Paris in winter?

Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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Paris in winter?

I have enough frequent flyer miles to go to Paris in OCt for 55,000 miles or in Jan-Feb for 30,000 miles. Hotels are very expensive in Oct; nice ones are more reasonable in Jan-Feb. This will be my 6th trip to Paris and I've never been in winter but am thinking it would be worth it to save enough miles for another trip to Europe later and to stay at a pretty nice hotel for less. This trip i am planning to SAVOR - not rush around to sites although am planning things like the Marmatton, other smal museums, perhaps a ballet, the covered passages...

If anyone has gone in winter, do you recommend it? How was the weather (dont' mind snow, hate rain) and any interesting experiences? i am thinking it will not be as crowded.

Planning to do alot of pastry sampling and poking about shops. perhaps a drink at the George V.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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I've been to Paris several times in Jan and Feb - and from what my French friends say it is rare for there to be snow and ice in Paris - can happen but once every few years it seems and then quickly melts.

But rain is a possible always in winter - I have had temps often in the 40s and 50s and even sunny so it is variable.

As for crowds Paris can be surprisingly busy during the two-week mid-winter French school breaks but not nearly as bad as in summer.

I'd say go for it for sure!
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:36 AM
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I have been several time in December, and love it. Paris does not handle snow well, but it is also relatively infrequent.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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In Paris in winter rain is much more likely than snow - it just doesn't get very cold. And the days are very short.

That said there are a million things to do indoors and the cultural attractions (opera, ballet, etc) are in full swing.

However, day trips - unless to another city - like Strasbourg - probably are't a great idea.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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I've been to Paris in mid-January, and wouldn't hesitate to go again. We were lucky, I don't recall any precipitation.

~Liz
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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We have spent our late nov anniversary in Paris the last 7 years and spent nye there in 2009/2010. It is wonderful that time of year.

You can see my pics here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...7636716043473/

Have you thought about this time if year when Paris is decked out for the holidays?

I wouldn't hesitate to go in Jan or Feb but the weather might not be great.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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It will probably rain, of course, but February is one of the months with the least precipitation in Paris (better than January). The weather in Paris in winter is fairly similar to that of Washington DC or NYC, if you know what that is like.

GOing for the holidays would negate the purpose of cheap hotels, of course (they are most expensive during Christmas holidays and continuing into NY day), and most likely you won't get the ticket for that few miles, either, so I don't think that's probably viable. I'd go in February rather than January if I had to choose. IN reality, I wouldn't go then at all because I don't have that much vacation time that I can spend it on holidays that aren't really what I want to do, and other costs are still very high (like hotels and food). So it's just not an investment I would make. Besides, I go skiing in the winter.

The ticket with so few FF miles is the best deal. I get better hotel prices in July in Paris than you can probably get in Jan-February, anyway, as many hotels typically offer discounts at the end of July and August in Paris. I like going to Europe in summer, I like it staying light out late and not having to lug so many clothes (not to mention heavy shoes/boots). I also like to take day trips and those often involve walking around outside a lot, and none of those would be appealing to me in the dead of winter. But if you only want to stay in Paris, that would work better. FYI the Paris OPera Ballet doesn't really do anything in January and most of February, though. They do start again very end of February sometimes.

I'd choose February as the weather should be a bit better than in January. If you care about the winter "soldes" or sales, they start around January 7th next year and last about a month. So you'd have to go very beginning of February for that, and stuff at the end is rather picked over.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:19 AM
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Paris is an all-season city. I've gone in December and January and it was fine both times. You could certainly get rain or snow but there is so much to do indoors it doesn't matter.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Most of our first trips to Paris were in the winter during Martin Luther King weekends and Presidents' weekends and we always enjoyed it. It's nice to know that you are getting to see Paris for about 1/3 less in terms of airfare and hotel costs. Saves more $$$ for fab meals.

We hit the January "soldes" at least twice during that timeframe, and while I'm not a shopper, my sister sure loved it.

