Top Paris events in November 2020 include Armistice Day ceremonies, lots of wonderful concerts and museum shows, and the chance to immerse yourself in all things chocolate at the popular Salon du Chocolate show packed with demos, tastings, and even a fashion show.
Please note: Due to the new confinement (ie, lockdown) related to the Covid-19 pandemic, any events still scheduled will most likely be canceled, delayed, or rescheduled. We are leaving information up for anyone who is planning a 2021 November trip.
By the second week in November, the big Paris department stores unveil their spectacular holiday window displays and dazzling lights and decorations begin to sparkle across the city.
You may notice the days getting shorter and the air crisper, but November weather in Paris usually offers mellow sunny days for enjoying the changing leaf hues.
Stroll through any of the city's many parks such as Tuileries Garden and Luxembourg Garden to soak up the fall foliage colors and enjoy the last late-blooming flowers.
Want to get a taste of the holiday season? Head to Disneyland Paris where Christmas celebrations begin during the second week of November. Toward the middle of the month, you can even start visiting festive Paris Christmas markets and enjoying the hot mulled wine, regional food specialties, and gift shopping.
Top photo: Bouquiniste on the Left Bank of the Seine River
Christmas Window Displays in Paris - Schedule - 2020
The four famous big Paris department stores - Galeries Lafayette, Printemps Haussmann, Bon Marché, and BHV Marais - reveal their spectacular decorations in early November, usually during the second week of the month but sometimes as early as November 1. The imaginative Christmas window displays enchant adults and children alike, and become more fantastic with animations and music each year - and of course draw shoppers inside where even more dazzling decorations create holiday cheer.
Galeries Lafayette boasts the most elaborate - and most anticipated - windows, inspired by a different theme each year. This year, for example, the windows display 11 scenes showing Céleste, a young girl who travels the world to meet fantastic characters inspired by Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. You'll see a snow-covered jungle and its huge snow leopard, the village of the polar bears, the desert with its amazing flower, and the Russian dolls. Céleste finally returns to Paris bringing many gifts. You can watch animations depicting all of this, with the show repeating every half hour.
Want to join the crowds of fans that gather for each Parisian department store's annual holiday windows
ceremony? (Please note: These ceremonies will not take place this year due to the lockdown.) Here's the store window unveiling schedule for 2020:
Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche (Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche - 24 rue de Sèvres, 7th) - Christmas windows for viewing with 2020's theme showing rabbit families walking with children and adults through winter scenes; inside the Rive Gauche store, look for 4 huge Christmas trees, each with a different theme - starts October 30, 2020
BHV Marais (52 rue de Rivoli, 4th) - Christmas windows "reveal" with an Italian "From the Medicis' glory to Fellini's decadent baroque" theme (rumored to not be 100% family friendly)
inside, don't miss the popup movie theater showing Italian movies (free), plus workshops for making your own Christmas decoration, Italian cookies, and "enchanted surprises" - starts November 12, 2020
Galeries Lafayette (40 boulevard Haussmann, 9th) In addition to the fabulous Christmas windows, don't miss the gigantic Christmas tree, with a glass walkway for closeup views and selfies - starts November 18, 2020
Printemps Haussmann (64 boulevard Haussmann, 9th) - Christmas windows on display: starts Mid-November
Armistice Day Ceremony in Paris - November 11, 2020
Pay your respects to those who died or were injured during war - almost 1.6 million French soldiers died during World War I and II combined - on Armistice Day, November 11. Armistice Day was established on November 11, 1918 as combat ended during World War I - the "war to end all wars."
In a somber ceremony at the base of the Arc de Triomphe, the French president inspects the troops and lays a red, white, and blue wreath near the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors all French troops who died in the war. A solemn vigil takes place at the Tomb in the evening. Both remembrances always occur on November 11.
When: Wreath-laying 11am, vigil at 9pm
Please note: Due to the current lockdown, the vigil will not take place this year and the wreath-laying ceremony, if it takes place at all, will happen without spectators.
Want to know more? Visit the Georges Clemenceau Museum (8 rue Benjamin Franklin, 16e); Clemenceau became France's prime minister in 1917 and orchestrated both France's final assaults on the Axis powers as well as the armistice agreement after the Allied victory. Usually open only in the afternoon; check hours
Visit World War I battlefields - These special small-group and private tours take you to visit the most famous World War I French battle sites, museums, and memorials:
Aisne, Marne and Belleau Wood - Explore sites of these important battles involving American troops, the Museum of the Great War in Meaux, and cemeteries. Private tour for a group of up to 7 - More
Verdun and Meuse-Argonne - Tour these famous battlefields as well as the Fort of Douaumont, Château-Thierry, the Romagne War Museum, the Trench of Bayonets, and cemeteries - More
Somme - Visit the famous battleground, Deville Wood cemetery, war memorials, and the Great War Museum in Peronne - More
Paris Christmas Markets 2020
Sparkling lights and decorations, the smell of roasting chestnuts, cups of hot mulled wine, 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 mid-to-late November.
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, there are sure to be some changes and cancelations this year, but the good news is that at least one market has already confirmed its dates.
Please note: Due to the current lockdown, tours cannot take place this month.
Visiting Paris in November? Enjoy these fun activities, including a few indoor choices in case the weather turns chilly:
- 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 Catacombs Skip-The-Line Ticket & Audio Guide - This best-selling experience takes you far below the streets of Paris into an immense maze of tunnels and rooms containing the skulls and bones of about 6 million Parisians. By the time you leave, you'll know all about where the dead go when Paris cemeteries fill up. Perfect adventure for a rainy day! Book now
- Moulin Rouge Show with Dinner Options - Enjoy a delicious dinner (vegetarian and vegan options available) and fantastic performance of the Féerie show at the legendary Moulin Rouge for a quintessential Paris night on the town! Book now
Part trade show, part entertainment, the Salon du Chocolat lets you immerse yourself in all things chocolate as over 500 chocolate producers, pastry chefs, candy makers, and artisans from around the world present five days packed with activities and events. You can attend cooking demos by top chefs at the Pastry Show, discover the wonders of chocolate at the Cacao Show, indulge in tastings at the Chocosphere, and enjoy a fashion show with models dressed in chocolate. Kids at this family-friendly event love the fun workshops set up just for them - and of course, the chocolate.
When: Oct 28 - Nov 1, 2021, open 10am-7pm each day
Location: Porte de Versailles, Pavilion 5 Getting there: Metro station and Tramway: Porte des Versailles, 15th arrondissement Tickets: 14.20€ adults, 6,20€ children from 3-12, free for children under 3 - available at the door Ticketmaster, and also at the door More information: Salon du Chocolat website
Christmas at Disneyland Paris Starts in November - 2020
Please note: Due to the current lockdown, Disneyland Paris is currently closed through December 1.
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 gorgeous holiday decorations everywhere. 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.
When: November 7 - January 10
Disneyland Paris and Transportation
Take 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:
Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for November
Please note: Due to the current lockdown, French museums are currently closed through December 1. It is possible that some of these shows may be extended - stay tuned for updates.
November weather in Paris can be tricky, and you should always have a few bad-weather day activities in mind. Visit these museum shows when you want to stay warm indoors and immerse yourself in Paris's top cultural treasures:
@ Musée d'Orsay, Oct 13, 2020 - January 10, 2021 - Aubrey Beardsley died far too young but his bold, erotic, and imaginative drawings had an outsize impact on fin-de-siècle England. You'll see 100 of them in this importand show, plus posters and some of the his illustrations appeared. Reserved-access tickets; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass
@ Musée de l'Orangerie, Through December 14, 2020 - This exhibition traces the artistic and philosophical influences on Giorgio de Chirico from Munich to Turin to Paris, and finally to Ferrara. Tickets 9€; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass Location: Jardin des Tuileries, 1st arr. Nearest Metro : Concorde
The Golden Age of Danish Painting
@ Petit Palais, Through January 3, 2021 - More than 200 works by leading Danish artists from the "golden age" between 1800-1864. Show tickets 12€. (Free admission to Petit Palais' permanent collection) Location: Petit Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondissement Nearest Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau
Monet, Renoir, Chagall - Journeys Around the Mediterranean
@ Atelier des Lumières - February 28 through January 3, 2021 - Immersive video/digitized exhibition of Monet's, Renoir's, and Chagalls's masterpieces accompanied by original music. Tickets must be purchased online on the L'Atelier website Open: 7 days/week Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Saint-Maur
Picasso & the Comic Strip
@ Picasso Museum, Through January 3, 2021- Picasso loved comics! This fascinating, illuminating, and entertaining exhibition is the first devoted to taking a close look at the influence of graphic arts on his work - and vice-versa.
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
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. (Access to special shows may require an additional ticket.) More info
November Concerts in Paris - 2020
From opera to jazz to rock, you'll find concerts featuring every type of music you can imagine in Paris.
Short days and chilly nights make November an especially good month for classical concerts held in centuries-old churches. Look for candlelight concerts for a special experience!
Please note: All concerts for November 2020 have been cancelled due to the recent Covid lockdown through December 1.