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Paris skyline snowing

Ultimate guide: 6 reasons to visit Paris in winter

Paris, France

If you’re asking yourself: ‘I really want to visit Paris, but is it a good idea to go in the winter?’ then you’ve come to the right place. Paris is renowned for its iconic charm; a charm which lasts all year round. In fact, huge parts of the city only come to life in the winter months, giving visitors in-the-know the chance to get a brand new perspective on the City of Light.

Fewer crowds, quieter queues and seasonal activities (of course, there are Christmas markets and mulled wine in abundance) are bolstered by exclusive January sales, window shopping and endless family fun at Disneyland Paris. 

But, if you want to take advantage of everything Paris has to offer this winter, you need a plan. That’s why we’ve put together a list of things you can’t miss when you fly out to Paris from London Southend Airport. 

Then again, if we’ve already convinced you, why wait? Book now

Christmas fairs and markets

La Magie de Noël at Tuileries Garden is the largest Christmas fair in the French capital. With dozens of wooden chalets right in the heart of the city, you can enjoy a hot mulled wine just a stone’s throw from the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

If you’re looking for a gift for your loved ones, head to the upscale neighbourhood of Saint-Germain for the Saint-Germain Christmas Market. This market is known for its high-quality wines, regional foods and craftwork. It’s a little further out of the city centre, but it’s worth it. 

Starting to feel peckish? La Défense Christmas Market is just a short metro ride outside of Paris, and has over 150 stalls with everything from crepes to paella – not to mention some snazzy Christmas ornaments for those looking for keepsakes. 

For a market that truly lets you take in the grandeur of Paris, head to the Hotel de Ville Christmas Market. This market is in the Bois de Boulogne, a huge public park and former royal hunting grounds. Explore a forest of Christmas trees and take the lights at the Paris City Hall in the middle of the green.

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, head to the Place des Abbesses Christmas Market. This market is a little more low-key, with local musicians performing while holiday food and drink is served up by neighbourhood vendors.

Finally, there’s nothing more Parisian than the Eiffel Tower Christmas Village. It’s everything you’d want in a classic Christmas market – the gifts, the food, the drink – all in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower itself. 

Quieter hotspots

Paris is quieter in the winter, which is great news if you’re looking to see some of the city’s most iconic cultural landmarks. Head into the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, without worrying about the bustling crowds that flock to the museum in the hotter months. 

Why queue when you don’t have to? Explore the Palace of Versaille, with its royal gardens, Hall of Mirrors and unique history as the home of France’s longest reigning monarch, the Sun King, Louis XIV. 

At the airport

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Fashion & cocktails

But exploring Paris in the winter doesn’t just mean visiting iconic sites without the crowds. There’s plenty of things you can only do in the winter as well. January has two fantastic events you won’t want to miss. First, is Paris Fashion Week from January 16, with runway shows at iconic venues like the Grand Palais. Next, is Paris Cocktail Week, showcasing the city’s most delicious – and innovative drinks. 

Family fun

If you’re looking to get away with your family this winter, Paris has plenty to offer. You’re just a short drive away from Disneyland Paris – or ten minutes on the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport – if you want to take a day trip to the iconic theme-park without the long queues you’ll find in Summer. 

If you want to stay closer to the city centre, take the Paris Illuminations Tour, a night-tour of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and the Louvre, all lit up against the night sky. 

If ice-skating is your thing, you’ll find plenty of rinks throughout the city. We recommend checking out the outdoor rink at Patinoire de l’Hôtel de Ville or Patinoire Pailleron – both are great for families and couples.  

Winter shopping

Before your journey through Paris this winter comes to its close, you’ll want to pick up something to remember it by. Good thing you’re in one of the shopping capitals of the world. 

Paris’ January Sales kick off from January 10th, letting you get great deals on fashion, accessories and more at big stores and boutiques across the capital. If you’re looking for something upmarket, head to the Champs-Élysées, where you’ll find plenty of trendy clothing shops where you’re sure to find something you love.

Eiffel Tower

What’s not to love about the Eiffel Tower at night? The sun sets, the city quietens, and the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower at night bring the iconic landmark to jubilant, romantic life. The air might be chilly, but the photo will last a lifetime. 

Whether you’re visiting Paris this weekend with your partner, your family, or just getting away with friends, the City of Light has something for everyone. Get a whole new perspective on Paris this winter with London Southend Airport, with flights starting from just £21.


At the airport

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