A visit to a Paris Christmas market is bound to get you in the holiday spirit. Starting mid-November to early December there can be up to 20 Christmas markets appearing across the City of Light. Some last weeks, while others are just a weekend. No matter the size, each one will be magical. Under a bed of twinkle lights, tiny alpine wooden huts selling handmade gifts and delicious food and drink. The aroma of hot mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, melting cheese and chocolate floats through the air. You might even hear carolers or live music being played. Magical, right?

Let’s discover the magical Christmas markets in Paris for 2022. Plus, where you can find the best Paris Christmas lights.
Gold sundial in Paris for christmas decoration
Place Vendome

Christmas Markets in Paris 2022

The Magic of Christmas at Tuileries Garden (1st arrondissement)

The Magic of Christmas or La Magie de Noël at Tuileries Jardin is one of the largest Christmas markets in Paris. This market stretches along the entire north end of Tuileries garden from rue des Pyramides to Place de la Concord. It’s half Christmas market and half Christmas-themed carnival. This family-friendly market is bound to be a local’s favourite tradition making it easily the most popular Christmas market in Paris.

What makes this market so special to visit- it’s so much fun! You can’t help but feel the Christmas spirit, no matter your age. A large Ferris wheel, carnival rides and games, and even an ice skating rink. The Christmas-themed carnival catering to kids is on one side while the adult portion is on the other. Here you’ll find food vendors selling mulled wine, a large steaming hot copper pot of traditional french onion soup and even a champagne bar. Wooden chalet huts selling specialty food products and artisan crafts and gifts line the park. Look out for the vendor selling pretty handblown glass Christmas ornaments making a great souvenir for your tree at home.

Visiting The Magic of Christmas at Tuileries Garden:

  • November 19, 2022, to January 8, 2023
  • Location: Tuileries Garden or Jardin des Tuileries, 1st arrondissement
  • Métro: Concorde, Tuileries
  • Go for the fun, entertainment and large selection of vendors
  • Nearby pretty streets for Christmas lights and decorations:
    • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore

La Défense Christmas Market in Paris

The biggest Christmas market in Paris can be found at La Défense Esplanade, just outside the city limits. More than 350 little chalets offering an array of gift options make this Christmas market in Paris, not one to miss. La Defense is considered the best Christmas market in Paris as a result.

Everything from handcrafted gifts to scarves to leather goods, to pop-up stores selling antiques, books and much more. As well, there is an endless option for dining as local restaurants join in offering global cuisine beyond what you might find at other Christmas markets in Paris. A huge decorated Christmas tree with a Santa photo op is a big draw for families.

Visiting La Défense Christmas Market:

  • November 23, 2022, to December 24, 2022
  • Location:  Esplanade de la Défense
  • Métro:  Grande Arche de la Défense
  • Go for the 1-stop shopping and dining experience

Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market (6th arrondissement)

Right next to the beautiful St. Germain des Pres Church, tiny wooden huts line the boulevard St Germain. This is one of the best Christmas markets in Paris, known for selling handcrafted items like blown glass ornaments, soaps and candles and leather goods.

Paris Christmas Market at night with lights

Come with an empty stomach, as my favourite part of this small neighbourhood Christmas market was the food. Vendors selling hot mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, churros dipped in chocolate and my favourite hot melted Raclette cheese sandwiches. That’s right, using a large raclette wheel, a cow’s milk cheese is melted and scraped off and added to a French baguette. Viola, there is nothing better than that!

Visiting Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market:

  • November 26, 2022, to January 1, 2023
  • Location:  Blvd Saint-Germain, next to Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th arrondissement
  • Métro:  Saint-Germain 
  • Go for the gourmet food vendors to eat and purchase specialty items like foie gras, truffles, smoked salmon
  • Nearby pretty streets for Christmas lights and decorations:
    • Boulevard Saint Germain, rue du Bac, and rue de Sèvres around Bon Marché

Read more: check out my Guide to 6th Arrondissement in Paris: the Best Things to Do

Alsatian Christmas Market at Gare de l’Est (10th arrondissement)

The Alsatian Christmas Market held at Gare de l’Est in the 10th arrondissement is considered the oldest Alsatian market outside of Alsace. This market looks a bit different than the others. Under one very large white tent, vendors sell their wares. Although it may lack the charm of the other Paris Christmas markets you don’t want to skip this one.

christmas market vendor booth with pretzel and man

What makes this Paris Christmas market unmissable is the Alsatian specialties found here. The Alsace region shares a border with Germany and Switzerland and anything stemming from that region will have a strong German and Swiss influence. Specialties like cured meats, cheeses, wine, jams, foie gras, and gingerbread. This is a must-visit Christmas market for foodies- both for eating and shopping for gift ideas.

