Since mid-November, Paris is preparing for Christmas. These beautiful days are filled with joyful anticipation of the winter holidays, and the city turns into a magical fairy tale. All central streets are lit up with colorful garlands, facades and trees are wrapped in bright lights, small Christmas trees are planted from which the fresh smell of needles spreads through the streets, and cozy wooden houses with mulled wine and hot chocolate are open in the center squares. Paris is a moving festival, but this Christmas season you can understand why Paris is called the "City of Lights".
Christmas lights give a truly magical charm to the Parisian boulevards and millions of tourists from all over the world come to enjoy this enchanting decoration of the city.
The recipe for the holiday mood is simple. Stroll the glittering main streets and admire the lively shop windowsdepartment stores, go ice skating, sip mulled wine at the local Christmas market, make a wish on Paris' most important Christmas tree, find the most beautiful evening dress andvoilà, inspiration and light-joyful mood are here!
If you plan to spend the winter holidays in the capital of France, be sure to visit the main Christmas attractions to experience a real Parisian Christmas.
The most important Christmas tree in Paris at Galeries Lafayette
During the winter holidays, Parisian department stores become a magnet for Parisians and tourists, and not just for gift shopping. Legendary stores like Galeries Lafayette have a festive atmosphere and you can simply visit them to soak up the festive vibes. Not only the interiors are beautifully decorated, but also the facades of the department stores.
In the oldest department store in Paris, Galeries Lafayette, luxury and elegance reign year after year, while golden light floods the sumptuous halls. The huge mosaic dome always catches the eye. Galeries Lafayette is the epicenter of Christmas in Paris: the most important Christmas tree in the city, which is 21 meters high, is erected here every year. This year, all the Christmas decorations in the department store revolve around the theme: Planète Sapin. Illustrated by Florent Chavout, Planète Sapin tells us the story of Nordmann, a resident of Elat, the planet of wild foods, who is sent to Earth to save Annie's Christmas. An unexpected encounter where Christmas shines like nowhere else, under a glass dome known worldwide as a gift-giving destination. The magical world of storytelling comes to life and remains.
To get a better view of this magnificent Christmas tree and take a coffee break, you can go to Café Coutume on the 3rd floor. 11 animated pictures take you into the world of Planète Sapin. Produced in collaboration with Atelier Bournillat, they reveal Nordmann's story and adventures, from preparing for the Sap'tif show to traveling to Earth in a magical ship and visiting the Sapo nightclub.
"EXPEDITION PLANETE SAPIN" is located on the 4th floor of Galeries Lafayette. It is a digital work in which the animations react to the movements of the viewer. It's free and open to everyone from Thursday, November 17 to Friday, December 23, 2022.
Reserve your tickets in advanceHere.
If you are traveling to Paris with children, this place is worth a visit. Let's dive into Norman and Annie's Christmas story.
The third floor contains hand-drawn visuals and illustrations of fairy tales that have become the basic concept of this Christmas decoration. If you are interested in paintings, fairy tales and art, you will surely like this mini exhibition.
Don't forget to show itOur free voucherAt the information desk, you will receive special gifts for every purchase over 50 euros, and for purchases of 100 euros or more, you will receive a 12% tax refund.
Animated window displaysdepartment stores
Every year before Christmas, the windows of Grands Magasin are transformed into an incredible puppet show with animated characters. Magic performances take place with scenes from fairy tales. All dolls and animal figures are handmade. A large team of designers, artists and marketing experts is involved in the creation of animated showcases. They are real works of art and can be the perfect Christmas gift of these department stores for their young and old visitors.
The Christmas spirit reigns in all major Parisian department stores until the beginning of the shopping season at the end of January.
The Christmas theme continues in the colorful displays in the Galeries Lafayette shop windows.
French children gather in front of this window every year.
The toys in the window move in accordance with the music and create the impression of a small puppet theater or a fairy tale.
Christmas shopping in Paris
It's no secret that many people come to Paris for their winter vacation, not only for the beauty of the city lights and the holiday atmosphere, but also for the unique shopping experience in the world capital of fashion. All the main shopping streets of Paris are decorated with stunning lighting designed by the best design companies. The most spectacular lighting is on the Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, known as the avenue of luxury boutiques, and Place Vendome. Also worth visiting is the rue Faubourg-Saint Honoré and the village of Bercy, decorated with Baccarat crystal chandeliers.
