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What to Do in Paris when it Rains [2022] – Quick Guide by a Local

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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 best seller 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 passionates 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.

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).

To get the most 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 their 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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Some interesting articles in the blog

  • Read our Best Tips for Visiting Paris for the First Time here
  • Find things to eat in Paris here

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  • Megan Jerrard
    02/08/2018 at 1:02 am

    Sitting in the middle of Australian summer right now, on a rural property, we could do with the rain! Lol so send some our way 😀 I usually enjoy museums on a rainy day when I’m traveling, and Paris does have some great ones! Though I do love the idea of a steamy Hammam at Mosquée de Paris. Or enjoying a good glass of wine in a restored wine warehouse. Thanks for these ideas – proves that you don’t have to have great weather to have a fabulous time!

    • WorldInParis
      02/15/2018 at 3:53 pm

      Could not say it better than you: so many cool things to do when the weather is not that nice 😉

  • Suruchi
    02/06/2018 at 1:01 pm

    Paris is high on our list and we want to explore it in offseason. So, guess winters is going to be the apt time for us. I am sure rain in winters will be adding some more charm and now we have a huge list of things to do too. Awesome!! Gonna bookmark it.

    • WorldInParis
      02/15/2018 at 3:54 pm

      Well, rain is not that charming for Parisians. But yes, you have there some cool things to keep you busy during rainy days 😉

  • Nick Wheatley
    02/05/2018 at 10:26 pm

    What a handy list! We were actually in Paris this past December and sure enough it was raining!

    We still managed to have a great time and even did a few of the things on this list – wandered through the Louvre, toured the Paris sewer museum, and admired the Water Lillies at l’Orangerie. We weren’t able to make it to Angelina’s for hot chocolate though. Is it really as good as everyone says?!

    We used several posts from your site to help plan our last trip to Paris (thanks!), but somehow I missed this article. I’ll make sure I remember it for next time in case the weather chooses not to cooperate!

    • WorldInParis
      02/17/2018 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks for your kind words and happy to know my posts were helpful to plan your trip to Paris. Still many handy posts in the pipeline, there is a general lack of time! 😉

  • Hannah
    02/05/2018 at 7:41 pm

    I love this list! I have done many of these things when being rained upon in Paris – people-watching in a café is one of my favourite pastimes, in the rain or otherwise. I love the suggestion of the free museums too. I never seem to mind the rain in Paris, perhaps my rose tinted glasses cover being wet and bedraggled in Paris too 😉

  • Bella WW
    02/05/2018 at 4:38 pm

    It seems that Paris is a good idea even in the rain. Love all the ideas and all the photos. You made me a craving for some macarons 😀

  • Danila Caputo
    02/04/2018 at 6:24 pm

    I’m one of those who believe Paris can be very romantic also with the rain, but you’re right, you can’t go sightseeing when the weather is horrible! I think I’d definitely love the hot chocolate alternative at Angelina’s!

  • Debbzie Leksono
    02/03/2018 at 7:26 pm

    Both of my visits to Paris was during winter. So yeah, it was cold and gloomy and wet but it didn’t stop me from exploring this city *grin*. I can’t agree more with the idea of having the best hot chocolate in the world at Angelina’s. I’ve also done the Paris Catacombs tour which was amazing!. Next would be visiting the Vampires museum. Thanks for giving me such an ample ideas for plan B in Paris 😀

  • Niina
    02/03/2018 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for reminding how badly I need to return to Paris! We missed our scheduled catacomb tour by 3 minutes and weren’t allowed to catch up the group. Luckily, it’s only one of the million reasons for me to return. The Vampires Museum also picked my interest 😉

    • WorldInParis
      02/17/2018 at 8:20 pm

      Oooh, so sad to read about your Paris Catacombs tour :-(((

  • Anu
    02/03/2018 at 1:43 pm

    On a rainy day, Museums are my best options. There is nothing to distract you as you spend time with the past. But I never thought of going to Hammam or a spa on a rainy day – that is also a perfect option. Opera also sounds like a good idea.

    • WorldInParis
      02/17/2018 at 8:20 pm

      So some more ideas to have in mind when visiting Paris 😉

  • Vasu
    02/03/2018 at 12:34 pm

    So many indoor things to do in Paris. I mean it could be a perfect rainy-days vacation and one would still not be bored 🙂 For me it is quite difficult to choose what I like most. I would probably start with the VR session because it did not exist when I went there last!