If you're lucky enough to be in Paris in December, you'll be rewarded with the most magical events and activities of the year. The city sparkles with a million lights, and hundreds of decorated trees line the boulevards. Christmas markets spring up all over the city — from the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre to a special holiday lighting ceremony on Champs-Elysées.
Christmas is a busy time in Paris; tours, dinners and events sell out early. So be sure to book your holiday activities as soon as you can — tout de suite !
|The Top Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Best Ways To Visit Versailles|
|The Top Food & Wine Activities||All The Best Events in Paris||New Exhibits At The Museums|
Reserve your place for the Christmas version of a Seine River dinner cruise. It's a floating extravaganza as you watch the holiday lights of Paris pass by while listening to live music and being served a classic 4-course French meal. Departure time is 8:30 PM. Choose the Service Premier option for the best seating, best meal, and the ultimate experience.
Sign up here for one of the best Christmas celebrations in Paris — a VIP lunch or dinner cruise along the most magical river in the world. You set sail on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for a memorable 5-course dinner with all the French touches, starting with a glass of champagne. For the best experience, we recommend the Service Premier dinner option. These special sailings will sell out soon, so book right now.
If you had to choose one evening activity this might be it. A beautiful combination of a champagne-fueled sunset Seine River cruise followed by skip-the-line access to Level 2 of the Eiffel Tower. From there, the city unfolds in a dazzling vista beneath you. Here's what we loved: you're treated like a VIP with no waiting, no jostling, just pure Paris fun.
Here's another way to indulge your inner romantic on a magical evening cruise along the Seine, viewing the City of Lights at its most magical. You dine on a decadent 4-course classic French dinner, accompanied by live music on-board, as you float past illuminated landmarks like the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower.
What could be better than a relaxed, champagne-fueled boat ride down the most beautiful river in the world? Well, what about having priority seating at the front of the boat? How about a French sommelier to guide you through a flight of three different types of champagne? Glide past the sights while sipping bubbly and discovering that the best way to see the City of Lights is on a bateau.
The Moulin Rouge is the most iconic cabaret in the world, 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? There's a classic 4-course dinner, champagne, and a view of the show that can't be bettered. Marvel at the glorious spectacle, the costumes, and the dancers as you sip bubbly. This is an extraordinary evening you will remember for years to come.
There's really no more magnificent spectacle than this grand ballet performance at Opera Bastille. Seeing Rudolf Nureyev's masterful version of Swan Lake is something you will never forget. Performed at Opera Bastille on only 4 dates in December, including Christmas Day and New Years Eve. If you want to see this, you'd better book right now. Like, right now!
You're going to love hearing classical music performed in the stunning La Sainte Chapelle. Come for the music and be amazed by the recently restored stained glass and Gothic architecture. Sitting among these magnificent windows is an experience not to be missed, especially while listening to some of the greatest pieces of music ever composed. Tickets will sell out, so act now.
Here's an easy & fun way to enjoy all the seasonal goodness that Paris has to offer. Follow your guide to explore Christmas in Paris in its many forms — the decorations & displays at Galeries Lafayette, window displays in the city's Art Nouveau shops & boutiques, in and out of quaint food and tableware shops, and finishing up at a traditional Parisian win bar for champagne and foie gras. Bonnes Fêtes !
The Louvre is very, very popular, and rightly so, but that means long lineups. Luckily, though, you can grab priority access by booking this guided tour, especially designed to feature the most famous works, the ones you must see when in Paris. Don't waste your time in line or get lost in the mammoth 60,000 square foot museum — see it like a Paris VIP.
That's right, do Paris in one day! This tour packs a wallop with a combination of Louvre museum tour, Seine River cruise & Eiffel Tower summit. At the Louvre an expert guide takes you to the best artworks. And who doesn't love a relaxing river cruise? You walk the streets of Île de la Cité and view Notre Dame. To top it all (literally!) there's a skip-the-line visit to the Eiffel tower where, from Level 3, you see the city spread beneath you. Everything is included.
Also very popular in Paris is the Eiffel Tower. There is always a long line. The only sure way to avoid waiting out in the December cold is to book a skip-the-line tour. Meet your guide at the base of the tower and be escorted past the massive lineup to the priority entrance. Since availability at the Tower changes, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check with the link below.
Each month we feature a favorite Paris hotel. Hotel Lancaster Champs-Elysées (in the 8th Arrondissement) exudes a certain zen-like luxury, combining design details with minimalism for a very relaxing atmosphere. Small for a deluxe hotel, this allows for the Lancaster's personal service. For the best experience, consider the Marlene Dietrich Suite, named for the actress who lived here in the 1930s.
The Latin Quarter is pretty much everyone's favorite part of Paris. It turns out that this historic and charming quartier is also home to some of our favorite hotels in the city. And it's right in the center of things, with so much in easy walking distance. Discover our top seven picks of the best hotels in the quartier, including our #1 top hotel pick in all of Paris.
