It can be disappointing when the weather won't cooperate while you're on vacation, but in Paris, there are plenty of options for staying dry and enjoying the city. Don't let a rainy day put a damper on your trip! Huddle up under your 'parapluie' and try one of our suggestions for what to do in Paris when it rains.
Is Paris really better in the rain? The answer is irrelevant. Whether you’re a fan of the melancholic mood of cloudy Paris or not, you’re bound to wonder what to do to amuse yourself when caught under its wispy drops. Lucky for you, life goes on rain or shine in the City of Lights. Here are a few suggestions to keep you occupied.
Grab a book and have a spot of tea at Merci Used Books Café. A leg of the Merci franchise, this Paris coffee shop has a dark and cozy feel with an entire wall lined with books you can grab and get lost in while sipping on something warm. You can get breakfast or lunch here, sit on the leather sofas by the entrance, or grab a seat and watch the raindrops pitter patter on the window sill like a dramatic French film.
A rainy day is also well-spent inciting one’s curiosity and there are hundreds of museums in Paris that do just that. There are too many to name, but a few favorites include the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Picasso, Musée Gustave Moreau, Musée Jacquemart-André, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Musée du Quai Branly, Palais de Tokyo, and on and on. If you want to discover art from all time periods, dine, and get some shopping in, there’s no better place than the Louvre Museum. There’s enough content to spend weeks there and still not have chipped at the surface of its bountiful knowledge.
It’s also good gray day therapy to go shopping at the Galeries Lafayette. Meander through the opera-house-style balconies filled with designer products including everything from perfumes to tech gadgets. There’s even a children’s section, a floor dedicated to nothing but shoes, and a cafeteria for when you’re ready for a much-needed shopping break. Or, spend time in one of the city’s numerous covered streets, browsing in the small bookshops or luxury stores. Discover our Favorite Covered Passages in Paris here.
Of course, venturing outside of the city and spending a day at a palace isn’t too shabby either. Visiting the Palace of Versailles takes a whole day anyway, and why not delight in the splendor of the French monarchy? Tour through Marie Antoinette’s bedroom, see the Hall of Mirrors, and gawk at Napoleon’s golden throne. The jury’s still out, but I think that could be more alluring than staying home watching Netflix, n’est-ce pas?
To a lot of people, Paris is still the City of Art. We all have this phantasmagoric image of the bohème life at the turn of the 20th century - from Toulouse Lautrec’s Montmartre to Picasso’s Bateau Lavoir.
If you love books, then you're in for a treat in Paris! Narrowing the best shops for book lovers down to just five is a difficult task, but to help my fellow traveling bookworms, I'm sure going to give it a try, probably cheating a little as I go.