Christmas in Paris is first a family and religious event. Most people offer gifts to family members. Many attend mass in one of the many churches in the city. Best things to do. Visit the Department Stores and admire their shop windows. Admire the city illuminations, especially on the Champs-Elysées and rue de la Paix. Enter churches and see the Christ Child Crib. On Christmas night, attend a mass at Sacré-Coeur or any of the many churches in town. Have dinner in a restaurant with their special menus and festive atmosphere. Christmas day is very quiet. There are few open restaurants and stores. Trip to Paris.
Christmas on Champs-Elysées is magnified by the illuminations (from November 21 to January 9). The traditional Christmas Market has been moved from Champs-Elysées to Les Tuileries Gardens. The Christmas market is open from November 20 to January 2.
A week before Christmas, Parisians rush to the stores to do their Christmas shopping. Stores are then very crowded. Almost all stores are closed on Christmas day in the city.
Most restaurants are open, have special menus plus animation and dance. Prices are less expensive than for New Year's Eve. Check restaurant web sites for reservations between now and mid December.
Special events for Christmas
Restaurants with a view
During Christmas, the city is wonderfully illuminated at night, with colors and lights which give the city a magical and unique atmosphere. Experience a magic Christmas on the Seine River. An unforgettable evening on the Seine to celebrate Christmas. A superb view over the most beautiful monuments of the city. A refined, gourmet dinner cruise. Admire the superb illuminations along the cruise.
It is difficult to find a good restaurant in Paris open on Christmas day. The brasseries are the exception. They have large and beautiful dining rooms, atmosphere, shellfish, sauerkraut, beer and Alsatian wine. They are affordable and popular with locals. L'Alsace, Mollard and Au Pied de Cochon are open 7 days a week, including Christmas day and New Year's day. Paris brasseries.
A Christmas lunch river cruise on the 24th or the 25th is an affordable option if you book in advance. Against the backdrop of traditional Christmas music and song, after a Coupe de Champagne as an aperitif, you will enjoy a sumptuous meal designed around typical fine French dining. In a warm and beautifully decorated setting, filled with the colors of Christmas, you will enjoy French gastronomy that will awaken your taste buds and thoroughly enchant you!.
Although Christmas became too a major commercial event, it is first a religious event in the city with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, a 1500 year old tradition.
Most churches in the city have a beautiful Christ child crib during Christmas time. Christmas night masses are always touching faithful people and skeptics alike. They are fully part of a city where the Catholic church is quite dynamic.