What to Do in Paris when it Rains – Quick Guide by a Local

Paris in the Rain

When you are planning a trip to Paris, it is good to consider a couple of indoor activities for the rainy days in Paris. Nobody likes to book a trip to Paris in the rain, but unfortunately, a rainy day in Paris is not uncommon.

Actually, you can have many rainy days in Paris, especially during Paris in the fall or winter in Paris!

Paris in the rain isn’t sexy, but there are also fun things to do in Paris on a rainy day. So what to do in Paris when it rains? We’ve got you covered for Paris indoor activities, fun workshops, and the quirkiest museums in Paris.

Paris on a rainy day
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Fun Things to Do in Paris when it Rains

If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of what to do in Paris when it rains:

  • Explore Paris Underground
  • Visit the Covered Passages of Paris
  • Perfect your Wine Tasting Skills
  • Discover the World of Perfumes, and Create your Own Fragrance
  • Enjoy a Memorable Night in a Parisian Cabaret
  • Learn “How to Become a Parisian”
  • Swim a Few Laps in an “Art Déco” Atmosphere
  • Experience Immersive Art at Atélier des Lumières
  • Look for the Most Quirky, Indoor Activities in Paris
  • Visit the Burial Place of the Kings of France
  • Challenge your mind at Musée de l’Illusion
  • Enjoy Paris in the Rain, Get Wet!

1.Explore Paris Underground

Catacombs of Paris

If you are looking for indoor activities in Paris, consider going underground. Paris really is a tale of two cities. Indeed, there is the City of Light above ground – with must-sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum –, but there is also an underground Paris with at least 130 kilometers of abandoned tunnels and secret places running below the streets.

The Paris Catacombs is the most popular attraction below the ground, but there are other interesting underground sites like the Paris Sewer Museum or the Archaeological Crypt in front of Notre Dame. You can read more about underground sites in Paris in our Paris Underground Guide.

TIP: Get exclusive access to areas of the catacombs usually closed to the public with this top-rated Special Catacombs Tour

2.Visit the Covered Passages of Paris

Covered Passages Paris

Shopping is one of the best things to do in Paris when it rains. Forget the big shopping malls and head to the covered passages of Paris for a unique retail therapy of vintage shopping and historic cafes.

By the end of the 18th century, town planners in Paris created a labyrinth of covered walkways across the city with beautiful glass ceilings, mosaic works, and iron latticework, all bathed in natural light. The covered passages of Paris had a dominating merchant role, but they were also the new bourgeois’ favorite stroll, the place to show up and socialize.

Restored to its former glory, the covered walkways of Paris are today real Art Nouveau / Neoclassical architectural gems. If you know where to look, you will find delightful ancient boutiques, cute cafes, and other curiosity shops.

3.Perfect your Wine Tasting Skills

Wine Tasting in Paris

A rainy day in Paris can be the perfect excuse to improve your wine-tasting skills. Learn about the Wine Regions in France through an informative master wine class with wine tastings. An expert sommelier will lead you through a tasting of exceptional wines from different corners of the country, carefully selected to ensure a full and unique tasting experience.

TIP: This French Wine Experience with wine tasting is a bestseller in Paris!

If you prefer a more casual afternoon, go to a fancy wine bar and explore its “‘carte à vins”! Wine bars in Paris are usually run by wine passionate, and they can tell you lots of things about their proposals before ordering your wine. Some wine bars also have their bottles for sale, so you can go back to the hotel with your favorite findings.

TIP:  If you know already that you will end up buying your favorite findings, make sure you pack your wine properly, so it arrives safely home!

4.Discover the World of Perfumes, and Create your Own Fragrance

Fragonard Museum Paris

Rainy days in Paris can also be creative. Learn the basics of perfume making and craft your new personal fragrance with this fun perfume workshop in Paris. Play with the scents with the help of a knowledgeable maître parfumeur, in a small group to ensure a memorable experience.

Later in the day, you can complete your perfume experience with a (free) visit to the Fragonard Perfume Museum, located in Paris 9. During the 20 minutes guided tour in English or French, discover the history of perfume since the first civilizations to Fragonard’s maîtres parfumeurs.

5.Enjoy a Memorable Soirée in a Parisian Cabaret

Paradis Latin can can girls
Photo Courtesy: Paradis Latin Paris ©

Rain in Paris? No problem! Cabarets in Paris are an entertaining thing to do in Paris at night, especially if it rains outside. Cabaret shows usually include crazy cancan dance (our favorite part), singing, dancing, and juggling.

Most cabarets also come with the dinner option or a glass of champagne, so you are covered for the full night! From Moulin Rouge or Lido to the Paradis Latin, find your favorite Cabaret in Paris in this Parisian Cabarets Quick Guide.


6.Learn ‘How to Become a Parisian’ with these Hilarious Comedy Shows

How to Become a Parisian Comedy Show Paris

If you are looking for Paris indoor activities, a night at the theater is always a good option. Learn how to think and act like a Parisian at this hilarious 1-hour show (in English), ‘How to Become a Parisian’ at Thêatre des Nouveautés in Paris 9. Laugh along with others from across the globe as you explore cultural differences, the Parisian way of life, and more – Click here to buy your ticket to this fun comedy-show

If you are looking for fun and entertaining things to do in Paris when it rains, a comedy show won’t disappoint. See Paris’s only one-woman comedy show 100% in English by Julie Collas. In Oh My God, She is Parisian!, you will learn everything you need to know about how Parisians live from a real Parisian woman – Click here to buy your tickets for this one-woman show

7.Swim Some Laps in an Art Déco Atmosphere

Piscine Pontoise - Paris 5
Piscine Pontoise. Photo courtesy of  @guide-piscine

The good thing about pools is that they are always fun, also when it’s raining. Plus, swimming is a very healthy exercise, especially if you are eating your weight with macarons!

In some districts of Paris, you can find extraordinary indoor pools with Art Déco architecture, perfect for a few laps in a unique atmosphere. Our favorite Art Déco pools in Paris are Piscine Molitor’s Winter Basin (1929) which is part of Hotel Molitor in Paris 16, Piscine Pontoise (1933) in Paris 5, and Piscine Pailleron (1933) in Paris 19.

8.Experience Immersive Art at Atélier des Lumières

Atelier des Lumières Paris

Rainy days in Paris can be the perfect excuse for trying something new or unusual. Enjoy a unique and mind-blowing experience at Atélier des Lumières, the first center of Digital Art in Paris, proposing unique immersive art exhibitions for all.

In Immersive Art exhibitions, the spectator becomes part of the artwork, walking literally inside an artwork or interacting with it. Usually, Immersive Art experiences are mind-blowing experiences that involve different media, like sound, images, or scents – Click here to buy your tickets to the Atélier des Lumières

9.Look for the Most Quirky, Indoor Activities in Paris

Indoor Activities in Paris

Sure, Paris on a rainy day is perfect for musing on masterpieces, but you don’t need to read this piece to learn this, right?

If you are wondering what to do on a rainy day in Paris, besides the classic museums, here’s a list of quirky, fun activities perfect for when the weather forecast announces rain in Paris:

10. Visit the Burial Place of the Kings of France

King Francois I Tomb - Saint-Denis
King Francois I Tomb via Flickr CC @Guilhem Vellut

One of the most famous religious buildings in Ile de France, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, is a place you have to visit at least once in your life. Why not during a rainy day in Paris?

In this magnificent building, we can see some Gothic elements and techniques for the first time. Also, it is the burial place of the Kings of France, from King Dagobert (7th century) to King Louis XVIII (19th century) – Click here to buy your tickets to Basilica de Saint-Denis

To get the most out of your visit, book this top-rated guided tour in English. An expert guide will show you the main architectural features of the basilica and tell you the history of the French Kings and the evolution of funerary arts through their tombs.

11.Challenge your Mind at Musée de l’Illusion

Musée de l'Illusion - Paris

This museum is one of the most beloved attractions for families in Paris. The Musée de L’illusion offers a range of exhibits based on optical illusions. Here, you can try the anti-gravity room, become a clone, and puzzle over images that seem to change right in front of your eyes – Click here to buy your tickets now

12.Enjoy Paris in the Rain, Get Wet!

Paris is Always a Good Idea - Audrey Hepburn Quote

Paris is always a good idea, and you can still have a good time in Paris, regardless of the rain. Take your raincoat and boots, enjoy Paris in the rain, and get wet!

A walk along the Seine banks on a fresh day can bring color to your cheeks, and you can always reward yourself later with a coffee or hot chocolate in one of the beautiful cafés in Paris.

Also, rain comes with many interesting and creative photo opportunities, like puddle reflections or tiny reflections within the droplets. If you are a photography lover, this is another fun thing to do in Paris on a rainy day.

And there you have it, what to do in Paris when it rains. Sun or rainy day, Paris is always a great place to be. Which one are you excited to try in Paris in the rain?

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Quirky Parisian explorers with a preference for lesser-known sights, we are continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light.