things to do in Paris –
December 2013

'Tis the Season
d'Être Joyeux

Things to do in Paris December 2013. If you're lucky enough to be in Paris during this month of holidays, you will be rewarded with some of the most magical events of the year. The city sparkles with a million fairy lights, and hundreds of decorated trees line the boulevards.

Take in the Christmas decorations in front of the Grand Magasins, along Champs Élysées and on Place de la Bastille. Bundle up and visit the Christmas markets of Paris where you sample seasonal specialties, sip vin chaud (warm spiced wine) and be dazzled by the twinkling lights.

One of our favorite things to do in Paris in December is to plan a day trip to the Champagne region, where we taste stars!

Christmas in Paris is a busy season! Concerts, dinners and special events sell out quickly at this time of year, so we recommend you book your Christmas in Paris events as early as possible.

Don't forget New Year's Eve. There's nothing more magical and memorable than spending the last evening of the year in an historic church or cathedral listening to classical music, or cruising down the river Seine admiring the city lights.

line

Before-You-Go December 2013 Checklist

Things to Do in Paris – December 2013


Day Trips From Paris Day Trips From Paris Popular Activities Popular Activities Food & Wine Activities Food & Wine Activities
Top Paris Events Top Paris Events Best of Classical Music Best of Classical Music Paris Museums & Exhibits New Museum Exhibits

Most Popular Activities

Things to do in Paris December 2013

Champs Elysées Christmas Lights & Seine River Cruise

Christmas Lights & Seine River Cruise

Set aside an evening for a magical Christmas night taking in the stunning seasonal lights along the Avenue Champs Elysées. Start with a Seine River Cruise to see more of the sparkling Christmas lights of Paris. After your illuminations tour, you're taken to your reserved table at a restaurant on the Champs Elysées for a wonderful dinner with wine.
Christmas Lights, Dinner & Seine River Cruise – Book Now! »

Christmas at Moulin Rouge

Christmas at Moulin Rouge

Take in a festive Christmas dinner and show at this icon of Montmartre. This special Christmas dinner includes traditional French cuisine served in many courses with the best French champagne. This popular event sells out early for most dates, but even faster so during the holidays. So, be sure to book early!
Christmas Dinner at the Moulin Rouge – Book Right Now! »

Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge & Seine River Cruise

Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge & Seine River Cruise

Experience the best of Paris by night. The evening starts at Restaurant 58 on the Eiffel Tower. Then take a tour to see the lights of Paris on the Seine River Cruise. The evening culminates at the number-one rated cabaret show in Europe, Moulin Rouge's show Feerie, complete with champagne. All the details have been arranged for you.
Book an Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge & Seine River Cruise »

Skip-the-Lines Eiffel Tower Tours

A Paris Insiders Guide favourite
Eiffel Tower Tours

Don't be left out in the cold! The wait to get up the Eiffel Tower is often two hours long, even in December. But don't worry, we have a solution for you. Book a Skip-the-Lines Eiffel Tower Tour and your guide will walk you past the ticket lines and into the elevator for the tower. You've got better things to do in Paris than to stand in line! The Eiffel Tower is open every day.
Eiffel Tower Tours – Booking & Information »

Top Day Trips From Paris

Things to do in Paris December 2013

Private Tour of the Loire Valley Chateaux

Loire Valley Castles

With your private guide at your side explore Château d'Amboise, Château de Chenonceau and Château de Chambord. In between castle visits, enjoy a three-course lunch (included) at an 18th-century inn nearby. This VIP tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, lunch and your private guide.
Private Tour of the Loire Valley – Learn More »

Best of Paris & Versailles Day Trip

Including Seine River Dinner Cruise
VIP Palace of Versailles Guided Visit

On this action-packed full-day tour, experience the best of Paris and Versailles. First is a tour of the top Paris attractions before lunch at the Eiffel Tower. Best part, you skip the line-ups with your priority-access ticket. In the afternoon, you're whisked to the Palace of Versailles, and then finish your day with a sunset Seine River dinner cruise.

