I have been to Paris many times, but never during Christmas time. High time for a visit to the City of Lights during the festive season!
My husband doesn’t like going to big cities… so Paris is definitely not a must for him. But I always find people to join me on a trip to the capital of France! So this time I went with my youngest daughter Elizabeth.
And oh my god, were we lucky with the weather!!! So far December had been dull, grey, wet and windy and gave us about 6 hours of sun… but we picked out the one day that was bright and sunny (definitely 6 hours all in that one day!) which resulted in the most beautiful blue skies and the most amazing winter light one can imagine at the end of December.
In short… it was a fabulous day as always and we made the most of it… as always 😀 but do read on to find out what we did and to see lots of fantastic pictures.
We arrived at Bateaux Mouches at 9.45am which gave us about 11 hours to explore the City of Lights. As we wanted to get the most out of the Christmas vibes of Paris, we decided to stay in the centre, starting our walk in the direction of Avenue Montaigne and surrounding streets after taking the obligated Eiffel Tower pictures of course…
This area is very elegant: the boulevards, the façades, the cast-iron balconies, the huge doors, the designers’ stores,… all of this just screams PARIS 🙂
And how I wish I could buy stuff in those fabulous designers’ stores… but alas, we are just humble human beings so we just gazed at all the beauty that surrounded us and took pictures of the stunning, elegant, window displays and Christmas decorations.
For me the winner was definitely the Dior store on Avenue Montaigne. The façade of the store was covered in balloons and above the entrance was a massive one with festive lights. Absolutely fabulous!!! But other stores could also compete… Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Givenchy, Comme des Garçons,…
The store of Elie Saab had kept the Christmas decorations in the windows quite subtle, but the showstoppers there were the fabulous pieces of art the clothes actually are. Absolutely in love with all of it!
And then on we went towards the two most famous grands magasins of Paris: Printemps and Galeries Lafayette at the Boulevard Haussmann.
First stop: Printemps. We gazed at the moving window displays and all I could do was wonder how much time and money all these christmas decorations must have cost!!
We walked around in the massive store for a bit, but our main goal was to have lunch at the Brasserie Printemps. The brasserie is established in 1923 and is situated underneath the legendary dome.
We were there quite early so we still had a table for two. We both were quite amazed by the grandeur of this brasserie and couldn’t stop looking around. The fun thing is that there’s a mirror attached to every table, so you don’t have to look up all the time to gawk at the dome 😀
After lunch we headed towards Galeries Lafayette which is practically next door. The theme of this year’s Christmas decorations was ‘spectacular spectacular’… and that, my dearest readers, is the understatement of the year.
I just couldn’t take pictures of the window displays which attracted quite the audience… but I did manage to take some pictures inside. The decorations were all about fairground attractions and in the main hall, this gigantic inflaitable Christmas tree was hanging from the ceiling, surrounded with all these enormous pieces of candy. The fun part was that at certain times, the pieces of candy where moving up and down besides the Christmas tree.
With the Christmas decorations, the store wanted to reawaken the child within its visitors. Well they certainly succeeded with me as I was gazing at this spectacle with wide open eyes… mission accomplished!
My intention was to go up on the roof terrace of Printemps to enjoy the view over Paris as I had seen that on Galeries Lafayette before. But the upper floors of Printemps are currently closed, so we decided to enjoy the views from the roof terrace of Galeries Lafayette.
As we were so lucky with the weather, we could see Paris in all its glory… and even though I had taken pictures before on my previous visit to the rooftop terrace of Galeries Lafayette, I couldn’t resist taking plenty more… (because ok, the view is the same, but the light is so different in winter!!).
Well, so far for part I of this travelpost about ‘Christmas in Paris’. Make sure to come back next week where I will tell you about how we spent the rest of our day but first, scroll all the way to see more pictures of this first part!
Have you ever been to Paris during Christmas time?