Spring is almost here, the time when Paris bursts into bloom. However, the weather can still be a little uncertain at this time of year. What with the occasional blustery days of March and April’s famous showers, experience tells us that we can still expect some rainy days at this time of year. But there’s no need to despair because Paris offers a huge choice of activities and places to see when skies are grey. To help you stay dry, the Hotel Daunou Opera has put together a few suggestions of things to do to when the rain begins to fall ... and there's something for everyone!
Paris for museum lovers
Lovers of museums are spoiled for choice in Paris. Where to begin? How about that cultural touchstone, the Musée d'Orsay, where you can find the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world? Not far away, you can discover the works of the most brilliant of French sculptors at the Musée Rodin, before visiting the Mona Lisa at her home in the famous Louvre, where you’ll need at least a day to explore the vast collection of cultural treasures housed in this former royal residence. While you’re in the vicinity, pop into the Restaurant du Petit Palais (Le Mini Palais) to enjoy a traditional but gourmet cuisine in a sumptuous setting, before visiting the museum of the same name, a few steps from the Champs-Elysées and Invalides. Temporary exhibitions at the Grand Palais are also worth checking out.
Paris for shopping addicts
For those who prefer to browse shops rather than museums, there are options open to you that also boast a wealth of historical and architectural interest. The covered passageways of the capital are shopping arcades evocative of the ambience of old Paris. The Galerie Vivienne (4 Rue des Petits-Champs) is a superb example. Registered as an historical monument, this luxurious neo-classical gem has elegant shops and a mosaic floor. Other such arcades well worth visiting include the Passage Choiseul (40 Rue des Petits-Champs) which, at 190 metres, is the longest covered passage in the city. The oldest, dating from 1800, is the Passage des Panoramas (11 Boulevard Montmartre), an intriguing maze of galleries. Finally, the youngest such arcade is the Passage des Princes (5 Boulevard des Italiens), rebuilt in traditional style in 1995. However, if your shopping preference is for department stores, don’t miss Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, situated on the famous Boulevard Haussmann.
Paris for children
Finally, Paris has plenty for the kids to do on rainy days. Take them to the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, the largest science museum in Europe, to discover its many workshops and interactive experiences. It’s an ideal place for curious children. Older children will be amazed by the lifelike waxworks on display at the Grevin Museum.
No matter the weather, Paris offers a wealth of entertainment and interest!
Paris tourist office
Hotel Daunou Opera, an elegant 3-star hotel in Paris, opera district