Visiting Alsatian Christmas Market:

  • November 30, 2022, to December 16, 2022
  • Location:  Next to Gare de l’Est Train Station in 10th arrondissement
  • Métro:  Gare de l’Est 
  • Go for the gourmet food vendors to eat and purchase specialty items like foie gras, truffles, smoked salmon
  • Nearby pretty street for Christmas lights and decorations:
    • Canal Saint-Martin

Christmas Market at Hôtel de Ville (4th arrondissement)

The Paris Christmas market at Hôtel de Ville at City Hall is known as one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Paris. An enchanted forest of fresh-cut pine trees transforms this space as does the light show. Falling snowflakes projected on the front of the historic City Hall building is magical.

This family-friendly Christmas market offers the most fun for kids. A luge for tubing, a climbing wall and a pretty carousel as well as Santa sightings makes this very popular for families. The market is also very food oriented with vendors selling crepes, raclette, french onion soup and of course mulled wine.

Visiting Christmas Market at Hôtel de Ville:

  • December 3, 2022, to January 2, 2023
  • Location:  Rue de Rivoli in 4th arrondissement
  • Métro:  Hotel de Ville 
  • Go for kid-friendly fun and to see the beautiful light display
  • Nearby pretty streets for Christmas lights and decorations:
    • Rue Saint-Paul, Village Saint-Paul
    • Rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile on Ile Saint-Louis

Read more: check out my Guide for making the most of your visit to Ile Saint-Louis

Notre-Dame Christmas Market (5th arrondissement)

The Notre Dame Christmas market or Marché de Noel Notre Dame is one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Paris. Under the backdrop of the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral, across the Seine, in the lovely Square René Viviani on the Left Bank is this small yet festive market. Since the devasting fire of Notre Dame, this Christmas market moved to this pretty square to carry on the tradition.

With your hot mulled wine or vin chaud in hand stroll the small wooden chalet-style huts selling gourmet foods and artisan crafts and gifts. This is one of the few Christmas markets in Paris where you’ll see Santa doing the very same. Visiting this Paris Christmas market is especially magical being so close to the Seine. Afterwards, wander over the bridge and watch the lights dance across the Seine. Crowds gather and listen to nearby musicians play traditional Christmas songs. There’s nothing more romantic to do in Paris than a night out like this one.

Visiting Notre-Dame Christmas Market at Square Viviani:

  • December 9 to 26, 2022
  • Location: Square René-Viviani on Quai Montebello, in the Latin Quarter of the 5th arrondissement
  • Métro:  Saint Michel, Maubert-Mutualité
  • Go for festive spirit in a great Paris location
  • Nearby pretty streets for Christmas lights and decorations:
    • Rue Galande, rue du Petit Pond, rue de la Huchette

Montmartre Christmas Market (18th arrondissement)

The small, yet charming Montmartre Christmas Market can be found in the very scenic Place des Abbesses at the foot of the iconic Sacre Coeur. The location alone makes this one of the best Christmas markets in Paris. A massive decorated tree, visits from Santa, and craft workshops for kids make this a very family-friendly Christmas market in Paris.

This Abbesses Christmas market is perfect for foodies. Eat your way through some of the best traditional regional specialties like foie gras from Périgord, pretzels from Alsace, escargots from Burgandy, tapenade from Provence, and cheese from Pyrénées. The hot mulled wine is a little extra spicey at this Christmas market and goes great with the roasted chestnuts. Vendors also sell specialty foods as well as artisan crafts for gifts.

Visiting Montmartre Christmas Market:

  • December 10 to 31, 2022
  • Location: Place des Abbesses in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement
  • Métro: Abbesses Butte Montmartre
  • Go for the traditional French gastronomy from various regions in France and the children-friendly events

Related reading: Check out my Guide of the must-see streets in Paris perfect for strolling

Best Christmas Lights in Paris

One of the best ways to experience the magical atmosphere of Paris at Christmas is by taking an open-top bus tour. Admire Paris buildings and streets covered in sparkling lights. Get your cameras ready for this unbelievable experience, click here to reserve your spot.

red lights in paris at christmas

Here are the best places to see Christmas Lights in Paris:

  • Place Vendome – an elegant display of Christmas trees, lights and decorations
  • Champs-Elysees – this famous Paris street is a glow with red sparkling lighted trees leading you to the Arc de Triomphe
  • Avenue Montaigne – tiny white lights drape this pretty tree-lined street known for luxury hotels and shops
  • Westfield Forum des Halles – a large Christmas tree and lights surrounded by shops
  • Bercy Village – known for its incredible overhead art displays any time of year
  • Plantes des Jardin Light Festival – visit this beautiful botanical garden at night to see the “Illuminated Species” come alive with lights and music (Tip for visiting: daytime is free, 6 pm to 11 pm is €12 – €15, online tickets only, click here)
flowers with light display in paris

Best Christmas Window Displays in Paris

The Christmas window displays in Paris are absolutely magical. They are animated and so fun to watch, almost like little movies. This is one of the top things to do in Paris at Christmastime. The best ones to seek out are the big department stores in Paris. My favourite is Galeries Layfayette with its interior pretty domed ceiling. Printemps Haussmann, BHV Marais, and Bon Marche are also good ones to visit too. Yes, they do draw crowds, but it’s all part of the excitement.

