At the Printemps department store

PARIS IN THE WINTER (December-February)

I love Paris in the winter, when it drizzles… (Cole Porter)

Paris is lovely in Winter, sometimes chilly, but it’s a festive season with something magical.


Many reasons to visit Paris in the Winter : 

  • More availability of flights and lodging, with lower prices. smaller crowds and shorter lines !
  • Winter light is gorgeous

At the Galeries Lafayette department store

  • Weather in December :  The end of December can be cold in Paris but temperatures are rarely excessively low, in average between 3°C (37 ° F) and 8°C (46°F)  . Temperature can be under 0°C ( 32°F) but rarely. 


  • What to wear in winter in Paris ? : It’s better to be dress for the cold : a winter coat, a scarf and gloves. An umbrella might be useful

Enjoy  winter in Paris :

There is always something going on in the city of light. You’ll discover a different side to Paris

  • Visiting museums and exhibitions : Paris has plenty of them. For instance : 
    • Jacquemart André Museum To know more about Jacquemart André MuseumP1090861
    • The Centre Pompidou : the modern art museum also known as Beaubourg. And it’s worth visiting it for the views from the terrace.28dcb9355e40fdc0b78507705664e157
    • Here are some of the exhibitions in 2016-2017 :bazille
  • Icons of modern art (= the Chtchoukine collection) : The Russian collector Chtchoukine’s paintings transform the Fondation Louis Vuitton into a cathedral of modern art. Until Monday February 20 2017 – du 22/10/2016 au 20/02/2017 – 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi – 75116, Paris
  • “Painting the impossible” (Peindre l’impossible) : Hodler, Monet, Munch come together for the first time at Musée Marmottan-Monet,  portraying the feelings evoked by nature.
  • Frederic Bazille (1841 – 1870), “The Youth of Impressionism” (“La jeunesse de l’impressionnisme”) at the musée d’Orsay du 15/11/2016 au 05/03/2017 – www.musee-orsay.fr/en/events/exhibitions –  open from 9.30am to 6pm daily, except Mondays.    To know more about the Musée d’Orsay 


  • Enjoying a cultural visit in peace and quiet. Many museums and galleries open late at night at least once a week.                For instance : 

Orsay museum late night on Thursdays until 9.45pm – Musée Jacquemart André Late-night opening on Mondays until 8.30 p.m. during exhibitions. –  Le Louvre  Wednesday, Friday until 9:45 p.m. – Le Centre Pompidou wednesday to monday until 9pm – Musée Marmottan Monet Thursday until 9 p.m. –  Musée Galliera : Late openings on Thursdays until 9 pm. …etc)


Orsay Museum

  • Visiting churches and cathedrals or attending a concert
    • A concert : at the Sainte Chapelle, at Saint Julien le Pauvre church, at Saint louis en l’Ile church…


      Saint Louis en l’ïle church

    • A mass : for instance :  Notre Dame de Paris, La Madeleine or  the Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre organize religious services on 24 and 25 December

Cafés :

Many cafés in Paris and the perfect moment to soak up the Parisian atmosphere

  • Reading in a traditional Parisian café
  • Sitting outside at a cafe and drinking wine (they put out the massive heat lamps). No matter the weather, many Parisians sip their café crème on an outside terrace.


    Archives street in Le Marais neighborhood

  • Tea rooms and pastries
    • Pastries Pierre Hermé     To know more about Pierre HerméPierre Hermé Macarons
      • La « galette des rois : (flaky marzipan cakes) in January for the Epiphany. Just gorgeous. Don’t miss it if you visit Paris at Winter time. A must. To know more about the “Galette des Rois”
      • IMG_6324

          The Galette des Rois
      • A hot chocolate at Angelina, one of Paris’famous tea salons.      To know more about Angelina tea room

Ice-skating :

A number of venues are specially open around the city for the Christmas period.

