The Rue de Belleville
The area around the Jourdain Metro stop has the real feel of a village, and at no time is that more true than at Christmas. The decorations are abundant, with seemingly all of the buildings and shops getting involved - including the Metro entrances! The decorations continue down the hill to the Pyrenees Metro station, and en route you'll find a selection of cosy bars to stop in. For shopping, try the Rue de la Villette on the right-hand side where several artists and designers have opened units. If you have kids in toe, you'll also appreciate the 400 Coups cafe/restaurant which has been designed for young families!
The Galerie Vivienne
Photo: Jerome S
Surely the most attractive of the covered arcades in Paris, at Christmas the Galerie Vivienne is simply magical. Although the shops - which include a Jean-Paul Gaultier boutique - can be a little chic and upmarket, it is just a pleasure to window shop through the curtains of light. A great place for gifts is Legrand Filles et Fils, one of the oldest épiceries in France. You'll find not only a wide selection of wines, but also handmade sweets and regional specialities. A Priori Thé is also a great place for lunch - or just tea!
More selections tomorrow.
If you have any favourite Christmas spots in Paris, please recommend them in the comments section below!