CHRISTMAS MARKET DATES 2016 – CENTRAL PARIS:
Christmas markets (Marchés de Noël) have caught on in many towns and cities in France and have become part and parcel of the pre-Christmas activities and attractions. Paris has a good spread of Christmas markets and some of the biggest and best in the centre of Paris are included below:
Christmas Market: Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Dates : Nov 11, 2016 – Jan 2, 2017
Getting there : Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile | RER: Charles de Gaulle Etoile
The Champs-Elysées Christmas market is one of the biggest in Paris in terms of visitor numbers and each year some 15 million visitors attend the market during its seven-week opening. Extending from the Rond-Point (Champs-Elysées roundabout) to the Place de la Concord, it is a joy to stroll down this world famous boulevard, decked out in its Christmas glory.
If you only have time to visit one Christmas market in the French capital, this has got to be it. There are close to 200 authentic chalets lining the Champs-Elysées. The Christmas market also offers the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping, enjoy some mulled wine and taste some regional produce like foie gras, ham, champagne, etc. with free daily free entertainment.
And if you don’t mind being taken for a ride, why not hop on the big ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde for a breathtaking view of the Champs-Elysées and its Christmas illuminations.
Christmas Market: Trocadéro
Dates: Dec. 2016 (tbc)
With over a hundred chalets, the Trocadéro Christmas market on Place de la Trocadéro is one of the larger ones in central Paris. This market showcases the traditions, culture and typical products from a range of European countries. Trocadéro on Ice is back at the Trocadéro gardens and ice-skaters will be able to partake in this activity and at the same time enjoy the beautiful sight of the Eiffel Tower. An ideal Christmas market for kids.
Christmas Market: Eiffel Tower
Dates: Dec. 15, 2016 – Jan. 3, 2017
Metro: Bir-Hakeim | RER Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel
At the foot of the Eiffel Tower is a Christmas market and within close proximity of the Eiffel Tower is a Christmas market in front of the Quai Branly Museum, with 40 stands.
Christmas Market: Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris
Dates : Dec. 16 – 25, 2016
Getting there : Metro: Cite or Saint-Michel (Line 4), Hotel de Ville (Line 1), Chatelet (Lines 7, 11, 14)
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris is a popular attraction at any time of the year and for the faithful, the cathedral is especially important at the Christmas season. Each year, the Notre Dame Cathedral’s Nativity crèches attract many visitors. There is also a Christmas market in the cathedral square and although it is not as huge as the Champs-Elysées or Trocadéro markets, the market has gained momentum in recent years. You can find arts and crafts as well as mulled wines, chocolates and other French delicacies here.
Traditional Christmas Market
Dates: Dec. 16 – 25, 2016
Getting there: Metro: Cite or Saint-Michel (Line 4), Hotel de Ville (Line 1), Chatelet (Lines 7, 11, 14)
At Notre Dame de Paris is the Traditional Christmas Market where 40 stalls are set up to sell food and creative crafts made by local artisans – you won’t find any “Made in China” products here. If you’re looking for a unique piece of bracelet, pottery, leather goods or mosaic table tops, these are some of the crafts you can find here. Also enjoy seasonal treats like macaroons, bread spices, foie gras, pretzels, sausages, cheese, chestnuts and mulled wine.
This Christmas market is on Square Rene Vivani, a two-minute walk, across the bridge, from the Cathedral.
Christmas Market: Gare de l’Est Market
Dates : Dec.1 – 16, 2016
Getting there : Metro and Train : Gare de l’Est | RER Gare du Nord – Magenta
If you’re a fan of Alsatian gastronomy, this is another market for you. The Gare de l’Est is the train station that services trains coming from and going to regions in the east of France. As Christmas approaches, this is where Parisians flock to, to find the best of Alsatian treats. On the square in front of the station you can taste real pretzels, delicious gingerbread and little Christmas biscuits. For your Christmas meals, there is Alsatian wine and delicious foie gras (that is if you’re into this stuff), and not forgetting the Christmas decorations for your table. Daily from 9am to 8pm (except Sunday, from 10am to 7pm)
Christmas Market: Marché de Noël de Montmartre
Dates : Dec. 2016 (tbc)
Getting there : Metro: Abbesses, Lamarck – Caulaincourt
Set at the foot of the Sacré Coeur Basilica, the Montmartre Christmas Market is the highest and perhaps one of the most romantic of Paris Christmas markets. The fifty or so wooden chalets, manned by Montmartre artisans, offer gift ideas and its food vendors offer hot pancakes, donuts and mulled wine to ward off the cold. Children can look forward to meeting Santa and post their Christmas wish in the mailbox.