It’s the most wonderful time of year once again! If you’re traveling to the City of Light in December, make sure to read on for a Christmas you’ll never forget! Here is our December Guide where we’ll talk about not only Christmas-related stuff but also about important events and extra special attractions in Paris in the month of December.
What you’ll find:
- weather information
- special events
- top attractions
- and shopping tips!
Weather in December
Pack your thermals, wool hats, and boots because we’re expecting it to be a very cold month in Paris. There might even be some snowfall! The average high temperature will be 7.5°C while the average low temperature will be a bitingly cold 3.4°C. December also has its fair share of rainy days so do remember to pack your umbrellas!
If you’re planning on getting the perfect Eiffel Tower shot for your social media, make sure to head out early before sunrise at around 8:30am. Daylight becomes a precious resource in winter so take all the photos you can before the sun sets around 4:45pm.
Events Happening in December
Major Public Transport Strike
RATP, France’s public transport operator, has announced that they will be going on strike from the beginning of December 5, 2019. They have not determined for how long they intend to go on strike but many expect it to last for a few days.
***Read our detailed article on the Paris Transport strike 2019 to understand what is happening and to know details of how your travel plans might be affected. We also encourage you to follow us on our INSIDR Facebook Page as we regularly post here for any updates.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte Re-opens
Onto some good news, the beautiful estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte has re-opened for its winter season of welcoming guests. Even if you’ve already been to the chateau before, visiting in winter is definitely something different. The château has been lavishly decorated for the winter season with this year’s theme of “Christmas in a Thousand and One Colors”.
What to expect:
- 170 Christmas trees throughout the chateau
- free gifts for kids under 7 and chocolate biscuits for kids from 7-17
- video projection mapping at the chateau
- the famous garden will be illuminated like a fairytale with horse-drawn carriage rides and treasure hunts
- a food stand full of Christmas specialities
- a 1.2m high cake representation of VLV and a sweet treat exhibition from Maison Fossier
- lit fire places and Christmas music all throughout the chateau for that special winter atmosphere
Plus, Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte has put up one of the biggest and best Nativity scenes for Christmas 2019! Make your trip to Paris this December more special by heading to Vaux-le-Vicomte. It only takes about 1 hour from the city center. Find Vaux-le-Vicomte transport details here.
And only for INSIDR travellers, get free access to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte’s towering dome. The dome allows you to see the illuminated gardens and estate from a bird’s eye view! And your kids can also dress up in period costumes for FREE! Just click on the links to get your vouchers.
- Address: 77950 Maincy
- Tickets: 19€ for adults, 14€ for kids under 18, FREE for kids under 6
- Dates: open Wednesdays to Sundays from November 23 – December 22; open daily from December 23 – January 5, 2020 (exceptionally closed on December 25 and January 1)
You don’t need to travel all way to Strasbourg or Colmar to experience Christmas Markets in France! So many different areas in Paris will be setting up Christmas Markets and each of them will have a different theme. But one thing is for sure, there will be plenty of vin chaud and delicious winter comfort foods to be had!
We’ve listed them all down with updated practical information on our Paris Christmas Markets Map. Just click the link to access the map on your mobile device.
Best musical shows
Whether you’d like to enjoy the smooth tunes of jazz or you prefer to listen to classical music being played an ancient church, you won’t be left longing for fine music while in Paris this month.
For Jazz Lovers
Duc des Lombards has an amazing line-up of artists this month!
- Dec 14 – a great Jazz Quartet from the south of France the Thomas Galliano Quartet
- Dec 26 – catch the French trio of Bloom who’ll e performing a mix of jazz, pop, and soul!
- Dec 29 – this is the show to catch if you’re looking to dance!
INSIDR Tip: Order the INSIDR team’s favorite cocktail: Gin Basil Smash that goes so well with their charcuterie and cheese plate! Buy your tickets online in advance and make sure you have your INSIDR voucher with you for a discounted ticket rate and priority seating at the show.
For Classical Music Lovers:
– At Paris Philarmonie: Paris Orchestra plays Debussy and Stravinsky on December 19 and 20
– At Sainte Chappelle Church: Bach and Vivaldi special Christmas recitals
– At Eglise de La Madeleine: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & Christmas songs on December 27
And if you’re feeling nostalgic for the good old days of when neighbors went from door to door to sing Christmas carols, make sure you head to LE BHV MARAIS from November 30 – December 22. The carl singers will be around from 3:00pm until 7:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays!
