Christmas in Paris, France

Christmas fairs in Paris: 6 interesting locations

The top 6 of Paris’s brightest holiday bazaars that will open as early as the end of November 2022. Addresses, descriptions and photos of popular Parisian fairs.

Content:

Christmas in Paris is the most important, beloved, magical holiday. Always crowded, elegant and romantic, the city is especially lively from November. Christmas-tree markets are buzzing, holiday decorations are briskly on sale and Parisians and tourists are in a hurry to buy gifts. Bright illumination blooms in the streets, garlands shine and Christmas trees decorated with balls and mistletoe twigs twinkle. Traditional crèches and “living fairy tales” – animated puppet compositions by Jean-Claude Deye – appear in the windows. There is usually no snow, but ice rinks open annually in the city center (skating with skate rental costs from 15 to 30 €).

An extensive ice area is poured on the grounds of the Grand Exhibition Palace. On Christmas Eve and December 25, in churches of the French capital are held solemn services. The main Christmas mass is at the legendary Notre Dame.

The traditional family dinner – réveillon Parisians arrange in the evening of December 24. The meal is long and plentiful: oysters, lobsters and snails, onion soup, foie gras, smoked salmon, roasted turkey or duck stuffed with chestnuts are prepared. All this splendor is accompanied by French wines and the invariable champagne. For dessert, a Buche de Noël cupcake is served. On Christmas morning, Père-Noël brings gifts. After New Year’s Eve, the week-long series of popular festivities continues. The season ends on January 6, Kings’ Day.

Parisian holiday markets begin operating well before Christmas. In 2022 the season les marchés de Noël opens on November 16.

Excursions in Paris

Itineraries from locals on Tripster are an unusual way to explore the city. It is interesting to start with a sightseeing tour of Paris. See the iconic places of the left and right banks of the Seine, to outline the routes of independent walks. Then devote a couple of hours tour of the Louvre – our favorite guide Eugenie is sure to make it unforgettable for both adults and children.

Christmas fairs in Paris

Paris’ most popular and crowded market has always been on the Champs-Elysées. But since 2017, only the illuminations have remained on the legendary street, and the trade and events have been moved to the Tuileries gardens. The Magie de Noël aux Tuileries season will open on 11/24, and the fair will run until January 6. The bazaar stretches from the Grand Palais to the Place de la Concorde. On the Tuileries esplanade will be installed 120 trading chalets, will be built a dozen of attractions. In the center of the Royal Park there will be an ice rink of 1400 m². On the Place de la Concorde will spin the Ferris wheel (ticket price 5-10 €). Organizers invite vendors and producers of local products from 20 regions of France to the Tuileries Christmas Village.

18 individual craftsmen and 14 representatives of the Paris Chamber of Crafts will present their applied creations in trade chalets. The largest holiday tree in Paris will be installed at the Tuileries Fair. On weekends there will be a free theater, and on December 24-25 market visitors will see a miracle: flying through the sky of Santa Claus in a radiant sleigh pulled by reindeer.

The official page of the Tuileries Christmas Magic with the program of events: https://quefaire.paris.fr/66824/la-magie-de-noel-s-installe-aux-tuileries.

Paris Fairs: Magie de Noël aux Tuileries Holiday Treats at the Tuileries Gardens

The International Christmas Village will open on the Champ de Mars on 12/15 and will run until the end of the holiday season. It will occupy the area from the École Militaire to the Eiffel Tower, where all the main events will be concentrated. More than a hundred tents will be set up in the Trocadero Gardens: not only French goods will be brought there, but products and products from all over Europe. Every year souvenirs, cheeses, sausages, candy, hot fast food and national cuisine of different European nations are sold there. On the street roasting chestnuts and pouring mulled wine (4 € per glass).

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Under the Eiffel Tower this year will open again an ice rink of 300 m² – Eiffel on Ice, with ice skate rentals and an open bar. Visitors to this fair in Paris Tower can skate for free, skate rental costs from 6 €.

There will be festive shows on the outdoor outdoor areas, dedicated to the national traditions of the participating countries. In the restaurants in the tower, guests will be offered a festive menu. Information about events with a schedule and ticket prices are published on the Eiffel Tower website.

