Visiting Paris in the Winter

Don’t let the colder temperatures deter you, visiting Paris in the winter is a wonderful idea. You can experience Christmas markets, taste plenty of seasonal foods and drinks, and finish your holiday shopping – all with the City of Light decked in holiday lights and decorations in the background. We’re sharing some of the highlights of visiting Paris in the winter.


Visiting Paris in the Winter

Take in the Holiday Lights and Decorations

visiting paris during the winter notre dame decorations

They take holiday lights and decorations very seriously in the City of Light. As a result, pretty much anywhere you go you’ll be struck by the magic of the season. Even small boutiques and neighborhoods participate in decorating – the results are charming and make Paris feel like a small village.

However, don’t miss the holiday lights and decorations found along the major avenues and places in Paris. Highlights year after year include the sparking white lights on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the glamorous Avenue Montaigne, the striking Place Vendôme, and the whimsical Boulevard Saint Germain.

paris by night 2cv

Illumination Tour of Paris with A Glass of Champagne in a Classic French Car

Paris, City of Light, is never more stunning than at night, when she truly lives up to her name. With illuminated avenues and spot-lit monuments Paris takes on a fairy-tale dimension. The city becomes extra magical during the holiday season!

You’ll be welcomed with a glass of champagne and visit Paris in a classic Citroën 2CV with an English-speaking guide. See the highlights of central Paris including the Avenue des Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, the Petit and Grand Palais, the Place de la Concorde, the Garnier Opera, the Place Vendôme, the Louvre, the Île de la Cité, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll also enjoy a stunning perspective of the city from the top, at the balcony in Montmartre. Truly the perfect way to see all of the holiday lights!

See the Christmas Markets in Paris

paris christmas market in the tuileries

A must-see when visiting Paris in the winter is one or more of the fabulous Christmas markets in Paris. You’ll find the markets sprinkled throughout the city. Each is different and provides a festive mix of ways to take in the holiday spirit. We recommend getting a cup of hot chocolate and wandering the various stalls. You’ll find holiday decorations, regional and seasonal food specialties, music, sometimes rides and attractions and just general merriment!

Some of our favorite Christmas Markets in Paris can be found in the following locations: the Tuileries Garden (formerly along the Champs-Élysées), Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Saint-Sulpice, Place de la Nation, Place des Abesses in Montmartre, Gare de l’Est and Trocadéro.

Get Your Holiday Shopping Done

galeries lafayette christmas tree 2022

Year-round, the shopping is fabulous in Paris. Once the department stores and boutiques install their famous holiday window and interior displays they become nearly impossible to resist. And what better way to surprise someone on your list than with a special gift from Paris? The Grands Magasins, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have some of the most impressive window displays in the city year after year, and the Christmas tree inside Galeries Lafayette is truly incredible. Don’t miss the tree’s light and animation show every half-hour.

On the Left Bank you’ll find the oldest department store in Paris, Le Bon Marché, which always has impressive window displays and decorations. The fabulous Samaritaine reopened in 2021 after extensive renovations and features a striking holiday display blended with intricate architectural details.

samaritaine christmas

Private Guided Visit of La Samaritaine

Over the past 150 years, Samaritaine has sparked fond memories for many Parisians – from climbing the theatrical steps that lead to its renowned glass roof to shopping for unexpected gifts in the company of loved ones.

Graced with state-of-the-art architecture and exquisite historical features, the landmark has been gloriously reimagined, fusing original Art Nouveau and Art Deco details with contemporary newness. Located in the beating heart of Paris, this iconic landmark will become a must-visit destination for locals and travelers to indulge in what is quintessentially the Parisian experience.

In this tour, your guide will tell you all about the history of La Samaritaine, its architecture, the renovations which have been recently done and also what’s in store for La Samaritaine in the near future.

Taste Traditional French Christmas Foods and Drinks

vin chaud and chocolat chaud

Throughout the holiday season you’ll find seasonal foods and drinks sprinkled throughout restaurant and café menus, bakeries, as well as in markets and grocery stores. There’s always plenty of seafood including oysters, scallops, smoked salmon and lobster, as well as foie gras and capon. Bûche de Noël is a favorite dessert. Many of the city’s top pastry chef’s each create a version with their own special touch.

