Forget Paris in Summer (I’m kidding, every season is quite magical in Paris) but there is something about winter that brings out its coziness to full display. From the high holiday spirit, the many Paris tourist attractions, the ice rinks dotted around the city to the charming picturesque monuments, there are a number of reasons to travel to Paris in winter.
While many people choose not to travel to Paris in winter, I still believe that its a good idea especially if you want to get good deals on accommodation, airfare, the general day to day expenditures and enjoy Paris without the swarm of tourists.
Whilst temperatures in Paris in winter do not drop as low as those in Scandinavian countries, it pretty much gets cold and you’ll need to warm up in winter clothes to enjoy the city of lights. But while you’re enjoying the French capital, make sure that you don’t make these Paris travel mistakes that most tourists do and also, don’t be afraid to embark on the off-beaten path to see all the hidden gems of Paris.
So if you’ve decided to travel to this monumental city in winter, a little preparation is required in the form of what to wear. Remember Paris is the capital of fashion and that fashion sense is even taken a notch higher in winter. If you don’t know what to wear in Paris in winter, continue reading on and you’ll find out all the things you need to pack for Paris during those cold chilly months.
But before we embark on what to wear in Paris in winter, here is a brief of the temperatures you can expect during the winter months so that you pack the right clothes.
Paris weather in Winter
To give you a clear picture of the weather in Paris in the winter, here is the summary of the temperatures for each winter month.
- Paris winter temperatures in December: 4° C ( 39 °F) low and 8° C (46 °F) high
- Paris winter temperatures in January: 3° C (37 °F) low and 8° C (46 °F) high
- Paris winter temperatures in February: 3° C (37 °F) low and 9° C ( 48 °F) high
- Paris winter temperatures in March: 5° C (41 °F) low and 13° C (55 °F) high
If you want to get all the details about the weather in Paris during winter, I wrote a detailed guide about it in this Paris in winter post. And if you’re visiting Paris during the Christmas period, check out my previous post on how to enjoy Christmas in Paris.
What to wear in Paris in winter
Pro tip* The best tip about dressing up in Paris in winter is to wear clothes that give you the utmost warmth while staying fashionable.
Clothes to wear in Paris in winter
Dressing up for winter is all about layering! From the base layer to keep you warm and sweat-free at all times, the mid-layer to provide additional insulation and the outer layer to protect you from extreme wind, snow and coldness.
Baselayer – Merino wool long-sleeved top
Merino wool long-sleeved top: The perfect base layer to wear in winter in Paris must be warm and soft as it is the first piece of fabric that goes on your body and well-insulated to provide enough warmth but to also absorb the sweat to keep your skin dry.
However, baselayers are not only tops, but you could also opt for this “baselayer suit for women“. It comes with a merino wool top and merino wool leggings! Now that’s a great bargain that would be perfect to wear in Paris during the wintertime. Who said men can’t rock a nice pair of leggings too, this 2 piece merino wool base layer will be perfect for them.
Mid layer – Fleece
A good warm fleece will go a long way when it comes to packing for Paris in winter. Patagonia fleeces are believed to be the best in providing warmth but the Columbia fleeces don’t fall far behind. If you don’t fancy a fleece, then this really warm sweater will be a great substitute.
This Patagonia fleece for women is perfect for Paris winter (this men’s version has a number fo good reviews on Amazon) but one of my friends who bought this Amazon Essential fleece testifies that it’s equally good.
It’s always better to buy a zip-up fleece like this one to keep adjusting the zip for when the temperatures change. Remember to opt for a fleece that is warm, soft and light so as to fit perfectly well below the jacket – which leads us to the outer layer.
Outer layer / Shell layer – Winter coat
As the name suggests, this outer layer is meant to shell you off the intense wind and snow (although the chances of snow in Paris are low). Since Paris is the capital of fashion, your winter coat should stand out and make a fashion statement or at least come close to dressing like a Parisian.
Whatever you choose to buy, make sure that the jacket is windproof and rainproof since the chances of rain in Paris are quite high in winter. This windproof jacket is perfect to pack for Paris as it is warm, lightweight, breathable and has a number of pockets.
I always prefer a jacket that has no hoodie, but if you fancy one, then this Amazon Essential winter coat is not only fashionable but also has all the qualities of a good winter jacket.
On days when it doesn’t rain, this stylish, warm but light leather jacket will be perfect as you roam around the prefect streets of Paris.
One more thing to note as you buy your perfect winter coat is to make sure that you choose dull colors like dark blue or black which you can wear on a number of outfits without looking extremely “weird”.
I’d stay away from shouting colors unless you want to pack more than 4 jackets which would be a little too much – remember, packing light is our ultimate goal even when it comes to packing for winter in Paris
Source: CC Twinka
If you didn’t buy the 2 piece base layer that comes with the leggings, then a pair of merino wool leggings would be perfect. I honestly believe every girl should own a pair at least.
For the utmost warmth and comfort, I recommend buying this pair of Merino wool leggings. They’re warm, thick and soft on the skin.
