The City of Light shines even more brightly in the run-up to Christmas, with everything from magical illuminations to ice skating to enjoy
Organise your next trip with our guide to travel routes.
TAKE TO THE ICE RINK
What is more Christmassy than strapping on a pair of ice skates and practising figure-eights in the crisp winter air? The largest open-air rink can be found in front of the Hôtel de Ville ( pictured) in the 1st arrondissement, while another popular location is the Parc du Champ-du-mars where you can glide along the ice with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop. Smaller rinks also pop up near many of the Christmas markets. parisinfo.com
GO WINDOW SHOPPING
Visiting a grand magasin is a highlight of any festive trip to Paris. As well as stocking an array of gifts, department stores such as Printemps ( pictured) and Galeries Lafayette create show-stopping window displays. Join the crowds on Boulevard Haussmann marvelling at the lavish and creative designs, which have previously included groups of mice busily preparing for the festivities, and robots depicting Christmas in the future. For extra sparkle, enter Galeries Lafayette to see the stunning 20-metre-high Christmas tree, which stands in the middle of the store beneath the domed glass ceiling. departmentstoreparis.printemps.com galerieslafayette.com
SIP A CHOCOLAT CHAUD
Round off your Christmas shopping with a cup of chocolat chaud at a historic café. On Boulevard Saint-germain, the Café de Flore – former haunt of writers and intellectuals – serves an intensely flavoured jug of thick cocoa called a‘ Chocolat spécial’. At the Ladurée salon de thé on Rue Royale, enjoy its famous version with a pastry or macaron. For real decadence, visit Angelina on Rue de Rivoli for a chocolat chaud Africain, a velvety drink so thick you will need a spoon to enjoy it. Accompany it with a Mont-blanc, a mixture of meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli ( pictured). cafedeflore.fr, laduree.fr, angelina-paris.fr