Created by Margaret Tully.
Are you looking for a wonderful city to travel to for Christmas?
Paris is an elegant city at any time of the year but over the festive period it turns everything up a notch. The amount of lights used to decorate nearly every tree within the centre is astounding and mesmerizing. Your eyes will dart around seeking out all the little changes made to each and every piece of well known architecture and the smells and sounds of Christmas are all around you wherever you go.
The Christmas Markets
Every year the wooden huts are erected, and lots of wonderful German inspired goods go on sale. The atmosphere within the markets is one of warmth and the intoxicating aromas of mulled wine, freshly baked biscuits and melting marshmallows with chocolate on top – torment the taste buds. These markets are positioned all over the city, and there are over one dozen of them, so you will always manage to find yourself within the realm of these little worlds. They are decorated with many lights and garlands of tinsel, and the cold and crisp Parisian nights seem warmer, of course that could be the mulled wine?
The Champs Elysée is decorated to within an inch of its life, every tree has been adorned with baubles and lights of different colours, some flashing and others static. The shop fronts are always beautiful but at this time of the year they are magical, especially the patisserie; the cakes and little pastries displayed en mass and the stacked macaroons in every colour of the rainbow, dominate the windows; wonderfully wrapped for you by the friendly assistants, a ready made gift for your loved ones. Chocolates and sweet treats are traditionally given at Christmas along with perfume, which is also displayed in attractive window fronts. The shops are often very traditionally decorated and can look like an image from a Charles Dickens novel, which is romantic and enticing. The Eiffel tower is lit with strong strobe lighting that shoots out of the top of this wonderful feat of engineering, your senses are stretched in this intoxicating city, especially in the evening when the lights are at their best.
Warm and welcoming fine dining is the only option when visiting Paris, as there is no other choice, every restaurant and café strives to be the best. The ambience, the décor, the food and the presentation is always considered – you will be spoilt with the views from some of these eateries, overlooking the city at height, or on a busy street; with a picturesque bay window table – looking out at the Parisian shoppers with such style and glamour – buying their Christmas presents and the wonderful food for the Christmas day feast. You can also enjoy visiting local food markets, or stylish delicatessens that sell a wonderful choice of cheeses, wines and an array of condiments.
Around the city there is always wonderful art galleries to visit through the day, especially the Louvre, which houses the Mona Lisa. There are lots of wonderful department stores, that are also elaborately decorated internally, with giant Christmas trees climbing through the centre of the multi level floors of the shops. And most of them have wonderful Christmas shops so you can buy your special piece of Parisian inspired decoration for your own tree.
There is a Ferris wheel and a carousel, an ice rink that is a great hit with people of all age groups. There are the markets of course and let’s not forget the religious aspect to this holiday – Notre Dame cathedral is an outstanding building and a very special place to visit. It is a vast and mature building both in and out and has a wonderful spiritual feel when you enter it, without being austere or off putting. You can also take a trip up the river Seine on a barge, which gives you a wonderful view of all the attractions. Another quite new activity that you can get involved in is walking tours around the city, one is themed around culinary delights which is quite a novel idea.
Last but by no means least, there are wonderful cabaret and musical shows on, around the city, and the famous Moulin Rouge is definitely worth a visit; you can see the French can can dancing and enjoy a meal and a glass or two of wine.
We mustn’t forget that Disneyland Paris is not that far from the main city and is a fantastic place for the whole family to visit. During the festive period there are many shows on and lots of firework displays and themed areas depicting mini Christmas’s in other parts of the world. You can buy day passes, so it is always something to consider when you are in town.
Paris is a fully charged and ready city, that just loves Christmas!