Sunny days in Paris, enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine on the banks of the Seine can be beautiful, but for me, the best possible time to visit and explore France's capital city is in the lead up to Christmas in late November and December. While it will be bitterly cold and there isn't the same intoxicating blend of activity and laziness that Paris always seems to hold when the weather is nice, in return, visitors can see Paris at its very best.
A sense of being in your very own little world
Paris in the snow is especially unique, as the normally crowded streets take on a new feeling, giving a sense of being in your very own little world. With less people on the streets, and the snow falling, it seems as if you have the city to yourself, and with muffled sounds, the city is quieter and more peaceful by far. No visit to Paris is complete without a walk along the banks of the Seine, but on a snowy winter night, with the gentle golden lights showing the way, it's impossible not to feel like you are in a movie. Notre Dame Cathedral stretches up seemingly forever, and the Eiffel Tower reaches into the misty sky in a way that no summer evening can match for power and atmosphere.
I also love the activities and events that happen in the winter months, with multiple ice skating rinks popping up (the photo above is at Hotel de ViIlle) and bright Christmas lights everywhere. Another serious highlight is walking the many Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine and tasting all the different food.
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