Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own, and also writes a popular insider's blog (www.eyepreferparis.com).
Paris is awash in holiday spirit in 2010 with glorious lights, festive holiday displays in the shop windows, glittering lights on the Champs Elysees, and a magnificent tree brightening Notre Dame cathedral. Here are some holiday highlights and delights.
Printemps department store has tapped fashion designer Alber Elbaz of Lanvin to design its fantasy windows this year. He has gone all out and created Noel a Chateau, which represents the famous chateau Mr. and Mrs. Lanvin lived in. Lively marionettes styled after the couple prance their way through each room of the mansion and one of the rooms is haunted by spooky ghosts.
The blockbuster musical is the theme of the windows at Galeries Lafayette this holiday season. Adorable bears in swimsuits with water goggles and royal blue glitter flippers madly dance to the beat of Mamma Mia, while blonde haired dolls in Santa suits, red tams, and golden clogs are the famed Radio City Rockettes kicking their heels as high as they can, and a romantic couple next to a lamp post poses to the music of Singing in the Rain. Don’t forget to go inside the store and marvel at the 20-meter Christmas tree decked with gold, turquoise, violet and pink balls under the famous dome.
BHV department store by the Hotel de Ville celebrates the wonder of the circus with its fun Circus de Noel theme. Watch Santa work his magic with a mammoth polar bear and see some chic marionettes designed by singer Olivia Ruiz.
Ice Magic is a chilling experience with hand-carved ice sculptures of all the famous French monuments and icons including the Eiffel Tower, Rodin's Thinker, Notre Dame and its hunchback, Mona Lisa, the Hotel de Ville, Sacre Coeur, Django Reinhardt and of course, Santa Claus. Bundle up — it’s about 15 degrees inside.
Le Grande Roue (the big wheel) is covered in bright white lights standing 197 feet above the Place de la Concorde. Ferris wheel lovers will have the ride of their life along with magnificent views of Paris.
Sharpen your skates and glide away atop the most famous monument in the world. From December 15 till February 11, the ice skating rink at the Eiffel Tower will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m..
64 Blvd. Haussmann,9th arr.
Metro: Havre Caumartin
Tel. 01 42 82 57 87
40 Blvd. Haussmann, 9th arr.
Rue des Archives & rue de Rivoli, 4th arr.
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Jardin des Champs Elysees
Avenue des Champs Elysées, 8th arr.
Le Grande Roue
Place de la Concorde, 1st. arr