Ah, Paris in December – the City of Light blossoms in all its winter glory! Visiting the French capital during this festive season will truly make your trip sparkle. With its bustling cafés, vibrant streets adorned with beautiful lights and decorations, the city is basking in a delightful charm that you’ll cherish.
As you meander through the bustling streets, you’ll find a diverse range of activities awaiting your arrival. From shopping at Christmas markets for unique gifts and souvenirs to indulging in mouth-watering French delicacies, you’ll have plenty to explore and experience when visiting Paris in December.
To make your experience memorable, check out the fascinating cultural programs on offer, catering to both locals and visitors. You might even catch some pretty cool and intriguing exhibitions at museums and galleries.
Just remember to bundle up against the December chill with plenty of warm sweaters, a waterproof coat, hat, shoes, gloves, scarves, and warm socks. While the City of Love might be a bit colder than usual, it definitely warms the heart with its charm and joy during the festive season.
So go ahead, pack your bags, and make the most of your Parisian adventure in December.
Activities and Entertainment
December in Paris is a magical time, with plenty of activities and entertainment to suit every taste. Whether you’re into opera, classical, rock, jazz, rap, pop, or ballet, there’s something for everyone.
Music and Dance Performances
You can catch stunning performances at iconic venues like the Opera Bastille and Palais Garnier. For opera enthusiasts, you’ll find both classic and contemporary shows to fill your evenings. Classical concerts take center stage in Paris during December, and many of these take place in the city’s historic churches.
If you’re more into rock, jazz, rap, or pop, keep an eye out for shows taking place in other renowned concert venues such as AccorHotels Arena, Olympia, and Palais des Congres. You might even catch a performance by a famous artist, like Sting, during your visit.
Dance aficionados shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see a breathtaking ballet performance. One must-see traditional show during December is The Nutcracker, performed during the holiday season.
Visiting Disneyland Paris in December is a fantastic idea, as you’ll get to see the park transformed into a winter wonderland complete with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and enchanting parades. It takes the Paris Christmas atmosphere up a notch.
Ice skating is another popular activity in Paris during December. You’ll find numerous ice-skating rinks set up in the city for your enjoyment.
For an unforgettable and romantic experience, try a Seine River dinner cruise. It’s a great way to take in the gorgeous city lights and indulge in delicious French cuisine.
Museums and Tours
Don’t forget to take advantage of the Museum Pass while you’re in Paris. It allows you unlimited access to over 60 museums and monuments in and around the city. Make sure you visit masterpieces at the world-famous Musée d’Orsay.
A private Christmas tour is another fantastic option during December. You’ll be guided through the city’s most charming streets and markets, taking in all the festive decorations and atmosphere.
Christmas in Paris
You’re in for a treat because Christmas in Paris is truly magical, with a mix of twinkling lights, festive markets, and holiday cheer all around. Let’s dive into what makes the holiday season in the City of Lights so special.
Paris sparkles during Christmas, with countless streets and iconic landmarks adorned in breathtaking lights and decorations. A stroll down Avenue des Champs-Elysées is an unforgettable experience, as it’s flooded with holiday lights all the way from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. Besides, the dazzling window displays at Galeries Lafayette will steal your breath away.
Now, let’s talk Christmas markets! While not as plentiful as Berlin, Paris still boasts a handful of fantastic markets scattered throughout the city. Warm up with a chocolat chaud or indulge in a crêpe with Nutella. And don’t forget to grab a glass of vin chaud (mulled spiced wine), a festive and quintessentially French delicacy.
Throughout December, the city is also alive with Christmas concerts, adding extra holiday cheer to the already vibrant atmosphere. With such a vibrant arts scene, you’re sure to find tons of amazing performances to add to your itinerary.
Don’t forget about ice skating rinks! Paris is dotted with picturesque rinks during the festive season, allowing you to glide through wintery landscapes in a truly Parisian way. So, bundle up and strap on those skates for an unforgettable holiday experience.
If you’re still around for New Year’s Eve, the party vibe in Paris is off the charts, with fireworks and celebrations continuing well into the wee hours.
