2012 Guide to Whats On in the City of Lights at Christmas!
NEW in 2012 The Notre Dame Cathedral Market will be dedicated to arts, crafts and fine cuisine (with Santa).
Open: Daily from 15 - 23 Dec, 2012.
Location: Place Notre Dame Metro: St Michel or Cite.
La Défense Market - 350 stands of traditional arts, crafts and tempting things to eat/drink, at the largest, most festive Christmas market in the surreal setting of high-rise buildings.
Open: 21 Nov – 29 Dec 2012. Closed Christmas Day.
Location: La Grande arche de La Defense Metro: La Defense.
Market and Ice Rink at Trocadero - Over 120 wooden chalets peddling gastronomic Christmas goods, crafts, an ice-skating rink and "snow villages" right in the middle of Paris, a giant igloo, snowman, this one's ideal for the kids.
Open: Daily from 8 Dec - 2 Jan, 2013.
Location: Place de la Trocadero (across from the Eiffel) Metro: Trocadero
Saint-Germain Market and Village of Father Christmas - Along Blvd Saint-Germain, 25 chalets will spread the Christmas magic. Shop for the family and taste seasonal goodies.
Open: Daily from 6 Dec - 2 Jan 2013
Location: Place Saint-Germain-des-pres Metro: Saint-Sulpice
Great neighbourhood option: Place des Abbesses - nestled in the heart of the quaint Montmartre neighbourhood.
Open: daily from mid Dec 2012 - Jan 2013
Location: Place des Abbesses Metro: Abbesses
Special: A small market in the 16th district, where revenue is donated to the children’s orphanage that hosts this event.
Location: Rue de la Fontaine Metro: Michel-Ange Auteuil
Paris City Council has set up 2 open-air ice rinks in front of the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), one large and one smaller for youngsters. Skates can be hired on site. This year the ice rinks operate from 16 Dec to 4 Mar, 2013.
in Magnificent Paris Churches
Enjoy Christmas music, classical or religious, at one of our favourite historic churches hosting special Christmas concerts.
La Sainte Chapelle - Experience one of the most breathtaking sights in Paris while enjoying a superb performance from 8-31 Dec 2012. There's a New Years Eve Concert at 6pm 31st Dec.
Location: 4 boulevard du Palais 75001
View performances / book tickets here
Eglise de La Madeleine Christmas Concert - Enjoy famous choral and instrumental works by the greatest composers at one of the most beautiful churches from 15 Dec to 1 Jan 2013
Location: Place de la Madeleine.
View performances / book tickets here
For more neighbourhood church concerts visit 'Special Christmas Concerts'
Our best-picks for street illuminations are:
1. 'Illume Paris'
From 1st Dec, 2012, Paris City Hall will light 125 streets around Paris for the holidays, with lights switched on from 5:00 pm each night until 2:00 am. Some streets illuminated include la rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais, Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Rue de Rennes, Rue de Richelieu, Rue des Saints-Pères, Rue de Grenelle.
2. Avenue Montaigne. From 23 Nov-10 Jan 2013
Metro: Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, 75008. Map
3. Place Vendome surrounds - From 21 Nov-15 Jan 2013
Location: Place Vendome, Rue de la Paix, Rue de Castiglione, Rue Saint-Honore and Rue des Capucines 75001
Metro: Opera, Tuileries or Concorde. Map
4. Bercy Village - From 19 Nov - 6 Jan 2013.
Location: 28 rue Francois Trufaut - 75012.
Metro: Cour Saint Emillon. Map
5. Galleries Lafayette - From Nov-Jan 2013
Location: 40 Boulevard Haussmann - 75009.
Metro: Opera. Map.
Intimate Small Group Gourmet Christmas Walking Tour.
Enjoy samples galore at Paris' enchanting Saint-Sulpice Christmas Market and specialty food.
CHRISTMAS EVE MASS
The Archbishop of Paris officiates the traditional midnight mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. There's also a 6pm mass.
Address: 6 Place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004. Map.
Metro: Notre Dame or Cite
Sacre Coeur Basilica midnight mass and at 7pm
Address: 35 Rue Chevalier de Barre 75018. Map Metro: Anvers
Eglise de la Madeleine and Nativity - Doors open 9.30.
Address: 1, place de la Madeleine 75008. Map
OPEN CHRISTMAS DAY
1. Cemetaries of Paris:
Pere Lachaise - 16 Rue du Repos 75020. Website
Montparnasse - 3 Blvd Edgar Quinet 75014 Website
Montmartre - 20 Ave Rachel 75018 Website
2. Movie Theatres
Find English (VO) films without French dubbing (VF):
Champs Elysees Panthe Cinemas 75008
MK2 MK2 cinemas 75013
Curiosite et Magique (Magic Museum) - 11 rue Saint Paul. 75004. Website
Centre Pompidou Museum of Modern Art - Place Georges Pompidou 75003. Website
Salvador Dali Museum - 11 rue Poulbot 75018 Website
1. La Coupole - One of Paris' famous, literary haunts and cult brasseries in the traditional art decor cosy ambience. 102 Boulevade Montparnasse 75014. Website
2. Our absolute favourite - Chez Julien - Tall gilded mirrors, plush furnishings, crystal chandeliers, some of the best french food, and a stunning view of the Seine and Notre Dame This is a special Christmas dinner spot. 1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe 75004 Website
3. Bofinger - A well known traditional brasserie serving classic Christmas fare. 5-7, rue de la Bastille 75011 Website