Numbers are limited on this small-group tour, so you'll want to book well in advance, especially during December.
Best of Paris & Versailles Day Trip – Book Now »

Spend a Day in the Legendary Champagne Region

A Day In Champagne

A day spent in the magical Champagne region will be a highlight of your holiday visit to Paris. You are met at your hotel by your driver/guide and whisked off through rolling hills and world-class vineyards to Reims, capital of the Champagne region. After touring this historic city, including a visit to its famous cathedral, the champagne houses beckon and your sampling of stars begins!
A Day in Champage – Complete Information & Booking »

D-Day Tour

A Paris Insiders Guide favourite
D-Day Tour

Sixty-nine summers have passed since the Allied Forces arrived at the D-Day beaches of Normandy, spelling the beginning of the end of WWII.

Spend a day exploring the beaches, monuments and museums on a trip that gets you back to Paris on the same day.
Learn More »

Top Food & Wine Activities

Things to do in Paris December 2013

Gourmet Christmas Tour of Paris

Gourmet Christmas tour of Paris

You begin the tour at the Saint-Sulpice Christmas Market, sampling regional specialties, vin chaud, and Christmas delicacies. Then visit Paris food shops to learn about the Thirteen Desserts of Christmas. Your tour ends in a stylish Parisian tearoom, where your guide will tell you more about festive French traditions.
• Every day in December, except Sundays
More Information & Booking »

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Wine Tasting

This fun and informal wine tasting covers a lot of wine territory in an hour or two. The professional French sommeliers (who speak English) deliver an extensive tasting of wines – from Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone – in a charming wine cellar steps from the Louvre.
Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris »

Yachts de Paris Gourmet Dinner Cruise

Gourmet Dinner Cruise

Pure Paris luxury! Take a three-hour cruise along the Seine in the luxury yacht, Don Juan II as you are served a gourmet meal prepared by a 2-star Michelin chef. Combine romance, traditional French fine dining, and a tour of the City of Lights on the River Seine.
More Information & Inquiry Form »

Paris Food Market Tour

A Paris Insiders Guide favourite
Paris Food Market Tour

Learn all about street markets with our Paris pal and French food expert, Rebekah. Three or four days each week Rebekah leads gourmands (like you!) on an informative tour of one of the best farmers markets in Paris. Choose from a hands-on farmers market tour or the Decadent Gourmet Tour. This is a real Paris Insiders secret, and one we highly recommend.
Rebekah's Farmers Market Tours »

line

December 2013 Paris Updates

Paris is magical in December, and the magic continues beyond the city gates. There are so many wonderful experiences to be had on day trips from Paris.

line

More Things To Do In Paris December 2013

Day Trips to Champagne Private Day Trips to Champagne Cooking Classes in Paris Top Cooking Classes in Paris Paris Museums Tours Fave Paris Museums Tours Food in Paris Paris France
2-Day Vacations
Paris Gourmet Food Guide Paris Gourmet Food Guide Seine River Cruises Romantic Seine River Cruises What to see in Paris Best Walking
Tours of Paris
Paris Tours on Wheels Fun Paris Tours
on Wheels

The Best of Paris Events

Things to do in Paris December 2013

Le Grand Tasting – Great Wine Fair

Le Grand Tasting

When they say Grand they mean grand! Taste wines from around France along with the other 20,000 vistors, all under the glass pyramid of the Carrousel du Louvre. Say "cheers" with the finest wines from Château Lafite, Rothschild, Moët et Chandon and hundreds of others.
• Carrousel du Louvre
• December 6 & 7
Website »

Christmas & New Year at Disneyland Paris

Christmas & New Year at Disneyland Paris

A million lights will twinkle on Main Street USA. Disneyland Paris is transformed into a winter wonderland with garlands, decorations and wandering carollers bringing the spirit of Christmas to the Magical Kingdom. Every evening, just as the sun is setting, expect to see a glimpse of Père Noël at Sleeping Beauty's Castle. New Year's Eve will be an all-out celebration with a fireworks extravaganza.

