Christmas time in Paris is indeed a magical time of year. Over 150,000 lights go up on the Champs Élysées, tons of Christmas markets pop up throughout the city, you can enjoy seasonal treats like vin chaud (hot wine), or pain d’épices (spiced brad) , and festive holiday parties with friends, family and co-workers. Whether you are heading out of town for the holidays or you are staying local, there is more than enough time to get into the holiday in spirit and partake in the many activities going on from the end of November all the way to early January. To help you get into the holiday spirt, I have curated a #LaVieLocale recommended list of things to do this holiday season in Paris!! I hope you will enjoy!
Top 5 things to do in Paris…
1.Marchés de Noël
Visiting the Christmas markets in Paris is by far one best activities to do during holiday season. There are so many different types of markets, from the really large one’s like the grandiose market on the Champs Élysées down to smaller markets that have their own little unique spin to it. Here are a few that I recommend:
Marche de Noël à Saint Pierre de Montmartre– is in the quaint neighborhood of Montmartre, it is a smaller market with about 30 stands and it is more intimate market experience.
Le Food Market Fete Noel– is for food lovers. It is normally a monthly street food market that showcases a diverse amount of restaurants in Paris. On December 17th from 18h to 23h they are having special Christmas edition market full of seasonal cuisine.
SEASON– restaurant which specializes in healthy food options will be having a Christmas market dedicated to fashion, food and décor Dec 5 & 6. A portion of all the proceeds will go to La Fondation de France to help support the families of the victims of the attacks in Paris the 13th of November.
Here is a full list of the other traditional markets going on in Paris this year.
2. Holiday Displays
There are many temporary expositions, light shows, gallery displays, and animations that go up during the holidays that are worth checking out. Here are a few examples:
Christmas Tree at Galeries La Fayette– it is always fun admire the annual Christmas tree display at Galeries Lafayette department store.
Grande Roue de Paris– take a ride on the large Ferris wheel at Place de Concorde and you will have a magnificent view of Paris
Ice Skating– go ice skating in front of Hotel de Ville from Dec 18 until early March 2016.
Light show at Champs Élysées– go for a stroll down the grand avenue de Champs Élysées when it is all lit up!
3. Holiday Show
Check out a holiday show whether it is a ballet, opera, or a concert…
La Madeline– church has free classical concerts in the afternoons and early evenings on a regular basis, as well as some holiday themed concerts this December. Check out their complete calendar of concerts here.
You can also find a more detailed list of different types of concerts throught Paris this holiday season here.
La Bayadère – is traditional ballet that is being performed at the Opera of Paris this year. There are limited tickets left, so go out and grab seats while they last!
Tis the season of giving! If you want to avoid the crowds in the big stores, you can check out some small businesses in several holiday pop-up shops this year. Here are a few that will showcase different brands (deco, fashion, jewelry, food…) that have products made in France, designed by mainly Parisian creators.
Des Filles en Aiguille– has several pop up shops through out the year at the Espace Beaurepiare near Canal St.Martin. December 15 -20 they will have a holiday pop up shop with over 20 young designers, unique Christmas gift options, and all products are made in France.
We are Paris Pop Up– is another opportunity to find one of a kind gifts made in France for your holiday gift needs. It is open up until December 24, check out some of the creators here.
Violette Sauvage Vide Dressing Noël– is an alternative holiday shopping option if you like to find unique treasures in second hand sales. Violette Sauvage is hosting it’s last thrift sale for the year in Bastille Dec 5-6th. 300 fashionistas, and creators will gather to sell things from their closets as well new items for all budgets. There will also be a street art exhibit, DIY workshops, as well as a nail bar and massage area.
Paulette Magazine is also hosting a pop up market for Christmas full of young creators and artists, at Pavillion des Canaux Dec 5 & 6.
Check another post here with a few gift ideas for ‘her’ , all created by Paris based designers!
5. Eat and be Merry
Hot chocolate, vin chaud, foie gras, pain d’épice, oysters, bûches de Noël… are some of the yummy seasonal treats you can enjoy this time of year. Holiday dinners, parties, and gatherings go hand in hand with the Christmas season, so take advantage of this time to enjoy the company of the ones you love over a wonderful meal before ringing in the New Year!
I will be traveling back home this Christmas season but I will definitely be trying to squeeze in as much as I can before I leave! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season in Paris!