We spent Christmas 2012 in Paris, France. Paris had always been on our radar for “must see” destinations in Europe and this grand city did not disappoint. Given its sheer size and historical significance we spend 6 full days touring the major sites, enjoying great food and doing our best to immerse ourselves in French culture. Christmas is a special time of year to travel in Europe and this was our second year in a grand destination (in 2011 we were in Rome, Italy). It was hard to be away from family and friends during the holidays but in a small way visiting sites like the Eiffel tower and St. Peter Basilica on Christmas day creates it’s own special memories.
Our itinerary was filled with top sites and a few “offbeat” destinations that provided a mix of touristy interactions with intimate and exciting adventures.
Champs Elysees, Rue Cler and Christmas Markets: Shopping is an important staple of the holiday season and there is no better place in the world to shop than the Champs Elysees. Home of Louis Vuitton, Prada and just about every other famous fashion brand, a trip down this grand boulevard can cause serious damage to your credit card. Fortunately we did more window shopping than actual buying 🙂
Christmas Day Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral: Notre Dame Cathedral is an iconic landmark on the Left Bank of Paris. We spend Christmas morning on huge bleachers outside the cathedral watch the service on the “jumbotron.” The rest of the day was filled with long walks though famous parks and a delicious dinner at Le P’tit Troquet, a small family run restaurant with amazing Fois-grois (something I would usually never dream of ordering).
In the steps of my favorite author: As a huge Hemingway fan, I couldn’t leave the city without visiting his famous “haunts” as referenced in some of my favorite books – The Sun Also Rises and An Immovable Feast. A majority of my Birthday was walking the Left Bank enjoying some Hemingway “signature cocktails” and excellent food in legendary establishments such as Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, and Brasserie Lipp.
Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum: A trip to Paris is not complete unless you have a chance to appreciate the great architecture and influential art. The Louvre and Orsay Museums enjoy impressive collections from famous painter all around the world. From a historical perspective the Louvre is top-notch but, I enjoyed art from the Orsay much more. The Eiffel Tower, a work of art in its own right, was a wonderful experience and well worth navigating the expected crowds and lines.
For more Images from Paris, please visit my website at www.erikfunfar.com