Paris events in December focus on the holidays as lavish Christmas and New Year's decorations transform the city into a real City of Light.

Paris in December brings festive Christmas Markets overflowing with unique gifts and regional specialties, sparkling lights and decorations throughout the city's neighborhoods, and plenty of good cheer.

Sip a cup of vin chaud - hot mulled wine - as you do your holiday shopping, gaze at the magical holiday windows at the famous Paris department stores, and relax at special Christmas concerts in the city's magnificent churches.

And if you're lucky enough to be here for New Year's Eve, get ready for a spectacular celebration you'll always remember.

Top photo: Holiday lights along Champs Elysées leading up to the Arc de Triomphe

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Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral Will Reopen!

Notre Dame Cathedral overlooking the Seine River
Notre Dame Cathedral overlooking the Seine River

Paris's most treasured medieval monument, Notre Dame Cathedral, will partially reopen on December 8, 2024.  Of course unexpected issues might still cause the date to change, but progress appears to be going well, with the spire now in place (although still surrounded by scaffolding). 

Built mostly during the 12th and 13th centuries in the then-new Gothic style on Ile de la Cité, the historical "heart" of Paris, the Cathedral came close to being destroyed by a horrific fire on April 15, 2018. 

Almost miraculously, most of the Cathedral's most treasured art, historical artifacts, religious relics, and magnificent stained glass windows escaped destruction (thanks, in part, to heroic rescue efforts).  Also miraculously, due to the intensity of the blaze, no one died due to the fire.

Massive reconstruction and restoration efforts involving Europe's most skilled builders and artisans began as soon as the initial clean-up - not a trivial effort, due to the environment impacts and health consequences of melted lead - concluded. 

To the degree possible, the restored cathedral will look identical to the pre-fire original, including a spire virtually identical to the mid-19th century original designed by French architect Eugene Violette-le-Duc.

Find out more about Notre Dame Cathedral and Île de la Cité

December Concerts in Paris

Christmas concert at Saint-Germain Church
Christmas concert at Saint-Germain Church

Christmas concerts take center stage in Paris during December 2024, although you'll also find plenty of classical concerts in the city's most beautiful old churches as well as opera and ballet at Palais Garnier and rock, indie, jazz, pop, and "spectacles" at AccorHotels Arena, the Olympia, Palais des Congres, and other concert venues.

Don't miss candlelight concerts, New Year's Eve concerts, and the special Eiffel Tower concert on Christmas Day!  Tickets for all of these concerts start to sell fast and even sell out in November - so don't wait to get yours.

Check the lineup to find classical, rock, and Christmas concerts, opera, ballet, and other music shows happening throughout December, and get your tickets now:

Paris concerts, opera, and ballet during December offer a sensational seasonal mix of Christmas concerts, opera, ballet, and contemporary rock, pop, rap, R&B, and more.

Tickets to the holiday concerts at Sainte-Chapelle and the Eiffel Tower always sell out in advance - so if you want to attend one of these special events, don't wait to book!

Looking for non-holiday music Skip down to the regular December Concerts section

Christmas & Christmas Eve Concerts in Paris

More Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Performances

New Year's Eve Shows in Paris

More December Concerts, Operas, & Ballets

More Paris classical concerts, opera, & dance performances during December

More Paris rock, pop, jazz, rap, & other performances during December 

Find Paris concerts for other months

Enjoy the Best Christmas Markets in Paris - Opening Dates

Christmas Market across from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Christmas Market across from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Sparkling lights and decorations, the smell of roasting chestnuts, cups of hot wine infused with cinnamon, and Swiss-style chalets overflowing with special holiday foods, hand-crafted gifts, and decorations.... Christmas Markets, a tradition since Medieval times, pop up all over Paris starting in late November. 

