Paris is enchanting at any time of year, especially at Christmas. There's something magical about seeing a city come alive with festive cheer and glow under the holiday season lights. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it was time to share the best ways to spend Christmas in Paris with you.
Post updated November 2022.
1. Christmas shopping in Lafayette
This luxury department store is the best place for Christmas shopping, not only because you can buy all the Christmas gifts under one roof, but also because of the festive decorations. The huge Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling is always a centerpiece and a sight to behold. This year the 27 meter tall tree will be hung upside down and will be decorated in rich colors with thousands of bright colored gems.
2. Display of the Christmas Window in Printemps
The window displays in Spring is an annual ritual. Every year crowds gather to witness the grand launch of the Christmas window where a celebrity is invariably chosen to present it. Favorite year was 2013 when the windows came alive with Prada's bear dance which amazed both children and adults. This year Burberry takes over the window telling the story of a boy who leaves London for Christmas in Paris.
3. Champs-Elysees Christmas Market
Of all the Christmas markets around town, the one taking place along the Champs-Eylsées is perhaps the most famous. This famous street is lined with stalls selling homemade chocolates, soaps and other trinkets. Cruising the market while sipping mulled wine is a really fun way to get into the party spirit.
4. Ice Skating at City Hall
When an ice skating rink opens in Paris, you know what time of year it is. Most popular is the ice skating rink at the Hôtel de Ville which is located in front of the iconic town hall and next to several fairy tale 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 enjoy your first hot chocolate of the year. One of the joys of winter is curling up with a luxurious, thick hot chocolate at a teahouse in Angelina and feel yourself melting.
6. Place the Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a charming square in Paris any time of year. Home to the Ritz hotel and many high-end jewelery shops, this is a lovely place to stroll. Come the holiday season, the architecturally rich square looks even more picturesque with Christmas trees lining the shop fronts and fairy lights hanging from above.
7. Ladurée Yule Log
This time of year, all the top patisserie in Paris offer limited edition Christmas menus. The Yule Log at Ladurée comes in a variety of festive flavors and is as delicious as it is beautiful. Christmas-inspired cake breaks are a great way to whet your appetite for all the party food to come.
8. Christmas Concert at La Sainte Chapelle
La Saint Chapelle is one of the architectural gems of Paris; it is a 14th century chapel with the most stunning and intricate stained glass windows. Come Christmas, the place reverberates with classical music concerts where you can hear the works of famous composers like Vivaldi & Bach.
9. Christmas Dinner Cruise on the Seine
Christmas is the time of year to indulge yourself a little more than you probably do the rest of the year. Dining along the Seine is a wonderful experience, especially at Christmas when the menu is full of festive dishes and the atmosphere is more cheery than at any other time of year.
10. Christmas light
The only thing better than going through all of Paris' monuments is to see them decked out in sparkling fairy lights. A great activity is to walk around the city and soak up the holiday season vibes in Paris and don't forget to look at all the magical Christmas lights around you.
So, for you… what are your favorite things to do in Paris during the festive season?