Hubs and I are thinking about Christmas in Paris this year. My question is...have any of you been there at Christmas and how cold is it? I’m thinking cuddle duds, heavy coat, scarves, gloves, hats? What about shoes/boots? Also, he’s a little worried about driving in heavy snow in Normandy. Thanks for any advice you can give.
I’ve been in Paris twice over Christmas. Living in Florida I am a cold wimp but I found Paris quite comfortable. No heavy jacket or wooly hat. Medium weight jacket and a sweater and I was never cold - even when it snowed. No need for boots but I did have a fleece, scarf and gloves. I can’t comment about snow in Normandy.
One of my favorite RS tours was Christmas week in Paris! Chilly, yes. A great reason to treat yourself to that perfect scarf or fab pair of gloves. You also have the great excuse to linger at a cafe to keep warm. The city lights are especially glorious in winter, especially the Champs-Elysées. Corduroy pants seemed warmer than jeans and dressing in layers helped as it was warm inside museums, bistros, etc. I left my heavy coat behind and brought along my good, insulated walking shoes. Keep your toes, fingers and head warm and you’ll be fine.
Paris in December twice, and going again this year. Because we will be going on to Germany and Austria I do wear/carry a heavy coat (gore-tex parka), boots with good treads, knit cap but for Paris I also take a rain jacket to wear over a packable down jacket since rain is not unknown. Cuddle duds or silk unders are light and don't take up much room. And of course, keep checking the weather forecasts up until the day you leave home and adjust as needed. (Or plan to pick up extra items at Galleries Lafayette while viewing the Christmas decorations.)
Be aware everything is closed on Christmas Day and many restaurants are also closed on Christmas Eve. The few that are open generally offer a fixed price menu which is generally very expensive.
Have spent Christmas in Europe several times and was in D.C. just before Christmas last year. .Think in terms of layers instead of a heavy coat - that way you can adjust to different temps and weather conditions. What I pack for winter: long underwear (top and bottoms) a couple long sleeved t shirts, a couple of turtleneck sweaters, 2 thin merino wool pullovers (Uniqlo), gloves, packable down jacket and a waterproof shell. Pants include jeans and corderoy pants and a pair on ponte knit leggings. Shoes include a pair of short boots with a heavier sole and a pair of knee boots. I scotchgard the low boots since they aren't waterproof - the knee boots are so no worries there. Paris is gorgeous during the holidays! As for restaurant closures, yes, many restaurants will be closed but some will be open. If you rent an airbnb it's not an issue - you can stock up and have quite a festive meal in the apartment!!!