Paris in December?

Aug 13th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 13
Paris in December?

We are considering Paris for the Christmas/New Year holiday.

We love Paris and have been there in warm weather.

We don't want to be frozen, so we ask- Is it too cold to enjoy, or is it bearable?

Any comments/opinions are appreciated.
larry1257 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 203
We were there Dec. 25-Dec.31 in 2003. Definitely bearable. Cold, crisp days. One rainy morning. Be prepared to layer: turtleneck or thick sweater under coat or jacket; adjust accordingly. Wool gloves/scarf/cap (beret!) come in handy, too. We are from the beautiful Bay Area (I've known a 70 degree Christmas!) and Paris definitely wasn't too cold to enjoy! It was a wonderful time to visit Paris.
Janeyre is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
I haven't been there in December but I do know that it rarely gets below freezing. The average high for December is 45, average low 36 but if you factor in the wind and rain you could be quite chilly.

Still & all, I would go for it. I'd love to see Paris at Christmastime. I just won't be climbing the Eiffel Tower.
Linda431 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,875
Where are you from and what do you find bearable?

It doesn't usually get much below freezing at the coldest, and then not for more than a couple of days at a time, and there are plenty of indoor things to do.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Aug 13th, 2005, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 98
not too cold at all if you wrap up for it!!Paris is wondeful & magical at christmas.we went 2 yrs ago at this time, our daughter was 8.they had carousels & ice rinks for free, lots of decorated trees, christmas markets & all the museums are open.the church services are lovely, especially notre dam & just to make it perfect it snowed too.
scot1 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,481
By following Janeye's advice you should be warm enough.
We went in Feb-March and it snowed. Since I'm from Southern California and have to travel miles to see 2 inches of snow, like you, I was a little concerned. Once I got the trick of wrapping my long wool scarf around my head and face so my nose wouldn't freeze off. I felt a bit like I was going to rob a bank but it was warm.
Paris was wonderful. There wasn't that much snow, maybe only a couple of inches but really cold when the wind blew. If it got too cold there was always a cafe to duck into.
L84SKY is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 705
I have been there for Christmas. Dined at Violon d'Ingres on Christmas Eve and had Christmas dinner on Christmas evening at Les Ambassadeurs in the Crillon Hotel. Both were lovely. You will be able to find the Les Ambassadeurs menu online.

It does not snow often in Paris. It was crisp. Wear layered clothing..wrap a long scarf around your neck, chin. I stayed on rue Jacob and walked across the bridge and past the Louvre,maybe stopping for coffee at various places like the Ritz etc.
The Christmas decorations are beautiful.
gracejoan is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 998
Go you will love it. We have done London, Rome and Paris at Christmas and always have fun. Bring lite rain gear but plenty of fleece. Layering is good advice. be sure to go to the cr eve mass at Notre Dame. Go to the 7:00pm childrens mass. It is the one you don't have to wait in line for and it is very cool. Our one complaint was that all of the christmas markets closed on Christmas Eve. Unlike Rome. You will have
jay is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 777
We have pictures online from Christmas 2003 in Paris:

This will give you visual confirmation of what everyone else has said: Christmas in Paris is wonderful! In fact, we had such a fabulous time we may be going back this year with our son and his girlfriend.

Do get advance dinner reservations for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve -- those are very big dinner-out nights, and everything is booked up well ahead of time.
nonnafelice is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 98
i looked at your pics of paris & really enjoyed them.thank you is my fave city, i am v. lucky we have daily cheap flights
from glasgow with ryanair
scot1 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
Paris for the Xmas/New Year's holiday season is one of the best times to visit. I enjoyed my New Year's Eve as it was magical. It was rainy and cold but if you layer you will be allright. There are lots of lights and decorations put up on the shops, hotels, and restaurants. Do get a New Year's Eve reservation ahead of time as you won't be able to just walk in. They have special menus at thist time. Ask your hotel to book your reservation.
francophile03 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It depends on what you mean by bearable. It is not as cold as NYC or Boston would be - perhaps more similar to Virginia in temps - a little brisk - but not really cold or snowy.

We have been in winter and loved it (exept for getting dark so early) but then we love cold and detest hot weather. If you're from FLA you might find it unbearable.

