Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Magic in Paris

Christmas is coming, and where better to spend this merry time of year than in one of the most magical cities in the world? Paris certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to winter festivities; you’ll find the city streets lavishly decorated with Christmas lights and street vendors selling hot chestnuts and winter warming crêpes on every street corner. The whole city comes to life with a Christmas buzz as the 25th of December fast approaches… Be sure to not miss out on any of the Parisian winter magic this year!

Shop till you drop.
I’m sure you’re aware that Paris is a prime shopping destination throughout the year, however to experience ‘la crème de la crème’ of Parisian shopping, the weeks building up to Christmas are without a doubt the most special shopping weeks of all. Everything from high street shops to department stores to small and exclusive boutiques make an exceptional effort and although the sales officially start in January, they will often offer their customers fantastic winter deals – perfect if you’re looking to get good value for your money on Christmas gifts! The fabulous 10 story shopping centre - Galleries Lafayette is particularly impressive at this time of year. You’ll find an enormous Christmas tree in the middle of the building and each of the 63 stores are immaculately decorated.

There are also many Christmas markets where you’ll find handmade arts and crafts, typical French sweet treats such as nougat and Yule log, and much more! They’re the perfect place to pick up a unique French present or two. The biggest market stretches all the way along the Champs-Elysées to Place de la Concorde. There are also two markets which feature a ‘Santa’s Village’ where you have the chance to meet the big guy himself! They’re both located in the 6th arrondissement; Sant-Supice and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Get your skates on!
There is nothing more magical than wrapping up in your favourite coat, hat, gloves and scarf and going ice-skating in an open-air ice rink. Parisians are no exception – the city offers several ice-skating options. For an unforgettable experience it is actually possible to ice-skate on the Eiffel Tower! If you fancy gliding through the air; this 57 foot high ice-rink holds up to 80 daring ice-skaters at once. For something more down to earth (and a much shorter queue!) the much larger ice-rink outside Hotel de Ville is an equally festive and enjoyable experience.

Time to meet Mickey Mouse…
If you’re in Paris with children or you just want to let your inner-child loose, than a visit to Disneyland Paris is a must! The theme park goes out of its way to fully embrace the Christmas sprit. With special shows and parades, characters and staff in Christmas themed costumes and even a Disney themed Christmas market, there’s no better time to experience the magic of Disney.

Don’t forget to relax
After a hectic day of running around Paris admiring the sights, lights and shops you’ll certainly appreciate a warm and welcoming place to go back to. The best option for those after a relaxing and enjoyable holiday is to rent a Paris apartment. There are plenty of Paris apartments for rent in the city centre and renting an apartment is an easy way to bring convenience, luxury and space during your stay in Paris.

Photo credits - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/4175210166/sizes/m/in/photostream/
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