The Best of Classical Music

Things to do in Paris December 2013

Christmas Concerts at La Sainte Chapelle

A Paris Insiders Guide favourite
La Sainte Chapelle

Enjoy Renaissance music performed by the Barok Ensemble in the stunning La Sainte Chapelle. The Holy Chapel (as it is known) was built by Louis IX on Ile de la Cité in the courtyard of the Royal Palace. Come for for music and be amazed by the stained glass windows and Gothic architecture.
• November 30 to December 26
Book Tickets In Advance To Ensure Your VIP Seats »

The acoustically-perfect Saint Chapelle is our favourite venue in Paris for classical music. Don't miss it!
Complete Guide to Concerts at La Sainte Chapelle in December »

Concerts at Eglise Saint Ephrem

Concerts at Eglise St Ephrem

Enjoy Beethoven's (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor popularly known as “Moonlight Sonata” and his No. 23 in F minor “Appassionata” meaning passionate in Italian. Also on the program is Erik Satie's (1866-1925) Gymnopedies and Franz Liszt's (1811-1886) Dream of Love.
• Throughout December
Book Tickets Now »

Christmas Concerts at Saint Ephrem

Christmas Concert at Saint Ephrem

If you're in Paris on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, treat yourself to a classical music concert in this charming church. The Orchestre Les Violons de France along with soloist Cécile Besnard will perform holiday favorites; O Holy Night, Silent Night along with works from Schubert, Bach and Pachelbel.
• December 15, 22, 24, 25
Christmas Concerts at Saint Ephrem – Buy Tickets »

Christmas Music at La Madeleine

La Madeleine

Be dazzle with Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Schubert's Ave Maria, Silent Night and Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring in the contemplative setting of La Madeleine. The Orchestre Les Violons de France will perform along with solist Cécile Besnard.
• December 21, 23, 26, 29
Christmas Music at La Madeleine – Book Now »

New Year's Concert at La Sainte Chapelle

New Year's Concert at La Sainte Chapelle

Enjoy the last few evenings of the year… in Paris… in a classical church… listening to music by Johann Strauss and Mozart. Les Solistes Francais orchestra and solist Paul Rouger will make it a memorable night in Paris.
• December 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Get Tickets Online »

What's New at the Museums

Things to do in Paris December 2013

The Springtime of the Renaissance

Sculpture & The Arts In Florence, 1400–1460
The Springtime of the Renaissance

See 140 works with masterpieces by by Donatello, Ghiberti, Michelozzo and Mino da Fiesole. In addition to sculptures the exhibition also features paintings, drawings, manuscripts, silver and gold pieces and earthenware created during the Renaissance.
• The Louvre
• Ends January 6, 2014
Website »
• Entrance to the museum is free with The Paris Museum Pass »

Georges Braque

This powerful exhibition on famous French artist Georges Braques (1882–1963) follows his career from Cubism in the early 1900s to his abstract landscapes in the 1960s. The retrospective follows his artistic evolution from Fauvism (using brilliant colours to express emotions) to his final works using abstract images of birds.
• Grand Palais
• Ends January 6, 2014
Website »

Masculine/Masculine

The Male Nude in Art from 1800 to the Present Day
Masculine Masculine

The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day. Drawing on the wealth of the museum's collection, the exhibit explores all aspects and meanings of the male nude in art. See inspirations from 18th-century, classical art, and the influence that still resonates today.
• Musée d'Orsay
• Ends January 2, 2014
Website »
• Entrance to the museum is free with The Paris Museum Pass »

Paris Planning Quick Links


Paris Airport Transfers Guide To Paris Airport Transfers Link to Best Hotels in Paris The Best Hotels
in Paris
Getting Around Paris Guide to Getting Around Paris Link to Paris Arrondissements All About Paris Arrondissements

Don't Miss a Single Paris Travel Tip –
Sign up for Le Petit Journal !

the newsletter of Paris Insiders Guide

line

Events & Activities Calendar