Christmas in Paris, 2020
Are you looking for a Christmas getaway? Maybe you'll be on your own this year and are looking for something fun and different? Well, look no further! We've got the trip for you!
Join Paris Personally and a small group of fellow travelers for a magical week. You'll be led by your bilingual, full-time Parisian guide who'll help you discover the enchanting City of Light - even more dazzling at Christmas! The most frequent question I get is "who comes on these trips?" The answer is women who are looking for a well-designed small group trip with both group outings and time to do what you want each day. Does that sound like you? Then keep reading!
Just picture it: It's the week of Christmas, and here you are--in Paris. Your eyes sparkle as you take in the dazzling lights along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the sumptuous decorations in the windows of Paris's famous department stores. As you wander through the Christmas markets, you're enveloped in the sights and smells of the holidays, and you can't help but pick up a cup of hot mulled wine and a cone of fresh roasted chestnuts. You smile as you watch the skaters spin around the magical ice rink in front of city hall--and you're trying to decide if you should join them. If this sounds like a magical way to spend Christmas, then this is the trip for you. In my opinion, there's no city more beautiful this time of year than the City of Light.
We’ll meet each morning after breakfast and use Paris’s metros or buses to reach our morning destination. Of course, this is Paris, so we’ll do a good bit of walking too. After lunch, you’ll have afternoons free to do as you choose, and Gina, your guide and long-time Parisian, will help you figure out what that is and how to get there. Whether it’s the famous French macaron you’re after or a bit of chic Parisian fashion, Gina will help you make it happen!
Here's our planned itinerary* for this trip:
Sunday - Arrival day. As people will be arriving at different times, you will take a taxi (your Uber application works here too) to our hotel in the chic 6th arrondissement, on the left bank.
Once you’re settled in to your room, you'll probably want to check out the neighborhood. You’ll find that you're right next door to the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, literally just around the corner from the hotel. In the other direction, there are charming cafés where you might decide to have a bite and do some people watching. And just a little further up, you can find Le Bon Marché, the most understatedly elegant of Paris’s large department stores. Here you’ll get your first look at the dazzling Christmas decorations that Paris's department store windows are famous for.
We will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:00pm for the apéro (cocktail hour) in order for everyone to meet and to discuss the next day’s activities. Afterward, Gina will give you some ideas for dinner close-by.
Monday - We’ll start our week off where Paris itself started – right in the center on the Ile de la Cité. Although we won’t be allowed inside, we’ll walk past Notre Dame Cathedral then cross the river over to the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s beautiful city hall, where we’ll be enchanted by our first Christmas market with its old European charm. While we’re there, we'll take a peek at the BHV department store across the street to see if its holiday decorations live up to our expectations. Next, we’ll explore the Marais where we’ll see everything from 14th century houses to Paris’s oldest public square. Afterward, you may want to continue discovering the Marais or go back across to the Ile Saint-Louis, a lovely island covered with beautiful homes, charming boutiques, and elegant art galleries.
Afternoons are free for exploration on your own. If you need advice on what to do or need to be pointed in the right direction, just ask.
At 6:30pm we’ll meet in the same area downstairs at the hotel to share a glass of wine and discuss the next day’s plans.
Tuesday - Today we’re going to see the legendary Paris department stores, known for their stunning Christmas decorations and truly fantastic window displays. You’ll be dazzled by the outside, but you’ll also want to get inside the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps to see more gorgeous decorations and maybe even do some shopping. The Opéra Garnier is just across the street, so if you’d like to visit this exquisite building which may or may not be home to a certain Phantom, now’s your chance. And finally, you won’t want to miss the luxuriously decorated Place Vendôme, home of the Ritz and several chic boutiques that will be seriously decked out for the holidays.
You’re also not far from La Madeleine church, also worthy of a visit. Each year, a different artist is commissioned to create the nativity scene inside.
6:30pm – meet downstairs for the apéro and to discuss the next day’s planning.
