Paris Christmas Markets

Where to Find the Best Marchés de Noël

Best Paris Christmas Markets 2018

Hot Mulled Wine, Roasted Chestnuts, & Holiday Gift 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, Christmas trees full of 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 wooden chalets transport a tradition begun in the Middle Ages in Alsace and Germany to the French capital.

Copy the Parisians - sip hot mulled wine, munch on roasted chestnuts, and sample delicious sausages and cheese while shopping for arts and crafts, regional food specialties, and other gifts until well into the night.

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

Traditionally, these picturesque markets span the Advent season beginning four Sundays before Christmas.  This year, look for opening dates from mid-November to mid-December 2018.  Although some markets may stay in place for only a week or two, many remain open through Christmas Eve.  Check our December Events Calendar for exact dates, as they vary each year.

Here are Paris Discovery Guide's recommendations for six outstanding large Paris Christmas Markets, plus more Christmas Market locations around the city.

The Magic of Christmas:  Champs-Élysées Christmas Market Becomes La Magie de Noel in 2018

Look for these Champs-Élysées chalets at the new Tuileries Garden Christmas Market location
Look for these Champs-Élysées chalets at the new Tuileries Garden Christmas Market location

The Champs-Élysées Christmas Market - the largest and most famous Marché de Noël in Paris - is reborn for 2018 (after being closed last year due to dispute between its organizer and the City of Paris) with a new name and in a new location:  La Magie de Noël (The Magic of Christmas) in Tuileries Garden next to the Louvre.

Look for 100 chalets featuring mostly French-produced food products, wine, and gifts plus a dozen carnival rides, and an ice rink - and of course lots of glittering lights, festive crowds, and perhaps even guest appearances from Santa. 

Look for lots of French products at the new Tuileries Christmas Market
Look for lots of French products at the new Tuileries Christmas Market

And even though the Christmas Market will no longer take place along Champs-Élysées, you're only five minutes by foot from the famous boulevard's dazzling Christmas lights and decorations.

More places to see dazzling Paris holiday lights & decorations

Getting to Tuileries Christmas Market:

  • Location:  Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) in the 1st Arrondissement
  • Métro:  Concorde, Tuileries
  • Bus:  24, 42, 72, 73, 84, 94
  • Open:  Late November - early January
  • More to Do Nearby:  Need to do more holiday shopping?   Walk up Rue de Castiglione to Place Vendome, or turn left or right on Rue Saint-Honoré and explore the chic boutiques.  Check out the brightly-lit stores in the underground shopping mall Carrousel du Louvre (enter near the Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre Metro station).  Or walk across Place de la Concorde to explore all the stores lining both sides of Champs-Élysées and the designer showrooms along nearby Avenue Montaigne.  If you continue walking down Avenue Montaigne toward Place de l'Alma, you'll soon see the spectacularly lit Eiffel Tower framed by the street's lovely white Christmas lights.

More about Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris - Things to Do and See

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 in Square Viviani 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 vin chaud (hot mulled wine) and 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:

  • Location:  Square René-Viviani, at the edge of the Latin Quarter in the 5th Arrondissement
  • Métro:  Saint Michel, Maubert-Mutualité
  • RER:  B and C, Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame
  • Open:  Mid-December until (usually) Christmas Eve
  • More to Do Nearby:  Visit the lovely medieval church next door, Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, which dates back to 1160.  Or cross the bridge and check out the Christmas decorations inside Notre-Dame.  For books, café fare, and perhaps some conversation, stop by Shakespeare & Company, an English-language haven adjacent to Square Viviani at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie

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. 

Les Halles Christmas Market chalet
Les Halles Christmas Market chalet

Look for about 50 chalets featuring gift items made by French craftsmen, mouth-watering displays of regional sausages, foie gras, terrines, cheeses, salted nuts, and other gourmet foods around the Fontaine des Innocents, just a stone's throw from La Canopée at newly splendid Forum des Halles.

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

  • Location:  Surrounding the Fontaine des Innocents in the 1st Arrondissement
  • Métros:  Chatelet, Les Halles
  • Open:  Early December through early January
  • More to Do Nearby:  Shop in Forum des Halles (the below-ground shopping complex surrounding the metro/train station), visit adjacent Église Saint-Eustache, or explore market street Run Montorgueil to the right (as you face it) of the church

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.

