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Paris in the week of January 7: worth it?

Paris in the week of January 7: worth it?

Old Sep 17th, 2012, 02:03 AM
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Paris in the week of January 7: worth it?


I will have a stop over in Paris in the week of January 7th next year. I could use this opportunity to stay in Paris for a couple of days. Or I could just spend a night near the airport to rest and catch my next flight the next day.

I have been wondering if it would be worth it to go out in the city that time of the year considering the weather. Does the transporation service between the city to the airport operates normally in case of snow (assuming there is no severe snowstorm of course when all bets are off).

If it were mid or late December, then I could have enjoyed the Xmas lights and festivities. In January, however, I am afraid I might find a dull, empty city.

On other hand, I might find a great deal at a great hotel and afford myself a bit of Parisian luxury
qzseattle is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 02:50 AM
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We spent a week over NYE in 2009/2010 and loved it so i definitely think its worth it. We didnt have snow (I dont think thats common, but of course could happen) and had no transit issues. I think that would be rare and due to extreme weather, not normal winter weather.

Paris is lively and beautiful even in the rain. We had a few showers, but in general the weather was chilly but tolerable.

jamikins is online now  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:19 AM
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I think it really depends on whether you find indoor activities in Paris "dull" and the absence of other English-speaking tourists in Paris translates for you as "empty." It is likely to be freezing cold even if it doesn't snow (and yes, freezing cold and/or snow is normal winter weather in Paris), so spending hours outside strolling the gardens and sightseeing, or sitting in sidewalks cafe, won't be available. It will even be cold inside churches.

I would find lots of things to do indoors, and would enjoy the covered passages no matter what the weather. I would enjoy not being among crowds of tourists and instead keeping up with the Parisians, who are very active in their own city enjoying cultural events. In January, Paris is about as "dull and empty" as is either New York City or London. But if you want tourist life and outdoor fun, it's not Sydney in January.
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:21 AM
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By the way, I think the cities of Belgium keep up their Christmas junk for most of January. Paris is fairly restrained when it comes to Christmas hoo-hah anyway. Belgium puts on light shows,etc.
vespacurves is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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Well we travel to Paris over winter all the time and every time we sit outside in cafes. Yes, the weather is cold, but tonnes of cafes have covers over their patios and/or heaters going so you can still sit out there. It is winter after all so expect it to be cold - but sipping hot chocolate in Paris in a covered/heated cafe patio is pretty darn fun to me!

And we certainly didnt find it devoid of tourists. Lots of people visit Paris all year round, so if you are heading to the touristy things like the Eiffel Tower you will still run into lots of tourists - not as many as say June, but you wont be the lone person exploring Paris in the winter!

The passages are a great suggestion, you can do a search on this board for a walking tour one of the members wrote a while back (Degas is his screen name I believe).
jamikins is online now  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:41 AM
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Paris in winter is certainly chilly and it's likely you will see some rain and even possibly snow. However, the weather is warmer than winters in the US northeast - so it depends on what you're used to. There is a lot to see indoors - and even outdoors on nicer days - things are much less crowded and you can probably get a great hotel deal.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 04:14 AM
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It will still be Paris. As someone said, cafes have heaters. Aside from perhaps not being able to picnic on the Champs de Mars (which you also can't do in a warm rain), and gardens, the Tower, bridges, buildings will still be there with all they promise!! Just my opinion.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 04:17 AM
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Even more worth it in January - fewer tourists hordes, more Parisians enjoying the cultural life of the city, easier to get ballet and opera tickets, and eating hot crepes drizzled with grand marnier outdoors in the winter is an experience never to forget!
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Another "Oui" for Paris in January. Black and white photography outings can be very striking on the gray days. I spent a week exploring passages on the really cold or inclement days as well as enjoying hot chocolate outdoors on the "less cold" days. The ice skating rink at the Hotel de Ville should still be open, and that made for a fun evening, too.

There are fewer tourists, but it's all relative. On some days it seemed that what Paris lacks in tourists in January at the major museums, it made up for it in school groups!
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 04:47 AM
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We go to Paris often in January or February and have rarely had "freezing" weather. As stated above if you are from the NE USA, u will find the temps rather moderate for winter weather. Dress in layers, take a hat and gloves and as long as you are ok with cold temps you will be fine. We enjoy being in Paris without the huge crowds like the ones we experienced last June when we were there. So we will be back in 2013 in February.
yestravel is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 05:45 AM
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Paris is ALWAYS worth it.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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I agree with mamcalice..Always worth it...Paris is Paris!!!
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Here is from a Paris resident about January weather in Paris:


The January Thermometer

Minimum temperature: 2 degrees C (35.6 degrees F)
Maximum temperature: 6 degrees C (42.8 degrees F)
Average temperature: 3 degrees C (37.4 degrees F)
Average rainfall: 46 millimeters (1.8 inches)

How to Pack for a January Trip to Paris

January in Paris is generally very cold, and it's not uncommon to see the mercury dip below zero. Clearer skies than in November or December and wind chill can make the cold seem more biting. So make sure you line your suitcase with lots of warm sweaters, coats, scarves, warm socks, and a hat that will protect your ears.

Although heavy rains are less common in January, Paris is well-known for its erratic and sudden downpours. So packing an umbrella that can withstand a wet, gusty day is definitely a must.

Make sure to pack a good pair of waterproof shoes. Shoes with good tread are important because the streets can be slick and icy in January. When there is snow, it tends to melt when it hits the ground, creating an annoying slush. High heels and dress shoes are not ideal for walking around the city in January.
pizzocchieri is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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I'm not sure what you are calling the "transportation service" between the airport and the city, but no one can guarantee you something will run if there is a certain kind of weather when it cannot. It doesn't usually snow that much in Paris, so I think it very unlikely it could be snowing enough to stop the light rail system, but it is certainly possible if it snows enough. Where I live, I think it can cause problems if it snows more than 6 inches (on the rails) heavily, and they may cancel trains in that case. they definitely cancel them if it is more than a foot.
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Note that the info above about below zero temps - are centigrade - not farenheit (as you might get in the the US).

Yes, it's winter and it's chilly. True bitter cold is rare. But if you don;t like cold at all - then reconsider.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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I was just reading that because the arctic sea melted this summer they are predicting a very bad winter for Europe again.
pizzocchieri is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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The 7th is the start of the winter sales. Great if you need something to help keep you warm while you wander the streets. Cashmere scarfs can be bought for a song, but you may have to stand line in the cold.

Just remember that the sun sets rather early in January, with it getting dark a little after 5:00 pm (17:00). And yes, it can be chilly when the sun goes down, but it's also quite beautiful at night in the City of Light during the winter season.
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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@mamcalice - I couldn't agree more!
kelsey22 is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Definitely do it. Scarf, hat, warm shoes and a travel umbrella....you don't have to be indoors unless you want to be. Totally worth it.
denisea is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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I'm with mamcalice and denisea - Paris is PARIS! There is no bad time to visit. It's a major city and there will always be plenty to see and do no matter what the weather.
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