What to do for Christmas in Paris 2019

  • November 22, 2019
  • All things Paris
  • Jocelyn Wensjoe

There is plenty to do and see as we approach popular festivity dates. Paris really earned its name as the city of lights due to it being lit up all night long but wait until you see it lit up with all the Christmas light decorations in almost every street corner of all districts. Not only will there be small kiosks selling traditional French gastronomy and hot chocolate, but there are plenty of Christmas inspired activities for adults and kids alike. Take a look at the list of 32 places to visit in Paris for Christmas this December 2019.

Christmas music

Where to find Christmas music

What is the Christmas season without some Christmas tunes? There will be a few places in the city exhibiting classical music concerts composed of traditional Christmas songs. Two of our favorite settings include the two most iconic gothic churches, Sainte Chapelle and Saint Germain des Prés. A few of the songs which will be playing during these concerts include O Holy Night, the oh so popular Jingle Bells, Sweet Night, and a few others that will bring you some happiness and nostalgia.

Sainte Chapelle is one of the oldest churches in Paris next to Notre Dame, decorated with beautiful stained-glass windows, it’s truly something else to listen to the sounds of an orchestra while being seated in a church built 771 years ago.

 Saint Germain des Prés isn’t far behind either having been built in 1910, this church is big in the inside and once the orchestra begins the performance you can hear the melody of the music all around.

 If you are looking for a unique and out of the ordinary experience, The Eiffel Tower Concert series will also be exhibiting harmonious classical music right in the third level of the most iconic monument in Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Check out other dates where they will also be presenting tango music for those who prefer a more upbeat rhythm.

Swan Lake and An American in Paris

Holiday inspired shows

Swan Lake

Last year Théâtre des Champs- Élysées hosted the Nutcracker and this year in December they will be presenting one of the uttermost iconic ballets in history, Swan Lake! The perfect show to watch during this holiday season. Swan Lake portrays a story of true love overcoming all obstacles set in the paths of the main characters once a wizard transforms the delicate princess into a swan for selfish motives. This Christmas experience the beauty that is ballet and take in the emotional, yet magical performance directed by Viktor Oliynyk and choreographer Valery Kovtuv. Take time to enjoy Tchaikkovsky’s most classic recital

An American in Paris

In the city of romance, an American ends up falling in love and gets into this complicated relationship with a French girl who is already engaged to someone else. This Oscar winning musical was inspired by the 1951 musical comedy film starring Gene Kelly. A shoo-in to win over the hearts of all audience members, the play will have you day dreaming about love in Paris. Besides the acting, the songs in the musical get a lot of recognition for its cheerful beat and tasteful lyrics, they don’t make them like this anymore. During the start of the performance, you’ll immediately be sucked in. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance, these shows sell out fast.

Crazy horse christmas

Exotic Christmas performance

The ladies in the cabarets in Paris are also ready to greet everyone visiting their scenery on Christmas Eve. Lido de Paris, Crazy Horse, and Paradis Latin are whipping an unforgettable performance with extravagant costumes and dance recitals for those who dare enter the doors of some of the most famous cabaret venues in the city. A little heads up about each place:

Lido de Paris is well known presenting a Las Vegas setting meaning the Bluebell girls' costumes are all handmade and designed by successful designers who work for the club. We confirm that these costumes are out of this world, and the dancers are extremely beautiful all unique in their own way, plus the whole performance tells the story about a shy girl in Paris but we don’t want to spoil the rest.

Crazy Horse is one of the most well-known cabarets next to Moulin Rouge. Many famous artists go to the show once they’ve landed in Paris, it is obviously a can’t miss performance. Beyoncé herself performed on stage and made her music video Partition in the Crazy Horse venue if you were wondering where she got those moves from in her music video now you know, the stunning girls in Crazy Horse inspired the talented singer. Each performance on stage during the hour and 90 minutes are all different, though one thing they all have in common is the fact that the ladies will only be dressed in nothing but professional lights that give an optical illusion to those hypnotized in the audience.

