Even the scrooges can’t help feeling cheered by Paris in Christmas. Roasted chestnuts, vin chaud and raclette is yours for the taking and the city is about four times twinklier than usual.
So whether you’re coming for a holiday or simply trying to navigate your way around Paris in the festive period, our guide has it all – from twee Christmas markets to indugent gift inspiration. With Christmas in Paris, there’s something for everyone. 

Carousels in Paris

Christmas in Paris may be a season of roasted chestnuts and church choirs, but it’s also a time when the sharp, sweet scent of cotton candy makes the nose tingle, and the tinny music of the city’s merry-go-rounds floats in the air.

Even out of Santa season, Paris is heaven for kids looking for a sweet ride: carousels are an entrenched part of French childhood, as are the games of rings played on them. Most parks in Paris have one, such as the one in the Jardin des Plantes, with its dodos and dinosaurs, and the small one at the Jardin de Luxembourg, not grand or fancy at all, but well-loved, with its weathered elephants and unembellished horses.
During the holiday season, often children can ride the many carousels for free, giving parents a few spare moments to catch their breath between preparations and shopping. Here are some of the most iconic and well-placed carousels to ride in style.

Paris Ice Skating Rink

What’s more Christmassy than strapping on a pair of ice skates and doing figure-8s under the stars? Tumbling onto the ice with flailing arms in Paris while 80s rock blares from the loudspeakers, of course. Many seasonal ice rinks are conveniently placed next to Christmas markets, so you can sip a restorative vin chaud after skating your heart out. Happy gliding!

Christmas markets in Paris

While the favourite Champs Elysées market won’t be appearing in 2017, there are still plenty of Christmas markets in Paris to get your festive buzz on. 
From typical Alsatian fare, to a small jumble sale-like event in Montmartre, there is something for everyone in this selection of the best Christmas markets in Paris. For the finest festive trinkets, prezzies and moreish Christmassy grub, get browsing at the below.

By Time Out

Paris is arguably the most beautiful city in the world and in December it will take your breath away!

Source: By @street_style_paris

Hotel de Ville

Enjoy riding the wooden horses and carriages on one of Paris's most popular old fashioned two storey carousels. This beautiful Carrousel comes and goes from outside the Hotel de Ville, but when it's there it's a great way to relax after skating in the nearby rink.

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The Eiffel Tower ice rink

Where? Tour Eiffel 75007 (closest metro: Bir-Hakeim) When? December 15 2016-February 19 2017 How much? Free with access to the tower between €3-11 Built 57 metres above ground on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, this unique rink offers an incredible view over the capital. There's also starter ice hockey sessions and winter food stalls selling soup, sandwiches, waffles, mulled wine and steaming hot chocolate to warm you up post-skate. 

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Marché de Noël alsacien

The Alsatian Christmas market takes place on the forecourt of the Gare de l’Est, and pedals the best of the Alsace - wine, choucroute and of course, sausages. There will also be free tastings, Christmas theatre, and storytelling - plus charming gifts for all your last-minute shopping needs. 2017 dates: December 1-16

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Marché de Noël de Paris Notre-Dame

This small central market focuses on arts and crafts but offers all manner of festive gifts and treats. 50-odd artisans from the neighbourhood and farther afield gather to show off their products in this self-proclaimed ‘authentic’ Christmas market, which centres on arts & crafts from France. Set in the lovely Square René Viviani, two minutes from the Notre Dame cathedral, the market will feature sculpture, accessories and other apparel, art, woodcraft, jewellery, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, calligraphy and painting. Food wise, you can expect the usual selection of ‘regional gastronomy’ like foie gras, sausages, macaroons and chestnuts. Live entertainment comes from various chanteurs de rue, puppet shows and children’s storytelling. Santa Claus will also be present. 15 December 2017 - 24 December 2017

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