When it’s cold, rainy and grey in Paris, it can be hard to feel motivated to go outside and do things. Here are just a few ideas of some indoor activities for the Winter time.
1. Explore Paris’ covered galleries (les passages couverts)
Dating back to the 18th and 19th century, these glass roofed shopping galleries offer shelter from the rain and transport you to a different time. Wander through Galerie Vivienne and adjacent Galerie Colbert absorbing the elegant architecture, mosaic floor, and chic boutiques.
Be sure to check out A Priori Thé in Galerie Vivienne. One of the best places in Paris for cream tea and real scones.
2. Drink mint tea at the Paris Mosque
Just across the street from the Jardin des Plantes in the 5e arrondissement is La Mosquée de Paris and its restaurant and tea room. The tea room is a very popular spot where waiters bring around 2€ cups of steaming hot, sugary mint tea. For those with a real sweet tooth, you can also choose traditional pastries from a display case at the front. It’s the perfect cozy, vibrant spot for a rainy afternoon.
Restaurant de La Mosquee 39 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire 75005, Paris
3. Gallery hopping in Le Marais
The 3e arrondissement is full of art galleries, ranging from photography, painting and other contemporary art. If the weather isn’t too terrible, wander through the area and check out the current exhibitions. The best part is they are all free!
+ Gallerie Filles de Calvaire 17 rue des Filles du Calvaire (photo)
+ Gallerie Thaddaeus Ropac 7 Rue Debelleyme (contemporary art)
+ Lambert Yvon Galerie 108 Rue Vieille du Temple
Plus many more on the surrounding streets!
4. Browse the shelves at one of Paris’ many English bookstores
One of our favorite rainy/gross day activities is spending an hour or two looking at books, whether to skim, read or buy, it can be very relaxing and a great way to wait out a storm.
The Abbey Bookshop –29, rue de la Parcheminerie (Used and new)
San Francisco Book Co. –17, rue Monsieur-le-Prince (Used)
Berkeley Book of Paris –8, rue Casimir-Delavigne (Used)
Shakespeare & Company –37, rue de la Bûcherie (Mostly new, a few used)
W.H. Smith –248, rue de Rivoli (New)
The American Library — 10 Rue du Général Camou (Paid membership, 10€ day pass)
City of Paris public libraries — Free to join for residents of Paris, many have English book sections. Click HERE for list of locations.
5. Cozy up at a café
One of the best parts of rainy and cold weather is that it gives you an infallible excuse to stake out a spot at a café and not move from it for the rest of the day. If you are:
- Craving Italian desserts and espresso: Marcovaldo in the 3rd
- Cozying up next to a fireplace and bookcases: La Contrescarpe in the 5th
- Adopting the Scandinavian approach to winter i.e. lots of space to spread out and minimalist white walls: Finnish Institute in the 5th
- Dreaming of a piece of Britain, with wooden paneled walls and real clotted cream: The Tea Caddy in the 5th
What are your favorite things to do in Paris in the Winter? send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add your ideas to the post!
Paris in the winter is not my favorite (because winter is not my favorite!) but I love all your cozy ideas to make it more bearable.
Thank you! Winter here can really be the worst.