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Christmas in Paris: The best 5 things to do

Christmas in Paris: The best 5 things to do post thumbnail image

From the lights along the Champs-Élysées, Christmas markets, and concerts to some of the most decked-out window displays in the world -Christmas in Paris.

Christmas in the City of Light is an unmissable time to feel joy and good cheer everywhere.

Paris celebrates Christmas with a sense of wonder, with millions of lights adorning iconic landmarks like the Champs-Elysées, the Grand Magasins, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Eiffel Tower.

Chocolate shops and Christmas markets enchant visitors with mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread.

Noël in Paris is a festive season with colorful displays, patisserie shelves filled with seasonal delights, and special holiday menus created by restaurants.

In addition, December has a mild climate, with winter sun and temperatures ranging from 3 to 8 °C. When it rains occasionally, it’s a good idea to pack an umbrella and wrap yourself warm.

So, if you’re thinking about taking a holiday to Paris or are just planning a trip there for Christmas, keep reading as we’ve put together a list of the most festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Paris.

A Glimpse Of This Blog:

  • Enjoy the Christmas Lights in Paris at Champs Elysées, Arc de Triumph, Bercy Village, Montmartre, and on Avenue Montaigne.
  • Visit the Christmas market at La Défense and Jardin des Tuileries market.
  • Do some window shopping at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Le BHV, Printemps Haussmann, and Le Bon Marché.
  • Go ice skating at Jardin des Tuileries, Champs Elysée, Trocadéro, Hôtel de Ville, and the Eiffel Tower. Also, you can visit the rink located beneath the Grand Palais’ glass dome.
  • Listen to a Christmas concert in places like La Sainte Chapelle, Palais Garnier, Église Saint-Sulpice, and Sainte-Chapelle.
  • December temperatures in Paris usually range from 2°C (36°F) to 7°C (45°F).

Admire Paris’ Christmas Lights

Photo credit: Get your guide

Paris, known as the ‘City of Light’, celebrates Christmas with its festive light shows, marking the start of the holiday season.

Although most parts of Paris are decorated for the holidays, the Champs Elysées boasts the most extravagant decorations.

Running from late November 2023 to January 2024 is the display. In 400 trees along the Champs Elysées, more than a million bulbs are hung.

Nevertheless, one of the best things to do in Paris is to take a stroll among the luxurious stores and chic restaurants that line the boulevard.

Begin from the Place de la Concorde and move toward the distant, illuminated Arc de Triumph.

Additionally, don’t forget about the lights in Montmartre and on Avenue Montaigne. Also, there are some amazing decorations at Bercy Village.

Unsure about where to begin? See them all by taking an open-air Toot Bus tour!

Find Places To Stay In Paris, France

Visit the Paris Christmas Markets

Visit the Paris Christmas Markets

Paris is filled with Christmas markets that open in November and sell a wide range of gifts, local foods, and crafts.

Every market offers a unique atmosphere, a variety of activities, and delicious seasonal foods and drinks.

One of the largest Christmas markets is at La Défense, spanning 10,000 square meters with more than 300 stalls.

The most lovely is the Marché de Noël Notre Dame, which is located in the charming Square Viviana near the Latin Quarter.

In other places, the ‘Magic of Christmas’ is found at the Jardin des Tuileries market, an essential part of the Parisian calendar.

So copy the Parisians – enjoy mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, sausages, and cheese while exploring markets and shopping for Christmas, a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages.

“Great Jardin des Tuileries market with a good mixture of foods, drinks, and crafts,” says Mary, an enthusiastic tourist. “If you decide to bring the children, there are lots of rides and other entertainment alternatives.”

Do Some Window Shopping

Do Some Window Shopping
Photo credit: Trip savvy

Paris’s exquisite window displays capture much of the spirit of Christmas in the city. From festive pastry shelves to the most imaginative and extravagant nativity sceneries and shows.

Windows are often on show through the end of the year, with the reveal happening in early November.

Particularly, the displays at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann have captivated visitors every year since 1912.

Further, many other shops have beautiful holiday window decorations that are well worth checking out.

The grand Printemps Haussmann and Le Bon Marché, one of the world’s earliest department shops, are favorites. Le BHV is another fantastic show in the trendy Le Marais area.

Kylie, a regular visitor, advises “Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is one of my favorite spots to go. You have a lot of options for what you desire. And I highly recommend this shop to people who enjoy purchasing unique, luxurious clothing and perfume. Those with loyalty memberships in this place can take advantage of many deals and discounts.”

Go Ice Skating

Go Ice Skating

Ice skating and typical Christmas markets go hand in hand in Paris.

The Jardin des Tuileries, Champs Elysée, and Trocadéro are just a few of the festive markets that offer access to rinks.

Also, the Hôtel de Ville and the Eiffel Tower, which has a small rink on the first level, are two of the city’s most famous locations for ice rinks.

Furthermore, a lot of people visit the rink located beneath the Grand Palais’ glass dome.

Listen To A Christmas Concert

Listen To A Christmas Concert

Attending a performance at a magnificent historic venue in Paris is the best way we can think of to celebrate the holiday season.

Enjoy the beauty of classical music in places like La Sainte Chapelle, Palais Garnier, Église Saint-Sulpice, and pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Purcell, Vivaldi, and Chopin.

However, Sainte-Chapelle, which hosts daily concerts from December 22–31 (apart from Christmas Day) is one of the most spectacular.

The walls of this Gothic chapel are covered with 16 enormous stained glass windows that take up more than 600 square meters.

It’s amazing when the musicians are playing and the light streams through the windows, making them shine.

How Is The Weather on Christmas Eve in Paris?

Christmas in Paris Weather

Temperatures in Paris are usually between 2°C (36°F) and 7°C (45°F), however, they might get chilly around the end of December.

Winter arrives in December, with milder but still cold temperatures throughout the first few weeks of the month.

December in Paris can be cloudy, with an average of 15 days of rain (although most of it is light). Of course, snowfall is a possibility throughout the Christmas season.

Seeing Paris during its snowy season captures the city’s ultimate beauty.

In addition, wearing layers of clothing—such as a coat, scarf, and gloves—is recommended to stay warm.

Recommended read The Best Time To Visit Paris, France


Is Paris worth visiting at Christmas?

Paris offers a magical Christmas experience, catering to romantic retreats, festive family extravaganzas, and raucous celebrations with friends. The City of Light treats Christmas with flair and style, embodying the spirit of France.

Which is better at Christmas, Paris or London?

Paris and London are popular Christmas destinations, each with unique cultural experiences, cuisine, and atmospheres. It’s crucial to choose the city that best suits your Christmas expectations based on your preferences.

Is Paris very expensive?

Even though Paris is a costly city, you can still go there on a limited budget. You may enjoy a trip to Paris without going over budget if you take advantage of the many artistic, cultural, and outdoor activities available.

Is Paris fun in December?

Yes, Paris is fun in December. The city comes alive with festive decorations, Christmas markets, and special events, creating a magical and joyful atmosphere.

How should I dress in Paris in December?

Paris can get chilly in December, so it’s best to dress in layers, such as a heavy coat, gloves, and a scarf. It may rain, so wearing waterproof and comfortable shoes is a must.

How many days in Paris is enough?

It’s possible to see both well-known attractions and hidden gems in Paris in 4 days.

Is a Christmas visit to Disneyland Paris worthwhile?

Yes, visiting Disneyland Paris at Christmas is worth it. The park transforms into a festive wonderland during Christmas, offering dazzling decorations, special holiday-themed events, and seasonal entertainment. Families and Disney enthusiasts can enjoy unique winter experiences, Christmas parades, and a magical atmosphere.

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