But rain is part of the equation.

On the other hand, Paris really DOES look fabulous in the rain.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:25 AM
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I would like to go to Antwerp as a day trip - a long day, but doable I think. Hotels I am considering are: Britannique, St JAcques, that caliber. Many hotels have done renovations and are quite modern. I like modern, but I want to feel like I'm in Paris, not NY. So I want a typical Parisian character hotel.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:27 AM
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Lovely photos, Jamikins. I like to take artistic photos, get up early. One of the reasons I think this trip will be solo.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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I'd go to Paris in the winter in a heartbeat. But if rain will really spoil your entire experience, you might need to rethink the plan.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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I enjoyed my visit to Paris on February. Perhaps not quite as much as I enjoyed other visits in warmer weather, but it was still very much worth it. It happened to coincide with the city's big bi-annual sale, and while I didn't buy anything in the end, I enjoyed spending some time in the department stores looking. I still regard this butter yellow Furla purse that I didn't buy.

I don't remember it being overly dreary. Chilly, yes, but not horrible. Dress accordingly and you'll be fine. I did find it a bit harder to fill the time between "closing time," i.e, the time that museums and attractions shut down and dinner time. It was my norm to just wander or sit at outside at a cafe and watch life go by. Obviously, cold weather doesn't prevent that; it just made it a bit more challenging. If I had to do it over again, I'd figure out a few additional things to do to fill that time.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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I've been in Paris in all seasons and cannot say that any one is better than another, just different. One of my fondest memories is being stuck in Paris due to a winter storm in the early 90's - was kind of like the fun kids have on a snow day school closure.
Miserly traveler that I can be, the chance to save enough miles for a second trip and to get a deal on a hotel usually beyond my budget would be too much to resist.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 11:32 AM
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I have been to Paris in the rain and in the snow in the winter. Snow is fun. It doesn't stick around long and all the locals are walking around taking pictures just like you will be, because it is unusual. It's not like New York, where there is deep snow on some streets and sidewalks and mush on the intersections, so you don't really need boots.

The cultural season is active at that time of year, many concerts, operas, ballet. If you check the website for the Paris Opera, you will see ballet scheduled for some dates in January and February at the Opera Garnier.

I have not gone to Paris in the summer in recent memory, but I believe the summer crowds are much larger. The things you mention that you plan to do will be fine even if the weather is sketchy. I don't find the early onset of darkness a problem that keeps me in at night since I am not doing outdoor sightseeing but going to shows and restaurants.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 12:14 PM
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I've been twice in February, two weeks each time, and one year two weeks over Christmas and New Year's. Only once was there a bit of snow, and once it was sooooo cold that I stopped into a store in Monmartre for stockings! Other days coats wide open in the sun. I would not hesitate for a minute. For me, I hate the heat so it's a great time to be out and walking all over the city. Cafés have heaters outside, so watching the world go by was no problem. Dress in layers, you'll be fine. Days are shorter than Toronto, because it's further north, but milder because of the jet stream.

We're going this October for five nights, and I'm hoping we'll finally be able to see leaves on the trees!
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Paris and environs have had more snow than usual the past few winters but before that it was unusual to have a flake of snow in winter I believe.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 12:56 PM
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I go all the time in winter months. I do not go in summer, May has too many holidays. I stay a couple months when I go. I will be there just before Chrismtas this year and will stay until the end of Feb, 2015. Last trip was Jan to March, 2014.

Weather is varied. Usually not much snow..except a couple years ago. Can be mild, can be chilly. It is layered clothing.

Weather has become very uncertain all over the world. Nothng is normal!

Go whenever... and enjoy!

a bientot...

Joan
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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I think my best trip to Paris was at the very end of November, but I've also had a great time in February, twice.

I prefer to save the miles.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:20 PM
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I was in Paris for 10 days in February once when it was 70+ F every day. I was in sleeveless tops. I've also been in snowstorms in January (not big ones), and been in November and June when it poured for days on end. You just can't predict.
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