This blog post was updated on July 16, 2019.

On a two-week trip to Ireland in April, I had just one sunny day. The rest of the trip was spent ducking out of the rain into pubs and museums. And that one sunny day just happened to be the first day of the trip. Our last minute flights had already left us jet lagged and a bit cranky, and so the day wasn’t spent making the most of the destination. I figured there would be more sun. And then there wasn’t. While you can’t always plan on the weather, you can still sightsee even when it’s raining on your parade. Armed with this survival guide, you might find a few silver linings in that wet London afternoon or that rainy day in Paris.

Always Pack For Soggy Conditions

Young female traveler in yellow raincoat on the road to famous saint Michel island in France

Don’t get caught up a river without a paddle. If you know that a downpour is a possibility at any point during your trip, pack for soggy weather. You’ll want waterproof shoes, extra socks, a waterproof jacket, and an umbrella. Packable ponchos tend to fold up into a few inches so that you can always toss them into your bag when you head out for a day of sightseeing. When those downpours present and your hotel is still several block away, you won’t end up drenched and chilled to the bone by the time you reach your room. With the proper gear, there is really no such thing as bad weather. Being uncomfortable makes it difficult to sight-see. With a little planning and packing, you can remain comfortable even if your destination is a soggy, wet mess.

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Head for Indoor Activities and Attractions

Woman and child looking old ancient amphora in historical museum

It’s a lot easier to sight-see in good weather, but if sunshine just isn’t on the cards for your trip, plan your days with indoor pursuits. Stops at museums and galleries will get you out of the weather while still affording you the chance to see what your destination has to offer. Of course, everyone will also have the same idea if the weather outside is frightful. Instead of hitting snooze when you see storm clouds outside, head for the most popular museums and other indoor attractions right when they open. You’ll have to deal with smaller crowds the earlier you go and thus will have a more enjoyable experience. Also, if you are mapping out your sightseeing plan of attack for the day, try to group stops together, paying particular attention to those attractions that are conveniently located close to public transport. The easier attractions are to reach without having to walk in the rain, the more comfortable you’ll be when you get there.

Embrace Long Meals

Group of four young friends having dinner in cozy cafe while women sharing new on phone

Travelers have a tendency to pound the pavement. We want to utilize the little vacation time that we have, meaning long meals are often not on our radar. However, rather than becoming that rain cloud, embrace it over good food. Linger over lunch a little longer. You’ll want to carefully select your restaurants so that if the rain kicks up, you won’t mind ordering that second cappuccino. Food is also an integral part of a destination. If the forecast is looking dismal, plan on sightseeing in a different manner by researching where you’ll want to eat for true local flavor.

Book Accommodations Close to Attractions and Public Transport

Couple of tourists with their little cute son is exploring new city together.

If you see inclement weather in the forecast for your trip, consider where you are staying. If you were planning on getting in quite a bit of sightseeing, you’ll always want to be close to public transport, or in the very least centrally located near all the attractions. Conveniently located lodging can make it easier to hop in and out of bad weather and in and out of activities without getting too drenched. When it rains, it can also be an ordeal to get a cab. If your hotel is near a subway, bus, tram, or train stop, your sightseeing can continue without too many puddles in your path.

When You Get Lemons, Make Lemonade

Happy playful couple in love dating joking and laughing in the street of an old town in a rainy day under an umbrella

Being stuck in a downpour on vacation can bring on grumpiness in a traveler. When days and days of rain don’t seem to end, you can start to feel as though you have wasted your vacation. Rather than succumbing to the weather, find those silver linings. As no one will be out in the rain, now is a good time to gear up and explore (if it’s not too treacherous). You will have many normally crammed attractions to yourself, lending great photography opportunities. Also, never take a sunny day for granted. If there is one in the forecast for your trip amidst all the rain, make this your day to do as much as possible.

When its raining down on your dream destination you could become as gloomy as the skies above. But following these simple tips will encourage you to keep looking for deals on last minute flights to amazing cities…regardless of the weather!

How do you approach sightseeing in bad weather? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at