When I found out Adam was just half an hour outside of Paris by train, I knew we had to tack on a few days in Paris before jetting off to Berlin for Christmas. One reason: to see the Paris Christmas markets and the city all decked out for the holidays! Paris certainly did not disappoint. Everything was decorated for Christmas- from the train station to the restaurants to the sidewalks to the national monuments. I absolutely love holiday decorations and felt like I was whipping out my camera every five seconds (probably because I was!), but it really was that good. You can read more about the Christmas markets of Paris here.
As I mentioned during my October break, Galeries Lafayette is seriously underrated as a beautiful spot in Paris. Best part is: it gets even better for Christmas!
Christmas market on the Champs-Elysées
By far my favorite marché de Noel in Paris was along the most famous street in the city! From the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, both sides of the street were lined with chalets selling sweets, wine, pastries, hot meals, souvenirs, clothing…Its not for nothing that they say ¨Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées¨! (Except for corn dogs, as Adam pointed out. No corn dogs on the Champs-Elysées). There was a ferris wheel, ice skating rink, even a faux-haunted house and horror movie cinema…because its Halloween, I guess?
Christmas market at Notre Dame
There is a small artisanal Christmas market right across the street from the famous cathedral. This one was mostly high-end boutique fare and gourmet snacks, and made such a pretty backdrop to the cathedral!
Christmas market at the Eiffel Tower
The marche de Noel next to France’s most famous landmark lined the Champs de Mars leading up to the Eiffel Tower. It was smaller than the Champs Elysees market but also boasted a skating rink and adorable chalets full of hot chocolate, scarves, and other goodies, Its an incredible place to get some Christmas cheer!
Strolling around Paris at Christmas
In addition to the main Christmas-centric sights, we did some wandering and just took in the atmostphere of Paris in the winter, while checking out some new sights.
Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis
Paris has two natural islands in the Seine river-the ancient foundations of what is now the French capital. Ile de la Cite is the most well known, as Notre Dame sits upon it. We got a chance to check out Ile St Louis as well for the first time- its an upscale residential neighborhood of Paris with plenty of cute cafes and restaurants. We didnt see a lot of it, though, because it started to pour!
And of course, sunset-watching at the Eiffel Tower! It wasnt really cold in Paris, so we were happy enough to sit and watch the sun set behind the Eiffel.
Have you been to Paris at Christmas? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!