Christmas shopping guide in Paris.
Snow, Family, glittering decorations… Christmas really is a magical, special time of year. At this time of year some of the world’s most exciting cities have a special sparkle about them, so why do we rush around last-minute of Christmas Eve and the days before, trying to pick up last-minute gifts for everyone? Stress is not a good factor in helping you have an enjoyable Christmas, so here is my guide on how you can shop ahead and make the most out of splashing out on presents for you loved ones. Rather than rushing down to your local high street to do the same old stores, why not combine a mini-break and start is somewhere different this year?
How about Paris? Paris is a great city when it comes down to Christmas shopping, with its glistering small boutiques, festive markets and giant sprawling department stores, these are all competing to lure you inside for a bargain or two.
When you think of Paris you automatically think of its hand crafted style boutiques, especially in the Montmartre neighbourhood where a series of small streets are home to some of the finest boutiques in the whole of Paris. This is a great location to search for your Christmas gifts as you will find all kinds of jewellery, clothing, decorative gifts and unusual knick-knacks that you probably would not find anywhere else.
Christmas Market in Paris
The city’s liveliest Christmas market is The Place Saint Sulpice, with its own fairground rides and a ‘Village of Noel’ full of stalls selling artist’ creations and all sorts of international goodies. Grab a bad of roasted chestnuts and a mug of hot chocolate and it can’t get much more Christmassy.
The Christmas Market at La Defense is located near the Grand Arche, which gives you the excuse to ogle at the areas modern architecture while getting in tot festive spirit and doing a spot of Christmas Shopping. It is defiantly not the quaintest of Christmas Markets, with the backdrop of modern skyscrapers, but draped in fairy lights and complete with its own ice rink, it is still great fun, there are plenty of stalls selling all sorts, from Belgian waffles to hand-made gloves.
However, there are more traditional Christmas Markets, such as Place des Abbesses in the Montmartre district, this is where you can try regional delicacies and mulled wine whist you browse stalls selling a variety of handmade crafts.
If you are looking for French and German produce you could visit the Maison s’Alsace Christmas Market, which is the sister market to France’s largest in Strasbourg. This is great for handmade Christmas tree decorations and wooden toys of all shapes and sizes.
Department stores in Paris
If you are aiming for speed and ease, you could pick up as many presents as you can carry in some of the city’s top department stores, particularly Printemps and Galleries Lafayette, which are next to one another on Boulevard Haussmann. North of these department stores have several floors of designer fashion, perfume and cosmetics. These are easy and quick for you to do your Christmas shopping, but can get very busy!
Getting to Paris
if you live in Europe, you can take advantage of the many cheap flights to Paris and organize your accommodation independently, or for less hassle you could book a short transatlantic cruise, stopping at Paris for a shore excursion, and then you don’t need to worry about travel, accommodation, food or entertainment! The Eurostar is also an option.
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