It's a great feeling landing in Paris and knowing what's going to happen. That's why we always pre-arrange transportation from the airport into central Paris. There are shuttles and taxis, of course, but our favorite way is to have a luxurious vehicle and driver waiting at our arrival to whisk us directly to our hotel. There's something magical about starting your trip to Paris with a touch of comfort.
Experience the festive magic of Paris on a private Christmas tour. Visit the top landmarks at their most merry, including Galeries Lafayette's famed Christmas window display & decorations. There's a ride on popular Ferris wheel and a trip to a holiday market with your private guide. You travel by foot and by private vehicle. Hotel pick-up is included. Did we mention the snacks and the mulled wine?
Under the guidance of a master affineur (an expert in the art of cheese aging) you descend into the cheese cellar of a fromagerie in the Marais. Here you learn all about this culinary art while you sample seven classic French cheeses, along with wines — discovering how cheese became one of the most revered foods of France. The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you.
Everyone loves this food tour through one of the oldest quartiers of Paris. Start at the oldest food market in the city, and then follow your food-expert guide through the historic Marais neighborhood to visit the top food & wine shops, tasting the best of French foods — cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine. Highly recommended.
It's an Insiders secret that the best place to see the dazzling landmarks of Paris is on a boat, cruising along the Seine, sipping champagne while enjoying a leisurely classic 3-course French meal. The menu is a la carte, with wine & champagne compris (included). We highly recommend the Premier Service option to guarantee you a private window seat and a better menu.
Sign up for a 2-hour in-depth tasting — that allows enough time to explore all the best wine 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. Available Christmas Eve & New Years Eve.
In Paris, chocolate is a major food group. At least that how it seems, what with over 200 speciality (and amazing) chocolatiers. On this tour (our readers' fave food activity) you walk from chocolate shop to pastry shop to chocolate shop in an historic district of Paris and sample all along the route. On a small group tour like this you get hands-on attention at a relaxed pace.
You start your culinary afternoon on the historic Left Bank, a gourmet haven. At a traditional fromagerie you learn about French cheeses while you sample, sample, sample. Next up are freshly baked baguettes followed by French wine. Don't forget the foie gras! And, don't worry, any calories you consume are going to be burned off by the walk! The Christmas version of this popular tour is not to be missed.
What better place to learn about French cooking than Paris? Especially when your class also includes a trip to an outdoor food market to meet butchers, fishmongers, and produce sellers to gather the fresh ingredients for your cooking. This popular class teaches you how to create an entire French meal — entrée, plat, et dessert. Available from December 15 onward.
Tarte au citron, souffles, Madeleines — imagine learning how to make these classic French pastries in a cooking class… in Paris! Spend the afternoon creating classic French pastries with a French chef. The group size is limited to make sure you get more attention from the chef and have more pastries to enjoy afterwards!
The days starts with your driver whisking you from Paris to the royal estate, where priority access awaits. You head directly inside to experience the grandeur of the chateau. This guided tour includes visits to the state apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Queen's Chambers. Afterwards, stroll through the stunning gardens until lunch on the Grand Canal. Later, see the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's fantasy village farm. The small-group size ensures individual attention.
If you don't have a full day to devote to Versailles, we also recommend this half-day tour that includes priority access. You'll breeze by the long lines to experience the grandeur of Louis XIV, The Sun King. This small-group activity is led by an expert guide and includes transporation from central Paris. If you prefer (as we do) you can opt for a private tour, for just you and your group.
A perfect way to experience the grandeur of Versailles while avoiding the crowds is to book this VIP tour of the royal estate. Your private driver takes you from your Paris hotel to the priority entrance at the palace. Bypass the long lineups for the chance to see areas of the chateau usually reserved for dignitaries. You also visit the Hall of Mirrors, the king and queen's private residences, and the magnificent gardens.
A day spent in the Champagne region is certain to be a highlight of your holiday. Starting from your Paris address your driver/guide whisks you off through rolling hills and world-class vineyards to Reims, capital of the Champagne region. After touring this historic area the champagne houses beckon and your sampling of bubbly begins! A classic French 3-course lunch is included on this full-day trip.
One of the things you don't want to miss when you visit France is the Loire Valley with its magnificent castles. It's an easy day trip from Paris and this particular tour is our favorite. Not only do you visit 3 or 4 of the most spectacular chateaux, you also taste the wines of the best producers in the Loire Valley. The semi-private activity includes transportation from central Paris in a luxurious Eurovan.
Although it took the Allied Forces 70 days to get from the Atlantic shore to Paris, it will only take you a few hours to get from Paris to the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy. Perhaps the most important battle site of World War II, the landing beaches still evoke powerful memories and emotions. Visit the important sites on a small-group trip from Paris in a comfortable Eurovan.
Take a day to visit this fairytale island just off the Normandy coast. On this private tour you explore the Benedictine abbey of Mont St-Michel that becomes separated from the mainland during high tide. Wander along the narrow streets, visit the shops and the abbey's ramparts. Everything is included, even pick-up at your hotel, so no need to worry about anything.
