6 Reasons to Visit Paris in Winter

6 Reasons to Visit Paris in Winter

Do you ever really need a reason to visit Paris? I think not, but winter is actually a really great time to visit, even though spring in Paris gets all the glory.

Prices are Great

Eiffel Tower

Our total for airfare and lodging for 3 people for 4 days in Paris in November was about $2000!

Winter is low season in Paris.  We visited over Thanksgiving weekend, which turned out to be a great time to visit Paris.  Our flights were under$450–less than it would cost us to fly to many places domestically on the busiest travel day of the year.

We also got a great rate on our hotel in Paris–about €175 for a triple room at Hôtel Albe Saint Michel. We loved this hotel! They were very accommodating when we needed to cancel one of our rooms, and upgraded us to a room on the corner of the hotel with a balcony and fantastic view of the neighborhood below.   Hôtel Albe is about a block from the Seine and just a couple of blocks from Notre Dame in the Latin Quarter, which is filled with cafes and shops.   Hôtel Albe Saint Michel made a great home base for exploring Paris.

Since we saved so much on our travel expenses, we had plenty of cash to do our Christmas shopping in Paris!

Fewer Crowds

The other big benefit to winter travel is fewer crowds. Although we had heard tales of long lines and crowds at the Eiffel Tower, we had no lines to pass through security with out pre-purchased tickets–and we had timed our visit just before sunset so that we could see the city both during the day and at night!

We were also able to visit the Towers of Notre Dame–something you can’t pre-book–with only about a 20-minute wait.

 Christmas Markets

Germany may be renowned for its Christmas markets, but they aren’t too shabby in Paris, either.  There are many to choose from, but we visited the one on the Champs-Elysées.  All of the streets along the way are beautifully lit and lined with vendors of every kind.  We enjoyed stuffing ourselves with every kind of food imaginable and shopping along the way.

Among my teenagers’ favorite things was the children’s area.  It was filled with goofy animal dioramas, and we loved the kitschiness of it. Papa Noel was there, so we had to get a pic!

Tip: Visit the Champs-Elysées Christmas market during the week.  We tried going back on a Saturday night and the crowds were so intense that I feared for our safety.

Mulled Wine

mulled wine

Along with Christmas Markets comes mulled wine.  I had not experienced mulled wine before Paris, and now I am addicted.  I had to find a recipe once I got home and made a huge batch for Christmas!

Don’t worry if you arrive after the Christmas markets close, we found mulled wine all over Paris.

Christmas Shopping & Windows

Did you know that even Paris shops have Black Friday sales? We saw many shops advertising Black Friday deals.  They tended to be shops we could find at home, but not always.

We did much of our shopping at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, a huge department store in the 9th arrondissement. There was truly something for everyone within, and it was gorgeously decorated for the holidays. We were even more delighted when we went outdoors and found the Christmas windows–a series of vignettes with animated paper bears.

The Weather is Nice

I was afraid that we would be cold and miserable in late November, but that wasn’t the case at all.  It was cool, but we were comfortable walking around in mid-weight jackets, scarves, and hats, and we walked a lot. The girls picked up these Uniqlo down jackets (one of those Black Friday Deals!) and they are the perfect weight for winter weather in Paris and pack down super small.

 

6 Reasons to Visit Paris in Winter

I am a 40-something lawyer and mom of 3 teenage girls. I love exploring new places, and when I can't be on the road, I'm planning my next trip. Over the years, I've learned a lot about how to travel in a pack of five. Our trips range from budget-friendly road trips with the family, to more luxurious trips for work, either solo or with my husband, Kenny.

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