Best Things To Do In Paris On A Rainy Day

  • 15, Feb 2018
  • All things Paris
  • Amanda Mehtala

Discover all the inspiring, poetic, and interesting things to do in Paris when it's raining!

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"Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain?” Gil (Owen Wilson), Midnight in Paris

There is nothing more romantic than Paris in the rain. The gentle drops along the cobblestone alleys running throughout the city. The sight of hurried Parisians carefully weaving their umbrellas over and under each other through the streets. The smell of the rain-washed air mixed with that of freshly baked baguettes... *sigh.*

Of course it’s often more enchanting for most to watch the rain from a warm, cozy interior than to try and see just how water absorbent they can be. Seeing as it rains quite often here in the city of lights there are plenty of said cozy interiors to take refuge in. From historic museums and classic cafes to hidden covered passageways and breathtaking theatres *wink* *wink*, Paris is the perfect place for whiling away a rainy afternoon. Here's some of our favorite Paris rainy day activities.

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Discovering Parisian theatre

Our favorite of these cozy French interiors is the beautiful array of Parisian theatres which house many subtitled shows. Whether it's the cozy and unpretentious Théâtre Montparnasse or the spectacular Théâtre Edouard VII pictured above, snuggling up for some French entertainment, made accessible of course, on a rainy day will have you feeling like a true Parisian! You can discover the Parisian shows now playing here.

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Moseying around some of the (more obscure) museums

Of course there are the classic museums such as the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay where you’ll find nothing short of a stampede of tourists on a rainy day. However, if you're looking for something a tad calmer and more off the beaten path you might try a tour of the Parisian sewer system at the Paris sewer museum, which brings you into the world underneath our beautiful city and allows you to learn about Paris in a way that few do. A perfectly unique way to get out of the rain in Paris, and imagine the look on your friends faces when they hear you’ve been hanging out in the Parisian sewer. (Their website is as [low]tech as it is [un]informative, but all details to visit are on the Paris Tourism Office page here.

Other Museums off the beaten path to try on a rainy day include: Museum of Vampires and Ledgendary CreaturesThe Museum of Magic, Victor Hugo’s House, the relatively new Perfume Museum, or even the Chocolate Museum!

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Warming up in a Parisian tea room

Teeth chattering a little bit from the rain? Warm up in Paris’ most iconic tearoom: Angelina. Famous for its rich hot chocolate (that’s really more like a straight up melted chocolate bar in a cup) and melt-in-your-mouth pastries, Angelina is a great place to take cover from the rain. However, if the lines are a little too long, as they are known to be, we do have some other favorite tea rooms that will suffice all the same. For a more low-key local environment, try the hidden in plain sight l’Imprévu Café, with its house sangria and a wide selection of teas and coffees If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat on the couch in the back you have located the best spot to hang out and spend a rainy afternoon in Paris. Might we also recommend: LaduréeOdette, Mamie Gâteaux, The Tea Caddy, Mariage FrèresCarrette, or Le Loir dans la Théière.

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Explore French cinema

Similar to Theatre in Paris with their surtitled plays, Lost in Frenchlation too makes French entertainment accessible to non French speakers. The company puts on screenings of French films with English subtitles at independent cinemas all over the city. Unbeknownst to most visitors to the capitol, Parisian plays and films are an amazing way to experience authentic French culture, all throughout different local Parisian venues. The company just celebrated 2 years in the business and featured hundreds of movies. And for the adult crowd (we’re all kids at heart), there is often a convivial cocktail hour before the movie where you might meet some new French (or English) friends!

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Adventure through the hidden Parisian passageways

Built at the end 18th century, Paris once boasted a labyrinth of hidden pedestrian passageways that ran all throughout the city. Although many have since fell into disrepair or were demolished in the Haussmannian Paris makeover, there are a few that still exist today. Around 20 of these covered arcades wind through Paris buildings and courtyards, offering a reprise from the rain with their ornate glass and painted coverings; wandering there little shops serves as the perfect rainy day activity! Many are highly specialized, the Passage Brady, for example, has a huge number of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, referred to as the city’s Little India, while the Passage Caire crosses the textile district and houses many fabric wholesalers. You never know what you might find in one of Paris secret passages. Some of our favorite include: Passage Moliere, Galerie Vivienne, Passage Jouffroy, Passage des Panoramas. Our friend Yanique Francis from My Parisian Life has outlined a great list on her blog here.

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