Visiting Paris in February: Weather, What to Pack, What to See

Paris, Louvre Pyramide
••• Truth be told, it rarely snows in Paris. Here, a rare flurry outside the Loiuvre. Marc Trigalou/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

In February, the great city of Paris shows signs of a subtle thaw-- if more of a figurative than a literal one. It's well known that Parisians loathe the winter months with a kind of drama that only they could manage-- but they also love romance (or so the stereotypes go, anyway). February is the perfect antidote to the end-of-winter gloom and doom, with events such as Valentine's Day giving locals and visitors alike a perfect excuse for fabulous dinners, dancing, strolling, and-- not to be neglected-- chocolate.

With so many romantic things to do in Paris on or around Valentine's Day, the city can really be a festive and warm time despite chilly temps.

For single visitors, not to worry: Paris in February also provides colorful events not reserved for those attached at the hip: events like Chinese New Year, when processions of vibrant dragons and dancers bring the streets of south Paris alive.

Some More Pros:

One genuine perk to visiting the French capital in February? It's right in the middle of low season in Paris, so provided you reserve well ahead, you should be able to get a good deal on flights and trains in February.

And because tourism is in a low ebb compared to the spring or summer, visiting in February also provides great opportunities for getting a closer look at some of Paris' most-beloved attractions, such as Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower. You'll finally be able to take as much time as you want contemplating your favorite monuments or art collections.

Let's not forget about opportunities for bargain-shopping and deep discounts: February also sees the frenzied tail-end of the city's annual winter sales: a perfect time to take advantage of the city's best-loved shopping districts.

Finally, chilly February provides ample opportunities to laze, read, and people watch in the city's many charming cafes, so be sure to pack plenty of books and magazines for your trip.

For those interested in Paris intellectual history, cafe-hopping in the city's historical Latin Quarter or in Saint-Germain-des-Près would be a great way to spend part of a day.

The February Thermometer

  • Minimum temperature: 3 degrees C (35.6 degrees F)
  • Maximum temperature: 8 degrees C (46.4 degrees F)
  • Average temperature: 2 degrees C (37.4 degrees F)
  • Average rainfall: 39 millimeters (1.5 inches)

Read related: Paris Weather Guide, Month-by-Month

How to Pack for your Trip?

  • February in Paris is usually chilly or briskly cold, and temperatures sometimes stubbornly linger at frozen or even below. Sudden showers and brief spells of slushy snow are not uncommon. It's essential that you stock your suitcase with plenty of warm sweaters and socks, coats, and scarves, as well as a hat that will protect your ears.
     
  • Although heavy rains are less common in February, the city is well-known for its erratic and sudden downpours. So packing an umbrella that can withstand a wet, gusty day is definitely a must.
     
  • Make sure to pack a good pair of waterproof shoes. Shoes with good tread are important because the streets can be slick and icy in February. When there is snow, it tends to melt when it hits the ground, creating an annoying slush. Avoid high heels and dress shoes when walking around the city in February.
     
  • Bring a pair of good gloves to make sure you don't let cold hands distract you from the sights.
     
  • Think about packing plenty of books and magazines in case you decide to spend a morning or afternoon reading and contemplating in a cafe. There's little more pleasant than hiding behind steamed-up windows while nursing a hot drink and observing the city from a cozy vantage point. 

Book Your February Trip Now:

More on Paris in February:  Events Calendar