While many people dream of sipping wine on terraces in Paris during the summer, there are plenty of excellent reasons to visit Paris in the winter. Paris comes alive during the colder holiday months and looks beautiful covered in colorful Christmas lights.
The Top 10 Things to do in Paris in the Winter
No list of the top 10 things to do in Paris in the winter would be complete without the best holiday ice skating locations. France’s biggest ice-skating rink, the Grand Palais des Glaces in the 8th arrondissement, is usually open from December to January. You can also check out the ice-skating rink in Champs de Mars’ Christmas village at the foot of the Eiffel tower.
Walk through the Christmas markets
Traditional Christmas markets can be found all over Paris from the end of November to the beginning of January. Three of my favorites are the Marché de Noel at Notre Dame, Le Village de Noel at Les Halles, and the Abbesses Christmas Market at Montmartre.
Shop the winter sales
Paris is a perfect place to do your winter holiday gift shopping, thanks to its impressive sales. Whether you prefer to shop inside Paris’ legendary department stores on Boulevard Haussmann (the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps) or wander down the famous Champs-Elysées, you are bound to find incredible sales (and new goodies)!
See a performance
Luckily, Paris’ National Opera house and theaters are in full swing during the winter months. Enjoying Paris’ performance scene is a fabulous way to learn about French culture and enjoy world class art, so be sure to find your way over to one of Paris’’ stunning theaters after dinner at least once during your trip!
Experience Le Festival de Merveilleux
At the end of every year since 2009, the Pavillons de Bercy Musée des Arts Forains has opened its doors for 10 days of performances. You can enjoy dancers, storytellers, magicians, musicians, and other artists during this magical 10-day period. You are sure to feel like you are in an old, enchanting village.
Check out Paris Fashion Week
Go onto the site of the Fédération de la Haute Culture et de la Mode to see if any fashion week events are happening during your next trip. These events are sure to satisfy all of your expectations of Paris as a fashion capital of the world! Don’t forget your camera!
Look at the window displays at Galleries Lafayette
The windows of this legendary Parisian department store are decorated with animated figures, imaginary scenes, and dreamlike worlds during the winter months. They are designed by professional, expert craftsmen and decorators and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike!
Experience Les Enchanteurs de Noel
For a couple of days in December, you can visit the historic Château de Vincennes for a wonderful journey through time. About one hundred artists fill this medieval town to provide you with an unforgettable indoor and outdoor experience that is so much more than a simple performance.
Explore Paris’ museums
No matter when you decide to visit Paris, you have to visit at least one of its world class museums. My personal favorite is Le Musée D’Orsay, home to the most important collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Check out our post about the best museums in Paris for some other ideas.
Eat pastries and drink hot chocolate
I truly believe that one of the top 10 things to do in Paris in the winter is to curl up in a café or bistro with a book while you drink hot chocolate and eat French pastries. Be sure to grab a seat close to the window, so you can glance up and watch the snow fall.
I hope that this post has made you excited for your winter trip to Paris! If you want more help planning your dream trip to France, reach out to us here at ParisByM. We would love to get to know you and help you organize your stay.