Paris Christmas Market Schedule - Opening Dates

  • La Défense Christmas Village (along the Esplanade at the Arche de La Défense - November 16 - December 27; take the Metro Line 1 to La Defense station - about 10 minutes from Etoile/CDG)
  • Tuileries Christmas Market: La Magie de Noël (The Magic of Christmas) - (formerly Champs-Élysées Christmas Market) - November 18 - January 7, 2024; 1st arr
  • Abbesses Christmas Market in Montmartre near Sacre Coeur - November 24 - January 7, 18th arr 
  • St Germain des Prés Christmas Market - November 25 - January 1; 6th arr
  • Christmas Market at Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall, Rue de Rivoli, next to Hotel de Ville metro station, 4th arr) - November 28-December 31
  • Alsatian Christmas Market at Gare de l'Est - December 1 - 17, 10th arr
  • Christmas Market at the Feeries d'Anteuil (Rue Jean de la Fontaine, Paris 16) - December 4 - 12
  • Notre Dame Christmas Market at Square Viviani (directly across the Seine River from Notre Dame) - December 8 - 25; 10am-8pm (9pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday); 5th arr 
  • Quai Branly Christmas Village (across from Eiffel Tower) -  December 19 - January 9, 7th arr

Find details about what each market offers, which ones are best, lots of photos, and addresses

  •  Japanese Christmas Market - Espace Cinko, 12-18 Passage Choiseul, Paris 2 - 11am-7pm, November 23-25
  • English Christmas - St George's Anglican Church (7 Rue Auguste Vacquerie, 16th arr) - November 25
  • Christmas Markets at the Pavillon des Canaux ("Les Canaux") (39 Quai de la Loire, on Canal d'Ourcq (close to Parc de la Villette), Paris 19) - Look for themed markets on these weekends: Nov 25- 26; Dec 4-5;  Dec 10-11; and Dec 16-17
  • Christmas Eco-Villages on three weekends at La REcyclerie (83 Blvd Ornano, Paris 18):  Nov 25-26, Dec 2-3, and Dec 9-10
  • Marché de Noel at Hotel Maison Mère (7 Rue Mayran, near Rue des Martyrs , 9th arr) - Small Christmas market featuring jewelry, decorative objects, and art by local artisans - Nov 26, starts at 11:30am - more
  • Swedish Christmas Market - The Swedish Church (9 Rue Médéric, 17th arr, Metro: Courcelles) - Swedish specialites such as glasswear, candles, cakes, lingonberry jam, chocolates, and Swedish herring and salmon - Dec 1-3
  • Specialty Christmas Markets on 3 Sundays with 3 themes and numerous creators in front of Le Hasard Ludique ("Playful Hazard"), the former Saint-Ouen rail station on the Petit Cienture and now a cultural venue (128 Avenue de Saint-Ouen, 18th arr; nearest Metro: Porte de St Ouen / Guy Moquet) - Ubuntu Christmas Market on Dec 2, 3; Made in the 18th Arrondisement Market on Dec 10; Big Christmas Market Market on Dec 16 - plus Christmas treats, mulled wine, specialty beers, and hot drinks all day.  Free admission.   More about Le Hasard Ludique:  https://www.lehasardludique.information
  • Klin d'Oeil d'Hiver Christmas Market featuring 70 designers of fashion and home decor; also look for DIY workshops and a coffee shop serving hot chocolate, chai lattes, mulled wine, and winter soups - Carreau du Temple (4 Eugene Spuller - 3rd arr) - December 16-17; free admission

If we find these markets this year, we'll update the following information:

  • Les Apprentis d'Auteuil (40 Rue Jean de la Fontaine, Paris 16) - Dec 2-10
  • Marché de Noël de Rock My Bergamote - Young French Designers at Le Pavillion des Canaux coffeeshop/restaurant (39 Quai de la Loire), Bassin de la Villette, 19th arr - 11am-8pm, early December 
  • Saint Laz' Christmas Market in front of the Saint-Lazare train station, 9th arr - TBD
  • Marché de Noël Paris Beaubourg - Christmas Market at Pompidou Center, 4th arr - November - January - TBD
  • Bir Hakeim Christmas Market (not far from the Eiffel Tower) -  December 8 -January 1 - TBD
  • Christmas Market at Invalides -  December 10-26 - TBD
  • Sacre Coeur Christmas Market in front of Sacre Coeur - Mid-Dec - TBD