If you want to escape the crowds, seek out the lovely shopping arcade Galerie Vivienne, an iconic covered passage in Paris, to admire the Christmas lights and decorations. It’s the perfect place to find that unique gift for someone special on your list.

Related reading: check out my Guide for where to find the best secret-covered passages in Paris

christmas tree in paris with decorations
Galerie Vivienne Covered Passage

Shopping tip: one of my favourite stores in Paris is Astier de Villatte, known for its très cher candles and handcrafted china pieces. Each trip to Paris, it’s my special treat to myself. To my delight, at Christmas time, they sell ornaments. I might have treated myself a little extra on that trip! If you are looking for pretty Christmas ornaments handmade in Paris this is the store to go to.

As a holidaymaker…

Visiting Paris at Christmas is simply magical. It just might be my favourite time of year to visit Paris. With very few tourists, you can see and experience Paris during the holiday season through its magical Christmas markets and holiday lights and decorations. The calendar of dates for Christmas markets 2022 contained in this article has been confirmed by the City of Paris.

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39 Comments

  1. It’s been years since I saw Paris on Christmas and I remember how pretty the lights looked but haven’t done any Christmas markets there. I need to take myself back and visit the ones in St Germain-des pres and Montmartre. I’m drooling thinking of all the heavenly food and chocolates!

  2. The Christmas market at Hotel de Ville sounds magical with the freshly cut trees. Now I know why you keep going back to Paris, we don’t have a lot of these markets in Canada.

  3. This guide is amazing, I would love to go back to Paris for the Christmas markets. I did them in 2015 but there was an incident in the city just before I arrived and they were on high alert and some of the markets were postponed or canceled so it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for. Still really enjoyed what we saw but the only real markets were the Champs d’Elysees and La Defense – which was amazing if not a little far out, but worth the trip. The Saint Germain one would be high on my list – love that area. And good to know about the Alsatian one as I just came back from that region so I’m all about it right now

  4. Beeeeautiful! I have to admit, I have never visited Paris and Christmastime, but I am not surprised that the Christmas lights and window displays are spectacular! This all looks so festive and fabulous!

  5. This is an amazing write up about the Christmas markets in Paris.
    Thanks for makinf the search for Christmas markets a little more easier. I love the ‘go for’ part too.

  6. How magical! It is my dream to visit Paris at Christmas time! It looks so lovely and special. I am craving gingerbread cookies and Gluhwein!

  7. This is an ultimate goal for me! I haven’t been to Europe around Christmastime but Paris seems like such a dream!!! I don’t know which one I would choose – the lights, displays and food are all so enticing!

  8. You certainly didn’t skip any details about the magical Christmas markets! Your article made me way to pack my bags and head to Paris immediately! Thank you for such a lovely article, I will save this for my future travels.

  9. Wow! These Christmas Markets in Paris sound amazing! I have actually never been to a Christmas Market, although Boston has just opened one up this year in the Seaport District. However, it’s hard to imagine it being anything so elaborate as these beautiful options in Paris. I love the idea of warming up with a cup of hot French Onion Soup (my favorite!) on a cold day. And the charm of the carousel at Hôtel de Ville sounds so picturesque. Strolling along the chalet-style huts of these markets filled with crafts and gourmet foods would be exactly the type of thing to put me in the holiday spirit. And, even better that they remain in place into early January. I can’t think of a more festive way to enjoy Paris, and will definitely put this on my bucket list for holiday travel!

  10. I love how every place suddenly goes super extra for Christmas with decorations and lights. Pairs makes no exception and I enjoyed reading about its many Christmas markets. I would probably enjoy the smaller one at Montmartre the most and please sign me up for that raclette sandwich at the Alsatian market.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

  11. Paris is my dream destination to visit. I have a wish to visit Paris in the time of Christmas and New year. Thanks for the comprehensive guide of Paris and Christmas Markets. May be next year I will be visiting Paris and would love to explore all these markets

  12. I did not know that Paris contains this many Christmas markets that bring joy to everyone around them. I love the Christmas decorations. They for sure give me the chill. All the lighting and Tuileries garden fascinate me since I like nature as well. The Plantes des Jardin Light Festival in the botanical garden is another place that I would like to visit.

  13. I can feel the Christmas atmosphere already! It is so fun to see so many Christmas markets available in Paris during this festive season. The Christmas decoration at Galerie Vivienne looks massive!

