It is best to visit Paris when skies are blue to discover all the treasures scattered throughout the capital. Since the weather is a risk that we all know about, Parisians have plenty ideas available to avoid letting an unfortunate shower get them down. Here are several options to turn these rainy days into happy and enriching experiences!
The Quai Branly Museum
Crédits : ©Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
The idea that immediately comes to mind after seeing the first raindrops is to go see a temporary exhibit or the permanent collections in a museum. However, the Louvre is swarmed, and as for the Grand Palais and the Musee d’Orsay, the lines to get in are getting longer and longer under the rain (unless you already have an express entry ticket). So avoid the crowds and head to museums that you don’t think of as much, but are worth the visit. We recommend, in this category, the Quai Branly Museum by the Eiffel Tower. This modern museum is dedicated to art from Africa and Oceania. It never ceases to spark the interest of the French as well as foreigners with its exhibits/events like Tatooers, tattooed or Beloved Hair.
The tropical aquarium Porte Dorée
Crédits : ©Allan Watt
Did the Quai Branly Museum give you a taste for the exotic? If so, you can continue your day with a visit to the tropical aquarium Porte Dorée. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and you can get there by Metro (line 8, Portée Dorée station), by bus (line 46), and by tram (line T3a). Built in 1931, this aquarium puts on display and heightens awareness for flora and fauna from tropical waters. There are 5000 species waiting for you, and among them, crocodiles. Who said that a rainy day in Paris is boring ?
The covered pathways
Crédits : © Moonik
The covered pathways are just another part of Paris’ characteristic architecture. Built in the 19th century, these galleries are, still today, a stylish place to wait for a shower to end. If you like art, artisanal creations, small shops, and antiques, you’ll definitely find a souvenir to bring back from your stay in Paris. The oldest is the Passage des Panoramas at 11 Boulevard Montmartre (Metro stop Bourse on line 3 or Grands Boulevards on lines 8 and 9).
The tea salons
Crédits : ©Laktatjakka
To warm yourself back up, you can obviously go have a coffee in a Parisian bistro. But, if you want to immerse yourself in the décor of real institutions in the world of tea salons, we can only recommend going to Ladurée on the Champs Elysées. Exquisite pastries and the house special, the macaron, go marvelously well with some tea. Are you a chocolate enthusiast? The 100-year-old shop, Angelina, is made for you. Like Coco Chanel, treat yourself to the famous old-style hot chocolate, a subtle mix of three kinds of African cacao. There you’ll also find elaborate pastries like the Mont-Blanc, which, along with their hot chocolate, contributed to the shop’s fame. Once you’ve been won over by the shop’s delicacies and charming décor, you can go around the shop and leave with a package of delicious cookies or even a small bottle of hot chocolate. 226 rue Rivoli, Metro stop Concorcorde (lines 1, 8, and 12).
The souvenirs shops
Crédits : © Linusblanket17
When thinking of traveling, you think of souvenirs. Good news: the arcades on Rue Rivoli are full of little shops where you can find all sorts of items to remind you of the City of Lights. Metro stop Louvre-Rivoli, line 1.
The greenhouses at Jardin des Plantes
In the 5th arrondissement, you can also immerse yourself in a warm atmosphere while strolling through the greenhouses at Jardin des Plantes. Travel step by step alongside plants that only grow in New Caledonia (and in these exceptional greenhouses) and go back in time to understand our flora’s evolution. Metro stop Place Monge (line 7).
Churches are architectural marvels, both on the inside and outside. The rain is a good occasion to revisit these structures and, in the stillness, check out their windows and architecture. Once you’ve visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, there is an underground activity right by you. In fact, you can head to the Crypt of Parvis Notre-Dame to learn more about the neighborhood’s architecture thanks to results from excavations that were completed before the cathedral’s renovation in the 1980’s. Metro stop Cité, line 4.
The Palais de la Découverte’s planetarium
Gray skies aren’t the end of the world if you go to the Palais de la Découverte’s planetarium. Above your heads stands a dome 15 meters in diameter that immerses you in a starry sky. Adults and children alike will be delighted by this activity that makes us dream beyond ourselves, and allows us to better understand the solar system. Metro stop Champs-Elysées Clémenceau, lines 1 and 13.
If you’d rather visit the big department stores of Boulevard Haussmann, you are right by a place that can teach you a lot about Paris. Located between the Lindt and Nespresso shops is Paris Story. A one-hour film goes through the history of Paris, as well as several additional stories. It is shown every day with the first showing at 10 am and the last at 6 pm. Metro station Opéra, lines 3, 7, and 8 as well as station Chaussée d’Antin, lines 7 and 9.
Obviously when it is raining, shopping is a popular choice. The Parisian department stores being a must during your visit, we can recommend going to Le Bon Marché. Missed by many tourists, Le Bon Marché is one of the oldest stores of its kind. It is mostly visited by Parisians and the atmosphere is a little different. There you’ll find up-and-coming creators and exclusive cosmetic brands. Taking the bridge from there, you’ll reach La Grande Epicerie, another building dedicated to gastronomy. This specialty store brings together the best of what France has to offer and more. You can even dine in and try some shellfish or cheese. Metro station Sèvres-Babylone, lines 10 and 12.
The swimming pools
Would you rather sing in the shower rather than in the rain? The beautiful Parisian pools can also be a nice place to work out until the rain stops. The pool at Butte des Cailles being listed as a historical monument, you’ll probably end up swimming on your back so you can admire its ceiling. Metro station Corvisart, line 6. If you dream of going on a boat tour along the Seine, you’ll definitely like the Josephine Baker pool. Placed right along the Seine, the glass sides gives the impression that you are directly swimming on the water’s current. Metro station Quai de la Gare, line 6.
Now you see that whether you appreciate art, gastronomy, sport, history, or shopping, the rain will not ruin your stay in Paris. On the other hand, you will be able to do some rather unique activities.