Christmas markets in Paris
Festive trinkets, carols, crafts and gifts
© Emmanuel Chirache
No introduction needed. Take a world-renowned avenue and string up some Christmas lights and you’ve got a recipe for holiday perfection. Maybe the gift shopping isn’t great, and maybe the gooey cheesy tartiflette is a bit pricey, but the ambiance is unbeatable. Go head to head with the holiday tourists trying not to spill their hot wine as you wander bedazzled by the lights on all sides. Shop at the market if you must or ride the Ferris wheel if you dare, but do be sure to go and get as much of that fuzzy Christmas feeling as possible before the decorations go away...
Nov 15-Jan 5, 10am-11pm
The newly revamped Place de la République will show itself off with a Christmas market on the historic meeting point for protestors, both political and other. Few holiday festivities have taken place here in recent years, but this newly launched market will offer artisan goods, food, and of course activities for children. What Christmas season would be complete without meeting Père Noel, anyhow? The market will be a great shot of holiday cheer while traipsing between the Canal St-Martin and the Marais for all of your gift-shopping and holiday prep.
Dec 7-15, Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-midnight
Christmas takes over the Place des Abbesses; but if you’re looking for a Christmas supermarket like the one at the Arche de la Défense, an enormous and exhaustive collection of every possible Christmas trinket, stay away. Outside the Abbesses station with its famous art nouveau framework, the charm of this market is that of a little festive jumble sale. Twenty or so little wooden huts are filled with classic roasted chestnuts and candyfloss. Santa hats rub shoulders with china, engravings, Russian dolls, cards and gloves.
Nov 29-Jan 1 2014, 10am-5pm
A bit of a festive production line, what Christmas at La Défense lacks in charm, it makes up for in quantity and variety of choice. Spread over 10,000 square metres, the 350 stands that make up this Christmas supermarket offer a little bit of everything: arts and crafts, local food produce, mulled wine, games, wreaths… just the place to fill your bags with African statuettes, original fashion accessories, Corsican sausages or raclette cheese. You can also give your Christmas list to a jolly Santa Claus and get your photo taken with him while he hands out sweets...
Nov 27-Dec 28, 11am-8pm (9pm on Fri & Sat).
As if the nearby Abbesses market wasn’t enough, nearly 60 stalls surround the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in what organisers call the highest Christmas market in Paris. With great views accompanying the regional specialties, tree decorations, and weekend visits from the man in red himself, it’s incredible to think that this is only the third edition of the market. It’s a must for any Christmas enthusiast, even if just for the stroll through the quaint and picturesque streets around Montmartre.
Dec 6-Jan 5, 10am-8.30pm (later on weekends)
The Alsatian Christmas market takes place on the forecourt of the Gare de l’Est, and this year is themed around Christmas trees. The scented pines are everywhere, hung with decorations from different eras of history – tiny real candles, shiny baubles and yellow stars – making it the perfect place to stock up on your tree bling. There will also be free wine tastings, Christmas theatre, and storytelling – and we’ve heard a rumour that Christmas-tree-shaped gingerbread will be given out to children…
Nov 30-Dec 15
It’s not quite Notre-Dame, but the St-Sulpice church does a good job rallying a crowd for the annual Christmas market. Unlike some of the other markets, you might actually find something you want to buy here. Unusual trinkets, regional foods and the ubiquitous hot wine can all be found in front of the building that most only associate with 'The Da Vinci Code'.
Dec 1-24, 10am-8pm
First you have the market, with its spread of local products, nativity figurine and sweet aroma of churros. Then you have the decorations adorning the cute wooden roofs of the metropolitan village of Auteuil... and, of course, the rows of neatly stacked Christmas trees waiting for a home. It may not be big, but the Féeries d'Auteuil has everything you look for in a Christmas market...
Marché de Noël du Montparnasse
Situated in the somewhat unfestive shadow of the Tour du Montparnasse, this otherwise lovely market offers a wide range of local products that tend toward the higher end of the price scale.
Centre Commercial du Montparnasse, 15e.
Daily Dec 15-Jan 2
Marché de Noël des Ateliers
The Ateliers collective of artists gather for a one-off festive sale of their works. The market to head to if you're looking for an unusual Christmas present, whether a piece of artisanal jewellery or a pocket-sized painting. Food, mulled wine and a tombola will all feature.
28 Rue Faidherbe, 11e
Dec 14, 11am-8pm
Marché de Noël St-Michel
50-odd artisans from the neighbourhood and farther afield gather to show off their products in this self-proclaimed 'authentic' Christmas market, which centres on arts & crafts.
Square René-Viviani, 5e.
Daily Dec 14-22.
Marché de Noël de Lévis
A Christmas market centred on gastronomy and artisanal goods.
Place de Lévis, 17e.
Daily Dec 18-22