Winter in Paris: A Survival Guide

It’s common knowledge that people don’t move to Paris for the weather.  I’m from the Midwest, so I am no stranger to snowpocalypses, black ice, and torrential hail.  But in Paris, the nature of the beast is different.  Much of the year is cold, wet, and grey.  In the words of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, “the sun ain’t shining no more.” Fear not though, here at Savoir Faire we’ve compiled a list to help you beat the winter blues. After you’ve run out and bought some vitamin D and a sun lamp, check out our tips for fighting off the winter blues:

  1. Insulate yourself!  I know what you’re thinking, I’ll just go to Aigle and buy a doudoune.  No, actually I meant that you should insulate yourself from within.  That’s right! Put on a couple kilos to ward off the harsh winds and arctic temps.  Balls (47 Rue Saint-Maur) is the perfect place to grab some saucy meatballs, Le Blah Blah (4 cour des Petites Ecuries) will serve you succulent chorizo and tapas, while Miznon (22 rue des Ecouffes) is sure to hit your steak, fries, or ratatouille cravings.  If that all doesn’t sound like heaven and warmth than I don’t know what does.
  2. Avoid Cabin Fever!  You long for sunshine and warmth and a splash of colour on the horizon.  Well my friends, to remind yourself that the horizon still exists you’ve got to stop staying cooped up in your apartment.  It’s important to breathe fresh air and experience a change in pace from your current mode of operating.  I’ve personally loved escaping to Normandy as it’s only about 2 hours outside of Paris, but there are plenty of other sights worth seeing that are closer and that get you out of the Parisian funk.  Some worthwhile one day excursions involve visiting Versailles, Fontainbleau, Malmaison, or Giverny.
  3. Bundle Up! Ok so this time I’m talking about talking about bundling up on the outside!  Pile on as many layers as possible. Your end look should be similar to the Michelin tire man’s.  Paris is the fashion capital of the world, so think of it as your mission to be the world’s most fashionable Michelin tire man!   The soldes are the perfect time to stock up on those boots you’ve been eyeing all season, or that fur trimmed coat you’ve desperately wanted to add to your wardrobe.  Don’t forget a cute pair of gloves and a hat to keep your extremities warm.
  4. Stay Chipper!  Parisians aren’t always known for being the friendliest or smiliest people on the planet–and the lack of vitamin D during the winter sure isn’t going to offset this.  When you’re walking to work or school or wherever you’re going, just try to smile.  Optimism is the key to surviving Parisian winters.  Sure, the bottoms of your pants will be ruined from getting wet, maybe you’ll never get the color back in your toes, and you’ll have your fair share of cigarette smoke blown in your face as the chain smokers huddle together to keep warm.  But hey, you’re in the most beautiful city in the world and spring is (kind of) just around the corner.
  5. Get Up Offa That Thing!  And by that thing, I mean your butt!  Who wants to go to the gym when there are so many grilled cheese sandwiches to be consumed? I know, I know. But physical exercise is a proven depression buster, so don’t use winter as an excuse to miss out on all those amazing mood-enhancing endorphins.  I get my namaste on at L’Espace Bikram Yoga (Rue Meissonier) because, well, it’s close to me, but also because the classrooms are heated to 40.6°C and this is often a warmer alternative to my apartment.  If you’re looking for something more cardio based, the Dailey Method Paris (71 Avenue Victor Hugo) is another fun class that keeps you active and limber.
  6. Carry a flask! Ok I know this sounds a bit counter-intuitive since I just suggested keeping healthy by being active etc. Buuuut, a little whiskey never hurt anybody and a sip here and there does wonders for warmth and your spirit.  If you aren’t bold enough to carry a flask, now’s the time to check out the cocktail scene in Paris and disguise your need for a liquor blanket as a classy night out with friends.  Currently, it’s worth trying out Dirty Dick (10 Rue Frochot) because you’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii, Little Red Door (60 Rue Charlot) because you’ll think you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of mojito bliss, and Le Kremlin (6 Rue André Antoine) because you’ll be reminded that things could be a lot worse–you could be in Moscow this winter. Yikes!
    Anyways…buddle up and stay warm my friends! We’ll see each other in a few months when we all emerge from hybernation.  Any other great winter survival tips??


  1. […] blog posts. I understand we don’t all look for the same things in our practice but given the wide spread of places that we have tried and tested as a team, we feel equipped to provide you with a list of some our […]

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