Paris Events In December 2021 – Markets, Lights & Michael Jackson

December is the biggest holiday month of the year, and there's a lot to experience in Paris. As you would expect, the city is filled with seasonal warmth — including Christmas markets, gaily-decorated store windows, and streets decorated with Noël lights. Here we present a round-up of the top events, but for a more complete picture, take a look at our other December guides as well.

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Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights on Champs-Elysées

Each Christmas season, 400 trees on the iconic avenue — from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe — are decorated with a bevy of colorful, energy-efficient lights. Each year a celebrity flips the switch to turn on the lights in a special star-studded ceremony. In past years Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Paradis, Marion Cotillard, Laetitia Casta, and Charlotte Gainsbourg have been the lucky ones to switch on the lights. Last year Vanessa's daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, was the guest of honor. This year's special guest will be announced in early November. Stay tuned.

  • Avenue des Champs-Elysée
  • Late November to mid-January


Best Christmas Decorations

More of the Best Christmas Decorations in Paris

Christmas lights always set Paris twinkling. Extra-special care is put into decorating the lavish department stores and shopping districts that dot the Paris landscape. Here are few of our favorites streets and stores —

  • Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann
  • Printemps, Boulevard Haussmann
  • Le Bon Marché, 7th Arondissment
  • BHV, in the Marais
  • Faubourg Sainte-Honoré, 8th Arondissment
  • Forum des Halles, 2nd Arondissment
  • Place Vendome, 1st Arondissment


The Top Seine River Dinner Cruises

Privilege Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
This romantic dinner cruise includes champagne, a 4-course classic meal, and VIP seating. #1 Traveler Choice.
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Champagne Tasting on a Seine River Cruise
Cruise down the Seine on a bateau while being served a multi-course gourmet meal prepared by a French chef. 8:30 PM sailings.
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Top Christmas Markets in Paris

Top Christmas Markets in Paris

Celebrate the season by visiting some of the Christmas markets found throughout the city from late November to the end of December. There are over 100 Christmas markets in public squares, parks, avenues, and train stations in Paris. Here are few worth a detour —

    More than fifty exhibitions dedicated to Christmas arts and crafts. Just steps away from the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, the market will be brimming with crafts, seasonal decorations and delights.
    Square René Viviani, 2 rue du Fouarre, 5th Arrondissement
    One of the oldest Christmas markets in Paris. Artisans from the Alsace region travel to Paris to sell their wares. Savor the flavours of Alsace with specialty cakes, seasonal gingerbread, sausages, and sauerkraut. Taste foie gras, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Kugelhopf and Munster cheese. This market runs from December 1 to about the 16th.
    Parvis of the Gare de l'Est, Place du 11 Novembre 1918, 10th Arrondissement
    Last year the Champs-Elysées Christmas market closed following a dispute between the city and the market organizer. For 2021 there's a new location for the market, and it's an even bettre one — inside the gates of the Jardin des Tuileries just off Place de la Concorde. THe market runs from November 18. to January 9.
    Head up the hill to the former artist's village that is Montmartre to shop at the eclectic collection of thirty wooden chalets near the Sacré-Coeur
    Paroisse Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, 18th Arrondissements
    This Christmas village features seventy chalets selling holiday crafts, decorations, and seasonal foods. Head to Place Joachim-du-Bellay in the 1st Arrondissement near the Fontaine des Innocents at Les Halles. Late November to December 31, 2021


Noël en Bio – Organic Christmas Show

If you're looking for original Christmas gifts with values, authenticity and ethics, this show is the place for you. Meet the 120 exhibitors of the Noël en Bio, each featuring locally-made, ethically-produced gifts, foods, personal, care and home care products.


Michael Jackson – On the Wall

Although December is mostly about Christmas and Hanukkah, there are plenty of other Paris events happening featuring horses, boats, wine and… well, Michael Jackson.

To mark the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, the Grand Palais is mounting a major exhibition that examines the contribution of the King of Pop to modern culture. The exhibition traces Michael Jackson from his early roots as the child star in the family group to his status as a legend. It features many works on loan from artists like Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Dexter Dalwood, and David Hammons.


See the Magnificent Castles of the Loire Valley

Loire Valley Chateaux & Wine Tasting, Day Trip from Paris
Visit the magical castles of the Loire Valley in a day that also features a guided tasting of the best regional wines.
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Small-Group Day Tour to the Loire Valley Castles
Not thirsty? Sign up for this tour that spends more time exploring the magnificent castles. Includes lunch & pick-up at your Paris hotel.
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Salon Nautique de Paris

France's largest boat show features all things water sports — from sailing boats, fishing, and motorboats to board sports and shows off all the latest gadgets and new technologies. If you are a lover of leisure activities on the water, this is the event of the year. Don't miss the the huge Nautic Spot, a massive waterslide and beach in the center of the exhibition.


Noël – Christmas Day

December 25 is a French National Holiday. Museums will be shut tight as well as department stores and most shops. If you're not planning to cook in your Paris apartment, you'll want to be sure to make your Christmas dinner reservations well in advance.

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