Are you wondering what to wear in France in February? In this guide we will tell you how to pack for France in February for sightseeing, the Winter weather, dress codes and more, no matter whether you are heading to France, Normandy, the South of France or even Corisca!
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Weather in France in February
February is technically the last on the Winter months in France. However you won’t find people transitioning into their Spring capsule wardrobes just yet!
How cold is France in February?
February is typically one of the coldest months of the year in France but it really depends on where you are as to how cold you can expect it to be.
The South of France in typically the warmest part of the country, with the North and the mountains of course being the coolest.
But typically speaking if you are in Paris you can expect the temperatures to hover between 36-46°F / 3-8°C. It is also worth noting that the rain in France can have a big influence on how cold it feels.
Does it rain a lot in February in France?
Any month in France can be rainy but the good news is that February isn’t actually the rainiest month in France. On average you have around a 35% chance of rain on any given day in February. Also the total rain for the month is just over 50mm which isn’t too heavy. However I would still say it is worth add some waterproof shoes and jacket to your packing list for Feb!
Note: it is important to note that there are some regional differences in France in February. For this reason we have some specific regional guides linked below:
- What to wear in Paris in February
- What to wear in Provence
- What to wear in the South of France
- What to wear in Monaco
Note: Although February is not as busy as summer in the cities in France it is still worth buying your attraction tickets in advance with skip the line access to save you queuing outside places in the rain especially if you are visiting during the UK February half term break.
Does it snow in France in February?
Snowfall in France in February is really dependent on where you are. FEbruary is still peak ski season so if you are heading to a ski resort then you will still be seeing snow.
However in places like Normandy and Paris, snow is rare but not not unheard of in February. However it is more likely to be a sprinkling rather heavy snowfall that would grind the city to a halt.
Having said that however back in 2018 Paris saw unusually heavy snowfall which carpeted the city in beautiful white! But this was definitely not the normal or expected weather.
Note: it is worth noting that the weather between months changes quite dramatically in France. Therefore if your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly:
Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
What do locals wear in France in February
In February you will find that the locals still very much in their Winter apparel. This means thick coats and accessories. And when looking at the best colors to wear in France I would say at this time of year you will see lots of monochrome and neutral tones being worn by the locals.
Considerations for France February Packing List
We always recommend you pack light when traveling to Europe even in Winter. Accommodations in France whether you are staying in an airbnb or hotel tend to be smaller than American counterparts. Therefore you want to pack light to leave you more room. Also it is easier navigating the French public transport system with less luggage, especially in the cities where you can encounter pickpockets.
And if you want to know more about how to pack a minimalist capsule wardrobe for any season check out this post.
What to Wear in France in February
What to Wear in France in February for women
Coat / Jacket
A coat is an essential in February but your itinerary will influence what is the best style of coat for your trip
In Paris during the day you will see some smarter wool coats for those going into work. However if you are going on a more active vacation in France such as skiing or snowboarding a thicker ski jacket will definitely be required.
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are a must for France in Winter. We like to have one that complements our coat to finish off the look for our vacation photos. But we always make sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.
Trousers are my number one pick for France in February given the cold wind and rain.Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day. I would recommend picking smarter jeans such as black jeans or dark blue jeans that are more fitted or skinny jeans.
If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant.
Skirts and dresses
Personally I find it too cold for dresses for sightseeing in the day. But usually pack a wrap or jumper dress for evenings in France that can be paired with thick tights for dinners out.
Blouses are perfect for France in the Winter for both sightseeing and going out to dinner. They are a versatile layering item and can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going.
T Shirts in my opinion are the most versatile packing item, and I never have a packing list that dones’t contain at least one.
For February I usually pack a mix of long and short sleeve tees, but stick to monochrome and plain t shirts to be more in keeping with local style.
Layers are another essential for France in February. For a week in France I will usually pack:
- a cardigan,
- a hoodie, and
- smart sweater.
Again I tend to stick with monochrome and muted neutral colors to be more in keeping with the locals but this is a personal choice.
I also personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater as it is warm but not bulky to pack.
Pashminas are on all my European packing lists as they are so versatile. They can be an extra layer if you get a sudden cold snap but can also make an outfit more modest for places such as Notre Dame.
PJs or Nightie
A heavier weight pj is better for February. My favorite are the flannel type check pjs.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying. I either pack thicker hiking socks for February or merino wool socks which although thinner are insulating.
What to pack for France in February for Men
Style wise, when putting your mens France packing list together, the headline items and local sensibilities are much the same as the women’s list. Layers and coats are a must. And muted palettes are definitely more in keeping with he locals. As such we recommend packing:
T Shirts and Shirts
Again plain tees in muted colors are more in keeping with local styles opposed to graphic, slogan and illustration tees.
On top of t shirts we recommend having a button down shirt with long or shorts sleeves with you. These work for restaurants with smart casual dress codes and at museums and tourist attractions such as Versailles and the Louvre and more high end eateries across the country.
Jeans are perfect for daytime sightseeing. Again smarter pairs are better and more in keeping with the locals.
On top of jeans you may want to add a smarter pair of chinos or Dockers to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners. Shop men’s travel chinos here.
A hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in France.
Depending on the itinerary depends on the type of coat you will need. But if you plan on spending lots of time outside we recommend picking a thicker coat with insulation and waterproofing.
Again we recommend gloves that are touch screen compatible.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
Goes without saying.
Note: if you plan to head over the border into a Monaco during your France trip and are staying into the evening you may also need to pack a jacket to meet local dress code requires.
Best Shoes for France in February
One of the trickiest areas of any packing list is shoes. We always try to restrict the amount of shoes we travel with to 2-3 pairs so we don’t end up overpacking. The shoes we recommend for winter in France are:
Sneakers are the best shoe for Europe generally in my opinion. In historic cities in France you will find lots of cobbled stone streets, and sneakers are definitely the shoe that copes best with this sort of terrain.
My favorite sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and All birds as they are very comfortable for walking long distances. But a white sneaker can come in handy as they go with everything. My favorite white sneaker of the moment is the Addidas Cloud Foam brand.
But for rainy travel I don’t think you can go wrong with a plain leather sneaker like the Ecco Soft 7.
As February is still Winter, you can’t go wrong with an ankle boot. Just be sure to pick one with a good sole, some level of waterproofing or water resistance and avoid thin and high heels.
For more information on how to pack boots for travel click here.
What to Pack for France in February (non clothing)
So now you know the clothes to pack for France in Ferbruary, what other items should be on your what to packing list?
- Travel Adapters for electronics – France uses standard European outputs and plugs.
- Compact Umbrella – essential for any month in France.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Crossbody Bag – anti theft type as with any city it can have issues with pickpockets around main tourist attractions such as the Louvre, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge and Versailles for instance.
- Lipbalm – to protect your lips from cracking in the cold.
- Reusable Water Bottle – good for the environment and will also save you money.
- Charging Equipment
- Power pack / Battery Pack
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
- Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here.
Note: If you have room in your suitcase then you can bring toiletries with you. However toiletries are very easy to buy in French cities in supermarkets and pharmacies. For this reason we would leaving the toiletries at home and buying them on arrival to save on space in your suitcase if you are staying in a city.
Do you have any questions about what to wear in France in February? Drop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer.