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Christmas in Paris, if you think that on the 24th of December Parisians stay in their “homes, sweet homes“, you’ve got the wrong idea. The City of Lights celebrates Christmas, and celebrates it well! The Christmas spirit is all over the place. Paris is even more magical, with plenty of Christmas decorations. The stores are full of people buying the “last-minute” presents. Paris is filled with love and sweetness. Here are the main things to do in Paris this Christmas!
1- Roam around Paris streets
One of the things to do in Paris this Christmas is to roam around the streets. Warm your heart with the Christmas spirit. Love is all around the place. It’s quite a unique atmosphere! Streets are filled with Christmas lights and decorations. They are full of people doing their “petites emplettes” (purchases, in English), and making final preparations for the Christmas dinner. You will be amazed by the ambiance of the Christmas period.
2- Attractions for families
First, do not keep your children at home while in Paris on Christmas Day! There are so many things to do for families, starting with the many free carousels installed all around the city. I personally advise you to visit the one on the Trocadéro Square (more activities in that area), which has a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower. Plus, it is close to the Christmas market of the Eiffel Tower.
3- Visit the Christmas markets
Speaking of lights, enjoying your time in Paris on Christmas Day obviously means walking around the city and exploring its Christmas markets. There is one close to the Eiffel Tower, which so cute and heart-warming. Make sure you taste the hot wine and the crepes, that taste so good on a cold day! Speaking of Christmas markets, I also advise you to visit Paris Flea Market of Saint Ouen, which is redecorated in a Christmas atmosphere during the holidays!
4- Have fun in an ice skating rinks
And eventually, you can end up in front of the beautiful building of the Hotel de Ville, which is the Paris City Hall, where you will ice-skate and spend a wonderful time with your family! At Hotel de Ville, the entrance is free. You only have to rent the ice skates for six euros. It’s a fun way to spend some time in Paris and to exercise before all the Christmas delicacies you’ll eat!
5- Buy a “bûche de noël“
Next on the list of things to do in Paris this Christmas is to buy a “bûche de noël“! This dessert is on all Parisians tables on Christmas dinner. There’s quite a competition between all the bakers, that have to make the most tasteful and the prettiest and cutest presentation. If you want to know where to get the best bûche de noël, go to Rue Montorgueil. There are plenty of bakeries and pastries shops. It’s the best street to get this typical dessert for Christmas!
6- Fancy Paris on Christmas Day
Paris is indeed a luxurious city and at Christmas time, luxury is all over the place more than ever! You will not be able to miss the window displays of the Grands Magasins such as Galeries Lafayettes, on the Right Bank, or Bon Marché, on the Left Bank. Designers present fairy-tale stories in showcases where young and old are touched by magic.
7- Have a luxurious dinner
If you have seen enough, you can choose to have a Christmas Dinner in Paris. There are many fancy restaurants in Paris, but the one I would advise you is the Fouquet’s, a traditional French restaurant, where the Christmas Menu includes foie gras, lobster, and Christmas Log for dessert. However try to book in advance…
The Lido and the Moulin Rouge also organize special dinners and spectacular shows for Christmas Eve, but in that case be ready to spend more than 200 euros for each person!
8- Religious Christmas
Finally, if you want to religiously celebrate Christmas in Paris, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica of Montmartre and the Church of Saint Eustache feature exceptional choirs and concerts on Christmas Eve for the midnight mass. Every year, beautiful scenes of nativity are presented!