Christmas in Paris 2011


At Printemps, shoppers can find special offerings from Chanel.

Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (, and also writes a popular insider's blog

It’s holiday time again in Paris and the city is decked way out beyond the halls with boughs of holly. Blazing light displays, Christmas markets and fairs, ice skating rinks, and special holiday concerts are just a few of the joyous activities happening around the city. Here is a selection of the best and brightest for the month of December and beginning of January.


Galeries Lafayette offers rock-and-roll themed displays.

Holiday Store Windows

Galeries Lafayette is mad about rock music and this season the theme is called Noël Rock ‘n’ Mode. Animated dolls designed by New York artist Alexander Wang are fashionably dressed in rock n roll garb and strum away on their guitars and beat their drums furiously. Next door at Printemps it’s all about the eponymous fashion house Chanel. Noel Reves d'Evasion (Dreams of Escape) pays homage to Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel, and the windows have miniature Karl dolls prancing about with his camera and alternate windows show Chanel’s global locales Moscow, Los Angeles and Tokyo with clever and imaginative sets and animated dolls. On the Faubourg St. Honoré, Hermés just drips with over the top luxury with a Moroccan inspired theme including crocodile Kelly bags, ostrich motorcycle helmets, and a set of shiny gold boxing gloves.

Galeries Lafayette
40 Blvd. Haussmann, 75009

64 Blvd. Haussmann, 75009

24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008

Ice Skating

Sharpen those blades and put on those skates so you can cut up the ice with your fierce figure eights in the rinks of Paris. Every winter The Hotel de Ville/City Hall offers free skating on the plaza. Nothing could match the sensation of ice-skating high above the city in the Eiffel Tower with the breathtaking views. 

Hotel de Ville Rink –Till February 27
Open Monday to Friday 12PM to 10PM, Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays 9AM to 10PM
Admission free, skate rentals 5 euros

Eiffel Tower Rink- Till January 2
11AM to 9PM daily
Free for tower visitors


Holiday displays at the Place Vendome

Christmas Markets and Fairs

Shop, shop, shop till you drop and eat, eat, eat, till your tummy hurts at the fabulous Paris Christmas markets. Starting at the base of Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysees has the largest market in the city brimming with great gifts, hot wine, Christmas ornaments, cotton candy, and much more. Inside the Grand Palais is a grand fair, Jours de Fetes, much like an old fashioned amusement park with a giant Ferris wheel, games of chance, and a carousel.

Champs Elysees Christmas Market till January 2
Jours de Fetes till January 2

Holiday Concerts

No Christmas holiday in Paris would be complete without classical music pouring out of the famed churches.
At Notre Dame
Tuesday, December 20, 8:30PM, Admission free - Christmas concert with organist Olivier Latry
Thursday, December 29, 8:30PM, Gregorian Chants Tickets 18 euros

At Saint Chapelle
December 17 to December 30, concerts at 6PM & 8PM
Various performances including Christmas Carols, Bach, Vivaldi, and Schubert

At Saint Sulpice
Thursday, December 29, 8:45PM –Mozart Requiem,0,0/page1.html

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