Holiday Pop-ups not to miss
LE BHV MARAIS’ Alsatian Christmas Village
There will be an Alsatian Christmas Village at LE BHV MARAIS’ Cour de l’Homme. This will be your chance to feast on traditional dishes from Alsace like flammekueche, sauerkrauts, and organic wines.
And if you’re more interested in shopping, make sure to check out “La Fabrique du Père Noël” which is a pop-up event that features young designers! You might just spot the next big designer so hurry up before their clothes become too famous (and more expensive)!
These events at the BHV are only until December 31, 2019. Don’t miss stopping by and bring with your INSIDR voucher to enjoy a free gourmet coffee and dessert at the ultra-chic Café Marlette!
Make sure you set aside time for this rare exclusive beauty experience at BY TERRY. If you didn’t already know, BY TERRY is a premium skincare & makeup brand founded by Terry de Gunzburg, legendary French make-up artist who is known for having invented the best-selling YSL Touché Eclat concealer that was considered a game-changer in makeup. They’re also highly well-known for their fun Palette Factory which is a a cross between a beauty counter and a laboratory where you can imagine and create your own bespoke Palette with over 5,000 possible combinations! We love this tailor-made approach to beauty which makes every traveller feel special. Even the packaging of the palette can be customized!
Only on December 24 and 31, you can get your makeup done by professional makeup artists at BY TERRY’s stylish boutique inside Galerie Véro-Dodat! All you need to do is send us a message by email or on Facebook!
- Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook messenger: www.messenger.com/t/insidrparis
Attractions in December
Christmas by the Seine
If there’s one rite of passage that travellers go through when visiting Paris, it’s going on a Seine River Cruise! And now that it’s Christmas time, lucky travellers can enjoy an even more special experience thanks to the mini Christmas market that will be set up on Port de Suffren (just next to the Eiffel Tower)!
Before or after your cruise, you should stop by the Christmas Market to enjoy some delicious French winter comfort food like tartiflette, vin chaud, and oysters!
INSIDR Tip: Make sure you download your INSIDR Champagne Cruise Upgrade voucher before buying your cruise tickets online!
Ice Skating in Paris
While there aren’t any lakes in Paris that freeze over, you can still enjoy ice skating in the city! We highly recommend the one at Le Grand Palais, especially since there will be a DJ playing tunes and some colorful lights in the evenings! Plus, it’s also claimed to be the largest skating rink in the world!
But if you’re a beginner in skates, we think it would be best to start on the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann ice skating rink. Not only is it located on the famous building’t rooftop, admission is also FREE! Enjoy learning a new sport while taking in the views of Paris!
Christmas Illuminations in Paris
The famous streets of Champs-Elysées and Grands Boulevards are all lit up in bright colors! The beautiful fairy lights make up for the very short daylight we have in Paris this December. Make sure you head to these streets to take photos as well as to enjoy the varying window displays.
We also highly recommend visiting Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement! Their famous Festival of Lights is back this year with an Ocean theme. You can catch this fantastic exhibition until January 19, 2020.
- Tickets: 15€ full rate; 12€ reduced rate; FREE for under 3 years old
- Time: open until 10:45pm
- Purchase your tickets online
Year end celebrations
There will be lots of holiday parties and celebrations happening this month in Paris. If you’re planning on being here for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, make sure that you make arrangements in advance whether it’s staying at a hotel or going out to a restaurant for dinner.
Soirées at the Moulin Rouge
For a truly special dinner, might we suggest the iconic Moulin Rouge! Since their kitchen brigade has been at the helm of Chef David Le Quellec, the Moulin Rouge has been receiving rave reviews from its patrons. They’ve even been included in the highly-respected Gault & Millaut Restaurant Guide!
You can make your reservations in advance online for their ‘soirées’:
– Soirées de Noël will be from December 22 to January 4 (except on December 31)
– Soirée de Réveillon will be their legendary New Year’s Eve party on December 31
INSIDR Tip: Make it an unforgettable experience by downloading your INSIDR Premium Access voucher into the Moulin Rouge!
Countdown to 2020
It’s been announced that there will once again be an exciting countdown to the new decade on the Champs-Elysées! An elaborate video projection mapping will be against the Parisian landmark of Arc de Triomphe from 11:30pm on New Year’s Eve. More than 10,000 people are expected to show up on the famous avenue.
Follow us on Facebook to be updated of all other exciting December happenings in Paris!