Weather Averages for Paris in December
Averages for Paris in December
December is one of the coldest times of the year in Paris, France, when the weather is cold, wet and there is a small chance of snow. During this month, the average temperature begins at 5.5°C on December 1st and drops down to 4°C by December 31st. Just like the average temperature, daily highs also decrease as the month progresses, falling from 8°C to 6°C across the month, rarely exceeding 13°C or falling below 0°C. Daily low temperatures follow a similar pattern and decrease from 2°C to -4°C throughout the month, only rising above 8°C one day out of every ten.
The lowest temperature which has ever been recorded in recent times in Paris in December is -10°C, with the highest temperature ever recorded for the city during this month being 23°C. When you take a look at these temperatures alongside the average for the month – 5°C – it’s easy to see that they’re the extremes and aren’t what you should be prepared for during your holiday. In 2013, the longest warm spell of the year took place between December 14th and December 30th – that’s 17 consecutive days which had warmer than average temperatures. Overall, December 2013 had the largest fraction of warmer than average days, with 81% of days having higher than average high temperatures.
With an average of 27mm of rainfall spread out across 15 days throughout the month, there is a good chance that you’ll experience a shower or two during your visit. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you pack some water-proof clothing or an umbrella. Moderate rain is the most likely type of rainfall and usually happens around December 8th. The second most likely type of rainfall you’ll experience this month is light rain which tends to occur around December 29th. The probability of precipitation increases across the month, beginning at 61% on December 1st and rising up to 64% by December 31st.
Snow falls on an average of two days each December and is most likely to occur on December 31st, when it falls on 9% of days. Although the chance of snow lying on the ground is very low, it’s most likely to happen on December 31st. Throughout the month, Paris is affected by foggy conditions on an average of three days – that’s one day less than in November.
At 11°C, the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to Paris is far too cold to go swimming, as you’d expect for a winter month. If you’re determined to go for a dip during your holiday, you’re best off sticking to the indoor swimming pools. The average daily humidity for Paris in December is 86%, made up of highs up to 96% and lows of 75%.
In December, Paris enjoys an average of three hours of sunshine each day – that’s the same as in November. Throughout the month, the sunshine and daylight hours both stay roughly the same, with the day shortening by only 14 minutes between December 1st and December 31st.
Across December, wind speeds range from 2 m/s to 6 m/s, almost never exceeding 11 m/s. The highest wind speed of 4 m/s usually happens around December 27th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur around December 1st, when the average daily maximum wind speed is also 6 m/s. In 2013, the highest daily mean wind speed was 9 m/s and the highest wind gust speed was 21 m/s, both of which occurred on December 24th.
Dates for the diary
From November 29th until December 7th 2014, the Salon du Cheval takes place at Parc de Expositions des Paris Nord Villepinte. This event attracts a great number of talented show-jumpers and passionate enthusiasts who turn out in their thousands. This nine-day event provides loads to see and do, including various exhibitions, jumping competitions, shows, performances and races. There will also be opportunities for children and beginners to learn how to ride.
Between December 6th and December 14th 2014, Paris celebrates the Salon Nautique International de Paris. This boat show is made up of around 800 exhibitors, more than 1,300 brands and around 240,000 visitors, making it one of the biggest and best nautical events of the year. A great opportunity to discover new brands and boats from all corners of the globe, the Salon Nautique International de Paris features around 700 boats on display, 200 of which are new models, around 350 sailing and motorboats and 300 small crafts. In addition to the boat displays, this exhibition also features numerous water sport displays.
Wine lovers and foodies won’t want to miss the chance to attend Le Festival des Meilleurs Vins. Held during the first half of the month each year – the 2014 dates are expected to be December 5th and 6th – at the Carrousel du Louvre. Visitors to this popular event will have the opportunity to taste the best wines in the world, from a variety of well-known brands and hopeful newcomers. In addition to the wine tasting, Le Festival des Meilleurs Vins also features lectures and the possibility to buy your favourite bottles.
On the evening of December 24th each year, the Notre Dame holds a special Christmas Eve Mass. Held at midnight, this holy event includes the ringing of the Emmanuel bell, organ playing and choir singing. The programme begins at 10pm and you’re strongly advised to arrive early if you want to secure a seat. Even if you’re not religious, attending midnight mass at Notre Dame is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, making it a must during your visit in Paris.
If you can’t manage to stay awake for the midnight mass, you can always attend the Christmas Day Masses at Notre Dame. Held each year on December 25th the Christmas Day Masses are made up of a Dawn Mass, Gregorian Mass and Solemn Mass held throughout the daytime and evening, as well as the ringing of the Emmanuel bell, Christmas solemn vespers, organ playing and choir singing.
Things to do
December is a wonderful time to visit Paris, when the city is full of festive flair. Make the most of the Christmas themed activities on offer and go ice skating at l’Hotel de Ville. This is the most popular ice skating rink in the city and is visited by families and couples alike. If you’ve never been ice skating before, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a designated area for children and beginners to learn the ropes. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced skater and have your own pair of ice skates with you, you’ll be able to enjoy the rink for free. The ice skating rink at l’Hotel de Ville is open from 9am until around 10pm, but the best time to visit is after sunset when the 19th century building in the background is lit up, creating a magical atmosphere.