Who doesn't love staying on the Left Bank of Paris? Since Hemingway and the Jazz Age, the Left Bank has defined the essence of Paris. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, and so are the best of the hotels in the quartier. In fact, here is our selection of the top Left Bank hotels — with a couple of bonuses as well!
From the middle of November to early January bundle up warm and set out on the streets of Paris to learn how the French celebrate Christmas. Seasonal markets are set up up in many quartiers of the city. These temporary cabin villages are where tout les Parisiens shop for seasonal specialties, decorations, and Christmas crafts. During this festive time of year you will find Noël markets throughout the city.
It's a Christmas miracle! Paris' favorite Marché a Noël at Notre Dame Cathedral is back, but just across the river in Square Viviani. Marvel at oldest tree in Paris (at 400 years) and sample regional specialties like macaroons, gingerbread, foie gras, hot pretzels, sausages, local cheese, roasted chestnuts, mulled wdine and chocolat chaud.
• Square René Viviani, 5th Arrondissement
• December 9 to 26
Paris lights up for the holidays, but the most famous light show is on Champs Elysées. If you're lucky enough to be in Paris in mid November you can watch the Christmas lights be turned on by celebrities and French dignitaries. (We're still waiting to be invited to throw the switch!)
• Avenue des Champs Elysées
• November 15 to January 6
France's largest boat show is once again riding the waves in 2022!
Yes, you can! You'll cover a lot of art history in a few short hours — the only thing you have to do is relax and enjoy the masterpieces. No need to worry about buying tickets or standing in line. This combination museum tour takes you to the best at the Louvre and the d'Orsay museum with a knowledgeable guide. Group size is limited to 8.
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.
• Musée d'Orsay
• Ends January 22, 2023
The exhibition celebrates the nine masterpieces by Picasso donated to the French National Collections by his daughter, Maya Ruiz-Picasso.
• Musée Picasso
• Ends December 31, 2022
Here's a chance to see art films, archives, and documentaries shot during Picasso's lifetime, presenting facets of his personal and artistic life.
• Musée Picasso
• Ends February 12, 2023
This new exhibition features some of Cezanne's best work, displaying his composition, his approach to light and color, and his greatest source of inspiration.
• Atelier des Lumières
• Ends January 2, 2023
To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), the Musée des Beaux-Arts in her hometown of Bordeaux and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris are presenting a retrospective of her paintings.
• Musée d'Orsay
• October 18 to January 15, 2023
Born in Paris, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants, Szafran (1934-2019) was an abstract artist with a passion for pastel.
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.
Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone (born 1947) is known for his large scale sculptures of trees, but he has always kept a pencil and paper nearby for his drawings. This exhibition presents over 200 of his drawings donated by Penone to the Pompidou, along with six sculptures.
"Do not visit the colonial exhibition!" This was the reaction of the Surrealist group of artists when denouncing the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition. (The title means something like "unframing the colonial exhibition"… we think!) The current show will return to that rather unpleasant chapter of French history, which degraded cultures by referring to them as "elsewhere">
Newsweek magazine recently named Marclay one of the ten most important artists working today. His early work explored the connections between sound, noise, photography, video, and film. He pioneered the use of gramophone records and turntables to create unique sound collages. Marclay's later work extends to all the visual arts — photographs, prints, paintings, and films.
If there's one event that captures the spirit of New Orleans it's the Mardi Gras Carnival with floats, brass bands, and lots of street dancing. Part of the scene, and tracing their roots to the French colonial era, are the Mardi Gras Indians (also known as Black Masking Indians) who parade in magnificent Native American costumes adorned with pearls, sequins, and feathers. The exhibition is organized with the Louisiana State Museum.
It took Roger Boulay, a museum curator, more than two decades to document 3,000 sketches and watercolours of the Kanak people. In case you've forgotten your cultural geography, the Kanak are the indigenous people of New Caledonia, a southwest Pacific island territory still governed by France. The Kanak speak more than twenty distinct languages with eleven dialects including Creole, and use French as their common language. This is a must-see exhibition!
Kimono literally means "what is worn". The gown embodies Japanese culture and sensibility. It was during the Edo era (1603-1868) that the kimono became the traditional dress, worn by all Japanese, regardless of their social status or gender. This exhibition, conceived at Victoria and Albert Museum, examines the kimono across centuries and continents.
A retrospective of the work of Belle Époque artist André Devambez. An artistic jack of all trades, Devambez was a painter, an engraver and and illustrator at the same time, producing work oscillating between serious and light subjects.
A major retrospective dedicated to the English painter Walter Sickert. Sickert painted subjects considered too audacious for this time, such as music hall scenes and de-eroticized nudes.
Influenced by the masters, André Derain (1880-1954) turned to more classical painting after World War I. His landscapes capture the intense light of Provence. Hence, "Southern Landscapes".
"Women of Paris!" This historical exhibition takes you on a journey in search of traces of women's struggles for emancipation from the French Revolution to the achievement of parity in politics,
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