Christmas in Paris is almost here and the markets are up and bubbling with mulled wine on the Champs Elysees, Montmartre and tons of other parts of the city. If you can manage the crowd it’s an interesting experience to walk the one on the Champs, eat from the French food stalls (cheese and sausages, fries, crepes etc) and just wander along with other people enjoying their time in Paris. Remember to look out for pickpockets though – you know we’re in a big metropolitan city.
Funnily enough I was recently interview by The local for my Paris Christmas tips and to be honest I do the same thing every year – so my responses were a bit – well for lack of a better word – boring. And they called me out on it – hahaha. That’s usually because I try to leave the city to see family and friends.
This year though I’m staying put, though so searching for ways to make my Parisian experience super christmasy, which includes first buying a christmas tree from Leader Price (kind of the poor version of Franprix) in Montmartre (because it’s so much cheaper here than at a florist). And getting decorations at Hema and BHV Marais.
Also the blog will host a pop-up Christmas Brunch in Montmartre – followed by a walking tour of the neighborhood.
Moving on to regular programing for our monthly things to do:
Hit up the typical department stores like Printemps (also go to the rooftop for the view and photos of aerial Paris!), Galleries Lafayette is just next door to Printemps so worth hopping over. There are lots to see in this Opera area of Paris.
But there are many streets that offer more “independent” and equally charming shopping experiences such as Rue Montmartre close to Etienne Marcel and Rue Montorgueil – just wander around here for a few hours and crisscross all the side streets and you’ll find funky Japanese streetwear clothes (Kokon to zaï) to bike shops (En selle Marcel), french darling kids brand (Bonpoint), Vintage shop and hip spot (Kiliwatch) , Beauty products (Aesop), get the best croissant of your life at the oldest bakery in Paris (Stohrer), stop in for a tea (Kodama).
SEE all these places and more in the GUIDE TO ETIENNE MARCEL
There’s a few places fit for a lovely christmas dinner and a few places that are new to the Parisian cool scene listed below:
Paris by Mouth has a great list of places that will be open for the christmas holidays (only a handful on christmas day itself though!)
Animal Kitchen inside Point Ephemere will send you a culinary voyage of your life – seriously it’s an interesting mix of tapas but with a slight asian and french twist, and has hands down the damn best burger I’ve had in 2016!
Paradis Marguerite is a new Vegetarian high-end restaurant close to the Seine River that’s perfect for a lunch or dinner date. We especially loved the in-house smoothies – like the mango one topped with real lavender! They have lots of vegan and gluten-free options too.
Biglove Caffe just opened up in the Marais by the Big Mamma group family in the old Rose Bakery spot and let me tell you guys everyone is praising their gluten-free pizza and that makes up for the very long wait to get in!
Hobo is a new coffee shop that serves healthy food and bagels on rue faubourg St. martin.
La Colonie is a cool new art and media space for minority voice in Paris, has a cool bar and lounge space close to Gare de l’est.
DINNER EVENT : A FAIRE CUIRE UN OEUF – will host a dinner at Bob’s Bake shop in support of the refugees – and the uber cool french artist Julia Jean-Baptiste will perform with her band! All good fun for a good cause.
Hotel Secret Paris Design has a prime location to discover both Pigalle (75009) or the up and coming trendy neighborhood of Batignolles (75017)!
A tiny boutique hotel that’s perfect for a first time visit to Paris at a reasonable price. They have a super friendly staff and Parisian inspired decorated rooms like the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Musee d’Orsay are a few examples.
Free and fast wi-fi, bathtubs (rare in Paris for the smaller hotels) and they serve a “real” breakfast as in you will find more than the typical croissants and baguette with jam. You can get some of the comforts of home like scrambled eggs and lots of juice options.
One of the best hidden gems (well as the time I thought it was hidden!) but this spot is one of the hippest place to grab a cocktail from one of the best mixers in Paris. Close to metro abbesses, and the beer selection is killer perfectly designed by the expert Beer consultant and fellow Parisian blogger Tasting Nitch.
There are tons of ice skating rinks around Paris – my favorite is always the one at Hotel de Ville – but you can also find some more here: see our guide from 2015
Time out Paris has done a great job listing the WINTER EXHIBITIONS here .
If you’re in the mood to see a broadway show in Paris go see 42nd Street at Theatre du Chatelet! It’s in English guys and the costumes will wow you Not to mention the inside of the theatre is something of a historical feat with the old decor and rustic Parisian charm.
Oh here we go! As they saw the best things in life are what? haha.
There is a free exhibition at Hotel de Ville museum on Iconic French comedian Coluche.