Oddly satisfying things to do on a rainy day away

Don’t let a bit of rain stop you from enjoying yourself. Whether you’re on holiday for a few short days, or you’ve been travelling for months, don’t lose precious time over a little bit of weather. Of course you have the usual rainy day options of indoor activities – shopping, eating, drinking, museums etc. Or you can wrap up and get that umbrella out, and hope it doesn’t blow inside out! But I’ve found that sometimes things you don’t think of doing can be oddly satisfying. Here are some of the things that I’ve got up to on rainy days – and why I loved it!

Go for a run

Running in the rain can be a rejuvenating experience. There’s something quite simple and beautiful about viewing a place in the rain, with just your trainers, some music and the surroundings. On a torrentially rainy Sunday in Sydney I took myself off for a run to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, and around the harbour with a stunning view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge behind. There were no tourists around, and as I was running past these iconic sights I realized that I felt like the only person in the city. If you accept you’re going to get wet and embrace it, it can be a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Plus there’s nothing quite as rewarding and satisfying as coming home to a hot shower and dry clothes after being soaked to the bone!

Botanic Gardens and Parks

It’s raining and everyone in the city has headed indoors. The museums, art galleries and malls are crowded and have that damp, drizzly feel to them. Footprints on the floor, droplets of water by the door from dripping umbrellas. It’s depressing! Instead of following the masses, get your comfortable clothes on (not jeans! Jeans are no fun when they’re wet), zip up that waterproof jacket, pop the hood up and head out. My favourite place to go on rainy days is to the local park or botanic gardens. There’s usually not many people around, and the flowers can smell so stunning in the rain. It’s quite nice to get back to nature and hear that soothing dripping sound of water onto leaves. I also love to watch the water birds in any ponds or lakes. I find it quite a tranquil and relaxing experience. And it’s another way to feel like  you’ve got the place to yourself.

Go For a Swim or Jacuzzi

If there’s a pool and it’s raining, I love to go swimming! They’ll be no one else in there and you’re going to get wet anyway, what’s the big deal! Ok, so it can be a little bit chilly getting out, but wrap your towel up tight in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get damp and jump in! It can often feel warmer in the pool when it’s raining and there’s something quite unexplainably pleasant about it. I love to do a few lengths and pop my head up to find the rain droplets creating the little rings on the surface of the water. If there’s a hot tub or Jacuzzi that can also be quite pleasant in the rain. Just sitting in the hot, bubble water whilst your face is exposed to the elements is another way to relax if you’re stuck with things to do in the rain.

(Of course, do be careful if it’s exceptionally cold. Better dry than hypothermic!).


A hike through the jungle, or just a walk along the beach, can be a nice experience in the rain. If it’s hot, the rain can be pleasantly cooling. If not, just being by the sea in the elements can be invigorating. There’s a lot to be had from walking around in the rain, especially in a natural environment. Embrace it and see what you draw from it. Getting back to nature can be great for stress and sometimes we all need that grounding to take us away from the routine and the hum-drum of everyday life. Take the chance if you’re away to reset yourself.

Sit and watch the world go by

If the above ideas are just too adventurous for you, or maybe they just aren’t practical, (like if it’s minus 7!), then find a nice local café (not a Starbucks, please!) and grab a window seat, or sit outside if you dare! If you can, locate yourself on a busy street or square. Then just observe. Watch the local people interact. Can you spot the tourists? You can learn a lot about a place from its inhabitants and their way of life. People watching is one of my favourite things to do. It’s quite a pleasure to sit back and watch people go about their business. I imagine what they are on their way to do, who they are meeting. Often we are too busy getting places to observe the simplest things, so take a step back. You might be surprised by what you see.

Any other suggestions? Please let me know what you love to do when it rains and you’re away! I’d love to try them out the next time it rains!


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