Paris is magical at any time of year but at Christmas the city comes to life with Christmas markets, window displays, ice rinks. These are 10 reasons to visit Paris at Christmas
The ‘grand magasins’ along the Champs-Élysées create dazzling window displays and decorations for the festive season. The ones not to miss are Galerie Lafayette, Printemps and Le Bon Marché.
The marché de noël on the Champs-Élysées isn’t going ahead this year but there are plenty of other Christmas markets in Paris to enjoy. Head over to the Tour de Montparnasse for stalls selling regional food or the traditional Alsace Christmas market at the Gare de l’Est. Further out of town is the Christmas market in La Défense area with stalls set up among the high-rise office buildings.
In the Champs-Élysées Christmas village you will find the world’s largest ferris wheel – the Big Wheel in the Place de la Concorde. If you’re brave enough, you will enjoy breathtaking views of Paris at Christmas from a height of 70m.
A different nativity scene is installed in the Notre-Dame each year that welcome plenty of visitors to see these works of art. There are also beautiful nativities in the Sacré-Coeur and the Église de la Madeleine.
Some of the biggest names in fashion join in the festive fun and create designer Christmas trees for charity. The trees designed by the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Jean-Paul Gaultier, go on display in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées from 17-19 November and are then auctioned with the proceeds going to the AVEC Foundation for cancer research.
If you’re visiting with children then treat them with a visit to Disneyland Paris with its Christmas illuminations, a Christmas procession, a sparkling Christmas tree and the chance to meet Santa.
Another way to keep your kids out of trouble is on the merry-go-rounds that pop up in all but 2 of the Paris arrondissements over the festive season. One of our favourites has to be in the Place du Trocadéro where you can see the Eiffel Tower as you spin around. See the full list of locations here
If you are in the mood to indulge then why not splash out on Christmas dinner at Le Moulin Rouge or Le Lido? As well as watching the caberet show you will get a delicious four-course meal (with bûche de noël for dessert obviously) and champagne. If this is a bit outside your budget then don’t worry, most of the restaurants in Paris will put on a traditional Christmas dinner.
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