(no outdoor rink below the Hotel de Ville this year (2017)

  • A spectacular indoor rink under the iron and glass vault of the Grand Palais, (December 14 until January 4). Everyday from the 14th of December 2016 to the 2d of January 2017. You can try it out at night from 8pm to 2am on some days. A light show and a DJ make this moment joyful. The Grand Palais is a wonderful building next to the Champs Elysées


    The rink in the Grand Palais

  • The rink in the Eiffel Tower : at the 1st floor (57 meters above the ground) – with a great view over the city


    The rink in the Eiffel Tower

  • The rink at the Trocadero : A 200 m2 skating rink next to the Eiffel Tower. On the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower, skates are free for visitors. You can rent the … for 5 euros.


    The ice rink at the Trocadero

Enjoy the Christmas decorations :

Wherever you are in Paris, there are lots of Christmas decorations.

  • Enjoy an evening stroll around the lit streets : Christmas illuminations are all around town. Fairy lights, glittering snowflakes and garlands. Here are some places with great Christmas lights : Place Vendôme, Champs Elysées, Avenue Montaigne (nearby the Champs Elysée), Faubourg Saint Honoré street, Saint Germain des Prés…Just to name a few

The Galeries Lafayette (on the right)


Rue de la Paix nearby la Place Vendome

  • Stroll down the Champs Elysées. With Christmas illuminations in the trees, wooden chalets; Dazzling display of lights on the trees that line the long boulevard. Champs-Elysées Christmas illuminations in the trees, Stroll through the winter wonderland strip of lights and decorated storefronts along the Champs Elysées.pb260033-1

The Champs Elysée at night

Christmas window displays :

Enjoying decorations with artworks and gorgeous light worlds.

  • Parisian department stores : Christmas and winter-holiday lights and imaginative scenes.
    • Window scenes at Galeries Lafayette or Le Printemps. It’s common to see children crowded around the windows with their parents. Christmas window displays

      A window at the Galeries Lafayette


      A window of Le Printemps department store






Enjoy the beautiful Art Deco dome at the Galeries Lafayette department store with its Christmas tree (different every year. This year it’s white, last year it was golden)


The Dome of the Galeries Lafayette

 The Christmas markets :

The Christmas Market are up in several Paris neighborhoods

  • Notre Dame Christmas market : It takes place on square Viviani near Notre Dame. A real atmosphere more intimate than the market on the Champs Elysée, with gourmet products, handmade crafts…and animations like singers too. From 12 December  to 23 December 2016– 10am-7pm – Square René Viviani – Paris 1
  • The market “Village de Noël” at the Champs Elysées. Christmas market in wooden chalets s 200 market stands with French gastronomie and crafts. From 11 November 2016 to 2 January 2017  10am-6pm

    The Christmas market at the Champs Elysées


  • Saint Germain des pres Christmas market :: many merchants and animations – From 13 November 2016 to 8 January 2017  – 10am-7pm  Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés de Paris – Metro Saint germain des Prés – Paris 6
  • And others such as the Montmartre Christmas Market, the Trocadero Christmas market, Montparnasse Christmas market (nearby the Montparnasse tower – 50 stalls – 10th to 31st of December)
  • Unfortunately : no more Christmas market around Saint Sulpice church.. I’ve just checked out tonight…
  • Link to the list of the Christmas Markets by the Paris tourist office : http://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/major-events/christmas-in-paris/christmas-markets-in-paris/christmas-markets-in-paris

Carousels and Ferris Wheel  :

Merry-go-rounds are set up in almost every arrondissement. They are part of the charming atmosphere of Paris especially at Christmas time. Or take a whirl around the nearby Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde for a bird’s-eye view of the festivities. . To enjoy a panoramic view of the city


Hot chestnuts

  • They are sold in the street : an old Paris tradition. And you may hear ” Chauds les marrons chauds ! , Chaud les marrons chauds !!” (= ‘Hot chestnuts, hot !)060021_la_marchande_de_marrons_chauds_du_jardin_du_luxembourg


For instance : 42nd Street at Theatre du Chatelet  : a broadway show. It’s in English The inside of the theatre is amazing with an old decor and a Parisian charm.


