Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office
The below calendar applies to December 2012.
Festivals and Seasonal Events:Holiday Lights and Window Decorations in Paris
Starting in late November, Paris is bathed in sparkling holiday lights and elaborate window displays. For a little inspiration, check out our 2012 photo gallery of holiday decorations in Paris.
Every winter, ice-skating rinks are set up at several locations around the city. Admission is free (not including skate rental).
Where: Info on 2012-2013 ice skating rinks in Paris
Paris Christmas markets
Bring in the holiday cheer in Paris with special Christmas treats, vin chaud (hot wine), decorations, and gifts.
Get more info on 2012-2013 Christmas markets in Paris here
Hannukah candle lightings in Paris: Check this website for listings
The Autumn Festival:
Since 1972, the Paris Autumn Festival or "Festival de l'Automne" has brought in the post-summer season with a bang by highlighting some of the most compelling works in contemporary visual art, music, cinema, theater, and other forms. Through December 2012. Consult the official website for program details (in English)
Arts and Exhibits in December
- Edward Hopper Retrospective
A major and much-anticipated retrospective on the work of American painter Edward Hopper is expected to be among the Grand Palais' most-attended exhibits this year. Buy tickets early if you want to get a chance to see firsthand works from the artist famous for his lighthouses and late-night diner scenes. The massive retrospective is divided into two parts: the first highlighting influences on the young artist, who spent several years living in Paris, and the second part tracing the evolution of artist's work into its more mature phase, with signature paintings such as his 1942 "Nighthawks".
Location: Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
When: Through January 28th, 2013
- Vincent Van Gogh - Dreaming of Japan and Hiroshige- The Art of Travel
This joint exhibition at the Pinacotheque gallery near Madeleine highlights a lesser-known Japanese painter whose work influenced the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and several Impressionist painters. Underlining that Hiroshige was one of Dutch artist Van Gogh's main influences, the exhibit invites visitors to compare the work of the Japanese master to several works by the artist best known for his "Starry Night". The Van Gogh exhibition includes 40 works, mostly landscapes, with a focus on those informed by Japanese painting techniques. It's recommended that you purchase a joint ticket to see both exhibits, although if you prefer to see only one, you can buy a ticket for one or the other.
Location: Pinacotheque de Paris
28 place de la Madeleine
Metro: Madeleine or Opera
When: Through March 17th, 2013.
- Trompe l'oeil (Tricking the Eye)
A show which opened last month at Paris's Arts Décoratifs museum celebrates the "trompe l'oeil" technique and the complex art of deception. The exhibit features over 400 works, from paintings and sculpture to textiles, highlighting techniques of trickery originating in ancient Greece.
Location: Musee des arts decoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli,1st arrondissement
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli or Palais Royal
Tel: +33 (0)144 55 57 50
When: Through November 2013
Visit the official website
Read our full review here
- Bertrand Lavier Since 1969
An exhibit consecrated to contemporary French sculptor, multimedia and installations artist Bertrand Lavier at the Centre Georges Pompidou invites spectators to engage with space and materials in ways that collapse boundaries between genres and norms .
When: Through January 7th, 2013.
Where: Centre Georges Pompidou