What to do in Paris in November and December

The end of the year is an opportunity to go to trade exhibitions and museums, but it is especially about enjoying Christmas festivities

With the approach of winter, Paris drifts into the off season – the perfect time to visit fairs, museums and exhibitions at your leisure and enjoy all the events held in November. But the highlight of this period is the festive season, which transforms the city. Christmas lights, markets, shop window displays, ice rinks combine to provide a magical atmosphere you won’t want to miss!

Christmas in Paris

Décor de Noël Mary Poppins sur la façade du BHV, Paris

The French capital gets decked out in lights and hosts wonderful seasonal events to make the end of the year a very special time. No need to wait for December to experience the magic: Paris gets into the Christmas mood from mid-November. On the 21 November, the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’ turns on its lights for the traditional Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées.

Shopping fans should make sure to visit the Christmas markets that spring up throughout the capital over the festive season: Notre-Dame, Les HallesLa Défense,Saint Germain des Prés … Enjoy some Christmas good cheer while you sample local and regional produce and shop for presents from the wide selection of handcrafted items on display.

The enchanting Christmas window displays at the department stores are very popular with children and adults alike. They can be admired at the Galeries Lafayette, Printemps Haussmann, BHV MARAIS on Rue de Rivoli and the Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement.

And, to make New Year’s Eve an occasion to remember, head for the Champs-Elysées on 31 December to admire a fabulous light show

Discover the magic of Christmas in Paris

Shows

Lido de Paris - Paris Merveilles 5 © Pics/Gregory Mairet

Paris is the place to find entertainment and glamour! The city has a vibrant nightlife scene with a varied range of lively night spots. And as the festive season approaches, every show in the capital takes on an air of magic… Paris’s cabaret venues enjoy cult status and continue to dazzle visitors from all over the world. From the Lido and the Moulin Rouge to the Crazy Horse and the Paradis Latin, all the Paris cabarets step up the tempo for the festive season for a magical experience you will never forget.

Gastronomy

Table Noël paillettes © TerriC

Paris is foodie paradise – all the more so as the festive season gets going. Indulge in some irresistible treats at Salon Noël Gourmand (dates to be confirmed), and Noël en Bio or enjoy a delicious meal in the snug comfort of one of the capital’s many restaurants.

This is also the time of year to taste vintage wines! On the third Thursday in the month of November, the arrival of the first release of Beaujolais Nouveau wine is celebrated in most bistros and Parisian cafes. A typical and popular moment not to be missed!

Would you like to explore France’s wine regions? In early December, Wine lovers won’t want to miss an event known as Grand Tasting, ‘the Festival of Great Wines’ is held at the Carrousel du Louvre.

Where to eat in Paris

Exhibitions

Fée Electricité - Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris

As the year draws to a close, a number of exhibitions are worth going out of your way to see. The Pompidou Centre will be revisiting the career of one of France’s greatest contemporary artists, Christian Boltanski (from 13 November 2019 to 16 March 2020). The museum’s first retrospective dates back to 1984, so there was a need to organize a new exhibition featuring the multi-faceted artist’s later work, spanning painting, photography, sculpture and film.

The Musée d’Orsay, on the other hand, will be devoting an exhibition to an art critic. Huysmans (1848-1907) will be the focus of a major exhibition titled Joris-Karl Huysmans critique d’art, de Degas à Grünewald (Joris-Karl Huysmans, Art Critic. From Degas to Grünewald) from 3 December 2019 to 2 March 2020). A key writer of his time, who had many painters in his circle of friends, Huysmans contributed in his own way to fashioning modernity in late 19th-century art.

See also...

Fairs

Paris Photo

Paris hosts numerous fairs in November that appeal to a wide range of interests. Photography fans in particular are well catered for. In the second week of November, the Salon de la photo (Paris Photography Fair) takes place at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Then it's Paris Photo, the world’s biggest photography fair, the world’s biggest photography fair, the 23st edition of which takes place under the glass-domed roof of the Grand Palais. As to sports, the Salon du Cheval de Paris is a must-see for equestrian fans, while sailing enthusiasts meet up every year at the Nautic event in December.

From 8 to 11 November 2019, the Made in France trade fair showcases all that’s new in French manufacturing, innovation and creativity at Porte de Versailles.

And if you’re keen to inspire your children to keep reading, the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse at Montreuil is an ideal family outing, with a host of wonderful, artistic books to leaf through.

Nitro Circus returns to Paris, to the AccorHotels Arena, where you will be able to see the world’s top riders!

Lido de Paris Member

Cabaret / Show
116 bis avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 75008
Book

Experience an extraordinary evening at the Lido de Paris, a legendary cabaret situated on the most beautiful avenue in the world,......

Moulin Rouge Member

Cabaret / Show
82 boulevard de Clichy, Paris, 75018
Book

The most famous cabaret in the world! The Moulin Rouge was immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec and was the cradle of the music hall......

Crazy Horse Paris Member

Cabaret / Show
12 avenue George V, Paris, 75008
Book

Enjoy an exceptional moment of beauty and sensuality in this legendary Parisian nightspot. Located just a few steps from the......

Salon de la photo

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
November 2020
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

The biggest photo show in France returns to the Parc des expositions at Porte de Versailles.

Salon du cheval de Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 04 December 2019 to 08 December 2019
Paris Nord Villepinte - VIPARIS - 82 avenue des nations - Zac Paris Nord 2, Villepinte

The Salon du Cheval has been putting the spotlight on the world of horses for the last 48 years.

Nautic, Boat Fair

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 08 December 2020 to 16 December 2020
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

A key event at the end of the year the Paris International Boat Show will once again take over the Parc des expositions at Porte d...

Paris Photo

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
November 2020
Nef du Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

Paris Photo is the leading international trade fair devoted to photography (galleries, publishers, photographers, collectors...).

Salon Grand Tasting

Trade fair, trade show
from 29 November 2019 to 30 November 2019
Les Salles du Carrousel - VIPARIS - 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris

Join us for the Grand Tasting Fair

Kiev National Opera Ballet - Swan Lake

Show - miscellaneous
from 24 December 2019 to 05 January 2020
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées - 15 avenue Montaigne, Paris

The Ukrainian dance company will be performing the famous ballet in Paris

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