The Independent Voyager

Paris in winter

Why Paris Is Always a Good Idea

By Elicia Sacharow

Even now, Paris is a fantastic idea.

Certainly the events of the past month have shaken the world, but the French press on and so should we. What better way to show support than to visit? No, really–it’s a splendid idea.

Velib bikes in winter


January and February are ripe with deals for Paris.

Traditionally, the early months of the year are a bit slower than normal what with the cold. Don’t let that dissuade you! Not only is Paris’s architecture beautiful in any weather, but we think it makes the coffee that much warmer and brasseries that much cozier. Summer is beautiful and begs for Parisians to spend time outside; winter, on the other hand, keeps you more inside. You won’t be bored for a second with all the museums Paris has to offer. We recommend themed days.

The Louvre Paris

The Louvre Paris

Day 1: Art. Purchase tickets to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay; start with the “old” and end with the “new” (relatively speaking, of course). If you like to take your time, break this up into two days.

Day 2: More art! The Centre Pompidou is one of the finest modern art museums in the world and we cannot recommend it highly enough. It also tends to be less crowded than the ever-popular Louvre…

Day 3: Architecture. Start off the morning in the ever-venerable Notre Dame, move onto the final resting place of France’s great men at the Pantheon, and end your quite patriotic tour at the Arc de Triomphe. If you have time, the stained glass collection at Sainte-Chapelle is utterly stunning; squeeze it in between the Pantheon and the Arc de Triomphe.

Day 4: Regal history. If you’ve never been, the Palace of Versailles is a wonder to behold. It’s worth every bit of the hype associated with it and if you’re a history buff, this is a do-not-miss if there ever was one! Purchase your tickets in advance for sure.

If this sounds like an awesome idea, take a look at the Paris Pass and see if it’ll be worth your while. This sort of thing usually works best if you go through museums and attractions a little bit quicker and also plan to visit a lot of more expensive places while you’re in Paris.

Though cold, the weather adds an ambience normally not experienced.

We know, we already talked about how the weather makes everything more beautiful, but really, there’s nothing like Paris adorned with a little bit of snow. See here:

Tell us that’s not beautiful.

France is taking security very seriously.

While the attacks in Paris were horrible and terrifying, the French military and local police are out in force and ensuring the safety of everyone in France. Security is quite visible–and that’s a good thing! However, if you’re worried we don’t blame you a bit. For US travelers, we recommend enrolling in the US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) that will let local consulates and embassies know where you’ll be and when just in case of an emergency. The Worldwide Travel Alert site helps not only US citizens but citizens of other countries decide if their travel plans are a good idea in light of security concerns.


Curious about where to stay in Paris? We can help! Check out our handpicked Paris inventory here:
Get to know the city’s neighborhoods (called arrondissements) here:

Have your say