Woman at the Eiffel Tower during winter
Make The Most Of Your Christmas Trip To France With Rick Steves' Tips
Christmas in Europe is a winter wonderland filled with month-long festivities and distinct traditions, and travel expert Rick Steves endorses visiting France during the holidays.
Christmastime in France begins on December 6 and ends on January 6 (Epiphany or Three Kings Day). Unsurprisingly, Paris is the place to go during winter.
Steves recommends window shopping, also referred to as "window licking," at opulent department stores like Galeries Lafayette. Likewise, shopping for chocolates is also a must.
One of the best ways to experience the illuminated Paris is by renting a taxi to take the circular, out-and-back route from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower along the river.
As for French customs and practices, Steves notes that santons, small clay figurines, are put on display, creating a cherished Christmas scene with the Holy Family and villagers.
Steves states that a French Christmas Eve Dinner, also known as Réveillon de Noël, is a long dinner including appetizers, a main course, cheese, and dessert, accompanied by wine.
The main meal always features either roast goose or turkey. However, each French region has a unique twist on its Réveillon — Paris is known for serving raw oysters.
Steves says you must try holiday treats like pain d'épice, similar to gingerbread, or Bûche de Noël, aka Yule Log Cake, which is traditionally served as a Christmas Eve dessert.