A destination synonymous with magnificence, romance, delicate cheeses and fine wines – at times virtually irresistible. However your love affair with the French capital may reach new levels of adulation if you decide to visit during the festive season and create your own winter fairytale.
Away from the glorious honeymoon summers, Paris still remains an artisan’s dream and is arguably more magical during the winter months than at any other time of the year. The vivacious crowds light up this historic city more than ever as the essence of Christmas and the chill in the air create something truly mystical. Forget the bitter conditions and embrace a winter sojourn in this cultural nucleus of fashion, cuisine, art and architecture.
Winter signifies the low season in Paris. Forget the summer tourists and the lively crowds – this once seemingly impregnable city will now feel like it belongs to you. Instant entry to museums, galleries and its top attractions will enable you to tick off your bucket list at will.
If at any point you feel the need to escape from the freeze, simply take a pew in a heated terrace on one of the renowned pavement cafes and order a hot chocolate (chocolat). After all, one of Paris’ great wintertime pleasures is watching the city bustle by while you linger at an outdoor table.
The glimmer and glow of the Christmas markets ensure that the City of Light dazzles brightly over the festive period. The joyous aroma of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine along with the heart-warming yuletide scents of Provencal soap and spiced cinnamon adorn the jovial atmosphere.
As for the market itself, discovering inimitable and desirable gifts will be second nature as local producers and artisans sell everything that is seasonal, chic and covetable.
A Haven For Bargain Hunters
Away from the sightseeing, shopaholics will be in their element as stores cut prices throughout the city. These winter sales make it the perfect time to shop and even the most opulent of designers can slash the asking price on their newest products by up to 75 per cent. This government controlled strategy is implemented just twice a year and allows consumers to acquire luxury stock without making a sizeable perforation in their bank account.
The gastronomic sensation of the famous black truffles is the epitome of the uninhibited and uplifting tone that French food assimilates over the shorter days and colder months. Just about any restaurant worth its salt has a special black truffle dish on the menu.
Another delectable culinary treat comes in the form of a cassoulet – a rich, rustic slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France. Great food in Paris during winter is the ultimate comforting experience – it will serve to warm your appetite as well your heart.
The world’s most famous avenue illuminates the holiday season with its stunning display of lights decorating the trees that line this iconic stretch.
It is without doubt one of Europe’s greatest sights as you stroll down this majestic area of Paris and bask in the celebratory glow with many of the boutiques and department stores that you pass also immersing themselves into the Christmas spirit through vibrant displays and festive embellishment.
There is even an ice rink for skaters to utilise until early January to help those with ambitions of burning off their overindulgence of mince pies whilst they experience the scenic backdrop and unrivalled beauty of Paris – an enchanting winter wonderland.