Paris in December felt different again, even though I had just visited this city 3 months ago. I mean I recognized all the buildings, but the atmosphere just felt different! All the lights were up for the Christmas season and everyone was bundled up for the cold weather.
They had even set up the Roue de Paris at Place de la Concorde. The Roue de Paris. The Roue de Paris is a transportable Ferris wheel and it was first set up in 2000 and has been transported to many other cities around the world. I guess it was back for 2013 during the winter, since it was just behind the Luxor Obelisk.
If you want some fancy shopping, other than Champs Elysees, head over to Boulevard Haussmann. You’ll be able to catch the Paris Opera House, as well as the two famous department stores – Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes. When I visited Paris in September, the windows displays were already beautiful with top fashion and accessories, but December was a whole different story! Just look at this Prada window display at Printemps! Prada had basically transformed all of Printemps windows into a magical wonderland! These little bears with Prada handbags were moving! Galeries Lafayettes also captured all the tourists with their stunning displays, but I think Printemps definitely stole the show!
At night, seeing the Eiffel Tower is a must. I suggest going day and night to get the most of this beautiful view, although the metro trip is a bit out of the way. What’s better is that at night, at every hour, the tower sparkles! You can see this blue beam of light shooting from afar, but when you get close to it, it actually sparkles on the tower! On the spot ever hour and it lasts for around 5 minutes. Quite a beautiful view to see!
Obviously I also showed them around to the typical tourist spots, but I’ve already mentioned them in previous posts from my September visit. This time, we had a bit more time, and we decided to take a trip to Versailles. Versailles is a city in the region of Île-de-France and is accessible from Paris by just taking the RER C for around an hour. The city is famous for the Palace of Versailles, which housed the French Kings until the French Revolution, so is significant for absolute power. The area is huge, with a gigantic palace, garden, the Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.
I highly recommend visiting Versailles, even if you’re not a history museum type of person. It’s a palace which will give you a wow factor and I think it tops the most luxurious palaces I’ve seen personally. I’ve actually been here back when I was in high school, but now that I’m older, everything makes so much more sense. You definitely get a different view, and if you’re under 18, it’s absolutely free! Also, if you’re under 26, and a resident of the EU, you can also get in for free! I was on exchange and had a Spanish Visa, so I got in for free! If not, adult admission is 18 euros for the passport, which gives you entry to every single building. Definitely not that bad since you could spend at least half your day here.
At night, we found a bistro near the Royal Wagram Hotel , where we stayed. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but it seemed to be a local bistro. We had the famous Parisian Steak et Frites. It came with mustard, which is quite common for the French. We had asked for well-done, so I found the meat to be a little too tough for my liking. I would’ve personally chosen to have it medium-rare.
We also had the Smoked Salmon Fettuccine. This wasn’t too bad, although I wish there was more sauce to it. I found it a little dry, so I had to add a lot of cheese to it.
And last but not least, we had to get some French Escargots. These were cooked with pesto and pretty good! You even get special tongs to get these snails out!
After dinner, we went back to our hotel to begin packing. An early flight the next morning lay ahead of us. To a sunny destination!