as coffee shops but the pro is that being “high teas”, the rooms are usually decorated lavishly and extravagantly making anyone feel like they’ve stepped into royalty while enjoying different types of tea and scrumptious Parisian desserts.
Some of the tearooms you can go to warm up on a rainy day in Paris include; Ladurée, Elan Café, Violetta et Alfredo, Pinky Bloom, and many others.
5. Browse Paris’s Popular English bookstores
If you’re a bibliophile, this is your chance to explore the alleys of the bookshops in Paris. While there are a number of French bookshops, there are some that are geared towards English speakers that you’ll love.
Besides enjoying the smell of old books (if you’re into that) and uncovering old and 1st editions of rare books, some English bookstores in Paris usually organize events such as book reads from authors that you can enjoy as you escape the rain.
From the famous Shakespeare & Co which has become a household name to Abbey bookshop, or the Red Wheelbarrow, you’ll find something that excites the bookworm in you.
And the best part is that some of these bookstores have cafes so you can enjoy a good book as you sip on the much-needed hot beverage.
6. Go on a Shopping Spree at Paris’s Department stores
With a number of luxurious department stores that have anything your wildest shopping mind can think of, going on a shopping spree is one of the fun things to do in Paris when it rains.
You can find anything at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann at it has over 280 stores, from luxurious clothing to simple souvenirs, or check out Printemps Haussmann, BHV Marais, or Le Bon Marché.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the budget to buy anything, just window shopping in these stores is pretty satisfying. Plus, their grandiose decor and architectural designs are equally impressive and will take your breath away.
7. Go on a Cheese and Wine Tasting Tour
No trip to Paris is complete without going cheese and wine tasting! I mean cheese and wine are literally the heart of French culture so experiencing them will be a real treat.
There are various cheese and wine tasting tours you can opt for depending on your style, whether you prefer it in a casual setting or in a traditional wine cellar setting.
Going on a cheese and wine tasting tour is not only a great way to spend a rainy day in Paris but also a chance to learn more about French wine and the best way to taste it.
Below are some of my favorite wine tasting tours and what each one entails.
- French Wine Tasting Class with Sommelier: With this wine tasting tour, you’ll learn how to differentiate wines from the different French regions and learn exactly what makes them different from a knowledgeable and friendly sommelier. >>> Click here to book this wine and cheese tasting tour <<<
- Wine Museum Guided Tour with Wine Tasting: This wine tasting guided tour will take you in the footsteps of French kings. You’ll stroll through wine cellars of former kings, taste wine from various regions and learn the exact wine-making process plus the history of French wine. >>> Click here to book this wine tasting tour <<<
8. Visit Some Parisian Churches
Paris may not be a religious city but its years’ old history with religion has blessed us with beautiful architectural wonders to marvel at.
With more than 200 churches just in Paris, you’re likely to find a church in almost every neighborhood of Paris.
Some of the famous churches in Paris you should visit to take advantage of the rainy weather include Saint-Etienne du Mont in the 5th Arrondissement, Basilique Du Sacré-Coeur in the 18th Arrondissement, Sainte-Chapelle in the 1st Arrondissement, L’église De La Madeleine in the 8th Arrondissement and so many others.
You can visit to say a prayer or even admire the stunning interior that ranges from stained glass windows, impressive mosaic, musical organs, and the overall impressive architectural designs.
9. Relax at a Spa
We all need some pampering at times and instead of “wasting” a nice sunny day to go to the spa, you can save that as one of the rainy day activities in Paris.
The spa day will help you rejuvenate and slow down a bit in a rather fast-paced city. Feeling like a massage, facial, body wrap, scrub, or sweating it out in a sauna? You can enjoy any of these at Paris’s fancy spas.
Some of the fancy spas in Paris you can go to feel renewed include; Chanel Spa At The Ritz Paris, Institut Dior at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, Spa Cinq Mondes, Opera Garnier, and many others.
10. Warm up with raclette or fondue
If you haven’t tried Raclette or Fondue, you’re in for a real treat. These are some of my favorite French foods in Paris and they’re perfect for the chilly weather.
In fact, they’re commonly known as winter dishes but you can still enjoy them on a rainy day in Paris.
What is Raclette and what is Fondue, you ask? Raclette is a dish that consists of scraping melted cheese (known as Raclette) on potatoes and Ham, bacon, pickles, onion, and Saucisson.
On the other hand, Fondue consists of melting Comté cheese in a pot with white wine, garlic, corn starch, mushrooms, etc, and heating it up. This is enjoyed by dipping cubes of French bread in the hot cheese mixture.
There are several restaurants that serve these dishes and some of them include; Le Chalet Savoyard in the 11th arrondissiment, Les Fondus de la Raclette in the 14th, or Pain Vin Fromages in the 4th arrondissiment.
