All the Things to Do that Make Paris in December Special
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.
Christmas Markets in Paris 2019
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
Please note: All dates to be confirmed for 2019 - look for updates closer to November
Champs de Mars (under the Eiffel Tower); no ice rink this year, but the market will be fun - December 14 - January 5
Christmas Village at La Défense Esplanade - November 20-December 28
Tuileries Christmas Market - Magie de Noël (The Magic of Christmas) - (formerly Champs-Élysées Christmas Market) - November 23-January 5
Marché de Noël Paris Beaubourg - Christmas Market at Pompidou Center, 4th arr - November 30 -January 1
Les Halles Christmas Village - November 30-January 5
St Germain des Près Christmas Market - November 30-January 1
Gare de l'Est Traditional Alsace Christmas Market - December 4-20
Christmas Market at Notre Dame Cathedral - December 13-22
Christmas Market at Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall, 4th arr) - December 13-January 5 (no ice skating rink here this year)
15th Arrondissement Christmas Market - December 13-22
Bir Hakeim Christmas Market (not far from the Eiffel Tower) - December 19 -January 5
Christmas Market at Invalides - December 13-31
Selected Pop-Up Christmas Markets
All dates/times to be confirmed for 2019:
Japanese Christmas Market - Passage Choiseul (40 Rue des Petits Champs, 2nd arr) - 11:30am-5:30pm, Nov 27 - 30
Nordic Christmas Market - La REcyclerie (83 Boulevard Ornano, 18th arr) - Dec 14
Swedish Christmas Market - The Swedish Church - Nov 28-30
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, December 7
Specialty Christmas Markets at Saint-Ouen Flea Market (128 Ave de Saint-Ouen, 18th arr) - African-Style Christmas Market on Dec 1, Ethical Gifts Market on Dec 8, Made in the 18th Arrondisement Market on Dec 15
Christmas lights and decorations start to appear in Paris starting in mid-November and continue through early January (until just before the January sales begin).
By December, you can see festive lights, decorations, and Christmas trees in all the city's key shopping districts. Don't miss the spectacular store window displays at Paris's four grand department stores!
Christmas celebrations begin at Disneyland Paris with plenty of entertainment and fun for everyone.
You'll find a spectacular giant tree, entertaining shows, festive Christmas parades, and holiday decorations everywhere. Don't miss two brand-new holiday shows at Walt Disney Studios® Park, a new immersive nighttime extravaganza, and singing carols with Santa, Mickey, and Minnie for a magical experience you won't forget!
When: November 9 - January 8 (to be confirmed)
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:
Hanukkah Celebrations & Menorah Lightings in Paris
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on December 22 this year, and lasts for eight days until sundown on December 30.
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.
@ Musée Marmottan Monet, September 12 through January 26, 2020 - Although Piet Mondrian is best known for his abstract paintings featuring red, yellow, and blue blocks separated by thick black lines, this unique exhibit brings together his less-known figurative work. Location: 2 rue Louis Boilly, 16e Open: Tuesday - Sunday; 10am-6pm and until 9pm on Thursdays. General admission: 12€; timed entry tickets available online Nearest Metro: La Muette More info & tickets:https://www.marmottan.fr
The Great Naive Masters
@ Musée Maillol, September 11 - January 19, 2020 - Maillol Museum brings together over 100 works created between the two world wars by Henri Rousseau, Séraphine Louis, and lesser-known "primitive" artists to examine their subversive statements against the modernism of that period. Location: 61 rue de Grenelle, 7th arr Tickets: 13.50€ (available online for timed entry) Nearest Metro: Rue du Bac More info: www.museemaillol.com
Van Gogh: The Starry Night
@ L'Atelier des Lumières, through Dec 31- Monumental floor-to-ceiling digital imagery accompanied by original music immerses you in Van Gogh's life and art, followed by two short films in Paris's new immersive Digital Arts Center located in a former iron factory. Tickets 14.5€ online (L'Atelier website) Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
Picasso: Magic Paintings
@ Picasso Museum, Through February 2020 - This special exhibit focuses on Picasso's paintings completed between 1926-1930, and explores his experimentation in the context of Surrealism, psychology, and his fascination with magic.
Admission: Exhibit included with museum admission. Get skip-the-line priority tickets online or with a Paris Museum Pass Location: 5 rue de Thorigny, 3rd arrondissement; closed Mondays
Leonardo da Vinci
@ Musée du Louvre, October 24 - February 24, 2020 - This highly-anticipated blockbuster show marks the 500th anniversary of the painter's death and brings together 5 core works, includinging the Mona Lisa, plus many more of his paintings and drawings. The show is free with the cost of regular admission, but you must reserve a date and time-slot ticket in advance online. Book as far in advance as possible to get your preferred date/time. Location: Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
Tickets: 17€ (purchased online); includes admission to permanent exhibits as well; free for under 26 Stay nearby:Hotels near the Louvre Nearest Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre, Pyramides More info: https://www.louvre.fr
The Alana Collection: Masterpieces of Italian Painting
@ Musée Jacquemart-André, September 13-January 20, 2020 - Over 75 masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Lippi, Tintoretto, and other Italian Renaissance masters from the privately-held Alana Collection will be on loan from the U.S. Location: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 8th arr.
Nearest Metro : Saint Philippe du Roule
Open: Daily, 10-6pm, and until 8:30 on Mondays during special exhibitions
Tickets: 14.5€ (includes permanent collection and this exhibition)
Oceans: An Unusual Dive
@ Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (Museum of Natural History), Through January 5, 2020 - Huge exhibition exploring the diversity of the marine environment, interesting ocean species, and extreme environment such as the icy waters of the Southern Ocean. Show tickets 13€. (Free admission to Petit Palais' permanent collection) Location: 36 Rue Goeffroy Saint-Hilaire (Jardin des Plantes), 5th arrondissement
Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
Tickets: 10€; free for under 26 Nearest Metro: Censier Daubenton, Jussieu, Gare d’Austerlitz More info: www.mnhn.fr
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
Handel's Messiah Sing-Along
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 8 at 3pm (dates/time to be confirmed for 2019) 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.