Paradis Latin, well known among locals is one of the venues that will be exhibiting an extraordinary Christmas performance. This cancan stands out from all the other due to the fact that it includes an aquatic performance, some poetry, humor, yet a lot of beautiful dancers. A special surprise you will find on stage is that Miss Universe 2016 will be one of the many sensual dancers on stage. Spoiler alert, Paradis Latin was in reality designed by architect Gustave Eiffel, so this may be one of the things to check of your Parisian bucket list.

ice skating

Ice skating

Now that it’s sweater weather there are many places where you can enjoy some fun on the ice. We’ve got a list of places you can visit if you’re looking to go ice skating towards the end of November all the way until the beginning of January.

Le Grand Palais: One of the cherished places by tourists and locals alike is Le Grand Palais, here you’ll feel like you are in a winter wonderland. The prestigious museum is transformed into an ice-skating rink from December 12 until January 8. Normally visitors enter the museum to see all the wonderful paintings and art exhibitions that are frequently being displayed within the walls of this mansion looking site, but when the temperature drops this is when they bring out a whole new perspective to fun during wintertime. During the day you can enjoy skating in a breathtaking landscape while being underneath a large glass roof where the sun hit and at night it’s time to party underneath a thousand colorful lights. Small tip: There are certain opening hours from 10 am- 1 pm, 2 pm- 7 pm, and 8 pm- 2 am.

Les Halles: In the summer this is the place to be, there is are always fun activities from live music to small events. Now in the winter Forum Les Halles is converted into a winter blissfully adorned with a mini Christmas market, a giant Christmas tree, and best of all an ice-skating rink! The rink will be open from December 8 until the 6th of January. Everyone is invited! This is a great place to spend some family time, the best news of all it is affordable because the entrance is free. Picture yourself ice skating next to a 22 meter Christmas tree, now that’s getting into the true spirit of Christmas.

Le Jardin des Tuileries: How does ice skating near the Louvre museum sound to you? Exuberating right? There will also be an ice rink established in the most visited park in Paris, Les Tuileries. An excellent location for the young and old, but even more fun for kids considering there will also be funfair situated in the glorious garden. Le Jardin des Tuileries is very well situated, therefore after all the fun, you can head over to either Champs Elysées or even Rue Montorgueil to see the beautifully decorated streets and do some shopping in Champs Elysées or have dinner in one of the many non-expensive restaurants in Rue Montorgueil.

Galleries la Fayette: If you are a risk-taker and you are not afraid of heights, ice skating on the rooftop of Galleries la Fayette might just be for you. It is a thrilling experience to ice skate on a rooftop with a stunning view of the whole city, very unique and there’s nothing like it. Luckily the rink opens earlier than other locations this year, access to ice skate will be available starting November 20 through December 31st.

christmas market

Try some vin chaud or eat traditional French cuisine in one of the many Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are traditional here in Paris, every year a couple of stands are set-up on different districts around the city with a diverse number of goods to buy and try. Here you’ll have the opportunity to try some delicious French vin chaud translated to mulled wine in English, mouthwatering desserts such as hot crepes, waffles, and churros, buy handcrafted jewelry, handmade winter garments, good old-fashioned French cuisines such as raclette or Gratin Dauphinois. This year’s Christmas celebration will be one for the books, an undoubtfully memorable experience. Some of the Christmas markets this year will be located in popular destinations such as Chatelet, Montmartre, La Défense and other central districts so if you are planning to visit any of these places be sure to also pass by a Christmas market. You might even find a unique art and craft Christmas gift for that special someone. Get in the spirit of Christmas and swing by one of the many markets listed below.

Marché de Noël at Notre Dame- December 13 to December 29.

Location: Viviani Square, quai Montebello on the 5th arrondissement.

Village de Noël at La Défense- November 29 to December 28.

Location: 15, Parvis de la Défense, 92800 Puteaux

Village de Noël at Champs de Mars- Mid to Late December

Location: Champs de Mars, Eiffel Tower on the 7th arrondissement.

Les Fééries d’Auteil- December 7 to December 15.

Location: 40 Rue Jean de la Fontaine on the 16th arrondissement.

Abbesses Christmas Market at Montmartre- End November to January 1.

Location: Place des Abbesses, Montmartre on the 18th arrondissement.

