A rainy day in Paris isn’ exceptional: it rains in Paris 170 days per year on average. That’s like almost every two days. Worse, it sometimes rains for the entire weekend or even longer in Autumn and Winter. So you’d better have a plan B if you don’t want to get wet. What about 50 plan Bs? I’m confident you’ll find something you like in my list of things to do in Paris in the rain!
I grew up near the French capital and used to call Paris “home”. Now that I am in the Sunshine State of Australia, my friends often tell me I am lucky with the climate, and that’s why I can enjoy so much my weekends. I am not going to pretend this isn’t true. But I don’t think the weather should stop you from doing things in Paris.
There are cool things to do in Paris when it rains.
I didn’t only want to make a list that you could exhaust quickly. There are too many rainy days in Paris to list only a dozen activities. Of course, I listed the usual activities, but I also looked for some other ones that you may not have heard or thought about yet. Whether you like History, Nature, Art, Shopping or Food, you’ll find something to do in that list!
Challenge accepted: here are 50 things to do in Paris in the rain!
- Visit Le Grand Palais to increase your science knowledge, and the interior is impressive
- Visit Notre Dame: the cathedral will be very busy but try the archaeological crypt
- Visit the former church Pantheon, an architectural gem where some of the most illustrious French people rest
- Visit the site of Napoleon’s tomb and learn about the military history of France at the Invalides (click here to book online*)
- Explore the catacombs (click here to book online*)
- Visit the sewers
- Visit art museums: the most famous ones like Le Louvres, Orsay and Centre Pompidou may be crowded, but there are many smaller ones like Carnavalet, Petit Palais, Modern Art, Arts Decoratifs…
- Visit the Museum of Chocolate (click here to book online*)
- Admire the thousand fantastic stained glasses of the Sainte Chapelle
- Visit the medieval nef of the College des Bernardins
- Visit the final resting place of dozens of French kings and queens at the Basilica of St. Denis (click here to book online*)
- Visit Victor Hugo’s house, where he wrote most of « Les Misérables » (closed for one year from April 2018)
- Visit the Bourse de Commerce
- Live History with the augmented reality HistoPad at the Conciergerie, a medieval palace that became a famous prison during the French Revolution
- Visit the Richelieu Library
- Hear Parisian legends at the haunted Paris Manoir and play the Skeleton Key, the escape games of the Paris Manoir with live actors
- Explore the covered passages: Passage des Panoramas is the oldest one, Gallerie Vivienne the most elegant one and Passage du Grand Cerf is worth a visit too (find your way easily with a tour guide – click here to book online*)
- Go shopping at the Gallerie LaFayette: Look up to see the glass roof, it’s impressive!
- Treat yourself to a French beauty and shopping experience (click here to book online*)
- Create your own perfume with the help of a French expert (click here to book online*)
- Eat fine food while visiting the city on the Bustronome
- Sip a coffee or a hot chocolate at Coco Chanel’s favourite cafe: Angelina
- Eat at a Michelin restaurant… or even three with this tour (click here to book online*)
- Mix Fine Art and Gastronomy at the 1728 restaurant in a salon built in… 1728
- Visit Maison Souquet; a former brothel converted into a bar with a Belle Epoque atmosphere
- Go behind the scenes at a boulangerie and learn the secrets of French baking (click here to book online*)
- Learn how to make French Macaron (click here to book online*) or take a French Cooking class (click here to book online*)
- Taste and learn about French beers (click here to book online*)
- Learn about cheesemaking and French wines during a tasting tour (click here to book online*)
- Take a winemaking workshop and blend your own wine (click here to book online*)
- Visit the big greenhouses at the Jardin des Tuileries: you’ll travel to four different environments
- Visit the butterfly garden in the Bois de Vincennes
- Visit the tropical jungle in the greenhouse of the Jardin d’Auteuil
- Laugh at a comedy show, like this one about stereotypes in Paris that will teach you how to become a Parisian (in English, click here for more info*)
- Watch a horse race and bet at the Hippodrome d’Auteuil or Vincennes
- Take photos of the rain (visit this page for inspiration)
- Experience a free fall indoor with iFLY at La Villette
- Visit the Stade de France (click here to book online*)
- Solve the escape game in the backstage of the Parc Des Princes, the football stadium of Paris Saint Germain
- Listen to a concert at the Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris
- Visit metro stations with a guide from ADEMAS
- Watch a movie at the Louxor, a movie theatre from the 1920s, or at the splendid and symbolic Grand Rex
- Pose with the stars and those who made French History at the wax museum Grevin
- Go to Disneyland: although it’s better with the sun, you’ll queue a lot less on a rainy day and still have fun! Read this story about a memorable day at Disneyland despite a terrible weather
- Get wet at the Aquaboulevard Park or the Villages Nature Paris
- Hire an old car to drive around the city (Citroen Traction or 2CV)
- Visit Versailles Castle
- Take a day trip to a Champagne Winery
- Go south if the weather is better: Lyon, Marseille or Bordeaux (and so many other cities) are feasible as a day trip with the hi-speed train
What about you? What’s your score from that list? What do you like doing on a rainy day? Share your experience in the comments below!
*These are affiliate links: I will receive a commission if you make a booking or purchase a product using this link but this does not affect the price you pay. This will help me maintain this website.