Paris, the city of love - one of the most poetic, beautiful and famous cities in the world. It is the capital city of France, and one of Europe’s truly unmissable cities. Paris makes for the perfect city break, and even the perfect day trip on a longer trip to France. With any luck you’ll have beautiful weather to accompany your trip to this pretty city but in case things don’t quite work out, here are 6 things to do if you visit Paris on a rainy day.
1. Visit the museums
Paris home to an extraordinary number of museums and art galleries. No matter what your interest is, you are bound to find something that fascinates you. From history and archaeology to fashion and fine art, there really is something for everyone among the museums and galleries in Paris - and they offer brilliant shelter from the wet weather, too.
Of course, a tour of the Louvre is high up on everyone’s list for things to do on a Paris day trip. Home to the Mona Lisa, this is the world’s largest museum and attracts around 10 million visitors every year. There are over 35,000 artifacts and pieces of art to see at the Louvre, meaning you can easily spend all day there to escape the rain.
Other museums and galleries in Paris worth visiting are:
- Musée d’Orsay, which is a converted train station that displays the world’s biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art from big names such as Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir.
- Maison de Victor Hugo, which is the restored 19th-century house of famous novelist Victor Hugo.
- Musée Curie, which is a museum dedicated to the works of Marie Curie. Entry is free!
- Musée de la Magie, a museum all about magic - optical illusions, magic mirrors and more.
- Musée en Herbe, which is an art museum specifically for children.
2. Hang out in a book store or tearoom
Another brilliant way to escape the rain on a day trip to Paris is to spend some time in a book store or one of the famous tearooms in the city. For example, Ladurée is one of the oldest and most luxurious tearooms in Paris - famous for their macarons, of which they sell 15,000 a day, Ladurée has a global reputation and offers a lovely space to while away the hours if it’s damp outside. There are multiple locations across the city. If you’re after hot chocolate to warm your bones on a wet winter day, head to Puerto Cacao for fair trade offerings and exotic flavors as well as the chance to buy more chocolate to take home with you. Find them at Rue Théophile Roussel or Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis.
If books are more your thing, then you won’t be disappointed in Paris. There are so many incredible book stores across the city, and they’re perfect for escaping the drizzle and getting lost in a tale. Librairie Galignani on Rue de Rivoli was the first English book store in Europe - established in 1801, you can find a fantastic selection of books about history, travel, design and more. Shakespeare and Company, established in the 1920s and located on Rue de la Bûcherie, has plenty of alcoves and secret corners making it the perfect place to chill out with a book - and there’s a café next door!
3. Visit the Paris Catacombs
One thing that Paris is famous for is the whole world that exists beneath the city streets. If you’re looking for a fantastic Paris tour to keep you out of the rain, then exploring the Paris Catacombs is ideal. The bones of more than six million people are kept in ossuaries underneath the city, and they are open for public visiting if you want to ponder your mortality while keeping dry! The remains date back to the 18th century and are carefully arranged throughout this incredible labyrinth. There are so many tours of Paris you can do, but this one is particularly good for rainy days.
4. Go to the Spa
If you need some good rest and relaxation, then head to one of the many spas across the city of Paris. Sightseeing can wait - experience true rejuvenation at a Turkish bath, known as a hammam, located right across the city, or wind down at the Institut Dior. This is one of the most elegant spas in the world, and you can find it the Hotel Plaza Athénée. Why not take the time to pamper yourself while spending time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world?
5. Catch a Movie
If the wet weather is too much and you want to switch off for a couple of hours without having to exert any energy at all, head to one of the old movie theaters in Paris to catch an old or independent movie. You can find a few of these theaters - or cinemas - located across the city. Cinéma Ecoles 21 shows older films (find it on Rue des Ecoles) while Le Cinéma des Cinéastes on avenue de Clichy shows European documentaries and short films.
6. Visit a Greenhouse
Spending the day among nature is a lovely way to pass the time in Paris - the city is incredibly beautiful and full of luscious greenery. However, when it’s raining the last thing you want to do is walk around a park looking at the flora and fauna on display. But you can still experience the beauty the city’s nature - just head to a greenhouse and you’ll be transported to another world, one with tropical plants and butterflies that whisper secrets as they flutter around. There is a greenhouse within Bois de Vincennes, the city’s largest park, and one at Jardin des Plantes.
Paris is an incredible city - and one you can still enjoy to the fullest on a rainy day. From tea rooms to movie theaters, you are certain to find something you enjoy that will keep you dry at the same time!