Paris is a beautiful city any time of year, but at Christmas time it can be magical. A trip to Paris can be a romantic holiday for couples or a fun family vacation. Here are some of the things you can see and take part in during your Christmas trip to Paris.
At Christmas time, visit the Champs-Elysées. From the Place de l’Etoile to the Arc de Triomphe, lights are strung along trees for a distance of two kilometers. The lights usually begin around the end of November and end in early January.
The department stores in Paris also have wonderful light displays. Check out the district near the Opera Garnier and gaze at the beautifully lit display windows.
Notre Dame Cathedral
This historic cathedral also has a gorgeous light display each year. An enormous tree is decorated and lit up for the public to view. In addition, Notre Dame has a beautiful, peaceful Christmas Eve service that is worth attending.
Winter sports are becoming popular in Paris. On the floor of the Eiffel Tower, there is an open-air skating rink that is open only during that time of year. There are various rinks throughout Paris during the holidays as well. (The Eiffel Tower rink does tend to be crowded, despite Christmas being the “off” season for tourists.) There are even areas where children can go sledding.
The Parisian Disneyland is fully decked out for Christmas celebrations. Fun and festive events are scheduled throughout the Christmas season, from late November to early January. There are parades and Christmas markets at Disneyland, Paris, too.
These quaint villages are not just in Disneyland, Paris. These markets have become a holiday tradition from the Northern Alsace region. They consist of wooden booths arranged like a miniature village. Delicious treats are served from these booths, such as gingerbread and spiced wine. You can also buy gifts and decorations at these markets.
Paris is known for its beautiful museums, particularly art museums. Christmas is an “off” season for travel, so there are few crowds to contend with. This makes it an excellent time to visit the Louvre and other beautiful museums.
Although crowds of tourists are lower during winter, expect restaurants to be fully booked or closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Make reservations well ahead, or consider celebrating your Christmas Dinner on a day that is not the 24th or 25th of December.
Few places capture the nostalgia and peace of Christmas like Paris. It combines the slow pace of a small town with the glitz and beauty of a big city holiday.
Top 10 Paris
Where to buy: www.amazon.com
Top 10 Paris is a handy travel guide. It is ideal, if you are planning a short trip to this beautiful romantic city. Instead of being overwhelmed at which sights you should go and see in only a few days, the book covers – as the name says – the Top 10 places to visit in Paris.
In addition, it gives you information on restaurants, shops, night life, galleries and other areas of interest. The size of the book is another great advantage – it easily fits into your purse. The included fold-out map is very useful as you explore the streets of Paris. The metro map allows you to criss-cross Paris safely without getting lost.
I like the section “Streetsmarts” which gives you answers to questions you might have, such as, how do I make a local phone call, which metro ticket to buy etc.
Overall, this is a fun guidebook to carry with you on your visit to Paris. It is a scaled down version of usually quite heavy and detailed travel guides, but gives you enough information to keep you busy in this beautiful city. If you are looking, however, for more detailed information about the history and architecture of sights, this might not be the book for you.