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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 ball

© 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 stuff, 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. Enjoy!

Recommended: 25 romantic things to do in Paris

What to do in Paris when it rains

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Bars with board games
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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Independent cinemas in Paris
Film

Independent cinemas in Paris

What's better than the cinema on a rainy day?

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Les Catacombes
Attractions Book online

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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4
The best new coffee shops in Paris
Things to do

The best new coffee shops in Paris

Hideout with a cup of Joe at one of these hot new spots across the city. 

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The best patisseries in Paris
Shopping

The best patisseries in Paris

It pays to be selective in the face of all this bounty – here's our pick of Parisian patisseries, bakeries and chocolatiers to die for.

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The best wine bars in Paris
Bars and pubs

The best wine bars in Paris

A bottle, good company, some cheese. There's a perfect evening, even in the worst weather. 

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Bustronome: the gourmet sightseeing tour
Things to do

Bustronome: the gourmet sightseeing tour

Bustronome is a fine dining experience on a double decker bus, with dishes created by former Topchef (the French version of Masterchef) contestants and a route covering the city’s finest historic monuments. 

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Les passages couverts
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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15 unmissable alternative museums
Museums

15 unmissable alternative museums

When it comes to culture, the City of Light has two faces: one overrun by millions of people seeking out the many masterpieces Paris has to offer - and another, much calmer one, a hidden face neglected by the public. We’ve picked out the more intimate, lesser known museums, which are just as full of artistic gems.  Quietly flourishing in the shadow of their big brothers – the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre, the Palais de Tokyo – they’re not trying to rival these renowned Parisian institutions. All the same, they deserve an equal following – if not just for the ability to admire art without having your toes stepped on. So if you’ve already done Paris’ must-see museums and you’re craving a calmer cultural experience, here are fifteen unmissable alternatives. Fifteen addresses removed from the touristic buzz, allowing you to escape the crowds and blockbuster exhibitions in favour of these more laid-back museums.

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The 100 best shops in Paris
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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Rainy day kids’ activities
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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Art deco museums
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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Museums for kids
Museums

Museums for kids

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

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Music, Film & Digital Art
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