Dreaming of the perfect Christmas in Paris? When the season ascends upon us, the city of light transforms into a dazzling wonderland. Each arrondissement adorns its streets with twinkling lights dangling overhead and wanderers walks its beautiful boulevards. The magnificent window displays go up and festive markets unfold to create an atmosphere that truly captures the magic of Christmas. Join us as we explore the best things to do at Christmas in Paris, where timeless traditions and joyous celebrations merge to create even more unforgettable memories in an already spectacular city.
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1. See Christmas Lights in Paris on the Champs-Élysées
Take a leisurely walk along the world-famous Champs-Élysées, adorned with shimmering lights and festive decorations. Each year the lights go up on this famous promenade starting at the Tuileries Gardens and culminating at the Arc de Triumph. It's one of the most emblematic Chistmas escapades and along the way you can stop in for holiday shopping at the the world's finest stores, and one of the best places for Christmas lights in Paris!
2. Pass by Notre-Dame Cathedral
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Notre-Dame Cathedral during the Christmas season. Be sure to stop and marvel at the Christmas tree in front as well and snap postcard perfect picture for next year holiday card!
The famous cathedral is still under reconstruction after the events of 2019, but will reopen to the public in 2024.
3. Visit Christmas Markets in Paris
Wondering where to visit Christmas markets in Paris? Paris's various Christmas markets offer everything from Christmas crafts and steaming treats like waffles, crepes, and more. The Marché de Noël des Champs-Élysées and the Marché de Noël de la Défense offer a wide array of crafts, unique gifts, and delectable treats, making them perfect for finding that special holiday treasure. All over the city though as you wander, you'll stumble upon tiny unique markets that make their mark on Paris at Christmas!
4. Ice Skate at Paris Most Epic Addresses
Each year the city offers different ice rinks depending on the annual planning. From the Eiffel Tower to the Grand Palais to the Tuileries, put on your skates and glide around the ice at the city's most chic addresses. Another enchanting ice rink can be found each year at the Hotel Plaza Athénée where guests are invited to take a spin on the ice when their adorable courtyard is transformed into a rink ready for holiday visitors to enjoy!
5. Admire the Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree
Marvel at the stunning Christmas tree in the Galeries Lafayette department store. Each year, the tree becomes a work of art, adorned with intricate decorations and illuminations, creating a spectacle that captivates visitors of all ages. You never know what decor the tree will have in store and this famous store, and it's unveiling is one of the most magic holiday moments in Paris each year.
6. Window Shop the Holiday Displays of the Grands Magasins
While you're there, be sure to take your time taking in the whimsical holiday displays in the windows of Paris's Grand Magasins (Department Stores). Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché, and more go all out to bring their windows to life with holiday whimsy. Their always fashionable displays are tricked out twinkling lights, animated puppets, and more to have you dreaming of what you'll find under the tree on Christmas day! If you want to enjoy Christmas light in Paris this is an essential stop!
7. Enjoy a Festive Concert at Sainte-Chapelle
Step into the mesmerizing world of Sainte-Chapelle, a Gothic gem known for its breathtaking stained glass windows. Year round, the cathedral lends its incredible acoustics to world class musical performances, but it's extra special and Christmas to attend a holidays concert, where the ethereal music combines with the divine setting to create a transcendent experience you'll never forget!
8. Delight in French Gastronomy
Indulge in the culinary delights of French gastronomy during the holiday season. Be sure to browse the best boulangeries for traditional Yule logs, kings cake, and other festive pastries made special for the holiday season. Savory treats like foie gras and oysters are also on offer everywhere as Parisians go all out for a gourmand holiday. Paris offers a gastronomic journey that will tantalize your taste buds all year round, but Christmas time offers extra special treats all across the city this time of year!
9. Drink a Hot Chocolat at Angelina's
There's never a better time to cozy up with a chocolat chaud at Angelina's than at Christmas time. This extra indulgent hot chocolat at one of Paris's most iconic cafés is world famous, and rightfully so! For chocolat lover's there are few better ways to get your fix. You can settle in the salon or get your hot chocolate to-go for a Christmas stroll in the Tuileries Gardens just across the street.
10. Visit the Christmas Village at La Défense
Discover the Christmas Village at La Défense. This sprawling market features an array of stalls, an ice skating rink, and a giant Christmas tree, providing a festive escape amidst the modern skyscrapers of Paris. While La Défense is Europe's largest business district, at Christmas its covered in Charm thanks to this massive market bringing the holiday spirit. It's just a short ride down the main metro Line 1 so don't hesitate to venture here to explore!
Spend Christmas in Paris with HomeExchange
Dreaming of sipping hot wine at Christmas markets in Paris? Fantasizing about strolling the city and soaking up the the sparkle of Christmas lights in Paris? Christmas is all about making dreams come true, so come home to Paris for the holidays with a home away from away here. You can find the perfect one on HomeExchange, the world's largest and most trusted home exchange network. Sign up today to start planning your Parisian Christmas and work your way through our list of the best things to do in Paris at Christmas.See homes in Paris