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Photo: Amelie Dupont, Paris TO Christmas in Paris The city of fairy lights
We asked our favourite Paris locals for their top tips on what to see and do in the city at Christmas. Thanks to Barbara Pasquet James, a US lifestyle editor who writes about food fashion and culture, from Paris and photo blogs at: FocusOnParis.com. And to Francois Dapremont at our favourite hotel in Paris, the lovely Hotel Balmoral close to the Arc de Triomphe, he's a mine of information on the best things do in the city. And to Daisy de Plume of ThatMuse who runs Treasure Hunts at Museums including the Louvre. They've come up with some brilliant recommendations to enjoy Christmas in Paris like a local... Barbara: Usually Paris is “easy” during the holidays as there is so much going on: Christmas markets, later-than-usual shopping, the ubiquitous after-dark light show on the Champs-Elysées. Many neighborhood streets (not just the Champs-Elysées) get decked out in holiday finery. However Christmas Day, which would seem like a slam-dunk, can be unexpectedly challenging because in France, both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day translate into Family with a capital F. This means that finding restaurants that are open are rare, and those that are, will be quite expensive, requiring bookings well in advance. To make matters worse, this year Christmas Day falls on a Monday when much is closed anyway. And those Christmas markets? By the 25th they’ve packed it in. But fret not there's loads to see and do... Daisy: With the rinks open, ice skating is always a fave with my family from the Hôtel de Ville to gliding about 57 meters up within the Tour Eiffel. We love stopping off at any one of the many wonderful manèges, or carrousels, scattered about the city for a whizz about (the oldest one being a doubledecker carrousel at the Hotel de Ville). Then we like to warm our tootsies on the Bateaux Parisiens, which have musical entertainment on the Seine in the afternoon. Before toddling on home, we stop for some quiet time at Notre-Dame, which brings the meaning of Christmas, and the history of Paris with those 12th century walls, home so very meaningfully.
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