Wednesday – So far we’ve seen a little Christmas market here and there, but today we’ll go to the largest, most authentic Christmas market in the Paris region. The La Défense Christmas village and market boasts over 300 delightful little chalets where you’ll be enticed by tasty French treats like melted cheese over ham and potatoes, gingerbread, nougat, fresh roasted chestnuts, and dozens of other delicious temptations. And if you’re looking for gifts, you’ll find many artisans selling their works here. Afterward, we’ll continue the festive theme by making our way to the Trocadéro where we’ll gaze upon that eternal symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower.
(For those wishing to go up in the Eiffel Tower, a link will be sent to you prior to your arrival so that you may purchase advance tickets for the afternoon of your choice. Of course, you are free to buy your ticket there for immediate use.)
Otherwise, you may want to wander over to Rue Cler, famous "foodie" street or the Rue Saint-Dominique where you can find good food and good shopping.
6:30pm – meet downstairs for the apéro and to discuss the next day’s planning.
Thursday – It's Christmas Eve, and today we’re going to wander down the most beautiful avenue in the world. We’ll start at the magnificent Pont Alexandre III and work our way down the oh-so-elegant Avenue des Champs Elysées, ending at the majestic Arc de Triomphe. Along the way we’ll take a little detour down the chic Avenue Montaigne to see what the designers have done to dress up stores like Dior and to check out the elegant Plaza Athénée.
Afterward, you may want to walk or take the metro back down to the Louvre and wander through the Tuileries Garden and to the Place de la Concorde. From here you have one of the most impressive views in all of Paris. You really have to see it to believe it.
Meet at 6:30pm for the apéro and discussion.
There will also be Christmas Eve services at churches throughout Paris. Visitors are always welcome, so feel free to attend any of those that you wish. More detail will be provided on these as information becomes available.
Friday - It’s Christmas day, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Today we’re going to visit Montmartre. Montmartre still has a romantic, villagey feel to it, and the Christmas decorations and lights make it feel truly magical. We’ll wander through the cobblestone streets, visit the Sacré Coeur Basilica, and check out the Place du Tertre, an artists square where you can watch the artists painting and even buy original art directly from them for yourself or as gifts. Along the way, we may also eat a crêpe or warm our hands and hearts with some hot mulled wine or rich hot chocolate.
After lunch, you may want to visit the Musée de Montmartre, probably the most charming of all of Paris’s museums and one of very few open on Christmas day. Renoir and Utrillo were just two of the artists who lived and had their ateliers here. Be sure to visit the beautiful gardens and admire the view of the vineyard below.
Christmas dinner together – Tonight, we will enjoy Christmas dinner in a classic Paris restaurant. We’ll meet in the hotel as usual for the 6:30pm apéro then leave for dinner together.
There may also be evening activities tonight, such as concerts in various churches, that you may wish to attend.
Saturday - Unless you have extended your stay with the hotel, check-out is at 11:00am.
Of course, we always want to be able to take advantage of any interesting events that come up, so we reserve the right to make changes to this itinerary in order to do so.
As always, unforeseen circumstances like unexpected closures or strikes may force us to make changes to the itinerary as well. Don't worry though. There's always an equally enticing plan B if we need it.
There will be concerts and services at various cathedrals and churches around town, and information on these will be provided as it becomes available.
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Ready to sign up for Christmas in Paris with Paris Personally? Click on the button below!
Six nights in a charming and centrally located Paris hotel (in your private room)
Breakfast each morning in the hotel
Christmas dinner with the group in an elegant French brasserie
Navigo pass for the Paris metro and buses
Six-day museum pass
An easy to use map of Paris and of the metro and buses
The Paris Personally Passport, filled with insider tips and recommendations
A lovely Paris Personally shopping bag to carry it all around in
Daily guided activities and free time for your own activities each day
The inside scoop on all that is Paris including where to shop, where to eat, what to see
Personal consultations with Gina to help you plan your free time
December 20 - 26, 2020: 2,854€/person
No single supplement.