The same famous French and international brands, but with prices reduced by 50% or more, are concentrated in one unique place - the boutique village of La Vallée Village. This is an open-air shopping center 40 minutes from the center of Paris. More than 110 designer boutiques for clothes, shoes and accessories offer their products two to three times cheaper than in the center of the capital. Here you will find the New Year's Eve dress of your dreams, the coat you have dreamed of for a long time and much more. During the winter months, La Vallée Village is decorated with magnificent Christmas lights. While all shops in Paris are closed on Sundays, La Vallée Village is open seven days a week from 10am (9am on weekends) to 8pm.
Download the VIP voucher by clickingHereand get an additional 10% discount, take advantage of a secret promotion of up to 70% from December 10 to 17 and enjoy a gourmet vacation at Ladurée in La Vallée Village.
Local Christmas markets
The best places for Christmas shopping are traditional and popular Christmas markets,Christmas Market, opening in November. Christmas decorations, holiday accessories, delicacies from different regions of France and various handmade products can be found in the small wooden huts, where there is an atmosphere of comfort and fun. Here you can get the best decorations for the Christmas tree, buy original gifts and find great treats for the New Year and Christmas table.
The largest and most popular Christmas market used to be on the Champs-Élysées, but has now moved to the Jardin des Tuileries. Its space is perfect for racks and Christmas decorations. Most souvenirs are produced in France. In addition to buying gifts and enjoying the warm holiday atmosphere, you can also take a ride on a ferris wheel, a traditional Parisian carousel and other attractions.
Large Christmas markets are traditionally held in other parts of Paris: near the Eiffel Tower, near the Grand Arc de Triomphe of La Défense, near the Notre Dame Cathedral, at the Saint-Lazare train station, near the Saint-Germain Cathedral. Festive Christmas villages are open at the foot of the Montparnasse tower and the Saint-Sulpice church. Here you can find the opening hours, schedule and addresses of the main Paris Christmas marketsHere.
French Christmas dinner
At any Christmas market in Paris, you can try a wide variety of traditional French winter dishes and hot drinks. Where else can you find so many delicacies, hot drinks, cheeses and sausages in one place? A real Christmas in Paris cannot do without these treats.
HOT CHOCOLATE - HOT CHOCOLATE
One of the universal ways to treat yourself and warm yourself on a chilly December day is to drink a cup of thick sweet hot chocolate. It is a real cult in the winterhot chocolatein Paris, and many well-known pastry shops compete for the best drink: moderately sweet, spicy and with a subtle taste of cocoa beans. There are numerous famous pastry shops and cafes where hot chocolate is a signature drink, and serving it is almost a ritual in itself. For example, you can stop bySunday in Paris(6.), a luxury chocolatier concept store with a large selection of desserts.
COOKED WINE - VIN CHAUD
It's hard to imagine a more traditional Christmas drink than mulled wine (or mulled wine).Boiled winein French). The tradition of drinking spicy wine in winter logically comes from the north. It was used to keep warm at German, Austrian and Alsatian Christmas markets. Its main ingredients are wine, spices (cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, star anise) and fruit (orange and lemon).
At any Christmas market in Paris, you'll find several stands with a large pot of fragrant, spiced mulled wine scooped up with a large ladle and poured into paper cups. Rest begins after a few sips of this magical drink!
ALZAČKA JELA: Brezel i Tarte flambée – Pretzel and Tarte flambée
At every Christmas market in Paris you can find delicious pretzels - savory pretzels with caraway seeds. For most of us, we primarily associate them with German cuisine, but it is also one of the symbols of the northern French region of Alsace. Bretzel has German roots, you can eat it as an independent delicacy or as an appetizer with beer.
Flambé cakeis another popular and delicious dish of Alsatian cuisine. This is a thin, crispy, open cake that resembles a pizza. Traditional filling ofTarteis white cheese (similar to soft cottage cheese) or sour cream, onions and pieces of bacon. Today in Alsace you can taste it with different fillings, for example with chicken, fish, seafood and sweet fruit fillings.
