Experience the Magic of Christmas in Paris

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Advisor - Aly Medina
Curated By

Aly Medina

  • France

  • Paris

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Romantic

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

Beutiful Christmas Tree
Curator’s statement

While many people choose to travel in the warm summer months, there is so much magic to be discovered traveling at Christmas. The City of Lights twinkles and enchants in December, with delights to be found around every corner.

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Things to do in Paris

Santa Claus with guitar

Enjoy an outdoor hot chocolate and creme brûlée at a sidewalk cafe (Cafe de Flore never disappoints). Paris bustles at Christmastime and the people watching from a sidewalk cafe is even more enchanting during the winter months.

Enjoy an evening Christmas concert in the dimly lit and utterly magical La Sainte‐Chapelle. The Gothic church has a ceiling covered in gilded stars, and the whole place oozes with Christmasy spirit.

Enjoy a feast for your eyes taking in the holiday displays at large department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. The stores go all-out at Christmas and you will be blown away by their artistry.

Shop for unique, beautiful gifts at Merci and Papier Tigre. The tiny, independent shops in Le Marais are full to the brim with charming, thoughtful Christmas gifts that will show your recipients just how great your taste is.

Window shop at luxury ateliers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, who dress the outside of their shops in twinkling holiday lights. As you wander beneath the string lights down Avenue Montaigne, you might feel inspired to purchase a luxury handbag (or at least add one to your wish list).

Sip a mulled vin chaud and snack on roasted chestnuts at a Christmas market such as Marche de Noel in the shadow of Notre Dame. You can also peruse chalets where vendors sell arts and crafts made by hand in Paris.

Tuck into a truly spectacular meal at cozy, maximalist Ober Mamma. The truffle pasta - which comes in its own copper pot - was fantastic enough that we went back twice on one trip.

Take the children (and your inner child!) to ice skate, ride the rides and eat the sweets on offer in the Jardin des Tuileries’ La Magee de Noel. I suggest visiting in the daytime to fully enjoy the colorful, joyful Christmas carnival.

Places to eat & drink in Paris

Outdoor sitting of a cafe with people.

Cafe de Flore - Order a hot chocolate and creme brûlée to enjoy while you watch Christmas shoppers hustle past.

Ober Mamma - A line forms on the sidewalk before the doors even open, which gives you an idea of the special meal you’re in for. Don’t miss the Pasta with Truffles.

Pierre Herme - The most delectable sweets, ranging from macarons to Bouche de Noel. Even the window displays will make your mouth water.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred - I dream of the uniquely French, impossible to find anywhere else, Le Merveilleux. My favorite flavor is cafe, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of these perfect treats.

Boulangerie Maison Hecht - A perfectly Parisien Boulangerie with a truly delicious pain au chocolat.

La Pâtisserie du Meurice par Cédric Grolet - Absolutely realistic trompe-l’oeil’ sculpted fruits under glass cloches will draw you in. Once you’re inside, treat yourself to a freshly-baked Madeleine or a Corbeille de Fraises (Basket of Strawberries tart).

Les Fous de l'île on ile Saint-Louis - Being surrounded by diners speaking French is the telltale sign you’ve found a Parisian gem. We enjoyed a beautiful meal of roasted chicken and beef tartare.

Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet - Stock up on jewel-like pomegranates and clementines in the most luxurious fresh food shopping experience you could only experience in Paris.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Briana Masson’s guide, An Extended Guide to Paris.

Advisor - Aly Medina

Travel Advisor

Aly Medina

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.