To drink you’ll find the Alsatian specialty vin chaud at many cafés and Christmas markets. There’s no better way to warm up than with a glass of mulled wine. Chocolat chaud is also a must. Angelina is known for their thick and rich version of hot chocolate, but we also love chocolate master Jacques Genin’s delicious version of the drink. For people-watching, you can’t beat a cup of hot chocolate at Café de Flore.

And of course, when in France, Champagne is always a good idea. Stop for a glass at a café or restaurant, treat yourself to an exceptional setting at a hotel bar, or better yet, enjoy a private Champagne tasting in a magnificent cellar to learn even more about this delicate drink.

galerie vivienne christmas decorations

Luxury Christmas Food & Decoration Private Walking Tour

Get into the Christmas magic with this exceptional walking tour. Your itinerary will start at the Grands Magasins, where you will discover what makes Christmas in Paris so special: food, wine and decorations. We’ll enter into a paradise of gourmet connoisseurs for an oyster and white wine tasting. Next, we’ll discover the best of Christmas foods all in one place (cheese, salmon, caviar, foie gras, chocolate, gingerbread and more).

After the tasting, you will admire the Christmas lights, decorations and trees in the stores. We’ll continue our walk to Madeleine where we’ll see the church as well as numerous gourmet shops.

Finally, we will take the little streets and passages, full of Christmas lights and decorations until we reach one of Paris’ best wine bars for a foie gras and champagne tasting!

Where to Stay in Paris During the Winter

hotel san regis christmas

To maximize your holiday spirit and experience in Paris during the winter we recommend staying in the heart of the city. The five-star Hotel San Régis is located just off of the Champs-Elysées and close to the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll have the best of Paris during the holidays at your fingertips with incredible access to Christmas markets, lights and decorations, shopping and more. After a long day, wind down with a drink at the bar or stroll the adjacent Avenue Montaigne to take in the impressive holiday displays.

For interior design fanatics, the 5-star Château Voltaire is a dream. The hotel is a tribute to the Parisian art de vivre. Three buildings dating from from the 17th and 18th centuries were combined to create the hotel. You’ll be steps away from the gorgeous Palais Garnier opera house, lively Jardin des Tuileries, and sophisticated shopping on Place Vendôme.

chateau voltaire hotel paris
© Romeo Ballancourt

Ready to visit Paris in the winter? There’s still time to plan a trip for this year! Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you.

Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

The holiday season in France is something that every traveller should experience at least once. Starting in mid-November there is an unrivaled festive atmosphere that overtakes the country. Whether you’re coming to get some shopping done in Paris, visit the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg, or to see the Loire Valley châteaux decorated, there’s truly something extraordinary almost anywhere you go. We’re breaking down the Christmas in France must-see highlights down by region.


Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

Lyon: Fête des Lumières

lyon fete des lumieres 2022
Photo Courtesy of the City of Lyon

For four nights in December, a variety of different artists take over Lyon for the Fête des Lumières. You’ll be able to discover illuminations on buildings, streets, squares and parks throughout the city. The 2022 Fête des Lumieres runs from December 8th to 11th. You can find more information here.

Paris: Christmas Shopping

galeries lafayette paris christmas

There’s so much to do in the French capital during the holidays that we have an entire post about visiting Paris in the winter. One activity that brings a lot of seasonal highlights together is Christmas shopping. Whether you’re visiting the Grand Magasin department stores or one of the Christmas markets you’ll be sure to take in the festive decorations and lights, and you’ll be able to bring back gifts from Paris!

