Winter Wonderland: Unforgettable Activities to Experience in Paris During the Winter Season

december 2023

Whether you are seeking a romantic escape, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, winter in Paris promises an array of unforgettable experiences. So, pack your bags, and let the City of Lights dazzle you this winter!

Why visit Paris in Winter?

Visiting Paris is enchanting all year round, but there’s something truly magical about the City of Light during the winter season. From fewer crowds to festive decorations, there are several compelling reasons to plan a winter visit to this iconic destination.

Lower tourist crowds

Winter in Paris offers a unique serene charm, often missed by the summer crowds. The crisp air of January whispers through the less crowded streets, allowing visitors to savor the city’s authentic ambiance. Museums, landmarks, and attractions will provide a more relaxed experience, and you will spend significantly less time waiting in line.

Festive atmosphere

As the holiday season approaches, Paris adorns itself with twinkling lights, Christmas markets, and festive decorations. Each arrondissement competes in beauty, decked out in decorations that make walking through Paris feel like stepping into a winter fairytale with the scent of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts filling the air. Christmas is coming!

Lower prices

Afraid your December trip to Paris will go over your budget? The city can be surprisingly economical during the off-peak season of the winter months. You will find that hotels offer warm, inviting rooms and that flights and attractions are often more affordable than the bustling summer months. It will give you the perfect opportunity to indulge in a delicious French meal or to treat yourself to other experiences like a unique show or piece of art!

Things to do in Paris in Winter

1.The Féerie Show

Start your winter in Paris with an unforgettable Parisian cabaret experience showcasing talent, music, and dance. The Moulin Rouge’s Féerie show is a visual treat that will fill you and your loved ones with wonder and joyfulness. Let’s celebrate!

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© Moulin Rouge
© Mac Millar

2.Visit the Eiffel Tower

Would a trip to Paris be complete without a visit to the classic “Tour Eiffel”? With shorter lines, you can enjoy panoramic views of Paris blanketed in snow or take a romantic evening visit when the Eiffel Tower is illuminated.

3.Explore Montmartre

If you can’t get enough height, you can also go up the hill overlooking the city to the district of Montmartre, synonymous with art and history. Stroll through its beautiful cobblestone streets, visiting the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and you will be savoring one of the city’s best views.

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© Ekaterina Pokrovsky
montmartre paris
© kavalenkava
sacré coeur paris montmartre
© Nicole Ciscato

4.Shop on the Champs-Elysées

From luxury boutiques to Parisian cafés, the Champs-Elysées is always brilliant. But it becomes a shopper’s paradise during the holiday season, transforming into a festive promenade with Christmas markets, lights, and decorations.

5. Discover the Louvre Museum

Visiting the Louvre allows you to witness some of the world’s most famous art without the throngs of summer tourists at the heart of the city. Take your time admiring the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo.

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illuminations champs elysées
© Arco / G. Lacz
louvre paris
© Alberto Grosescu

6. Visit Notre-Dame Cathédrale

While it’s undergoing restoration, Notre-Dame is a must-see. It still stands as a beacon of French Gothic architecture and history, as well as a true testament to the city’s resilience and artistry. There is no visiting the inside as of yet, but you can always find great views of the Notre-Dame Cathedral by walking around the place, coming across booksellers and the Seine River.

7. Enjoy a River cruise

If you are looking for a warmer way to visit the city, admire the Paris’ landmarks as they glisten in the winter light, and sip on hot beverages during your river cruise along the Seine.

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croisiere sur la seine
© John Kellerman
notre dame paris
© UlyssePixel

8. Explore the Marais

You can also keep warm by exploring Paris’s rich history in the Marais district during a cold day. Perfect for a walking tour, the Marais is known for its charming boutiques, galleries, vibrant Jewish quarter, and historic architecture.

9. Warm up with French food

Take advantage of the weather! Winter is the perfect time to indulge in the best French cuisine with a glass of wine at cozy bistros and restaurants. From hearty stews to exquisite pastries, you will feel the Christmas spirit with each meal as a warm embrace on a cold day. Great food also warms up the soul.

10. Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles

Want to spend the day outside the city? Visit the opulent Palace of Versailles. Marking the pathway to his château in the central Palace of Versailles, you will first meet Louis XIV, the former King of France on his horse. Then walk up the newly restored golden gates and check the royal palace. If the weather is not too cold, enjoy its vast gardens which are stunning in the winter light, with fewer visitors and a serene atmosphere.

11. Dance at the Moulin Rouge Machine

But spending your winter in Paris is not just about studious days visiting monuments: for those looking to experience the Parisian nightlife, lose yourselves to the beats at the iconic Moulin Rouge Machine where you can dance the night away.

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chateau de versailles
© Mister_Knight
la machine du moulin rouge
© infininegatif

Where to stay in Paris?

Let’s imagine your winter holiday and pick your hotel among Paris’ enchanting districts.

Montmartre

If you want to see the Eiffel Tower while on a budget, stay amidst artists and dreamers. Montmartre provides a picturesque and bohemian backdrop to your Parisian getaway, sitting on top of the city.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Culture, boutiques, and cafes: this setting is more Parisian than Paris itself. The historical downtown Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, famous for its vibrant cafe culture, is a favorite among visitors with a taste for literary and existential wanderings in a more upscale setting.

Latin Quarter

Spend your winter in Paris surrounded by the warmth of bookshops, cafes, and historic sites! The Latin Quarter is rich in history and home to the Sorbonne University. It is lively with a youthful and intellectual spirit and offers affordable accommodations.

Le Marais

For a trendy and vibrant stay, look no further than Le Marais. Boasting a blend of history and trendiness, this center area provides a diverse range of stay options, from luxurious boutique hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts.

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