A Guide to Visiting Paris in December | Attractions, Weather & Museums
Picture this – the Eiffel Tower is decked out in festive colors, sparkling décor, and Christmas lights. As December rolls around, the streets of Paris are marked with Christmas cheer and the buzz of the holiday spirit. This is your chance to experience an unforgettable time in Paris during December and celebrate Christmas like a Parisian local. As you bundle up in warm clothes and explore the cheery avenues of the City of Lights, you will surely come to appreciate this time of the year amid this city's culturally rich atmosphere.
Is December a Good Time to Visit Paris?
Visiting Paris in December offers a unique glimpse at this iconic city, clothed in winter colors and shrouded in a blanket of snow. Experience a Christmas you will never forget in the City of Lights.
Why You Should Visit
- Paris transforms into a winter wonderland as December rolls around and blankets the city in hues of blue and white.
- You’ll be able to watch the city gear up for Christmas with plenty of enchanting decorations and lights on every corner and at every venue in the city.
- The Eiffel Tower is the only Parisian attraction that is open every day of the year, including on Christmas Day. Visiting Paris in December will allow you the chance to experience a breathtaking view of the city from the lit-up Eiffel Tower, decked out in Christmas colors.
- The view of Paris’ monuments in Christmas lights is an unmissable sight, each venue rivaling the next in their effort and creativity to celebrate Christmas.
What to Look Out For
- If spending time in a chilly climate is not your favorite, you may not enjoy a visit to Paris during December. Bear in mind that it does snow in December, making the weather quite chilly.
- Although there is a lot to do in Paris during December, the days do sadly grow shorter come winter. So you may find it difficult to fit your day’s activities into the few sunlight hours every day.
- During your visit to Paris in December, you will miss out on a colorful view of the beautiful gardens at Versailles, the Tuileries, and Luxembourg Gardens – which are at their vibrant and merry best during the summer months.
- Of course, visiting Paris in December is a magical experience due to the spirit of Christmas in the air and the charm of festivities. However, you will have to steer past the holiday rush and prepare for overcrowded attractions during your visit.
Overview of Weather in Paris in December
More About Weather in Paris in December
How hot is Paris in December?
Paris is pretty cold during December, with a maximum temperature of 7°C and a minimum temperature of 3°C.
Does it rain in Paris in December?
Paris can get rainy during December, with an average of 49 mm of rainfall throughout the month.
Is Paris windy in December?
Yes, Paris can be windy in December, with an average wind speed of 9.25 mph during the month.
Does it snow in Paris in December?
Paris experiences snow from November to January. So you can expect to see snowfall taking place in December.
Best Things to do in Paris in December
7. Visit One of Paris’ Many Christmas Markets
Nothing comes close to matching the Christmas spirit than by visiting one of the many thrilling Parisian Christmas markets. Get some Christmas shopping done and browse for souvenirs and presents alike as you explore the glittering stalls lining the colorful avenues of Paris. These markets are also a street-food hub with some delectable French favorites you must try.
8. Christmas Eve or New Year Cruise
Huddle up with your loved ones as you glide down the Seine for a special Christmas Eve cruise through the City of Lights. You can opt for a cruise that lasts a few hours on Christmas Eve, open your presents while out on the water, or even spend multiple days aboard the cruise ship as you auger in the new year with festivities and cheer while sightseeing with your near and dear ones.
10. Take a Stroll Down Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Nothing compares to strolling down one of Paris’ most popular avenues on a crisp December night, as you stand surrounded by twinkling lights and festive cheer. Watch the stream of lights all the way from the Place de l’Etoile, and the Arc de Triomphe – right down to the Place de la Concorde.
11. Visit the Eiffel Tower Christmas Village
City Landmark | Seasonal Event
This attraction is exactly what it sounds like – a quaint little village-like setup at the base of the Eiffel Tower. You can visit this charming pop-up to explore a variety of festive stands, where you can browse gifts and souvenirs. Feel free to sample the seasonal fares from the food trucks as well.
Festivals in Paris in December
Events in Paris in December
Know Before You Visit Paris in December
What to Wear in Paris in December
- Turtlenecks, hooded windbreakers, gloves, woolen hats, and thermal innerwear are a staple.
- Reach for cozy woolen sweaters and fleece-lined jackets to stay warm while exploring the city’s streets.
- Layering is the best way to preserve body heat without resorting to bulky jackets.
- Long-sleeved tops under your outerwear will be an added layer of insulation.
- Your go-to accessory will be thick socks as snow blankets the city.
What to Pack in Paris in December
- Power Adapter: Type E
- Clothes: Woolens sweaters, cozy jumpers, sturdy jackets.
- Bring at least 2 pairs of waterproof shoes and make sure that they provide good traction in case of snowfall or ice.
- A sturdy umbrella is a must for exploring the outdoors.
- Carry a windbreaker with a hood, and some fingerless gloves to warm your hands.