Jeans are a great option to wear in winter in Paris as they look really fashionable when paired with a nice long jacket with a scarf. To be on a safe side, I recommended buying either blue or black jeans since they go really well with literally everything. These Signature by Levi Strauss Jeans are so comfortable and chic and they’ll make you look fashionable in the city of lights.
Woolen socks must be added on a Paris winter packing list as they will keep your feet really warm and dry. These woolen socks are the ones I recommend when traveling to Paris in Winter.
They might be a bit pricier than any other socks on the market but they are worth every penny and you can count on them to keep your feet dry at all times. But if you want ones that are budget-friendly, then these are of great value.
Accessorize your Paris winter look by adding a nice warm scarf like this one. Scarves are not just a great way of adding a layer of warmth but also adding a layer of fashion to the general look.
For even better results, I recommend buying a big scarf that can act as a cover-up while cozying on the couch back at your hotel.
Waterproof Leather Boots
Boots are a necessity when it comes to packing for Paris in winter. Since there is literally no snow in Paris, you don’t need to necessarily pack snow winter boots but a good pair of warm and waterproof boots would be great for winter in Paris and still look fashionable.
You can opt for pretty ankle boots but knee-high boots are even way more fashionable if you ask me.
During winter in Paris, the chances of rain are high, approximately 28% to 40% throughout the winter months! This means that you’ll need a rain jacket while visiting Paris in winter by all means.
The rain jacket you choose to take should be waterproof (duh!), windproof, light and breathable. If you don’t have one that meets those criteria, then you can buy this Columbia rain jacket for women or this one for men from Amazon.
Touch screen sensitive gloves
In this era, there is always something that will force us to be glued to the phone, whether to check a social media notification, look for directions on google maps, or just to stay in touch with our loved ones on chat. And wearing gloves should not be a trade-off between keeping your hands warm or using your phone.
That’s where these touch screen gloves come in! To keep your hands warm and at the same time use your phone without having to take them off. Yay to technology!
It’s quite unlikely to stroll through the city of lights and not see a number of people wearing winter caps. Though some wear them for extra warmth, others wear them to accessorize their outfits – I mean accessories do a lot in bringing out some one’s fashion sense.
Since winter caps are alway on hair, with all the hair creams and shampoos – its easy for a cap to get dirty in just hours. So I recommend buying a cap with dark colors like this one.
Why not look pretty and chic while keeping your ears warm during wintertime in Paris – if that’s you, then these earmuffs will surpass your expectations. They’re warm, comfortable, foldable and adjustable.
Source: Hernán Piñera @ Creative Commons
What to pack for Paris in winter- Other accessories
Now that you know what to wear in Paris in December and other winter months, let’s also look at some of the other travel essentials to add to the Pars winter packing list.
Like I mentioned earlier, it rains in Paris during winter and it would be a mistake to not carry an umbrella with you. This travel umbrella is windproof and will help you shelter out when it pours.
We all know packing cubes help with keeping your travel items organized and traveling in winter is no exception. Depending on what you prefer, you can buy these 4 piece packing cubes, the 5 piece packing cubes or these 7 pieces packing cubes to help you pack light however challenging it might be.
Extra External memory cards
Even in winter, Paris remains picturesque as it always is and it would be a shame to miss capturing all the magic in the city of lights because of lack of memory.
Winter does a great job of draining the battery of literally all electronics fast compared to all other seasons. So to keep your phone on at all times, I recommend carrying this power bank to keep charging your phone every time you run out f battery.
First Aid kit
Before traveling to Paris in winter, you’ll need to pack a First Aid kit for emergencies that might arise. Remember it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
This first aid kit has all the essential medical items and it is also small and light enough not to take up a lot of space in your travel luggage. And a big plus, it is on the lower end of the budget.
Travel Insurance is one of the most important things to buy before going on any trip, whether Paris or any other place. The Travel Insurance I recommend is WorldNomads, as it is easy to request a quote online and the claiming process is quite easy compared to other travel insurance.
An international travel adapter
If you leave in Europe, you might get away by just carrying your normal Europe adapter but if you come from other countries or even some few European countries that don’t use the Europe adapter (like the Uk), It’s better to add an international travel adapter to your Paris in the winter Packing list
Toiletries to add to your Paris winter packing list
- Lip balm: Winter tends to bring out the driest lips ever – at least to some people due to the mixture of cold air and heaters.
- Paper Tissue: It’s hard to control your nose from running during the Paris winter days. Talk about the cold sssshhh…
- Sunscreen: Yeah.. you’ll need one even during wintertime
- Body cream
If you were wondering what to wear in Paris in winter, I hope this post gave you ideas on how to stay warm and fashionable during the gray months of Paris.
More Europe Winter posts to Inspire your wanderlust
- Best winter festivals to attend in Europe
- Best cites to visit in Europe in winter
- Warm places in Europe to visit during this winter
- Where to see the Northern lights in Europe
- Best and cheap ski resorts in Europe
- Reasons to travel to Europe in winter
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