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Paris in winter

Make the most of Paris in winter

There are so many reasons to visit Paris in the winter: from snapping up a bargain in the winter sales to admiring the Christmas lights and enjoying some chocolat chaud. Make long-lasting memories with your kids by taking them to Disneyland Paris to see its magic come alive or visit one of Paris's major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre museum.

The window displays at the big department stores Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marche are a must-see during Christmas for its animated figures, stunning decorations and extravagant tree.

For more ideas, see below.

Things to do in Paris in winter

Catch a show

The Bouglione Circus’ roots go back to the Second Empire, when daredevil Jules Léotard awed audiences with the very first flying trapeze act. This winter’s entertainment for the whole family is just as gravity-defying, and will tickle funny-bones as well. Expect aerial silks, clever horses and contortionists from the Cirque d’Hiver’s new show Defi.

Shop in the January sales

The Paris winter sales – les soldes – always start on the second Wednesday of January and run for six weeks, so there’s plenty of time to seek out a bargain. Don’t limit yourself to one neighbourhood: the Métro makes hopping between shopping districts a doddle. Superlative department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette vie for attention on boulevard Haussmann. Take a look at our guide to the best places to shop in Paris.

Try a galette des rois

This January favourite is always a hit: find the charm hidden in the frangipane pastry. The tradition ignites culinary passions every year, with the city’s top pastry chefs competing for the tastiest twist on the puff-pastry classic. Look out for Pierre Hermé’s couture creations, or Yann Brys’s fruit-laced frangipane tart.

Celebrate New Year in Paris

During New Year’s Eve in Paris fireworks aren’t always guaranteed, but crowds still head to the Champs de Mars and the Champs-Élysées for impressive light shows and cheery street parties. Blissfully easy to navigate on foot, Paris puts on free transport from 5pm on New Year’s Eve to noon the following day. Most restaurants lay on extravagant festive menus for the night. Find out all the best things to do in Paris over the New Year.

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