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Christmas in Paris : things to do this winter

Planning to spend « Noël » in Paris this year ? Paris is a vacation destination not to be missed.

Christmas in Paris : reasons to visit

When the high season for tourism is over, Paris is a beautiful destination all year long. Winter time has a more local atmosphere and the city turns up into this magical time that immerses you in the spirit of Christmas. Here is a list of some of the best things to do in the French capital if you happen to be around this winter.

Christmas in Paris : Things to know before you go

There is something you need to know if you plan to visit Paris during the holiday. We (French people) take our christmas vacations very seriously. So some restaurants and local business may be closed, especially the week between Christmas and New Year’s. If you have your heart set on specific spots, check ahead to avoid any disappointment.

Christmas in Paris : See the Christmas lights

The first stop on your Paris Christmas itinerary should be to explore the neighborhoods with Christmas lights. Starting the last week of November, Paris shines with a thousand lights thanks to its dazzling Christmas decorations. Your first stop will be The Champs Elysées before heading to Avenue Montaigne. There are other breathtaking spots such as rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Saint Germain des prés or Bercy Village. Wherever you are in Paris, take a stroll along the boulevards and let yourself be enchanted by this magical atmosphere that immerses you in the spirit of Christmas.

Enjoy authentic Christmas markets

Parisian Christmas markets are a true institution. Wander through wooden chalets and discover a multitude of artisanal products, culinary specialties, and unique gift ideas. The most renowned markets are located in places like Notre-Dame, Montmartre, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Taste winter delights like hot chocolate, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts while soaking up the convivial Christmas atmosphere. And if you are looking for off the beaten path markets, head to Gare de l’Est for alsatien products (Alsace is located in the East of France), le Hasard Ludique for african products and products made in the 18th neighborhood or the swedish Market at the Eglise suédoise.

Christmas in Paris : Shows and Festive Events

Paris offers a variety of shows and festive events during the holiday season. Attend performances of classical ballets like "The Nutcracker" at the Opera Bastille or enjoy the many Christmas concerts that resonate in the city's churches and concert halls. For example, the Sainte Chapelle offers one hour concerts (that can be great for kids) from december 21-31. It is also the perfect time to enjoy a musical ! From the classical West Side Story at Le théâtre du Chatelet to the legendary Lion King at théâtre du Mogador, you will always find a great show that fits what you are looking for.

Christmas in Paris : Christmas Window Displays of Department Stores

The elaborate windows that display at the grand department stores of Paris are a must-see. Galeries Lafayette, Printemps Haussman, BHV and le Bon Marché are among them. The most spectacular is often Galeries Lafayette. And inside is the somptuous Christmas tree under the coupole. To avoid the crowd, it is better to come as soon as night falls on a weekday.

Christmas in Paris : christmas tree inside Galeries Lafayette

Christmas in Paris : Explore Paris’s Covered Passages

Sheltered from the rain and bad temperatures, the covered passages, or "passages couverts" in French, offer a unique and captivating experience for anyone seeking to delve deeper into the heart of Paris. These passages are characterized by their glass roofs, mosaic-tiled floors, and ornate ironwork, creating an atmosphere that feels like a journey through a bygone era. As you traverse these elegant passages, you'll find yourself transported back in time to the 19th century when they first became popular. And if you want to add some fun to your visit, we invite you to come and try our treasure hunt. In addition to admiring these splendid galleries, you will spot details that only a keen eye would notice. You’ll see, From the iconic Passage des Panoramas to the charming Galerie Vivienne, each passage has its own story to tell and distinctive architectural details to admire.. while solving riddles 😉.

Christmas in Paris : explore the covered passages

Christmas in Paris is an unforgettable experience where the magic of the season blends with the elegance and history of the City of Light. From the sparkling illuminations to the authentic Christmas markets, along with festive performances and magical window displays, there's something for everyone. Whether you are a Parisian or a visitor, come and celebrate the Christmas season in Paris.

Happy holidays!

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