Christmas In Paris 2023 – This Year May Be The Best Celebration Ever!

Christmas in Paris is magical. Store windows are aglow with colorful Noël displays, patisserie shelves virtually groan with seasonal delights, while restaurants create special holiday menus filled with the bounty of the season — fresh oysters from Brittany, foie gras, truffles, chestnuts and champagne. In 2023 — again and at last — all of Paris will be joyeuse for Christmas.


Christmas In Paris 2023


It's going to be a busy season in Paris, so we suggest you book as early as possible as events, cruises, and activities sell out quickly! Also be sure to check our Things to Do in Paris in December Calendar…

The Best Christmas Activities in Paris – 2023

Holiday VIP Dinner Cruise

Dinner Cruise on the Seine

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.

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

One of the absolute best ways to experience the Eiffel Tower is to dine at its newest restaurant, Madame Brasserie. As you sip champagne you gaze down at Paris and its nighttime display. You truly understand the magnificence of the tower built by Gustave Eiffel. We recommend the Menu Grande Dame – Paris View option which includes a few extras like prestige wines and extra courses.

Holiday Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Christmas Dinner Cruise on the Seine

You. In Paris. At Christmas. On the Seine River. Do we have your attention? The night begins on the banks of the Seine where you'll board your floating dinner cruise. Over three leisurely hours you sip French wine while enjoying course after course, all the while watching the illuminated monuments of Paris slowly drift by from a table on the glass-sided boats of Bateaux Mouches.

For the best seating, the best meal, and the ultimate experience we suggest you book the Excellence package. Available most evenings in December but not, alas, on Christmas Day.

Holiday Lunch Cruise on the Seine

Christmas Day Lunch on the Seine

Make time for a mid-day break to cruise along the Seine during the holidays. We love this casual and affordable lunch cruise on a boat from the river dining specialists at Bateaux Parisiens. This is one of the most popular daytime activities and the perfect break in the middle of a Parisien day. As usual, we recommend the Premier Service option. It ensures a window table for unrestricted views of the Paris sights. Available most days in December.

Nighttime Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Nighttime Champagne Cruise

When you're in Paris, a cruise on the Seine is an essential activity and that's doubly true during the holiday season when the city is decked with Christmas illuminations. This champagne-fueled evening cruise starts with priority boarding onto the bateau, where you are escorted to a private tasting room at the front of the boat for the best views of Paris. And, of course, there's beaucoup de bubbly. Your sommelier takes you through a flight of three champagnes as the best of Paris slowly drifts past.

Moulin Rouge Dinner & Cabaret with VIP Seating

Moulin Rouge  Christmas Dinner + Show

Create a spectacular holiday-in-Paris memory with a dinner and a show at the historic Moulin Rouge. Sip champagne and dine on a traditional multi-course meal while the dazzling show takes place on the stage in front of you. And this nighttime extravaganza is the best way to get the total experience. Who doesn't want VIP service and the best seats in the house? Hurry, holiday dates are selling out already!

Classical Christmas Concerts in Paris

La Sainte Chapelle

We can't think of a better way to celebrate the holiday season than attending a concert at a stunning historic church in Paris. Experience classical music with works by Bach, Beethoven, Purcell, Vivaldi, and Chopin. One of our best Insiders tips is to book a special Christmas concert on the Eiffel Tower, but tickets are selling quickly, so act now.

Paris Ballet & Opera at Palais Garnier

Paris Ballet at Palais Garnier

The stunning interior of the Belle Epoque opera house Palais Garnier is best experienced during a performance of a classic ballet or opera. This December (including on Christmas Day!) you can rejoice in Mozart's masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro. This is going to sell out, so you need to book now. (You knew we were going to say that, didn't you?)

The Best Christmas Activities – Paris 2023

Private Louvre Tour – See the Masterpieces

Louvre tours

So far this Christmas we've got you out on the river, fed you lunch and dinner, and taken you to the Moulin Rouge. What's missing? A visit to the world's most famous art museum, of course. You certainly need to see the historic and important art found at the Louvre, but you also don't want to wait in a long line.

Luckily, this semi-private guided tour of the Louvre gets you past the line-ups and directly to the most famous works of art. Currently available every day (except Tuesdays) including Christmas Eve. But not for long!

Christmas in Paris 2023 – Food & Wine Activities

Cheese and Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese and Wine Tasting, photo by Mark Craft

Visit hidden Paris in a special cheese aging cave underneath a top fromagerie in the Marais. You'll get an Insiders view, led by a Master Affineur, on how cheese is aged to perfection before it is ready to sell. You will taste the most famous cheeses of France, while you soak up the stories of how cheese is made, and how to pair them with the perfect wines.

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Classic French Dinner + Wine Pairing

Sign up for a in-depth wine tasting — that allows enough time to explore all the best regions of France, including Champagne. In this informal & informative wine tasting a professional French sommelier pours wine from the regions while giving an in-depth explanation of each. It takes place in a charming, centrally-located wine cellar.

