Christmas holidays are approaching and Paris city will soon offer a new face! Its most beautiful monuments are lit, department stores’ windows come alive and its streets will brighten up with various decorations and tinsels.
Christmas markets, Christmas crib, outdoor ice rinks, rides … a multitude of events and festivities invest the city, offering a wide choice of entertainment for all the family.
This year, Ultimate Paris Guide has selected for you the top things to do in Paris during Christmas holidays.
In solo, couple, or with children you can admire the Champs Elysees Illuminations,
The largest avenue in the world is adorned with lights every year for the holidays. The 2016 illuminations should be inaugurated around mid-November.
Meteor showers will illuminate the avenue, 800 000 decorative LED lamps will make 400 trees glow daily from 18h to 2am. And, as usual, the Illuminations will be inaugurated in the presence of a celebrity.
Go for a ride on the Big Wheel of the Concorde,
The Big Wheel of Concorde is one of the key attractions of the holiday season in Paris.
As every year, the Concorde’s Big Wheel is present during the Christmas holidays, as part of the Champs Elysées Christmas market.
With its 70 meters high, it dominates the elegant Place de la Concorde. Brilliant as soon as night falls, it offers to its annual 300,000 passengers, a stunning view of the city. Over the years, it has become a must-see attraction for the Parisians and tourists.
See the most beautiful Christmas markets
December is here, with the charms of Christmas markets, these small wooden huts, the smell of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, the soundtrack so kitsch, these lights so flashy, these objects – handmade or not – so typical .
Traditional and popular Christmas markets open their doors to their homes in December and immerse strollers in the mood of the holiday season.
Of course, the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysées is legendary, but many other exist, each with its ambiance, well established in its neighborhood. The Saint-Germain Christmas market, Saint-Sulpice Christmas market, Paris Notre-Dame Christmas market, the Trocadéro Chrisman Village….
Little by little the city lights up for Christmas and the store windows come to life, populated with Stuffed animals and other fantastic characters.
Each year, Paris sparkles during the holiday season. Several department stores offer windows more sparkling and wonderful than the others. Real moment of magic for children, they will delight all those who have kept a child’s soul, or just a taste for Christmas’ magic!
Galeries Lafayette: These are probably the most anticipated Christmas windows of the capital, delighting and pleasing young and old, Parisians and tourists by their richness and originality. Last year theme was robots. In parallel, the store paid tribute to Star Wars saga with a dedicated exhibition. Galeries Lafayette celebrate Christmas with animated displays, its illuminated façade and its large tree under the dome.
Printemps Haussmann: For Christmas and New Year holidays, the Printemps Haussmann decorates and lights up its facade and animates its windows.
Le Bon Marché: Christmas decorations, magical, enchanting and poetic universe for the windows of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche. They stand out for their modern design and contemporary aspect, playing video and using lighting effects. They are much less traditional than the Galeries Lafayette’s or Printemps’, but fascinate equally.
BHV Marais : Marais BHV illuminates its façade with lighting effects in a more modern style and offer colorful and animated displays created and designed by craftsmen and decorators.
Visit the wonderful cribs in the churches of Paris
Whether Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, in every church in Paris, sculptors, designers and amateurs have prepared a crib awaiting your visit. Here is a selection of cribs that can be visited; some offer entertainments, concerts and are open all night.
Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle : Since five years, this Andalusian tradition crib will delight young and toddlers! Welcome and explanation for children and adults.
Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle – 27 rue de la Lune, 75002 Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris: This vibrant and bright crib opens to the public on the First Sunday of Advent. Notre Dame organizes for its loyal a “cribs contest”. The purpose is to give back its Christian meaning to the tradition that has become part of the popular heritage.
Eglise de la Madeleine: Like many other churches, the Eglise de la Madeleine has a crib at Christmas. The special feature of this crib is the involvement of a contemporary artist, different every year.
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur: Saturday and Sunday afternoon during Advent time, discover the new characters of the crib of the Sacré-Coeur. There are also workshops for children and adults around the realization of Christmas cards.
Go for a slide on one of the Parisian ice rinks
Every winter, the capital offers slippery fields to its residents, located in different places around the city. Here is a guide to these places.
The Champs Elysées ice rink
The Champs-Elysées Christmas village offers an 4000 m2 ice rink and various activities for children. Winter sports fans will also be delighted with breathtaking champion’s demonstrations.
The Eiffel Tower ice rink
Located in the Tower itself at 57 meters from the ground, the 190 m² ice rink invites you for slips in a friendly and festive atmosphere, for a good time with your family!
The Grand Palais Ice rink
The Grand Palais is often the place of successful monumental installations. After welcoming the end of 2015 the carnival “Jours de fêtes”, it will host this year a huge indoor ice rink. This “Grand Ice Palace” will happen from December 2016 to January 2017. And every night from 21h to 2am, the Grand Palais becomes a huge dance floor with live Dj and lights.
We wish you unforgettable moments in the city of lights! MERRY CHRISTMAS !!