If Paris is magnificent in the springtime, it’s absolutely resplendent around Christmas. The crisp, cold winter is livened by thousands of twinkling lights, markets and carousels, and the entire city buzzes with holiday spirit. On top of everything, you’ll find a full list of unique activities that could keep scrooge himself entertained well into the New Year. Find your New Years apartment in Paris.
If you’re staying near the Champs Elysees, you’ll be in the Christmas epicenter of Paris. We offer several apartments on or nearby the legendary thoroughfare to fit a variety of budgets, putting you right in the middle of the holiday action. Every year a dazzling light display illuminates the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde—a tradition that undoubtedly puts a strain on the electric grid, but is nevertheless welcomed by Parisians and visitors alike.
Not to be left out on the most consumer-oriented holiday in existence, other major shopping districts also offer impressive light displays. The decorations along Avenue Montaigne are sure to impress, even if holiday collections from Dior and Gucci leave you scratching your head, and the ginormous Galeries Lafayette department store delivers imaginative window displays to a fanfare of camera flashes each year.
While you’re out light hunting, set your inner child free with a ride on one of the city’s ubiquitous seasonal carousels. Nearly every arrondissement in Paris has at least one, and you can enjoy them (along with plenty of screaming, line-cutting real children) free of charge between December 22nd and January 1st. For a slightly more adult activity, trade your porcelain horse for a pair of skates and hit the ice at one of dozens of open-air skating rinks around the city. The most popular patinoire is at L’Hôtel de Ville, where you can practice your triple lutz with the hotel’s dramatic 19th century façade as a backdrop.
You’ll be especially glad to be in Paris when Christmas Eve comes around, with a slew of classical European cathedrals offering midnight mass like you’ve never seen it before. Nothing back home could compare to the grandiose spectacle of the Notre Dame Cathedral’s Christmas Eve exhibition, beginning at 4:30 PM on the 24th and featuring numerous masses, film screenings and concerts. The Sacre Coeur Basilica, atop Montmartre, offers a less ostentatious organ concert and Christmas vigil, but its innate atmosphere competes strongly with the other big guns.
It’s no surprise that Paris, a city remarkably adept at celebration, is one of the top destinations worldwide for the Christmas season. While the rest of the bunch are struggling to book tiny hotel rooms at Christmas premiums, take a cue from the savvy travelers’ playbook and book an apartment instead. We offer choices to fit any budget in a variety of festive neighborhoods around the city. Once you’re there, all you have to do is make yourself at home and Pere Noel will take care of the rest.