More about Paris Christmas Markets:  Details, locations, and directions

Christmas Lights & Holiday Decorations

Christmas lights along Boulevard Haussmann near Au Printemps department store
Christmas lights along Boulevard Haussmann near Au Printemps department store

Christmas lights ("Illuminations") and decorations start to appear in Paris starting in early November and continue through early January (until just before the January sales begin).

This year, Bon Marché will again be the first to reveal their window at 5pm on Friday, October 27. The theme this year is a giant Santa's workshop with cute elves working to make enough colorful Christmas tree bulbs fo light up all the trees on Christmas Day.

Printemps Haussmann unveils their fabulous Christmas windows on November 8 at 5:30pm.   This year's theme is the circus, with trapeze artists, clowns, magicians, Christmas circus balloons, and Santa as ringmaster.

By December, you can see festive lights, decorations, and Christmas trees in all the city's key shopping districts.  But don't miss the spectacular store window displays at Paris's five grand department stores!

Find the best places to see Christmas lights in Paris

Go on a Paris Christmas Lights Tour

Find out more about holiday window displays in Paris department stores

Christmas at Disneyland Paris in December

Christmas at Disneyland Paris during December
Christmas at Disneyland during December - Photo by Kevin Gaudin

Enchanted Christmas celebrations start at Disneyland Paris in early November and continue into January with plenty of entertainment and holiday spirit for everyone.

You'll find a spectacular giant tree, entertaining shows, festive Christmas parades, and sparkling holiday decorations everywhere, plus special events such as the nightly "magical" Christmas tree lighting.  

Each year brings new holiday features, lights, and shows at both Disney Parks, an immersive nighttime extravaganza, and singing carols with Santa, Mickey, and Minnie for a magical experience you won't forget.  You can even expect snowflakes to fall a few times each day!

When: November 11 - January 7

Disneyland Paris and Transportation

Take the RER A to the Marne-la-Valée station across a small plaza from Disneyland Paris, and buy your tickets at the gate - or check out these options to make your trip faster and easier:

New Year's Eve Celebration & Fireworks on Champs Elysées 2024

New Year's Eve celebration at the Arc de Triomphe
New Year's Eve celebration at the Arc de Triomphe

Paris starts its gala New Year's Eve celebration at the Arc de Triomphe on Champs Elysees at 7pm on December 31 with live music by singer Slimane, DJ sets by three female artists, and entertainment including a giant karaoke, aerial performances, and (from 11:40 to 11:59) video projections on the Arc.

At midnight appoaches, a 10-minute fireworks show lights up the sky to welcome the New Year.

If you're planning to attend for the first time, please be aware that as many as 1 million people pack into the famous avenue for this gigantic street party.  It is lots of fun and truly spectacular but if you're at all claustrophobic, you may want to celebrate elsewhere. 

Security will be tight, with intersecting streets blocked off.  All metro stations in the immediate area will be closed, but the metro and RER will be running in other locations so public transportation will be possible if you don't mind a bit of a walk.

Other Fun Things to Do in Paris on New Year's Eve

Hanukkah Celebrations & Menorah Lightings in Paris

Close-up of the menorah at the Eiffel Tower 
Courtesy of Chabad Lubavitch - Photo credit: Thierry Guez /
Menorah at the Eiffel Tower - Photo credit: Thierry Guez /

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on December 7 this year, and lasts for eight days until sundown on December 15. 

All over the City of Light, giant menorahs in public spaces (as well as normal size menorahs in private homes) will be lit in honor of the occasion, starting with just one candle on the first night plus one additional candle on each following night until all are glowing.