Get your hands on one-of-a-kind Christmas presents by shopping at the many Christmas markets throughout Paris. You’ll find some of the biggest and best Christmas markets at the Avenue de Champs-Elysées, La Défense, Trocadero, Saint-Sulpice, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montparnasse Tower. All of the Christmas markets are quite similar and are comprised of numerous stalls selling all sorts of themed gifts, from Christmas ornaments and home-baked treats to hand-woven clothes and children’s toys. The Christmas markets in Paris are also ideal opportunities for indulging, with many types of mulled wines and festive foods on offer.
From November until January, the whole city of Paris is adorned with Christmas lights and decorations. If you want to see some of the very best decorations in the city, head to Place de la Bastille where you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a Christmas village. Made up of numerous streets decked with lights, trees, decorations and ornaments, the Place de la Bastille Christmas village is like a giant Christmas market, making it a must-visit during your holiday in Paris. In addition to the Christmas village, this part of the city also hosts art exhibitions, parades, street parties, food festivals, musical concerts and workshops throughout the festive period, providing loads of things for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a romantic winter activity to enjoy during your holiday in Paris, consider going on a River Seine cruise. Wrap up warm and book your cruise for after sunset for the best experience. Whilst the views are pleasant during the daytime, they’re even better after nightfall, when the streets lining the Seine are full of decorations and lights. If you want to splash out, you can combine your River Seine cruise with a three-course dinner on the boat for a truly memorable evening.
For over three decades, there haven’t been any official New Year’s Eve firework displays in Paris, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Champs-Elysées is one of the most popular streets to ring in the new year, where thousands of locals and visitors come together to drink, dance and have a good time. If you want something a bit more low-key, head to the Scare Coeur Plaza in Montmartre where you’ll find similar festivities, but on a smaller and quieter scale. The celebrations usually begin at around 9pm and carry on well into the early hours.
Where to stay
Families and couples looking for a modern, stylish hotel should check out Fred Hotel. Only a short walk away from Montparnasse Tower and the Plaisance metro station, this hotel is ideally located for exploring the city. Here guests can choose between classic, superior and deluxe rooms, providing something for all budgets. Each room comes well equipped with safety deposit box, heating, air conditioning, desk, private bathroom with hairdryer and free toiletries, telephone, laptop safe and flat-screen TV. Guests at Fred Hotel are invited to take full advantage of the services and facilities on offer, including bar, free WiFi access throughout, public parking, 24-hour reception, laundry services, newspapers, facilities for disabled guests and multilingual staff.
Hotel Monterosa is another great choice for holidaymakers who want to be close to all the action. This hotel boasts a huge range of amenities and services for guests to enjoy, including terrace, breakfast served in your room, free WiFi access throughout, public parking, room service, 24-hour reception, luggage storage, newspapers, sound-proofing and multilingual staff. Hotel Monterosa provides guests with access to various different room types – including singles, twins and doubles – each of which comes with safety deposit box, air conditioning, heating, private bathroom with complimentary toiletries and hairdryer, telephone, radio and satellite TV.
Only a 40-minute drive away from the airport, Hotel Le Royal is perfect for holidaymakers who don’t want to waste time travelling unnecessarily. This five-star hotel is one of the most popular in the city and features a wealth of amenities and services, including garden, terrace, spa and wellness centre, library, bar, buffet restaurant, a la carte restaurant, breakfast served in your room, free WiFi access throughout, public parking, room service, 24-hour reception, concierge, babysitting, beauty salon and multilingual staff. There is a wide variety of rooms to choose from, with everything from superior, deluxe and executive rooms to junior and gallery suites available. Each room is tastefully designed and features safety deposit box, dressing room, private bathroom with complimentary toiletries and hairdryer, satellite TV, radio, telephone, iPod docking station and minibar.
For something a bit more budget-friendly, check out the Hotel de la Cite Rougemont. This two-star hotel is located in the 9th arrondissement, just a short walk away from numerous public transport networks, and provides guests with a choice of single, double, twin, triple and quadruple rooms. Each room comes complete with free WiFi access, safe, LCD TV, private bathroom with hairdryer and continental breakfast included. Here you’ll find a handful of services and facilities to enjoy, including room service, 24-hour reception, tour desk, dry cleaning and lift.
Located only a short walk away from the Eiffel Tower, Europe Hotel Paris is perfect for families and couples who want to do plenty of sightseeing during their holiday in Paris. Here you’ll find plenty of amenities and services to take advantage of, including bar, free WiFi access throughout, public parking, 24-hour reception, luggage storage, laundry services, newspapers and lift. Guests can choose between single, double and triple rooms, each of which features safety deposit box, air conditioning, heating, desk, dressing room, private bathroom with hairdryer and complimentary toiletries, telephone, radio, flat-screen TV, minibar, alarm clock and tea/coffee making facilities.