5 days in Paris at Christmas with the Paris Region Pass Experience

  1. 5 days in Paris at Christmas with the Paris Region Pass Experience

The Paris Region Pass places the best of the Paris Region in the palm of your hand! Combining unlimited use of the region’s public transport and access to a wide range of tourist attractions on a single card, the Paris Region Pass lets you discover the wonders of Paris and its region easily and at your leisure.

To ensure that you do not miss anything during the end-of-year celebrations, we have put together a tailor-made 3-day tour. From the towers of Notre Dame cathedral to the Louvre museum, the banks of the Seine to the palace of Versailles… just follow our guide and enjoy a completely unique Experience!

Save up to 25% on this tour with the Paris Region Pass Experience.

All of the offers followed by an asterisk ( * ) are included in your Paris Region Pass Experience.

After arriving at the airport, head over to one of our Tourist Information Points to pick up the Paris Region Pass that you pre-booked online or to buy it in situ. Our teams are here to help you and to provide any assistance required to organise your stay.

Once you have collected your pass, go to the RER * station or use the bus services * to travel to the heart of the capital. Have you dropped off your luggage at your hotel? Then we are ready to go…

Tour illuminations Open Tour
Tour illuminations Open Tour
Marché de Noël Notre-Dame de Paris%252C 2017

To get into the Christmas spirit, we’ll head straight to the Christmas market held in the square outside Notre Dame cathedral. A small glass of mulled wine will not go amiss before you climb the stairs of the towers of Notre Dame * , a masterpiece of Gothic art! Once you have reached the top and under the attentive gaze of the cathedral’s gargoyles, you will realise that the ascent really was worth the effort. Paris lies at your feet… There is no doubt that you are in the most beautiful city in the world!

Time to head to the Rive Gauche (or ‘left bank’) and the Latin Quarter, the city’s historic district, with its narrow lanes, numerous cafes and restaurants, and hidden gems such as the Eugène Delacroix museum * , located in place de Furstenberg, a charming square. Why not stop for lunch at Cyril Lignac’s bistro, Aux Prés, or at Brasserie Lipp, one of the district’s best-known restaurants that will recharge your batteries.

Cour Carrée du Musée du Louvre%252C la Pyramide éclairée de nuit%252C Paris 2017
Musée du Louvre

After lunch, the enigmatic smile of the world’s most famous woman awaits you in the not less well known, Louvre museum * . This museum not only houses the Mona Lisa but also other treasures such as the Venus of Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace… The Museum of decorative arts * , situated in one of the palace’s wings and accessible from rue de Rivoli, is certainly worth the detour. It contains one of the world’s largest collections of decorative arts. The design store, 107Rivoli, reflects the museum’s current exhibitions by presenting a selection of often exclusive items. Beautiful gifts await.

Exiting the museum, you enter the Tuileries Gardens: 140 Christmas-market chalets and no fewer than 15 merry-go-rounds await you until 6 January 2019. As darkness falls, the Eiffel Tower lights up in the distance and brings your day to a magical close. You are not yet tired? We shall then take to the water as Paris also has to be discovered from the Seine. Your one-hour discovery cruise * available until 10pm (modified schedules on December 24 and 31) will let you admire the city’s numerous bridges and the river banks, which enjoy UNESCO World Heritage status.

La Seine de nuit%252C vue sur la Conciergerie%252C bateau de croisière%252C Paris.

Organise your day around a hop-on/hop-off panoramic bus ride to visit the city’s districts that are celebrating the Christmas festivities. On board your double-decker bus * , head to Montmartre for a timeless walk that will take in: Place des Abbesses and the Wall of Love (‘I love you’ written in every language), the district’s painters, small traditional cafes (‘estaminets’), the Sacré-Cœur basilica and a panoramic view of the capital… The spirit of the great artists who came here, such as Picasso, Monet and Renoir, is almost tangible. Montmartre village gets into the festive mood from 12 to 24 December with a Christmas market at the bottom of Square Louise-Michel, under the basilica.

