The Holidays in Paris: A Quick Guide of Festive Events

visiting Paris

If you’re vacationing in Paris during the wintertime, you’ll find a wide variety of holiday events to put on your calendar. Here are just a few fun holiday events that will make your Parisian Christmas unforgettable:
Shopping in Paris:
Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list is never a simple task, but there are plenty of markets and boutiques around Paris where you’ll find plenty of unique gifts for friends and family — and maybe even something for yourself!

  • The Galeries Lafayette is a historic department mall which opened in the late 1800s. Even if you don’t buy anything, the Art Nouveau decorations and Belle Epoque architecture is amazing to see.

  • The Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville, or BHV as Parisians call it, is located right across from City Hall (Hotel de Ville) in the center of the city. There are three locations: the main BHV for women’s fashion and home items, the BHV Homme for men’s fashion, and the BHV La Cave for wine tastings and accessories.

  • If you know someone who’s interested in haute couture, the Printemps department store definitely needs to be on your list! The store originally opened in 1865 and is now a registered historic monument, but it’s more famous for housing a plethora of high-end designer clothes and accessories.

Holiday Markets:
No holiday vacation in Paris is complete without visiting the Christmas Markets, or Marchés de Noel. There are several markets across the city, but they’re all packed with delicious foods and unique holiday gifts. These markets are also a great outing for anyone visiting Paris with kids.

  • The biggest Christmas market in Paris is located on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde. It’s open on weekdays from 10:30a.m. to midnight (Fridays/Saturdays until 1 a.m.).

  • The Christmas Market at La Défense is another big holiday market with over 300 booths. It is located near the Grande Arche de la Defense.

  • For families taking a winter vacation in Paris: The markets at Trocadero also have an ice skating rink and “snow villages” — but make sure you aren’t too tired to visit the markets at Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés and see Santa’s Village!

Holiday Eats:
If you’re visiting Paris to relax and take in the many holiday events, you probably don’t want to cook a whole Christmas dinner at your luxury apartment rental! Luckily, there are several French regional restaurants that remain open during the holiday.

  • If you’re looking for a mid-priced meal, check out Au Petit Marguery for traditional French cuisine or Restaurant Georges for a rooftop view of the city.

  • Paris is expensive — there’s no doubt about it! The average visitor spends about €62 per day, but the holidays are a bit more expensive. For a budget-friendly meal, you’ll find delicious Italian food at La Maison d’Italie, Caribbean food at Au Paradis Tropical, or Justine for a traditional French Christmas dinner.

The average adult only takes about 16 vacation days each year, even though three out of four people say that vacations allow them to relax and feel happier throughout the entire year. With a winter vacation in Paris, you’ll certainly make the most of your vacation time.

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