5 must-see places in Paris over the holidays

Experience the seasonal delights of the City of Lights

The holiday season, or La Saison Des Fêtes, is truly magnificent in Paris. The festive aromas, merry sounds and shimmering lights – it’s the perfect backdrop for a romantic festive break or a magical family holiday.

There are so many delightful happenings to choose from. And to get you in the mood, we’ve rounded up our five favourites.

Skating at the Eiffel Tower

For a unique ice skating experience, head to the city’s most famous landmark and glide on Paris’ highest rink. Set on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, there’ll be plenty of photo opportunities to capture those incredible views, as well as beginner’s ice hockey sessions.

Afterwards, fuel up with hearty French fare and a warming vin chaud from the many Christmas markets nearby.

Shopping in Rue des Martyrs

Veer away from the tourist trail and stroll through the authentic Parisian neighbourhood of Rue des Martyrs in Montmartre. The vibrant street is even more magical at this time of year, especially when it comes to food.

Laden with fresh seasonal produce, there are tempting treats aplenty. Roasted chestnuts, foie gras, fresh oysters, pastries and chocolates are all popular at this time of year.

Admiring the decorations

The illuminated cheer of Paris in the holidays is seen all over the capital. From the fairy forest of twinkling trees that line the Champs-Elysées to the glowing decorations on the boulevards. It’s no wonder the French capital is known as the City of Lights.

Don’t miss the whimsical window displays at the three main department stores: Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and Bon Marché.

It’s traditional for children to dress up and compare the displays. And thoughtfully, there are steps for the little ones to make sure they get a good view.

Indulging in chocolat chaud

After a chilly day taking in the sights, a Parisian hot chocolate is a perfect warming holiday drink. So rich and indulgent, they are a far cry from the milky bedtime cocoa we know in the UK.

You’ll have plenty to choose from amongst Paris’ finest chocolatiers. We love the speciality ‘African’ at Angelina, a famous Paris tea house and home to the capital’s most decadent desserts. The hot chocolate is so velvety and thick you’ll need a spoon to consume it.  

Singing in a traditional concert

For something traditional, take a wander to one of the city’s many churches. There are lots of vigils and masses for you to join in.

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Notre-Dame cathedral and Madeleine church all have prestigious celebrations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with choir performances that will make you feel all tingly inside.

But if singing isn’t your thing, they are well worth a visit for the amazing architecture alone.

Joyeux Noël!