Le Village de Noël at Les Halles- November 14 to December 29.

Location: Forum Les Halles shopping center

Hôtel de Ville- December to January.

Location: Place de l’ Hôtel de Ville on the 4th arrondissement.

Marché de Noel at Saint Germain des Prés- November 30 to January 5.

Location: Place Saint- Germain des Prés on the 6th arrondissement.

To check out more Christmas markets click here.

champs elysees illumination

Bright lights in every corner of the city

You probably knew this by now but were here to remind you that there will be an illumination festival of lights in Champs Élysées and around these dates Gallerie la Fayette will also be displaying an array of Christmas decorations that can be admired through their windows. Starting November 24 until January 8 the main street of Champs Élysées will be lit up and topped with more than hundreds of sparkling lights wonderfully illuminating the whole street! The illumination which will be taking place for the first time in the center of the avenue will be a magical experience for all sightseers. You could check out the flashing red lights decorating the whole district all the way until the Arc de Triomphe from 5 pm until 2 am.

Another must-see place that always seems to fascinate pedestrians with its marvelous window decorations is Gallerie la Fayette. While walking past the enormous shopping center you’ll be sure to stop and admire all the distinct Christmas decorations adorning the mall’s widows, from holiday elves mechanically functioning giving the crowd the illusion that the dolls are actually moving, to a Santa Clause puppet gathering gifts for Christmas, and so many other creative designs. If you have time, we recommend visiting the inside of the shopping center because this too will leave you mesmerized considering it is adorned with enticing Christmas ornaments.

the world of jaleya

Holiday entertainment for the kiddo’s 

The world of Jaleya: The Circus is here and it’s not just any circus, it’s Cirque de Paname’s The World of Jaleya “Le Monde de Jaleya” in French. This extraordinary show can be compared to performances in Cirque du Soleil, though Cirque du Soleil may have the name buy it has nothing on The World of Jaleya. This is a brilliant entertainment idea for everyone of all ages, especially if you are looking to do something fun that will excite the little one. With a creative fable of a young boy who gets trapped in a magical world full of odd-looking creatures. The show consists of acrobatic dancers, special effects, a 3D surround sound system, and many other impressive props. A can’t miss this holiday.

The World of Jaleya

Frozen in L Grand Rex theater- Watching a Christmas movie during the holiday season sounds like a good idea, watching Frozen during Christmas season for 6 euros sounds like an even better idea! On certain dates, the famous Rex theater will be displaying the acclaimed children movie Frozen 2 in its main theater room. When we say their main room will blow you away, we mean it! Le Grand Rex room is very spacious and equipped with everything you can ever wish for, you’ll be surrounded by more than 100 people just as excited as you and your family to watch the movie. Oh, and yes, you can find the movie in English.

Le Jardin des Tuileries: As previously mentioned, there will be a big fair, Christmas market, and an ice-skating rink set-up in the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre museum. Access to enter the fair is free, but if you would like to ride on the large ferries wheel and get an exceptional view of the whole city or any other ride, you will need to purchase some tickets which by the way are pretty affordable. Check out all the cool things you can do in the park!

Meeting Santa Clause: This year the little one has the opportunity to meet and take pictures with old Saint Nicolas in then Montparnasse tower or in Galleries la Fayette. Just picture the joy and excitement in the little one’s face when he or she hears that they’re going to meet Santa Clause, this will be an experience that will they will forever cherish and so will you.

Disneyland: Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with Disneyland! They are prepared to celebrate every holiday and end the season in a magical way. From November 9 until January 6 you can watch the magic come to life celebrate with Mickey and his friends during this joyful holiday. With games, rides, shows, surprises and festive décor, it will feel like you have been transported to a whole other world. Witness the fireworks light up the Disney castle during the night and enjoy your time in the enchanted city.


Enjoyed this article? Take a look at what else you can discover during your time in Paris:

  • Places to find classical music concerts in Paris
  • 7 unbeatable Jazz clubs in Paris
  • Where you can go to relieve stress in Paris
  • Neighborhood guide of Chatelet
  • What you didn’t know about cabaret Crazy Horse Paris
  • Secrets about different popular districts in the city of Paris