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Paris Christmas market |© Wikimedia Commons
Paris Christmas market |© Wikimedia Commons
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What's On in Paris in December

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 14 November 2017
From the festivities in the cobblestone quartier of Montmartre to the Gothic lure of the Notre Dame, Winter is the perfect time to visit Paris, with delicious Christmas markets offering gourmet tastings, festivities, and fun at every turn.

WINE | Salon Grand Wine Tasting

📅 December 01, 2017 – December 02, 2017

It’s the season for sipping mulled wine, and so it only makes sense to stop by one of the best wine tasting festivals—taking place in Paris—if you’re nearby. The French are masters of wine-making, and more than 400 top makers will be represented at this festival, offering a selection of delicious wines, including 50 wines from abroad. The tasting will include traditional famous wines alongside new ones, experimenting with new flavors. The tasting sessions will be led by experts, with gourmet workshops comparing different grape varieties and their relation to selected dishes.

Wine tasting
Wine tasting | © Pixabay

📍 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

FESTIVE | Christmas market at St Germain des Prés

📅 December 02, 2017 – January 03, 2018

One of the larger Christmas market of 30 cabins takes place at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, nestled by a stunning church that boasts its features being among the oldest vestiges of Romanesque architecture (11th and 12th centuries) in Paris. The quartier’s luxury boutiques, art galleries, and most iconic cafés, the Café de Flore and the Deux Magots, will be spruced up with festive delight through the luminous Noël decorations, festive food, and music at this annual market.

French Christmas market
French Christmas market | © Wikimedia Commons

📍Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris

CIRCUS | Cirque Bouglione

📅 Until March 11, 2018

The Bouglione circus is a highlight of this winter entertainment season, as it is every year, with clowns, animals, acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, and jugglers putting on a magical show. Built in 1852, the Cirque d’Hiver is one of the oldest constructed circuses in the whole of Europe, with an orchestra and dancers only enhancing the entertainment further. The line-up is sure to inspire endless laughter. Open from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 5:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. with tickets from €10 (Free for under 2s).

📍110 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris

FESTIVE | Christmas market at Notre Dame Cathedral

📅 December 15, 2017 – December 24, 2017

The talent and skill of France’s artisan craft workers will be on full show this festive season. Just two minutes from the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral in the 5th arrondissement, the Square Viviani—a cute public garden bordering the Seine where you can find Paris’s oldest tree, a Robinia planted in 1601—hosts the annual Notre-Dame Christmas Market. There’ll be a gorgeous selection of ceramics, jewelry, decorative ironwork, leather items, and tableware among the multitude of items you can buy as gifts while soaking up the festive atmosphere over a glass of mulled wine. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, except 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Paris Christmas market
Paris Christmas market | © Pixabay

📍2 rue du Fouarre, 75005, Paris

LIGHTS | Champs Elysées Christmas Lights

📅 December – January 6, 2018

The Christmas lights on the Champs Elysées get switched on every year at this time, and visitors flock in from all over the world to admire the City of Lights in full illumination while taking dazzling photographs. Its magical colors mark the start of the festive season with luminous arches glowing from brightly multi-colored bulbs, flames, and light show projections. The city will sparkle to the beginning of January, and it can also be found on Avenue Montaigne, in Place Vendôme, the Montmartre District, and Bercy Village.

📍Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées – De l’Arc de Triomphe à la place de la Concorde, Paris

FESTIVE | Christmas market at Montmartre’s Place des Abbesses

📅 December – January 02, 2018

In the gorgeous cobbled hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre is place des Abbesses, transformed into festive fun with a carousel, Christmas market, and mulled wine, nestled among the usual trendy boutiques and café terraces. This Christmas market is much smaller than the others in Paris, and is even regarded by some people as being more like a little festive jumble sale than a festive city market, with only 20 or so chalets, but with coziness follows charm.

Christmas market
Christmas market | © Wikimedia Commons

📍Place des Abbesses, Montmartre, 75018, Paris

RIDES | The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde

📅 December 2017 – May 2018

December marks the return of the traditional Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde. With a height of 70 meters (76.6 yards), this is the world’s largest mobile Ferris wheel and it gives an incredible view over the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, and the Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysées from its 48 pods. The attraction has been part of the Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées since 2000 and entices 300,000 passengers each year. It’ll stay up until May 2018.

📍Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

FESTIVE | Windows displays at Galeries Lafayette

📅 December 2017

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is an upmarket French department store in Paris’s 9th Arrondissement, and it has stood proudly as a Paris icon of upmarket style since its creation in 1894. It’s a must-visit venue in the capital—even more so during the festive season when animated Christmas window displays, illuminations, and a giant tree under the dome light up the 70,000-square-meter (83719.3-square-yard) retail space to make the perfect photo opp. It opens every day from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lafayette decorations
Lafayette decorations | © Bob Hall / Flickr

📍 Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, 40 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, France

ART | The Louis Vuitton Foundation’s “Being Modern”

📅 Until March 5, 2018

A visit to Paris isn’t complete without some arts and culture, and “Being Modern” is a must see, revealing an exciting and varied selection of 200 varied works, including paintings by Max Beckmann and Paul Cézanne, sculptures by Alexander Calder, and photographs by Walker Evans. From the first major movements of modern art right through to the latest digital works, through abstract expressionism, minimalism, and pop art, all forms of visual art that have marked history over the decades are highlighted in this exhibition. It’s open weekdays 12 noon-7 p.m., with late Friday openings til 9 p.m., then from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (closed Tuesdays).

📍8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris

Disney | Le Noël Enchanté Disney

📅 December 01 – January 07, 2018

The magic of Christmas is back at Disneyland Paris until January 7, 2018, and there’s simply nowhere that does Christmas better than Disney. The magical atmosphere will include the fun of a fully illuminated park, festive Disney characters bouncing their fun around, and a Christmas show called Disney Dreams. You will attend an unforgettable Christmas party with a gigantic fir tree that shines brightly, the unmissable Christmas Parade where you will meet Mickey, his friends, the Snow Queen and Santa Claus, as well as all the usual attractions of Disneyland, of course, which boasts more than 50 attractions.

📍 Disneyland Paris, 77777 Marne-la-Vallée