The best Christmas fairs in Paris

Paris Christmas Market at the Eiffel Tower

The largest and most luxurious Parisian fair is Le marché de la Défense . It opens in the district of Défense, near the Grande Arche. There are 300 chalets covering 13,000 m², the tallest Christmas tree, two large tents for the craft market and the Chalet Savoyard restaurant. A large ice skating rink is being poured on the observation deck at 110m.

The Défense will be open from November 21 to December 29. Information on events in the Christmas Village is published on www.parisladefense.com.

Fairs in Paris on Christmas Eve: Le marché de la Défense

Le marché de la Défense – the most modern Christmas bazaar

The market in front of Notre Dame Cathedral is quite small by Parisian standards but it attracts tourists with its original variety and atmosphere. Here Christmas is celebrated under the sign of folk crafts and art. More than fifty artisans and designers – sculptors, puppeteers, jewelers, leatherworkers, weavers and stained glass artists – come to the fair in Piazza Viviani every year. They bring delicacies from regional producers: foie gras Micouleau, cheeses with truffles and basil, dried fruit, bee products, olives and herbs from Provence, Alsace gingerbread. Chestnuts are roasted, hot vanilla milk is poured, and mulled wine is made according to an old Norwegian recipe.

Designers hold master classes on drawing, knitting, creating ornaments, painting Christmas balls. Every day the little visitors are welcomed by Per Noël himself – he organizes drawing contests and children’s fairy tales.

Marché de Noël Paris Notre Dame is open December 13-29. The fair’s official website is https://www.marche-de-noel-paris-notre-dame.fr/index.php?lang=fr.

Christmas in Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral Fair.

Paris market in front of Notre Dame Cathedral

The Alsace Christmas Market, a gastronomic paradise, opens at the Eastern Railway Station. On the station square under a large tent they sell Alsace wine, sausages, potato cakes, sauerkraut, homemade noodles and various meat specialties, and offer free tastings for guests. There are pastries for sale: Alsatian bretzels and bredele cakes, pain d’épice bread and kugelhopf buns. Housewives buy home textiles and knitwear here. For children at the market Gare de l’Est there are cooking classes for making Alsatian glazed cookies, sliced in the form of people. The Gare de l’Est market will be open from early to mid-December.

Christmas markets in Paris open in November! Christmas decorations at the Alsace market in Paris

One of the most charming and atmospheric bazaars opens at the Place des Abbats, in Montmartre . Here every year they put up a beautiful Christmas tree, light up the ornate illumination, and build two dozen cozy wooden chalets.

Handicrafts, original gifts, regional farm products, hot waffles, cakes, pancakes and pancakes are sold. On weekends, it is customary for families to visit this market. Little Parisians can give their letters here to the main Christmas wizard – Le Père Noël. The Montmartre Christmas Market takes place daily, from early December to January 2.

What to try of food and drink

Gastronomic abundance reigns at the Parisian festive fairs. The food ranges from fast-food to gourmet delicacies. The most popular treats in Parisian markets:

  • coquille de noël shell-shaped buns;
  • la papillote chocolates with good wishes;
  • apples in caramel or chocolate;
  • crepes, Belgian waffles, German pretzels;
  • macaroons and candies of all sorts;
  • gougère cheese balls.
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Roasted chestnuts are a special sign of Christmas, their wonderful aroma fills all the holiday markets of Paris. For those who are hungry, onion soup, salmon sandwiches, ravioli, Greek kebabs, traditional potato tartiflette – mashed potatoes with cheese filling, garlic, truffles are offered.

Mulled wine (about 4 €), cappuccino (from 2,5 €), hot chocolate, champagne, heated beer or French wine are served everywhere. Dinner for two in a cheap cafe costs 30 € (without alcohol), dinner costs 55-60 €.

What to buy at the fairs in Paris

In the Christmas markets of Paris you can buy any gifts or souvenirs, practical goods or something “for the soul”. Sold a lot of Christmas decorations, elegant wreaths, garlands, spectacular compositions of Christmas sprigs, golden bells, candles. Pay attention to the elite cosmetics and perfumes, French folding knives and jewelry.

At the bazaar in La Défense, look for fine lama wool sweaters, aromatic candles, ceramic figurines for traditional creche, exclusive Christmas tree toys, household mini-equipment. As gastronomic souvenirs from Paris buy old Alsace wine, champagne, French chocolate and other sweets in original packaging of famous confectioneries.

