Paris in Winter... what to see and what to do
Paris in the Winter is magic. It's all glittery twinkle lights and museums and cafes ice skating and since it's their off season, the lines and crowds are much more manageable. What to see and do:
The Champs-Elysées is completely redone as a Winter Wonderland (or as they call it, Santa's Village)..... trees are strung with lights and the holiday market is made up of little wooden chalets lining the streets, full of crepes and handmade goods, shops and wine and hot roasted chestnuts! There are twinkle lights as far as the eye can see and right in the middle is an ice skating rink. Bundle up, grab some hot tea and head there at night- it is well worth being a little cold!)
The Musee D'Orsay had almost no line when we went on New Year's Eve. When we went this summer, the weather was so pleasant that we wanted to be outdoors exploring the whole time. The colder weather made is so easy to take our time exploring hall after hall of masterpieces. (Amazing collection of impressionism and post-impressionism). The museum is in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900 and is jaw droppingly gorgeous.
The Seine - Paris is chilly in the winter for sure, but if you bundle up and go for a run/ workout along the Seine, it is well worth starting your day with! There are great views of the Eiffel Tower. It's lined with little sections for body weight workouts- bars for pull ups, monkey bars, these lincoln log things that stack to different heights so you can play with variations on box jumps and inverted pushups. We got creative and got some really killer workouts in. (Had to detox to retox.... French wine was flowing!) It's also beautiful to walk along at night!
Shopping! Lots and lots of shopping - I really liked Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche (we called it the purple place since my husband was the only one of the three of us that speak French and for some reason that name was so hard to remember!). It has tons and tons inside as opposed to walking shop to shop outside like at the Champs-Elysées. We also went to Galeries Lafayette and it was GORGEOUS on the inside but you really have to be very comfortable with crowds to survive in there (which I am not) (Also it seemed like they had every size but mine in everything that I liked which took away some of the fun).
Cafes - My personal favorite is Cafe Le Flore in St. Germain, but really most of them are so charming it doesn't matter! I love that somehow in Paris nobody is scared of being outdoors, even in the winter - they just heat their outdoor sitting spaces, and voila! *side note* If you are a big salad eater like me, take caution and ALWAYS specify dressing on the side. And order the Rose. You're welcome.