Île de France: Vaux-le-Vicomte

christmas in france vaux le vicomte
Photo by Yann Pirioux

While the Château de Versailles doesn’t decorate for Christmas, one stunning castle in the Paris region that does is Vaux-le-Vicomte. Visitors will discover illuminations in both the gardens and the château. Inside, decorations have a gourmet theme this year. Rooms will be scented with gingerbread and cinnamon. To complete the cozy atmosphere, fireplaces will be lit and carriage rides will be offered. This year the festivities go from November 19th until December 31st (closed on December 25th). Reservations are required.

vaux le vicomte christmas
Photo Courtesy of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Private Guided Christmas Tour of Vaux-le-Vicomte with Afternoon Tea or Cocktail in a Private Room

After the castle is closed to the public, discover the State Rooms and the private apartments in peace. Your private guide will recount the tales from the heyday of the estate; from its creation by Nicolas Fouquet, through its operation in the 18th and 19th century, until its opening to visitors in 1968 thanks to the current owners, the De Vogüe family.

Afterwards, enjoy an extraordinary moment of relaxation in the Salon Le Brun. There will be a monumental projection specially set up for you! An evening fit for a King and Queen!

Strasbourg: Christmas Market

strasbourg christmas market 2022

The Christmas Markets in and around Strasbourg are without a doubt a holiday must-see. With more than 300 market stalls, miles of garlands of light, the majestic Big Tree, and dazzling shows and concerts there is nothing quite like the Strasbourg Christmas Market. This year the market is open from November 25th until December 24th at 6:00 pm. The After-Christmas Village at Louise Weiss Square will be open until January 1st 2023.

Loire Valley: Christmas Châteaux

loire valley christmas 2022

The Loire Valley châteaux are marvelous year round (we’ve identified our ten favorites here). During the holidays, many of the châteaux are decorated both inside and out. From Saturday December 3rd through Monday January 2nd, seven of the largest châteaux in the Loire region are celebrating the spirit of the end-of-year festivities through exceptional tours and events. You’ll see Christmas trees, festive wreaths, and holiday tables dressed to the nines. It’s truly a wonderful time of the year in the Loire Valley and especially fun for families.

Normandy: Christmas Markets and Light Shows

christmas in normandy rouen christmas market
Photo Courtesy of Normandy Tourism

In a region known for gourmet specialties including hearty ciders and cheeses, it’s not difficult to imagine that Christmas is a lively time of year. You’ll find Christmas Markets in the most picturesque of places: at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel (dates to be announced), along the port of Honfleur (dates to be announced), and at the base of the Rouen Cathedral (from November 23rd to December 25th) to name a few.

Provence: Unique Traditions

christmas in provence
Photo Courtesy of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Tourisme

In Provence, there is a unique Christmas tradition to eat 13 desserts following the Christmas dinner: one for each Christ and his twelve apostles. Each of the desserts served varies a bit based on the region and particular family. Some common items include fougasse, the four beggars (almonds, raisins, dried figs and nuts), Cachat piquant, white and black nougat, calissons, pain d’épice, and of course, the Bûche de Noël.

You’ll also find Santons, little clay figurines in nativity scenes. The literal translation of Santon is ‘little saint.’ There’s an entire Foire aux Santons dedicated to these collectables in Marseille, this year from November 19th through December 31st.

Bordeaux: Christmas Markets in Wine Country

christmas in bordeaux
© Facebook / Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

In the heart of Bordeaux you’ll find the Christmas market back again this year from November 25th to December 25th. It’s a wonderful place to admire the decorations and also get some shopping done. For a more artisanal market, this year there is a special Christmas market in the heart of Saint-Émilion on December 10th and 11th.

Pas de Calais: Fête de la Dinde de Licques

fete de liques 2022

France can be known for being quirky. Perhaps one of the quirkiest Christmas festivals is the Licques Turkey Festival in the north of France. It’s named for the turkey, which is a popular item served on Christmas day in France, but you’ll also find all sorts of gourmet regional products. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your Christmas menu and stock up on wine, cheese, chocolate, Champagne, and of course turkey! This year the festival will be held on December 10th and 11th.

French Alps: Snow, Skiing, and Merriment

christmas in france megeve

The snowy alps make them the perfect setting to celebrate a memorable Christmas. Whether you’re in Courchevel or Val d’Isère, you’ll be enchanted by the special Christmas magic including parades throughout town, Santa hitting the slopes and more.