Question – answer

Is it worth to go to Paris for Christmas?

Of course, the city at this time is especially beautiful. And you have to go not only and not so much for the Christmas fairs of Paris. But to walk through the Champs-Elysées, painted in all the colors of the rainbow, to ride the retro carousel at the Hotel de Ville, to see the famous Christmas tree in the Galeries Lafayette. The latter is different every year, depending on the fashions and themes you choose.

When is the best time to go to Christmas markets in Paris?

To catch the opening of the holiday markets, anytime from the last week of November. But the closer it gets to December 25, the nicer the prices of gifts become.

How many Christmas fairs are there in Paris?

Not as many as in other European capitals, but definitely more than 10. In this article we have selected the largest and most visited, located near the iconic landmarks. But holiday bazaars also open in bedroom communities and on the outskirts of Paris. In addition, there are the nearest cities – Rouen, Honfleur, Reims, Colmar. And of course, the fair in Strasbourg is a real Christmas classic.

What are the prices in Paris before Christmas?

Traditionally high. However, this does not always apply to markets (there you can buy handicrafts almost at cost). The main expense items are hotels and restaurants. A night in the French capital costs on average 80-100 € if a hotel has 3-4 stars. Dinner at a restaurant costs 30-40 € per person. Plus in such a high season as the Christmas market period in Paris, you have to book in advance.

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS

In mid-November, Paris begins to prepare for Christmas. In anticipation of the most long-awaited winter holidays, central streets are transformed, trees and facades of houses are dressed in bright lights, thousands of colorful lights are lit everywhere, small live Christmas trees are put, whose delightful smell spreads through the streets, and on the central squares cozy wooden chalets with mulled wine and hot chocolate are opened. Paris is a holiday that’s always with you, and it’s during this Christmas season that it becomes clear why Paris is called the “City of Light.

Christmas in Paris

Christmas illuminations add a truly magical charm to the Parisian boulevards, and millions of tourists come from all over the world to admire this colorful extravaganza.

The recipe for a festive mood is very simple. It’s enough to walk down the central streets shining with lights, admire the fabulous animated windows of famous department stores, go skating, drink aromatic hot wine at a noisy fair, make a wish at the main Parisian tree, find the most beautiful evening dress and – voila, inspiration and easy holiday mood are guaranteed!

If you’re planning to be in the French capital for Christmas and New Year, be sure to visit the main holiday attractions, without which it’s impossible to imagine Christmas in Paris.

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Paris’ main Christmas tree at the Galeries Lafayette

During the winter holidays, Paris’ major department stores become the center of attraction for Parisians and tourists for more than just gift shopping. Legendary stores such as Galeries Lafayette or BHV are a concentration of holiday atmosphere and luxury, you can come here even just for the festive mood. Not only the interiors but also the facades of the department stores are magnificently decorated.

Trees at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

Paris’s oldest department store, Galeries Lafayette, is always festive and luxurious, with golden light flooding its luxurious halls. The huge mosaic dome catches the eye every time as if for the first time. Galeries Lafayette – this is the epicenter of the Parisian Christmas, because here every year the main city Christmas tree in height of 21 meters is installed. This year all the Christmas decorations in the department store are dedicated to the magical beehive. Hundreds of sparkly toy bees and flowers wrap around the Christmas tree, and on top of it sits the Queen Bee. To get a better view of this magnificent Christmas tree and decorations, climb the Glass Bridge below the dome. Every 30 minutes the hive comes to life and the bees spread their wings to holiday music.

The Most Exquisite Parisian Christmas Tree

On the roof of Galeries Lafayette there is an open terrace, on which they installed a small ice rink of 176 square meters. Here you can rent free skates and skate with the most beautiful views of the City of Lights and the Eiffel Tower.

An ice rink on the roof of the Galeries Lafayette

Head into the main building of the department store to pick out gifts for your friends and family and take pictures with Pierre Nouvel, the French Santa Claus. And check out the Gourmet department, where you can go crazy with an abundance of French delicacies, wines, desserts and sweets. Here you’ll find everything you need for Christmas dinner, which in France is called a revéion. But to avoid going crazy with the prices, use our free 10% off coupon and don’t forget to arrange for tax free on purchases of €175 or more.

