Even if Paris is not covered with snow like most of France and even Central Europe, December is just magnificent. The city is covered with oceans of light: between and on the houses, on the trees, and even on the entrance to the metro. Shops seem to compete in window decoration, all so colorful, artistic and bright. It’s quite easy to get the warm Christmas feeling and celebrate these unforgettable holidays. December in Paris is a time of fairytale, joy and celebration!
1. Christmas Markets
In December the number one event are of course the Christmas markets! No matter where in Paris you live, you can find some Christmas market in your area: at Notre Dame Cathedral, at Gare de l’Est, at the Montparnasse Tower, at Place d’Italie and so on. The largest one (at least in the city’s limits) is the Christmas market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. It’s an ideal place to stop by after Christmas shopping to drink vin chaud (hot wine), buy Russian Matryoshka dolls, try some self-made jewellery, and enjoy delicious sweeties and cheese. New to this year’s Chirstmas market is an innovative lighting concept called “Tree Rings”, which decorates the Champs-Elysées spectacularly.
Where: Throughout Paris
When: The earliest opens on the 5th of December 2012 and the latest closes on the 6th of January 2013
2. Paris Ferris Wheel
The Christmas market on the Avenue Champs Elysees ends at Place de la Concorde where the Paris Ferris Wheel, a smaller version of the London Eye, is located. After the walk through the market it is a fantastic opportunity to take a look at Paris in her entirely, enjoying the kingdom of lights from above. From the cabin of the 60- meters high you will see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumphe from a fascinating perspective that takes your breath away!
Where: Place de la Concorde
When: From the 18th of November 2012 through to the 19th of February 2013 from 10.30am to midnight
Price: 10€ for adults
3.‘Trocadéro on Ice’ and Free Air Ice Skating Rinks.
Ice skating rinks are open throughout the city but there are three special ones:
1. The most abundant in activity is the European Christmas Village « Trocadero on Ice ». Nothern Alps visit Paris! Here you won’t just find a big open-air ice-skating rink but also a ski simulator and snowshoe practice. After some winter sports, you can take a rest and enjoy natural snow sculptures, a giant igloo, and of course, hot wine!
Where: Place du Trocadéro
When: From the 13th of December 2012 to the 6th of January 2013, 11am – 8pm.
Price: 5€ fee includes skate rental
2. The most unusual ice rink is the one at the Eiffel Tower. That’s right, there is an ice skating rink directly on the Eiffel Tower! It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a spectacular view on the city from one of the most important tourist attractions. With this rink, Paris had aimed to attract the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. It may have been unsuccessful, but now tourists enjoy the 200 square meter area, 57 meters above the ground, taking in the city’s day and night time sights.
When: From the 15th of December 2012 through 31st of January 2013
Price: Free with a ticket to the tower. Skates are provided without charge.
3. The largest ice skating rink is at the place de l’Hôtel de Ville which offers not only enough space for skating but also a wonderful view on historical buildings surrounding the rink.
When: From the 18th of December 2012 through to the 3rd of March 2013 Mon.-Fri: 12pm-10pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 9am-10pm.
Price: Admission to the rink is free, 5€ fee to rent skates.
4.Musée des Arts Forains
If you’ve had enough from the magic outside, experience a fairy tale World and some vintage feeling inside. Musée des Arts Forains shows one of the biggest private exhibitions in the World consisting of fairground objects from show events between 1850 and 1950 like merry-go-rounds, carousels, hundred-year-old bicycles, and a big collection of costumes and accessories relating to this treasured art.
When: From the 26th of December to the 6th of January, 10am-6pm.
Where: Pavillons de Bercy
Price: 10 – 12 €