Kate McCulley a RoamRight Blog Author

The Best of Paris at Christmas


Of all the places to visit during the Christmas season, there are a few icons: New York for shopping and Rockefeller Center; Finland for Santa's village; the Caribbean for the anti-White Christmas. But what about somewhere a bit more elegant, a bit more cosmopolitan, a bit more romantic?

There's Paris. The City of Lights is at its brightest during Christmas time, when the whole city gets swept up in the holiday spirit. Here are the best ways to enjoy the Christmas season in Paris:

Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets pop up around the city in late November and stay throughout the holidays. Of all the markets, the one at La Defense is known for being one of the best; there are also markets in Montmartre and at the eastern end of the Champs-Elysees by the Place de la Concorde. At these markets you can find handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list, plus all the crepes, raclette and hot wine you can consume.

Ice Skating

Is there anything more romantic than ice-skating at Christmas in the world's most romantic city? The Hotel de Ville has always been a place to ice skate throughout the winter, and during the Christmas season, the atmosphere has never been cheerier. Alternately, hit up the Champs-Elysees Christmas Market for an outlandish ice-skating rink featuring blaring music and animatronic animal puppets!

Festive Montmartre

It might seem unnecessary to pick out one Paris neighborhood as being more Christmassy than the others – but if there had to be one, it would be Montmartre. In the Place du Tertre, the famous square filled with artists and their subjects, strings of bright blue lights hang on the trees, while the surrounding cafes are each illuminated in a different bright color.

People-Watching in Saint-Germain

Finally, if you've visited Paris in the warmer months, you've no doubt sat outdoors at a café, enjoying a coffee or glass of red wine and watching the world go by. But who says you can’t do the same in the winter? Most Parisian cafes have nondescript heating lamps beneath the roofs, allowing you to make sitting outside a year-round activity.

Store Displays

Paris is already home to some of the world's most elegant department stores, designer fashions and often ostentatious displays. As you might expect, these go into overdrive during Christmastime. Be sure not to miss the shopping center Galeries Lafayette, with its dome and Belle Epoque architecture, as well as the chic Au Printemps and Le Bon Marche stores on the left bank. Afterward, head to the Champs-Elysees, Paris' most famous street and gawk at the holiday displays and giant Christmas bows that line the streets.

Christmas is a magical time of year in many cities – but in Paris, you might have your most memorable Christmas of all.

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Kate McCulley

Kate McCulley, a RoamRight Blog Author Kate McCulley, better known as Adventurous Kate, has been a full-time travel blogger for more than 2.5 years. She specializes in independent and solo travel for women, and is particularly interested in budget adventure travel. Kate is originally from the Boston area and has most recently lived in London. She has been to more than 30 countries on 5 continents. Kate is currently traveling with her partner Mario and taking photos for SomeoneOnceToldMe.com. Their goal is to get 1000 photos and stories from people around the world. Visit Kate's site at AdventurousKate.com and follow her on Twitter at @adventurouskate. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus.

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