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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Let’s bring out all the clichés, shall we? Paris is the city of love (not only lights) and while it’s a favourite destination year-round, the city’s true magic comes alive but once a year, in winter.

Christmastime is without a doubt one of the most magical times to visit the French capital, the city known widely as the “City of Lights,” which seem to sparkle all the more bright at this time of the year, giving the city a magic glow that bewitches both new and old visitors. Since 2007, every year, at the end of November the Champs Elysées is lit up and it’s simply charming.

Audrey Tautou

This year the City of Paris wanted to do something big, really big. So they invited Audrey Tautou, star of Amélie for the event. The actress had the honour of turning on the festive lights, along with the city’s mayor, kickstarting one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Playing light games

As mentioned before, the mayor wanted to do something big this year. The lights themselves play their own trompe l’oeil, as many of the lights are reflected off of circular mirrors installed above the trees giving an illusion of a twinkling paradise. The lights in Paris are part of a project started two years ago that will continue annually until 2015 called Les Tree Rings which replaces the previous light project called Snowfall.


One thing that is true about Paris in winter is that this city lives at night. The best time to head the city’s many outdoor ice skating rinks is at night when all is aglow. The most famous is the one opposite town call, Hotel de Ville, just steps from the Notre Dame Cathedral. The ice rink is open Mondays to Fridays from noon until 22:00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 until 22:00.

Champs by day

Feeling incredibly spontaneous? Fancy a walk down the most famous promenade in the world?  There’s still time! Catch a post-Christmas train for £125 from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare de Nord in less than 2.5 hours.

Catch this deal before it’s gone and spend 2 days in Paris before the end of the year!

Imgs:,, Paz Arbalejo


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