The gloominess of winter is slowly lifting, but rainy days are likely to overstay their welcome in the City of Lights. That doesn't mean your trip to Paris is going to be any less enthralling. There are plenty of activities for you to choose from as dark clouds gather in the sky.
Paris is at the forefront of fashion trendsetting, and the place to be for the most eminent designers. As such, you'll find lavish boutiques dotting elegant streets virtually everywhere in the center, notably around the polished Place Vendôme.
But even though Paris is a place of opulence, it doesn't mean you'll have to give up your arm and leg to do some shopping. Galeries Lafayette, with its splendid Art Deco dome, and Rue Rivoli are both prime shopping areas, where more affordable options share space with luxurious household names.
Indulge in hot chocolate and patisseries in cute cafes
Drizzly or cloudless, Paris is charming under all circumstances, and a few raindrops might even add to the wistful atmosphere that makes Paris so timelessly exquisite. The city's picturesque cafes perfectly embody the Parisian essence, a perfect blend of elegance and reverie.
A quintessentially Parisian activity is sitting at one of these cafes, contemplating and sipping on a coffee or a hot chocolate. For an even yummier experience, indulge in a croissant or any kind of patisserie that tickles your fancy. And voila, you're now Parisian!
Discover the hidden arcades
Paris is replete with hidden treasures, and arcades are among the city's best-kept secrets. These covered galleries filled with boutiques, tea salons, and restaurants were created in the 19th century, with the oldest, Passage des Panoramas, dating back to 1799. Spectacular without being ostentatious, these covered passages perfectly epitomize Parisian refinement. Boasting elegant glass roofs, intricate mosaics, and luxurious shops, these architectural jewels are the ideal place for a relaxed, and more importantly dry, stroll.
Explore Paris' dark side in the Catacombs
The City of Lights is definitely a place of striking contrasts. For instance, did you know that below Paris' surface is where the brightly-lit streets and radiant atmosphere are replaced with shadowy walls of skeletons and an eerie ambience?
Created in order to relieve the city's overflowing cemeteries, the Catacombs are underground ossuaries where the remains of over six million people are entangled together. This gruesome attraction is probably the closer you can get to the gates of hell, if you dare.
Stroll around luxuriant greenhouses
Visiting one of Paris' lush parks under heavy rain is probably not the best idea, but if you still want to immerse yourself in luxuriant greenery, head to one of the city's greenhouses. Jardin des Plantes, Paris' most beautiful botanical garden, is notably home to a splendid glasshouse where you can stroll around and admire the magnificent plants without getting drenched. Kept warm year-round, the hothouses are also the perfect way to catch a break from the biting wind that sometimes infiltrates the city's streets.