From the French Alps covered in dense snow, to the citrus parade on the Côte d’Azur, to the luxury ski resorts and the carnival in February, France is a wonderful country to visit in winter. Additionally, most major French cities, including Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Lyon, see fewer tourists in the winter, as it is low season, which means lower fares on airfares and hotels. Here is our roundup of the best winter destinations to visit in France.
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Of course, the capital! So certainly you may not be entitled to “Hollywood” Paris immersed in snow, from the Sacré-Coeur to the Eiffel Tower. However, the Parisian winter atmosphere is unique in the world. Stroll under the holiday decorations, go shopping for Christmas, visit museums and take the opportunity to warm up, drink a hot drink in a Parisian café. Theatre, cinema, concert, we could name tons of possible activities in the cold of Paris. In addition, the city deploys several Christmas markets, and some ephemeral ice rinks. Something to marvel at, in the deepest of cold, enough to create a magnificent couple photo shoot in a romantic and always effective setting!
It is surely the city whose place in this top is indisputable! Indeed, the Christmas market in the eastern city is the most recognized in France. If the latter is so famous, it is because it fits into the specific architecture of the city, through a warm setting, which perfectly illustrates what the beauty of Christmas can offer to the charm of a town. Unforgettable stay, one-of-a-kind experience, the Christmas market, the decorations of traditional houses, the illuminations…everything is in place for you to experience this period intensely. It’s not for nothing that Strasbourg is proclaimed “The Capital of Christmas”
A Ferris wheel, brilliantly decorated streets, specialties to taste at the Christmas market, the historic city center and new monuments, the capital of Flanders knows how to welcome winter as its oldest friend. The city is sublime under the Christmas decorations, winter seems less cold in the streets of Lille. Whatever your desire, remember that Lille is a big city there are many things to see, you will need to know the opening hours of the museums, the tourist points of interest, the unusual places. If you are not sure where to go, start with the Grand Place to taste a typical northern dish: mussels and fries. With friends, as a couple, or with children, visiting Lille will please you.
A city known for its cathedral. Now imagine the latter, next to, without doubt, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France. It is also an opportunity to enjoy a city on a human scale. Stroll through the streets of Reims, discover a particular architecture and aesthetics, under the enticing smells of the Christmas Market, or, immerse yourself in the depths of space with the Planetarium. Visiting the city of Reims is above all about discovering the history of France as well as French heritage, with in particular for wine lovers, its famous Champagne vineyards. Reims, which is often nicknamed “the city of kings” or even “the city of coronations” is an exciting city where many very important events in the history of France have taken place. Besides the cathedral, the cultural and historical heritage of the city is truly amazing. Indeed, you should know that Reims today has no less than 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites!
A bit of the South doesn’t hurt. Toulouse is so enjoyable not only in summer but also in winter! A city center shining and covered by all kinds of lights. Empty parks, only the light cold wind keeps us company. A Capitol covered by a surprising Christmas market, between mulled wine, violet herbal tea and roasted chestnuts. You will find on the banks of the Garonne, the reflections of a particular winter atmosphere, the setting of a cold sun, the specific atmosphere of a season, condemned to a certain beauty.
If in winter, the Garonne of Toulouse sublimates the Pink City, it also knows how to go about it with Bordeaux. The streets are remarkably warm, the bars and cafes radiate. You could stroll along the quays, contemplate the Place de la Bourse, go shopping in the largest shopping street in Europe, or even warm up in the Grand Théâtre National and the Bassin des Lumières. A perfect excursion for the Christmas holidays. PhotoPresta’s professional photographers will be happy to capture this family moment!
Stroll through charming cobbled streets or hike in an extraordinary setting, in the heart of the mountains. Go around Nice! A climate not so cold, a quieter tourist town! Wander in a city freed from its summer population and take a new look at a Mediterranean city.
A particular aesthetic, a unique light. Take advantage of the heated terraces (if needed), the almost empty Promenade des Anglais, the streets known for their beauty and their shops! Everything is perfect in Nice for a beautiful winter weekend!
Take the coats! The Atlantic wind can quickly turn cruel. However, Biarritz is surely one of the most surprising cities in winter. Well placed restaurants and museums. An aquarium to take refuge from the cold. A casino overlooking the sea, and beautiful restaurants to enjoy seafood, even in winter!
Biarritz has less than 25,000 inhabitants but enjoys an exceptional geographical position which brings many visitors. While strolling through the streets of Biarritz, you may be surprised to discover major luxury brands as if you were in Paris… There is plenty to see in Biarritz! Avenue Edouard VII is particularly prestigious. You will find, for example, a Hermès boutique or that of Duchatel, which brings together several major brands. Of course you will also find independent shops of local designers or franchises.
Forget nautical activities on the shores of the famous Lake Annecy, and discover a city particularly sublimated by winter. The old town and its streets, walks in the surroundings. Discover the Palais de l’île or the colorful houses that surround it. And then, the ski slopes will never be far away!
Activity for everyone in Annecy when it snows: the leather goods workshop led by Chloé. Let your creativity express itself to make a leather accessory and give yourself a 100% authentic gift! Moreover, with hot stamping, you will be able to sign and personalize your creation.
One of the smallest towns on this list. The center of Poitiers lights up in Winter, Place Charles de Gaulle, the heated terraces, the Poitiers Film Festival in early December. A small town that knows how to forge in the cold, the sweet scent of a pleasant winter.
The Futuroscope is an essential theme park to do in Poitiers. Young and old embark on a futuristic and playful universe. Fill up on sensations with the 4D cinema, dance with the robots and attend the great night show! The 40 attractions are accessible according to a minimum height and not an age, remember to measure your children.