  • Location:  Next to the Abbesses Butte Montmartre Métro station in Montmartre, 18th Arrondissement
  • Métro:  Abbesses Butte Montmartre
  • Bus:  80, 95 (get off at Cimetière de Montmartre and walk a few blocks east on Rue Joseph de Maistre/Rue des Abbesses to the market)
  • Open:  Late November - end of December
  • More to Do Nearby:  Check out the "Wall of Love" (le mur des je t'aime) while sipping a cup of hot mulled wine in Square Rictus next to the market.  Explore Montmartre.  And of course visit the boutiques along Rue des Abbesses, one of the great market streets in Paris.
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, French gastronomy products, and handcrafted items.  This is a good place to buy scented candles, leather-bound notebooks made in France, and fine chocolates filled with liquor.

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

Fortify yourself with the usual hot mulled wine and roasted chestnuts as you walk past mouth-watering displays of artisinal 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.

  • Location:  Blvd Saint-Germain, next to Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church, 6th Arrondissement
  • Métro:  Saint-Germain 
  • Bus:  39, 63, 70, 86, 96
  • Open:  Mid-December until early January
  • More to Do Nearby:  Walk over to the Christmas Market at Saint-Sulpice Church (Place Saint-Sulpice on Rue Bonaparte - from Saint-Germain-des-Prés, walk south along Rue des Rennes) - and explore all the tempting boutiques along the way.  Continue walking for a few more blocks and you'll be at Luxembourg Garden

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 300 chalets, making it the largest in the Paris region.  The holiday decorations and displays next to it on the Esplanade are also fabulous.  

The market's spectacular setting in this glittering business district make the 9-minute ride from the Étoile metro station well worth your 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.

  • Location:  Esplanade de la Défense
  • Métro:  Grande Arche de la Défense 
  • RER:  A (from Étoile Metro Station)
  • Open:  Late-November - late-December
  • More to Do Nearby:  Arrive in daylight hours and check out the 60 sculptures and monuments along the Esplanade.  Admire the huge arch, which along with the Arc de Triomphe at Étoile and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel near the Louvre, forms the Historical Axis of Paris.  After you've explored the Christmas Market, check out the enormous Quatre Temps shopping mall next to the Esplanade.  Sports fans won't want to miss the gigantic Décathlon store on the other side.

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

  • Saint-Sulpice, near the St-Sulpice Métro station, Luxembourg neighborhood in the 6th Arrondissement, usually early December through Christmas Eve; a pop-up Alpine ski rink sometimes also appears here, but not this year
  • Trocadéro Christmas Market, at Palace of Chaillot in the 16th Arrondissement next to the Trocadéro Métro station, typically mid-December through early January
  • Montparnasse, next to the train station; small number of chalets with nice gift items
  • 15th Arrondissement, in the courtyard in front of the district's Town Hall (31 rue Péclet, near Vaugirard Metro Station) - Look for about 20 chalets offering regional specialities, crafts, jewelry, and Christmas decorations, plus plenty of free fun activities including pony rides, sleigh rides, and even a merry-go-round.  About 10 days before Christmas
  • Parc de la Villette, across from the Philharmonie concert hall (221 avenue Jean-Jaurès) - Early December to Christmas Eve - Small, but you'll find all the essentials:  hot mulled wine, crepes filled with Nutella, and gifts
  • Alsatian Christmas Market at Gare de l'Est (in front of the Gare de l'Est train station, 10th Arrondissement) - First two weeks in December (check December Events Calendar for exact dates) - Stock up on tasty Alsatian traditional food, with daily free tastings
  • Place d'Italie, at the Italie 2 shopping center (30 Avenue d'Italie, 13th arrondissement) - About 20 chalets offering gifts and specialty food items; usually early December through Christmas Eve
  • Champs de Mars - Christmas Market and ice rink next to the Eiffel Tower; free access to the market, and 6€ if you want to skate.  Closest Metro: Bir Hakeim, 7th Arrondissement - New last year!

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 where 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 - 50+ stalls plus tasty Japanese tea and snacks

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 1-3 days.

Look for exact dates on the December Paris Events Calendar.

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