A Christmas Guide to Paris

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Active Travel

  • Paris

  • Downtown

  • Shopping

  • Outdoors

nighttime picture of a tower in Paris
Curator’s statement

Paris during Christmastime is a sight to behold. The city transforms into a truly magical wonderland, with twinkling lights adorning every corner and festive decorations creating a whimsical atmosphere. The crisp winter air carries the scent of roasted chestnuts and spiced mulled wine, inviting visitors to embrace the holiday spirit. From the iconic landmarks to the charming cobblestone streets, every part of Paris is infused with the enchanting essence of Christmas.

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Where to stay in Paris

Cheval Blanc Paris

This Art Déco heritage hotel carries with it the stately hospitality known to the Cheval Blanc name — located near the Seine in the center of Paris.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • Complimentary round-trip private airport.

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Splurge-worthy Parisian icon just off the Champs-Élysées, with three Michelin-starred restaurants, Eiffel Tower views and renowned service.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Hôtel Madame Rêve

This boutique hotel resides in this postmodern 19th-century building that used to be the Louvre Post Office revamped with a sleek, contemporary interior.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Paris

a market full of lighting during the Christmas

As the festive season unfolds, Paris transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of Christmas cheer.

  • The iconic Champs-Élysées becomes adorned with a mesmerizing display of twinkling lights, casting a magical glow over the city.

  • Venture to the historic district of Le Marais, where the Marché de Noël de la Place des Abbesses presents a delightful array of handcrafted goods, artisanal foods, and traditional festive decorations. The market's picturesque setting and selection of unique offerings make it a must-visit destination for those seeking the authentic charm of Parisian Christmas traditions.

  • Another enchanting Christmas markets, the Marché de Noël des Champs-Élysées, offers an array of artisanal crafts, festive delicacies, and unique gifts, creating a lively and spirited atmosphere.

  • Visitors can marvel at the towering Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette, adorned with dazzling decorations that captivate the imagination and create a sense of wonder for all who behold it.

  • The delightful spectacle of the Christmas illuminations at Place Vendôme adds a touch of elegance to the festive ambiance, drawing visitors into a world of enchantment and joy.

  • Paris' grand department stores, including Printemps and Le Bon Marché, unveil their enchanting window displays, each a masterpiece of creativity and artistry. These captivating showcases transport onlookers into a whimsical winter wonderland, showcasing the magic of the season through intricate designs and captivating storytelling.

  • The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral takes on a new allure with stunning light projections and festive decorations, offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity that captures the spirit of Christmas in Paris.

  • The epitome of Parisian grandeur, the Eiffel Tower, becomes an enchanting focal point during the festive season. It hosts an ice skating rink at the first level, allowing visitors to glide across the ice against the backdrop of the illuminated city skyline. The panoramic views from the Eiffel Tower offer a mesmerizing perspective of Paris adorned in its festive splendor, creating unforgettable memories for all who embrace the holiday spirit in this iconic setting.

Places to eat & drink in Paris

dining on a terrace in Paris

For a truly memorable Christmas dining experience in Paris, the city's renowned restaurants offer an extraordinary array of festive menus that showcase the culinary prowess of the chefs. From the opulent Michelin-starred establishments to the cozy bistros nestled in the heart of the city, Parisian restaurants curate special Christmas menus that celebrate the rich tapestry of French cuisine.

  • Be sure to check out a storied French cafe or bakery. Indulge in the classic pain d'épices, a spiced honey cake that embodies the warmth of the season with every bite. Sip on velvety hot chocolate infused with festive spices, a comforting elixir that envelops the senses with its rich, indulgent embrace. The patisseries showcase an assortment of intricately crafted Christmas pastries, from delicate macarons adorned with seasonal motifs to the exquisite éclairs that pay homage to traditional Christmas flavors with a contemporary twist. Immerse yourself in the festive magic as you explore the myriad offerings of Parisian cafes and bakeries, each one a testament to the artistry of French pastry-making.

  • Indulge in an unforgettable dining experience at iconic restaurants such as Le Meurice, where the extravagant Christmas menus showcase a symphony of seasonal flavors and innovative culinary techniques.

  • For a more intimate setting, Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V presents an exquisite blend of traditional and contemporary French dishes, elevating the Christmas dining experience to new heights. Delight in the festive ambiance and impeccable service as you savor every delectable course, each one a testament to the artistry of French gastronomy.

  • Christmastime in Paris allows the city's street food to hit a new high. Sample the aromatic roasted chestnuts and caramelized nuts, their tantalizing fragrances mingling with the crisp winter air. Feast on the piping hot crêpes filled with indulgent spreads of Nutella or enjoy the comforting warmth of freshly baked waffles, dusted with a snowfall of powdered sugar. The festive markets also offer an assortment of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and preserves. Also providing an opportunity to savor the finest produce from the French countryside amid the festive bustle of the city.

  • If dinner cruises are more your thing, on the Île aux Cygnes with its famous Statue of Liberty, in the 15th arrondissement, you are able to embark on the Capitaine Fracasse. This chic vessel, made from solid wood, offers two departures on Christmas Eve: the first at 6:30pm for a cruise that lasts 1 .75 hours and a second at 9:30 pm for a cruise that lasts 2.25 hours.

  • The renowned Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, invites you to spend the holidays at its restaurant l'Ecrin, located in the famous palace on the Place de la Concorde. This intimate and timeless gastronomic restaurant has been honored with a Michelin star.

  • For the more theatrical, Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse Paris offer over-the-top cabaret shows during the Christmas season.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Travel Advisor

Bijoy Shah

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For more travel tips, check out my guide, First-Timer’s Guide to Paris, France. This guide is part of our ongoing series on Travel to Paris.