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Which is better - Paris after Christmas or after New Years?

So, I've got this girlfriend's holiday to plan. We are based out of the Rhineland-Pfalz in Germany. We're going to have from the 19 of Dec to the 5th of Jan. I've already got us booked out to the Munich/Alps region for the 20th to the 24th. I've been to Paris twice and it has never grown on me, my friend has never been and thus, wants to go. The first time was just prior to Christmas and the second was in August. Both times I've driven, so I'm going to try and avoid that experience this time by taking the train from Germany to Paris. Maybe that will make this trip more enjoyable. So, with that little background, I'm trying to decide if right after Christmas is better (the 26th-28th) or right after New years (2nd-4th)? I'm thinking 2.5 days in Paris with an early morning departure the first day and a late night departure the 3rd day and skip Versailles this time. I'm open to other thoughts too about the trip. I'm sure we'll do the required Eiffel tower and Louvre, is there anything else that you feel are a must do? Should we do a day in Paris and a day at Versailles?
Also, last time I stayed at an aparthotel that was nice, but not in central Paris. Are there any good hostels or backpackers hotels in central Paris that aren't seedy? We're doing a "younger person/student" style trip for accomodations and food.

Posted by
19 posts

Sorry I don't have an answer to your query. I am, however, interested in any responses you get because I will be in Paris around the same time. Happy travels to you!

Posted by
389 posts

Check out the MIJE hostels- all in great 18th century buildings, centrally located, accommodations are basic but a great value.

Posted by
1068 posts

If you go prior to New Year's but after Christmas, the awesome "fetes" may still be going on. The Champs Elysses will be lined with adorable chalet-style booths selling mulled wine and chocolate and cheese and pork products and gifts and food and ornaments and... whew! Lots of stuff. And the lights will still be up! A day in Paris and a day at Versailles seems... a little weighted toward Versailles. Don't get me wrong. I adore Versailles, and have been there several times. But with just 2.5 days, you might want to consider skipping Versailles this time. Since you've already been in Paris a couple of times, I suggest you select places you have not already been. "Musts?" Gosh. That will vary by traveler. For me, it's museums (Musee D'Orsay, the Petit Palais, the Carnavalet, the Jeu de Paume, the Louvre, Beaubourg, and on and on an on...), and cafes, and hanging out, and ex-pat UK sports pubs, and "fast fashion" stores on the Rue de Rivoli and the Blvd. Hausmann, and wandering the Marais and Saint Germain De Pres, and ogling the treats on offer at bakeries and chocolate shops and even butcher shops! And buying cheese! And eating cheese! Well - have fun! How can you avoid it in Paris! :D

Posted by
8286 posts

Just wanted to say, I know it'll be winter, but don't miss a leisurely walk through the Luxembourg Gardens. Heaven.

Posted by
227 posts

There are two MIJE hostels in the Marais area of Paris - perfect locations - might be just what you are looking for....they are not seedy - check out their website just google MIJE hostels Paris.