Check out our list of the top 5 things to do in Paris on a rainy day.
5.] Visit the galleries
The galleries of the capital open this “Top 5 things to do in Paris in a rainy day” – but it’s also a great thing to do when it’s sunny! There are a lot of galleries, especially in the Marais (3rd and 4th quarters) which are very beautiful. My favorite one is the Galerie Vivienne, built in 1823, with a lot of different luxurious and beautiful shops in 173 meters long: bookstores, clothes, shoes, little jewelry stores, art galleries, cafés and cute restaurants. You can spend a lot of time just in one gallery! The mosaic at the floor and the glass roof will make you feeling in another time. It’s a really romantic moment to have!
4 rue des Petits-Champs
5 rue de la Banque
4.] Find the most curious museums
Calm and covered, the museums remain the perfect way to spend hours when it’s raining! It’s one of the best things to do in Paris and also to become smarter. But be careful: everyone will have the same idea. The Louvre is the most famous museum, so you have to expect long waiting lines, as the Quai d’Orsay museum; but others are also good! The museum of Cluny is great, about the Middle-Ages arts, or the Carnavalet museum about the history of Paris in an incredible historic setting. If you’re interested in Napoleon and the art of the war, you could visit the Invalides; the Quai Branly museum is about the primary arts, and its modern architecture is awesome; and if you like very creepy things, you can also visit the Dupuytren museum – nicknamed the museum of horror… You know, rainy days are the best opportunity to visit curious museums! Museum of fashion, XVIIIth century French art(Museum Nissim de Camondo) are also amazing.
3.] Spend time in department stores
Paris is the city of fashion, but it’s not always easy to do some shopping when it’s too hot outside! Rainy days are also the best time to visit the department stores, and I think it’s one of the best things to do when it’s cold. You can avoid the rain, because the department stores are so big that it’s easy to spend hours inside! The Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are the most beautiful in Paris and promise you unforgettable moments, and also have some restaurants inside. Less known, the BHV Marais can replace a visit of the nearby Marais quarter; on the Left Bank, you can visit the Bon Marché and be like a true Parisian “bobo”! If you prefer luxury, the Printemps of the Louvre will content you; in the East of Paris, Franck & Fils offers a lot of French and swanky brands. The perfect way to be dressed like a Parisian – and to stay dry!
2.] The greenhouses of Paris
To feel a tropical atmosphere in Paris is possible! I think it’s one of the most surprising things to do in Paris on a rainy day. It allows you to visit the parks of Paris and to stay dry. The scenery will change! The majority of the greenhouses are old and their architecture is typical of the XIXth century. It’s like the Grand Palais – but green inside! Different addresses: the Jardin des Serres d’ Auteuil with many very beautiful tropical greenhouses; and the four greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes, which are my favorite! If you prefer butterflies and bugs, I advise you to visit the Parc Floral of Paris, opened between May and October: the greenhouse contains a nursery for baby butterflies which will be loved by children! You learn a lot and it’s magnificent. The beauty of the nature changes the beauty of the monuments – completely different but completely amazing!
1.] Do a very French thing
Take a book and order a coffee with some pieces of bread with butter in the morning, choose a comfortable window seat and become a true Parisian! To go in a café is one of the best things to do in Paris in a rainy day if you want to feel a very Parisian atmosphere. A calm café is a great place to spend hours just reading a book or to discuss with your friends. A lot of cafés offer free WiFi access and some things to eat with a drink and it’s not too expensive. I recommend you to go in little cafés, more intimate and less touristic – the waiters are often nicer. My favorite ones are in the North of Paris (La Renaissance, subway station Porte de Clignancourt (Line 4)), and in the Latin Quarter (Les Editeurs, subway station Odéon (4)).
Another good thing to do, if you read French, is to spend time in bookshops and libraries; if you prefer English books, the Shakespeare & Company bookshop (rue de la Bûcherie) has a room where you can read books for free.