I recently posted about Paris in the fall. However, Paris is especially magical at Christmas-time. By mid-November, Paris is completely decked out for the holidays. The city is covered in lights and decorations, everywhere you go! There is a ton to do in the City of Light near the holidays. Here are some of my favorites:
As if Galeries Lafayettes wasn’t already stunning enough, every year it has a new Christmas Tree design. The year I spent Christmas in Paris, the tree was made out of recycled paper! The interactive window displays were all made with the recycled materials theme. The tree was very intricate, with polar bears and crossing rails. There was even a Ferris Wheel beside the tree with bears peeking out the car windows.
Of course, you cannot visit Galeries Lafayette without heading to the top floor for a free overlook of Paris! This year, there is a skating rink set up on the Galeries rooftop!
Marchés de Noël
Champs-Élysées typically has the largest Christmas Market in Paris, but for the third year in a row Village de Noël des Champs Élysées is closed. Fortunately for locals and tourists alike, the Christmas Market will still take place as it was relocated near Jardin des Tuileries in front of the Louvre. You can grab a vin chaud and browse for Christmas gifts, souvenirs, and trinkets. There are rides for the little ones and lots of different foods to buy. The Tuileries Market also has an ice rink!
In addition to the large market by the Tuileries, there are also Marchés de Noël in La Défense, Champs de Mars, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, St. Germain neighborhood, Montparnasse, and Montmartre. Hôtel de Ville used to host a large skating rink each year, but this has now been replaced by the market.
Marché de Noël de la Défense and the Tuileries Market are both already open (as of November 21st). The markets in Champs de Mars, in front of Hôtel de Ville, and at Place des Abbesses, however, will not be open until mid-to-late December.
Notre Dame is normally decorated with Christmas trees out front. Three years ago, I went to a Christmas Mass with my mom in the Notre Dame. Unfortunately, Notre Dame de Paris has been closed since the April fire and will be for several years more as they repair it.
If in town for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, there are still a number of Christmas services available throughout the city.
Christmas Lights and Decorations
Storefronts are all decked out with lights and decorations for the holidays. The high end boutiques and popular stores on Champs-Élysées have especially gorgeous set ups. Holiday decorations make it even more alluring to explore different neighborhoods and shops.