Traveling in December
December in Paris offers a unique experience with holiday festivities, seasonal activities, and a bit of that winter charm. Although it’s considered low season for tourism, there’s still plenty to do in the City of Lights during this time of the year. So, pack your bags, grab your travel adapter and camera, and let’s dive into what makes Paris a great destination in December.
First off, the weather in Paris during December is cold and crisp, with potential snowfall adding a touch of magic to the cityscape. Be sure to wear appropriately warm clothes to keep you cozy while you explore the sights. Despite being low season, some attractions may still be crowded, particularly during the holiday period. However, you’ll generally experience shorter queues and less hustle compared to other times of the year.
One of the main draws of visiting Paris in December is the opportunity to check out the Christmas markets scattered around the city. Sip on some vin chaud (mulled spiced wine) or treat yourself to a chocolat chaud or a crêpe with Nutella while soaking up the festive atmosphere. Discover unique gifts and trinkets to take home or just enjoy the twinkling fairy lights and cheerful ambiance of these markets.
In December, you’ll also find ice skating rinks and beautifully illuminated streets and landmarks that further add to the festive spirit. If you’re a fan of cultural events, don’t miss out on the local shows and exhibitions happening at various locations throughout the city.
When you’re in Paris, don’t forget to explore its world-famous museums and galleries. During December, you’re likely to find it less crowded, which means you can take your time and enjoy the masterpieces without elbowing through the masses. It’s also a great time to indulge in some winter shopping, with pre-holiday sales and seasonal discounts available in both high-end boutiques and local shops.
Paris in December gives you a chance to experience the city’s charm with a touch of holiday magic. From festive events to quieter attractions, Paris in December offers a unique blend of experiences that make it a worthwhile destination during the winter months.
Where to Stay and Neighborhoods to Visit
Let me help you find the perfect spot to stay and the coolest neighborhoods to visit. With everything from Christmas markets to snow-covered landmarks, you’re gonna love Paris in winter.
First things first, where to stay. For a great view of the Eiffel Tower, consider Hôtel Le Walt. If you’re looking for a charming central Paris neighborhood that won’t break the bank, the Latin Quarter in the 5th District is an excellent option. And if you’re into hidden gems, you’ll wanna stay on Île Saint Louis in the 4th Arrondissement – it’s a picturesque little island right in the heart of the city.
Now let’s talk neighborhoods. Montmartre is a must-visit with its cobbled streets, historic charm, and the famous Montmartre Christmas Market. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a warm cup of mulled wine while browsing local crafts and gifts. The Tuileries Christmas Market in the 1st Arrondissement is another great spot for holiday shopping, plus it’s close to the iconic Louvre Museum, where you can check out those snow-covered glass pyramids.
In addition to markets, you should also make time to visit the Madeleine Church in the chic 8th Arrondissement. This stunning neoclassical building hosts classical music concerts during the holiday season, making it the ideal setting for some festive tunes.
Natural and Architectural Beauty
December is an awesome time to soak in the city’s natural and architectural beauty. Although the weather can be chilly, the city’s landmarks are stunning, and there’s a certain charm the winter brings.
Eiffel Tower: Of course, you can’t miss the iconic Eiffel Tower. During December, the tower stands tall against the crisp winter sky, and there is something magical about seeing it sparkle during the nighttime light show.
Louvre Museum: Another must-visit spot is the magnificent Louvre Museum, home to the world-famous Mona Lisa. While it’s always a popular destination, the Louvre is even more magical during the holiday season. Plus, it’s the perfect indoor activity for those colder December days.
Montmartre: Now, let’s talk about Montmartre. This charming hilltop neighborhood offers breathtaking views of Paris and is home to the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Wandering the cobblestone streets here can feel like stepping back in time.
Tuileries: Even though the vibrant colors of the Tuileries gardens might not be on full display, a leisurely walk through them in December can still be a delightful experience, especially with the holiday decorations that adorn the city.
Sainte-Chapelle: Make sure you also step inside the breathtaking Sainte-Chapelle. It’s a Gothic architectural marvel, and its stained-glass windows are truly awe-inspiring.
Arc de Triomphe: Another iconic landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, is definitely worth a visit. It’s even more magnificent with holiday lights illuminating the surrounding streets.
Place Vendôme: For a more luxurious experience, stroll around the Place Vendôme. This elegant square is home to high-end boutiques and the Ritz Hotel. During December, the festive decorations here will take your breath away.
