Most people probably imagine a snow-covered city when they think of Paris. After all, the French capital is located in the country’s north, and winters there can be pretty chilly. But does it actually snow in Paris?
It does snow in Paris, though it is rare, with an average of only 15 snow days per year. While the city occasionally sees flurries or light dusting, heavy snowfall is uncommon. This is because Paris has a milder climate, influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
If you are planning a romantic getaway, you may have many questions about snow in Paris. While it may not be a winter wonderland, a romantic stroll through the snow-covered streets of Paris is still possible.
Keep reading, as I will share my personal tips on when to visit Paris for a perfectly snowy experience and answer other frequently asked questions about snow in the city of love.
Does It Snow in Paris?
Paris is located at a relatively low altitude, and the climate is generally mild. It occasionally snows in the city, yet not as often as in other places at higher altitudes or with colder temperatures. Even when it snows, it is usually quite light and often melts quickly due to the warmth of the city and its buildings.
However, it is still possible to experience a snowy day in Paris.
Does Paris France Get a Lot of Snow?
Paris, France, does not get a lot of snow. It snows occasionally, yet Paris sees significantly less snowfall compared to other European cities. The average annual snowfall in Paris is only around 1 cm (0.40 in), compared to cities like Zurich, which averages about 84 cm (33 in) of snow annually.
However, there have been instances of heavy snowfall in the past. For example, Paris saw several inches of snow accumulation in January 1987 and around 12 cm (4.7 in) in January 2018. This type of snowfall is not the norm, but it can happen depending on weather patterns.
How Cold Does Paris Get?
Paris gets as cold as 35°F (1.7°C) to 46°F (8°C) on average, with temperatures occasionally dipping below freezing. Winter lasts from December to February, with January being the coldest month hitting an average low of 33°F (0.6° C).
Fun fact: The average yearly temperature has increased by 1°C (33.8°F) since the late 1800s.
While it may not be as bitterly cold as in other European cities, the rainfall and chilly temperatures still make coats and layers necessary during Parisian winters.
Does It Snow in Paris at Christmas?
It does snow in Paris at Christmas on rare occasions. Usually, there is hardly any snow in Paris during this holiday season, and a white Christmas in Paris is but once in a blue moon. The last time it snowed on Christmas Day in Paris was in 2010.
But do not despair—Paris still offers a charming winter experience with its twinkling lights, cozy cafes, and festive atmosphere. The city is known for its beautiful Christmas markets, where you can browse unique gifts and enjoy warm mulled wine.
Planning a Romantic Trip to Paris in Winter
If you are planning a trip to Paris specifically for snowy weather, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
Choose the Right Time of the Year
Choosing the right time of year is important if you are planning a trip to Paris and hoping to enjoy some time in the snow. December and January are typically the coldest months, with a higher chance of snowfall. Remember that these months also tend to be peak tourist season due to Christmas and New Year’s.
Be Prepared for Rain and Cold Weather
Even if there is no snow during your trip, you will still experience rain and chilly weather. Make sure to bring a waterproof coat and comfortable walking shoes. The temperature can drop significantly at night, up to 20°F (-6.7°C), so bring layers for warmth.
Book Your Flights Early
No matter what time of year, Paris is always a popular destination. But if you are planning a trip during the winter months, it is essential to book your flights early. This is because the demand for flights to Paris increases as the weather gets colder. I suggest choosing between Boeing and Airbus for your flight—read my blog on Boeing VS Airbus to discover the differences between the two. Take the time to compare prices to ensure you find the best deal.
Stay at a Cozy Hotel
Nothing is better than returning to a cozy hotel after exploring the city in chilly weather. Make sure to research and choose a hotel with amenities such as a heated indoor pool or comfortable beds with warm blankets. You can also search for hotels with fireplaces, a perfect spot to curl up with your loved one and relax during a snowy evening.
Bundle Up and Enjoy the Winter Activities
Paris may not be a winter wonderland, but you still have plenty of activities to enjoy during the colder months. For instance, you can take a romantic stroll through the historic streets, visit museums and galleries, or go to the Eiffel Tower for spectacular views–and perhaps a memorable kiss or two. Remember to bundle up, and be sure to enjoy some hot chocolate at a cozy café while you are there.
Paris is the city of love, and the chilly weather adds a romantic ambiance to your trip. While it does not snow often in the city, planning a trip during the colder months is still worth it for the charming atmosphere.
If you hope to experience a white Christmas, consider visiting other European cities, such as Vienna or Prague. But if you are willing to take a chance and hope for snow, pack appropriately and book your trip early.
And no matter what the weather brings, Paris will always be waiting with its unique charm and endless opportunities for adventure. Bon Voyage!