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.

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......

Fashion Freak Show

Show - miscellaneous | Musical theatre, musical
from 18 September 2018 to 21 April 2019
Folies Bergère - 32 rue Richer, Paris
Book

Jean-Paul Gaultier will be launching his Fashion Freak Show at the Folies Bergère on 2 October 2018

Michael Jackson, On the Wall

Exhibition
from 23 November 2018 to 14 February 2019
Grand Palais - 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris

The Grand Palais is paying homage to the King of Pop

Salon de la photo

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
from 08 November 2019 to 12 November 2019
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.

Christmas lights on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées

Celebration
Novembre 2019 - Janvier 2020
Avenue des Champs-Élysées - De l'Arc de Triomphe à la place de la Concorde, Paris

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is decorated with lights and beautiful decorations for Christmas and the New Year.

Salon du cheval de Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
November - 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 47 years.

Nautic, Boat Fair

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
December 2019
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
Novembre 2019
Nef du Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

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

Christmas village on La Défense esplanade

Celebration | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
November - Decebmer 2019
Paris La Défense - Parvis de la Défense, Paris La Défense

Village over 10,000m ² with more than 300 chalets with traditional arts and crafts, 400 m ² of festive decorations

Window displays at Bon Marché Rive Gauche

Celebration
November - December 2019
Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche - 24 rue de Sèvres, Paris

Christmas decorations, enchanting, poetic and utterly magical scenes in the windows of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche

Salon Grand Tasting

Trade fair, trade show
November - December 2019
Les Salles du Carrousel - VIPARIS - 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris

Join us for the Grand Tasting Fair

Traditional Alsace Christmas market at the Gare de l'Est

Celebration | Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
December 2019 - January 2020
Gare de l'Est - Place du 11 novembre 1918, Paris

Bretzels, gingerbread, little Christmas biscuits, decorations... the best of Alsatian gastronomy, gare de l'Est

Christmas window displays at Galeries Lafayette

Celebration
From 7 November 2018
Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann - 40 boulevard Haussmann, Paris

Galeries Lafayette celebrates Christmas with animated window displays, illuminated facades, and a huge Christmas tree under the d...

The Magic of Christmas

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition | Celebration
November 2019 - January 2020
Jardin des Tuileries - Place de la Concorde, Paris

Christmas Market, ice rink, big wheel, children's theatre, the magic of Christmas comes to the Tuileries Gardens

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