Stormy, cold and gloomy..as if you are walking into a black and white movie set in the 1960s.
Paris, as romantic as always, can be a little harsh to be fully appreciated during winter where days are short and the weather, unforgiving. Days start around 8am and the sky darkens as early as 4pm. So what can you do when the sun goes down and the temperature drops even further?
Well, the suggestion to go is Stay Indoor!
1. Museum Hopping!
Visiting museums is also a great way to optimise your time when its frigid outside. There are a few museums opening till late night, for instance,
- Musée du Louvre
Musée du Louvre opens until 9.45pm on Wednesday and Friday.
My favourite collection would always be the glamorous Napoleon III Apartments in Paris. I present to you the most majestic living room ever.
The dining hall.
Even the vault is so detailed and luxurious.
These dazzling chandeliers and gold-plated ornaments brought about the most beautiful, yet the most corrupted of La Belle Époque. It was truly a time of joie de vivre.
Their other permanent collections are equally exciting!
Venus de Milo
The winged goddess of Victory standing on the prow of a ship overlooked the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace.
So much to explore, you can easily spent a day in there!
- Musée d’Orsay
Musée d’Orsay open until 9.45 on Thursdays.
The train-station-turned museum has a complete different charm from The Lourve.
The metal structure surrounding the building is in itself a beautiful sight to behold.
The beautiful lavish Clock
If you would love to have an instagram worthy photo of the iconic clock, try to be there before sunset so that the roman numerals can be captured with the backdrop of the blue sky. Unfortunately when we reached there, it was already too dark to get the perfect photo we wanted.
2.Bookshops in Paris, or Les librairies Parisiennes
There are plenty of warm and lovely bookshops around Paris like
- Ofr. Librairie Galerie, 20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris
- Les Mots à la Bouche, 6 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris
- Le Monte en l’Air, 2 Rue de la Mare, 75020 Paris
- Gibert Joseph, 26 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris
- Le Pont Traversé, 62 Rue Vaugiraud, 75006 Paris
Just to name a few. And don’t worry if you don’t read a single French, there are a few Bookshops selling english books or Librairies Anglophones, around in Paris as well, like the Abbey Bookshop 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris and the Galignani, 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001. But the most famous of them is none other than Shakespeare & Co, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris.
I fell in love with this slice of heaven immediately when I first saw it in the movie Before Sunset where Jesse was holding his book signing session right on the second floor of The Shakespeare & Co.
The bookshop is considered to be the ultimate destination for inspiring writers and book enthusiasts. The interior of the bookshop is preserved, with wooden floors and walls lining the entirety of the place. Scores of books are placed on shelves that fill up large sections of the shop which makes it difficult to navigate around especially when there are many tourists inside.
‘Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.’
A famous quote by Yeats greets you as you go up the 2nd floor. It consist of more shelves of books and 2 quiet rooms where you can read your books in peace. There’s even a cat to accompany you while you read!
3. The Palaces, or Les Palais
Alternatively, you can try exploring all the beautiful palaces-museums in Paris. She has a plenty!
- Le Petit Palais
For instance, I’ve visited the Petit Palais.
It has really beautiful interior and there is always some on-going art exhibitions.
During my visit, it was a exhibition of my all time favourite writer, Oscar Wilde! The exhibition covered his life stories and displayed some precious old photos of him.
The interior is quite majestic, even though it’s named the Petit Palais.
4. Catch a show!
- The Opera House
Watching a play or musical at the Opera House, or Palais Garnier is also a great idea. Other than being a 1979-seat opera house, the interior of the Palais is just extravagant! The heart of Haussmann’s Paris!
Or maybe, if you are feeling cold and hungry then it’s about time for some really exciting food-hunting in the home of the Michelin Guide, which I will put up in another post!