Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by April Verge
My readers regularly ask me: “When does it snow in Paris France?”
Snowfall is one of the few meteorological phenomena that is still relatively uncommon in Paris. While it’s unlikely, it’s not inconceivable that Paris might snowfall and turn into a white winter paradise, making the city appear even more enchanted than normal. Here are a few pictures of snow in Paris along with some answers to often asked questions.
Psst! This blog post contains affiliate links in it which sends me a bit of extra money if you use them… at no extra cost to you. Merci!
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of does it snow in Paris France:
How Cold Does It Get in Paris?
Paris’s center and outskirts experience markedly different temperatures due to urbanization; at Paris Montsouris 1 or the Tour Saint-Jack, the temperature is usually one or two degrees lower than at Paris Le Bourget Airport, which is 9 km outside of the city. Thus, don’t forget to include a coat for those chilly days when you’re packing for Paris!
The coldest winter ever recorded in Paris took place in 1953–1954, with an average low of -15°C (59°F). Winters in the Paris region are usually cold, but this year was unusually cold.
The spring and summer seasons in France are March through May and June through August, respectively. September through December is considered autumn, and January through February is considered the French winter season.
For instance, when it snows in Paris, the northern and eastern regions of the nation typically get enough cold to support snowfall, but not the southern ones. These places don’t get snowfall because of the warm air along the Mediterranean coast.
So….Does it Snow in Paris France?
To answer your question, the answer is yes, although not as often as you may imagine. Snow does fall in Paris.
But Paris experiences a big snowstorm every few years, which might cause problems for other services like transportation. It’s a good idea to check the weather ahead of time and pack appropriately if you’re heading to Paris. But don’t worry, you can still take advantage of everything the city has to offer, even if it does snow.
When Does It Snow in Paris France?
In Paris, snowfall is almost nonexistent, specifically if it’s persistent and lasts for several hours. When it snows in Paris, it usually does so from the middle of January to the middle of March.
The year 2018 saw the most snowfall in a number of decades, with the snow actually remaining on the ground for several days. While it’s highly likely that you won’t, there is no assurance that you will see snow when visiting Paris.
Weather in December
In Paris, December marks the start of winter. Paris won’t grant your wish if a snowy Christmas is what you’re hoping for. However, you should expect to see frequent downpours and overcast days. The city experiences lows of 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) and highs of 45.1 degrees Fahrenheit (7.3 degrees Celsius) in December. Snowfall is infrequent, but when it does occur, the high temperatures in the city cause snow to melt quickly. Snowfall in Paris is recorded for 1.8 days in December, with accumulations reaching a maximum depth of 0.43 inches (11 millimeters). December sees the most rainfall, with 14.3 days of rain and an accumulation of up to 1.93 inches (49 millimeters).
Weather in January
January is the coldest and snowiest month in Paris since it is the pinnacle of winter there. There are highs of 42.6 degrees Fahrenheit (5.9 degrees Celsius) and lows of 35.2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 degrees Celsius) on average during the month. In January, Paris receives up to 1.14 inches (29 millimeters) of snowfall on average, or 2.4 snowfall days.
Weather in February
In Paris, February is the last month of winter. The chilly weather from January is still around this month. The average temperature is between 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) and 45.7 degrees Fahrenheit (7.6 degrees Celsius) during highs and lows. Snowfall in Paris occurs on 2.8 days of the month, with accumulations reaching a maximum depth of 0.79 inches (20 millimeters).
Weather in March
In Paris, March marks the start of spring. The city’s current temperatures range from highs of 53.2 degrees Fahrenheit (11.8 degrees Celsius) to lows of 39.4 degrees Fahrenheit (4.1 degrees Celsius), and they are often higher than those recorded during the winter. After 0.6 snowfall days, March marks the conclusion of Paris’s usual snowfall season with an amount of 0.12 inches (3 millimeters).
Latest Snowfall in Paris
In the current decade, there have been several instances of significant snowfall despite urban warming creating a heat pocket above the Paris region. We specifically recall the incidents that occurred in December 2010, particularly the one on the 8th that stopped transport in the Ile de France, as well as those that occurred in March 2013, February 2018, and February 2021.
However, the snowfall, a meager few centimeters, pales in comparison to the 40 cm recorded in early March 1946. Since measurements started in 1872, this was unprecedented. This snowfall would be the most since 1709’s 60cm record.
What to Pack for Paris in the Winter?
It is crucial to have warm clothing when visiting Paris during the winter months. It’s also crucial to bring fashionable clothes that will maintain your finest appearance.
Warm Clothes Are a Must
Invest in plenty of warm clothing during the winter. After a long day in the rain, you may quickly regret your decision to wear a flowy dress, even though they may look lovely in photos.
Choose a cozy sweater dress instead, since it will travel well and who has time to iron clothes when on winter vacation?
Right now, chunky knit cardigans and sweaters are all the rage in Paris. Since they are often bulky, carry clothes that you can wear to various settings. For an evening supper out, a well-cut black jacket can also elevate a pair of jeans.
Pick the Right Shoes
Your journey to the French capital could go well or poorly depending on your choice of shoes. It’s challenging not to carry winter boots at this time of year. Since this is Paris, they should be fashionable, warm, and waterproof.
Knee-high leather boots – Classic black or brown knee-high leather boots are a great option because they meet all the requirements. They may be dressed up or down, and if you go out at night, you can wear them with a dress or jeans during the day.
Wet cobblestones can be extremely dangerous, so make sure your shoes are sufficiently traction-enhancing and well-broken in. Wear modest to moderate heels since you will be walking a lot. Make sure they fit well with thick socks as well, since you’ll want to wear them!