Winter in Courchevel: The Last Track After Hours Ski

You’ll have the opportunity to continue skiing after the slopes are closed for the end of the day. You’ll meet at the top of Courchevel to have a drink while you enjoy the sunset.

Then, once the sky is dark and everyone is at home, you’ll enjoy the entire slope for yourself and experience what skiing at night is like. An excellent opportunity to take in the view on the lights of Courchevel from the top!

Are you ready to spend the holidays in France? Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you. They can help to identify the perfect region for you to experience the must-see Christmas highlights in France.

Where to Have Thanksgiving Dinner in Paris 2022

Although the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, visiting over the holiday is always popular for Americans. It’s a great time to see a mix of fall colors and the festive holiday decorations. If having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is important, we recommend staying in Paris. We’ve put together a list of where to have Thanksgiving dinner in Paris in 2022.


Where to Have Thanksgiving Dinner in Paris 2022

Ralph’s

ralph's paris thanksgiving dinner 2022
Photo Courtesy of Ralph’s Paris

One of the most beautiful settings for Thanksgiving Dinner in Paris is at Ralph’s inside the Ralph Lauren store on the Left Bank. Traditional Thanksgiving foods are displayed in front of the stately fireplace. Guests have the opportunity to taste everything on the menu, including all three types of pies. Ralph’s is known for their annual elegant Thanksgiving dinners, so it’s recommended to reserve well in advance. Ralph’s Paris

Treize au Jardin

treize au jardin where to have thanksgiving dinner in paris 2022
Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Reynaert

Treize au Jardin across from the Luxembourg Garden is famous for their delicious Southern style cooking. They have a special Thanksgiving menu that is so popular that they have dinners on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The friendly staff at Treize will surely make you feel right at home. There is also a vegetarian option. Treize au Jardin

la réserve paris apartments
Photo Courtesy of La Réserve

La Réserve Apartments

Are you dreaming of a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner in Paris in your own apartment, but with all of the services of a five-star hotel? Look no further than the La Réserve Apartments. Located near the Eiffel Tower, each private apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen as well as a dedicated butler 24/7.

Each apartment is family-friendly and large enough to accommodate groups for a Thanksgiving feast. A special Thanksgiving cooking class can be arranged for children to participate in the fun. Your 24/7 concierge will be able to assist you with any and all requests for a perfectly memorable evening.

Sunday in Soho

sunday in soho thanksgiving paris
Photo Courtesy of Sunday in Soho

Sunday in Soho offers three days of Thanksgiving dinners that you can enjoy in the restaurant or have delivered right to your apartment in Paris. The Thanksgiving at Home menu is perfect for people staying in an apartment who don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing a big meal. All you have to do is reheat and serve! Sunday in Soho

Breakfast in America

breakfast in america paris thanksgiving
Photo Courtesy of Breakfast in America

Breakfast in America offers two dinner seatings on Thanksgiving day where you can enjoy a traditional turkey dinner. The fixed price menu includes an apéritif, choice of starter, traditional Thanksgiving plate and choice of dessert. They cannot accommodate vegetarians or children with special menus. Breakfast in America

Hard Rock Café

The legendary Hard Rock Café is bringing back their special Thanksgiving menu for lunch and dinner starting on Thanksgiving Day through Sunday. The menu is available by reservation only and includes a main course, dessert, and cocktail. Hard Rock Cafe

homanie private castle

Thanksgiving in a Private Castle Outside Paris

For a unique Thanksgiving dinner, why not host your family and friends in an almost 65,000 square foot private castle 45 minutes outside of Paris? Dating from the 13th century, the castle is located on over 600 acres of a private park. The property is entirely renovated, yet maintains the stunning Medieval era architecture.

Some of the fabulous features of the property include a chapel, a bakery, a 1930’s bar, three kitchens, a Medieval tea room, a wine cellar and tasting room, a nightclub under a lake, a theater, a tennis court, five massage rooms, and an indoor swimming pool. It would truly be a once in a lifetime Thanksgiving!