11. Spend Time making your Own Perfume
There are many famous French perfume brands in Paris to choose from but there is a wild kind of excitement that comes with making your own perfume.
Learn from the best by signing up for this Perfume making workshop. You’ll be offered various scents to craft a perfume that fully brings out your personality, and after the workshop, you’ll be able to take the perfume you’ve just created.
In my opinion, this is the best souvenir you can ever get from Paris. You get the experience of learning and making perfume and you get to create the perfect scent you’ve always wanted.
12. Spend Your Evening Watching a Cabaret Show
One of the best things to do in Paris at night, especially on a rainy day is to watch a Cabaret.
Cabarets have been a hit in Paris since the early days — in fact, the can-can dances are believed to have originated in Paris during the 1830s.
Have an evening of fun while being entertained by elegantly dressed dancers, singers, and sometimes one-man shows.
With a hearty and heated performance by the talented dancers plus a hearty French dinner, there is no way the chilly blues won’t wear off.
There are quite a number of cabaret shows in Paris but the most famous one is the one at Moulin Rouge followed by Lido Cabaret.
Depending on your budget, you can opt to watch the show plus a 3-course dinner or just the show with champagne, but regardless of what you choose, watching a cabaret is truly one of the best things to do in Paris when it rains.
Pro tip* Remember to book your tickets in advance because seats sell out super fast. You can book this Dinner Show at the Moulin Rouge but if you prefer to keep the budget at bay, this Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show Ticket with Champagne will be perfect.
If you prefer to watch the show at Lido, you can book your Lido Cabaret Show With a Dinner ticket here or this Lido Cabaret Show With only Champagne.
13. Be Blown away by The Paris Opera
Wondering what to do in Paris on a rainy day? Get mesmerized by the beauty of Palais Garnier or Paris Opera as commonly known.
Located in the 9th arrondissement, Palais Garnier is probably the most exquisite opera house in France.
From the Grand staircase that exudes luxury on every turn to the Grand foyer that is dripping in gold and chandeliers to the beautiful ceilings, every aspect of the Opera will take your breath away.
You can either visit on your own by booking this self-guided entry ticket or book a guided tour to learn more about the history of this place.
14. Learn How to Bake Macarons
If you were always intrigued by how they’re made, booking a macaron baking class is one of the fun Paris indoor activities to do when it rains.[lasso ref=”macaronbakingclassinparis” id=”6315″ link_id=”17857″]
15. Watch a Movie at a Parisian Historical Cinema
As the birthplace of Cinema, Paris has a number of historical cinemas to catch a movie on a rainy day from.
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the French culture than watching a movie in a place that has been the center of cinema since the early years.
Some of the historical cinemas you can go to include; Le Champo in the Latin quarter or Le Studio 28 in Montmartre.
16. Relax at a Turkish Bath
Turkish baths are predominantly increasing in Paris and there is no better day to take advantage of the relaxing warm bath than on a rainy day.
Hammams or Turkish baths as commonly known are the best way to unwind and relax your mind and body.
There are a number of hammams in Paris but some of the best include; Les Bains du Marais in the 2nd arrondissement, Hammam Pacha in the 6th arrondissement, Hammam Stalingrad in the 10th or Medina Hammam Center in the 19th arrondissement.
17. Take a Day Trip Out of Paris
If all fails or if you’ve already done all the things to do in Paris in the rain that I’ve suggested above, then there is no harm in escaping the rain by visiting some of the towns or cities near Paris.
Some of the popular day trips from Paris that you can easily take by train include; Versailles Palace, Disneyland Paris, Chateau De Chantilly (which is one of the most beautiful castles near Paris), Mont Saint-Michel, Fontainebleau castle, and so many others.
However, before you embark on the journey, make sure that you check the weather in those places to be sure that it’s not raining there too. Also, it’s best to buy tickets to those places online to avoid wasting time in queues.
Final Thoughts on What to do in Paris When it Rains
Rainy days in Paris don’t have to be that bad or boring if you know what to do to escape them.
Instead of wasting the whole day because it’s raining, participate in one of these rainy day activities in Paris and you’ll be surprised by how much fun you’ll have.
Of course, you’ll need to prepare a bit, wear warm clothes, carry your raincoat and you’ll be set to take on any rainy day in Paris.
NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!
You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!
Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for
more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Best Free Things to do in Paris
- Weird French foods in France
- Famous foods to eat in Paris
- Facts about French food
- What to do in Paris at night
- Best things to do in Paris in January
- Best Paris quotes
- Fun facts about Paris
- Best things to do in Paris in Spring
- Where to find the best views of Paris
- Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
- What to Pack for Paris
- Skip the line tickets for Paris’ popular attractions
- Interesting jokes about Paris
- Paris captions for Instagram
- Famous quotes on Paris
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