My family visited me in Paris a few years ago. My brother wanted to do some Christmas celebrating. He also wanted to go shopping for gifts for our respective French and American families. I suggested the Paris Christmas markets. There are fantastic Christmas markets throughout France, Paris in particular. The four I like the most are the Montmartre, La Défense, Montparnasse and Champs-Élysées.
We would have loved to cover them all but time, alas, was limited so a few days before Christmas we visited the Montparnasse Christmas Market. My brother was literally amazed at not only the breathtaking architecture of the Sacré Coeur, but also the beehive of activity, gaiety and conviviality that characterize the Paris Christmas markets. Because it was a bit nippy, we of course, availed ourselves of the deliciously spicy hot wine that is a Christmas market staple.
I had been living in France for over a decade at that time. I knew how to get around in the markets, negotiate for the best price, find the right deal for the things I wanted. Most importantly, I knew how to avoid getting ripped off. My brother right away found an elegant attaché case for his wife. She is a school system director in New Jersey. He couldn’t believe how we were able to negotiate down the price for a substantial saving.
I was particularly interested by a specialty tea merchant. The merchant had a fascinating panoply of exclusive teas. customs blends, and refined accessories I knew my French wife would enjoy. Then I carefully selected a few different teas, regular teas and herbal infusions. I was quite satisfied, but knowing the French, I knew I needed something more. There was a cast iron red pebbled Chinese teapot that caught my eye. I knew that was it… but it was 70 Euros. When I bought the whole kit and caboodle my brother was shocked I had spent almost $150 on tea stuff. Christmas morning, when he saw the joy in the faces of both my wife and her mother, he understood the value.
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See the classic sights of Paris with this collection of Private Tours and other experiences. Great for New Travelers.
Some parts of France can’t be put into a 2 or 3-hour tour and some just take a while to get to. Venture out of Paris on an exciting Day Trip.
Experience some of the most significant works of art in Paris on a Private Art Tour. Learn about the story’s of the painters behind the works and ask questions along the way.
Taste the latest Paris Food experiences with our personal and tasty private food tours. Learn to make authentic Parisian meals, taste chocolate assortments, or…
From perfume to WW2, our private history tours are a way to see Paris in a different light.
Experience immersive music tours in Paris. Sit and listen up close to an award-winning Master Pipe Organist or learn about the history of Jazz in Paris on a private tour!
Looking for something particular? We’ll help you find it in Paris. Our private shopping tours include Antiques, Wardrobe, and more!
The Château de Fontainebleau, just 35 miles southeast of central Paris, can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capétiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orléans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls. The chateau dates back to 1137—and centuries of royals have expanded this former royal hunting lodge to a more than 1,500-room estate. Most of what you’ll see dates back to the 16th century, a combination of Italian Renaissance art and French design, these rooms are some of the most intricate and breathtaking in France. If times allows, you can enjoy lunch in this charming area.
Tour Length: 5 – 6 hours