Milagro

For a Thanksgiving meal not far from the Eiffel Tower don’t miss Milagro. You can dine in or takeaway a prepared meal for two, four, or six people on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening. A highlight of the dinner is sure to be the slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream! Milagro

Café Varenne

cafe varenne paris thanksgiving 2022

For a French take on Thanksgiving, head to Café Varenne in the 7th arrondissement. This neighborhood restaurant is a favorite of Ina Garten and offers “The Best Thanksgiving in Paris!” It’s the perfect way to experience an American Thanksgiving in a traditional French atmosphere. Café Varenne

Hotel Vernet

hotel vernet paris

Hotel Vernet offers an annual Thanksgiving feast under the beautiful Gustave Eiffel-designed glass dome. It’s a fun and very luxurious way to experience the American holiday in Parisian style. Hotel Vernet

Prepare Your Own Thanksgiving Dinner in Paris

If you feel like preparing a Thanksgiving dinner in Paris, luckily there are plenty of options! You can order a whole turkey (dinde) from most butcher shops. It should be noted that you should place your order one to two weeks before Thanksgiving day. Otherwise a roasted chicken makes a good substitute. American Thanksgiving cooking staples like canned pumpkin, cranberries, and stuffing are available at La Grande Épicerie or the American food store The Real McCoy.

paris fall market

Private Guided Tour of the Aligre Market

Want to shop for ingredients to cook your own Thanksgiving dinner in Paris? French Side Travel can arrange for a private guide to help you!

In this market, you will find a melting pot of different cultures and colors, fresh products, cheeses and wines. The market is divided into two sections: a covered market where you will find French delicatessen, fresh fishes, poultry, dairy, cut flowers and an uncovered market where you can see a curious mix between shouting fruit sellers and antique dealers. It’s half of a food market, half of a flea market – in case you’re looking for a special way to set the table!

Your guide will stop at several shops for you to taste a selection of the best French specialties along the way. The tour will be tailored accordingly to your tastes and special dietary restrictions to either include more sweet or salty food.


Need help making plans for Thanksgiving week in Paris? When you book your trip with French Side Travel our English-speaking Travel Care team will be able to offer assistance, 24/7 while you’re in France. There’s still time to plan a trip to France in 2022. Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you.

What to Do in Paris in 2022

There’s certainly never a shortage of things to see in the City of Light. As the list is ever-growing, French Side Travel is staying on top of the best of the best activities, tours, and accommodations to make your stay spectacular. Read on to discover our list of what to do in Paris in 2022.


What to Do in Paris in 2022

Check In at a New Hotel

Treat yourself to an exceptional experience with a stay at one of Paris’ fabulous new 5-star hotels.

Bulgari Hotel Paris

what to do in paris in 2022 bulgari hotel paris

The most recent opening in Paris is the Bulgari Hotel. Perfectly situated on Avenue George V in the Golden Triangle, formed by the Champs-Élysées, Avenue George V, and Avenue Montaigne, the hotel enjoys a privileged location. The fabulous 360 degree views of Paris will dazzle guests. Don’t miss drinks at the bar and an unforgettable meal at Il Ristorante – Niko Romito. The spa is a crucial part of the Bulgari Hotel experience and occupies almost 14,000 square feet over two levels. The pool area recalls images of magnificent Roman baths. Notice the glass columns made using a Lalique technique, they represent the fusion of French and Italian traditions.

Cheval Blanc Paris

cheval blanc paris

In the heart of Paris at the foot of the Pont Neuf bridge is the fabulous Cheval Blanc. Bathed in light and bright colors, the hotel blends a contemporary style with Art Déco inspirations. Each of the 72 rooms and suites are exceptionally large for Paris. They feature panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the Seine and surrounding buildings. The Dior Spa offers a collection of exclusive services specially developed for Cheval Blanc Paris. It also features a stunning almost 100 foot long swimming pool. The nearly 7,000 square foot terrace on the 7th floor features two restaurants with incredible views of Paris.

