Wondering what to wear in Paris in December? Winter firmly starts in December in Paris and as you would expect the temperatures plunge. In this guide we tell you everything to pack for Paris in December for sightseeing, the weather, Christmas, dress codes, dinner and more.
Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Weather in Paris in December
December marks the beginning of Winter in Paris and temperatures and conditions have definitely started to get cool. But how cold is Paris in December?
How cold is Paris in December?
The weather in Paris in December ranges from average highs of 8C/46F and average lows of 4C/39F, which is substantially chillier than the preceding months.
And of course the later in the month you travel the cooler it will be. Also depending on the level of wind and rain, it can feel much cooler, especially at night. So layers are definitely needed when traveling to Paris in December.
Note: remember if your visit covers two months be sure to check out our other Paris monthly guides. The weather does change in Paris month to month, and you never known when there are some special events that do require at alteration to the dress code.
And if you are visiting other areas of France then be sure to check out our other regional guides for summer
- What to wear in France in December
- What to wear in the South of France
- What to wear in Cannes
- What to wear in Nice
- What to wear in Corsica
Note: although the weather in this guide are historical averages however we advise always checking the weather at your destination 7 days in advance in case of anomalies such as cold snaps and heat waves.
Is it rainy in Paris in December?
If you are visiting Paris in December you can expect to experience around 9 days of rain across the month. This means that you are more than likely to experience some wet weather during your Winter Paris vacation.
Therefore we recommend any visitor to Paris in December has a waterproof jacket and a compact travel umbrella with them at all times, just in case.
Tip: Want to skip queues in Paris? we recommend buying your Paris attraction tickets in advance with skip the line access for some of the most popular attractions such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris to name but a few.
Does it snow in Paris in December?
Yes you can in fact get snow in Paris in December. However it is not all that common occurence. So don’t be expecting a white Christmas.
The Snow in Paris in December is usually mixed in with rain as sleet, and very rarely settles on the ground in December.
How do Locals Dress in Paris In Paris
In December you will find that the local Parisians have fully transitioned into their Winter Travel Capsule Wardrobe.
Parisians tend to stick monochrome and neutral tones in their winter wardrobes so expect to see lots of black, white and camel colors on the street at this time of year.
The locals in Paris in December tend to wear plenty of layers, smart casual attire and are always prepared for the rain. However even in Winter, you will find the Parisians very stylishly dressed.
What to Wear in Paris in December
So now you know what to expect from the weather, what should you wear in Paris in December?
Best Shoes for Paris in December
As the weather can be changeable and rainy in Paris in December we recommend having a leather boot with some waterproofing.
These are also better for wearing for evenings out where there are smart casual dress codes such as some Parisian restaurants.
Thin heeled shoes generally are on my what not to wear in Paris list. This is because Paris has lots of cobbled streets and uneven walkways. Therefore thin heels are dangerous so should be replaced with thick heels. A boot without a high heel is also suitable for wearing for sightseeing during the day at museums and along the Seine.
For more information on how to pack boots for travel check out this post.
Sneakers are a great shoe for Paris in December when sightseeing at places such as museums, boat tours and more. And they are good for the vast amounts of walking you will be doing in Paris, even in Winter.
My favorite sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and All birds but for Paris in December I also like to have a white sneaker such as the Addidas Cloud Foam brand. Not only are these one of the most comfortable sneakers around but they are also super versatile.
However if you are looking for a sneaker with some waterproofing then we recommend looking at the Ecco brand.
For a full guide on the best shoes for Paris check out this post.
What to wear in Paris in December for women
So now you know the best shoes to pack for Paris in December, we will turn our attention to what clothes to pack for Paris in Winter..
In December you are definitely going to want a warm coat for Paris. That is because firstly the weather is definitely chilly especially in the evenings.
Depending on what you plan on doing on your itinerary will depend on what type of coat you will need. However many Parisians will wear smarter coats such as wool coats. However if you plan on doing lots of outdoor activities a more practical coat may be a better idea.
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are a must for Paris in December. They are a very practical item for being outdoors in Paris strolling around the Christmas markets and doing river cruises etc, but also can stylishly finish off your Winter Paris outfit.
