Paris in the Rain
When planning a trip to Paris, it is good to consider a couple of things to do in Paris when it rains. Sure, you didn’t book rain in Paris, but unfortunately, a rainy day in Paris is not uncommon, especially during Paris in the fall or winter in Paris.
Paris on a rainy day is perfect for musing on masterpieces, but you don’t need to read this piece to learn this, right?
Paris in the rain doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire day in museums! After all, you don’t become one of the world’s great cities without offering plenty of cool attractions… and many of them can be enjoyed regardless of the conditions outside.
So what to do in Paris when it rains? Save this list of the best indoor activities Paris has to offer – fun things to do in Paris on a rainy day.
Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Paris
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of what to do in Paris when it rains:
- Visit the Covered Passages of Paris
- Cooking Lessons in Paris
- Explore Paris Underground
- Perfect Your Wine Tasting Skills at the King’s Cellar
- Discover the World of Perfumes and Create Your Fragrance
- Enjoy a Memorable Soirée in a Parisian Cabaret
- Learn “How to Become a Parisian”
- Wander Through Some Immersive Experiences
- Visit the Burial Place of the Kings of France
- Dazzle Yourself with a Candlelight Concert
- Swim a Few Laps in an “Art Déco” Atmosphere
- Look for the Most Quirky, Indoor Activities in Paris
- Enjoy Paris in the Rain, Get Wet!
1. Visit the Covered Passages of Paris
Shopping is one of the best things to do on a rainy day in Paris. If you are looking for something different than the big shopping malls, head to the covered passages of Paris for a unique retail therapy of vintage shopping and historic cafés.
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 their former glory, the covered walkways of Paris are real architectural gems. If you know where to look, you will find delightful ancient boutiques, cute cafés, and other curiosity shops.
2. Cooking Lessons in Paris
Cooking lessons are a great way to learn about delicious food in Paris while having fun. Cooking lessons help immerse yourself in the local culture and are a great way to connect with other foodies in Paris. Add a cooking lesson in Paris to improve your cooking skills and learn how to prepare the best traditional food in Paris.
Best Food Workshops in Paris:
- Chocolate-making workshop. Duration 45 min
- Macaron class at Galeries Lafayette. Duration 1.5 hr
- Bread-making class in Paris. Duration 2 hr
- French pastry cooking class. Duration 2.5 hr
- Choux pastry and French éclair cooking class. Duration 2.5 hr
3. Explore Paris Underground
If you are looking for indoor things to do in Paris, consider going underground. Paris 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
4. Perfect Your Wine Tasting Skills at the King’s Cellar
A rainy day in Paris can be the perfect excuse to improve your wine-tasting skills. Not far from the world-famous museum, Les Caves du Louvre is an 18th-century wine cellar that was once used by the King of France. Now, it’s a pleasurable multisensory experience dedicated to informing visitors about the wine regions in France, the art (and science) of winemaking and wine-tasting.
An expert sommelier will lead you through a tasting of exceptional wines (3) from different corners of the country, carefully selected to ensure a full and unique tasting experience. Distinguish a Chardonnay from a Chablis, a Beaujolais from a Burgundy, and everything in between! Click here to buy your tickets to Les Caves du Louvre
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 enthusiasts, 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 return 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!
5. Discover the World of Perfumes and Create Your Fragrance
What to do in Paris in the rain for creative minds? Learn the basics of perfume making and craft your new personal fragrance with this fun perfume workshop in Paris. Play with the scents in a small group with the help of a knowledgeable maître parfumeur 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 30-minute guided tour in English, French, or Spanish, discover the history of perfume since the first civilizations to Fragonard’s maîtres parfumeurs.
6. Enjoy a Memorable Soirée in a Parisian Cabaret
Rain in Paris ce soir? 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 whole night! From Moulin Rouge or Lido to the Paradis Latin, find your favorite Cabaret in Paris in this Parisian Cabarets Quick Guide.
7. Learn “How to Become a Parisian” with These Hilarious Comedy Shows
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 an authentic Parisian woman – Click here to buy your tickets for this one-woman show
8. Wander Through Some Immersive Experiences
Rainy days in Paris can be the perfect excuse for trying something new or unusual, like immersive experiences in Paris.
Indulge all of your senses – especially your sense of wonder! While traditional galleries are great, these avant-garde blends of art, architecture, and technology will draw you straight into the canvas or history – and beyond!
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 – Click here to buy your tickets to L’Atelier des Lumières
Explore the magnificent Notre Dame de Paris from an entirely new perspective! “Eternelle Notre-Dame.” Put on the VR headset and embark on an emotional journey through the centuries, admiring how Notre Dame was built and the historical events that took place inside for a one-of-a-kind time travel – Click here to buy your ticket to Eternelle Notre Dame
There are many more immersive experiences in Paris – click here for the full list. In these spaces, the art truly comes alive… and you get absorbed into it!
9. Visit the Burial Place of the Kings of France
What to do in Paris on a rainy day for history lovers? One of the most famous religious buildings in Ile de France, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, is a place you must visit at least once. So 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
10. Dazzle Yourself with a Candlelight Concert
Romanticise your life with a soirée with music and candles in the heart of Paris. Venues are some of the most beautiful churches in Paris, like Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church or the Sainte Chapelle, and music comes courtesy of string ensembles and pianists. You’ll forget all about the gloom outside as the power of the magical performances entrances you.
- Classical music concert at Saint-Germain-des-Prés or La Madeleine (depending on the day)
- Classical music concert in Saint-Julien le Pauvre (Paris 5)
- Candlelight concert at the Sainte Chapelle (Paris 4)
11. Swim Some Laps in an Art Déco Atmosphere
What to do on a rainy day in Paris to burn all those croissants? The good thing about indoor pools is that they are always fun, also when it’s raining.
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.
Not Art Déco but also unique, the Piscine Joséphine Baker (Paris 13) is the only floating pool in Paris, located on the Seine River’s left bank.
12. Look for the Most Quirky, Indoor Things to Do in Paris
If you are wondering what to do in Paris on a rainy day besides the classic museums, here’s a list of quirky, fun activities perfect for when the weather forecast announces rain:
- Get ready for summer rock climbing at Blockbuster CNIT, La Défense
- The Hidden Side of Paris Virtual Reality
- A platter of oysters + wine is always a good idea (well, only from September to March!)
- A quirky day among the beasts at Galerie de l’Evolution
- Attend an uplifting evening of poetry or prose at Shakespeare & Company
- Wrestling in Paris, anyone? Tequilas and Open ring (with a funny Sumo foam suit) at La Lucha Libre Ring Bar.
13. Enjoy Paris in the Rain, Get Wet!
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 banks of the Seine River 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 one of the fun things to do in Paris when it rains.
Still Interested in a Museum or Two?
If you’re planning out how to spend a rainy day in Paris and enjoy museums, my favorites are, besides the classics, the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution and the Galérie de Paléntologie et d’Anatomie Comparée, both at the beautiful Jardin des Plantes in Paris 5.
If you are traveling with kids, 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
And the best museums and galleries in Paris always offer interesting temporary exhibitions in Paris, worth exploring with or without rain! Check below the most popular exhibitions in Paris right now.
And there you have it, the best things to do in Paris on a rainy day. Which one are you excited to try?
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