Paris is a beautiful city any time of year, but at Christmas time it can be magical. A trip to Paris can be a romantic holiday for couples or a fun family vacation. Here are some of the things you can see and do during Christmas in Paris.
At Christmas time, visit the Champs-Elysées. From the Place de l’Etoile to the Arc de Triomphe, lights are strung along with trees for a distance of two kilometers. The lights usually begin around the end of November and end in early January.
The department stores in Paris also have wonderful light displays. Check out the district near the Opera Garnier and gaze at the beautifully lit display windows.
During the Christmas season, the lights of the City of Light shine brighter than ever before. A double-decker bus is a great way to experience this magical holiday atmosphere. In addition to the Opéra, you’ll also hear information about the Place Vendôme, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower as you drive by them on your audio tour.
Notre Dame Cathedral
This historic cathedral also has a gorgeous light display each year. An enormous tree is decorated and lit up for the public to view. In addition, Notre Dame has a beautiful, peaceful Christmas Eve service that is worth attending.
(As of November 2021, works on the restoration of Notre Dame after a terrible fire that almost fully destroyed it in 2019 are still ongoing. We are not sure about lights and Christmas Eve service as of now.)
Winter sports are becoming popular in Paris. On the floor of the Eiffel Tower, there is an open-air skating rink that is open only during that time of year. There are various rinks throughout Paris during the holidays as well. (The Eiffel Tower rink does tend to be crowded, despite Christmas being the “off” season for tourists.) There are even areas where children can go sledding.
The Parisian Disneyland is fully decked out for Christmas celebrations. Fun and festive events are scheduled throughout the Christmas season, from late November to early January. There are parades and Christmas markets at Disneyland, Paris, too.
These quaint villages are not just in Disneyland, Paris. These markets have become a holiday tradition from the Northern Alsace region. They consist of wooden booths arranged like a miniature village. Delicious treats are served from these booths, such as gingerbread and spiced wine. You can also buy gifts and decorations at these markets.
Paris is known for its beautiful museums, particularly art museums. Christmas is an “off” season for travel, so there are few crowds to contend with. This makes it an excellent time to visit the Louvre and other beautiful museums.
Here is more info about top museums in Paris to visit.
Although crowds of tourists are lower during winter, expect restaurants to be fully booked or closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Make reservations well ahead, or consider celebrating your Christmas Dinner on a day that is not the 24th or 25th of December.
Few places capture the nostalgia and peace of Christmas like Paris. It combines the slow pace of a small town with the glitz and beauty of a big city holiday.
Here is more info about top restaurants in Paris.