CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND CONCERTS ARE SOME THINGS TO DO IN PARIS:
When it comes to things to see and do in Paris, it would take a lifetime of visits to cover all the attractions that Paris has to offer. And if you are visiting at Christmas time, there are some additional festive events that should not be missed.
Paris is usually referred to as the “City of Lights” and its Christmas Illuminations seal the French capital’s reputation as the most romantic city in the world! More than 125 of Paris’ streets, squares and avenues are decked out in festive decorations and fairy lights to celebrate Christmas and to usher in the New Year.
Go to the Champs-Elysées and you’ll be dazzled by the Christmas lights here. From the Arc de Triomphe all the way down to the Place de la Concorde, 2.4 km of lights cover the plane trees along this famous boulevard giving it a fairyland appearance. This is topped off by the big ferris wheel at the Place de la Concorde spinning colourful lights into the skyline.
And it’s not just the capital’s streets that are decorated, the Eiffel Tower, public monuments and the big department stores like the Galeries Laffayete, Printemps Haussman, BHV and le Bon Marché are also decorated in Christmas lights and decorations. If you don’t have time to explore all the streets on your own, you can see the Christmas Illuminations on a Paris Christmas Lights Tour. You’ll most certainly see more from the top of the open-top double-decker bus.
Marchés de Noël
The traditional Christmas markets or Marchés de Noël add another dimension to the Paris Christmas atmosphere. At the Marchés de Noël you can mingle with the locals and can get into the festive mood by doing some of your Christmas shopping at the markets. At the Christmas market stalls, you can pick up Christmas gifts, crafts and decorations as well as to try some of the traditional regional festive foods. Christmas markets can be found in most arrondissements and the Marché de Noël sur les Champs-Elysées and Trocadéro are two of the bigger ones in central Paris.
For those who love ice-skating, Paris City Council has set up two open-air ice rinks on the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), one large rink and a smaller rink for novices and younger visitors. Skates can be hired on site. The ice rinks operate from December 19, 2014 to March 1, 2015. Another location for ice-skating is at the Trocadéro on Ice from December 13, 2014 to January 7, 2015.
Christmas Concerts in Magnificent Paris Churches
Paris’s beautiful churches are regular venues for classical music performances and many of these hold special Christmas concerts – see here for the locations and dates. A stunning chapel at which to enjoy a Christmas concert is Sainte-Chapelle with its amazing stained glass windows.
Paris Food Walking Tour
With all the food stores stacked with Christmas goodies, this is a good time to do a Food Walking Tour of Paris. You will be taken through a number of Paris neighbourhoods to visit a French bakery, pastry shop, French caterer, wine shop, cheese shop, fruit and vegetable shop and market. The French have a great respect for their food and your expert foodie guide will give an overview of French culinary habits. Being Christmas, you will no doubt get an introduction to selected Christmas specialties in the shops. There is also a specialized Small Group Gourmet Christmas Tour where the focus is on Christmas specialties. Yum, I’m hungry already!
Paris Dinner Shows
Since its beginning, the Moulin Rouge and its Cancan dancers have been thrilling customers who come to experience this famous Parisian cabaret. You can enjoy a lively Moulin Rouge Christmas Dinner and Show or the the glamorous Lido de Paris Christmas Dinner and Show or any of the other famous cabarets in Paris.
Disneyland Paris at Christmas
For children and the young at hear, a stay at Disneyland Paris would be one of the best Christmas gifts ever. Disneyland Paris has many special offers to make this Christmas dream come true.
Traditional Christmas Mass
For those who wish to celebrate Christmas in the purest tradition, the Parisian churches are some of the most beautiful in which to celebrate Christmas Mass. On December 24th and 25th, you can participate in prestigious memorable celebrations at the Notre Dame de Paris, l’Eglise de la Madeleine and La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and many others.