really lights up for the holiday season and it's a spectacular time to
visit. The streets are sparkling with Christmas lights,
traditional Christmas markets are everywhere, there is free
ice-skating and carousel rides.... it's magic!
Here are a few of our seasonal favorite things to do in Paris.
Champs Elysees never looks better than at Christmas time when the trees
are dripping with lights, the store windows are all
decorated for the holidays and the Christmas
Market is open at the Champs
Metro: Line 1 - Georges V or Franklin Roosevelt
Printemps & Galleries Lafayette
The window displays at Printemps and Galleries Lafayette are better
than any I have seen in New York. This year I think Printemps
has the edge but you need to check out their mechanical moving widow
displays and decide for yourself.
Great Christmas tradition for
children and there are even raised
platforms in front of the windows to give them a better view.
afternoons in December when the pavement is just jammed with people and
it can be hard to see the windows and also a little overwhelming for
Both stores also have
magnificent exterior Christmas lights.
Lafayette also has this amazing hanging Christmas tree right under it's
famous stained glass dome (see picture in the banner at top of this
Metro: Lines 7 or 9 - Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette / Lines 3
or 9 - Havre Caumartin
Hotel de Ville
skating in front of Hotel de Ville is fun for everybody and
5 euro for skate rental.
There are also free carousel
rides at place Hotel de Ville and great Christmas shopping
at BHV, another of Paris' landmark department
Metro: Line 1 - Hotel de Ville
Big Wheel at
the Place de la Concorde
Great place to sit relax and take in the lights of Paris. I
recommend riding the big wheel
after dark to take advantage of all the Christmas lights.
If you need to warm up stroll over to Angelinas
on the Rue de Rivoli and enjoy a steaming cup of Paris' best hot
While you're in the area take a walk down to Place Vendome and
check out the sparkling diamonds at all of Paris' high end jewelry
stores. Maybe you'll find your perfect Christmas gift!
Metro: Line 1 - Place de la Concorde
There are several special Christmas
set up all over Paris selling gifts, delicious food and hot wine.
While the gifts might be a bit tacky the Christmas Markets
make a fun festive stop and your children might enjoy meeting a French
Santa! Click here for a list of Christmas
markets with locations and recommendations.
Mass at Notre Dame
On Chrstmas eve last year we
went to the children's Christmas Mass in Notre Dame
This will always be one of my favorite memories for
We arrived about 20 minutes before mass was due
and had no problem finding good seats.
The mass started with
candlelit procession and the music
during mass was by the
Notre Dame children's choir.
After mass the whole congregation
invited to follow the priest on a procession to the Christmas manger to
see the baby Jesus. Check their web site for this years mass
December, Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral tells the nativity story through
a Christmas sound and light show. Performances takes place every half
Metro: Line 4 - St. Michel or Cite