Christmas in Paris, events and activities for all the family
Have you decided to visit Paris for the 2023 Christmas holidays? It's an excellent choice - the City of Light is magical at this time of year. Between markets, illuminations, entertainment and attractions, discover our selection of activities to do with the whole family to visit Paris at Christmas.
Where are the Christmas markets in Paris 2023?
A number of Christmas markets come to life in Paris at this time of year. Among the most popular “marchés de Noël” are those in the Jardin des Tuileries, Notre-Dame and the Champ-de-Mars, but there are also smaller markets in other parts of Paris.
The Jardin des Tuileries Christmas market
Located in the Jardin des Tuileries, this market is certainly the largest and best-known Paris Christmas market. From 18 November 2023 to 7 January 2024, the fairground Christmas market (located on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées before 2018) returns to one of the most beautiful parks in Paris. Both a market and a funfair, numerous activities await you.
You'll find a selection of gift ideas and gastronomic products in the wooden chalets. As every year, specialities made in France will be in the spotlight. Come and enjoy the rides, admire the capital from the top of the Ferris Wheel, have fun at the mythical 1,200 m2 ice rink and even meet Father Christmas.
How to get there?
Blue route: Hop off at stop 3 Musée du Louvre or 6 Concorde
Notre-Dame Christmas Market
From 8 to 25 December 2023, the Notre-Dame Christmas market will feature artists showcasing their skills in French crafts and gastronomy. Nearly 40 art craftsmen, fashion designers and accessory sellers will be present. Children will be able to enjoy the presence of Father Christmas and take part in the free activities. Everything is set up for a wonderful time at the foot of Notre Dame Cathedral.
How do I get there?
Blue route: Hop off at stop 4 Notre-Dame
The Montparnasse Christmas market
Composed of 40 chalets, this traditional Christmas market is located at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower, on Place Raoul-Dautry to be precise. It offers visitors a wide variety of quality local products, original creations and delicacies for all ages. It's a great way to get into the Christmas spirit if you've just arrived in the capital from the Montparnasse station.
How to get there?
Blue route: Hop off at stop 4 Notre-Dame or 5 Musée d'Orsay
The Eiffel Tower Christmas Market on the Champ de Mars
The Christmas Village returns to the foot of the Eiffel Tower from 15 to 31 December 2023. Set up on the Champ-de-Mars, this Christmas village gives you the chance to sample local French produce.
There's an Alsatian stand offering mouth-watering specialities from the region. The Savoyard stand will take you on a gourmet journey to the mountains. Finally, there's also a vin chaud (mulled wine) stand where you can warm up with fresh local produce.
How to get there?
Blue route: Hop off at stop 9 Tour Eiffel
The Alsatian Christmas market at Gare de l'Est
This station is home to trains from all over eastern France. As a result, a 100% Alsatian Christmas market will be taking place on the station forecourt from 1 to 17 December 2023.
You'll be able to sample the very best of Alsatian gastronomy: pretzels, foie gras, charcuterie, gingerbread, flammekueches, chocolates, not forgetting the famous sauerkraut. Some retailers are even offering free tastings of regional products and gourmet hampers. It's sure to warm hearts this winter.
The Abbesses Christmas market - Montmartre
The Place des Abbesses in the Montmartre district hosts its traditional Christmas market throughout December. French crafts take pride of place, and there are plenty of activities especially for children, including a visit from Father Christmas and a merry-go-round. Come and share a warm and friendly moment at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur basilica.
When are the Christmas lights in Paris?
There's no better time of year than Christmas for the City of Light to fully justify its nickname. A stroll through the streets of Paris to see the illuminations and light shows is a must if you're visiting the French capital during the festive season. There are plenty of places to admire the Christmas lights. Here is a list of the most remarkable places:
- Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where 400 trees are lit up;
- Avenue Montaigne;
- Place Vendôme;
- Boulevard Haussmann, with its department stores' windows, including Galeries Lafayette;
- the Montmartre district;
- Bercy Village.
To make the most of these illuminations, simply take a leisurely stroll through the streets or join a guided walking tour of Paris with our Tootwalk feature.
How to celebrate Christmas in Paris?
After strolling through the Christmas markets and taking in the sights with the Christmas lights, discover other things to do at Christmas in Paris. Put on your skates and hit the ice! Take part in a legendary evening at the Moulin Rouge! Experience the magic at Disneyland Paris!
For winter sports fans, Paris is also the place to be in December. There are several ice rinks available for tourists. So whether you're on your own, with the family or as a couple, these places are sure to provide a magical atmosphere. There are both open-air and covered ice rinks:
- the ice rink at the Tuileries Christmas market;
- the ice rink at the Forum des Halles;
- the ice rink at the Champ-de-Mars Christmas village;
- the ephemeral ice rink on the roof of the Grande Arche at La Défensé;
- the ice rink at the Accor Arena;
- the ice rink at the Tour Montparnasse.
Christmas party at the Moulin Rouge
Christmas in Paris isn't confined to the streets; many establishments offer special activities for this period. Celebrate Christmas Eve with a magical dinner and show at the famous Parisian cabaret Moulin Rouge. On stage, in the kitchen, the festivities are in full swing!
As soon as you arrive, you'll be greeted personally and shown to your table by an attentive maître d'. The magic continues with a festive menu featuring seasonal regional produce. You'll enjoy a gourmet Christmas dinner with live music and a bottle of premium champagne or exceptional wine.
As the last notes of our orchestra fade, the lights dim, immersing you in a warm atmosphere adorned with hundreds of little red lanterns, like fireflies, for an incredibly magical moment. At 9pm, the "Féerie" show will dazzle you with its sparkling costumes, shimmering feathers, sumptuous decorations and a breathtaking French Cancan! And to keep the magic of Christmas alive, a special gift awaits you as a couple at the end of the show.
If you want to spend the evening of 24 December at this iconic venue, it's advisable to book quickly, as tickets tend to go fast.
The must-see Disneyland Paris park
Clearly, Disneyland is a place that remains worth visiting all year round. However, the festive atmosphere of Christmas adds to its usual charm.
During this period, Christmas decorations abound, adding to the festive spirit. Of course, you'll find the characters dressed up by theme. Various events are organised at this time of year. So if you want to experience the magic of Disney combined with the magic of Christmas, don't forget to pay a visit.
From 11 November 2023 to 7 January 2024, discover the incredible magic of Christmas at Disneyland Paris. There's nothing like the extraordinary atmosphere of Disney's Enchanted Christmas to bring your family and friends together and forge lasting memories!
Continue your stay in Paris until New Year's Eve and discover our ideas for going out to celebrate the New Year.