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Five winter experiences in Paris that can’t be missed

Pedistrian Walking Down Paris Street

The 'City of Love' takes on a special enchantment in winter. As the chill embraces the city, its historic streets glisten with a subtle magic and the essence of Parisian charm shines through. From savoring a velvety hot chocolate and uncovering hidden oases of warmth, to traversing the timeless covered passages, join the locals with these essential winter experiences that are guaranteed to warm up your stay. 

Immerse yourself in the embrace of a Parisian hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate in Paris

As the City of Light dons its winter cloak, Parisians and curious wanderers find solace in the timeless joy of sipping this liquid indulgence. Within the intimate salons of the city's five-star establishments, such as the enchanting Jardin d’Hiver at Hôtel de Crillon (10 place de la Concorde, 75008), and the iconic Salon Proust at Ritz Paris (15 place Vendôme, 75001), the secret recipe for the sumptuous "Chocolat chaud à l’ancienne" is a closely guarded treasure. 

Beyond these elegant sanctuaries, Paris unfolds a tapestry of hot chocolate experiences—from historic brasseries like La Rotonde (105 boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006) and Le Bonaparte (42 rue Bonaparte, 75006) to quaint patisseries tucked away on charming cobblestone streets. It's not merely a warm beverage, it's an invitation to partake in one of the locals' cherished pastimes—people watching. 

Find tropical warmth at the city’s hidden oases

Botanical Garden

Amidst Paris's winter chill, Jardin des Plantes' historic tropical greenhouses, known as the "Grandes Serres", will transport you to a far-off destination where exotic flora thrives beneath the nurturing embrace of glass walls. A visit to Jardin d'agronomie tropicale René-Dumont in the 12th arrondissement also promises an intriguing adventure. This secret garden, dating back to 1899, remains an undiscovered gem for many Parisians. Here, agronomists once conducted experiments with plant reproductions from the colonies, including coffee, cacao, vanilla, and banana. 

Alternatively, the Aquarium de Paris (5 avenue Albert De Mun, 75116), a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower,  offers an escape to the azure waters surrounding Tahiti and New Caledonia. While you’re there, don't miss the thrill of approaching France's largest shark pool. 

Step back in time at covered passage

Paris Alley

Paris’ 19th-century covered passages reveal a world of timeless charm, where history, culture, and the unexpected intertwine. Passage de Choiseul (40 rue des Petits Champs – 23 rue Saint Augustin, 75002) boasts a delightful mix of shops and eateries. Nearby, Passage du Grand Cerf (145 rue Saint-Denis – 10 rue Dussoubs, 75002) charms with its craft shops, fabric emporiums, and designer shops under a high glass ceiling. Meanwhile, Passage Verdeau (6 rue de la Grange-Batelière, 75003 - 31 bis rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009) lures with books, art, antique dealers, and traditional bistros. 

Although not as polished as its counterparts, Passage des Panoramas (11 boulevard Montmartre - 151, rue Montmartre, 75002) has a charm of its own, with its specialist stamp shops and inviting cafes. 

Hunt for vintage gems and quirky souvenirs at the flea market

Antique Shop in Paris

There’s nothing like the thrill of a treasure hunt to keep you warm on a cold winter’s day. Wrap up in your coziest attire and head to the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen—the world’s largest concentration of antique dealers and second-hand sellers, where 12 covered markets and five shopping streets await. As you stroll through labyrinthine alleys lined with vintage furniture, antiques, and charming collectibles, you'll discover a world of hidden gems. 

Each stall tells a story, and bargaining with local vendors adds a layer of authenticity to your experience. It's a delightful way to immerse yourself in local life, and whether you find a vintage piece of art, a quirky trinket, or a unique souvenir, your visit to the flea market will be a memorable journey through time, making you feel like a true Parisian.


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