Christmas in Paris was something we experienced on our very first trip to the city of lights. And it made the experience absolutely magical. She was decked out in her finest jewels, the cheer of yuletide visible on the otherwise stressed and hurried Parisian faces as sweets, wine and gifts adorned every shop window, the cold making us want to step into every heated store. Christmas in Paris is definitely a wonderful time to visit, and here’s what we experienced.
Christmas in Paris: The Highlights
Paris has hundreds of Christmas markets that pop up all over the city. While I’d marked out a few that we definitely wanted to check out, we loved stumbling across rows of brightly lit stalls selling trinkets, souvenirs, gifts, mulled wine and other delectable bites. We loved walking around, sipping on hot wine, while loading our bags with lots of little gifts for friends and family back home. Particularly the markets at Trocadero (opposite the Eiffel Tower) and at Sacre Coeur were so much fun.
The Leche Vitrines
The windows of Paris are so beautiful, one really does feel like licking them (the french word for window shopping loosely translates to window licking) From delicious pastries to luxurious fashion, to the quirkiest of collections, the shop windows of Paris are so much more beautiful in Christmas.
Neither of us is religious. But even we’ve got to admit the Parisian churches have a definite allure come Christmastime. The tree outside the Notre Dame, the beautiful candles at the altar of Saint Sulpice and Saint Germaine, it all puts you in the mood. We didn’t get to attend a mass, but we wish we had.
Living in a tropical climate here in India, a real winter is always a novelty for us. In fact, Charles has yet to see snow. We’ve never had a really cold Christmas, so we absolutely loved gawking at the stylish Parisians all decked out in their winter jackets, and tried to do the same (unsuccessfully).
We’ve said this before, but we’ll repeat it here for good order, the sky in Paris looks like it’s been Photoshopped. The winter sky comes in colours we would never have imagined. Shades of blue, purple, and violet. Silhouetted against them we saw bare branches, and gothic spires. Just writing about it makes me sigh with mélancolie.
It isn’t only the well heeled Parisians that dress up for Christmas, but as we saw, several streets and buildings too. The Champs Elysées was beautiful done up, as crowds came to watch. Department stores like Les Printemps, Gibert etc, the Hôtel de Ville and loads of other buildings were bedecked in sparkly lights, making driving or walking past them an absolute pleasure. The inside of the Opera was gilded enough as is, but then a gigantic Christmas tree in the salon made it even more sparkly.
Where in the world have you seen Christmas? Did you love it?