A visit to Paris in winter is a truly magical experience. From mid November through to mid January, twinkling fairy lights adorn the city's boulevards, whilst pop-up Christmas Markets blanket town squares like snow.
But it can be hard to know where to start, and it's easy to miss some of the best festive aspects (not to mention culinary delights!) without a local guide.
Whether it's your first visit to Paris, or you've done the tourist thing and now you're looking to experience Paris through the eye's of a local, to find out where and what Parisians eat, see and do in wintertime – then this guide is for you.
See all the key icons from a different perspective, and more importantly, discover the hidden gems of the French capital as I take you on an unforgettable Winter Wonderland adventure.
Your exciting Paris discovery starts right in the heart of the action today as we trace the historical axis through the centre of Paris. See the Champs-Élysées bathed in the gentle glow of fairy lights, and soak up the festive cheer at the vibrant Christmas Market. Discover La Défense, a region overlooked by many visitors to the city but one well worth a visit, and no more so than at Christmastime. Meander through two incredible manicured gardens that are art forms in themselves, before immersing yourself in the grandeur of the Louvre – free from the maddening crowds.
Take in the fast-paced atmosphere along Paris bustling Grands Boulevards today. Admire the intricate Christmas window displays and get swept up in the pre-Christmas shopping mood. Then, for a change of pace we’ll take in the enchanting covered galleries hidden along the small side streets just steps from the Opera Garnier. See how the other half live with a visit to the Place Vendome, then get set for a fun-filled afternoon ice skating at the Hotel de Ville, which has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland. This evening, I'll show you how to dine on the prestigious Rue St-Honoré, without breaking the bank.
Step back in time a little today and imagine the Paris of years gone by as we explore the historic Left Bank. Picture Hemingway and Sartre whiling away their days in the cafés here and discover a secret about Paris’ oldest bridge. Today is also a feast for the senses as we take in a true Left Bank gourmet haven and an ever-popular-with-locals market. I'll show you the best places to indulge in seasonal, and quintessentially French, dishes for lunch and dinner.
Montmartre sits high in the north of Paris and evokes an intimate village atmosphere. Follow me as we take the back streets, far from the tourist trail to discover the hidden gems and iconic sights from a different angle. In wintertime Montmartre really comes to life with two gorgeous Christmas Markets filling town squares with delicious smells and an infectious sense of festive merriment. Visit one of Paris’ lesser-known museums and the ‘other’ cemetery in Paris. Stop off for a drink in Les Deux Moulins, made famous by the movie ‘Amelie’, before dining at a less-visited Paris institution this evening.
If you have any questions at all, my email address is provided in the itinerary. I look forward to sharing my best tips and hottest Parisian addresses with you!