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How to enjoy Paris in the rain

The best things to do in the French capital when the weather ain’t playing

© alexkatkov

If you’re as clumsy and inattentive as us, dodging the pointed ends of umbrellas and puddles along the narrow Paris pavements can feel incredibly perilous. Faced with a light pitter-patter or an ominously grey sky, you may opt to stay at home and snuggle up under the duvet with Netflix and a warming cup of tea instead. Which is always sensible and great, sure, but if you’re visiting Paris, this may feel like a bit of a waste. So that’s why we’ve come up with a short list of ideas of things to do in the city that involve minimal or no interaction with the outdoors.

What to do in Paris when it rains

1
Bars and pubs

Bars with board games

What’s your poison? Get involved in everything from brain-bending French dictation to Star Wars-themed sushi.

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2
Attractions

Les Catacombes

‘Stop! This is the empire of death.’ So reads the welcome sign to these public burial pits which overflowed in the era of the Revolutionary Terror.

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3
Restaurants

The best coffee in Paris

Paris has always excelled when it comes to café culture. Now, a new generation of artisanal coffee bars has opened up all over the city.

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4
Shopping

Les passages couverts

In 18th and 19th century Paris, the area around today’s Grands Boulevards was packed with these glass-roofed shopping galleries.

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5
Museums

Quirky museums

These weird and wonderful little-known gems are all well worth an hour of your time.

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6
Shopping

The 100 best shops in Paris

Bad weather provides the perfect opportunity to seek out some of these 100 essential boutiques, reviewed and ranked by our editors.

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7
Kids

Rainy day kids' activities

Our pick of the 50 best things to do with the kids in Paris in the rain. First stop: the aquarium.

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8
Museums

Art deco museums

The five museums listed here all pay homage to the 1920s and 30s movement with rich collections of art deco art and furniture.

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9
Museums

Museums for kids

Families are well catered-for in Paris with dozens of museums offering regular kids’ activities.

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10
Music

Music, Film & Digital Art

Get to grips with the boundary-pushing Paris museums that mix art, music and technology.

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Fantastic