Reasons to Visit Paris in Winter

Reasons to Visit Paris in Winter

Once again, summer has slipped away and those mitten-wearing months are nearly upon us, as the days begin to shorten and the temperatures gradually drop. Beating the winter blues with the promise of a Parisian escape could be just the ticket, but if you need a little persuading as to why, we’re here to help with some of our most convincing reasons to visit Paris in winter. Let the warmth of the seasonal festivities, the comforting meals and the picturesque monuments that often find themselves dusted in snowflakes sway you. While many will agree that the French capital has that je ne sais quoi all year round, captivating travellers from far and wide, there is something truly enigmatic about a Parisian wintertime. So, embrace the magic as we delve into some of the many reasons to visit Paris in winter...

  1. The Food
  2. The Festivities
  3. The Sightseeing
  4. The Weather


The Food

The rich warmth of French cuisine is just one of the many reasons to visit Paris in winter. Its love affair with food and seasonal fun has spanned centuries, weaving its way into countless recipes, traditions and of course Christmas markets. It’s unashamedly indulgent, adventurous, bright and twinkling in every aspect. French chefs continually strive to push culinary boundaries to bring you garnished plates that wouldn’t be out of place hanging in the Louvre. There’s Michelin starred restaurants like the Guy Savoy (perfect for those fine dining experiences), candlelit dinners spent floating along the Seine and hearty meals in the humble red and white checked tableclothed bistros (dishing up soupe à l’oignon with lashings of an authentic and lively French atmosphere). Either way you’ll rarely be disappointed; this is, after all, a gastronomical paradise and playground for foodies. For those itching to exclaim Bon appétit’ in some of the best restaurants in Paris (that are certain to tantalise tastebuds and leave you feeling sufficiently full) don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Paris restaurant at night


The Festivities

Paris is often referred to as the City of Light, which seems especially fitting in the colder seasons where the illuminated metropolis shines even brighter. Multi-coloured bulbs adorn the Champs-Elysées, the Place Vendôme, the Montmartre district and more, and the store fronts from the likes of Galeries Lafayette glow with decadent holiday-inspired displays (making window shopping even more exciting). The dazzling light show projections that run from November through to January are just some of the many reasons to visit Paris in winter and for those that celebrate Christmas (or simply enjoy the seasonal festivities) there is even more to be seen, appreciated and done. There are traditional Christmas markets packed with vin chaud (hot wine) and roasted chestnuts that are guaranteed to awaken the holiday spirit in all. For a truly enchanting winter escape, you could even take a spin around the nearby rink at the Jardin des Tuileries Christmas Market or see Paris and the former royal gardens from above in the carriages of their permanent onsite Ferris wheel.

Paris at christmas


The Sightseeing

It’s easy to see why Paris is one of Europe's most-visited cities, with countless landmarks and monuments ready to be snapped around every cobbled street corner. It can often feel like a struggle to see it all. This is particularly true if you’re hard pushed for time and only have 24 hours in Paris, but for those ready to take a longer and more leisurely stroll through the cityscape that’s crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the river Seine, you’re in luck. From the heart of the Parisian skyline - the iconic Eiffel Tower, standing tall and stoic at 1,000 feet, to the (slightly shorter but equally magnificent) Arc de Triomphe, there is much to be discovered here. You could even venture into the depths below the city where the Catacombs lie (one for a blustery winter’s day, perhaps) or stay firmly above ground wandering the winding walkways of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Either way you'll be truly spoilt for choice. Plus, with colder temperatures deterring some travellers, you might find the city’s streets, attractions and transport networks are a little less crowded (yet another one of the many reasons to visit Paris in winter!).

Inside a Paris building


The Weather

While many find the doom and gloom of a dark (and potentially rainy) winter a hinderance to travelling in Europe, we like to think that, in this case, it actually accentuates the beauty of Paris. The colder and darker climate is the perfect backdrop for the gothic architecture and if you’re lucky enough to experience the wonder of a Parisian snowfall, the city will appear even more magical. Plus, the City of Light has a distinct ability to brighten and blow the cobwebs away through merriment and wintertime festivities. So much so that you’ll soon find yourself forgetting about the weather all together, as you wrap up and don your cosiest cold chic apparel, sip a seriously rich chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) and seek solace and warmth in the countless museums and cathedrals. All before venturing out into the twinkling city in search of an adventure, proving that a winter sojourn in Paris might be just what’s needed.

Aerial view of Paris