CHRISTMAS IN PARIS – my local guide to the best things to do!
Hello my loves, I hope you’re all doing well today?! I want to come to you and talk a little bit about Christmas in Paris. Yes I know it may be early for you if you are outside of Europe, or anywhere in the Americas and about to celebrate Thanksgiving but we don’t have Thanksgiving here. Besides today I walked by “Les Grands Magasins” specifically Galeries Lafayette and they already have their massive themed christmas tree up!
I took this as a sign from the universe to cue that Mariah Carey Christmas album 🙂
See my Insta reels here in this link
And there are window displays that are going to be up tomorrow November 16 at the stores. So what better way to get you excited for Paris than to share with you a list of things that I love to do every Christmas here.
After 15 years here’s my local perspective on what I’m looking forward to doing and enjoying with my family.
1/ ICE SKATING
Last year we went to the christmas festival inside Tuileries Garden. Every year there is a selection of food, stalls, games and various activities for big and small kids.
(If you’re thinking of visiting the Louvre Tuileries Garden is just next door – so hop on over, and while you’re at it walk to see the fancy Christmas trees at where all the luxury jewellery shops are at Place Vendôme, also just in walking distance. )
Years before there was a ice rink at the Grand Palais and on top of Galeries Lafayette – I’m not sure they will bring back either of these – TBD – I will keep you loves posted
2/ CHRISTMAS SHOPPING + WINDOWS
Shopping and holiday window displays at Les Grands Magasins Parisiens aka Big Parisian Department Stores
- Galeries Lafayette is my favorite – plus there is the rooftop
- Printemps (is next door)
- Le Bon Marche
- La Samaritaine
Notable high end luxury stores that annually do impressive decorations
3/ CHRISTMAS MARKETS
my favorite being the one around Notre Dame church. This year I have seen it set up outside metro Cluny Sorbonne
Notable Christmas Markets
- Les Canopée Les Halles
- Hotel de Ville
- Tuileries Garden ( the market that was on the Champs Elysee has been moved here)
4 / HOT CHOCOLATE
Hot Chocolate at a Parisian cafe like Carette ( 25 Pl. des Vosges, 75003 Paris) or Cafe de Flore (172 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris)
I avoid Angelina because even though the coffee is decadent, the line makes absolutely no sense to me, I can buy a bottle at Galeries Lafayette Gourmet.
5/ BUY A BUCHE DE NOEL
That’s a French Christmas cake shaped like a Yule log
Which French pastry chef am I looking forward to trying this year? Not sure yet as I don’t know the flavors and all, but a good place to do some pre christmas research is inside the foodie Gourmet section of Galeries Lafayette, La Grand Épicerie or the speciality pastry shop that features the best pastry chefs; Fou de Patisserie.
FOU DE PATISSERIE
- Montorgueil – 45 Rue Montorgueil – 75002 PARIS – 0140410061
- Pigalle – 36 Rue des Martyrs – 75009 PARIS – 0142401123
- Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 64 Rue de Seine – 75006 PARIS – 0142498316
GALERIES LAFAYETTE GOURMET
35 Bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris
LA GRAND EPICERIE DE PARIS – inside Le Bon Marche – 38 Rue de Sèvres – 01 44 39 81 00
6/ DRINK MULLED WINE
Drink Hot Wine around Sacre Coeur at Place Tertre – a small village-like feel that has lots of painters around a square with cafes. It’s close to the apartment and as I never keep nutella in the house we always go around here for a traditional crepes Nutella. At Christmas time I love to walk and smell the mulled wine here.
Address: Pl. du Tertre, 75018 Paris
7/ REVISIT THE BEAUtIFUL COVERED PASSAGES
Some of my favorite passages (and galeries as they are sometimes called) are places I love to promenade with my family and friends. Galerie Vérité Dodat is close to my old apartment, so knowing the neighborhood quite well ( think close to Rue Montorgueil and the Louvre neighborhoods ) typically end up here after lunch, dinner or a simple coffee out, and a few hours to wander.
- Passage de Grand Cerf
- Galerie Vivienne
- Galerie Vero Dodat
Here’s an old article on some of the best covered passages
8/ HAVE A GIRLS NIGHT OUT
I really loved Folderol for it’s ice cream and wine pairing in a cool ambiance. But another local fave is also oysters and champagne at Le Mary Celeste! In the 18th there’s Champion, a new “ cantine de quartier “ that has a little bit of everything : fresh homemade meals at reasonable prices and a nice wine list. I’ll have to take a vote this year 🙂
- Folderol – 10 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011 Paris
- Le Mary Celeste – 1 Rue Commines, 75003 Paris
- Champion – 55 Rue Championnet, 75018 Paris
Want more Paris wine bar scene info – BUY MY PARIS WINE GUIDE !
Here are my top Christmas Activities you can do in Paris
Where to begin with all the activities you can do in Paris? It’s not what to do, but rather what are the best things to do from all the things one could do! Here is my curated guide to what’s not to miss on your next stay as a solo, couple or group travel.
Seine River Boat Ride
Price: From €99
Duration: 6:00 PM cruise lasts 1.15 hours, 8:30 PM cruise lasts 2.5 hours
A ride along the Seine offers one of the best views of Paris, including panoramic views of the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and other important monuments that rest along the bank. This specific cruise also serves an à-la-carte 3-course meal on an entirely glassed-in, contemporary boat. Reserve your spot on the 8:30 PM cruise to enjoy live music on your ride.
Skip line at Louvre
Price: From €50.40
Skip the lines to enter the Louvre to spend more, more meaningful time inside the museum, admiring masterpieces like the “Mona Lisa,” “Venus de Milo,” and “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” among others. Your expert guide will provide all the background information you need to more fully appreciate these timeless works of art. After the tour, feel free to continue to explore the Louvre at no extra cost and go off the beaten path to find your new favorite works of art.
Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
Price: From €57
Duration: Valid 2-6 days
Get free, priority access to sixty museums and sites in and around Paris for two, four, or six days with this pass. In Paris, visit the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Sainte-Chapelle, among others. Around Paris, visit Versailles and Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, among others.
Visit Musee D’orsay
Price: From €16
Duration: Valid 1 day
Skip the admission line and visit one of France’s largest national collections of art. The majority of the collection consists of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, so expect to see masterpieces by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and Manet, among others.
Night car ride in vintage 2CV of Montmartre
Price: From €49.50
Duration: 1-2 hours
Glide down the Champs Elysees in a Citroen 2CV, a classic French convertible, to tour the city of lights in style. This hour-long tour puts the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and other iconic French sights on display, all from the comfort of your own personal ride.
I’ll be getting a christmas tree at my local spot close to home at Ipomea Address: 27 Rue Custine, 75018 Paris
Will be cooking for the family and in-laws a Jamaican French Christmas Dinner ! I’m thinking Jerk Chapon or Pintard, escargots, oysters, a bouche and a Christmas pudding with some sorrel drink. Hahaha – pray for me with this mash up my friends 🙂
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Have a lovely holiday,
Bisous – Yanique