As the holiday season begins to kick into full swing in Paris, you'll be taken away by the city’s Christmas transformation. Twinkling lights, window displays and markets turn the city into a festive wonderland. We've gathered a few of the most exciting Christmas events around Paris so that you can experience more this Christmas.
All the little lights | Ends 8th -10th January 2018
We've all heard that Paris is the City of Lights; this has never been truer than at Christmas time. The streets are decked out in millions of tiny little bulbs sparkling an array of different colors. People travel from all around the world to see the decorations that line Paris’ most famous streets. Take a stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne or just wander around the Montmartre district.
The Big Wheel | Ends 5th May 2018
The Big Wheel at Palace de la Concorde is a staple on the Paris Christmas scene. As a symbol of Christmas in Paris, over 300 000 people come each year for a relaxing ride up to 70 meters high. Hop into one of the 48 pods and enjoy as you watch the Paris skyline come to life all around you.
Christmas Markets | Dependent on the Market
We’ve already done a CW guide to Christmas Markets posts recently, but it’s Paris, you couldn’t throw a candy cane in this city without it landing on the roof of one of those iconic wooden market chalets. Visit the Noël Dans Les Ètoiles at the Place Joachim-du-Bellay where you'll find over 70 stalls selling everything from crafts to decorations and food; take the kids to visit Santa's house or discover the enchanted forest.
If you take our advice to go for a stroll around the Montmartre district, stop off at the delightful Christmas market on Place des Abbesses. Pick up a nice warm glass of vin chaud and check out all the stands to pick up some sweet gifts for your friends and family back home.
Window shopping | Ends 8th- 10th January 2018
The Christmas window displays in Paris are second to none. Famous for their intricate designs, festive decorations and tiny animated figures putting on, what can best be described as, toy theater. You’ll find magic in the displays of shops like Printemps Haussmann, the Gallery Lafayette (Ends 30th December 2017), Bon Marché Rive Gauche and BHV Marais. Most of these stores will section off a little area so that children get a front row seat to the show.
Ice skate below the Eiffel Tower | 21st December 2017– 8th January 2018
Some activities are just quintessential Christmas activities! Ice skating is one of them. But what’s better than Ice skating? Ice skating under the Eiffel Tower. Head down to the Christmas Village on the Champs de Mars where you can skate the night away, only to take breaks to stand in awe of the Eiffel Tower Christmas light show. Or to drop into the Christmas market for some shopping and tasty mulled wine.
Christmas Châteaux | Ends 7 January 2018
Just outside of Paris, you’ll find the Vaux-Le-Vicomte Châteaux. This picturesque French Castle transforms its ceremonial rooms into a tasty delight for all the visitors to see. Other than a spectacular display of lights and decorations, guests will be delighted by the ornaments made of candy canes, pain d’épice, chocolate and other treats. Go outside the Châteaux to see brilliant light up deer decorations, all from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. The festivities are endless at this charming castle and will be well worth the visit. The Châteaux provides shuttles from the local train station, so all you have to do is hop on the train from Paris. Check out their directions.
Christmas theater and concerts
The Saint Petersburg Ballet is coming to Paris this year with an incredible rendition of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. But its not just regular ballet, the entire performance is on ice. Running from the 29th December to 31st December 2017, the ballet will tell an iconic Christmas story with a mixture of dance and acrobatics at the Palais Des Congrès.
The Vivaldi Christmas Concert will be on for one night only at the Èglise de la Madeleine on the 23rd December. Enjoy the orchestra Les Violons de France with Soloist Frédéric Moreau with Cécile Besnard singing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Christmas songs like O Holy Night, Silent Night and more.
Radio Classique will be hosting a special Chris0tmas concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on the 19th and 20th of December. Experience some of the most recognizable Christmas songs and classical masterpieces performed by the Garde Républicaine Symphony Orchestra, the French Army Choir and the Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine.
Noël Gourmand | 15th- 18th December
If Christmas means food to you, then this is where you’ll want to be! The Noël Gourmand is a three-day fair celebrating food and French cuisine at the Cité de la Mode & du Design. The best regional food artisans come together to bring a feast of cheeses, local dishes, oils, seafood and more. Grab a personal glass to tote around with you so that you can enjoy free wine tastings along with small nibbles from stands before you put your money where your mouth is.