The Christmas season is slowly but surely approaching. The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping as we speak. The best way to get in the mood for the holidays is to visit one of the many Christmas markets. Why not try something new this year and combine your passion for travel and Christmas spirit in a magical winter trip to the City of Lights?
At the end of November, around 20 Christmas markets with wooden huts pop up around the beautifully lit city of Paris, where you can order a mug of hot mulled wine with cinnamon or roasted chestnuts while you shop for Christmas treats. We have compiled the top 5 Christmas markets in Paris that you simply must visit once in your life!
Paris Christmas Markets
Christmas markets, or "marché de noëlas" as they are called in France, have been around for centuries. They originated in the Alsace region, which was part of Germany in the 14th century. But it wasn't until the late 20th century that they became popular in Paris.
The wooden huts in the markets of Parisian Christmas look like the old German or Swiss chalets in the Alps and are historically reminiscent of the first Christmas markets in Strasbourg, which then belonged to German Rhineland. Today, these wooden huts are decorated with twinkling lights and filled with the most amazing French treats, souvenirs, hot drinks like mulled wine or sweet hot chocolate to warm your heart, gifts for the whole family and more!
Christmas Market on the Champs Elysées
From the Arc de Triomphe down to the most famous shopping street, the Champs Elysées, surrounded by twinkling lights, lies one of the largest and most popular Christmas markets in Paris. The festive season begins at the end of November at Tuileries Gardens, and around 200 huts offer a variety of traditional French dishes, mulled wine, gifts and other Christmas delicacies. Walking through this Parisian Christmas wonderland is free for all.
This Christmas market offers a unique ZOO for children where they can pet a polar bear. Parents don't have to worry, all the animals are stuffed. If you haven't seen Paris from above, now is the time! Hop on the Ferris wheel and enjoy the view of the beautifully lit streets of Paris. Since the Champs Elysées Christmas Market is near two of the best macaron shops, we highly (or better yet sweetly) recommend taking your Paris rental car to either Laduree or Pierre Hermé and trying a macaron or two (or three).
Christmas Market on the Champs de Mars
The most picturesque and popular Christmas market in Paris is located right next to Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars. Held during the last two weeks of December and the first week of January, this Christmas market features a full ice skating rink and a beautifully decorated winter village where you can sample local produce or buy gifts for your loved ones. For those of you planning a visit to the Eiffel Tower, we have good news: skating costs nothing extra! So, grab your skates and skate under the glittering Eiffel with delicious cookies in hand and enjoy the unique Christmas atmosphere. Don't forget your camera, we are sure you will come back with some amazing photos of skating under the Eiffel Tower!
Christmas market in La Défense
The La Défense Christmas Market is located in the city, business and commercial district near the looming Grande Arche de La Défense, which is a contemporary homage to its original predecessor, the Arc de Triomphe, 4 kilometres away. The largest Christmas market in La Défense, also known as the Village de Noël in La Défense, is surrounded by over 300 huts selling an amazing variety of products. You can buy everything from Christmas decorations, traditional food, handmade toys to Canadian maple syrup.
This Christmas market usually begins in late November and lasts until New Year's Day. Plan to take your Paris car hire to La Défense Christmas Market in the evening, you will be amazed by the beautifully lit buildings towering over the charming little Christmas cottages.
Christmas Market at the Cathedral Notre Dame
The Christmas market in Viviani Square, near the mighty Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame, is largely dedicated to art and French cuisine. If you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift, this Christmas market in Paris is the place to be! The Christmas market at Notre Dame (called "Marché de Noel Notre Dame" in French) brings together artists from different French regions who specialize in handicrafts, clothing, handmade decorations, a variety of accessories and so on. Take your Paris car rental across the Seine River at Left Bank and get into the Christmas spirit along with Santa Claus, who also loves a good glass of hot mulled wine with cinnamon along with roasted chestnuts.
Christmas market at Montmartre
The market Montmartre Christmas is located in the charming, picturesque 18th arrondissement of Paris, known as the Montmartre neighbourhood, which is most famous for the Sacré-Cœur (translated as "Sacred Heart") Basilica and the Sinking House. The Christmas market next to the Basilica opens its doors for the Winter Wonderland in the first weeks of December and welcomes its Christmas enthusiasts until early January the next year.
Park your rental car in Paris and combine strolling the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, littered with interesting graffiti, with a quick stop at the Christmas market and enjoy a sip of hot chocolate while taking in the spectacular views of Paris that are in the palm of your hand.
Get ready for the Christmas festivities in Paris! We guarantee you; this will be the most memorable Christmas holiday.
Car Hire in Paris
The best way to explore the Christmas markets in Paris, as there are so many, is to rent a car at Paris Airport. There are many cheap options to choose from! Now book your car hire in Paris and head towards the French holiday season experience!