This year, Paris begins its public menorah lighting ceremony for Hanukkah at the Eiffel Tower at 8pm, followed by a "Hassidique" concert. (to be confirmed)

Find locations for the menorah lighting ceremony each night, plus more ways to celebrate Hanukkah in Paris

Things to Do in Paris in December

Visiting Paris in December?  Here's a mix of fun indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy this month:

  • Paris Christmas Lights Bus Tour - See all the fantastic holiday lights around the city from the top of a double-decker sightseeing bus. Dress warmly, and get ready for a fun city tour where you'll see the best holiday light displays in the city.  Book now
  • Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne - Enjoy Champagne and fantastic performance of the Féerie show at the legendary Moulin Rouge for a quintessential Paris night on the town!  Book now
  • Christmas Eve and Day Dinner Cruises - Enjoy a special 5-course dinner cooked on board, live music, and magical views of illuminated famous sights and landmarks along the Seine River as you cruise by in a comfy glass-covered boat.  These holiday cruises always sell out - so book early to avoid disappointment!  Book now
  • Paris Wine & Cheese Lunch - Love wine and cheese?  In this small group experience in a beautiful tasting wine bar in a 17th century "hotel particulier" (private mansion) near the Louvre, you'll try 5 wines from different French regions and savor them with perfectly paired French cheese and charcuterie as you learn about their unique flavors and origins.  Book now

Paris Exhibits - Shows to See during December

Funeral masks from Gabon on display at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris
Funeral masks from Gabon on display at Quai Branly Museum in Paris

  • Atelier des Lumieres:  Egyptian Pharaohs - Discover ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs in this virtual journey along the Nile River in Upper and Lower Egypt as you see legendary rulers, great battles, famous temples and tombs, and majestic landscapes; purchase online; you can also purchase at the door for 2€ more per ticket but there's no guarantee you'll get in as timeslots are often fully booked
    Dates:  Through January 5, 2025
  • Orsay Museum - Caillebotte: Painting People 
    Dates:  Oct 8, 2024 - January 19, 2025
    Tickets:  Book a reserved-access ticket for skip-the-line access, or use your Paris Museum Pass for free entry
  • Fondation Louis Vuitton: To be announced 
    Tickets:  Book in advance
    Location: 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16;  Metro: Les Sablons, plus about a 10-minute walk (or take the shuttle bus included with the ticket)

More about the Orsay Museum

Find more Paris museum exhibitions for December & future months

Paris Museum and Attractions Passes

Get free admission and skip-the-line access to 60+ museums in and near Paris when you have a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days.  More info

Popular Paris Christmas Experiences

Get into the holiday spirit with these special "only in Paris" activities:

  • Christmas Gourmet Tour of Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Enjoy a special 3-course lunch, live music, and magical views of famous sights and landmarks along the Seine River as you cruise by in a comfy glass-covered boat.  These holiday cruises always sell out - so book early to avoid disappointment!  Book now
  • Moulin Rouge Dinner & Show - Enjoy a magical cabaret show by a troupe of 100 costumed performers paired with a delicious tradtional French dinner and Champagne.  Book now
  • Paris Christmas Lights Tour - Snuggle under a warm blanket as an open-top bus takes you past the city's most brilliant Christmas lights as well as other famous illuminated Paris attractions - Arc de Triomphe, Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier), Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and more.  It's an unforgettable way to see Paris!  Book now
  • Private Christmas Tour of Paris with a Ferris Wheel Ride - On this special tour, you'll see the most famous Paris holiday lights and decorations plus a few "insider's gems," enjoy a glass of mulled wine (or hot chocolate), and a ride on the giant Paris ferris wheel.  Includes hotel pick-up/drop-off.  Book now

Handel's Messiah Sing-Along

American Cathedral in Paris
American Cathedral in Paris

Have you ever wanted to celebrate the holiday season by singing Handel's Messiah as part of a large group of enthusiastic singers?  

