Best Paris Christmas Markets

Hot Mulled Wine, Roasted Chestnuts, & Holiday Shopping at Marchés de Noël

A visit to a Paris Christmas Market is the fastest way to get into the holiday spirit when visiting the City of Light during the shortest days of the year. 

With sparkling lights, bright decorations, and even occasional visits from Saint Nicolas - or Père Noël, as Parisian children call him, these festive street markets filled with Swiss-style chalets carry on a tradition begun in the Middle Ages in Germany.

Copy the Parisians - sip warm mulled wine, munch on hot roasted chestnuts, and sample delicious sausages and cheese while shopping until well into the night.

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During a typical year, about 15-20 Christmas Markets appear across Paris, joined by occasional "pop-up" weekend markets.

Traditionally, these picturesque markets span the Advent season beginning four Sundays before Christmas.  In reality, look for opening dates from mid-November to mid-December.  Although some markets may stay in place for only a week or two, many remain open through Christmas Eve.  Check the December Events Calendar for exact dates, as they vary each year.

Here are Paris Discovery Guide's recommendations for outstanding Paris Christmas Markets, plus other market locations around the city.

Paris Notre-Dame Christmas Market

Paris Notre Dame Christmas Market
Notre Dame Christmas Market, with the famous cathedral in the background

Perhaps the most picturesque of the Paris Christmas Markets is the Marché de Noel Notre Dame, located on the Left Bank just across the Seine from the famous cathedral.

With Notre Dame's soaring medieval towers and spires as a backdrop, this cheerful market offers the usual warm mulled wine and hot roasted chestnuts.

However, its specialty is high-quality arts and artisan crafts made in France.  You can usually find an especially nice selection of clothing and accessories here.

Best of all, Santa makes frequent appearances - sometimes with a glass of vin chaud in hand.

Paris Notre Dame Christmas Market - Santa
Santa greets visitors to the Notre Dame Christmas Market

Getting to the Marché de Noel Notre Dame:

New Paris Christmas Market at Les Halles

New last year, the Les Halles Christmas Market is one of the largest in Paris. 

Paris Christmas Market in Les Halles
Christmas trees form a maze near the Fontaine des Innocents at the Les Halles Christmas Market

The Les Halles Christmas Market offers an enchanting mix of festive attractions such as a Christmas tree maze, lighted reindeer, and Santa's cabin along with the traditional market stalls offering mulled wine, raclette, freshly cooked crepes with Nutella, and the tantalizing smell of roasted chestnuts. 

Paris Christmas Market stalls in Les Halles
Les Halles Christmas Market chalets

Look for about 70 chalets featuring crafts, magnificent displays of regional sausages and cheeses, and gourmet foods around the Fontaine des Innocents, just a stone's throw from La Canopée at newly renovated Forum des Halles.

Displays of sparkling lights make this Christmas market especially festive at night.

Place des Abbesses Christmas Market in Montmartre

Paris Christmas Market in Montmartre, Place des Abbesses
Place des Abbesses Christmas Market

Located next to the Place des Abbesses Metro station on one of the most photo-worthy streets in Montmartre, the Place des Abbesses market is small but charming.

Fortify yourself with a cup of warm spiced wine and a small packet of hot roasted chestnuts, straight off the grill - look for Vin Chaud and Marrons Chaud signs, or just follow your nose. 

Look for hand-knit scarves, one-of-a-kind fashions, and children's toys. 

For kids, there's a colorful carousel, and usually appearances by Père Noël on the weekends.

This is a fun market to visit if you want to get a taste of the Christmas markets but avoid the crowds filling the larger markets.

Coming here is also a great excuse to explore the winding hills of Montmartre and make your way to Sacré-Coeur to enjoy the sweeping city vistas.

Paris - Wall of Love in Montmartre
The Wall of Love in Square Rictus, next to the Christmas Market

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market

Shoppers at Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market
Shoppers at Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market

The 25 or so chalets of this Christmas Market border Boulevard St-Germain next to the famous St-Germain-des-Près Church. 

This is one of the smaller markets in the city, and specializes in luxury items, such as fine leather pocketbooks, lovely jewelry, and handcrafted items.  This is a good place to buy scented candles, notebooks made in France, and fine chocolates.

Paris Christmas Market at Saint-Germain-des-Pres - hot roasted chestnuts
Bags of hot roasted chestnuts

You'll find the usual hot wine and roasted chestnuts, along with mouth-watering displays of macaroons, marrons glacés (candied chestnuts) from Southern France, and jewel-like jars of fruit jams.

