Motorways in the Paris region were described as impassable as snow that had already hit other areas of France spread to the capital.
Elsewhere in Europe, a boy drowned in southern Spain when his father's car was swept into a flooded river.
In Poland, a further three people died because of the extreme cold.
The authorities there said 66 people had lost their lives since the severe wintry weather began in late November.
The Meteo France service reported that one of its Paris weather stations had recorded 11cm (4.5in) of snow. The French capital has not seen a larger one-day snowfall since 1987.