Paris is magical at any time of day, in any weather, in every season. But the city is truly magical under a blanket of snow. If you’re lucky enough to be in town when it snows, then head straight to these places around Paris to appreciate it the most.
To see the Eiffel Tower rising up from a field of snow, the best views to be had are from the Trocadéro with the Seine in the foreground. Then walk down across the bridge to the Champ de Mars where you can crunch through the snow and take some breathtaking photos. Chances are, you’ll be pretty much on your own and have this iconic Parisian place to yourself.
One of Paris’s most magical bridges, the Pont Bir-Hakeim, also called Inception Bridge by film buffs, is just so photogenic. As a plus, you’ll also have great views across to the Eiffel Tower on the left, and the Île aux Cygnes on the right. Stand beneath the horse statue, La France Renaissante, and enjoy watching the snow come down over Paris. You might even be accompanied by a bride and groom posing for photos somewhere along the bridge like I was!
One of the hilliest parks in Paris, complete with a frozen lake, waterfall, grotto, and temple, Les Buttes Chaumont is not only very pretty in the snow, but it’s also perfect for sledding. Steep slopes invite you to either borrow somebody’s sled or try out the old plastic-bag-sled trick and go hurtling down toward the lake. Watch out for the trees though!
When it last snowed, in February 2018, there were people skiing down the slopes of Montmartre, just in front of Sacré Coeur. I admit, the chances that you came to Paris with skis in your suitcase are small, but it’s also fun just to watch, even if you can’t join in. The views across Paris’s white rooftops from up there are pretty spectacular, too.
When it’s chilly outside and you’ve already had your fun throwing snowballs, building snowmen, and maybe doing some sledding, a little break in front of an open fire is perfect. Have lunch at the restaurant of Hotel Providence near the Porte Saint-Martin arch where you can book ahead to get a table by the roaring fire and indulge in some starters while warming up.
Near the Bois de Boulogne, which becomes a truly magical forest when covered in snow, there lies the Brasserie Auteuil, a large Italian eatery set in a former railway station of the old Petite Ceinture, the now defunct Paris Beltline. Every winter the Brasserie Auteuil transforms itself into Val d’Auteuil, a veritable ski resort complete with snowy trees, a polar bear, slalom markers, and yes, hot mulled wine, fondues, and other cheesy, high-calorie treats that you can indulge in to keep warm.
Wouldn’t it be nice to make some French friends? If you’ve come to France with the expectation to mix and mingle with Parisians and catch up on your French, but you still don’t have any actual Parisian friends, welcome to the club.