Next Door to Cheval Blanc: La Samaritaine

what to do in paris in 2022 la samaritaine
La Samaritaine – Paris

Private Guided Visit of La Samaritaine Paris

Over the past 150 years, La Samaritaine has evoked fond memories for many Parisians from climbing the steps leading to its renowned glass roof to shopping for unexpected gifts.

The Cheval Blanc’s neighbor was gloriously reimagined. It fuses the original Art Nouveau and Art Deco details with contemporary state-of-the-art architecture. This iconic landmark is must-visit destination for locals and travelers to indulge in what is quintessentially the Parisian experience.

In this exclusive tour, your expert guide will tell you all about the history of La Samaritaine, its architecture, the renovations, as well as what’s in store for La Samaritaine in the near future.

For those looking for a VIP experience at La Samaritaine, French Side Travel can also arrange to privatize a lounge and provide a personal shopper.

Take an Exclusive Cruise Along the Seine River

what to do in paris in 2022 river cruise

Indulge in a tailor-made private cruise down the most beautiful waterway in the world, the Seine River. You’ll see many of Paris’ most stunning museums and landmarks from an unparalleled perspective. Your boat is a luxurious Venetian water taxi, custom-built for the Seine River in Venice. It features a private salon with a leather banquette, tinted windows, and a roof that can be open or closed. Enjoy a bottle of Champagne during your memorable and romantic journey in Paris.

If you prefer a lunch or dinner along the Seine, a cruise aboard the Ducasse sur Seine boat is an experience like no other. The electric boat glides in silence along the river. All food is prepared on board, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the freshest, most delicious food possible in true Ducasse style. Between courses be sure to take an opportunity to walk outside and soak in the views. It’s truly a once in a lifetime meal in Paris!

Enjoy Unique Shopping Opportunities

shopping in paris

Whether you’re interested in fashion, jewelry, or the storied history of the world-renowned designers in Paris, French Side Travel has an experience for you.

The French capital is home to some of the world’s most prestigious jewelry designers and houses who draw from hundreds of years of expertise and savoir faire to create truly unforgettable pieces. During this private shopping experience your stylist will arrange visits in private jewelry salons to help you find that something extraordinary.

If you’re more interested in fashion history, take a private guided Haute Couture walk on Avenue Montaigne. You’ll trace the history of the most chic avenue in Paris step by step. One of the stories you’ll learn about is Christian Dior’s, who set up shop in 1947 at 30 Avenue Montaigne. The couturier undoubtedly contributed to the international reputation of Avenue Montaigne thanks to his legendary boutique.

For a very VIP experience, French Side Travel can privatize the boutique of one of the most prestigious brands in Paris. Think Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and more! This is truly a once in a lifetime shopping experience in Paris!

Indulge in a Foodie Experience

what to do in paris in 2022 foodie experience

Our what to do in Paris in 2022 list wouldn’t be complete without a food experience. Whether you’re interested in chocolate, cheese, Champagne, or food markets there is surely a food tour that will please. Discover a French Side Travel favorite: a private guided tour of French Chef’s shops in Paris. Guests will discover the best pastries in Paris and the latest sweet trends from Pierre Hermé, Christophe Michalak, Thierry Marx or Philippe Conticini. You of course will taste their “signature” recipes, a mix between culinary tradition and innovation. During this food tour in Paris you will enter in some Meilleurs Ouvriers de France’s shops.

what to do in paris in 2022 le grand controle

The Feast by Alain Ducasse

Experience Versailles Like Never Before with an Exceptional 12-Course Meal

Have you ever dreamed of living a sumptuous evening like a French King? From the menu to the waiters’ attire and the setting to the tableware, everything comes together to make a dinner in the Ducasse salons at the Château de Versailles an experience.

Alain Ducasse carried out careful research and took his inspiration from 18th century menus, yet took a contemporary interpretation of the cuisine. Beyond dinner, it is a genuine experience. Be ready to be amazed by the traditional à la française service, menu inspired by the court with contemporary flavors, tableware from the ancient royal manufacture of Limoges re-edited by Bernardaud, and staff in tailor-made outfits inspired by the 18th century.


