Get into the spirit of the festive season by visiting one of these marchés de noel in the City of Light…
1. Hôtel de Ville
One of the most atmospheric Christmas markets to be found in the French capital is in front of the grand Hôtel de Ville building in Le Marais.
Every year, the square to the front of the prestigious building is filled with a miniature Christmas village, with chalets selling handcrafted gifts and delicious traditional food and drink including mulled wine, raclette, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread men, waffles and crêpes. In previous years, the Hôtel de Ville has been lit up giving the whole area a magical glow by night. Visitors can also expect to be surrounded by an enchanted forest filled with decorated trees and twinkling lights and can take their pick from a host of free family activities including merry-go-rounds, a ferris wheel and a visit to le Père Noël himself.
The market usually opens in mid-December and runs through to early January, open from 11am to 9pm each day.
It is a great place to pick up a one-of-a-kind present ‘made in Paris’ along with gourmet foods to share with family over the festive period, with everything from regional sausages and terrines to cheese and nuts for sale. Once you’ve enjoyed shopping and feasting, there is also a curling track for those who want to give the winter sport a go and activity days where you can try your hand at knitting and even making your own Christmas wreath.
2. Les Halles
The Christmas market at Les Halles is a delightful addition to the shopping district, with around 20 select traders selling artisan and original gifts. A giant illuminated 20m-high tree takes pride of place with the market set above the Forum des Halles, selling everything from culinary produce to jewellery and accessories. You’ll be able to pick up a mulled wine and tartiflette to keep you going and once you’ve finished browsing the chalets, continue your festive shopping at the centre’s many big- name boutiques.
3. Jardin des Tuileries
La Magie de Noël in the Jardin des Tuileries, near the Louvre and the dazzling lights of the Champs-Élysées, is one of the city’s biggest Christmas markets, complete with an ice- skating rink and champagne bar. Around 100 cabins are located in the Christmas village ready to tempt you with their gastronomic products from all over France, as well as crafts including hand-blown glass and other original gift ideas. It usually trades from mid-November until early January with plenty of entertainment including a ferris wheel offering a fantastic view over the city.