Getting Around Paris in December
By Métro: The Paris Metro is both reliable and fast, taking you to any destination within the city limits as well as across town. The metro has 14 lines and has stops at 303 stations. Metro Map of Paris
By Bus: The buses are also a fantastic way to get to know Paris and its many attractions. Bus stops are located all over the city, with routes that travel through and out of the city. Bus Map of Paris
By Tram: There are six different tram lines in the city, so be sure to know which one you need to take. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines located at each tram stop, and they start from €1.50. Tramway Map of Paris
Where to Stay in Paris in December
Choose from a range of accommodation options while visiting Paris in December.
What to eat in Paris in December
Here are some French delicacies and signature Parisian dishes that you simply can't skip trying while visiting Paris. Keep your eyes open for these Christmas specials while in Paris.
- Foie gras: This delicacy is made from the liver of a duck or a goose, and although it may not be for everyone’s palette – it is an important dish for the French with Christmas bringing this signature dish to the fore.
- Boeuf Bourguignon: This stewed beef broth is a staple for a lot of French families at Christmas time and is even served piping hot at Christmas markets to snack on while you browse for wares.
- Bûche de Noël (Yule Log): This is one of the most traditional desserts to grace a French dining table. This dish consists of a cake layered with buttercream, which is sculpted and shaped to look like a tree log.
Hacks & Tips to Visit Paris in December
- While packing, make sure you leave some room in your luggage to carry your Christmas shopping finds back home.
- In order to avoid the hassle of juggling multiple bookings, you can consider opting for multi-site tickets through which different attractions in the city can be combined in a single ticket.
- In anticipation of the Christmas rush, do remember to make your bookings and reservations well before your visit to avoid missing your preferred dates.
- Make the effort to download a map of Paris, and mark different areas of interest with key colors for ease of access during your trip.
- It will also be helpful to find a map of the public transit network so you can get around the city faster, and easily.
- To find your way back to your hotel, practice the pronunciation of the neighborhood’s name so that locals can guide you. Nonetheless, it is important to save the coordinates of your hotel so you can locate it even without directions from locals.
- Crowded areas are usually filled with pickpockets, so keep an eye on your belongings.
- For those traveling with kids who aren’t old enough to have cellphones, it will be wise to mutually decide upon an easily visible rendezvous point in case you get separated during Christmas shopping.
- Since the canals and river banks can be dangerous places to drink, be cautious if you pop open a bottle.
- Instead of burning a hole in your pockets, opt for money-saving day passes when you use the public transport system.
- The RATP app is a permanent fixture on every Parisian’s phone. It is a handy guide to the city’s public transport and since it works offline, you won’t end up with outrageous roaming charges.
All Your Questions About Visiting Paris in December Answered
December is a great time to visit Paris as it allows you to experience the festive cheer of Christmas in this iconic French city with all its celebrations, leaving you with unforgettable memories.
December means Christmas is in the air – and Paris is no different, this time of the year. You can visit some of the city’s famous Christmas markets, or watch the colorful cabaret shows the city has popularized. Definitely book tickets to attend a Christmas concert at one of the city’s magnificent churches. Here are the best things to do in Paris in December >
Yes, Paris gets quite chilly in the month of December since the mercury drops with temperatures as low as 3°C.
The maximum temperature Paris experiences during December is 7°C.
It is not a great idea to take a dip given the cold climate of Paris during December.
Although sunny days in Paris are few and far in between during December, you may get lucky with a few warm afternoons.
Sturdy and warm winter wear is the ideal wardrobe for exploring the city of Paris during December. Bundle up in cozy sweaters, windbreakers, and carry woolen scarves, hats, and gloves.
The average rainfall in Paris during December is around 49 mm. So you can certainly expect to experience rainy days during your visit.
Although Paris can be expensive to visit, you can make the most of your budget by making advance bookings wherever possible. If you’re keen on visiting several attractions, it would also be a good idea to opt for multi-site bookings or combination tickets.
Paris is considered a moderately safe city by travelers. But do keep an eye out for pickpockets in crowded places.
Paris in December is a winter wonderland filled with enchanting decorations and colorful lights to auger in the spirit of Christmas. You should definitely visit the Eiffel Tower, as it is the only Parisian attraction that remains open all year round, and even on Christmas Day. Do visit the Louvre and Versailles Palace, and head to the city’s churches for some heartfelt Christmas carol concerts.
Apart from the striking concerts and shows taking place in this culturally rich city throughout the year, visiting Paris in December will allow you to be a part of some spectacular celebrations, including special Christmas Eve concerts, The World of Banksy: The Immersive Experience, and lots more.
Paris during December gets pretty cold, with a minimum temperature of 3°C and a maximum temperature of 7°C.
Visiting Paris with kids is a great opportunity for educational experiences and to teach them about events and artworks of historical and cultural significance. But if your young ones simply want a day of fun, take them to Disneyland Paris where they are sure to have the time of their lives on thrilling rides, while interacting with their favorite Disney mascots.
Among Paris’ various cultural events and festivals, there are plenty of events to be at and things to do in December. You can book tickets to the Paris Autumn Festival for an experience rich with art and culture. Or simply head to the Thoiry Wild Lights Show for a beautiful spectacle of lights accompanied by your favorite animals from Thoiry Zoo.