Paris at Christmas
Paris is a beautiful city that becomes even more gorgeous during Christmas. With Xmas lights and decoration, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. This alone is a reason enough for you to decide to visit Paris this Christmas. But, even if we put this aside, the list of good reasons is a very long one. And it includes a great deal of exciting entertainment, fine dining and attractive shopping. Sounds great, right? Continue reading the article and explore things to do in Paris at Christmas
How to find best deals for Christmas?
First, however, you need to travel to Paris and secure a bed. And guess what? With the Momondo portal for flight bookings, you can save up to a few dozen % for reservations in December. As for the best value for money accommodation deals, check out Agoda and Booking online engines. Finally, Viator is the source of great guided tours around Christmas or any other time. And remember, the sooner you make your reservations, the bigger savings for Christmas trips you achieve.
As for the shopping in stores, things become little more difficult. Xmas is time for shopping frenzy throughout the Christian world, and so is in Paris. Therefore, the best you can do is to arrive earlier than most other shopaholics do and avoid last-minute jams. And of course, to secure your intended gift before it is gone.
But patience will be worthwhile for the most patient ones. Shortly after Christmas, the winter’s sale takes place in Paris. Discounts range from approximately 30% to 70%.
Christmas lights and displays in Paris
Christmas lights and displays decorating the streets and squares are sights to remember. A multitude of sparkling arches and colorful bulbs hanging from trees casts light along main thoroughfares. More so, you would miss a great deal if you pass by without looking at shops’ windows. Some of them are so imaginative that they would make excellent postcards. Festive decorations adorn façades and windows of famous department stores, but don’t miss those of small businesses as well.
As you walk along Champs-Elysees Avenue, the light spectacle will reach as far as your eyesight does. At Place Vendome, be smitten with Christmas trees whose decorations reflect themselves from the windows of jewelry stores. In Galleries Lafayette, a famous department store, you will see a Christmas tree that is dozens of meters tall.
Finally, it doesn’t really matter where you intend to go. Bigger or smaller Xmas decorative arrangements will always be nearby. As for bigger ones, the biggest Christmas tree is usually set next to the Notre Dame.
Paris at Christmas: Christmas nativity scenes
Speaking of decorative arrangements, nativity scenes, which symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ, decorate premises in churches and cathedrals. They may be part of the local folklore or represent nativity scenes characteristic to some other countries. Furthermore, some figures could be life-size ones while others are miniature. Either way, they are as grand a decoration as lights and displays are.
In the last year (2016), the Notre Dame displayed a nativity scene in a setting typical of the Polish city of Cracow. If you visited the Madeleine Church in 2015 for Christmas, you had a chance to see a nativity scene made by skillful use of nets. Tour other churches along the way as well. The scenes are already set and will remain on display until February 2018.
Christmas classical music concerts and shows in Paris
You know Paris as the “City of Culture”. At Christmas time, with many uplifting classical music concerts around, this becomes obvious even more than usual. Classical music concerts take place in Paris’s churches and cathedrals rather than in other public places. Besides exceptional acoustics, the fitting ambiance is another great reason for staging such performances.
The most popular concerts take place in the Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Madeleine. The Notre Dame stages Christmas music and carols from many countries throughout the world and France. If you attend a spectacle in the Sainte-Chapelle, you are likely to pay as much attention to the music as to the marvelous ambiance.
You should note that many venues accept a limited number of attendees. Therefore, make your reservations in advance.
Paris is an attractive shopping destination all year round. However, the shopping frenzy is at its highest around Xmas. There are many renowned shopping areas throughout the city. Champs-Elysees Avenue, Rue Saint Honore, Place Vendome and Rue de Rivoli are most popular ones in the center. Also, various renowned department stores and malls are nearby. For especially attractive Christmas shopping, visit Galleries Lafayette, Printemps and Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche.
Also, don’t remain only in the city core for engaging shopping. Somewhat distant Bercy Village and La Vallee Village are other engaging destinations for shopaholics featuring beautiful settings around Xmas. There, you can find a lot of delicacies, accessories and fashionable items. As for child presents, the Disney Village at Disneyland is an unmatched destination.
Besides suitable gifts wrapped in a nice packaging, like jewels, books, souvenirs and garments, watch carefully windows of confectionery shops. Their Christmas creations are so gorgeous that it is almost a pity to eat them.
Paris Xmas markets
Xmas markets in Paris offer great time as well. As you stroll along chalets, you will admire the Christmas decoration, taste mouth-watering specialties and purchase toys and handicraft. In addition, these markets add the enchanting setting and the pleasant vibe as part of the experience.
You will find best Christmas markets in Paris on Champs-Elysees, at the Notre Dame and Quai Branly, and in La Defense and Montmartre.
Ice skating, taking a Ferris Wheel ride and attending a parade on Champs-Elysees are some top Christmas activities suitable to anyone. Even if you don’t find snow in Paris, you won’t have trouble finding skate rinks. One such is available at Place Concorde. While admission is free, you might need to rent skates.
You should find some other skate rinks at the Tour Eiffel, Trocadero, Hotel de Ville and the Notre Dame. Also, check out the views of illuminated Paris on a Ferris Wheel ride at Place Concorde.
For further recommendations, land on this page.
Christmas in Disneyland Paris
Aside from usual spectacles guaranteeing great time, the Disneyland Paris stages special Xmas events.
Disney’s Christmas Parade has many participating Disney characters dressed in the festive outfit. You will see themed floats getting around the Disneyland’s streets. The giant Xmas tree will decorate the main square while Santa Claus and other popular characters will pose with kids for a photo. Of course, appealing decoration will adorn the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and other buildings throughout the amusement park.
Christmas dinner at Paris restaurants
First, reserve a table at a Paris restaurant for a Christmas dinner well in advance. Many restaurants will be open, but they are always full. So, avoid disappointment and book as soon as possible.
Prices of Xmas holiday meals range from moderate (under €100) to exorbitant (over €600).
One of the most prestigious and opulent restaurants, Le Meurice, serves a 7-course seafood menu. It comprises scallops, bass, a lobster and oysters. The price without drinks is €650.
If you prefer something less expensive, yet prefer dining in an equally marvelous ambiance, reserve a table at Le Train Bleu. For €117, you will taste extraordinary Scottish smoked salmon and duck foie gras among other side dishes. And, of course, champagne.
Le Moulin de la Galette, in Montmartre, offers a 4-course dinner for €70. Main dishes of this bountiful Xmas dinner are shellfish soup, foie gras and guinea fowl with side dishes.
Hidden places for spending Xmas in Paris
Everything elaborated so far is very well. But, if you don’t find yourself in that and prefer something less extravagant for Xmas, Paris has what you need.
Ile Saint Louis remains frozen in the 17th century. Restaurants on the islet have higher prices. But, Ile Saint Louis is a nice place for a walk and examining period architecture. Vintage stores’ windows feature Xmas décor as well.
Also, Paris has many covered passages worth exploring. With the Christmas decoration, these commercial hubs become very enchanting. Therefore, make sure to check out the Passage de Panoramas, Passage Jouffroy and the Galerie Viviene. They are all near one another in the 2nd district of Paris.