Best Of The Marais Holiday Food Tour

Marais Holiday Food Tour

If you've never to Paris during Christmas you're in for a treat. Take a culinary journey through the charming Marais — the best part is, since it's December, you'll get a chance to sample holiday delights. This very popular small-group food tour takes you from the oldest food market in the city and then zig-zags through the historic neighborhood to sip and nibble the best seasonal tastes at cheese shops, boulangeries, chocolatiers and patisseries.

Chocolate & Pastry Tour – Special Christmas Edition

Chocolate & Pastry Tour

During the holiday season you can hook up with the special Christmas edition of this very popular chocolate and pastry walking tour. As we said, Christmas in Paris is all about food, and chocolate is perhaps the best example. Everyone's in the holiday mood as they pass out plenty of samples! This is one of the most popular food activities and, hence, likely to sell out.

Gourmet Food Tour – The Christmas Edition!

Gourmet Christmas Tour of Paris

In Paris, La Saison Des Fêtes, the holiday season, is all about great food. On this small-group walking tour of the City of Celebration, you delve deep into the world of seasonal goodness — and you sample heartily! The tour starts at the renowned Christmas market on Place Saint-Sulpice, right in front of the magnificent church, and wanders through Saint-Germain. Bonnes Fêtes ! Available Monday through Saturday in December.

Christmas in Paris 2023 – The Top Day Excursions

The Best of Versailles, Priority-Access Guided Tour

The Best of Versailles, Priority-Access Guided Tour

Travel the royal route on this relaxing Versailles visit. Meet your driver in central Paris for a quick trip directly to the palace gates, where you arrive refreshed and ready to explore. Breeze past the long lineups for a small-group tour through the chateau's stunning interior. Stroll the beautiful gardens before lunch at a restaurant next to the Grand Canal. At the end of a full and satisfying day your driver awaits to take you back to Paris. Available most of Christmas week. (But not Christmas day, alas!)

Spend a Winter's Day in the Magical Land of the Bubbly

Champage Day Trip

"I am drinking stars," the champagne monk Dom Perignon said upon tasting the first glass of a sparkling wine. Or so the legend tells us! Now it's your turn to taste stars in the legendary Champagne Region of France during a Christmas sojourn from Paris. Your senses will be on overload as you wander through the Roman chalk caves, see how champagne is made, and taste the bubbly in elegant salons of Grand Maisons de Champagne .

The day begins with your driver/guide whisking you off through rolling hills towards Reims, the Birthplace of Bubbly. A 3-course lunch is included and the small group size ensures you get enough champagne!

Christmas in Paris 2023 – Seasonal Events

Christmas Markets – Marchés de Noël

Christmas Markets

Bundle up warm and go out exploring to see how the French celebrate Christmas. Every year seasonal Christmas markets spring up in many quartiers of Paris. It's where Parisians shop for crafts, decorations, and other seasonal specialties. From the middle of November to early January you can find Christmas Markets throughout the city. (Exact locations of some markets may change as the season progresses. We'll do our best to keep the list up to date!)

  • Saint-Sulpice (and Père Noël Village), 6th Arrondissement
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés (and Père Noël Village), 6th Arrondissement
  • Place de la Nation, 11th Arrondissement
  • Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, 18th Arrondissement
  • Gare de l'Est, 10th Arrondissement
  • Trocadero, 16th Arrondissement
  • Place de la Concorde, Norwegian Christmas Market, 1st Arrondissement
  • Notre Dame, Square Viviani, 5th Arrondissement
  • Saint-Sulpice (and Père Noël Village), 6th Arrondissement
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés (and Père Noël Village), 6th Arrondissement
  • Eiffel Tower, Quai Branly, 7th Arrondissement
  • Eiffel Tower, Port de Suffren, near the Vedettes de Paris, 7th Arrondissement
  • Jardin des Tuileries, just off Place de la Concorde, 1st Arrondissement
  • Gare de l'Est, Alsatian Christmas, 10th Arrondissement
  • Place de la Nation, 11th Arrondissement
  • Place d'Italie, 13th Arrondissement
  • Tour Montparnasse, 15th Arrondissement
  • Made in France Market, Place Charles-Michels, 15th Arrondissement
  • Trocadero, 16th Arrondissement
  • Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, 18th Arrondissement
  • La Defense, at Line 1

Notre Dame Christmas Market

Notre Dame at Christmas, pre-Covid Notre Dame at Christmas, in better days

The magic of the Notre-Dame Christmas market is back! Just across the river from the cathedral the Christmas vendors will be open from December 9 to 26. Marvel at the reconstruction of the cathedral that was nearly lost in the 2019 fire while you sample French seasonal delights and shop for authentic arts & crafts. The square's famous 400-year-old tree will be decorated for the season. So, grab a mug of mulled wine as you wander through the chalets, shopping for artisanal gifts, nibbling on roasted chestnuts.

Christmas Market at Hotel de Ville

Christmas Market at Hotel de Ville

From mid December to the beginning of January the place in front of the Paris city hall will celebrate Christmas. For the past few years the team at Hotel de Ville has decided to stage a Christmas market rather than the annual skating rink, and we're waiting to hear more about the 2023 plans.

