Christmas is on its way with all its festivities, lights and presents! The moment has arrived to experience the magic of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, discover Paris at its most enchanting. Lined up for this month: Christmas markets, open air skating rinks, merry-go-rounds, shows and events in abundance! Here’s our favorites.

Holiday spirit and sparkling surroundings at the Christmas markets

The ever-popular and traditional Christmas markets have opened their stalls in November and remain essential places to visit for Christmas shopping. They are an essential part of the Christmas and New Year festivities  in Paris and are held throughout the capital, from Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés to Place de la Nation, including the Champs-Elysées and the Place du Tracadéro… for the pleasure of all!
The markets offer a warm, friendly atmosphere to walk around and discover the Christmas decorations, party items, local produce and artisanal products, all displayed in little wooden huts. There are hundreds of  gift ideas at this unmissable family outing: a treat for kids and adults alike!

Christmas and New Year celebrations at the ice rink of the Grand Palais

Paris and its Grand Palais are repeating the experience. For the second year in a row, children and adults alike can once again put on their ice skates and head out onto the ice at the world’s largest skating rink. The Grand Palais des Glaces will be open from the 14th of December 2014 to the 4th of January 2015. If offers 2,700 square metres of ice for you to skate on in a magical setting. And not only are you free to skate on the ice, but there will also be places where you can sit and relax all around the rink. This will give you the chance to enjoy the numerous shows and events taking place inside the Grand Palais des Glaces. In short, it has everything required to enjoy a good time and provide a unique experience of Christmas in Paris.

Grand Palais des Glaces skating rink

Ten days of magical extravaganza at the Festival of Marvels

Enter a dreamlike world of marvels at the “Musée des Arts Forains” (Museum of Fairground Arts) at Bercy from the 26 December 2014 to the 4 January 2015.  Lined up for the occasion are ten days of shows and magical extravaganza for children (and older children) in this temple of the funfair during the Christmas and New Year festive period. Learn all about the fairground arts in a fun visit with shows, rides on merry-go-rounds and other attractions. From Venice to the Belle Epoque, including the giant cabinet of curiosities, prepare yourself for a magical journey.

Noël gourmand, Paris’s main Christmas food show

The Palais Brogniart event and conference centre is hosting the Salon Noël Gourmand food show from December 19-22. Seize the opportunity to meet around a hundred French producers before Christmas and New Year arrive! Foie gras, cheese and truffle producers as well as chocolate makers and confectioners will ensure that no gourmet is left hungry. There should definitely be something there to satisfy any palette, with more than 100 producers from all four corners of France in attendance. It’s the perfect place to search for a last minute Christmas present.

New Year’s Eve at the Moulin Rouge

Head for the famous MOULIN ROUGE cabaret in Paris’s Pigalle district if you want to celebrate the New Year in a true Parisian atmosphere! If you are looking for a glamorous evening out, this is the place to be! The cabaret, which stands in Paris’s Place Blanche, is preparing to celebrate its 122nd New Year with joy, and with sparkle and sequins! Gourmet dining, the “Féerie” show, dancing, party streamers and other surprises are in store until late at night! And who knows, you may even leave with a souvenir gift!

Looking for somewhere to stay when attending these events? Find out about our guest rooms and apartments in the City of Light where you can stay for free.

Nightswap in Paris