Sometimes sunshine can be elusive in Paris. A clear morning can quickly turn into a drizzly afternoon, but you shouldn’t let a little rain slow you down during your vacation in the French capital. Between the city’s many marvelous museums and historic attractions, to its luxurious spas, department stores and cafés, Paris offers more than enough to keep your itinerary full on a rainy day.
1. Seek Refuge in a Museum
When gray skies roll into the City of Light, take the opportunity to explore one of Paris’ fabulous museums. Opt for crash course in the history and highlights of the one and only Louvre or uncover the stories behind famous 19th century paintings on a tour of the beautiful Musee d’Orsay. Modern art and architecture enthusiasts can even take a tour of the Centre Pompidou, famous for its controversial inside-out facade.
2. Step Back in Time at Les Passages Couverts
Before modern shopping malls, trendy 18th and 19th century Parisians shopped and dined in les passages couverts (covered passages). Featuring exquisite mosaic floors, elegant tree-lined corridors and a delicate glass roof to protect you from the rain, Galerie Vivienne is among the best-preserved passages couverts in the city. Still lined with boutique shops and cute cafés, a stroll through Galerie Vivienne or other passages such as Passage du Grand Cerf and Passage Verdeau, will take you right back to 19th century Paris.
3. See a Movie
Stay dry with a trip to the movies. Paris is a cinema-crazy city and you’ll find no shortage of international blockbusters and art house films playing during your trip. Look for movies listed as v.o. (version originale) to see them in their un-dubbed version with French language subtitles.
4. Relax in a Café
Sit back and relax in one of Paris’ historic literary cafés. A favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, Les Deux Magots in chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés serves thick, luscious hot chocolates - a Parisian specialty - alongside decadent pastries. Not far away, Café Flore never fails to disappoint with its Art Deco interior and classic menu of French favorites.
5. Pamper Yourself at the Spa
While the rain pitter-patters, treat yourself to a rejuvenating day at the spa. Located in the 7th arrondissement, the Sokha Royal Spa offers excellent service, various types of massage treatments and many tempting packages to choose from (also for couples!). It’s an ideal way to relax during your stay in Paris. Contact [email protected] for more information.
6. Visit a Gothic Masterpiece
Notre Dame Cathedral in the very heart of Paris is one of the city’s top attractions and also doubles as an excellent place to seek refuge when it rains. The cathedral, which is free to enter, recently celebrated its 850th birthday and is a marvelous example of Gothic architecture. From the cathedral’s dramatic vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, to its magnificent chandeliers and long nave, you could easily while away a bit of time admiring Notre Dame’s remarkable interior.
7. Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
A little rain is the perfect excuse to go shopping! Major department stores such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are housed entirely indoors and offer the latest in French fashion and home ware. The two stores sit very near one another and are just a stone’s throw away from a Métro station. To get the most out of your shopping experience, try to arrive as early as possible or consider taking a shopping tour of Paris.
8. Spend a Night at the Cabaret
Cue the orchestra, lights and dancers! Forget about the rain and spend a spectacular evening at the famous Moulin Rouge. A Parisian institution for over 100 years, watch talented dancers - sequins, feathered headdresses and all - take to the stage of this storied dance hall and perform the traditional French cancan. Enjoy the show on its own or pair your ticket with a half bottle of champagne to make it a night to remember.
9. Dinner and a Show at your Paris Vacation Apartment
For guests staying in one of our Paris Perfect vacation apartments, you always have the option of staying in for the night if the weather isn’t cooperating. Whip up a home cooked meal in your apartment’s fully equipped kitchen or simply hire a personal chef to cook dinner for you! With so many of our apartments offering views of the Eiffel Tower, you can cap off the night by watching its spectacular light show without ever stepping beyond your front door!
10. Embrace the Weather
Strap on a pair of water resistant shoes, grab an umbrella and embrace the weather! While rain in Paris is common, it is usually pretty light and rarely lasts all day. If it rains during your trip, don’t let a little wet weather get in the way of exploring the vibrant streets and beautiful parks of the French capital. In fact, a little drizzle just adds to the ambiance as you make your way down the crooked passageways of the Latin Quarter or the elegant cobbled streets of the Marais.