Centre Pompidou: Finally, as a lover of modern architecture, you shouldn’t miss the Centre Pompidou. The building’s unique design and extensive modern art collection make it a great indoor activity for a chilly December day.
Dining Out and Street Food
When you’re in Paris in December, you’ll want to indulge in the delicious French cuisine and explore the vibrant street food scene. As the temperature drops, there’s nothing better than warming up with a steaming cup of vin chaud (hot mulled wine) at one of the city’s many Christmas markets. Rich in spices and just the right amount of sweetness, it’s the perfect drink to accompany your culinary adventure in Paris.
Keep your eyes peeled for stands selling chocolat chaud, or hot chocolate, which is another French winter favorite. This luscious beverage is often made with rich, dark chocolate and whole milk or cream, making it a sumptuous treat you won’t want to miss.
As you stroll through the quaint streets and bustling markets, you’ll come across a variety of regional specialties and dishes that epitomize French cuisine. Be sure to try some of the following offerings:
- Crêpes: These thin, versatile pancakes can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients and make for an excellent street food snack.
- Raclette: A mouthwatering dish of melted cheese, typically served over boiled potatoes and accompanied by charcuterie.
You can also give your taste buds a treat at the numerous restaurants spread across the city. For instance, Les Ombres is a noteworthy dining spot, situated on the rooftop of the Musée Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, where you can enjoy a meal with a stunning panoramic view.
Whether you’re enjoying street food or dining out, trust me, you’re in for a gastronomic experience in Paris. From its diverse street food offerings to sumptuous French cuisine, your tastebuds will be on a journey through flavors and textures that you won’t forget anytime soon.
Shopping and Gift Ideas
If you’re in Paris in December, you’re in for a treat when it comes to shopping and gift ideas. The city is full of unique gifts, amazing department stores like Galeries Lafayette, and of course, Parisian Christmas markets that are sure to have something for everyone on your list.
First up, let’s talk about Christmas markets in Paris. They’re an absolute must-visit during your December trip. You’ll find a wonderful variety of handcrafted items, delicious treats, and warm beverages to keep you cozy in the chilly weather. Some of the popular markets to check out are Journée des créateurs marché de Noël at Les Grand Voisins, Le marché de Noël Made In 18e at Le Hasard Ludique, and Le Marché de Noël Nordique at La Cité Fertile.
Now, for a more upscale shopping experience, make sure to swing by Galeries Lafayette. This iconic department store transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Their Christmas window displays are just magical and will definitely put you in the festive mood. Inside, you’ll find a vast selection of high-end brands, designer clothing, jewelry, and more, but also amazing gourmet food options – perfect for finding that special gift for your loved ones.
If you’re looking for unique gifts, you might want to consider exploring the local neighborhoods for some one-of-a-kind items.
Keep all this in mind as you wander the delightful streets of Paris this December.
Weather and Packing Essentials
Let me give you a heads-up about the weather and what you should pack for a comfy and stylish stay in the City of Light.
December in Paris is known for its cold, cloudy, and often wet weather. The average temperature typically ranges from the morning lows in the 30s (that’s in Fahrenheit, btw) to afternoon highs in the 40s. Sometimes, you might have a day that reaches 50, but don’t count on it too much. As for icy conditions and snow, they’re not too common, but they can happen, so be prepared.
Now, let’s talk about what to pack for your Parisian adventure. You’ll want to strike a balance between comfort and style to really fit in with the locals. Here’s a list of essentials:
- Warm layers: Think cozy sweaters, long-sleeve tops, and thermal undershirts.
- Outerwear: A waterproof coat or trench coat is a must for those rainy days, and don’t forget some stylish scarves to wrap up in.
- Bottoms: Pack some jeans or other warm pants that are both comfy and chic.
- Footwear: Waterproof shoes or boots are essential, and don’t forget some warm socks!
- Accessories: Bring a hat, gloves, and an umbrella – you’ll thank yourself when those chilly winds and rain showers hit.
Remember, while in Paris, you’ll want to blend in with the fashionable crowd, so stick to classic items and neutral colors when packing your wardrobe. Or don’t. Go all in with red. ‘Tis the season, after all.