Things to do in Paris in December
Christmas in the city of lights is the most delightful experience ever! Paris warms one’s heart during that month, with Christmas markets all around and ice skate rings for everyone. It’s also the ideal time to visit the marvelous Paris museums, stroll on the Champs-Elysées under the Christmas decorations or wait for Santa Claus while sipping cinnamon-infused hot wine. My Christmas gift to you is this perfect bucket list of things to do in Paris in December!
Read on to find out all the events and activities taking place during the month of December in Paris. This will help you to make the most of your stay in Paris during Christmas season!
Go check the adorable Christmas markets
First on my list of things to do in Paris in December are the Christmas markets. You really don’t want to miss the adorable Christmas markets that pop out all around Paris in December. Under their warm wood-roofed booths, give yourself a little break between the vin chaud (“hot wine”, in English), their enchanting decorations, lovely gifts and special Christmas treats.
Where to find the “marchés de noël” then? As you walk through Paris, you will surely bump into one of the many Christmas markets that will be taking place in Paris! For instance, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Notre Dame Cathedral, all have their own little market during the month of December! The largest one in Paris would be the Christmas market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
You can also find Santa’s Village at Saint-Sulpice near Saint-Germain des Près on the Left Bank of Paris. And you also have a Christmas market in front of Notre Dame Cathedral that is dedicated to arts, crafts, and fine cuisine near a giant Christmas tree in front of the most beautiful cathedral of all times. And for the kids among us, Santa Claus even shows up every day under the Christmas tree.
Go ice skating with the locals
Now let me tell you about one of my favourite things to do in Paris in December, it is ice-skating! Ice-skating rinks open their doors and will be at your disposal all around the city. Ice skating is always a lot of fun after a day in the museums.
On top, admission is free, skate rental averages around 5 euros. It is definitely a must for kids, but even for grown-ups! It is so much fun, and a great alternative to staying fit after all the delicacies you will eat during your stay! It is so enjoyable, you won’t even see the hours pass! The first two ice rinks that come to my mind are the Hôtel de Ville one, which is very big and actually has two rinks, one for the adults and one for the little ones. Then you also have one by the Eiffel Tower. You get to ice skate while admiring the beauty of Paris greatest landmark! The most amazing photos are guaranteed!
Admire the Christmas decorations
After the November gloom, December is the month of celebrations and lights! Don’t miss the Christmas displays in Paris department stores, always very elaborate and mesmerizing. The Galeries Lafayette is definitely one of the most amazing: in the nineteenth arrondissement on Boulevard Haussman. But the one at the Bon Marché will also blow you away with their electronic puppets and their elegant outlook.
You will also love the street decorations! Rue Cler and rue Montorgueil are a few examples. They will get you in the Christmas mood for sure! You have to go to Rue Montorgueil, buy some baguette, some cheese, some French specialties while walking one of the most typically Parisian streets there is! During the month of December, everything becomes so magical. Even grocery shopping turns out to be a much more pleasant activity!
Explore Paris first district
Finally, you can explore Paris first district! I love spending time in this district. There are simply so many things to do! From shopping to visiting museums, you will always find a place that best suits your interests in the first district.
At the Place Vendôme during our Right Bank free walking tour, you will see the giant Christmas tree raising on the middle of the square. It is the most exclusive and luxurious shopping area of Paris. And of course, the season appeals to long walks inside the warm alleys of the Louvre Museum , to contemplate the masterpieces in the biggest museum of the world! Then, you can also visit the Sainte Chapelle, which is also a great highlight of the district! Don’t be afraid of getting lost. Walk the city like locals do. I’m pretty sure you will find many surprises along the way!
You should also know that most of Paris hidden gems are found in the first district of Paris. You can book a free (tip-only) walking tour with Discover Walks and learn more about the secret Paris! Our city guides are fantastic and you will learn so much from them!
Have a hot chocolate
Last but not least is to have a hot chocolate! My favourite place in Paris for a hot chocolate after a long day of shopping is the institution of chocolate Angelina, located at 226 rue de Rivoli, just by the Jardin des Tuileries. In December, the weather is very cold! So, even with your scarves, gloves and winter parkas, you might feel a little cold. A hot chocolate will come in handy and essential to make the most out of your cold days in Paris! It is a great way to relax and warm your heart and your cold hands after a long day!
You now know some of the things to do in Paris in December! December is a magical month. Everyone is in a good mood because the Christmas holidays are getting closer. It’s a very special time of the year. Families get together, cherish each moment, think about the future and are already making new resolutions for the New Year. Nonetheless, note that December is quite cold, so pack some warm clothes, scarves, beanies, gloves, and comfortable shoes! See you soon in Paris!