We hope this list of what to do in Paris in 2022 will help inspire future travel to the City of Light. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Normandy, Bordeaux, the South of France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

French Side Travel Favorites: Paris

Recently part of the French Side Travel team met up in Paris. The team visited suppliers and experienced several of the most-loved and most-booked experiences, tours, hotels, and restaurants. There’s no shortage of things to do and see in the City of Light, and we’re excited to share the French Side Travel favorites in Paris.


French Side Travel Favorites: Paris

Favorite Paris Experiences

Seine River Cruise with Champagne

paris seine cruise

Nothing quite compares to seeing Paris from the water. A Seine River cruise is a great way to orient yourself or fight off jet lag all while discovering Paris from a unique vantage point. There really isn’t a bad time for a Seine River cruise – boats depart every 30 minutes during high season. French Side Travel works with smaller boat companies for a more intimate and personal experience. There’s even live commentary instead of an audioguide. Our top cruise recommendation? One that departs around sunset and involves a glass of Champagne!

Market Visit, Cooking Class, and Traditional French Lunch or Dinner

french side travel favorites paris cooking class

What’s the ultimate foodie experience in Paris? Surely a market visit followed by a cooking class and a meal at an inviting cooking school on the Left Bank. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how and why French people select certain products at the markets, prepare a multi-course meal, and sit down with a chef to enjoy the meal. This unique activity is always a French Side Travel client favorite. The cooking school also offers specific classes on macarons, French breads and baguettes, éclairs and more!

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel brighton paris view

Hôtel Brighton

Built-in the 19th century by Lord Egerton, this 4-star hotel was one of the first hotels in Paris. The hotel is truly ideally located with a sublime view of the Tuileries Garden, Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower.

The individually decorated rooms come with antique furniture and exude an elegant and refined Parisian charm. The traditional marble columns of the bar make it an ideal setting to enjoy a cocktail made by the mixologist. A full breakfast buffet with the very best French products is served every day in the breakfast room.

Cheesemaking Workshop or Wine and Cheese Pairing

Tasting French cheeses is always a top request for clients visiting Paris. To take it a step farther, French Side Travel can organize a special cheesemaking workshop held at a cheese shop. You’ll learn all of the fromager’s best tips and tricks to master making French cheeses and butter at home. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to taste your creations with bread and wine.

If you’d like to skip making cheese and go straight to tasting that can also be arranged! You’ll get to visit the cheese maturing cellar and learn all about the aging process. Next you’ll head down to the historic 17th century tasting room where you can taste up to nine cheeses and four perfectly paired wines. Be sure to note your favorites. You’ll be able to purchase cheeses to enjoy during the rest of your trip!

Favorite Paris Tours

Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Located in the 5th arrondissement between the Seine River and the Sainte Genevieve mount, the Latin Quarter is one neighborhood in Paris that you must not miss. Your guide will show you everything ancient, medieval and contemporary in this diverse quartier. The district is mostly a melting pot of students and tourists thanks to its great shopping, bars and restaurants. There are also iconic museums that shouldn’t be missed including the Pantheon, Sorbonne University, and Cluny Museum. This tour offers you a cultural and historic mix, from ancient origins to bustling back streets and quiet little squares.

Tour Paris in a Classic Car

paris classic car tour

During this two-hour tour of Paris you’ll discover the beautiful monuments of Paris: the Avenue des Champs Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the majestic Eiffel Tower, the imposing Louvre and the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral among others. The open roof of the classic French car will give you a fabulous view of the unmissable sights of the French capital, complemented by numerous explanations from your English-speaking driver-guide. Thanks to the small size of the car you’ll also see the city’s chic boutiques, the lively side streets, and picturesque yet narrow alleys reflecting the authentic Parisian ambiance and art de Vivre. This memorable experience is much more than the typical “highlights of Paris” tour!

