Great Escapes

European Travel Blog

Pris Christmas Lights, Avenue des Champs-Elysées

Paris, the City of Lights, at Christmas

4 Comments

With numerous Christmas markets, skating rinks and superb decorations throughout the city, as always, Paris goes all out to create a festive atmosphere ensuring any visitor’s stay will be a memorable one. There’s also plenty to do once you’ve finished shopping and admiring the festive lights this year, with circuses, ballets, musicals and art exhibitions including, Frida Kahlo and Goya, to name but two.

Here is just a few of the highlights of Paris at Christmas.

Christmas Lights

The seasonal lighting displays in Paris’ streets and squares are among the most beautiful in the world; Paris certainly lives up to its nick name of ‘the City of Lights’. The most well-known are those decorating the Champs Elysées and this year the 2oo trees that line this famous avenue are dripping with stars and glittering garlands, as each one in turn changes colour creating a wonderful display.

As well as the streets, all the big shops, most notably, the luxurious department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, on the Boulevard Haussmann, compete with each other to produce the loveliest Christmas decorations and window displays.

Paris Christmas Lights, Avenue des Champs-Elysées

Avenue des Champs-Elysées

Paris Christmas lights, Au Printemps, Boulevard Haussman

Au Printemps, Boulevard Haussman © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer: Jacques Lebar

Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Jacques Lebar

Mairie de Paris , Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Mairie de Paris , Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Montmartre Christmas Lights, Paris

Place du Tertre – Montmartre – Sacré-Coeur © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer : Amélie Dupont

Les Marchés de Noël (Christmas Markets)

Wherever you are staying in Paris in December you are most likely near one of the city’s many Christmas markets, the perfect places to buy handmade gifts, locally produced food, Christmas decorations and so much more!

Paris Christmas markets © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Paris Christmas markets © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Avenue des Champs-Elysées From 15 November 2013 to 5 January 2014
One of the largest Christmas markets in Paris with some 160 chalets lining the Champs-Elysées between the Rond-point and Place de la Concorde.

Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris Christmas Market

Avenue des Champs-Elysées © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Place de la Concorde, Christmas lights Paris

Place de la Concorde © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Saint Germain des Pres, Santa’s Village (Latin Quarter) From 6 December 2013 until 2nd January 2014)
Along boulevard Saint Germain, some 30 chalets full of tasty seasonal treats and gifts.

Boulevard Saint-Germain © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer: Amélie Dupont

Boulevard Saint-Germain © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer: Amélie Dupont

St. Sulpice (Latin Quarter) From 6 December 2013 to 2 January 2014

The European Christmas Village ‘Trocadero on Ice’ (Place du Trocadéro, 16th arrondissement) From 4 December 2013 to 2 January 2014, 11am to 8pm
A Christmas market and ice-rink near the Eiffel Tower.

Further markets include those at the Montparnasse on Place Raoul-Dautry, at the Gare de l’Est, the Gare Saint-Lazare, and the Place de la Nation.

Ice rinks

As well as two permanent ice skating rinks that are open year round, every Christmas more pop up in Paris adding to the festive cheer.

Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville (Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4e) 21 December to 2 March 2014, Monday to Friday noon-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-10pm

The most popular seasonal rink is huge, as are the queues, but it is stunning after dark when the 19th century city hall is lit up. Children and beginners have their own smaller area with free instruction available.  Free entry, €5 for skate rental.

Mairie de Paris, Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville  © Paris Tourist Office - Photographer : David Lefranc

Mairie de Paris, Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville © Paris Tourist Office – Photographer : David Lefranc

Patinoire des Cinq Continents (Champs-Elysées, Village de Noël Champs-Elysées, between the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde, 8e), 15 November to 5 January 2014, Sundy to Thursday 10.30am-midnight; Friday-Saturday 10.30am-1am

Amidst the magical Champs-Elysées’s annual Christmas village, you’ll find some 300 animated animals from around the world  including pandas, polar bears and wolves in an ice garden with a 60-metre-long path of ice leading you through them. There is also areas for speed skating and games and an artificial ice surface for small children.

Trocadéro (Esplanade des Droits de l’Homme, 16e) 13 December to 6th January 2014, Daily 11am-8pm
Ice skating and a Christmas Market near the Eiffel Tower. Free entry, rentals for €5.

Please note: dates and information on the above may be subject to change, so please check before making arrangements or travelling.

Author: Kathryn Burrington

Travel writer, photographer and blogger for the Serenity Holidays group, including the short break experts, Great Escapes.

4 thoughts on “Paris, the City of Lights, at Christmas

  1. Very timely as I am off there on Friday! Thanks for the tip about the St Sulpice Christmas market, I’m staying right by there so will definitely go and take a look.

    • Oh excellent! I’m sure you’ll take lots of lovely photos and that you’ll write about it when you get back so please do add a link here to your post. Have a fantastic time!

  2. Spectacular post on Christmas in Paris!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s