10 must-have experiences in Paris this winter

1/ Go mad for Gaultier

Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier has hit the Paris scene this season with no doubt the wackiest show you’ve ever seen – a quirky mashup of magazines and catwalk displays at the Folies Bergères (until 29 December). Experience 50 years of pop culture and admire a collection exclusive outfits to a soundtrack by Nile Rodgers.
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2/ Stock up at a department store

With thoughts turning to Christmas shopping, Paris’ department stores are hard to beat in terms of sensory delights: Galeries Lafayette, Le Printemps, Le BHV, Citadium and Le Bon Marché are decorated to festive perfection, and groaning with gifts for everyone from grandparents to newborns.
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3/ Browse vintage boutiques and eat some cake

Head to the elegant Marais district if you love all things vintage – old jazz records, mismatched crockery, sumptuous wool coats and batwing jumpers – before sinking into one of Le Loir dans La Théière’s well-worn armchairs with a magazine, a hot chocolate and a slice of its infamous lemon meringue pie.
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4/ Take a selfie with the Mona Lisa

Did you know Beyoncé and Jay-Z shot a music video at the Louvre this year? If you fancy following in their footsteps, watch the video here – their art trail starts from the Pyramid and takes in the Denon wing, the spiral staircase to the Salle du Manège and across the Galerie Daru. See this iconic institution from a whole new perspective!
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5/ Kiss at the Eiffel Tower

Paris’ iconic tower boasts restaurants at first- and second-floor levels, and if you make all 276 metres to the very top, the views are truly spectacular. Don’t miss the glittering hourly light display and the winter ice rink on the first floor – and beneath the tower in the Champ de Mars, make time to see the Monument to Peace.
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6/ Visit a new foodie hotspot
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🇫🇷 @pierrehermeofficial, le plus célèbre pâtissier français du monde installe à Beaupassage son premier Café, prolongé d’une terrasse, dont la décoration a été confiée à l’architecte d’intérieur @lauragonzalezofficiel. Club sandwich au pain de mie japonais et Ceviche de daurade aux agrumes côtoient les créations emblématiques de la Maison telles que l'Ispahan, les pains au chocolat et pistaches, la Tarte Infiniment Vanille ou encore le 2000 Feuilles. Ouvert 7 jours sur 7 de 10h à 20h. 📸 @anneemmanuellethion . . 🇬🇧 Pierre Hermé, the most famous French pastry chef in the world, is setting up his first Café in Beaupassage, extended by a terrace, decorated by interior designer Laura Gonzalez. Club sandwich with Japanese sandwich bread and Ceviche of sea bream with citrus fruits are mixed with the House's emblematic creations such as Ispahan, chocolate and pistachio breads, the Pie "Infiniment Vanille" and the "2000 Feuilles". Open 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm. . . #beaupassage #pierreherme #pierrehermeparis #paris #parisian #paris7 #parisianlife #food #foodstagram #foodlovers #foodies #pastry #pastrychef #pastries #patisserie #foodislife #frenchfood #ispahan #strawberry #cafe

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Beaupassage opened in August and is the new place to be for food and wellbeing in Paris, with a wine cellar from Yannick Alleno, a gourmet patisserie lounge by Pierre Hermé and bakery by Thierry Marx, cheese from Fromagerie Barthélémy and street seafood by Olivier Bellin. There are quirky art installations and plant-filled spaces too.
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7/ Admire the lights from a 2CV

Why not hop into an open-topped Citroën ‘deux-chevaux’ for a night-time tour of the highlights of central Paris? You’ll pass the Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais, Opéra and Louvre – so you’ll get an excellent overview of the city sparkle from the comfort of this iconic vehicle.
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8/ Learn a new skill at a workshop

For a more hands-on approach to Christmas, head to cosy L’Oisivethé, where you can drink tea and knit, and buy wool and tea to take away. Brin de Cousette combines a tearoom with a haberdashery with sewing machines for rent – and Peonies is the place to perfect your flower arranging before a rewarding slice of homemade cake.
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9/ Dance the night away
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Paris is the place for dancing! Learn the tango, swing or lindy hop in true 1920s spirit at La Bellevilloise, or try a class at the Théâtre de Verre before the weekend dance show. The Bois de Boulogne’s Chalet des Îles offers a cosy lakeside setting in winter with its lovely fireplace – and you can only get there by boat.
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10/ Enjoy dinner by the fire
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Au bar du J&J... Partager un verre ou deux au coin du feu 😀 Le bar est ouvert à tous tous les jours de 17h à 23h et de 16h à 22h tous les dimanches jusqu'au printemps... Pauline et Cedric vous y attendent! Hidden in a courtyard, flanked by «hanging gardens» and a wall with an open-air chimney , this Hotel Jules & Jim bar has become an oasis and melting pot for hotel guests and locals alike. Open to all everyday from 5 to 11 PM. –#worldbestbars #cocktailbar #cocktailhour #hidden #secretplace #freshness #cocktaillovers #boutiquehotel #iloveparis #parisjetaime #paris3 #lemarais #secretplace #mylittleparis #bartender #goodvibesonly #cocktails #aperitivo #cosywarm #fireplace #m.chat_officiel #monsieurchat #galeriebrugierrigail #welovecats #streetartparis

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Take your pick of restaurants with open fires in the city: Hôtel Jules & Jim (Marais) with courtyard woodburner; Atelier Maître Albert (Jussieu) with vast stone fireplace and open grill; and Le Flamboire (St-Georges) and Robert et Louise (Marais) where food is prepared on the flames. What could be nicer for whiling away the evening?
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Travel to Paris with National Express

National Express coaches operate from London Victoria coach station to Bercy in central Paris:

  • From £12 one way until the 19th December and after 6th January 2019
  • From £35 one way from 19th December until 6th January 2019

Book your journey with National Express (External link)

Visit Paris Tourist Office website: https://en.parisinfo.com/ (External link)

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