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel napoleon paris

Hôtel Napoléon

Just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, this luxury hotel offers all the splendor of a large private house. Its romantic decor recounts one of the most beautiful pages in the history of France, that of Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte. With its cozy rooms, beautiful suites or large adjoining rooms, the property is ideal for couples and families alike.

Built in the 1920s, it was designed to provide sumptuous accommodation for the high society of the time. The hotel has stood the test of time and developed an outstanding ability to welcome its guests. The intimate atmosphere, which at different times has attracted guests ranging from Jean Gabin to Josephine Baker and Errol Flynn, has made it a legendary place to stay that is just as charming and popular today. Every part of the hotel is luxuriously decorated, making it an enchanting and exceptional setting in the so-called Golden Triangle.

From breakfast in the morning, to gourmet lunch then after-dinner drinks in the evening, not to mention a morning or afternoon tea perhaps tasting a few inventive and trendy recipes, the restaurant is there to satisfy its guests’ every desire.

Montmartre Walking Tour

french side travel favorites montmartre paris tour

Montmartre is truly a charming small village within Paris. Located in the northern part of the city, Montmartre will take you back to a bohemian Paris with its narrow streets steeped in history. You’ll see the famous Sacre-Cœur Cathedral and the Place du Tertre, the former haunt of Belle-Epoque painters such as Toulouse Lautrec, Monet, Modigliani, Degas, and Renoir among others. Afterwards, your guide will show you the lesser-known side of Montmartre’s history and culture as you navigate winding cobblestone streets lined with quaint shops, museums, artist studios, inviting sidewalk cafés and some of Paris’ most storied nightlife spots. You’ll see it all: the best restaurants and brasseries, art galleries, historic homes and mills. Don’t forget your camera – there are plenty of photo opportunities on this fabulous tour!

Favorite Paris Restaurants

Le Ciel De Paris

le ciel de paris restaurant view

For a breathtaking and unexpected view of Paris from above you won’t be heading to the Eiffel Tower, but instead to another tower, the Tour Montparnasse. This restaurant is perfect for a special occasion and offers a look of Paris in widescreen. Choose from either an à la carte or set menu and let the views from 56 floors above the City of Light dazzle you!

Ducasse sur Seine

french side travel favorites ducasse sur seine

Part experience and part restaurant, no other Seine River cruise quite compares to the Ducasse sur Seine. All of the ingredients are chosen according to seasonality, delivered fresh each day, and prepared on-board. Each table offers lovely views of the city as the electric boat glides across the river. French Side Travel always encourages clients to enjoy a moment outside on the deck between courses to take in the truly magical perspective of Paris.

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel bel ami paris

Hôtel Bel Ami

This boutique five-star hotel is located on the Left Bank right in the heart of Paris’s famed Saint-Germain-de-Prés neighborhood. The Louvre Museum is just a 10-minute walk away, and many of the city’s favorite attractions can be discovered on foot.

The hotel’s atmosphere is modern and warm. Onsite you can enjoy a buffet breakfast or weekend brunches.

A spa, sauna, and fitness center are available. The onsite bar serves creative cocktails and is a great place to unwind with a snack and a drink. For travelers arriving in the morning, a relaxation room is at your disposal for a shower or changing clothes before beginning to discover the city.

This property is perfect for travelers interested in the food, culture, and art offerings abundant in Paris’s sixth arrondissement between the two most famous cafés in the city: Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots

Pizzeria Popolare

Pizzeria Popolare is fun, delicious, and good for groups which can sometimes be hard to find in Paris. The Big Mamma restaurant group works directly with producers to provide the freshest and most authentic Italian ingredients. For craft cocktail aficionados, the bar is the largest in Paris and has over 500 different alcohols. You might think you’re in Naples instead of in Paris!


We hope you enjoyed French Side Travel’s Paris favorites. It’s always the small details that make the trips go smoothly. French Side Travel can handle all of them for you! Whether you’d like VIP airport arrival or departure assistance, perfectly timed transfers, or help with a last minute reservation we’re here to help. When you book your trip with French Side Travel our English-speaking Travel Care team will be able to offer assistance, 24/7 while you’re in France. Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you.

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