Basilique du Sacré Coeur Paris

Now it is time to board the bus to travel to the large department stores on Boulevard Haussmann. The magic of Christmas comes alive in the shop windows of Galeries Lafayette and its ‘Fabrique des Rêves’ (factory of dreams) and of Printemps Haussmann, which is looking for a missing Santa Claus this year with the help of the puppets, Jules and Violette. Push open the door of these temples of the retail industry to treat yourself or somebody else. For a well-deserved lunch break, head up to Printemps du Goût on the 7th floor of Printemps Haussmann. The biggest names in French gastronomy have come together to tickle your taste buds. And the products are 100% French!

All aboard the bus to head to Musée d’Orsay * . If there is an exhibition that should not be missed this winter, it is here. Known for its priceless collection of Impressionist paintings, Musée d’Orsay shines a spotlight on the blue and rose periods that were so important for the career of the Catalan artist with the exhibition, Picasso. Blue and Rose * . Broaden your knowledge of Impressionist art by taking the footbridge between Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie * . This museum houses the highly-prized and monumental series of Water Lilies painted by Claude Monet.

Touristes dans la salle des Nymphéas du musée de l'Orangerie%252C Paris 2017

You are now in place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées stands in front of you. This avenue is even more beautiful during the end-of-year festivities, when it is bedecked with thousands of decorations. As your panoramic bus tour ends at around 6.00 p.m., walk as far as Avenue Montaigne, which, together with the Champs-Elysées and Avenue George V, forms part of the famous Golden Triangle, a luxury-shopping destination. The Christmas decorations here are unlike any others. Bring your day to an end by visiting the Arc de Triomphe * . From the arch’s panoramic terrace, enjoy an incomparable view over Paris and the avenue at your feet. This national symbol, commissioned by Napoleon, is open until 10.30 p.m.

Arc de Triomphe%252C Paris
Musée d'Orsay%252C sculpture de Rodin en 1er plan%252C Paris 2015.
Jour 3 : Royalement vôtre

Your Paris Region Pass lets you discover the palace of Versailles * . Prepare to be stunned by its astonishing beauty! Louis XIV, the Sun King, surrounded himself with the best artists of his time, such as Le Nôtre, who designed the formal gardens, and Le Brun and Le Vau, who were responsible for the architecture of the buildings and their magnificent interior design, including the Hall of Mirrors, one of the palace’s highlights.

Château de Versailles

For lunch, the palace offers various solutions. The most prestigious, Alain Ducasse’s Restaurant ore, provides an exclusive experience. During the day, the restaurant’s elegant and contemporary cafe welcomes you in l’aile Dufour. Why not order ‘Thé de la Reine’, a sweet and savoury combination that will put an end to any pangs of hunger with a touch of class? Angelina, a restaurant and tea room, will appeal to chocolate lovers in particular. On the banks of the Grand Canal, you can have lunch at La Flotille.

Make the most of your afternoon by visiting the Trianon estate * , which opens at midday. The estate keeps alive the memory of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who was particularly fond of Trianon. At the moment, contemporary art has been placed centre stage with an exhibition by the Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto * . He has taken over the estate’s gardens with a performance that combines the performing arts, architecture and visual art. Surprising!

Domaine de Marie-Antoinette

You could also spend your afternoon exploring the town of Versailles, which is well worth your time. Start by visiting the Coach gallery (free admission), located in the Grande Ecurie, outside the palace. All those who love or deal in antiques should not miss the ‘Quartier des Antiquaires’.

It is already time to head back to Paris as the end of your stay approaches. All that remains is to pick up your luggage at your hotel.

You can use the Paris Region Pass to go to the airport.

