Paris shines all year brightly, but it shines best at Christmastime when it turns into a fairytale wonderland of lights and music. The French capital is second only to New York and London in holiday season experiences.
Here’s how to spend Christmas in Paris: festive shopping, special performances, and atmospheric walks under sparkling lights.
Christmas Lights at Champs-Elysees
Some of the best holiday decorations can be found on Paris’ most iconic street. Both sides of the avenue are covered with a million Christmas lights in seasonal colors of red and gold. Boutiques and luxury shops along the street have their own Christmas decorations that add to the sparkle and magic. This street is a must-see for window-shopping and strolling.
Galeries Lafayette has a variety of Christmas displays.
Galeries Lafayette, one of Europe’s most prestigious and classic department stores, is the flagship store at Boulevard Haussmann, Paris’ 9th district. It truly puts on a show for the holidays. Each year, the store decorates its nine floors with a different theme using elaborate lights and window displays. The atrium is the heart of the festivities. Here, Galeries’ multi-story Christmas tree hangs above the bustling holiday shopping.
The Christmas Window Displays at Boulevard Haussmann
Boulevard Haussmann, lined with historical buildings, is well-known as one of Paris’s best shopping streets. Galeries Lafayette is the most famous store on this avenue. However, many luxury and name-brand stores can be found along these sidewalks.
Galeries Lafayette’s Christmas decorations are the jewel of the street. Still, the rest of the shops along the street put on their holiday best by decorating their windows with holiday-themed decorations and displays. Many of the shops have elaborate sets or figurines. This is the ideal place to shop window-shop and admire Paris’ finest holiday decor.
Disneyland Paris: Celebrate the Holidays
The holidays make it the Happiest Place on Earth! Disneyland Paris is located half an hour from Paris. It undergoes a huge transformation for Christmas with tons of lights and trees.
Admire the decorations and meet beloved characters such as Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses in Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade. Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks and projections of the Disney Illuminated Nighttime Show.
La Samaritaine – Shop Style
While La Samaritaine might not be immediately familiar to many foreigners, Parisians know it as the best place to shop for chic and French fashion.
The iconic store, which closed for 16 years, has reopened. It now offers special shopping experiences for holidays in partnership with Prince de Galles Hotel. This package includes a night at the hotel and a tour of Samaritaine. You will also have a private luxury shopping experience with a personal stylist.
This is the best way to go if you want to stay away from holiday shoppers and indulge in the finest luxury brands and products.
Enjoy a Christmas Lights Tour in an Open-Top Bus
You’ll need to cover a lot of ground to see as many Christmas decorations as possible in one evening. Although Paris is great for strolling and meandering, the best way to experience Christmas in Paris is to hop on a bus. This 90-minute tour is taken on an open-top bus. It gives you the best view of the City of Light during Christmas.
Enjoy the ride, don’t forget your clothes, as you visit top destinations like the Champs-Elysees and Eiffel Tours. Place Vendome, and the Louvre are also included. The ride is also punctuated by Christmas music.