Paris is magical at any time of the year, but especially around Christmas time. There is something magical about seeing the city come alive with festive cheer and ablaze with the glow of the holiday season. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it was time to share with you the best ways to spend Christmas in Paris.
Post updated Nov 2022.
1. Christmas shopping in Lafayette
This luxury department store is the best place for Christmas shopping, not only because you can buy all your Christmas gifts under one roof, but also because of the festive decorations. The huge Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling is always the center of attention and is a sight to behold. This year, the 27-meter-tall tree will be hanging upside down and adorned in rich colors with thousands of multicolored jewels.
2. Christmas window at Printemps
The window dressing at Printemps is an annual ritual. Every year crowds gather to see the grand launch of Christmas windows, where a celebrity is always chosen to present them. A popular year was 2013, when the windows came alive with dancing Prada bears, captivating children and adults alike. This year, Burberry takes over the windows and tells the story of a little boy who leaves London to celebrate Christmas in Paris.
3. Champs-Elysées Christmas Market
Of all the Christmas markets in the city, the one along the Champs-Eylsées is probably the most famous. This famous avenue is lined with stalls selling homemade chocolates, soaps and other such trinkets. Browsing the market while sipping mulled wine is a very fun way to get in the festive mood.
4. Ice skating at the Hôtel de Ville
When the ice rinks open in Paris, you know it’s time. The most popular spot is the ice rink at the Hôtel de Ville, located in front of the famous town hall and next to a couple of fairytale carousels to add to the magic of skating under the stars. (Image source: Erasmus of Paris)
5. Drink hot chocolate
Christmas in Paris isn’t Christmas until you’ve had your first hot chocolate of the year. One of the joys of winter is curling up with a luscious and thick hot chocolate in Angelina’s tea room and feeling the thaw.
6th place Vendome
Place Vendôme is a charming square in Paris at any time of the year. Home to the Ritz Hotel and numerous high-end jewelry stores, it is a beautiful place to stroll. At Christmas time, the architecturally rich square looks even more beautiful, with Christmas trees lining the shop fronts and strings of lights hanging from overhead.
7. Ladurée Christmas Log
At this time of year, all the top patisseries in Paris offer a limited edition Christmas menu. Ladurée’s Christmas logs come in a variety of festive flavors and are as delicious as they are pretty. A Christmas-inspired pastry break is a great way to whet the appetite for all the festive foods to come.
8. Christmas Concerts at La Sainte Chapelle
La Saint Chapelle is one of the architectural jewels of Paris; It is a 14th century chapel with the most stunning and intricate stained glass windows. Come Christmas, the place reverberate with classical music concerts where you can hear works by famous composers like Vivaldi and Bach.
9. Christmas Dinner Cruise on the Seine
Christmas is that time of year to indulge a little more than the rest of the year. Dining along the Seine is a wonderful experience, especially at Christmas when the menu is packed with festive dishes and the atmosphere is more cheerful than at any other time of the year.
10. Christmas lights
The only thing better than walking past all the monuments of Paris is seeing them with twinkling fairy lights. A great activity is to just walk around the city and breathe in the atmosphere of the Christmas season in Paris, not forgetting to look at all the magical Christmas lights around you.
So, over there… what are your favorite things to do in Paris during the Christmas season?
Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. Today she divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.
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