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What to see during the holidays in Paris?

I'm heading back to Paris this Christmas (my fourth visit). I've visited the "big" sites and I'm now looking for the off-the-beaten-path places I should visit, and recommendations for great wine/champagne bars and restaurants that won't break the bank. Any recommendations? 

6 Answers

top answer by
Hervé from Ho Chi Minh City

To add to what Maurice posted, I'd suggest the Christmas tree lighting at the Galerie Lafayette. It's the most anticipated tree lighting in Paris. Usually, a French celebrity (actor, actress or someone from in the artistic profession) will light up the tree. It's not just a tree lighting though, the whole department store will be in decorated and will surely put you in a Christmas mood. See a preview of last year's lighting and decorations:

For other lightings, see,1179745.html (it's in French but maybe Google can help)

3 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

Galerie Vivienne is a great place to spend an afternoon in the winter, with shops and places to eat and drink under a beautiful glass roof.  There are four places to eat and drink wine that spill into the Galerie. 

LLes Caves Legrand Filles et Fils is a fine wine shop that has a beautiful wine bar that spills out into the Galerie.  Wines by the glass or bottle are available. along with some food.  Not inexpensive, but very nice. 

Also spilling out into the Galerie is Bistrot Vivienne, a lovely bistro which has reasonable wines by the glass and a small menu that includes cheeses from my favorite Paris cheese shop, Fromager Marie-Anne Cantin.

Less expensive and more casual, Le Bougainville is a simpler bistro with a 16€ 2-course lunch menu, and a nice little tea room called A Priori-Thé that has a nice choice of food, teas and wines by the glass.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Galerie Vivienne (attraction)
  2. Les Caves Legrand Filles et Fils (attraction)
  3. Bistrot Vivienne (restaurant)
  4. Fromager Marie-Anne Cantin (attraction)
  5. Le Bougainville (restaurant)
  6. A Priori-Thé (attraction)
3 thanks

answered first by
Brett from Eindhoven

Have you bean to the farmers market and restaurants of the Rue Mouffetard? This one one of my favorite areas of Paris, and I love staying nearby at hotels with views overlooking the Pantheon.

If you haven't spent some time visiting the Place des Vosges, this is definitely worth a visit.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  2. Place des Vosges (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Kamel from Paris

Hi Lissa,

You seem to know Paris. I can recommand you few off-the-beaten-path places here in Paris. You can go to : 

Enjoy Paris

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Canal Saint Martin (attraction)
  2. La Bellevilloise (restaurant)
  3. Marché aux Puces de Paris / Saint-ouen (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Maurice from Paris

Any time you come to Paris for Christmas you should visit the 2 big department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette Homme.

Walk for 15 minutes on the pavement along these stores and I bet you come back to the age of 7 to 9...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Printemps (attraction)
  2. Galeries Lafayette Homme (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Ben from London

Brett Domue's tips are spot on I think.  Something else perhaps - have you been up Parc de Belleville? Great views overlooking Paris.  In terms of markets, I like the Saxe-Breteuil Market behind Ecole Militaire with great views of Eiffel Tower

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Parc de Belleville (attraction)
1 thanks

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