Spend Christmas in Paris 2023 | Cabarets, Operas, and Christmas Lights

Step into a world of endless magic by celebrating the "most wonderful time of the year" in the city where dreams come true, Paris! And to make your holiday the merriest it can be, here's a curated list of exciting things to do on Christmas in Paris.

Christmas in Paris - Why Spend Christmas in Paris?

Top 12 Things to do on Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris - Christmas Lights in Paris

1. Marvel at Christmas Lights

From popular tourist attractions in Central Paris to quieter locations like Bercy Village, the city welcomes Christmas every year with extravagantly decorated streets that have become a must-see for both Parisians and tourists who are lucky enough to visit Paris at Christmas. 

Check out the best Christmas light displays here:

Christmas in Paris - Ice Skating in Paris

2. Go Ice Skating

As one of Paris’s most popular Christmas offerings, ice skating is the perfect outdoor winter activity. With the onset of December in Paris, most Parisians strap on their skates and head to one of the city’s many famous ice skating rinks.

Check out the best places to go ice skating here:

Christmas in Paris - Christmas Markets in Paris

3. Visit the Christmas Markets

Yet another one of the many activities that draw tourists to celebrate Christmas in Paris, the marchés de noël are places across the city where the festive joy comes to life. More specifically, these Christmas markets are known for their artisanal French goods, gifts, and traditional French fare.

The best Christmas markets of the season are in:

Christmas in Paris - Christmas Concerts in Paris

4. Attend a Christmas Concert

The diversity of performances during Christmas in Paris ranges from classical opera and ballet performances to newer rock and jazz pieces - all equally magical, of course. It is quite an experience to witness one of these shows, especially in a venue as historically renowned as La Sainte Chapelle.

Catch the best Christmas concerts at:

Christmas in Paris - Christmas Food in Paris
Christmas in Paris - Disneyland Paris in Christmas
Christmas in Paris - Seine River Christmas Cruise
Christmas in Paris - Paris Cabarets on Christmas
Christmas in Paris - Christmas Opera and Ballet in Paris

9. Attend Opera and Ballet Performances

The performing arts are deeply entrenched in Parisian culture and history, and thus, to absorb Paris’s heritage entirely, it is important to attend opera and ballet performances in popular theatres such as Palais Garnier and Paris Opera Bastille during Christmastime.

The most exciting opera and ballet performances to go to:

Christmas in Paris - Christmas Horse Carriage Ride in Paris

10. Embark on a Horse Carriage Ride

Yet another romantic way to make your way about the City of Love is taking a horse carriage ride around Paris. These old-timey carriages take you around popular tourist attractions like the Arc de Triomphe.

Christmas in Paris - Attend a Workshop on Christmas in Paris

11. Attend a Workshop

Learn a new skill during the festive season - because who said vacations can only be leisurely? The possibilities are endless, from learning how to make your own French scrumptious goodies like croissants and macarons to making your own luxury bag with Chanel fabric!

Most fun workshops to attend on Christmas:

  • Paris wine-making workshop
  • Workshop in Paris: Create your Own Perfume
  • Small-Group French Cooking Class in Paris
Christmas in Paris - Department Stores on Christmas in Paris

12. Head to a Department Store

While department stores seem like the least Christmassy location to be in when the festivities are in full swing, Parisians would beg to differ. As a tourist in Paris at Christmas, you can expect to see some of the most extravagant Christmas trees in department stores.

Best department stores to visit on Christmas:

Top Experiences in Paris


Frequently Asked Questions About Celebrating Christmas in Paris

Is Christmas a good time to visit Paris?

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to visit Paris, as the city has many exclusive experiences to offer to tourists during the holiday season.

What are some things to do on Christmas in Paris?

During the magical occasion of Christmas in Paris, you can go on horse carriage rides, river cruises, shopping at Christmas markets, and viewing Christmas lights around the city.

What is the weather like at Christmas in Paris?

The weather in Paris on Christmas is mildly cold with temperatures being around 14 degrees Celsius on average - with skies that are overcast but rainfall is limited to a few days in the month of December.

Is Paris crowded at Christmas?

Christmas in Paris is usually a busy time, as tourists flock to the city and locals head out of their houses to take in the Christmas air outside.

What’s open in Paris on Christmas?

Almost all places are open in Paris on Christmas, except for many popular shopping destinations and most museums in the city.

What is the most popular Christmas market in Paris?

The Notre-Dame Christmas Market on Square Viviani and the Champs de Mars Christmas Market, near the Eiffel Tower, are Paris's most popular Christmas markets.

Are restaurants open on Christmas in Paris?

Many restaurants are unfortunately closed on Christmas in Paris, though almost all places in the Jewish district of Le Marais might be open - a particularly popular restaurant there is L'As du Fallafel.

What are the best places to stay in Paris on Christmas?

Hotels in the eighth arrondisement are considered to be the best places to stay in Paris for Christmas, as these are closest to the biggest Christmas markets and the famous Champs Elysées avenue.

What should I eat in Paris on Christmas?

Don't miss out on traditional Parisian favorites during Christmas, such as bûche de Noël, foie gras, escargot, and shellfish - and, of course, vin chaud.

What are the best restaurants for Christmas in Paris?

Restaurants such as Le Train Bleu and Bouillon Julien are considered to be Paris's Christmas and Christmas Eve favourites, for both tourists and residents.

Where can I see the Christmas lights in Paris?

You can catch the best viewing of Christmas lights in Paris by going to Avenue de Champs Elysées, Bercy Village, and Place Vendome.

What are some Christmas traditions in Paris?

Parisians spend their Christmas by gorging on feasts including lobsters, foie gras, and plenty of cheeses, while also indulging in a traditional offering of Thirteen Desserts. Families head to watch Nativity scenes and explore Christmas markets throughout the month of December.