In the Alsatian dialect, his name sounds like "Tarte". The literal translation is "flaming cake", which means that this cake is traditionally baked in an oven over an open fire.
Raclette is one of the most popular winter dishes in France. It is best to try them in a cozy place by the fireplace somewhere in the Alps, but in the cold season they can be found in every corner of France. Originally a Swiss dish, a French family rarely lacks a raclette maker, even if it is well hidden in a distant cupboard. This device is used for melting cheese and roasting meat. It usually comes with six or eight spatulas, which you use to melt the cheese (Raclette sir). While the cheese is melting, put some meat on the hot surface - ham, dried pork, beef or sausage. First, whole potatoes are boiled, then they are mixed with roasted meat and cheese is melted on top. It is quite high in calories, spicy, and insanely tasty and filling!
Most importantly, eating raclette is a social thing that brings the whole family together.
Savjet O'bon Paris
The O'bon Paris team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let it be full of inspiring journeys, exciting discoveries and extraordinary adventures! Joyeux Noël and Bonne Année!
Words and photos – the O'bon Paris team
Public Holidays in Paris
Shops, supermarkets and many restaurants around the city close on these days. Museums, monuments and other major tourists attractions, however, remain open on most holidays with the exception of 1 January, 14 July (Bastille Day) and 25 December.
Many people in France put up a Christmas tree, visit a special church service, eat an elaborate meal and open gifts on Christmas Eve. Other activities include walking in the park, participating in city life and sharing a meal with family and close friends.Is it worth going to Paris at Christmas? ›
Paris in December is a winter wonderland filled with enchanting decorations and colorful lights to auger in the spirit of Christmas. You should definitely visit the Eiffel Tower, as it is the only Parisian attraction that remains open all year round, and even on Christmas Day.What does Paris look like during Christmas? ›
From mid-November, Paris is decked out in her Christmas finery. Trees are draped with twinkling lights and colourful decorations are strung across the streets. Most areas of Paris get an extra sparkle for the festive season, but head to the Champs Elysées for the most over-the-top décor.Is the Eiffel Tower closed on Christmas? ›
The Eiffel Tower is the one Paris attraction that is open every day of year, including Christmas Day. Instead of standing in a long line outside in the Paris winter, book this guided tour.Is the Eiffel Tower open over Christmas? ›
The Eiffel Tower is open all year. You can find our opening times here.How do people dress in Paris in December? ›
Nice winter Paris outfits include turtlenecks, wool ponchos, or oversized cardigans as the second layer. You can complete your Paris outfits winter with a warm scarf and a wool hat. Add some Merino wool and thermal underwear to your Paris winter packing list.Does Paris decorate the Eiffel Tower for Christmas? ›
A special time comes at the top of the hour when many blinking white lights start sparkling all over the tower for 5 minutes. This event takes place not only at Christmas time but all year round.Is Christmas in Paris cold? ›
Average Temperatures in Paris en December
Although the Parisian climate can be chilly towards the end of December, temperatures are rarely below freezing (on average between 2°C/36 ° F and 7°C/45°F). The first couple of weeks of December are milder but are still cool as Winter settles in.
Almost all places are open in Paris on Christmas, except for many popular shopping destinations and most museums in the city. The Notre-Dame Christmas Market on Square Viviani and the Champs de Mars Christmas Market, near the Eiffel Tower, are Paris's most popular Christmas markets.
During those two days most of stores are closed, many Museums and Monuments are also closed but some of them are still open. You can do other activities like out-door Ice Skating. You can also have a river boat cruise in Paris on New Year Day.Is anything open on Christmas Day in France? ›
Public holidays in France, when most things are closed
The following days are public holidays ("jours fériés") in France, when most shops tend to be shut. Many tourist attractions remain open during Spring and Summer public holidays. On Christmas, New Year's Day, 1st May and 14th July, virtually all shops are closed.
The majority of shops are open all day from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday. Some smaller shops may close over lunchtime between midday and 2pm, or all day on Monday. Sunday and public holidays are the usual closing days, although there are some exceptions ...