A number of years ago I spent New Year’s Eve with my friend Laurie in Paris. While some would prefer visiting in the Spring (aka “April in Paris”), winter in Paris can be wonderful. Here are some things to consider:
Visiting Paris In December and January
Sit At An Outdoor cafe
They have heaters, so you can still “people watch” and won’t get cold, especially if you order a Vin Chaud, which is hot, spiced wine.
Everywhere. The French know how to decorate, after all.
Ice Skating Rink
Outside the Hotel de Ville
On the Champs Elysee and in the Place Vendome. Beautiful.
There are a number of winter markets scattered throughout Paris where they sell vin chaud, cheese and many other foods, gifts, and toys. The one on the Champs Elysee is particularly large.
Angelina’s Hot Chocolate
Great excuse to have one of the renowned “African” hot chocolate drinks. It is rich. It is dark. It will be the best hot chocolate you have ever had.
Ride The Ferris Wheel:
At Place de la Concorde at night: the view of the city lights are spectacular. Be sure to get a seat by a window, otherwise, you won’t really get a great view of the Champs Elysee, in particular.
New Year’s Eve: Oysters and Steak For Dinner
New Year’s Eve coincidentally takes place on ‘Saint-Sylvester’s Eve and is celebrated with a feast and we did with oysters, steak, and wine.
New Year’s Eve Looking At The Eiffel Tower
There aren’t any fireworks but there was a light show. The entire area underneath the Eiffel Tower is closed off. We had started at Trocadero; however it was too crowded and therefore the views weren’t great. So, we headed to Pont de Bir-Hakeim and stood on the bridge. It is a covered bridge which was perfect as it was drizzlying that night. Fireworks did take place in other areas of the city.
1.Weather: Pack gloves, sweaters, and an umbrella. Paris can be cold and damp and the temperature will range from 3-7 degrees C. It doesn’t get bitterly cold but it has been known to rain in December/January. However, the days can also be sunny and crisp and wonderful for sitting out at a cafe.
2. Packing: Pack lightly so you have room for purchases: if you are visiting in mid to late January there are some very good sales.
3. Lights: It will get dark early, but it is also beautiful with all the lights.
- Be on the look-out for Christmas concerts located at any one of Paris’ many churches.
- Check out the Christmas windows at the Grand Magasins (Galeries Lafayette and Printemps)
5. Seine River Cruise: Don’t rule out taking a night-time dinner cruise. Hopefully, Laurie can share her experience doing that.