Planning a trip to the French capital and wondering what to pack for Paris in winter?
I love Paris even more during the winter months. There’s something about its pastel-shaded buildings that just works with gloomier days. Plus, the January sales all over the Champs-Elysees, it’s all about the January sales and don’t even get me started on how pretty Paris looks when it lights up at the end of November and December with all the Christmas lights.
Right now, you’re probably wondering what to wear in Paris during the colder months, so I’ve put together the perfect Paris winter packing list for you!
December, January, and February tend to be the coldest months of the year in Paris, but temperatures never really get that low as in, say, Northern Europe. Snow is actually super rare, but if you do get to see it, you’re in for a treat!
A quick note: The romanticized Parisian style is in the past for many.
I felt it was important for me to start my Paris winter packing list with this because it seems many non-Europeans worry way too much about what to wear in Paris in order to “fit in” with the locals.
The super romanticized Paris style isn’t really the norm anymore. There’s really no reason you should spend thousands of dollars trying to mimic it (unless you want to, of course!).
Nowadays, there’s an incredibly wide diversity of styles in Paris. Look to your right and you’ll see a chich mademoiselle sporting blazers that look straight out of a French New Wave film and to your left, you might just spot a girl wearing all the things she found at a thrift shop paired with a purple wig (and speaking of – Paris has an incredible second-hand shop scene. I actually wrote a post on my favorite thrift shops in Paris, so make sure you take a peek after reading my winter packing list!)
What I’m trying to say is: The beloved and well-known image of Parisian women sporting skinny jeans and high-end coats still exist, but next to them you’ll find women wearing vintage items, African wax apparel, sportswear, and everything in between. Paris is a massive city that is home to characters from all walks of life who wear whatever they feel like, and you should do the same.
Choose comfort over style when deciding what to wear in Paris in December/January/February
Since you’re traveling to Paris in December, January, or February, make sure your packing list doesn’t sacrifice comfort over style. Yeah, it’s cool to look chic in Paris, but keep in mind that queues to get into major attractions can get long and you’ll likely be standing outside in the cold for a long time.
Essential clothes to pack for Paris in the winter:
Layer up! Whatever you choose to wear in Paris during the winter, make sure it’s layered. Paris gets cold in the winter months, but cafés, museums, and other indoor places are heated. Layering up is important. Pack a few long-sleeve t-shirts and layer those up with cute sweaters or cardigans. You can also never go wrong with a turtleneck sweater.
A thick coat (or two!)
If you’re visiting Paris during the winter, you’ll definitely want to bring one or two thick coats. Make sure to leave enough space in your luggage to treat yourself to a few items while in Paris!
Another timeless item to wear in Paris during the winter is a trench coat paired with a turtleneck sweater! I’m currently crushing hard over this camel-colored trench coat from Asos.
Scarves aren’t just a great way to stay warm, but they also add the perfect pop of color to any outfit. A simple but cute cashmere scarf like this one is the perfect accessory to wear in Paris during the winter.
Jeans or black trousers
You can’t go wrong with a few pairs of jeans in your luggage.
Even though I love wearing skirts with black tights underneath when I’m not doing lots of sightseeing activities in Paris, jeans or black pants are much more convenient. They’re comfy, combine with anything, and will keep you warm when waiting in line to get into attractions.
What shoes to wear in Paris during the winter?
You’re going to walk serious distances while in Paris, so make sure the shoes you pack are comfortable and durable.
Sneakers: For some reason, non-Europeans seem terrified to wear sneakers in Paris because they’re afraid to stand out as tourists.
The reality, though? Athleisure is IN and sneakers are a wonderful accessory to wear in Paris! I actually find high heels a rare sight in Western Europe (even at nightclubs!). To blend in with locals, go for a pair of Adidas or Vejas – I keep seeing them everywhere in Europe lately.
Boots: If sneakers aren’t your jam, then go for ankle boots like these. Calf boots are also amazing for Paris in winter because they’ll add an extra layer over your legs.
Essential items to pack for Paris:
If you’re going to pack an essential, make it a travel umbrella. Rain is common in Paris during the winter months, and an umbrella to keep you dry while waiting in line to get into attractions is a must.
Don’t forget to pack warm gloves, thick socks, and a beanie. Sounds super obvious, but I have a tendency to ALWAYS forget to pack gloves, so I thought I’d include these items in my Paris packing list just in case you’re like me!
Purse or backpack
I recommend bringing a simple day bag that doesn’t scream tourists and helps you blend in. Paris is safe but pickpockets do occur, so many people prefer to bring anti-theft bags.
Electronics to pack for Paris
- Phone + charger
- Universal travel adaptor. France uses different voltage and plugs than those in the Americas, so bringing a travel adapter is a MUST to be able to charge your phone, camera, etc. I recommend this universal travel one. It works in Paris and it will keep on being handy for future trips.
- Portable charger so you can charge your phone on the go and never run out of battery, I’ve always used this one and have yet to make a complaint.
- I’m also currently obsessed with this phone-charging passport holder by Lovie Style.
- Kindle (optional)
- Camera + accessories (optional)
Other useful things to add to your Paris winter packing list:
Packing cubes compress clothes (while organizing them, too!) so you can get more space in your luggage. I love these ones from Ebags.
TSA-Friendly Toiletry Bag
At European airports, travelers are required to put all their liquids inside a ziplock bag for screening. It gets super annoying having to take all your liquids out and into a ziplock whenever you fly, so if you plan on flying to other cities after Paris, these TSA-friendly toiletry bags will quickly become your best friends.
These are super useful if you are traveling carry-on only and want to bring your own shampoo and conditioner from home (you’re only allowed to fly with liquid bottles that are less than 100ml for security reasons).
So yep – if you’re very particular about a product that you know is not available in Paris, you can just fill these travel bottles with it to make sure they don’t get thrown away at the airport.
Travel insurance for Paris
If you already have travel insurance, make sure to double-check their policies and read through everything they’ll cover and what they won’t. If you’re still on the lookout for reliable insurance or the one you currently have won’t cover everything, I recommend taking a look at World Nomads – they’re my go-to!
You can get your insurance through their website, which means no phone calls or complicated paperwork. Moreover, you can also make changes to it online and any claims are done through their website, too!
Plus, they’re super flexible. If you change your plans or decide to check out another country after France last-minute, all you need is wifi to make any modifications.
As mentioned in the intro to my Paris winter packing list, make sure you prioritize comfort over style. I made sure everything I listed here does the trick, but remember to keep that in mind when actually packing! This packing list works just as well for visiting Paris in November, December, January, and February. If you’re visiting during the summer months, check out my Paris summer packing guide instead.
Moreover, if you forget something, don’t worry too much about it! Aside from its incredible thrift-shopping scene, Paris is a major shopping destination and you’ll be able to find anything you need while here.
I hope you found my Paris winter packing guide useful! 🙂
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