Christmas Lights on Champs Elysées

Christmas Lights

Paris lights up for the holidays and you find light displays in shop windows and on streets throughout the city. But the most famous light show, and perhaps the most spectacular, is on Champs Elysées. In late November each year a celebrity has the honor of turning on the lights, kicking off the holiday season at the ceremony alongside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The lights will be turned on between 5:00 PM and 2:00 AM and will stay on all night on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

Skating Rinks

Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve Schedule

Called patinoires in French, the festive skating rinks dot the Paris landscape from mid-December to late January. No need to bring your skates, rentals are available. For the 2023 holiday season we can't yet predict which of the rinks will be open, or when

  • The Eiffel Tower, 7th
  • Grand Palais, 8th
  • Christmas Village, Champs Elysées, 8th
  • Trocadero, 16th
  • Jardin d'Acclimation, 16th
  • Paris Zoo, Bois de Vincennes

Le Grand Palais des Glaces

Grand Palais Éphémère

Each holiday season the Grand Palais has been transformed into a winter wonderland for the Christmas holidays. (See photo above.) Set beneath the iconic glass roof, it's been officially the biggest skating rink in France. The Grand Palais is now closed for renovations, and there's no word yet if a skating rink will be installed in the temporary space, the Grand Palais Éphémère on the Champ de Mars (in photo above), but we'll keep this space updated.

Paris Museums Open During Christmas 2023

Musee d'Orsay

The Louvre
  • Open: Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve
  • Closed: Christmas Day & New Year's Day
  • Closed Tuesdays
Musee d'Orsay
  • Open: New Year's Day
  • Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve
  • Closed Mondays
Pompidou Centre
  • Open: New Year's Eve
  • Closed: Christmas Day & New Year's Day
  • Closed Tuesdays

Museum Exhibitions During The Holiday Season

Picasso painting

Picasso – New Works of Art

The exhibition celebrates the nine masterpieces by Picasso donated to the French National Collections by his daughter, Maya Ruiz-Picasso.

Edvard Munch

In collaboration with the Munch Museum in Oslo, Musée d'Orsay is devotes an exhibition to the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) who, though he created numerous paints over sixty years, still remains largely unknown.

Facing The Sun

It's the 150th anniversary of Claude Monet's Impression: Soleil Levant (Impression: Sunrise), the centerpiece of Musée Marmottan-Monet's collection and the painting that launched the Impressionist movement.

What to Do on Christmas Day in Paris

Christmas Day in Paris

"What's open on Christmas Day in Paris?" readers ask us. So, for the lucky visitors who will be here on December 25, we've compiled the best things to do.

Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve Schedule

Most shops, museums and many restaurants will be open. Although Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are not official holidays in France, the train stations will be packed as Parisians head out for their Christmas getaway.

But be warned — chocolatiers, fromageries and anywhere food and wine are sold will be jam-packed with locals stocking up for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Make sure to stock up yourself as most everything will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. If you plan to dine out, make reservations well in advance around the holidays.

The good news is that the Eiffel Tower is open 365 days a year.

Christmas in Paris 2023 – Churches & Cathedrals


Notre Dame


Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

As you'd expect, at all the historic churches and cathedrals of Paris there are plenty of religious services during Christmas in Paris. Traditional Midnight Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral will not be held this year due to the damaging fire. However, here are some other options. The only way to secure a seat for mass is to to arrive early — we recommend you show up an hour early.

Église Saint Germain des Prés

Founded back in 542 AD (remember those years?), this Left Bank Paris church has history. Noted for its wonderful acoustics, it's an ideal destination for Christmas mass. Check their website for more details. (In French only).

Saint Eustache

Although a church has been on this site since 1213, the first stone of the current church was laid in 1532 by Francis I. Fun fact — Saint Eustache's floor-plan and structure will remind you of Notre Dame, with a nave flanked by double aisles and chapels.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Nestled in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower the immense Russian mega-spiritual center with no less than five gleaming onion domes opened in 2016 and has become a popular religions destination.


Sacre Coeur Basilica


Sacre Coeur Basilica, Montmartre

Celebrate Christmas at the famous snow-white basilica set on the highest point of Paris. There is a Christmas Eve organ concert at 10:00 PM and an 11:00 PM vigil and Midnight Mass. On Christmas Day there is Mass at 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 6:00 PM & 10:00 PM. It's recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before the service.
Sacre Coeur Christmas Schedule


Just kitty-corner from the Pantheon, Sainte-Etienne features stained-glass windows that date from the 16th and 17th centuries. By the way, the steps on the northwest side of the church were used as a location for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris ! Place Sainte-Genevieve, 5th Arrondissement

Saint Alexandre Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Set in the 8th Arrondissement close to Parc Monceau, this was the first Orthodox church in France, (established in 1861). Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova were married here in 1918. 12 Rue Daru

The American Cathedral in Paris

This historic monument is a a center for English-speakers in Paris. 23, avenue George V, 8th.

American Church in Paris

This was the first American church established in Paris, in 1814. It's located on the left bank of the Seine between Pont d'Alma and Pont des Invalides. 65 Quai d'Orsay, 7th.

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