You can do this on Sunday, December 10 at 3pm (to be confirmed) as the Paris Choral Society leads their annual Messiah Sing-Along of Part 1 and the famous Hallelujah Chorus at the American Cathedral (23 Avenue George V, 8th arr) - or, if you prefer, just listen.  Don't know the words?  No worries.  You can rent or buy a copy of the score at the door.  Tickets

You can also join the Paris Choral Society at the Cathedral on December 1 and December 3 for a Christmas Concert.  Tickets

More Top Paris Things to Do & See in December

Festival of Lights at Paris's Jardin des Plantes

Walking through a tropical rainforest during the Festival of Lights at Paris's Botanical Garden
Walking through a tropical rainforest during the Festival of Lights at Paris's Botanical Garden

The annual winter Festival of Lights returns to the Jardin des Plantes (Botanical Garden) in Paris's 5th arrondissement, with giant illuminated statues of animals creating a magical experience during the evening. 

The topic year is the ecosystem of the jungle and the balance of nature in tropical forests of Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa.

Although the exhibition attracts almost 400,000 visitors each year, the garden never seems crowded.

Late afternoon, before the Illuminations event begins
Late afternoon, before the Illuminations event begins

You can see the creatures unilluminated during daytime hours without a ticket (in other words, for free), but the ticketed event which begins after dark is more spectacular.

Dates:  November 22 - January 21, except for Dec. 24 & 31, 6pm l- 9:30pm, with last entry at 8:30pm, and until 11pm (last entry at 10) on Friday, Saturday, & school holidays

Location:  Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier, 5th arr
Tickets for evening strolls: 15€-17€, with reduced prices for children and families; tickets must be bought online (and get yours early, as they will sell out on many nights, especially during weekends and school holidays)

Brightly lighted dinosaurs flank the entrance to the Light Festival at Paris's Botanical Garden - Photo credit: Yann Caradec
During a previous show, brightly lighted dinosaurs flank the entrance to the Light Festival at Paris's Botanical Garden - Photo credit: Yann Caradec

Open Studios: Pere Lachaise, Menilmontant, & Belleville Neighborhoods

Open Studio in Paris's Belleville neighborhood
Open Studio in Paris's Belleville neighborhood

Numerous artists live and work in the leafy 20th arrondissement neighborhoods around Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Menilmontant, and Belleville.  This year, the emerging and established painters, sculptors, photographers, and print-makers in these areas are banding together to hold Open Studios on four weekends throughout the year (March 25, June 3 in conjunction with Nuit Blanche), September 30, and December 9). 

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to browse original art, chat with the artists, and perhaps purchase a favorite piece!  Visiting the Open Studios also gives you also a great opportunity to explore these lesser-known authentic Parisian neighborhoods as well as nearby Pere Lachaise cemetery. 

Admission:  Free
More information:  Artists of the APLA website  (APLA = painting, sculpture, engraving, photography, and mixed media)

Festival d'Automne (Autumn Festival) Paris

Visual arts and music performance from a previous show at Bourse de Commerce/Pinault Collection
Visual arts and music performance from a previous show at Bourse de Commerce/Pinault Collection

The Paris Autumn Festival (which extends into February) showcases the latest creations and artists (international as well as French) in contemporary dance, theater, music, cinema, and visual arts at a variety of venues around Paris, include the Grand Hall at Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, the Pinault Collection at Bourse de Commerce and Louvre in the 1st, and Pompidou Center in the 4th, just to name a few.

This is a hugely popular festival, with over 50 events (many of which extend over several or more days) at over 70 venues in and near Paris.

Most events are ticketed, and many sell out quickly, so don't wait to book, which you can do through the event's website.

Need to Book a Paris Hotel or Apartment for Your December Visit?

Planning a trip to Paris during the holiday season?  Use this hotel map to find hotels and apartments near your favorite events and Paris attractions:

Check out the newest Paris hotels

More Fun Things to Do in Paris at Christmas