If you go be ready for chilly rain - and have a nice warm coat, hat and gloves as well as sturdy waterproof shoes or low booties.

nytraveler is offline  
Aug 13th, 2005, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,286
I guess I must be the only one who doesn't enjoy Paris in the winter. I am from California but I do ski. I did not like the rain, the sky was dark and dreary, the lights aren't as beautiful as the US, and the department stores were jammed. I had a good coat, gloves, scarf, boots, but I still got wet.
Ronda is offline  
Aug 14th, 2005, 02:29 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,121
Paris in December is usually almost perpetually cloudy, with lots of drizzling rain. Temperatures stay above freezing but they are chilly. Days tend to be dark, in part because of the constant overcast, and in part because the sun is so low in the sky that it can barely clear even the low buildings of the city.

It's true that there isn't much decoration for Christmas, as the French aren't into fancy decorations.

It's a nice time of year if you like this sort of environment (quite a few people do, strangely enough), but if you are looking for sunny, bright, warm, dry days, you'll not enjoy Paris in December at all.

Activity-wise, of course, it's a very busy time of year, especially with Christmas shopping.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Aug 14th, 2005, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 705
I do take exception to a couple posts saying that there is not much decorating in Paris. IT IS SPECTACULAR!! The department stores go all out..the Champs Elysees is beautiful. Take a cab for a sightseeing ride around is beautiful...........
gracejoan is offline  
Aug 14th, 2005, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 496
we go to paris every year for christmas (and will be there this year)...

what i hope will be helpful hints:

many restaurants close for the week so it is wise to plan ahead particularly if you have specific ones in mind already. as previously noted, new years eve is a night for reserved private parties which will be well booked in early november.

we've had mixed luck with the weather. sometimes it rains, occasionally it has snowed. frequently it IS overcast, but then the sun will break thru to show a crisp blue sky. it is always fairly chilly and would be a rare day when just a sweater would suffice.

being out of the normal season, you'll see less tourists but that is offset by school closings. so you'll still need a museum card to avoid long lines at most venues.

a real cautionary note: we went to the eiffel tower for the millenium fireworks. while that was awesome, i wish we'd have avoided the champs elysse afterward. it is a madhouse. if you don't like crowds of people packed like sardines, avoid it.

otherwise paris is great for the holidays. enjoy yourselves!
subcon is offline  
Aug 14th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
We were there last Dec.17-21 and I can tell you it was definitely below even snowed on us one day. It was also rainy a few of those days but it never slowed us down. Just prepar for it and enjoy it. Layer, layer, layer. Get a good long coat, hat, gloves and scarf and your set. We even bought thin, silk long johns that could ben worn under any type of clothes becuase we spent a lot of time outside, walking. It was beautiful and I never regret going that time of year.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
You will love Paris in December (despite the fact there are no songs about it). I was there in early December, 2002 and it was sunny and clear and occasionally cold, but not bone-chilling except for one afternoon, and I just spent it indoors at the Musee D'Orsay and a cafe. I got by with a thin leather jacket, gloves and of course, a scarf. But that's what makes you look Parisinenne. No crowds, the windows at Fauchon filled with sublime holiday foods, hot chestnut vendors, watching the Paris natives try to skate outside the Hotel de Ville, the clouds of steam rising from cups of vin chaud the vendors were sipping at the Marche aux Puces - it was all just fantastic. And there are all these lovely outdoor Christmas markets. I think this is the ideal time to visit Paris and you'll love it. Just be prepared for wet weather if it's not as cold as I experienced. Have fun.
BBoop is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 56
Was in Paris days prior to Christmas in 2002. Overcast and chilly. Some rain, of course. Keep one thing in mind, there is not as much light in the winter as the summer or early fall. It starts getting dark much earlier. I was there in December 2003 and it was cold (38 every day), but clear and blue as if the sky was provided by a scene painter at MGM. Glorious! In my opinion, NOTHING can dampen nor diminish the loveliness that is Paris.
iangf is offline  
Aug 17th, 2005, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,124
I love Paris in the winter. There are tons of things to do and no waiting in lines. Had practically a private tour at Versailles. Go, it is magical.
SharonG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:18 PM.