What to Do When it Rains in Paris?

Atmospheres in this tip:

No matter what you do, plan accordingly. Proper shoes and umbrellas are a must for all seasons in Paris. If you are carrying any documents or important papers, you should keep them in a waterproof bag or leave them in the hotel, as they can get soggy. Paris can be rainy at any time of year, whether it's a quick shower in the summer or a long winter drizzle. Here's a list of things to do when the sun takes off his hat and goes on a break.

  • Visit Museums

It seems like an obvious choice, but choose wisely. If you decide to visit the Louvre on a rainy day, you may very well be lining up outside waiting like everyone else who had the same idea.
Try the Carnavalet museum in the Marais instead. You could also spend the day in the Hotel des Invalides visiting Napoleon’s tomb and the museum’s collection of war-time artefacts.


  • Go to the Library

Everyone heads to the Centre Pompidou for its modern art galleries, but if you just need a break from the rain, head to their library which is free of charge. The entrance is on the opposite side to the museum.
Head upstairs to browse the collections or just bring your own book and grab a seat by the large windows overlooking the city and watch the rain fall. There is even a little café, and a covered balcony for smokers, as well as free wifi.


  • Go to a Café

A rain shower provides the perfect excuse to sit for a few hours at a café, observing the people rushing by while drinking a hot chocolate.
Going solo is entirely acceptable; just bring a book or a notepad to make yourself look busy while you enjoy the sound of the rain on the pavement.
You could also go for a café under a covered passageway. Inside the Vivienne Gallery, for example, you can find some very nice places to have a drink and dry yourself from the rain. You could also try going to the “passage des panoramas” in the 2nd arrondissement. It is the oldest in Paris, and is located between La Bourse and l’Opéra.


  • Watch a Movie or a Play

Movie time is always the perfect rainy day solution. Being one of the cities with the most cinemas in the world, going to a movie is a great option, just make sure you see the “VO” version, the "version originale" not a French dubbed one. Here is a list of cinemas where you can find movies in English in Paris.
As for theatres, head to this website, where you’ll get to see what plays are being performed with English subtitles and how to book your tickets.


  • Go Shopping

Whether you want to bring back a French souvenir or buy that dress you saw in a magazine, Paris has many (many) shops. Le Bon Marché is where you’ll find chic Parisiennes exercising their credit cards. And if fashion isn't your thing, don’t miss the groceries section called “la grande épicerie de Paris” for some delicious souvenir snacks.


  • Enjoy It

Put on some wellies, grab an umbrella and enjoy the city’s most popular places without the crowds! When no one else is around, a walk through the Luxembourg gardens can be quite an experience, even in the rain.
As long as your feet are fine and you leave your electronics in the hotel, nothing can stop you from enjoying Paris, even under grey skies.