It’s December and the Parisien Christmas lights are sparkling! In this review, we look at the places to go to see the best light displays in Paris, or as they call them, Illuminations!
If you want to celebrate the end of year festivities and get into the holiday spirit, why not book a magical evening tour around the City of Light. Visit elaborate window displays and Christmas markets, sip on vin chaud, and experience Paris as a true winter wonderland with April in Paris.
1. Champs Élysées
Your first stop when touring brilliant Christmas lights is the Champs Élysées. This iconic avenue is beautiful any time of the year with its wide road and wide pavements lined by designer stores and trees, but before Christmas, it is even more magical. Trees are laden with lights all the way from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
2. Designer Stores
While the sparkling forest sits at one end of the Champs Élysées, designer stores (and regular stores) sit at the other and fan out into the roads surrounding the main thoroughfare. The window arrangements in many of these stores spread festive cheer from mid-November and mustn’t be missed.
3. Hotel de Ville
In the plaza in front of the Hotel de Ville there’s usually a twinkling forest where you can buy cute festive snacks and gifts.
4. Four Seasons Paris
Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris is one of my favorite hotels in Paris and they always delight with wonderful winter-themed flower displays and decorations with lights adorning this historic building. Pop your nose through their door so as not to miss out!
5. The banks of the River Seine
If you have an ounce of romance in your heart, any Paris trip is not complete without a stroll along the Seine. Around the holidays this area is also decorated with festive lights adding to the cheer.
Many churches in Paris offer pretty illuminations and decorations inside. Have a peek inside and you might want to light a candle in memory of loved ones lost too. I always do.
7. Avenue Montaigne
The trees on Avenue Montaigne are covered in Christmas lights at this time of year and the designer stores that live here also have marvelous displays.
8. Place Vendôme
Go to Place Vendôme for full-on Christmas firs covered in twinkling lights and there’s more than one!
9. Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette department store has wonderful window displays and lots of decorations inside too.
10. Eiffel Tower
Let’s not forget the Eiffel Tower, covered in lights all year round and an icon of Paris. For a cheap ticket up this tower, you can climb the steps but it’s not a trip for those with a fear of heights!
April In Paris Tours allow you to discover the ‘real’ Paris, that can’t be found in guidebooks, instead it can only be discovered by wandering Parisian streets, eating in lesser-known cafés, observing the locals and visiting hidden gems only known to natives of Paris. On an April in Paris Tour, you are guaranteed to get an insider’s view of this magnificent city’s history, uncover examples of Parisian art and architecture and discover some of the true treasures of Paris. Ideal for a first visit to Paris or even if you have been before; all the tours are tailor-made to suit your needs and desires.
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