It's a wonderful feeling to be in Paris à Noël — the whole city is in holiday mood, festooned with seasonal decorations. We adore being here on Christmas Day. Remember, though, most restaurants and activities will be fermé — closed — so you must be sure to plan ahead. Let's take a good look at the best of Christmas activities in Paris — from romantic dinner cruises to the Eiffel Tower to holiday lights, and everything in between. Activities will sell out quickly; so act right now.
1. Holiday VIP Dinner Cruise… View the Paris lights from the Seine
2. Christmas Day Lunch Cruise on the Seine… Very likely to sell out
3. New Years Eve Dinner Cruise & Party… Don't miss the party! Book now!
4. Nureyev's The Nutcracker at Opera Bastille… Tchaikovsky's classic holiday ballet
Is this is the ultimate Christmas celebration in Paris? It might well be when you consider that it' a VIP gourmet cruise on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. Sailing the city's magical river while marveling at the most beautiful monuments. The only work you have to do it decide between a lunch cruise, an early dinner cruise, or the late cruise at 9:15. This is something you will remember forever. These sailings WILL sell out, so book right now…
Imagine yourself on a bateau, on the Seine River, on Christmas Day. It's still possible with these two dinner cruise sailings that are available at 6 PM and 8 PM. But, these exclusive Christmas day dinner cruises will sell out quickly, so you must book now. Savour a four-course Noël dinner menu, paired with French wines and champagne, as you drift by monuments, bridges, and museums lit up for the holidays.
Available on Christmas Day (but not for long!), this is a fantastic way to celebrate Christmas in Paris! Zoom up to Madame Brasserie on the Eiffel Tower for a festive Christmas lunch. When you book there are some menu options, but for Christmas day be sure to choose the Grande Dame Menu with Drinks – Paris View, which includes more courses and prestige wines and the best views. As you sip champagne, you gaze down on the iconic landmarks and seasonal lights beneath you. Is this going to sell out? Absolutely — so act now!
Here is another way to cruise along the Seine on December 25 while enjoying a classic French meal. It's a gourmet 3-course lunch with bubbles, wine, cheese, tea or coffee, and dessert. The holiday sights of Paris drift by — the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Musée d'Orsay — as you relax to the sound of a live band on board a classic bateau mouche.
It's amazing that you can experience Paris' most celebrated night spot on Christmas Day! At least according to the current availability calendar.
The Eiffel Tower is the one Paris attraction that is open every day of year, including Christmas Day. Instead of standing in a long line outside in the Paris winter, book this guided tour. It's how we do it.
Tchaikovsky's classic holiday ballet, performed at Opera Bastille on Christmas Day (and New Years Eve and New Years Day). Need we say more?
Candlelight piano performances in historic churches, operas at the splendid Palais Garnier or at Opera Bastille, and special concerts at Salon Gustave Eiffel on the Tower itself. These are December 25 classical music options in Paris. But you must book now before tickets are gone.
Step aboard one of the luxurious dinner boats and immerse yourself in the winter beauty of Paris while you enjoy a memorable holiday dinner, prepared on board by a team of French chefs. Sip champagne & enjoy live music as you take in the best views of Paris. Choose the Service Premier option for the best seating, the best menu, and the ultimate experience aboard this comfortable, glass-walled boat.
There's really nothing more celebratory than sailing down the Seine on a Bateaux Mouches evening dinner cruise. You'll be rewarded with a special Christmas Day four-course meal with the best champagne and wines plus live music. Book now as it will sell out quickly. For the best seating, the best meal, and the ultimate experience choose the Dinner-Cruise Excellence option.
That's right, this holiday season tour gives you Paris In One Day! Start with a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower followed by lunch at Madam Brasserie. Next is a guided cruise along the Seine to view the city's most iconic monuments riverside. The cruise ends at the Louvre, where a guide awaits to show you the most important art museum in the world. This activity, too, is going to sell out, so book now. Right now.
It will come as no surprise that there are not many Paris museums open on Christmas Day,, but we've managed to find a few that will be open and are worth investigating. Of course, the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and the Pompidou will be shuttered that day. Here are a few museums that have been open on Christmas Days past. But, be sure to check on the museum website before you just show up on December 25!
Set in a magnificent 19th-century mansion, Musée Jacquemart-André on Boulevard Haussmann in the 8th is normally open every day, including Christmas Day and New Years Day. But the museum is currently closed for renovations until September of next year.
The Jewish history museum, (MAHJ) is open every day except Mondays. On national holidays the hours are 11 AM to 7 PM, although the museum is closed on January 1.
The museum of everything Arab is also open on Christmas Day and only closed on Mondays. So, for 2023, since Christmas Day falls on Monday, this normally-open museum will be closed! Built on the banks of the Seine in 1987, the stunning building designed by Jean Nouvel is a landmark worth visiting. On the 9th floor, the rooftop terrace has remarkable views of the monuments of Paris, including Notre-Dame.
Each Christmas season hundreds of trees on iconic Avenue des Champs-Elysées are decorated. From Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe these arbres de noël are aglow with a bevy of colorful, energy-efficient lights. It's a delight to walk along the avenue at dusk during the holiday week
Christmas lights in other areas also set Paris twinkling. Extra-special care is put into decorating the lavish windows and the streets around the department stores and other shopping districts. A few favorites streets and stores are —
VIP Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
Dinner Cruise by Maxim's of Paris
Most restaurants are closed on December 25 and January 1. The restaurants that are open offer a special dinner menu on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve. It takes a bit of research to find one that fits your budget. The sky is the limit. For instance at Le Cinq, the restaurant at the Four Seasons George V Hotel, the Christmas holiday menu started at over 700€ per person the last time we checked. And they're not even open on Christmas Day this year!
If you are planning to have dinner on Christmas Day in Paris — and we think it's a great idea, it's a wonderful experience — you must book well in advance. As December nears, restaurants will post their special holiday menus and hours online. It's necessary that you make a reservation, and as soon as you can.
We suggest you start with restaurants located at the top hotels in Paris — most of these are pretty darn good, with quite a few Michelin stars sprinkled among them. If they don't have their holiday menu and hours posted, just send them a message.
Le Violon d'Ingres in the 7th Arrondissement
There are other, more casual brasseries that are open 365 and cater to a tourist crowd. Many, if not most, of them are past their glory days as far as food goes, but they can still be a fun experience. We're thinking of the brasseries that are part of the Flo Group, like Bofinger, La Coupole, Julien, Le Vaudeville, Terminus Nord, Brasserie Balzar, Le Boeuf sur le Toit. They're likely to be open Christmas day.
Here are some of the restaurants that may be open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. These are in the expensive-to-very-expensive category. They're all pretty amazing and have Michelin stars. Again, be sure to check the restaurant website for update holiday openings.
Check the complete list of Paris hotels to find current sale prices on rooms in every arrondissement. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!
Save on hotels in every arrondissement of Paris – the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower. Save 10%, 20%… or even more!
One more reminder — for the latest updates of what's on in Paris at Christmas, be sure to read our complete guide. We'll keep it updated as things change.
• Christmas In Paris…
• Christmas Day…
• New Years Eve…
• New Years Day in Paris…
• Easter in Paris…
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