Paris in winter?

Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:28 PM
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We've gone twice in early December. It is before the hotel and apartment rate hikes but when all of the Christmas decor is up. I'd definitely go then again!
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:33 PM
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Living in 30 minutes of Paris for more than 20 years, I can give you certain elements onto the weather report and what it passes in Paris.
In October is a soft month when Paris begins its wintering. In November, the Parisian are sad because of the rain which can be regular. In December and January, it is cold, there are many tourists and the main places are accessible(approachable) after a very long wait(expectation). I think that February is a good compromise even if it risks to be cold and luckily, of credit note of the snow more often at the beginning of February.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:34 PM
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We have gone to Paris in January or February for years. Weather has been all over the place. Last trip in 2012 in February it was very cold and had snow several times during our two weeks there. The snow was actually lovely and melted quite quickly. We walked less that trip and relied more on buses and the metro because of the cold. Other trips we've had beautiful, sunny weather with temps in the 50's/60's. As mentioned the crowds are less, but there are lots of school children who live in France on their breaks.
I agree with gracejoan that weather everywhere we have gone the last years has been crazy -- never what the norms are supposed to be.
I would save the miles and take layers with gloves and hats.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 02:45 PM
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Anytime is good...rain boots, travel umbrella, good coat and scarf. I love the air activated hand warmers for chilly weather. Plenty to do indoors and when you are outside and cold there is a cafe nearby...more excuses to have hot chocolate. Enjoy.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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For the last half dozen years, I've gone to Europe for most of January. I travel from city to city on trains, go to museums and concerts, share the cities with the locals, go to the tops of snowy mountains although I'm not a skier, stay at excellent hotels for discounted prices. I have just returned from London and Paris in May and June and said that, if given a choice, I'd never visit at that time of year again--too many people.
Each person has a different travel taste, but I love Europe in the winter. It's almost like visiting 50 years ago.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 04:53 PM
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Despite the fact that global warming seems to be making europe colder in winter - Paris is still usually quite a bit warmer than NYC - more like VA or N C in winter. There can be snow but rain is much more likely.

Frankly I don't understand not wanting to visit in the rain - unless it's a tropical downpour (unlikely) I actually walking in the rain and prefer places with some of the tourists hiding inside (in case they melt). You can tell who comes from a walking city or a driving suburb.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 05:41 PM
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Yes, I have been to Paris in January. It was particularly cold when we were there, but we were dressed for it and didn't mind. Don't know if anyone mentioned the shorter daylight hours, so something to consider is to get up early so you're ready to get going to take full advantage of the daylight. Also, some of the attractions might have reduced visiting hours, but then again, you're not standing in line for hours to get into that favorite museum.

With those notes, I'd go for it in a heartbeat too.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 10:01 PM
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Though it's not relevant for this post on Paris, I'd still like to correct an incorrect statement by nytravler --

"Despite the fact that global warming seems to be making europe colder in winter - "

This isn't true throughout Europe, of course. Here in Bavaria, we've been getting warmer and warmer winters, and last winter was abominable. Our skiing season was spring-like starting from February, and it ended a few weeks sooner than usual. We no longer have summer snow on the peaks, and the scientists say that our glaciers will be gone in 30 years.

I think the truth is nearer to what others have said -- weather is unpredictable. Go when you can, and bring layers.

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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Vicky, I've been to Paris in February and loved it. The days are much shorter, but I found Paris to be especially beautiful then and less crowded. I was prepared with warm clothing including a hat and gloves. I wouldn't hesitate to go again in February. October is also a wondeful time to go to Paris so enjoy whatever you end up doing!
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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The only thing I'd add to the discussion is this. While I really enjoyed Paris in winter, one of the reasons I typcially hestitate to travel during that time of year is that weather at home. I live in Indiana and while we don't have the worst winters, it's certainly not uncommon for winter weather to disrupt travel. Even if planes are flying, just getting to and from the airport can be tricky. We also have pets who are visited by a sitter when we travel, so bad weather is a concern through the duration of any trip. Now bad weather at home may not be a concern to you or is one that you can readily deal with, but it's a major reason that my husband and I don't travel more in the winter.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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Open-air skating rinks are great for skaters - you can rent them on site - I love the large one in front of the Hotel de Ville (at least several times I was in Paris in winter but not in the past few winters have I been there).
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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I was just there this past May rained (poured) every day we were there. The bright side was we rented a beautiful 100 year old apartment (airbnb) in the Bastille area less than a block from the Metro, so it was pretty easy getting around to places without getting too wet. It was wonderful to come back to the apartment, take a nice bath and have a cup of tea, or a glass of wine after being out and about. We were on the Hop on Hop off bus on the top open air part of the bus. The day was cloudy, but had not rained (yet) the sky opened up on us and poured...I think it's one of our funniest memories...It's only water...
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Hi Vicky

Marmottan, other small museums, perhaps a ballet, the covered passages...pastry sampling and poking about shops... perhaps a drink at the George V....

Worth the rain! Or you can always Uber it if you really hate the rain that much. I've never been to Paris in the winter but it's one of my life goals. Have a fantastic time!
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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I am concerned about flight delays. Pet not an issue- my mother just moved to a senior apartment a few blocks away and my niece is down the street. As a bonus we have off for MLK h
Jr day and the governors inauguration the next day so that's 2 less vacation days I need to use
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 06:10 PM
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I was in Paris a year and a half ago during Feb. No precipitation, but a couple of the days were very cold. Still had fun walking all around. Saw a great Chagall exhibit at the Luxembourg Palace (along with half of Paris - it was opening day), went to several interesting films. Took a self guided tour of the Marais. I would happily go back then, but do be prepared for the weather.
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Old Jul 18th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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I can tell you that summer thunderstorm season can wreak just as much havoc on flight schedules. Our flight from Venice and its US-based connecting flight were both delayed for many hours just a few days ago.

So please don't worry about flight delays as your deciding factor.

Our secret to enjoying Paris in the winter--again, over many, many trips--was to pack layers. We all came armed with silk underwear, fleece vests, turtlenecks, nice neck scarves, a good hat, longer coats (wind off the Seine can be brutal on the legs)and a few pairs of those cheapie stretch gloves (because one invariably loses one pair somewhere).

You may not have to use all these layers--as a poster above said, you might have days when you'll be walking around with an open coat. But there could be days when you'll layer up.

No matter what, cafe plopping is even better in winter!
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Old Jul 18th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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who knows where I can get those little hand heaters like DeniseA mentioned?
I heard the TSA taxes are going up; perhaps I should book this now (I still have to pay $151 in taxes and fees).
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Old Jul 18th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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YOu can get handwarmers in sporting goods stores (REI, SPorts Authority, etc., should have them). You may even be able to get them in regular all purpose stores like Walgreens, Target, etc., in the winter. I've never used them myself even when going skiing, gloves work fine for me. I certainly don't use them at home just to walk around in winter.

The TSA fees are extremely trivial, they are only going up about $1 or something. So don't book based on that, but if you have your mind made up, you should as those tickets can disappear.
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