Last Updated on 15th February 2021 by Sophie Nadeau
If there’s one weather phenomenon that remains quite the rarity in Paris, it’s that of snow. Unlikely and yet not impossible, when it snows in Paris, the entirety of the French capital is blanketed in a white winter wonderland, with the city seemingly even more magical than usual. Here are some photos of snow in Paris, as well as some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Le Consulat Café, a historic café close to Place du Tertre
Best places to see Paris in the snow
As a major capital city, it should come as no surprise, that the pavements and roads are largely gritted whenever snow in predicted (with the exception of Montmartre, but more on that later) and so you’ll hardly ever see snow sticking to the ground. With this being said, there are some pretty magical places where you can enjoy the snowfall.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Constructed during the rule of Napoleon III, Parc des Buttes Chaumont is the fifth largest park in Paris and was first opened to the public in 1867. The public space was created under the watchful eye of engineer and designer, Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, who is now interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Equipped with its own waterfall, grotto, neo-classical follies, and more, the Park is popular during the springtime on account of its abundance of cherry blossom. What’s more is that all of the different hills and levels of the park, the space becomes a dreamy winter wonderscape that some people even try and ski down!
Champ de Mars
One of the best places to see the Eiffel Tower under the snow is from the park that is Champ de Mars. Situated in the 7th arrondissement of the city, the green space is named for the Campus Martius in Rome and its vast expansive space means that it’s the perfect spot to admire the Eiffel Tower or have a snowball fight with friends.
Hands down, the best place to enjoy Paris in the snow is in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. By and large independent from the rest of the city, the little ‘village’ neighbourhood is known for Place du Tertre, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and the iconic Maison Rose café.
As it’s naturally slightly higher than the rest of the city, the snow is thickest and heaviest in Montmartre and the parvis in front of the Sacré-Coeur offers one of the best views of the snow covering the rest of the rooftops of Paris.
Rue de l’Abreuvoir, often said to be the ‘prettiest road in Paris’
When does it snow in Paris?
Snow is pretty much of a rarity in Paris, especially the kind that sticks to the ground or lasts for more than a couple of hours. If it does snow in Paris, the snowfall typically occurs at some point during mid-January to mid-March.
In 2018, the heaviest snowfall for several decades took place, with the snow actually sticking to the ground for several days. There is no guarantee that you will see snow during your Paris trip (and it’s quite likely you won’t). If you do want to see snow, you’ll want to head to a mountainous region, such as the Vosges, which is around a four hour drive from the French capital.
La Maison Rose, a café famed for having been painted by many an iconic painter during the 20th-century
Moulin de la Galette, one of only two historic windmills surviving in Paris to this day.