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Celebrating Christmas in Paris

Lights, Markets, Holiday Windows and More...


The season leading up to Christmas is a light-filled, festive time in Paris that can provide an ideal backdrop for a romantic vacation or an enchanting holiday season with the kids. Several annual Christmas events in the city of light are not to be missed in 2013 and 2014, so bookmark this page and plan ahead to ensure a relaxing and memorable Christmas or Hannukah.

Christmas Lights and Holiday Displays in Paris

©Francois Durand/Getty Images

Each Christmas season, elegant holiday lights adorn several quarters and historical sites in Paris, bringing the town out of the November gloom. In 2013-2014 several spots around town will be decoratively lit. Click the link above for info on this year's displays, then browse our galleries from past years by exploring below.

Get Inspired:

Paris Christmas Markets

©2006 Cyril Lg. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

One holiday tradition originating in the Northern Alsace region is the Christmas market, an outdoor "village" of wooden booths offering gourmet treats like mulled wine and gingerbread, gifts, decorations, and other delights. Check our 2013 listings here and make sure to get in on the old-world cheer.

Open-Air Ice Skating

©2006 Ashley Byock.

Several ice-skating rinks are set up around Paris for the holidays-- with free entry and 5 Euro rental for skates (no charge for kids). A sledding area is available for children at the Hotel de Ville rink.

Paris Restaurants Open for Christmas

With Paris restaurants likely to be booked full and many closed for Christmas day, your best bet is to try and reserve ahead for lunch or dinner on Christmas Eve. See our list of Paris restaurants open for Christmas here. 

More: Check out food writer Clotilde Dusoulier's picks for a gourmet Paris Christmas at Chocolate and Zucchini.

Christmas at Notre Dame Cathedral

©2006 Courtney Traub.
Whatever your beliefs and persuasions, visiting Notre Dame Cathedral for the Christmas eve service can be a memorable and peaceful occasion.

More information: Visit Notre Dame's official website (in French)

Christmas at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris can be a fun option for families at Christmas.
Francois Durand/Getty Images

Disneyland Paris is another way to soak up a little holiday ambiance during your stay in Paris. From November 10th, 2013 through January 6th, 2014, the theme park will be decked out for the season, with a full-fledged Christmas theme on Main Street, parade, and other festive events.

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