Paris will always be Paris, in spite of all the attacks she may suffer. And Christmas is a time for peace and celebration. And this year, just like every year, Paris has dressed with its lights and the traditional markets, activities for all and puts everything on pause for just a short welcome while.
The Christmas markets
The traditional markets convey the Christmas spirit and quite a few have popped up this year in Paris. Arts and crafts, Christmas decorations, party items, local products, all in the wooden cabins. Original gift ideas, some extra culinary product to add to your menu or just a stroll with the kids to enjoy the atmosphere. Not to mention that along with the cabins and candies, merry-go-rounds are there to make the kids happy!
Furthermore, some of the markets will go green! Plastic bags will be replaced by organic solutions. Cups will be made out of organic material and the lights will be leds!
The Champs-Elysées market
Until the 4th of January. Everyday from 10 to 11pm. Fridays and Saturdays until midnight.
Avenue des Champs Elysées, 8e – Métro : line 1, Champs Elysées Clemenceau
Arche de la Défense market
Until Saturday the 27th December.
Open everyday from 11 to 8pm. Saturday until 9pm.
Métro : line 1, esplanade de la Défense
Santa’s village in Saint Germain des Près – 6e
Métro : ligne 4, Saint Germain des Près
The Abbesses market in the 18th
Place des Abbesses until 31st December
From 10 to 8:30pm. Saturdays and Sundays until 10pm.
Métro : line 12, Abbesses
The Christmas illuminations
One of the must-see in Paris during Christmas. Well, it’s not as if you could really miss it. It’s all over the place! Every single fountain, building, metro station, street, shop, all illuminated!
The Champs-Elysées will be dressed in lights until Wednesday the 7th January, from 5pm to 2am and all night on the 31st.. A surprise awaits the 300 trees of the beautiful avenue for the nights of the 24th and 31st.
The Christmas shop windows
Every window tells a story. That is how it goes in Paris. If you pay attention, you will see that shop tenants make a great deal of their windows during Christmas time. Every year, the department stores carry on with their tale telling. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps deploy treasures of imagination in placing their windows. This year, they could not escape the Star Wars craziness, that’s a fact. But not only. That’s for you to discover.
Take advantage of being at the Galeries Lafayette to pop in and admire their 25-meter huge Christmas tree which has this time, decided to hang from the beautiful “Coupole”. It’s quite amazing! Every hour, an ephemeral theatre gets to life for a “lights and sound” show.
5 of the Parisian neighborhoods will remain open on Sundays for the last minute Christmas shopping!
Kids will be also enjoying the party! Why not take them for some skating in one of the several ice-skating rinks of Paris?!
The famous skating rink of the Hôtel de Ville is back placed on its parvis from Friday the 19th of December to the 1st of March 2016. From Monday to Friday, from 12am to 10pm. Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 9am to 10pm.
The access to the skating rink is free, however you will have to rent to ice skates for 5€. Be aware that personal skates are not allowed. Gloves are mandatory. Some sled chairs are available for the little ones. The skating rink might close according to the weather.
The skating rink of the Eiffel Tower is back after some renovation time. Kids and adults will love this! How could it feel to be ice-skating on a rink 57 meter high with a stunning view over Paris?! Quite extraordinary, right?
Until the 15th February.
The rink is free, however, there is still an entrance fee to go up the Tower.
3 euros (stare access for kids), 5 euros (stare access for kids 12-25 yo), 7 euros (stare access adults)
From 10:30 am to 10:30pm every day.
The skating rink of the “ jardin d’acclimatation”. Surrounded by Christmas trees and illuminations, 400m² of ice welcome kids and parents for some fun.
From 10 to 8pm until the 3rd of January. (except the 2nd of December)
Skate rink and skates: 7 €
Sitting at 65 meter high, you will benefit from the best view ever over Paris and its illuminations!
Adults 10 € / Kids under 10: 5 €
Finally lets not forget the the Christmas holidays are also a good moment to enjoy some of the best shows and exhibitions in town!
For some good musicals: Cats, Jules Verne’s extraordinary trip, King Arthur… are only a few.
Some some good exhibitions: Picasso at the Grand Palais, Warhol Unlimited at the Museum of Modern Art, Fragonard at the museum of Luxembourg and the brand new museum of natural history.