I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the Champs Elysees. Yes, it’s a Paris landmark and a must-see for anyone visiting Paris for the first time, but for me it’s often a little too crowded and a little too generic. Don’t get me wrong, I love having Gap, Banana Republic, and Tommy Hilfiger easily accessible, and if I absolutely have to find an English-speaking sales associate then the Champs Elysees is guaranteed to have that, but when it comes to everyday shopping I prefer the unique local boutiques scattered throughout the Marais and Saint Germain des Pres. However, when the Christmas lights are up and holiday music is wafting down the streets, there is definitely something special about this area.
The trees are illuminated with colorful hoops and spirals, and the normally quiet gardens are filled with spheres of twinkling lights and glittering ornaments that reflect off the fountains. Normally the walk down the busy street can be overwhelming, but with a hot cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand, the lights and decor of Christmas can make a stroll on the Champs Elysees a romantic and special evening.