A lot of people prefer to visit Paris during the summer. But for those who want the thrills that Paris has to offer during the winter, January and February would be great times to visit. However, you will need to prep yourself to beat the cold winter if you actually want to go outside and experience the city.
Weather in January and February
The first month is always the coldest with occasional icy rains. Snow is quite rare at this point of the year but if it does snow then it melts away really quickly, leaving behind a slushy mess. This is exactly why you need to be well-prepared in advance, especially if you want to stay warm and dry.
In January, the minimum temperature will be about 2 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature would be at 6 degrees Celsius and the average temperature should be about 3 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall is at 46 millimeters.
In February, the minimum temperature will be about 3 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature should be about 8 degrees Celsius and the average temperate will be around 2 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall at this time will be around 39 millimeters.
Packing for your January or February trip
Paris in January is freezing cold and mercury often dips below the freezing point. The chilly winds will make the cold more biting. You need to fill your suitcase with a lot of coats, sweaters, scarves, socks, hats to protect your head and ears.
Make sure you have an umbrella at all times. This is for particularly wet and gusty days. Heavy rainfalls aren’t that common but there are sudden erratic downpours. You need a pair of high-quality gloves to keeps your hands warm.
Waterproof boots are an absolute must! Make sure you have a pair that has good grip and tread. The streets can become slippery and sometimes icy in January. If you decide to visit hilly areas, then you will need proper footwear to stay safe. You don’t want to slide and fall. High heels and dress shoes would be your worst picks for walking around Paris in January.
If you find yourself stuck indoors or at a cafe because of the weather, it would be nice to have a few magazines or books that you can jump right into for when you’re bored.
If you’re going shopping during the winter, you can consider purchasing a high-quality money belt. These are discreet belts that you can wear and secure your money in a safe easy-to-reach-place, for only yourself of course.
How to make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable
You can enjoy the winter in so many ways if you just make sure you are well prepared. Note that the winter season is full of lower prices and you will get great flight deals during this time, especially if you have reserved your tickets a month or two in advance.
Note that you will still be able to go on a boat cruise along the Seine river, but the freezing winds won’t make things as pleasant unless you’re well covered.
The days are shorter. This means you have a lot more time to explore the nightlife from cocktails bars to wine bars that serve great cheese platters on the side. If you’re an 'indoors' type of person, you can shut yourself in with delicious pastries and brews.
Enjoy the city of lights and museums
But you could still stay inside by visiting the museum galleries. The most visited museums are:
- Musée du Louvre – Entre salles surchargées et sections oubliées
- Musée d’Orsay – Les Impressionnistes, mais pas que !
- Le Grand Palais – Des expositions temporaires aux sujets novateurs
- Centre Pompidou – la référence de l’art moderne et contemporain
These 5 other museums worth your visit:
- Musée du Quai Branly - Jacqu es Chirac – this museum specializes in African, Asian, Américan First nations et Océanian civilizations
- Musée Picasso – all about this celeb artist of XXe century
- Musée Guimet – Asian art museum
- La Fondation Louis Vuitton – showcase temporary exhibitions
- Palais de Tokyo: where you could attend modern art exhibitions
There are so many other museums in Paris to visit and many other beautiful crowdy places around including a detour to the city parks or to the palace of Versailles (where you'll have a better visit experience in summertime). You do not need to wait until summer to discoverer these 2 other museums:
- Musée Eugène-Delacroix – located in a very quiet place in the hot Quartier Latin in St-Germain
- Musée de Montmartre – more intimist place in this artistic village you can't miss.
For your touristic and cultural activities in Paris you may need to buy an easy to use the ticket from:
- Paris Museum Pass
- Paris Pass’Lib
- Paris Pass
Paris is a great place to enjoy a cozy and wintery holiday during the months of January and February.