But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.
Skirts and dresses
Although I tend to avoid dresses for sightseeing in December, I would usually take one with me for evenings out. Because of the temperatures at this time of year I find sweater dresses / jumper dresses to be most appropriate.
And we would never dream about going out in Paris in December in a dress without wearing a thick pair of tights too.
Trousers / Jeans
If skirts and dresses aren’t your thing then trousers are a great choice. As December is cold we recommend picking thicker trousers made of heavier fabric.
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 as these are more in keeping with local styles.
But I also usually include a black pant on all my Parisian packing lists. Currently we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel.
But other great choices are thick cord jeans or wool trousers.
Blouses are perfect for Paris in the Winter for both sightseeing and going out to dinner. They are a verstaile layering item and can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going. Click here to shop blouses.
I don’t think I ever visit Paris without a t shirt on my packing list. Given the weather in December, more long sleeve t shirts than short t shirts are usually required.
Also style wise, plain t shirts are more in keeping with local styles. Patterned, graphic or slogan tees are not commonly worn by locals.
Also as a personal style choice I try to avoid the striped Breton tee as I think it can look a little touristy (in fact its on my what not to wear in Paris lisT)
For Paris in December layers are going to be your best friend. For a week in Paris I will usually pack:
- a cardigan,
- a hoodie, and
- smart sweater.
I like to stick to neutral colors as a personal style preference in Paris in December. I particularly love to pack a camel cardigan along with a smart merino wool sweater.
I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe.
That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.
A pashmina is always on my Paris packing list especially in Fall.
It can act as a scarf to dress or a a more casual outfit but is a useful extra layer on cooler nights and days. Shop pashminas here.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
PJs or Nightie
Thicker weight PJs are best for Paris in December.
What to Wear in Paris in December Packing List for Men
For men visiting Paris in December we recommend adding the following items to your packing list:
- T shirts – long sleeve tees are best for December.
- Shirts – a button down shirt is a great choice for smarter restaurants in Paris. And if you plan on spending Christmas Day in PAris and eating out, a shirt and sweater would be most appropriate.
- Trousers – jeans are great for sightseeing in December. You may want to add a smarter pair of chinos to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners. Wool trousers are another good choice.
- Coat – something with some waterproofing and wind resistance is best.
- Layers – such as a hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the coat.
- Ankle Boots
What to Pack for Paris in December (Non Clothing)
Now you know the clothes you should bring to Paris in December what else should you pack for visiting the city of lights in Winter?
We recommend packing:
- Universal Travel Adaptor – Paris uses the traditional European plugs. So if you are coming from the UK or USA etc you will need an adapter to make your electronics work.
- Compact Umbrella – essential for any month in Paris.
- Crossbody bag – As with any tourist city around the world there are pickpockets in Paris. Therefore we recommend using a cross body anti theft bag with you such as this one.
- Reusable Water bottle
- Lip Balm
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
- Power Pack / Battery charger – is a beautiful city, especially at Christmas time so you will be using your phone lots to take photos. On top of that you will be using your phone for navigation and public transit info. This obviously is a drain on your phone battery.
- 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 Paris in supermarkets or pharmacies. Therefore we would recommend leaving the toiletries at home and buying them on arrival. It will save space in your case.
What to wear in Paris in December FAQs
Do you need a coat for Paris in December?
Yes I would absolutely bring a coat for Paris in December.
Local Parisians tend to wear smart winter coats such as wool coats. However as a tourist you may find that a waterproof coat is the most versatile.
Paris Winter Packing List Checklist
So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Paris Winter Packing List
- Waterproof and Wind resistant Coat or jacket
- Scarf, Gloves, Hat and ear muffs
- T shirts
- Thicker weight trousers such as jeans, woolen trousers or corduroy trousers.
- Merino Wool Themeral socks
- Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
- Dresses / Skirts
- Warm Nightwear
- Ankle Boots
- Medication and Documentation
- Back Pack
- Travel Adaptor
- Battery Pack
- Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
- Lip Balm
Do you have any questions about what to wear in Paris in December that we haven’t answered here? Then pop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer them as quick as we can.