For even more variety, walk a couple of blocks to the Saint-Sulpice Christmas Market, where you'll find delicious prepared food to eat on the spot from various regions of France.

La Défense Marché de Noël

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees
La Défense Christmas Market with skyscrapers in the background

The huge Christmas Market along the Esplanade at La Défense boasts over 250 chalets, making it the largest in the Paris region.  

The market's spectacular setting in this glittering business district make the 9-minute ride from the Étoile metro station well worth the time - plus you'll find a vast selection of gifts ranging from trinkets to high-quality jewelry and leather goods, and well-equipped kitchens and restaurants turning out steaming plates of delicious Alsatian fare.

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees
Alsatian specialties include this sizzling sausage dish with peppers, tomatoes, and cabbage

You'll find lots of specialty items not seen in smaller markets - Santa costumes, stuffed animals, huge bins brimming over with clementines and other seasonal fruits, candies from the South of France, freshly baked gingerbread, antique books and fine paintings, and large pop-up stores filled with Christmas decorations.

One stall features many different varieties of exquisite nativity figures at surprisingly affordable prices - you may be tempted to fill your suitcase!

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees

Several stalls offer gorgeous finely-tooled leather goods from Morocco, while others have large selections of fashionable scarfs and coats, candies, and tins of herbal teas. 

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees

Kids will also find lots to do and see here, including multiple Santas who happily pose for photos and a small pen filled with very cute miniature donkeys for petting. 

You can easily spend an entire evening at this market, especially if you also want to shop at the adjacent Quatre Temps shopping mall.

Champs-Élysées Christmas Market

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees with ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde
Champs Elysées Christmas Market, with a glimpse of the ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde in the background

Will the largest and most famous Marché de Noël in Paris along both sides of brightly-lit Avenue des Champs-Élysées between Place de la Concorde and Avenue Montaigne re-open this year?  No word yet - but fingers crossed! 

Until major problems with the organizer of this popular market led to its cancellation last year, this Christmas Market offered over 200 chalets, the chance to enjoy glittering holiday lights and festive crowds, and perhaps a ride on the huge carousel at Concorde.

Paris Christmas Markets along Champs Elysees with holiday lights
Champs Elysées Christmas Market, Christmas lights, and Arc de Triomphe

Even without the Christmas Market, you can still enjoy the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations along both sides of Champs-Élysées.

Find more Paris locations where you can see dazzling holiday decorations

Getting to Champs-Élysées:

Where to Find More Christmas Markets

Christmas Market at Parc de la Villette
Christmas Market at Parc de la Villette

More Paris Christmas Markets for You to Explore

Pop-Up Stalls Selling Holiday Fare

Pop-up stalls come and go in some areas, so you will most likely happen upon them.  One area this frequently occurs is near Galeries Lafayette, across from the main building on Blvd Haussmann.  Look for luxury goods, such as perfume, designer scarves, and fine leather gloves.

Even the regularly-held Paris street markets expand their offerings at this time of the year. 

For example, even the small tucked-away Marché Saint-Honoré (Wednesday afternoon/evening and Saturday until 3pm) in the 1st Arrondissement expands with stalls offering knit garment, fancy confits, and jewelry.

Where to (Maybe) Find a Pop-Up Market

Pop-up Christmas markets, by their nature, are ephemeral and can be hard to find if you don't live in Paris - but a place always worth checking is the spacious Halle des Blancs Manteau (48 Rue Vielle du Temple, 4th Arrondissement), an old covered market dating back to the early 1800s in the heart of the Marais. 

If you don't find a pop-up market underway, you'll find plenty of other shopping opportunities in this part of the Marais - or walk a few more blocks to Village Saint-Paul.

Find more Pop-Up Christmas Markets and dates in the December Events Calendar

Pop-up Japanese Holiday Market at Galerie Choiseul in the 2nd arrondissement
Pop-up Japanese Holiday Market at Galerie Choiseul in the 2nd arrondissement

Dates for Les Marchés de Noël

Opening dates vary - but the larger markets usually open during the last of November or early December.  Closing dates vary from just before or after Christmas to early January.

A few smaller markets wait until mid-December to open.  Pop-up markets may take place for only 2-3 days.

Look for exact dates on the December Paris Events Calendar.

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