  14. Well Paris is always a good idea but at Christmas time it really is magical. I would love to go back soon as well as visit a few other European countries with wonderful holiday markets. Saving for reference.

  15. Paris is beautiful at any time of the year, but I guess it is simply fabulous and phenomenal during Christmas. I would love to see all these Parisian Christmas markets you described, with my own eyes, to feel the magic and atmosphere of the holidays. I had no idea that so many markets in Paris are festively decorated. I appreciate your guide, as you describe what I can find in each place, so it’s easier to choose which markets I want to see. For sure I would like to visit Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market to purchase foie gras and truffles. I want to see Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market, as I like this place, and wooden huts with handcrafted items are something for me at Christmas time.

  16. Visiting a Christmas market always sounds like such a magical thing to do at the holidays. Paris is such a special place that it only makes sense that they have amazing Christmas markets.

  17. Wow! Paris looks absolutely magical at Christmas time. I’ve always wanted to go but now I definitely have to check out the Christmas Markets. Thank you for sharing!

  18. I didn’t know that Paris was so big on Christmas markets. Now I would really like to visit the city in wintertime, in December. I didn’t visit many places in France but I did go to Alsace last summer, so I would love to experience the Alsatian Christmas market from Paris and try some of the local specialties. I remember how good the food was when I was there. I wouldn’t miss the Christmas window displays around Paris either.

  19. This got me in a festive mood! All these markets look gorgeous & great to have so many to choose from. Now I’m in the Christmas spirit, thank you…just need to get to Paris 😉

  20. I love that there are so many different markets, each with their own flavour. I will have to try them all out to chose my favourite. Thanks for sharing the tip about your favourite store for Christmas ornaments 🙂

  21. Wow! This looks really wonderful and fun to visit. Hopefully, we can visit as many as we could. Alsatian Christmas Market is on top of our list since we look forward to enjoying gourmet food. Will take your advice and visit Canal Saint-Martin too.

  22. Wow, just when I thought Paris couldn’t get any better! These displays and Christmas markets are absolutely stunning. Definitely on my bucket list!

  23. I enjoyed reading through your detailed post. I have just been to Christmas markets in a few cities in US. But the choices of markets in Paris look so attractive. Mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, cheese……..so inviting! It will be a tough choice to select one market here. Your images are simply gorgeous! Saving your blog post for a future trip. 🙂

  24. Paris looks like an amazing place to go for Christmas. I didn’t realise Paris celebrated Christmas and had so many Christmas markets. Looks like a great place to spend this magical time of the year.

  25. Until now, I have only heard of two countries with a great Christmas market. Cities in Germany and Austria. They look so amazing. But reading your post, I’m adding even Paris to the places one needs to visit for the Christmas market.

  26. I had no idea that the French are also crazy about christmas markets. But of course, I guess whole Europe is. My favorite thing at Christmas markets is definitely eating. And I am dreaming right now of some raclette on fresh baguette and some mulled wine. In Germany where I live the markets start on the first Advent. So only a few more weeks!

  27. You have inspired me to give Paris another go and visit at Christmas instead. My friend also loved Lafayette and Bercy Village when she visited and goes to Paris every year. There is so much more there at this time of year than the champs-Elysees

  28. This post was very timely. We have been thinking about a Christmas trip and were thinking about Paris since we have never been in the winter. It looks like there are lots of spots and ways to get in the holiday spirit in Paris. Keeping this for planning.

  29. I’m not even a Christmas person but after reading this post all I can think about is packing my bags and going to Paris for the season! What an inspiration.
    As always, a fantastic post, with detailed explanations, magnificent photos and quality content.
    I will save it for a scheduled visit to Paris for Christmas 🙂

  30. Paris at Christmastime sounds amazing! The Alsatian Christmas Market at Gare de l’Est sounds (and looks) amazing. I would love to ry the foie gras and of course gingerbread! The red lights of Champs-Elsees are stunning! I don’t know how to choose from all the lights places you mentioned!

  31. It’s hard to believe that it’s getting to be Christmas time again! These Paris Christmas photos REALLY put you in the mood, though – magnifique! They also make me want to petsit my way back to Paris! Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. With such a variety of Xmas markets to choose from I would have difficulty selecting one – I’d probably want to go to all of them. If pushed I think the one at St. Germain des Pres would be my choice, as I like the idea of the artisan items and food choices. Great info on exactly where they are and which metro stop to get there.
    To be honest I never knew Paris had so many Xmas markets, so it has been somewhat of a revelation to me that there is this amount of choice of markets.

    1. I was surprised too! I wasn’t expected to see so many, nor the streets and shops decorated so beautifully. It was such a pleasant surprise, and had me spending a whole day trying to see them all! It is a magical time to visit Paris!

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