Jour 4 : Marais (et) vous

Start your day by visiting the Holy Chapel or Sainte-Chapelle . Built by Saint Louis to house holy relics, it is a gem of the 13th century. The nearby flower market has been a most for plant lovers and curious visitors since 1830. Continue your visit at the Conciergerie * , the only remains, along with the Sainte-Chapelle, of the Palais de la Cité, which became a court of law during the French Revolution and a prison for Marie-Antoinette.

Cross the Seine for a change of scenery and era, and head to the Centre Pompidou * , which is immediately recognisable by its external staircases and enormous coloured tubes. It houses the most important modern and contemporary art collection in Europe. From the top floor, take in a magnificent panoramic view over the roofs of Paris. Restaurant Georges, located on the same floor, serves lunch and dinner in an idyllic, design-centred environment.

Conciergerie%252C Paris 2012
La Sainte-Chapelle%252C Paris 2015
Sainte-Chapelle%252C Ile de la Cité%252C Paris 2017.

After leaving the museum, immerse yourself in Le Marais, a district whose architecture is exceptional. This is where the most sumptuous private residences of the 17th century can be found. Today, they are home to some of the capital’s most important museums, such as Musée Picasso * , which with its exhibition, Masterpieces! * , has managed to bring together some of the painter’s major works. There is no doubt that Picasso is very popular at the moment! Take advantage of your walk to pop into Fleux’. The four stores in rue des Francs-Bourgeois contain a wide variety of lighting, tableware, lifestyle items, amazing objects and designer pieces from all over the world… Fleux’ is also a fantastic place to find stylish and original gift ideas!

To pursue your shopping experience, walk as far as Forum des Halles, the capital’s historic shopping centre which offers a festive shopping break. Outside, under the canopy, discover a Christmas market, a giant Christmas tree and Gospel singing… and Made in Paris brands at Sept Cinq, a concept store that showcases Parisian designers. Rue Montorgueil, which is full of life and just next door, should be the next stop for those with a sweet tooth. This road is home to Stohrer, the capital’s oldest pastry shop, and other more contemporary boutiques such as L’Eclair de Génie and Fou de Pâtisserie.

Pâtisserie Stohrer depuis 1730

To round off your day in style, we would suggest having dinner in one of the capital’s famous cabarets. For the end-of-year festivities, the performers don their most beautiful costumes and put on an exceptional show. Festive meals for gourmets and gourmands, sparkle and sequins, glamorous and sexy numbers, musical performances and dance floors… everything is here to see you through the night.

L’Eclair de Génie (La Fabrique) - 32 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires 75002 Paris Fou de Pâtisserie - 45 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris

Your Paris Region Pass now takes you to Fontainebleau, located to the south of Paris. Napoleon said that the palace of Fontainebleau * was ‘the true residence of kings, the house of the centuries’. Let yourself be taken aback by the 1,500 rooms, four museums, parks and gardens of this architectural gem and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the only royal and imperial palace that has been continuously inhabited for seven hundred years and the exceptional body of works of art, which testify to those who lived here and shaped the palace, now offers you a chance to delve into the history of France.

Château de Fontainebleau

After your visit, why not treat yourself at the Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Axel? In a refined setting, taste the excellence of French cuisine.

The town of Fontainebleau has put on its best festive apparel to make your end-of-year holiday truly unforgettable. From 15 to 31 December, Fontainebleau is celebrating Christmas by holding a Christmas market and providing a 300m2 space where you will find various building and skill games as well as large wooden games… There is no doubt that the town is in a festive mood.

Do you fancy something sweet before returning to Paris? Drop in at Frédéric Cassel for a pastry in an elegant setting. While you are here, have a ‘Fontainebleau’, a culinary speciality named after the town where it was created, made with cow’s milk fromage frais and whipped cream. Absolutely delicious!

It is already time to head back to Paris as the end of your stay approaches. All that remains is to pick up your luggage at your hotel.

You can use the Paris Region Pass to go to the airport.

L’Axel - 43 Rue de France, 77300 Fontainebleau Frédéric Cassel - 71-73, rue Grande 77300 Fontainebleau