Spend a Weekend in Paris for the Perfect Winter Getaway

Soak up views of the Seine and Eiffel Tower on a perfect weekend getaway to Paris
Soak up views of the Seine and Eiffel Tower on a perfect weekend getaway to Paris | © Anthony DELANOIX / Unsplash
Culture Trip

Paris has long been a top destination to explore for its vibrant culture, fine dining and iconic fashion scene. The city has much to offer, from the grand architecture and rich history to a lively cabaret scene and convivial local brasseries. Here is our guide to the top things to see and do that will leave you basking in Parisian glitz and glamour for a perfect weekend getaway. Hop on a river cruise along the Seine, stay at the luxurious Brach Hotel or dine at Café Lapérouse to satisfy your sweet tooth – all will get you feeling the Parisian magic.

1. Have a luxurious stay at the Brach Hotel

Independent Hotel

A sofa, chairs and a sun lounger on Brach Hotel terrace, with the Eiffel Tower in the background
Courtesy of Brach Hotel / Hotels.com

Tucked away on a quiet street in the 16th arrondissement, the charming Brach Hotel will not disappoint. With interiors designed by Philippe Starck, every corner of the hotel has been thoughtfully created with warm wooden tones, unique artwork and an industrial yet modern feel. Brach grows its own herbs and vegetables in the rooftop garden; come up and have a peek – you can get one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower from here. Take a dip in either of the hotel’s two pools to relax and recuperate after a day of exploring. The food here is top of the range; the Brach is definitely a luxurious treat, but worth the price for a night or two – think it over as you soak in your enormous roll-top bath and melt into soft sheets.

2. Take a cruise along the Seine

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

View of Eiffel Tower from Seine River in Paris, France
© Pixavril / Alamy

Even in winter, cruising along the River Seine enjoying an aperitif and canapés makes for a truly special evening: Green River Cruises offers private electric-boat tours. And don’t worry if you haven’t brought enough layers, they’ll provide you with blankets to snuggle under as you gaze at the Eiffel Tower shining in all its glory. Enjoy a glass of wine or a romantic dinner for two as you cruise through the historical centre of Paris.

3. Take a stroll around the Bourse de Commerce


Interior of giant central dome with artworks and visitors at Bourse de Commerce, Pinault Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art
© Hemis / Alamy

Fancy going to a museum but want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Louvre? The Bourse de Commerce will do just the trick. The museum, which opened in 2021, is home to the Pinault Collection, focusing mostly on contemporary art. It features more than 10,000 works from 350 artists in all mediums – painting, video, installation art and more. The building is a beautiful blend of the contemporary and historic. As you enter, you are greeted by a grand space with a gigantic ceiling dome that frames a central art piece, leaving you in awe. The museum makes for a fascinating afternoon, but be sure to book ahead.

4. Shop ‘til you drop at La Samaritaine

Shop, Shopping Mall, Architectural Landmark

Interior of La Samaritaine department store with white wrought-iron railings onto central atrium space
© Hemis / Alamy

Right around the corner from Bourse de Commerce sits the renowned La Samaritaine, having recently reopened after a lengthy renovation. You will find everything from shoes to champagne here; its new focus is on designer brands, and there is even a personalised shopping experience available. Sip on champagne and try on the finest Chanel while you relax in the private dressing quarters. This is not just a luxury department store; you can now wine and dine in thr exclusive Voyage restaurant on the fifth floor. Try the signature terrine de foie gras, washed down with a house cocktail such as the Nuage de Ricci, made with champagne and raspberry-infused elderflower liqueur. For more shopping stops, check out our guide to the best vintage and thrift shops in Paris.

5. Spend an afternoon at Versailles

Historical Landmark

The dazzling Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, France
© Natalia Petre / Alamy
It may firmly on the popular tourist trail, but if you haven’t visited before, the Palace of Versailles is well worth the journey. Come in winter to dodge the queues and enjoy a wander at your own pace. The architecture and gardens are impressive – there are 350,000 trees here, and you will spot the groundsmen replacing plants for the next season with meticulous attention to detail. Head inside to explore the impressive art collection and majestic interiors. Visit Louis XIV’s private bedchamber and explore the royal theatre adored by Marie Antoinette. If you really want to blow the budget, spend a night at the Le Grand Contrôle; the exclusive hotel maintains the 18th-century authenticity of the period and overlooks the grounds of Versailles.

6. Café Lapérouse

Cafe, Restaurant, French

The sign outside Café Lapérouse at Hôtel de la Marine in Paris, with a view through window to dining room
© Directphoto Collection / Alamy

To top off your winter weekend in Paris, cosy up for a spot of lunch at the new iteration of Café Lapérouse, in the newly opened Hôtel de la Marine monument, for a truly French dining experience. Designed by Cordélia de Castellane, the restaurant offers a smart yet relaxed setting that oozes romance and elegance in its design. Choose from a menu that spans the casual to the lavish – from avocado toast to eggs with caviar – or sample one of the delicate pastries with a coffee to go if you need to dash. Paris can be expensive, but if you’re in need of a treat, it’s the perfect place.

For further information about Paris, visit www.france.fr and www.visitparisregion.com for more inspiration on the region and plenty of things to see and do.

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