Image of the inside of Galeries Lafayette with arched balconies, Christmas tree, decorations and glass domed ceiling Christmas shopping surrounded by the beauty of the Galeries Lafayette is an experience not to be missed (Photo credit: b-senses photographie- Facebook: )

As the chilly winter Arctic winds blow, some people prefer to huddle inside and hibernate, but savvy travelers make the most of low airfares and bargains on off-peak vacation rentals and head out to explore a new destination. At this festive holiday time of year, Paris is one of the most breathtaking spots you can visit, where sparkling holiday lights, world-class shopping and delectable delicacies await to entice you out of your winter slumber. So throw on an extra sweater and let’s explore the magic of Paris in the Wintertime….

1. Shopping

Image of the outside of Galeries Lafayette shopping center in Paris with Christmas lights Enjoy the illuminated city of Paris at holiday time while getting your Christmas shopping done (Photo credit: shivapat via Flickr)

What better way could there be to get your Christmas shopping done than amidst the twinkling lights and the holiday market stalls lining the famed Champs Elysées. Here you’ll find everything from high-end fashion and jewelry labels for the style-obsessed to unique handcrafted items you’ll only find on the streets of Paris. Make your way along the Champs Elysées admiring the window displays with a glass of vin chaud (mulled wine heated with sugar and spices and often citrus fruit) in hand or stop by one of the stalls selling the delicious melted cheesiness known as raclette (cheese melted over a fire and then scraped onto bread or boiled potatoes) to keep you fueled for all that holiday shopping!

2. Ice Skating

If your kids (or your significant other) get cranky from all the shopping, take them for a spin around one of Paris’s patinoires — the festive ice skating rinks that dot the Paris landscape from mid-December to late January. No need to drag along your skates, rentals are available! Take a twirl around the rink while you take in the breathtaking surroundings. Some of the most notable patinoires include those at the Hotel de Ville in the 4th arrondissement, the Eiffel Tower in the 7th, Grand Palais in the 8th, Trocadéro and Jardin d’Acclimatation in the 16th, and the Zoo de Paris at Bois de Vincennes. If you happen to be heading to Paris this winter for a bit of romance, we’ve got the perfect accommodations for snuggling on a cold night in Paris!

Image of living room of PA-1344 in the Marais with wood beam ceiling, chandelier, bookcases and sofas This glamorous Parisian-styled apartment is just a short walk from shopping at the Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville

Once you’ve had enough of the outdoors, retreat to this 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment located on the 1st floor of a five-story 18th century building in the Le Marais section of Paris. Available as both a vacation rental and as a longer-term furnished rental, this gorgeous Parisian-styled residence is only a five minute walk from the BHV Marais (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville ), the iconic French department store dating back to 1856. You can’t get much closer than that for Christmas shopping convenience! After a long day of shopping you can head back to the comfort of your furnished rental to unwind. The apartment encompasses classic features such as parquet flooring and bay windows overlooking the courtyard and street, letting natural light flow in. The exposed wood beam ceiling and decorative fireplace add a warm touch to this stunning apartment. Gorgeous chandeliers illuminate the living room and bedrooms adding grandeur and charm to this residence. Gilded mirrors and heavy wooden doors in the bedrooms evoke a romantic image of Paris from centuries past while the modernly styled kitchen and bathroom as well as laundry machine within the apartment itself give it updated convenience.

Image of living room of PA-4197 with daybed, exposed stone walls and wood beam ceilings The daybed in this Marais vacation rental is the perfect spot for a long winter nap

Another charming rental located within walking distance of the BHV that would be any serious Christmas shopper’s delight is this 1 bedroom apartment also located in the trendy Marais district. Located in a 17th century building in the 4th arrondissement, this apartment retains the coziness of classic features such as original hardwood floors, exposed stone and wooden beams, while also combining modern conveniences for today’s traveler, such as a mounted flat screen television with international cable channels, a combination washer/dryer and a dishwasher. Curl up on the daybed in the cozy nook off the living area with your morning coffee and plan your day of touring and winter revelry ahead. A wooden dining table sits between the windows, where you can enjoy a home cooked meal in the comfort of your own Parisian apartment. When you’re ready to head out and explore again, try out one of our suggested day trip excursions that are easily reachable from a rented apartment home base in Paris. Or check out these apartments near the Eurostar line for a quick getaway to London or the South of France.

Image of people dining inside the Passage du Panorama shopping gallery with glass ceiling and Christmas decorations The Passage du Panorama offers indoor shopping and dining under a glass roofed gallery (Credit:

For shopping with a bit of a historic twist, meander through the 18th century glass-roofed shopping galleries known as les passages couverts (covered passages) including Galerie Vivienne, Passage des Panoramas and Passage Jouffrey. Here you can find shopping and dining all within an indoor gallery in case the weather in Paris gets a bit nippy. Stop by to enjoy the shopping and dining or just to admire the architecture, artwork and mosaics that line these historic passages that pre-dated the modern shopping mall.