Winter is a season to shop :

  • Winter sales, (= soldes).
    • 2370405-dates-des-soldes-2017-les-dates-des-soldes-d-ete-et-d-hiver-par-departement Twice a year, everything in Paris goeson sale. The winter soldes are in Mid-January. In Winter it always starts the second Wednesday of January and finishes at the mid February. So this year (2017) it will start the 6th of January and will end on the 16th of February. 
    • Prices drop more drastically as the days pass on (but so does the selection…).  If you want to shop, this is the time to come to Paris.
  • Le Marais : Vintage shops in the Marais.
  • And many other areas… Actually, almost everywhere is a nice place to go shopping !!

Get a panorama of the city : 

For instance : 

  • At the top of Montmartre hill : No matter what the weather’s like, you’ll get a panorama of the city from the top of Montmartre
  • At the top of the Centre Pompidou (= Beaubourg ) : you’ll get a great view over Paris from the top terrace


And why not a tour with Ann Jeanne in Paris ? !!

Because Paris is about its building and its history, but it’s not all about its building and it’s history…. 

Share the Paris of a native, to experience Paris as a true Parisian, See Paris through the eyes of a native to get a real authentic experience of the city of light. I’ll give you tips, advice to live you stay at its best, I’ll show you places you may not have discovered otherwise, I show you and share with you “my Paris”, I tell you about Paris way of life, Paris’ etiquette, the Paris of the Parisian.

Learn more about Ann Jeanne in Paris private walking tours 

contact meAnne à Montsouris - Format original-2637

I was born and raised in Paris, I have been studying in a secondary school in Montparnasse then at La Sorbonne University (in the Latin quarter), working in Paris, I’ve been living (and still am) with my family in Paris, as a child, as a daughter and a grand daughter, as a teenager as a student, as a wife, as a mother. I have raised my son, met my friends and spent time with them.  I have been to clubs, to cafés, to museums and exhibitions, gone to parties, admired the architecture, been to lots of places, walked the streets for miles and days (!) photographed numerous places, spent ages in cafés (I am a cafe lover, a must for a Parisian !)

And it’s a real pleasure to meet you and share my love for Paris with you.

My goal : make you feel very welcome and happy in Paris

My motto could be :

Don’t visit Paris , 

but breath it ! live it !

as a true Parisian

Contact me                                                                              Ann Jeanne in Paris Private walking tours


Rond Point des Champs Elysée Metro stop

Some  tips? : I’ll tell you where to go to get the best crêpes, where  the first street of Paris (Lutèce) ever was built, where is the older tree, I show you some of the most elegant streets of Paris, where you can find beautiful scarfs, where you’ll find the best pastries, I’ll help you choose some cheeses, I’ll show you some of the Midnight in Paris spots, I’ll tell you where to go for the best classical concert, I’ll show you some of my favourite places in Paris… and so many more…. if you wish so !!

My advice, my opinion for you stay in December:

The Champs Elysée Christmas market is not the most “elegant” and atmospheric Christmas market. Hope you won’t mind my saying this… I mean this is not where you’ll feel the most chic and stylish atmosphere. In my opinion, walking up and down the Champs Elysées at Christmas time is worth it for the lights and illuminations, but I’d prefer going somewhere else to enjoy a Christmas market in Paris. Maybe Saint Germain des Prés or Notre Dame. And I know perfectly well that I’m not the only Parisian to feel the same…

I would avoid going to a proper restaurant at Christmas eve or at New Year Eve… So crowded and so much overpriced… Just awful… and incredibly expensive almost everywhere…

Lots, lots lots of Parisian people go to the Champs Elysées at midnight for the New Year Eve.  You may enjoy it if you feel like being with lots of people. But not at all if you feel like experiencing something more intimate !!


A window display at the Galeries Lafayette


Marriott hotel at the Champs Elysée


Video : A Christmas night at the Champs Elysée

 VIDEO : A Christmas window display at Le Printemps department store