Between January and June 2022, almost 18.2 million tourists visited Paris and the Paris Region. 10.8 million were from within France itself too! It just goes to show that no matter where you’re from, the charm of Paris draws you in.
Whether you’re a local or you’re coming from out of town, there’s plenty to discover in this beautiful city. And yes, even if you come during the wetter months, you won’t be bored and stuck inside in Paris.
Are you now wondering about what to do in Paris when it rains? Then read on to see the various fun activities available to you!
Paris has around 130 museums within the city limits, so you’ll be spoiled for choices, especially if you love art, heritage, and history. Some of the more famous ones include the Louvre and the Pompidou, but make sure you don’t miss out on some of the lesser-known gems, such as the Musée Picasso and Les Musées des Sciences à Paris.
Of course, the museums aren’t open-air. Otherwise, how would they protect their exhibits from the rain? So these are the perfect places to duck into if you find yourself caught in a downpour.
While most museums charge admission, that doesn’t mean you can’t take in some art without spending some money. There are over 20 Parisian museums that are free of charge all year long (such as Frac Île-de-France, the Balzac’s House, and City of Paris Museum of Modern Art), so this should be good news for your wallet!
Also, most of the national museums are free every first Sunday of the month. And if you’re under 26, then you should be pleased to know that students and EU residents under this age get into national museums for free too (all year long!).
Who doesn’t like to spoil themselves with some nice new things? If you’re wondering what to do in Paris when it’s raining, then there’s no better excuse to go shopping at the many famous department stores. After all, they’re dry and warm, giving you some respite from the cold and wet rain.
If you’ve got plenty of experience and a bulging wallet, and you’re ready to try your favourite clothes and perfumes, then go to Galeries Lafayette. This is the biggest upmarket department store chain in all of Europe, so there’s no better shopping experience around! You’ll find the flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement.
if you like niche boutiques, then head to Rue du Temple and Rue des Francs Bourgeois for a quick look around. The former is a thoroughfare separating the 3rd arrondissement from the 11th. The latter is located in the Marais district, and lots of the shops here are open on Sundays, which isn’t typical for France; this means you can get some serious shopping done on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
In the city, there are 21 covered passages the public can access, such as the Galerie Vivienne, the Passage Jouffroy, and the Passage des Panoramas; together, they’re called the Passages Couverts Parisiens. You’re guaranteed to have a blast shopping here while staying dry.
The good thing about the big stores is that you don’t need an umbrella at all. But be prepared to get wet in the many small boutiques, as you’ll have to walk along the streets to get from shop to shop. It’s nothing an umbrella in Paris won’t fix though!
Have a Delicious Meal
Check any list, and you’ll see that Paris is named one of the top cities in the world to find good food.
We’ve all got to eat sometime, but for foodies, there’s nothing better than heading into a top-tier restaurant when you get wet in Paris. Not only will you be treated to upscale service, but you’ll also taste the most exquisite dishes as you wait out the showers.
Foodies shouldn’t miss out on La Grande Épicerie de Paris, which is the largest gourmet food emporium in the city. It spans 2,900 square meters and offers around 30,000 items, many of which are exclusive and/or made on-site.
You can spend an entire rainy afternoon here, strolling through the four departments: fresh produce, groceries, wines, and production kitchens. You can concentrate on finding the food you want, start eating, and forget about the rain and the bad mood it’s put you in!
Otherwise, enjoy a leisurely paced meal at an excellent restaurant in Paris, whether it’s got a Michelin star or not. Because the city’s so well known for its refined food, you can walk into practically any establishment and blow your taste buds away.
Take a Nice Walk and See the City
It’s always a good idea to stroll through a city, even if you’re a long-time resident. When you take the time to notice all the details, you’ll fall in love with the area all over again. And who knows, you might discover some new things you never observed before!
If it’s raining, you shouldn’t let a little moisture spoil your day. In fact, a walk in the rain can be refreshing and give you a new perspective on the city. So don’t let rainy days get you down, especially if you’re only in town for a brief Paris vacation!
When you hear the pitter-patter of rain, just grab an umbrella and walk the streets of Paris in the rain like Emily. Or you can catch a tour bus to get around the city quickly and take more strolls through undiscovered streets. Either way, you’re sure to find a different kind of romance in Paris in the rain!
Have a Hot Drink
Even if you started the day with plenty of energy, there comes a time when you need to rest and gather up strength again, especially if you’ve been out walking around in Paris.
When you’re tired, why not stop for a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea? Any of these beverages will warm your body up, and you can rest your weary feet while sitting comfortably and listening to raindrops on the windows. What’s great is that Paris has a huge hot drinks culture, so you won’t be short on choices for outstanding establishments.
Two of our suggestions include Café de la Paix and Café de la Rotonde. Inside, you’ll find music and the smell of coffee, which will tantalize your senses. While you sip on your hot beverage, you can watch the pedestrians outside and listen to the gentle lilt of the rain, all without being sopping wet and miserable.
For something fancier, you can book yourself an afternoon tea. These elegant tea rooms offer beautiful decor and delicious small bites to go with your hot pots of tea.
Are you an avid reader? Then you can probably spend hours getting lost in bookshops.
While admittedly, most only carry books in French, bookshops in Paris also have English options available. Whether you’re monolingual or can read a bit of French, you’re guaranteed to find books that’ll enthral you.
A plus of hiding out in a bookshop during rainfall is that most of them have cafes. Grab a sandwich, hot coffee, and whisk your mind away on an adventure while you dig into a wonderful book.
For the first English bookshop in Europe, go to Librairie Galignani. It’s located on Rue de Rivoli and was established in 1801.
And for the oldest bookstore in the city, you’ll want to visit Delamain. It was founded in 1700 and isn’t far from the Palais Royal.
Check Out Follow Paris
What, don’t think any of the above is satisfactory? Have you already done it all? Then no problem!
Check out Follow Paris, as we’re the ultimate guide for you to find things to do in Paris. We’ve got all kinds of things to do in Paris right now, with over 2,000 events, ongoing, weekends, free events, music, exhibitions, family events, workshops, entertainment, opera, nature, cinema, etc. The list goes on and on!
Follow us on Facebook for daily free event recommendations. With these, you’ll never have downtime when you’re in the area. We’ll make sure you have a packed schedule!
Have an Amazing Time in Paris
There’s no doubt that Paris is a gorgeous city, whether the sun’s shining or the rain’s pouring down. There’s lots to do in Paris, even when the raindrops are unrelenting.
So if you’re planning a Paris trip and you’re dismayed to see a dreary forecast, don’t lose hope. We’ve given you plenty of fantastic ideas to stay dry and preoccupied, so you won’t have to waste even a minute’s time in Paris.
The romantic thing about Paris is that it’s suitable for all kinds of people, whatever your desire. And if you’ve never been here before, you certainly can’t imagine how many surprises it’ll bring you. You’ll definitely come away with a rich experience!
Heading to Paris soon? Then find out what’s happening this week by checking out our website.