Santa Claus in Paris

Lively shop windows of big department stores in Paris

Every year in the run-up to Christmas the shop windows of the main Parisian department stores are transformed into an amazing puppet theater with lively figures among fabulous scenery. Magical performances unfold in them, where each shop window is an episode of a magical story. All the puppets are handmade. A large team of designers, artists, marketing specialists takes part in the preparation of the holiday showcases, who within a year think through the details and the script of the fairy tale. Animated showcases are real works of art and a New Year’s gift of department stores to their little and big visitors.

The Christmas atmosphere will prevail in the malls until the sale season at the end of January.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Windows

The Christmas Hive theme continues in the windows of Galeries Lafayette. Eleven colorful window displays feature the same magical bees, playing musical instruments and clapping over Christmas dinner.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations

Another favorite department store of Parisians is BHV Marais in front of the beautiful City Hall. It’s also worth coming here if only for the fabulous live showcases. This year the main theme of the window displays along Rue de Rivoli is the Christmas Market in Strasbourg, the capital of the French Christmas. The main characters are forest animals. An adorable owl flaps its big fluffy wings and watches over the cozy wooden chalets with presents, a fox reaches for the sweets on the counter, and a moose rests quietly in the midst of this bustle. For children especially put bridges in front of the showcases, from which it is convenient to watch every movement of the dolls.

Christmas decorations at the BHV in Paris

The original idea of the creative team of the department store is that along with animated windows there are the most real wooden chalets, as if they were brought from Strasbourg: here you can taste Alsace delicacies (bredeles, stollens, manneles Fortwenger), aromatic mulled wine, Belgian chocolatier Pierrot Marcolini’s Liège waffles, Mariage Frères tea – a wide choice of things to warm up.

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BHV MARAIS CHRISTMAS VITRINES

The magic continues inside the department store. A real Christmas choir sings at the weekend, and from Wednesday to Sunday there are photo shoots with Per Noel. Pre-holiday shopping turns into a magical journey.

Save our free coupon and receive a 15% discount and a tax refund on all items for total purchases of €175 or more. What’s more, readers of our website can receive a complimentary Marquet Card branded cloth bag (on purchases of €88 or more), a free cocktail or dessert at the Marlette Café on the third floor of the department store (on purchases of €175 or more).

Christmas shopping in Paris

It’s no secret that many people come to Paris for the winter holidays not only for the beauty of city illumination and festive atmosphere, but also for ? shopping in the world fashion capital. All the main shopping streets of Paris are decorated with stunning illumination, on which the best design companies work. The most spectacular illumination is installed on the Champs-Elysées, Avenue de luxe boutiques Montaigne, Place Vendôme. Rue Faubourg-St-Honoré, decorated with Baccarat crystal chandeliers, and the village of Bercy are also worth a visit.

New Year shopping in Paris

All the same famous French and world brands, but with discounts of 50% or more, are concentrated in one unique place – the shopping village of La Valle Village. It is an open-air shopping center 40 minutes from the center of Paris. 120 designer boutiques of clothing, shoes and accessories such as . offer their goods 2-3 times cheaper than in the center of the capital. Here you’ll find a dream New Year’s Eve dress, a coat you’ve been dreaming of for a long time and much more. All winter months the town is decorated with delightful New Year illumination, live music, workshops and special events. The boutique village is open seven days a week (while Sunday in Paris is a day off and all stores are always closed).

La Vallee Village, Outlet Paris.

Simply show this invitation at the welcome center in La Vallée Village until March 31, 2020 and receive a VIP card with an extra -10% discount in six boutiques of your choice and a glass of wine at the Menu Palais restaurant in La Vallée Village. Also, take advantage of a free round trip shuttle from Paris on the Shopping Express bus, if you book online under the link and quote the promo code LVRUOBON.

Christmas markets in Paris

The best place for New Year shopping are the traditional and ever popular Christmas markets, which open in November. In the small wooden chalets, where the atmosphere is cozy and cheerful, Christmas decorations, holiday accessories, products from different regions of France and a variety of handicrafts await the buyers. It is there where you can get the best outfit for the Christmas tree, buy original gifts and find delicious treats for the Christmas and New Year’s table.

Christmas presents in Paris

Previously the largest and most popular Christmas market was located on the Champs-Élysées, but since last year it was moved to the Tuileries Garden. The area of the garden is better suited for stalls and Christmas decorations. Most of the souvenirs are made in France. In addition to buying gifts and enjoying the warm holiday atmosphere, you can ride the Ferris wheel, the traditional Parisian carousel and other rides.

