Where to See Paris Christmas Lights:
Visitors to Paris at Christmas are in for a treat. Towards the end of November, Paris turns on its Christmas magic with thousands of Christmas fairy lights, showing that it is truly the “City of Light”. And, there are some interesting lighting concepts to enjoy as well.
Paris Christmas Lights
Where: Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Dates: From Nov 24, 2019 to Jan 8, 2020
Getting there: Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile | RER: Charles de Gaulle Etoile
The Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées is famous internationally and it is worthwhile stopping in Paris just to see the world’s most beautiful avenue at its Christmas best. This year, the Champs-Elysées will again take on a red tint like for last year. If you are in Paris this weekend (November 24), you can witness the lights being turned on by French actress Ludivine Sagnier. After admiring the lights, you can walk to the Champs-Elysées Christmas Market which is now located in the Tuileries Garden.
Where: Boulevard Haussmann
Dates: From Nov 2019 – Jan 2020
Getting there: Metro: Richelieu-Drouot, Chaussée d’Antin
Boulevard Haussmann, the iconic Paris shopping street, always lights up for the holiday season. Last year, for the very first time, Boulevard Haussmann went high-tech.
The general public got to choose the colours, effects and speed of the lights using the #PlayHaussmann app – available from the App Store and Google Play. People were able to test out colours and patterns via their smartphone, then share the results on social media! Let’s see what happens this year … it’s a bit hard to get updates.
Where: Avenue Montaigne
Dates: From Nov 19, 2019
Getting there: Metro: Alma Marceau | RER: Pont de l’Alma
Avenue Montaigne and its surrounds are decked out in Christmas lights and traditionally, thousands usually come to Avenue Montaigne at Christmas to kiss under a mistletoe. This is a beautiful place to come for a romantic stroll and admire the chic illuminations of the haute couture stores that Avenue Montaigne is famous for.
Where: Place Vendôme
Dates: From Nov 2019 to Jan 2020
Getting there: Metro: Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme, rue de la Paix, rue de Castiglione, rue Saint-Honoré and rue des Capucines are some of the outstanding streets and squares in Paris’ 1er arrondissement. A forest of sparkling fir trees will add even more glitter to the great jewellery brands housed in this prestigious district.
Where: Forum des Halles
Dates: November 14, 2019
Getting there: Metro: Châtelet | RER: Châtelet Les Halles
Head for the Forum des Halles to do some Christmas shopping and while you are there you can also enjoy its Christmas finery. You can shop to your heart’s content under cover of this mega shopping mall full of high street brands!
Where: Bercy Village
Dates: From Nov 14, 2019 – Jan 16, 2020
Getting there: Metro: Cour Saint-Emilion | Bus: 24, 64, 109, 111
Bercy’s paved streets, which date back to the Middle Ages, are decorated with a fascinating lighting concept. After a huge success last year, Laurent Sanguinetti has once again been invited to dress up the streets of Bercy Village. Look out for his enchanted forest where imaginary creatures and a giant fairytale castle emerge in the sparkling play of lights. Impish elves, treasure hunt, waltzing with penguins, Christmas carols and Santa Claus expect children and adults.
Where: Saint Germain-des-Prés
Dates: From Nov 25, 2019 to Jan 5, 2020
Getting there: Metro: St Germain des Pres
Every year, Boulevard Saint Germain and Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement, are decked out with beautiful Christmas lights and a traditional Christmas market is set up. The lights are the works of the energetic residents’ association – the Comité Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Other locations to see Paris’s Christmas illuminations include: Viaduc des Arts and rue Saint-Honore.
Paris Department Stores
Like Oxford Street in London, the large department stores in Paris like Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marche and BHV have now made it a tradition to light up their buildings at Christmas time. Store windows aren’t just full of tempting goods to buy – they have become works of art which the public love and enjoy. BHV are in fact taking Parisiens to Strasbourg said to be the capital of French Christmas markets. All their window decorations will have themes from the Strasbourg Christmas markets.
Paris Christmas Lights Tour
If you don’t have the time to explore Paris’ Christmas Illuminations on your own, you can always join a Paris Christmas light tour and enjoy the Christmas sights of Paris on an open-top, double-decker bus or a private chauffeured tour by night.
The Champs-Elysées is the most beautiful avenue in Paris, especially so at Christmas time. If you want to be able to step out of your hotel and right onto the Champs-Elysées, then the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysées is the hotel for you. Otherwise, there are plenty of hotels, just off this famous boulevard that would be just as convenient to the Champs-Elysees. See here for the list of Champs-Elysees hotels.