At just 2 hrs 16 mins from London St Pancras, Paris is the perfect destination for a pre-Christmas break. Whether you want to do a bit of gift shopping for your family and friends, stock up on delicious foods for your Christmas table, or treat yourself to something chic to wear over the party season, you won't have to worry about getting it all back home as you can take two suitcases free of charge on Eurostar.
If you're looking for something a bit less strenuous, just soak up the atmosphere, enjoy some fine dining and relax.
Though there isn’t one specific Christmas market in Paris, there are several spread across the city that take place annually, usually from the beginning of December. Some of the main ones include one opposite Notre Dame in the 5th arrondissement at Square Viviani, another outside the church at St Germain des Pres and one on the Champs Elysees, which is moving to the Tuileries gardens this year.
On one of those wonderful dry, crisp, Parisian winter’s days, what better fun than ice skating in front of an iconic landmark. You’ll find ice skating rinks at the Tuileries gardens Christmas market and another one at the Champs de Mars, with the glorious backdrop of the Eiffel tower.
Or how about ice skating with a view of Paris?
Even if you don’t visit one of the markets, the atmosphere around Christmas in the City of Lights is more than enough to enchant you. The smell of chestnuts roasting on street stands wafts through the bustling streets and trees strung with lights turn the city into a winter fairyland.
Hop on the number 80 bus from Montmartre to Ecole Militaire after dark, and you’ll be treated to some of the city’s prettiest Christmas lights.
Paris is famous for fine food, luxury goods and Haute Couture, but you can still find plenty of gift-worthy items at a reasonable cost in the City of Lights. Toiletries are always a good gift and there are lots of very good, mid-range products available so, head into any decent-sized pharmacy for soaps, body oils, creams and other potions.