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Visit Paris in winter

Posted on December 20, 2018 by Hailey in

Paris is visited all year long for the wealth of its historic and cultural heritage. While the capital city shivers under the cold or puts on its white coat, it continues to bring crowds and seduce Parisian people and vacationers. Offering many activities to enjoy the pleasures of winter and the holiday season, Paris has become a must-see city to discover in winter.

Come to Paris in winter: pack your suitcase

During the winter period, temperatures range from 96 F° to 256 F°. It is recommended to provide things accordingly. When packing your suitcase, do not forget to wear warm clothes, with hat, scarf and gloves to enjoy the city without shivering. Far from the clichés attributed to the city, rainfalls are not more frequent in winter than in summer. Remember to bring a hooded jacket and/or an umbrella. It is also essential to have comfortable shoes and thick socks to walk around the city all day long.

Winter festivities: entertainment and illuminations

If you visit Paris between November and early January, you can admire the Christmas lights that are present in each district. At that time of the year, the city sparkles for a magical show that continues to marvel both the youngest and the oldest ones.

Streets and Shops lighting

More than 150 streets are decorated and illuminated each year, to the delight of young and old alike. Among the must-see sites:

  • – Champs-Elysées Avenue
  • – Faubourg Saint-Honoré Street
  • – Montaigne Avenue
  • – …

Many monuments are also illuminated for this occasion:

  • – Eiffel Tower
  • – Arc de Triomphe
  • – Opéra Garnier
  • – …

Faithful to tradition, the windows of Parisian department stores are animated with automatons and enchanting decorations:

  • – The Galeries Lafayette on “The Dream factory” theme
  • – The Printemps Haussmann on “The magical Christmas worlds” theme
  • – The BHV Marais on “Marry Poppins ” theme


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Christmas markets and animations

Various Christmas markets are offered during the festivities period:

  • – La Défense Christmas Market (until December 29th, 2018)
  • – Christmas magic at the Tuileries garden (until January 6th, 2019)
  • – Les Halles Christmas Market (until January 6th, 2019)
  • – Champ de Mars Christmas Market (until January 6th, 2019)


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The holiday season is also the opportunity to put on your skates and fully enjoy the ephemeral rinks that are set up all over the city. This year, between December and early January, the Grand Palais, the roof of the Grande Arche of La Défense, the Tuileries garden and the Halles department store become completely frosty and offer a huge sliding area for skating enthusiasts.

You don’t want to miss anything from the show? Book a panoramic bus tour and admire the most beautiful Christmas decorations in Paris with PARISCityVISION !

February 5th, 2019, Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year date depends on the moon calendar, which means that it can vary from one year to another. It is always between January 21rst and February 19th of our calendar.

This winter, the Chinese New Year will take place on February 5th, 2019. We will enter the year of the Earth Pig. For the occasion, Paris organizes many events around the Chinese New Year. Parades, dances, songs and shows flourish and resound in the streets of the city and especially in the 13th arrondissement where the Chinese community is very present.


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Strolling, activities and winter discoveries

Winter is the occasion to (re)discover the city differently. Even in winter, stroll around the streets of Paris to enjoy the beauty of the city, from Montmartre to Saint Germain passing by the Ile de la Cité. For Christmas time, the forecourt of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral welcomes a magnificent Christmas tree. If the weather is not favorable to outdoor walks, plan indoor activities.

Shopping: markets and department stores

Treat yourself to a shopping trip in Paris in January to take advantage of winter sales. They start on the first Wednesday of January and lasts 5 weeks.

The department stores and shopping centers in the heart of Paris welcome you all year long. The very modern Forum des Halles offers under its canopy nearly 130 shops and twenty restaurants and eating places. You can also plan a shopping trip to La Vallée Village Luxury Outlet, a huge shopping center that offers great deals all year round.

Museums and exhibitions spaces

Museums and cultural institutions are comfortable and pleasant in winter. The Louvre museum, the Centre Pompidou or the Musée d’Orsay, to name the most famous, welcome you and present their permanent collections as well as temporary exhibitions.

If you are interested in art, you won’t be disappointed this winter. While walking around Montmartre, stop by to discover the exhibition « Artists in Montmartre, places and mythical workshops » which is on display at the Montmartre Museum until January 20th, 2019. Until January 27th, 2019, the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris is presenting the exhibition « The Asia dreamt by Yves Saint Laurent » highlighting unique haute couture pieces inspired by Asia. At the MAD museum Nissim de Camondo, you can discover the exhibition route « The art of living according to Moses de Camondo » until March 10th, 2019. The exhibition organized by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, « Jean Jacques Lequeu (1757 – 1826) Fantasy builder » runs until March 31rst, 2019 at the Petit Palais.

Nature lovers, discover the fauna and flora while staying warm by opting for a tour of the large greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes or a visit to the Porte Dorée aquarium for example.


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Gourmet and invigorating breaks

During your day, take a gourmet break to enjoy a hot chocolate. Get comfortable in Pierre Hermé’s tea room for a moment of sweetness or let yourself be tempted by Jacques Genin’s delicious chocolate and pastries.

Enjoy Paris until the end of the night. The streets are lightening up, the garlands are glittering, and the cabarets are filling up. Book your seats and enjoy the show of one of the most famous cabaret in the world.

Paris by night in winter

If night falls quickly in winter, Paris never falls asleep. You can experience the magic and the romanticism of a Seine river dinner cruise: warmly seated behind the window, you will admire the banks of the Seine and some of the most beautiful monuments in Paris while enjoying a delicious meal.

Extend your night discovery of Paris with a cabaret show: the Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse or Paradis Latin are part of Parisian institutions and embody a certain French way of life. The light and colorful outfits of the dancers will make you forget the cold winter!

Paris in winter… and in all seasons!

A true capital of art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, the reputation of the city of lights is well established. The iconic monuments and the essential events continue to impose their influence abroad. Visiting Paris in winter allows you to discover one of the most beautiful city in the world in a different light.

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