Bring a Good Winter Coat
Like your shoes, the type of outerwear you pack will determine how wonderful or awful your winter vacation in Paris is. It ought to be resilient enough to withstand the damp and chilly weather that the City of Light is bound to provide at this time of year.
Even while it may be alluring to get out the technical gear, refrain from wearing your best ski jacket. Alternatively, choose a traditional wool coat such as a belted trench or a peacoat.
It is hardly unexpected that black, gray, or navy are the colors of choice for Parisians. I’ve noticed an increasing number of slim-cut puff coats on Parisian streets in recent years. Again, if you want to blend in, avoid wearing bold colors or athletic cuts.
Undergarments are nearly as crucial as the clothes themselves, as is frequently the case while coping with cold and rainy conditions. I frequently pack black tights to go under dresses. If you know you’ll be spending the most of the day outside or on a very chilly day, they can also be useful under your pants.
Another excellent option to keep the cold out are wool socks. It never hurts to have an extra pair in your purse in case it rains a lot! Subtle long-sleeve undershirts will provide an additional layer without adding bulk beneath a button-down shirt or fine blouse, or even beneath a sweater (especially one made of wool that might be scratchy).
Due to its ability to retain heat, Merino wool is an excellent choice for a base layer in the winter.
Winter accessories are just as important as the appropriate clothing. They are your first barrier of protection on a chilly, lengthy day spent meandering through the streets of Paris.
In the winter, woolen hats, gloves, and scarves are essential when visiting Paris. Don’t be afraid to carry more than one set because, unlike coats, they won’t take up much room in your suitcase (fold them into your boots to conserve space).
Even though berets are associated with France, if you wear one in Paris, you might as well be carrying a huge neon “tourist” sign on your back.
Best Places to See Paris in the Snow
It should come as no surprise that, being a major capital city, most of the roads and pavements are grated whenever snow is forecast (except for Montmartre, but more on that later). While it would be lovely to see snow anywhere in Paris, there are a few locations that have a higher chance of seeing snowfall and become even more wonderful when it does.
Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars Park is one of the most prominent locations to observe the Eiffel Tower covered with snow. The green area, which is named for the Campus Martius in Rome and is located in the 7th arrondissement of the city, is the ideal place to see the Eiffel Tower or have a snowball battle with friends because of its large, open space.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the fifth largest park in Paris, was built under Napoleon III’s reign and opened to the public in 1867. Under the careful supervision of engineer and designer Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, who is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, the public area was built.
The Park, which has a grotto, waterfall, neo-classical follies, and other features, is well-known in the spring for the profusion of cherry blossoms. Furthermore, the park’s many slopes and elevations transform the area into a surreal winter wonderland that some people even attempt to ski down!
Many of the well-known “things to do in Paris” can be found in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement. The little “village” neighborhood, which is mostly cut off from the rest of the city, is well-known for Sacré Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and the charming artist square, Place du Tertre.
It is also a fabulous place for snow in Paris.
Due to its idyllic location and higher elevation than other parts of Paris, Montmartre experiences more snowfall.In addition, the snow there is probably going to be deeper and more like to the winter wonderlands depicted in movies. You can get a stunning view of Paris’s snow-covered roof tops from the steps in front of Sacré Coeur.
Final Thoughts on Does It Snow in Paris France
Sadly, snowfall in Paris is still quite unusual. When it snows in Paris, it’s not the kind that stays for many days and leaves you stumbling around in knee-deep snow. But if you are extremely fortunate and happen to be in Paris on a day when it snows, you will be in for a very special surprise. Get a hot chocolate and a crêpe at a cafe, curl up with a blanket, and take some time to flâneur while you breathe in the chilly air and feel the snowflakes tickle your nose.
To give you an idea of what Paris is like in the winter, I have guides for December, January, February, and March. Things to do, sights to see, and cuisine to try this season.
France Travel Planning 🇫🇷
For any trip to be successful, preparation is key. Do it the easy way:
- Booking.com – Find diverse accommodations, enjoy easy booking with great deals, and rely on real reviews and 24/7 support.
- Expedia.com – With its user-friendly interface, it simplifies the process of booking hotels and holiday packages to France.
- VRBO.com – Your go-to platform for unique and comfortable vacation rentals in France.
- DiscoverCars.com – Offers a seamless booking experience, ensuring you find the ideal car for your adventures in France.
- GetTransfer.com – Is the ultimate solution for your travel transfer needs, offering an efficient, flexible service and comfortable transportation.
- Trainline.com stands as a quintessential tool for savvy travelers seeking to navigate France’s extensive rail network with ease and confidence.
- Skyscanner.com – Simplifies your travel planning with its user-friendly interface, offering a comprehensive comparison of flights.
Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷
- Viator.com – Stands out as a trusted resource for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences across the globe.
- GetYourGuide.com – Offers an extensive collection of tours, activities, and attractions in France.
- ParisCityVision.com – This tour company specializes in crafting exceptional experiences across Paris and France.
- Orange Sim Card – Discover seamless connectivity on your French travels with an Orange Holiday Europe Sim Card, a top choice for tourists.
- Airalo.com – The world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIM cards).
Travel Insurance ✈️
- SafetyWing.com – Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re protected in almost every corner of the world.
- Travel Insurance Master – Visit their website to discover the ideal insurance plan that aligns with your travel dreams.
These are only a few of my favorites; for more, see my comprehensive guide to the top travel booking websites for France.