Best Christmas markets Paris

Guide to Christmas Markets in Paris in 2023

The festive season gives all its meaning to the city of light, as its most iconic streets glow with Christmas lights and fill with wintery delight. As the winter season’s festivities approach, you may find yourself in Paris wondering where you can bask in Christmas cheer and enjoy a cozy nostalgic atmosphere. Look no further than this article, which will list for you our favorite Christmas season activities and markets.

The Best Christmas Markets in Paris

One of the season’s highlights is the Christmas markets, which bring festive joy to touristic and off-the-beaten track neighborhoods alike. There you may find artisanal goods and enjoy traditional French delicacies, mulled wine and more. Read on to find our favorite spots, whether you’re looking to enjoy a festive atmosphere near the city’s most iconic sights or among locals in authentic Parisian spots.

Go for a romantic Christmas market experience at the Eiffel Tower

First on the list is probably what you will have in mind when looking for a Christmas market in Paris. Look no further than the world-renowned iron lady of Paris! Down below you may find a charming little village of Christmas chalets offering artisanal products and fun souvenirs alike. This charming, albeit very touristy, market will certainly enhance the already spectacular experience of visiting the Eiffel Tower. This does comes with a warning: expect crowds and some kitsch products. However, you will quickly forget this when you see the ice-skating rink that graces the area each year, whether on the Champs de Mars below or on the Tower itself! Speaking from experience, it is quite the magical experience to ice skate with such a view. While it is a very family-friendly attraction, there are groups of friends and couples of all levels enjoying the view.

Where: Tour Eiffel 75015 Paris
Dates: December 15th to December 30th, 2023

Don’t miss the Christmas market in the iconic Jardin des Tuileries, a must-do

The Jardin des Tuileries Christmas market, a replacement for the iconic and arguably best-known Champs-Elysées Christmas market, is a must-do. What better place to enjoy a mulled wine than in the gardens of the Louvre, one of the city’s most iconic parks? This Christmas market is atmospheric with gorgeous festive lighting and stunning sightline onto the Louvre, the Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. It’s one of the largest in the capital, giving you plenty to explore from the Tuileries to the Grand Palais. Here you will find many more regional specialties and activities than your average festive market. This year don’t miss the ice-skating rink by the Grand Palais and the iconic Concorde ferris wheel! The only downside is, as you might guess from its location, some stands verge on tourist-traps, but the sheer size of this Christmas market will certainly make up for it!

Where: Jardin des Tuileries, 75001
Dates: November 18th, 2023 to January 7th, 2024

Enjoy an intimate Christmas market in prestigious Saint-Germain des Prés

The très chic Saint-Germain des Prés is an elegant area near the Jardin du Luxembourg. Rendez-vous place Saint-Germain des Prés, across from Café de Flore, an area historically graced by the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Here you can find the magic of a charming Christmas market and festive lights that only serve to enhance the beautiful place by the Saint-Germain church, and give it the feel of a small fairytale village. This market, while smaller than many others on this list, is curated with high-end goods that make for perfect Christmas gifts and of course mulled wine and other snacks. If you find yourself in the area, this intimate Christmas market is certainly worth a stop!

Where: Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris
Dates: December 3rd, 2023 to January 8th, 2024

Experience the most authentic, quintessentially French iteration of Christmas markets, in the Alsatian tradition

This Christmas market is in my opinion the most underrated, and certainly the most authentic. As it is based on Alsatian Christmas markets, which are steeped in history, very heavily inspired by Germanic tradition, and attract many French and European tourists every winter. This one is perfect for foodies as Alsace is known for its hearty Germanic-influenced food and excellent white wine. The history of Christmas markets as we know them in France started in the Eastern regions of France near the German border. This area is know as the birthplace of the Christmas tree tradition. Indeed, the first ever Christmas tree market is thought to have taken place in Strasbourg in the 17th century. This was when it was a part of Germany, with the tradition spreading thanks to the influence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert! Because of this, they bear all the hallmarks of a postcard Christmas (Christmas trees, lights, wooden toys galore).

The most popular Christmas market in France is undoubtedly in Strasbourg. But many smaller towns offer just as charming, and perhaps more authentic options. Its Parisian counterpart can be found, very fittingly, in the Gare de l’Est area, which is a mere two-hour train ride from the original French Christmas markets. This trendy area near the canal Saint-Martin is very well-connected, which provides many opportunities to discover the most popular Parisian hangouts after having enjoyed a large Bretzel (and perhaps an even larger glass of Gewurtzraminer wine!).

Where: Parvis de la Gare de l’Est – place du 11 novembre 1918, 75010 Paris
Dates: December 1st to December 17th, 2023

Enjoy a modern-day winter market among the skyscrapers of La Défense

Experience the clash of tradition and bustling modern life with the glimmering skyscrapers of La Défense overtowering a traditional Christmas village. This Christmas village is perfect for office workers in the business district and visitors who want to enjoy a large Christmas market in the middle of this dynamic shopping area. Here you may find the typical hallmarks of a touristy Christmas market (trinkets, street food, candy, artisanal goods) while also discovering a part of Paris that does not typically come to mind, yet shows such an essential part of Parisians’ lives. This area is easy to access and, while very well-known and visible from most sightlines in Paris, relatively off the beaten track as far as tourism goes. Though convenient to access in public transportation and spacious, expect some crowds there and on the way.

Where: Le Parvis, 92800 Puteaux
Dates: November 16th to December 27th, 2023

Bask in the charm of the Montmartre Christmas market

Discover specialties and delicacies from the French terroirs with the delightfully charming backdrop of place des Abbesses in Montmartre. In this charming square you’ll be greeted with an old-fashioned merry-go-round and, in the distance, the towering Basilique du Sacré-Coeur. Though touristic, this Christmas market is certainly worth a stop as the area is beautiful (and obviously a must-do in Paris!), the atmosphere festive with just the right amount of Christmasy kitsch and the food comforting and indulgent. Enjoy a mulled wine while making your way from this place in the heart of Amélie’s playground to the gorgeous basilica via the charming place du Tertre, with its painters and terraces.

Where: Place des Abbesses, 75018
Dates: December 10th to December 31st, 2023

Discover the charm of the Swedish Christmas experience

This final option is, in my opinion, the most underrated of all, a true hidden gem in the heart of a quiet residential area. Discover the joys of a Scandinavian Christmas with delightful festive decorations, gift ideas and Swedish specialties such as herring, salmon, cheese, bread, cakes, lingonberry jam, chocolates, and of course, the one and only St. Lucia buns, delicious saffron breads that are typically enjoyed around Christmas. Having enjoyed them many times, I can assure you they are comforting, savory-sweet and simply delightful! This Scandinavian haven is tucked away in the heart of Paris, in a prestigious residential area whose affluent townhouses showcase all the beauty and elegance Haussmannian architecture has to offer, and just a couple of streets away from the Parc Monceau, a jewel of greenery and charm.

Where: Swedish Church, 9 Rue Médéric, 75017
Dates: December 1st to December 3rd, 2023

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