5. Paris at Christmas: Festive Shopping Past and Present
Your guide will first take you on a journey away from the crowded shopping streets and into a more hidden side of the city. This is where Parisians shop in what were the precursors of today’s shopping malls. Discover richly decorated elegant passages, which were once lit by some of the first electric or gas lights in the city. Today they are still home to charming boutiques and brasseries, as they were then, with café tables spilling out into the passageways. Covered with glass roofs to avoid the winter weather, they are the perfect place to explore during the holiday season.
See the beautiful and extremely fashionable Palais Royal. Explore its arcades full of history, chic stores, and bijou pastry shops. You will also pass by the magnificent Opera Garnier and hear the story of its infamous Phantom. Then it’s back onto the bustling Parisian boulevards, to visit the Galeries Lafayette, which is one of the most splendid old department stores in Paris. It is renowned for its dazzling glass dome and the imaginative spectacular Christmas tree that is installed under it each year. French children come here to gaze at the wonderful window displays, join them and be enchanted by the holiday magic.
End your tour at a fine gourmet food store, where you will be able to see, taste, and buy all sorts of typical French Christmas delicacies, both sweet and savory. Join the locals as they shop for their festive tables and immerse yourself in a truly Parisian holiday season.