Where to buy Christmas decorations in Paris

Big Christmas markets are also traditionally located in other areas of Paris: near the Eiffel Tower, at the Arc de la Défense, at Notre Dame Cathedral, at Saint-Lazare station, at Saint Germain Cathedral. Large Christmas villages will open at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower and the Church of Saint-Sulpice. The opening period and schedule, the exact addresses of the main Parisian Christmas fairs can be seen at this link.

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Christmas treats in France

At any Christmas fair in Paris, you can sample a large number of traditional hearty French winter dishes and warming drinks. Where else can you find so many delicacies, hot drinks, cheeses and sausages in one place? A real Christmas in Paris is never without these treats.

The best hot chocolate in Paris

HOT CHOCOLATE (CHOCOLAT CHAUD)

One of the universal ways to treat yourself and warm up on a frosty December day is to have a cup of thick, fragrant hot chocolate. In Paris in winter there is a real cult of hot chocolate, and many confectioneries with centuries of history are competing to see whose drink will be moderately sweet, moderately hot and with just the right aftertaste of cocoa beans. There are many famous pastry shops and cafes where hot chocolate is a specialty drink and serving it is a whole ritual. For example, you can check out Un Dimanche à Paris, a luxury chocolatier concept store with a huge selection of sweets.

Mulled wine in Paris

MULLED WINE ( VIN CHAUD).

It’s hard to imagine a more traditional Christmas drink than mulled wine (French for “vin chaud”, hot wine). The tradition of drinking hot, spicy wine in winter came from the North, which makes sense. Gluhwein (German “glühwein”) was served for warmth at German, Austrian, and Alsatian Christmas fairs. The main ingredients were wine, spices (cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, badjan), and fruit (orange and lemon).

At any fair in Paris, you’ll find several stalls with a large vat of fragrant, spicy hot spiced wine, which is scooped up with a large ladle and poured into cardboard cups. The festivities begin after a few sips of this magical drink!

Bretzel in Paris

ALSATIAN DELICACIES: BRETZEL (BRETZEL) AND TARTE FLAMBÉE (TARTE FLAMBÉE).

Also at any Christmas market in Paris you’ll see mouth-watering bunches of bretzels, salted pretzels with cumin. Most of us associate them primarily with German culture and beer, but they’re also one of the symbols of the northern French region of Alsace. Bretzel have German roots and can be eaten as a separate delicacy as well as a snack with beer.

Tarte flambée (lit. “flaming tart”) is another popular appetizing dish of Alsatian cuisine. It is a thin, crispy open pie, somewhat reminiscent of a pizza. The traditional filling of tarte flambé is white cheese (similar to soft curd) or crème fraîche (sour cream), onions and bits of lard or bacon, but now in Alsace you can try tarte flambé with a variety of fillings: with chicken, fish, seafood, and sweet tarte flambé with fruit.

In Alsatian dialect its name sounds like “flammekueche” (flammkuche), the Germans call it “flammkuchen” (flammkuchen) and the French “tarte flambée” (tarte flambée). But the literal translation is one – “flaming tart,” indicating that traditionally this tart is baked in an oven over an open fire.

Raclette in Paris

RACLETTE

One of the most popular and beloved French winter dishes is raclette. best tried in the Alps somewhere cozy by the fireplace, but you can also find them anywhere in France during the cold season. Originally it is a Swiss dish, but in a rare French family you will not find a raclettelette, even well hidden in a far away cupboard. A raclettelette is a device for melting cheese and roasting meat. It usually has six or eight individual spatulas, on which pieces of special cheese (fromage à raclette) are placed. While the cheese is melting, on the hot surface of the raclette, pieces of meat – ham, pork or beef jerky, sausages, ham, and so on, who is good at what. Whole potatoes are boiled in advance, which are then mixed with roasted meat and lavishly covered with melted cheese. It turns out insanely delicious and nourishing! As you see, the dish turns out a calorie-dense, hot and very tasty.

And best of all, raclette is a collective dish that brings the whole family together.

How to celebrate Christmas in Paris

Tip O’bon Paris.

We heartily wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and wish you inspiring travels, exciting discoveries and extraordinary adventures in the new year!

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