Unique Things to Do in Paris in Winter That You Can’t Do Another Time

Things to do in Paris in winter

Winter holidays in Paris? Some say the city of light and love is best during spring and summer, but frankly, “I don’t give a Notre Dame”. And so should you.

You’ll have the time of your life, and here is proof: Unique season-specific things to do in Paris in winter!

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8 Unique Things to Do in Paris in Winter

Things to do in Paris in Winter

Be sure to book accommodation and tours ahead of time to ensure availability!

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Still Don’t Know Where to Stay in Paris?

things to do in paris in winter

If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in Paris during your winter adventure, check out these suggestions!

Convenient: New Orient Hotel
Located in the tranquil 8th arrondissement, this affordable 3-star hotel is only 2 kilometers from the Opéra Garnier and the Arc de Triomphe. Only 500 meters from Saint-Lazare Train Station and 350 meters from Villiers Metro Station for direct access to the lively Montmartre area.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Mid-range: Select Hotel
Ideal location in the 5th arrondissement, this 4-star hotel is ideal if you want to stay in the Latin Quarter! Select Hotel is only 900 meters from Notre Dame Cathedral, about 5 minutes from the Jardin du Luxemburg. There are several metro stops (such as Saint Michel) surrounding the hotel making Paris’ attractions very accessible.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Luxury: Hôtel Du Jeu De Paume
You won’t find any more central location than the famous Ile Saint-Louis on the Seine, a 5-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. The hotel is 300 meters from Pont Marie Metro Station and a 10-minute walk from the Marais district. Saint-Michel Notre-Dame RER Train Station (for direct access to Charles de Gaulle Airport) is a 10-minute walk away.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Paris in Winter: Top Things to Do

things to do in paris in winter

In no particular order, these are the most stunning things you can do in Paris when the temperatures drop… Let’s dive right into the list!

Visit a Parisian Christmas Market

things to do in paris in winter

If you are thinking of celebrating Christmas in Paris, you are in for a treat. The city’s many Christmas markets make Paris so unique in winter.

Imagine tons of lights and themed decorations everywhere around while you walk with a cup of hot chocolate and croissant in your hand. Magical!

The biggest Christmas market in the city, La Defence, looks more like a make-shift holiday village than a modern business district. Honesty!

The skyscrapers around you will be the only reminder you’re standing in the middle of Europe’s most prominent business zone. 

Stroll Around the Paris Christmas Lights 

things to do in paris in winter

As you know, light is best experienced when it’s dark. In other words, there is no better season than winter to fully grasp why Paris is known as the city of light.

And if you add Christmas to the mix, you are essentially spoiled.

Champs Elysees Avenue is the fanciest street in Paris, so it naturally gets first place in an unofficial Christmas lights competition.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg; Paris is full of hundreds of heavily lit and decorated streets. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and get ready for some walking.

Enjoy Unparalleled Privacy and Quietness in the Louvre Museum

things to do in paris in winter

Whether you come to Paris to find love or Louvre, visiting this famous European museum will reward you tenfold during winter.

The reason? It’s relatively so empty that it can often feel like you have the whole museum for yourself. 

For example, you don’t need to wait to look closely at the famous Mona Lisa painting, as you would during summer or spring.

This means you have all the time in the world to decide whether she is smiling or not. Once you’ve figured that out for yourself, let me know. Sorry, I meant to say get ready to wander around splendid art galleries and ancient artifacts. All at your own pace and comfort!

Visit the Louvre with one of these best-selling organized tours:

Ice-skate in the Heart of France 

things to do in paris in winter

Winter holidays and ice skating always come together. And that could not be more true for Paris. The French capital is packed with skating rinks during winter. 

Even the Eiffel Tower has one on its first floor, from where the views can’t get any better!

And if that is not enough, you can find skating rinks on rooftops of tall buildings, in several basements, or even beneath the enormous glass dome of the Grand Palais monument.

Walk under the Covered Passages of Paris

things to do in paris in winter
Passage Verde.

If you like being underground, Paris will captivate you with its several covered passages spread around the city.

Les passages couverts are the secret passages nestled behind the Parisian boulevards that host original also cafés, art galleries, and more.

The most popular are Galerie Viviene and Passage Jouffroy. They are about seemingly ordinary streets shielded with glass roofs penetrating the adjacent buildings.

If you’re wondering what you’ll find inside, think of fashion stores, chic restaurants, vintage shops, boutiques, hotels, museums, or even hidden alleys.

They feel like whole towns under glass. Plus, you escape from the cold or rain for free! 

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

>> Galerie Vivienne is 4 Rue des Petits Champs, only steps from the Louvre Museum. Passage Jouffroy is on Boulevard Montmartre and the nearest metro station is Grands Boulevards.

Explore the Museum Scene in Wintry Paris

things to do in paris in winter

If you’re looking for winter activities in Paris, museum hunting is a no-brainer.

Some claim that the city of light is also the world capital of museums! Their argument? Paris has tens of small and big museums. 297, to be precise!

However, if you want to give justice to Parisians, go a bit off the beaten track in museum selection. Visit the tiny museums or those seemingly unknown to the tourist mass.

There are so many that you’ll easily find ones that interest you. Getting the Paris Pass offers you access to many (really many) of these museums, and it is available for 2, 4, or 6 days!

The Fairground Arts Museum, the Museum of Romantic Life, and the Zadkine Museum are only a few available choices.

Attend the Festival of Wonder

One of the best things to do in Paris in December is attend the Festival Du Merveilleux, which translates as Wonder Festival.

And the name couldn’t represent any better what you’ll experience. You’ll come across several festive shows and performances that last for 10 days.

Storytellers, musicians, artists, dancers, and magicians will captivate you with their exhibitions and performances.

Some will use modern technology or 3D shows, while others will keep it old-school and create optical illusions that will leave you in awe.

Climb the Crowd-Less Eiffel Tower at Night

Things to do in Paris in Winter: Eiffel tower at night

Since Paris in winter weather is relatively quiet and without tourist crowds, climbing the Eiffel Tower is a must.

No queues to grab a ticket and no congestion while moving around the tower. You’ll have the whole view just for you and a few other visitors.

Especially if you come with your partner to the city of love, getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris in winter.

You’ll be able to look into each other’s eyes and say, “Eiffel in love with you”. 

>> Check out this Eiffel Tower Second Floor Access with Summit Option to secure your ticket before the trip.

Drink Hot Wine or Have a Croissant Out in the Open

things to do in paris in winter

Despite the cold weather, there is nothing like sitting out in the open, in a bistro, or outside a bakery and enjoying the French specialties in chilled temperatures.

French are proud and passionate about their food and wine, so taste them yourself.

Croissant from a local bakery is one of the best snacks or breakfasts you can have in Paris.

You can even eat it while you stroll around the top attractions or Parisian streets. And when it gets dark, hot wine, or Vin Chaud, will be the perfect companion to enjoy Paris in winter weather. 

things to do in paris in winter
Paris City Hall under the snow.

Sooner or later, you’ll fall in love with wintry Paris, just as much as you’d do in any other season if not more. Pack your positive attitude, get inspiration from this to-do list, and enjoy the city.

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll look back and say, “Paris, I hope our paths will croissant again”. Because they will!

Pin This Guide to the Most Unique Things to Do in Paris in Winter for your French Adventures!

Things to do in Paris in Winter
things to do in paris in winter

Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, Dimi divides his time between Chania (Crete) and other countries. Writing is a way for him to express himself and his creativity. You can find out more about him and his work here.

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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