Commuters in Paris were advised to stay home Tuesday morning as heavy snowfall wrought havoc with transport across northern and western France, dpa reported.
National railways company SNCF warned travellers in the capital's suburbs "not to try to reach Paris in the morning" as trains struggled to advance through swirling snow.
Around 3 million Parisians use suburban trains each day. The city's bus and metro services were also heavily disrupted. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault activated an interministerial crisis cell to coordinate the state's response to the situation.
The SNCF advised people planning to travel to northern or western France to also postpone their trips.
Flights out of the northern cities of Lille and Beauvais had been cancelled.
Some roads in the north and west of the country were declared impassable.
Hundreds of people were stranded in their cars on a national highway leading to the northern port of Cherbourg on Monday evening.
Twenty-nine out of 101 "departements" or districts have been affected by the sudden return of winter this week, which has claimed one life so far.
A homeless man was found dead in the north-western town of Saint-Brieuc early Tuesday. The 58-year-old man was believed to have died of exposure.