It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s already December and Christmas is just around the corner! As the festivity approaches, we’ve sourced out all the activities and the most wondrous lights in Paris to make your Christmas extra special!
Living up to its name ‘the City of Lights’, Paris is the most beautiful this time of the year with all its Christmas lights lit up along the big boulevards and shopping malls. Take a walk down Champs-Elysées or the streets of Montremart at night to experience the magic! Feeling fancy or lazy? Hop on a sightseeing coach or boat tour to breath it all in without tiring out those legs.
If you’re more of an indoor person, go and admire the extravagant window displays and indoor festive decorations in Galaries LaFayette, Le Bon Marché (I heard they are also doing in store events almost daily leading up to Christmas!) and Le Printemps Haussmann. In the middle of Forums des Halles, around 50 little wooden stalls are set up, selling everything from crafts to snacks. The market stretches all the way to Centre Pompidou, a modern and contemporary art museum.
Want to get into the Christmas spirit quickly? Explore Christmas markets! La Défence is a ginormous Christmas village at the end of Metro Line 1. As soon as you walk out of the station, you’ll see hundreds of Christmas stalls lining up side by side, offering delicious mulled wine and hot chocolate for only €3!
Grab yourself a raclette sandwich or a tartiflette, you’ll need the energy to power through all that Christmas shopping!
In the city centre, you’ll find a smaller version of the English Winder Wonderland at Jardin des Tuileries, outside of the Louvre. Unlike the one in La Defence, this has games, rides and a ferris wheel – a more family friendly option than the one in La Défence
You’ll also find Christmas markets along the street of Place Saint-Germain des Près from now until the New Year. Fancy some more iconic Parisian locations? From 14th December to 23rd December, you can surround yourself in a festive atmosphere outside the Christmas markets at Notre Dame Cathedral or the one outside Hotêl de Ville until 6th January 2019.
Get in the spirit
Christmas is a great time to visit the theatre. Enjoy a spectacle with the family! There’s everything from Disney on Ice and Rudolph: a Christmas musical at Théâtre Essaïon for the kids to La La Land Cine-Concert for adults (not exactly a Christmas special but who doesn’t love a good musical with live orchestra?) For the more sophisticated, check out La Cenerentola at Palais Garnier from 13th to 26th December, a Cinderella story retold in the form of Ballet. From the 21st to 23rd December, take a seat at Eglise de la Madeleine, Eglise Saint-Sulpice and Eglise Saint-Louis-en-L’Ile for a Christmas Choir Music Concert and Orchestra. Fancy some active participation? Grab yourself some skates at Grand Palais for the most spectacular ice-skating experience of your life. Disneyland is even more magical this time of the year, with illuminations throughout the park and a festive spin on the traditional parade with Queen Elsa and Santa as special guests!
I hope this list inspires you to get in the Christmas spirit and spend this year’s holiday in Paris!
*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.