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Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris is a special time. The city of lights is dressed up in extra glitter and dazzle for the festive season and a glamorous and befitting end to an year. Read on for various sights and delights of Paris in this season. And of course, there are always free goodies !

 

Christmas


Thousands of streets, avenues and boulevards in Paris and its suburbs come alive with lights and animations, each one competing with the other for attention and accolades. Champs Elysees, the most beautiful avenue in the world is decorated with extra special care- the trees lining the avenue put on the robes of thousands of lights for the festival and the admiring eyes. The high end boutiques, in their turn, dazzle to welcome the locals and the tourists alike.

This year, in order to celebrate the Presidency of France for European Union, the trees at the Champs are dressed in blue colour. Nearly 415 trees bordering the avenue are illuminated from Arc de Triomphe up to the Place de la Concorde. The decorations were inaugurated by Actress Marion Cotillard, on Nov 19th, in the presence of Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë. The Champs Elysees will remain decorated till Jan 20th.  Champs Elysees decorated with Christmas Lights

 

The festival spirit fills everyone's hearts with joy and gaiety.There are Christmas Markets in various parts of Paris. For the first time this year, Champs-Elysees plays host to Christmas market (from round point of Champs Elysees to Place de la Concorde. Another market at Place St. Germain de Près* resembles a little Christmas village.

Find out more about Christmas Market.

 

Carousel in Paris
 

There are merry-go-rounds or carousels for children, available for free rides during this season. There is at least one carousel in each district of Paris. These carrousels with wooden horses, elephants, camels, aeroplanes etc. offer rides to the children while playing christmas songs or nursery rhymes. A kitsch decor with lights and loud music, these carousels are strategically placed at tourists spots and are hard to miss.

Get the location and directions of the free carousel closest to you in Paris.

 

Paris municipal corporation also organizes free skating rinks across the city, starting from 20th December- Jan/ March (depending on the venue). Available in three different locations- Hotel de Ville de Paris* (get details), Montparnasse* (get details), François Mitterrand National Library* (get details). Skaters have free access to these rinks. For an impromptu outing, one can even rent the skates at the location for 2€- 5€. Double blade skates are available for use, free of cost, for children.

 

Big stores like the famous Galleries Lafayette* and Printemps* are quite a popular attraction during Christmas season. The illuminations and the decorations change each year depending on the adopted themes. The show windows come alive with mechanical animations and a fairy land, attracting a huge number of children and their parents, from Paris and other places.


 Illumination at Galleries Lafayette at Christmas

Christmas trees in Paris rise to the occasion of showing off their fashionable best! Around 1000 Christmas trees are installed throughout Paris. Of this, more than 250 are placed around the Champs Elysees, more than 150 around Place de la Bastille and the rest are placed in lesser but arguably beautiful areas! These trees are not procured by deforestation. They are purpose grown in the nurseries of Jura (Region in French Alps)

 

Artificial snow on Christmas trees in Paris 

President's Christmas Tree stands proud in the courtyard of the Palais de l'Elysée. You could visit a public exhibition of more than 60 Designers' Christmas Trees as imagined by fashion stalwarts such as Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Gucci, Christian Lacroix, Jeal-Paul Gaultier and the like.

For the second consecutive year in a row, Luxury Hotel Paris Intercontinental Le Grand* is hosting an exhibition of Christmas Trees' Fashion. Dressed by students of the invited Fashion Institute, there are more than 30 'works' on a free display.

 

A Chocolaty Christmas tree has been installed by Ferrero Rocher in La Défense close to the Christmas market. Paris comes alive with party goers for the year end celebrations. There are various events, cabarets and parties happening in different parts of the city on the New Year's Eve. Find out more.

Public transport would remain available and free in and around Paris on the night of Dec 31st & Jan 1st.

Here's wishing you the best of Parisian festivities!

 

*Details of the places mentioned in this article (addresses & how to reach):

Avenues des Champs Elysees

Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Line 1, 9)
Bus: 28, 32, 42, 73, 80, 83, 93, BAL, (Bus stop: Rond Point des Champs Elysees- Roosevelt/ Matignon)

Hotel de Ville de Paris

Parvis de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004
Metro: Hôtel de Ville (Line 1, 11)
Bus: 67, 69, 76, 96 (Bus stop: Hotel de Ville de Paris IV)

Gare Montparnasse

Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue(Line 4, 6, 12, 13)
Bus: 28, 58, 82, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96 (Bus stop: Place du 18 Juin

Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterrand

Avenue de France, 75013 (near College Thomas Mann)
Metro: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (Line 14)
Bus: 89, 132 (Bus stop: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand/ Raymond Aron)

Galleries Lafayette

40, boulevard Haussmann, 75009
Tel : +33 (0) 1 42 82 34 56
Metro : Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette (Line 7, 9)
RER : Auber
Opening Hours: 09:30 AM- 07:30 PM (from Monday through Saturday)
Open till 09:30 PM on Thursdays.
Gimme their website !

Printemps

64, bd Haussmann, 75009
Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 82 50 00
Metro: Havre- Caumartin (Line 3, 9)
Bus: 22, 32, 53, 66 (Stop: Havre Caumartin)
Opening Hours: 09:35 AM- 08:00 PM (from Monday through Saturday)
Open till 10:00 PM on Thursdays.
Gimme their website !

Place de la Concorde

Metro: Concorde (Line 1, 8, 12)
Bus: 42, 73 (Bus stop: Concorde- Cours la reine)

Addresses of carousels by Paris districts

Follow this link

Place St. Germain des Près

Metro : Saint Germain-des-près (Line 4)
Bus: 39, 63, 86, 95 (Bus stop: St. Germain des près)
Christmas Market from Dec 5th- Jan 1st, 2009.
Open everyday from 10:00 AM- 08:00 PM

InterContinental Paris Le Grand

2 rue Scribe, 75009
Metro : Opéra (Line 3, 7, 8)
RER A: Auber
Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 07 32 32

 

You might also like to read:

Christmas Market

Recipe for Gluhwine

An eco-friendly Christmas

Christmas/ New Year's Eve Parties

President's Christmas Tree

A Chocolaty Christmas Tree