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Snow in Paris: Magical Photos of Paris in the Winter & FAQ

Last Updated on 22nd March 2022 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.

rue de l'abreuvoir in the snow
Snow in Paris: Magical Photos of Paris in the Winter & FAQ
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.

Montmartre

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.

sacre coeur in the snow
snow in paris montmartre
Rue de l’Abreuvoir, often said to be the ‘prettiest road in Paris’
montmartre funicular in the snow
Snow at the Montmartre funicular

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.

snow in paris - la maison rose in the snow, paris, france
La Maison Rose, a café famed for having been painted by many an iconic painter during the 20th-century
moulin de la galette snow in paris
Moulin de la Galette, one of only two historic windmills surviving in Paris to this day.

Tips for taking photos in the snow

There’s nothing quite like walking through a frozen winter wonderland. Wandering through the icy terrain and admiring some of the earth’s weirdest precipitation. Here are some incredibly useful snow photography tips to get you started on creating your very own icy footage!

Keep yourself warm

When you’re trying to capture that ‘perfect’ shot, it can be easy to forget about yourself and concentrate on your environment. However, be prepared for the cold and wrap up warm before you go out. I’m talking hat, scarf, gloves…

In other words, the works! If it’s particularly bright outside, you should consider wearing sunglasses as well. After all, you don’t want to get sick, tired and unwell and be unable to edit any of your beautiful images!

Shoot in RAW format (as opposed to JPeg)

Although the best way to fix any problems with your photos is not to make any mistakes in the first place, this isn’t always possible! Instead, make sure to shoot all of your photographs in RAW. Doing this means that you’ll be able to alter a lot more of the image later on, as opposed to JPeg where your camera processes many things before you have the chance to do it yourself.

Capture the moment before its gone

If you’re going out in the snow, then chances are the landscape is changing as fast as the snow is falling! As a result, try to capture your images as quickly and as efficiently as possible!

Use a fast shutter speed

If you want to capture the crisp and sharpness of falling snow, then make sure to use a fast shutter speed. If you’re looking for a more hazy, fairytale effect, then be sure to use a slower shutter speed.

Bring extra batteries for your camera/ phone/ equipment

Nothing drains a battery faster than a cold day. As a result, make sure to bring plenty of backups if you’re able to. Otherwise, capture the images as quickly as possible to get the most out of your equipment before the cold air saps its batteries.

Try different perspectives

An easy photography mistake to make when you’ve been using your camera a while is to think you’re ‘now good enough’. Instead, carry on experimenting with new perspectives, new angles and having fun with your photography.

Don’t delete anything (yet)

What may look terrible on your little camera or smartphone screen could end up looking incredible once edited and on your computer. As a result, don’t delete anything from your camera quite yet!

Want to add a pop of colour? Use your tripod

In order to really make the snow stand out, why not step into the image yourself? Wear a pretty outfit, set your tripod on a timer and experiment with some snow selfies!

A video of Paris in the snow

Enjoyed reading about the best of snow in Paris? Pin this article now, read it again later:

Winter in Paris France/ Snow in Paris: Magical Photos of Paris in the Winter & FAQ

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Alix

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Love these photos! I was lucky enough to witness a snowfall in Paris in 2010, also in early January. It's absolutely magical.

Tanja

Sunday 17th of January 2021

beautiful snowy photos

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