Even though the popular Champs Elysees Christmas Market was cancelled this year, there are still quite a few Parisian places where you can get into the holiday spirit, find “made in France” artisan gifts for your in-laws and enjoy hot wine while hanging out with the French version of Santa Claus, “Pere Noel.” I’ve selected the Top Three which include the newest, the biggest and the most fun. Now it’s up to you to go out and grab that holiday cheer.
A New Christmas Market is Born in Les Halles
Take a five-minute walk on rue St. Denis from Apartments du Louvre, Le Marais and you’ll stumble upon the newest Parisian Christmas Market encircling the “Fontaine des Innocents.” It’s called the Christmas Village of Les Halles and hosts 70 wooden cabins full of original, creative gifts and delicious holiday food specialties. This enchanting village invites you to spend “Christmas in the Stars” and illuminates more than 700 decorations for your festive pleasure. Of course, Santa Claus loves this place and visits daily. It is open from 10h00 to 21h00 during the week and from 11h00 to 23h00 on Fridays and Saturdays. The village will stay open through December 31st and is well worth the detour.
The Biggest Christmas Village is at La Defense
If you don’t mind taking a short ride on the metro, you’ll love discovering the biggest Christmas Market in the Parisian area – it’s at the “Parvis de la Defense” at the end of Line 1. This is a super duper Christmas Village – it has 350 stands with gift ideas from all over France. It also has entertainment – live concerts daily with food and wine tastings to add to your shopping pleasure. Tons of beautiful Christmas lights adorn the Parvis of La Defense and help you admire the “Grande Arche”, a monument built in 1989 to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Revolution. La Defense holiday village is open daily from 11h00 to 20h00 until December 28th.
Skate Your Way around Santa
The fun-nest way to rev up some holiday cheer is to ice-skate your way around the Champs de Mars, the garden under the Eiffel Tower. From December 21st to January 8th, there will be a 300 square-meter skating rink ready to welcome you and yours to the Park on the Champs de Mars. No problem for novices; skating lessons will be available, along with hot wine and a Christmas village with gifts, gifts and more gifts. Admission to Eiffel on Ice is free – 6 euros for ice skate rental and gloves are mandatory. The Christmas rink is open from 10 to 10 most days; some days it closes at 5. The closest metro stop is Bir-Hakeim.
There are around 25 Christmas Markets in Paris, too many to list here. Check out the site www.paris.fr for all the details on where Christmas cheer can be found in the beautiful city of Paris. Merry Christmas!