ParisByM +33 6 52 86 11 36
ParisByM receptive travel agent

Things to do in Paris in December

Despite Paris being a hub for tourists in the summer months, the city has a lot to offer throughout the year, especially in December when Christmas is near. Although the weather is colder, Paris still buzzes with activities and excitement during the winter months, and these are just a few examples.

This article will help you to discover and explore all that Paris has to offer during Christmas time. Although a classic destination for summer vacations, there are a wide variety of things to do in Paris in December in order to embrace the holiday season while on holiday.

Credit: DiscoverWalks

Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets throughout Paris will be sure to out you in the holiday spirit. These Christmas markets are covered in string lights and warm heaters, not to mention the lines of vendors selling a variety of different foods and mementos. There are many Christmas markets located throughout Paris during December, some of the most popular being the markets at the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame, where you can stroll down city streets sipping hot wine and admiring the various pop-ups.



Hot Chocolate

Have French Hot Chocolate (and also French hot wine) is a necessity when in Paris during the winter months. If you have not already tried it, French,  hot chocolate is a little bit different from the classic Christmas morning drink in the United States. During the winter, especially in the holiday season in December, hot chocolate is a classic delicacy. You will be able to stroll through markets and down streets while staying warm and embracing the Christmas vibes when sipping hot chocolate along the way.


Credit: Discoverwalks

Champs Élysées

The Champs Élysées is the most famous street in Paris, if not the world. This street is always a great visit, and well worth your time because of the beautiful restaurants and trees that face into the street. This street, however, is even more beautiful in the winter. Each tree branch is colorfully decorated with Christmas lights making the stroll you will take along the sidewalk a feel-good, enjoyable experience.


Credit: Discoverwalks

Ice Skating

Ice skating is known as a winter activity in many places, and the same goes for Paris. Ice skating is a great afternoon activity after a morning visiting museums, and surprisingly not an expensive one! Usually, admission is free, meaning you only have to pay for skate rentals which will not be more that ten euros. Whether seeking a fun activity with your kids, or a romantic date night with a loved one, ice skating is a great option to get outdoors and be active in the cold weather!


Walk Around and Enjoy

Credit: Tripsavvy

While jumping from activity to activity, museum to museum, and restaurant to restaurant while on your visit to Paris, you will also be getting the chance to experience the true Parisian vibe of Christmas in the city. You will be able to embrace the winter aesthetic and Christmas cheer by strolling by hot chocolate stands, stumbling upon Christmas markets, and letting the snow fall around you while a busker plays the accordion nearby. While on vacation, is important to take a step back from the constant hustle from one tourist sight to another. Paris, especially during Christmas time, offers many opportunities for sitting back and relaxing, for example sipping café or people watching outside a restaurant.

Christmas time in Paris is truly a magical experience. It is important to take advantage of all the Paris has to offer, especially during Christmas time when you will be able to stroll down street lit up by lights and feel the warm steam of hot chocolate. We hope that you got some good ideas from the article and that you take advantage of these activities during your next visit to Pairs in December!

Discover the markets of Paris

Five photos that capture the spirit of the city of Paris

Your Guide to the 20 Neighborhoods of Paris


Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris

Yes, the sad news is true.  The Christmas Market on the Champs Elysée has been cancelled.  However, we must not be disheartened for there are still many places in Paris where you can get your dose of festive cheer and partake in the magic of the capital at Christmas.  So as to ensure that you do not miss the best of what the city has to offer during the Christmas period, we have whittled it down to a list of the Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris.  Paris, the city of lights, is a yuletide delight at this time of year, so be sure to visit, and immerse yourself in the wonders of it all.

1. The Christmas Market at La Défense

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

23rd November to 28th December

Parvis de la Défense – 94200 Paris La Défense

RER A or Metro Line 1

The first of our Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, this vast affair is spread over 10,000 square metres, featuring 350 stalls of festive gifts and gourmet delights. This is not just a market, but a Christmas village and the place where Parisians go for their Christmas trinkets.  Beautiful lights, endless culinary wonders to sample and gifts to choose from, you will be sure to find everything you could ever have hoped for at La Défense, this Christmas.

2. Christmas Market at Notre Dame

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

15th December to 24th December 11, 2017

Quai Montebello, Square Viviani, 75005 Paris

75005 Paris 5

Situated just next to the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral 50 local artisans in this Christmas market, centering on arts and crafts from France. A beautiful selection of gastronomy and ethnic products, all made in France, await you. There is something for everyone, from traditional and delicious gourmet delights to stunning hand-crafted gifts. You can also sample the best of the regional flavours and foods, like foie-gras, sausages, macaroons and chestnuts.  There is a lively atmosphere, ideal for children, as Santa Claus will make an appearance and there are street artists and more to keep your little ones entertained.

3. A Starry Christmas, Christmas Village at Les Halles

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

27th November to the 31st December

Fontaine des Innoncents, Place Joachim-du-Bellay, 75001 Paris

Over 70 Chalets of Christmas treasures can be found at the next instalment in our Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris.  This is a new addition to the Parisian Christmas of 2017, and it has not disappointed.  With some of the most enchanting Christmas lights in the city, and a wonderful selection of gifts and culinary wonders, the Christmas Market at Les Halles is your solution to Christmas present-buying, along with being able to sample several types of Foie Gras and saucisson. There are late night openings on Fridays and Saturdays and there is a great deal on for children, with letter writing to Santa Claus and other fun workshops. This market is sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

4. Christmas Market at Champs de Mars

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

Quai Branly, Avenue de la Motte Picquet, 75007 Paris

For our forth of the Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, we have chosen the market at Champs de Mars.  For a truly Parisian Christmas, one must be in close proximity to the city’s most famous monument: the Eiffel Tower. At this market, you will be able to ice skate beneath the tower, and take in the wonderful, festive atmosphere that is on offer here.  Beyond that, in the market you will find hand-crafted gifts and decorations for your house, so that you can keep a little bit of yuletide Paris with you when you go home.

5. Christmas Market at St Germain des Prés

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

2nd December to 3rd January

Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris

Next to Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro station you will find a yuletide gem in this Christmas marché, consisting of 25 beautifully decorated and glowing chalets. You will find on offer a range of arts and crafts and local produce, all within a cheerily illuminated, festive setting.  This is a perfect place to find some tasteful and tasty Christmas treats, and also to explore one of the most enchanting neighbourhoods in Paris. We recommend that you pop into the church, situated next to the market, as it is one of the most beautiful in the city.

And don’t forget…

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Paris, Christmas, Market, Paris, presents, shopping, festive

One of the most famous and cherished features of Paris at Christmas time is the display of Christmas decorations put on at Galeries Lafayette. Make sure to take a trip to see the beautiful Christmas tree and all the other lights and window displays, you won’t be disappointed.

Related Posts

Apps to Download Before Going to Paris

Why plan your trip to Paris with a package?

Planning a Trip to Paris with Kids