Image of bedroom of PA-4117 with exposed wood beam ceilings and a bed After a long day of holiday shopping, the relaxing bedroom of this Paris vacation rental awaits

If you’re looking for a cozy spot to settle into for the winter close to all the best shopping including the Passage de Panoramas and the famed Galeries Lafayette, this studio apartment in Le Marais is warm and inviting with exposed wood beams and courtyard views. An antique mirror and built-in bookshelves add classic charm to this property while modern conveniences ensure you have all the comforts of home including laundry washer/dryer. The kitchen includes dishwasher and essential cooking appliances for preparing meals while the dining table accommodates three. Sleeping accommodations include a queen bed and double sofa bed. Rent this property and you’ll be surrounded by boutiques and galleries among the narrow streets of Le Marais where you can immerse yourself in the architecture of the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

3. Christmas Markets

Image of Christmas market stalls in the shape of Alpine cottages with the Eiffel Tower in the background Shop the Christmas markets with an Eiffel Tower backdrop (Photo credit: JanetandPhil via Flickr)

For shopping with a festive flair, European Christmas Markets (known as Marchés de Noël in France) are famous throughout the world and will surely make your winter trip to Paris unforgettable! Browse the gingerbread cottage-like stalls and find truly unique gifts for all the people on your holiday shopping list, while you treat yourself to some well-earned traditional holiday goodies for all your hard work! Here you’ll find everything from handmade wooden toys to soaps scented with fresh lavender from Provence to chic scarves no Parisian woman can do without.

Image of Christmas market stalls with reindeer with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background Discover Paris’s Marchés de Noël dotted around the city (Credit:

Marchés de Noël can be found throughout the city in both small squares and next to famous sights like Notre Dame Cathedral. Some of our favorites include; Le Village de Noël Parvis de La Défense (11/23 – 12/28), Marché de Noël aux Invalides (12/15 – 12/24 and 12/26 – 12/31), Marche de Noel Paris Notre Dame (11/15-12/24), and Village de Noël Champs de Mars (12/21-01/08).

Image of living room of furnished apartment PA-3135 with daybed and exposed wood beam ceilings Stay in true Parisian style at this furnished rental within walking distance of famed Notre Dame Cathedral

Just 20 minute walk from Notre Dame you can stay in true Parisian style at this furnished 1 bedroom apartment in the Saint Germain des Près section of Paris. Experience the grandeur of Paris’s past in this 17th century building that retains its grand marble entry staircase and stuccoed ceilings. The cozy living room with daybed and armchairs overlooks the courtyard and features exposed wood beam ceilings. The kitchen is fully equipped for preparing meals in the comfort of home with some local ingredients on a winter’s day and includes the convenience of a dishwasher and a laundry washer/dryer. The bedroom has a double-sized bed, antique desk with chair, built-in bookshelves and parquet floors and overlooks the courtyard. The full bathroom with tub and shower is accessible off the bedroom while an additional half bathroom is located off the living room.

In the area you will find the convenience of restaurants, cafes, cinemas and supermarkets while the intellectual core of Paris, the Quartier Latin, abounds with nearby historical points of interest such as the Seine, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame, and the Boulevard Saint Germain as well as many antique shops. Don’t miss our top ten must-see museums, or if the arts are more your thing, don’t miss Paris’s grand entertainment venues.

4. Theme Park for Christmas

Image of Cinderella’s Castle at Disneyland Paris with Christmas wreaths in the shape of Mickey Mouse lining the street Treat the kids to the splendor of Disneyland Paris at Christmastime (Photo credit: Kevin Gaudin via Flickr)

Last but not least, if you’re visiting Paris with the family and want to reward the kids for all their patience while you got all your holiday shopping done, plan a stop at Disneyland Paris. The excitement of Christmastime, the thrill of all the amusement rides and the fascination of seeing their favorite cartoon characters come to life is a magical combination no child will soon forget. And who can resist Mickey Mouse with a French accent? For more kid-friendly winter activities in Paris, check out our blog!

There’s something for everyone’s wishlist this holiday season in Paris — from shopping for famous Parisian fashions to taking a spin around an ice rink with the Hotel de Ville as the backdrop — Paris is a truly magical city at Christmastime. At New York Habitat we’ve got plenty of dreamy apartments filled with Parisian charm and coziness to make any trip to the City of Lights truly unforgettable. Head to our website to browse our inventory and make a wishlist of your favorites.

Related apartment rental posts from New York Habitat:
  1. Paris Winter Guide 2016
  2. Paris Winter Guide 2015
  3. Warm Up This Winter With Fondue in Paris
  4. Top 10 Things To Do With Kids During Winter In Paris
  5. Ways to Spend the Fall Outdoors in NYC


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