The Paris Christmas markets have their origins in Alsace where the tradition is very strong and part of the local culture. France’s first and largest market is found in Strasbourg, which is easily accessible by TGV from Paris-Gare de l’Est.
The Paris Christmas Markets, a new tradition
The presence of Christmas markets in Paris is relatively new. Since the mid-2000s, the French capital and other cities elsewhere in France have multiplied the market traditions. In Paris only, they are approximately 10 different sites, some of them featuring over a hundred of wood chalets (La Défense).
Visiting a Christmas market is an ideal outing with kids who will love savouring Holiday treats such as gingerbread, bredeles and other sweet delicacies. Adults will enjoy mulled wine, sausages and specialties from almost all the regions of France and particularly from Alsace. Here is a list of some of Paris’ Christmas markets situated next to the capital’s iconic sites and landmarks.
Christmas Market of Champs-Élysées (8th arrt)
Until December 2016 the Christmas market on the Champs-Élysées included with more chalets and events: 160 stalls typical of the Vosges offered to their visitors hand crafted items for original gifts, mulled wine, waffles, crêpes and other Alsatian delicacies, and many rides and activities for children.
The Champs-Elysées Christmas market bordered both sides of the avenue between the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées and the Place de la Concorde.
In 2017 the Paris municipality decided to cancel the market once for all.
One of the most beautiful views of Paris at Christmas was provided by the Ferris wheel on Place de la Concorde: it was ideally located in the centre of the Historical Axis and offered a great view of the Eiffel Tower and River Seine. The Ferris wheel won’t be renewed on its current site from Christmas 2018.
- From 2017 the Christmas market of the Champs-Élysées won’t be renewed!
- Dec 2017-May 2018 will be the last season for the Big Wheel on the Place de la Concorde.
- Metro station: Concorde (lines 1, 8 and 12), Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau (lines 1 and 13)
Find out more about Christmas on the Champs-Élysées.
Christmas Market at the Eiffel Tower (7th arrt)
In the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower are two small Christmas markets: one is in the Champ-de-Mars (Avenue Anatole France) and another in Quai Branly by River Seine, both offering a wide range of decorative objects and local produce. In past years, the gardens of Trocadéro were transformed into a winter-wonderland (“Trocadéro on Ice”) which included a snowshoe and cross-country trail. and an open-air skating rink.
- Open from 21 December 2017 to 8 January 2018
- Metro station: Bir Hakeim (lines 6), Trocadéro (lines 6 and 9). RER station: Champ-de-Mars Tour Eiffel (RER C).
Christmas Market of La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine)
The Christmas market of La Défense is arguably the largest in the Paris region. The cluster of its white chalets at the centre of the Esplanade seems at odds with the futurist environment made up of tall skyscrapers. This is definitely the country’s most surprising Christmas market…
- Open from 23 November to 28 December 2017.
- Metro and RER stations: La Défense Grande Arche (métro line 1, RER A, Tram 2)
Find out more about Christmas at La Défense.
Christmas Market of Les Halles (1st arrt)
A new site was announced in mid-November 2017 for a Christmas Market in central Paris.
Located around the Innocents Fountain near Les Halles, the market stresses on quality and security. It features 70 wood chalets which sells regional produce and artisanal products with the ambition to move upmarket. The market is decorated with 250 fir trees, a giant 5 m diameter ball with 25,000 leds inside.
- Open from 28 November to 31 December 2017.
- Metro and RER stations: Les Halles (métro lines 1, 4, 7, 11,14 – RER A, B & D)
Christmas Market of Notre-Dame (5th arrt)
This little Christmas market is located not far from the cathedral of Notre-Dame in the square René Viviani (5th arrondissement).
- Open from 15 December to 24 December 2017
- Metro station: Saint-Michel (line 4, RER B)
Christmas Markets in the 6th Arrondissement
The 6th arrondissement holds two Christmas markets: around the churches of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Saint-Sulpice.
Christmas Market of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrt)
Also called “Santa’s village”, Paris’ smallest Christmas market is situated around the ancient church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. About 30 chalets nicely decorated offer a selection of traditional items.
- Open from 1st December 2017 to 1st January 2018
- Metro stations: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (line 4), Mabillon (line 10)
Christmas Market of Saint-Sulpice (6th arrt)
Not far from Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this Christmas market is located on the square of St Sulpice Church. Around the monumental fountain, 40 chalets welcome visitors and offer artisan craftwork and Christmas decorations.
- 2017 Dates TBC
- Metro station: Saint Sulpice (line 4)
Christmas Market of Montparnasse (15th arrt)
40 chalets are located on Place Raoul Dautry next to the railway station and at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower.
- From 2017 the Montparnasse Christmas Market won’t be renewed!
- Metro station: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (lines 4, 6, 13 and 12)
Christmas Markets of Montmartre (18th arrt)
The hill of Montmartre holds two Christmas markets:
Parvis of Sacré-Cœur / Place du Tertre
Last year the parvis of the Sacré-Cœur basilica on the Hill of Montmartre host 60 chalets which added a festive atmosphere to what was Paris’s highest Christmas Market. The market extended to the streets of Rue Azaïs and Rue du Cardinal Guibert.
- Just one weekend to discover this little Christmas market on the forecourt of the Sacré-Cœur: 2017 Dates TBC
- Metro station: Anvers (line 2)
Place des Abbesses
- Open from 21 November 2017 to 2 January 2018
- Metro station: Abbesses (line 12)
Alsatian Christmas Market of Gare de l’Est (10th arrt)
A Christmas market located on the parvis of the railway station featuring Alsatian confectionary, Christmas ornaments and typical regional food.
- Open from 1 to 16 December 2017
- Metro station: Gare de l’Est (lines 4, 5 and 7)
Christmas market of Invalides
In 2017 a new Christmas market will take place in the Hôtel des Invalides. It includes about 40 chalets with French and European produce and items.
- Open from 15 to 31 December (closed on Christmas Day)
- Metro station: Invalides (RER line C, métro lines 8 and 13)
Christmas market of Italie 2
It includes about 20 chalets located near the shopping centre.
- Open from 1 to 31 December
- Metro station: Place d’Italie (métro lines 5, 6 & 7)
Christmas Markets in the suburbs of Paris
More Christmas markets can be visited outside Paris, particularly in Neuilly, Boulogne and Vincennes:
Christmas Market of Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine)
The Christmas market and its 45 chalets are found on the Grand Place.
- Open from 5 December 2017 to 4 January 2018
- Metro station: Boulogne Jean Jaurès (line 10)
Christmas Market of Vincennes (Val-de-Marne)
The Christmas market is held in Rue Raymond-du-Temple and Rue du Midi. An open-air ice-skating rink is found on the esplanade of the City-Hall along with a merry-go-round and other rides.
- 2017 Dates TBC
- Metro station: Château de Vincennes (line 1)