Holiday season is round the corner!
With the cheapest ticket prices of the year, it’s the perfect time of year to make your getaway to a winter wonderland.
While there are no dearth of incredible stateside getaways, the international scene is just as beguiling & sometimes, surprisingly cheaper over local options.
Paris is worth every bit of winter wanderlust. You could see this beautiful city any time of year and still be smitten. But the city of light, takes enchantment to a whole other level over the holidays.
Here are 12 Magical places to see in Paris in winter:
1. Champs Élysées
The avenue nicknamed by the French as “la plus belle avenue du mode”, the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’, lives up to its name in winter . The walk towards the Arc De Triomphe is lined with haute couture stores & Maserati showrooms, and the flagship Louis Vuitton store, but it’s the view from the top of the Arc De Triomphe that’s worthwhile.
My personal favorite is to walk the other way towards Place de la Concorde, with the giant Ferris wheel & Christmas markets. Walking through these outdoor tents, you’re bound to find cute xmas trinkets, ornaments, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine (vin chaud) & hot chocolate; there’s even a skating rink!
2. Notre dame & Île de la Cité
Whether you see Notre Dame at day or night during the holidays, it’s a sight that’ll stay with you. The towering cathedral leaves you in awe; you can also attend mass on Christmas eve from 9 PM – midnight, which is a cool experience. I cannot leave this post without telling you about Berthillon ice cream, let me tell you, BEST ICE CREAM OF MY LIFE right here. Enough said. Holiday hours meant they were only open for few hours, and it was the best thing Santa got me, EVER.
3. Eiffel Tower
I strongly recommend seeing this iconic structure during sunset & at night, the twinkling lights, sparkle once every hour. Start from Trocadero & walk up to the Tower.
4. Museums – Louvre, Rodin, Musee D’Orsay
Whether you take a stroll by the Louvre or by the charming Musee Rodin, you’re bound to be blown away by art, sculptures & architecture against a wintery backdrop.
5. Sacre Coeur
Montmatre in general, has a fairy-tale like feel to it, with cobblestone paved, narrow alleys. Sacre Couer offers some of the best views of the city.
6. Moulin rouge
Part of the fun is in getting to Moulin Rouge, along the streets of Montmartre, lined with super cute souvenir shops & bakeries. Check out Le Grenier a Pain boulangerie, one of Paris’ top bakeries. The view at night never fails to impress!
7. Le Marais
This Jewish neighborhood is Paris’ goldmine of little shops and home to the best falafel & crepes in town. With christmas lights lining each boulevard, the streets look super festive. Check out L’As Du Falafel & Breizh Cafe, which serves Breton (a region of France) style crepes & galettes (with buckwheat flour)… it’s stupendous!! I had a banana brandy flambee crepe that I still dream of…
8. Chateau De Versailles
A good day trip from Paris, it is staggering how much wealth King Louis XVII & Marie Antoinette amassed and put into building this estate. Rent a golf cart and drive by the gardens, the hall of Mirrors is super cool too.
9. Rue Mouffetard on Latin Quarter
This boulevard is yet another foodie’s paradise, especially in the holidays. There are bakeries, fresh croissant & hot chocolate stands and chocolate shops. A personal favorite is Jeff de Bruges chocolate shop, if you happen to meet Jeff, he’s a super friendly fella, and will happily tell you about his love for Miami! If going on Christmas day or Christmas eve, arrive early, as most shops will close by 3.
10. St. Germain Du Pres at night
If you love exploring urban cities, you’ll love getting lost in the alleys and streets of St. Germain du Pres. It’s so lively, you’re bound to stumble into bars with live bands here. One of my favorite stops there is Amarino ice cream (I like ice cream in winter..and in general, okay!), where they carve ice creams like flowers on a cone. We gonna need a whole other post for food in Paris!
11. Galeries Lafayette
Paris’ biggest Christmas tree is at the Galeries Lafayette. An added bonus is the view from the terrace, but my vote is for Cafe Angelina, Paris’ most renowned chain for hot chocolate. Try L’Africain… and trust me when I tell you, it’s literally like drinking melted chocolate. I wouldn’t mind bathing in it. TMI? Perhaps.
Exactly what it sounds like: A macabre yet artistic labyrinth of underground tunnel of bones. It is colder below ground and the sight is as morbid as much as it an architectural marvel. Arrive early and prepare to wait, as there is a limit on crowds allowed.
No matter what you choose to do, Paris without a doubt, will stoke your Winter Travel Mojo!
Also published on Medium.