Paris: always romantic, even in winter.

There are many reasons to visit Paris at this time of year, not least the chance to ogle at the food shops, whose window displays groan with wild game, crates of oysters, spiky sea urchins and a fabulous selection of national cheeses, reports the Telegraph. And you can do more than window shop in the positively wicked patisseries. Purchase a Bûche de Noël (yule log) and share it with friends or family back at the hotel.

Unlike back home, many things stay open on Christmas Day. Importantly, public transport continues to run so you can get around the city and visit the sites that are open, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Centre Pompidou and the Musée Jacquemart-André. As most families celebrate their main Christmas meal on the night of the 24th, by the afternoon of the 25th, people are out and about enjoying a drink with friends in one of the classic cafés.

More than 100 streets are already illuminated, and will continue to glow until the end of January. The city's monuments are floodlit and the Champs-Elysées is glittering with white fairy lights in the trees along the mile-long stretch between Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, giving a truly magical feel.

The children can also have free rides on merry-go-rounds in the town squares and there's a giant white Ferris wheel at the Place de la Concorde. Take the kids to see the Christmas tree outside Notre-Dame cathedral and the outdoor ice rink in front of Hôtel de Ville (from December 17th-Feb 27th). Why not take Eurostar from London to Paris? Nothing could be easier.

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