With an air filled with love and romance, Paris is inarguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. During the festive season of Christmas, the French capital takes on a special glow that lasts well into the new year. Its buildings and monuments are spectacularly lit up, creating a magical ambiance that puts everyone in a celebratory mood. To help you make the most of the ‘Season of Joy’ in Paris, we have carefully handpicked the best things to see and do in the city. This year’s celebrations will likely be the best one you have had yet!
Rediscover the city in a new light
If you have already been to Paris, chances are you have seen the astounding Eiffel Tower, les Champs-Élysées and other must-see attractions in the city. However, you can rediscover them in quite literally a new light between November and January. Trimmed with golden lights, the glittering attractions will illuminate the night and create a breathtaking sight to behold during the festive season. You can hop on an open top tour bus and go around the vibrant Parisian streets, taking in the joyful atmosphere.
Visit the enticing Christmas markets
A great favorite with locals and tourists alike, Christmas markets have become an essential part of the celebrations and can be found all over Paris. With almost a hundred chalets selling clothing, accessories and high-quality artisanal products, the Notre-Dame Christmas Market is one of the biggest in the city. You can walk around the brightly decorated stalls sipping on warm mulled wine and nibbling on hot roasted chestnuts with a stunning backdrop of the medieval Notre Dame Cathedral. Other Christmas markets in Paris that are also worth visiting include Les Halles Christmas Market and La Magie de Noël. If you are lucky, you might even bump into Santa Claus when visiting these markets.
Have a magical time with your family
If you are traveling to Paris with your kids for Christmas and New Year, there are lots of family-friendly things to do and places to see in the French city. Brilliantly decorated for the festive season, Disneyland Paris is one of the best places to visit. With Christmas-themed parades and shows in addition to the theme park’s exciting rides, everyone is guaranteed to have fun. You can also go ice-skating in the beautiful Champs de Mars right by the Eiffel Tower or at the majestic Grand Palais des Glaces. With a big Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the city, Place de la Concorde is another amazing place to be. Regardless of where you go in Paris, you are sure to have a warm Christmas.
Get into the spirit of giving by shopping
Christmas is the season of giving, which is why there is lots of shopping involved. If you are looking for the perfect gifts for friends and family, the big department stores in Paris, including Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann, have everything you can think of. In fact, almost all stores have seasonal sales during Christmas and New Year time. Head over to Avenue des Champs Elysees and Rue de Passy, two of the many popular shopping areas in Paris, and shop till you drop. We are sure everyone will be impressed with the gifts you pick out for them!
There is possibly nothing better than families and friends coming together to indulge in delicious turkey along with other festive dishes and exchange presents in the warmth of their homes. Benoit is one of the last remaining authentic bistros that brings home to you when you are in Paris during Christmas. Its interiors, all the way from the Michelin-star diner’s Terracotta tiles to the wooden panels above the doors and fireplace, and sensational dishes will make you feel at home.
Faristha’s fascination with words began at the age of eleven when her short story was published in a children’s book series. Pursuing her passion, she has written for online magazines, runs a creative blog, and is now a Content Writer at HotelQuickly in Bangkok. Having grown up in Hong Kong and been to various countries including India, France and Mexico, Faristha is a wanderlust at heart and hopes to provide others like herself with travel inspiration through her gift of writing.