Are you looking for the best places to see Christmas lights in Paris? From famous places to lesser-known ones, this post has them all!
One of the best ways to spend Christmas in Paris is to watch Christmas decorations and lights covering most of the streets in the city.
From mid-November to the end of December (in some places till the beginning of January), the city turns into a Christmas village with sparkles and dazzles on various streets and squares.
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If you’re looking to take in the beauty of Paris illuminations, I’ll be showing you the best places to see decorations and Christmas lights in Paris, as I know exactly where to go thanks to the many Christmases I’ve spent in Paris!
From strolling along the Champs Elysse whose tree-lined street is covered in a million lights to admiring the beautifully decorated window displays at the big Paris department stores, here are the best Christmas lights in Paris not to miss.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Best Decorations and Christmas Lights in Paris
Read on to find out where to see the best Christmas decorations in Paris. I’ve visited all these places and I can guarantee that you’ll love them as much as I did!
1. Christmas Lights at Champs-Élysées Avenue
One of the most iconic places to see Christmas lights in Paris and also one of my personal favorites is none other than the treelined avenue of Champs-Élysées.
Being the longest street in Paris spread across 1.9km (1.18 miles), this avenue is the epitome of Christmas lights in Paris.
The trees that line this street side by side are covered in over 1 million LED bulbs to create a magical look.
Another highlight that makes this street even more beautiful is that you have a view of the Arc de Triomphe on one end.
2. Avenue Montaigne
If you continue walking off the Champs-Élysées, you’ll find yourself at Avenue Montaigne, a street that is famous for housing high-end fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and all the luxury fashion brands you can think of.
While during the rest of the year the street is occupied by luxury shoppers, during Christmas, the avenue gets a magical new look.
The trees that align the avenue are covered in Christmas lights and the luxury shops also decorate their storefronts to match the theme of the entire street.
Another plus of seeing Paris Christmas lights from this avenue is that you’ll have a glimpse of the equally lit-up Eiffel Tower.
3. Place Vendôme
If you’re in the 1st arrondissement, make your way to Place Vendôme to see some of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Paris.
Recognizable because of its Vendôme Column, this square might not have a million lights but it has gigantic Christmas trees in the middle that brighten up the entire area at night.
Besides the trees at the center, the high-end shops of this area also line their storefronts with cute but smaller Christmas trees that make a walk around the entire place very rewarding.
On top of the trees, some shops in this place also decorate their storefronts! Chanel is particularly my favorite as you can see from the photo above!
Related Post: French Christmas Traditions You Should Know
4. Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette takes Christmas decorations in Paris to the next level. Its window displays whose theme changes every year bring out the true spirit of Christmas in both young and adults.
From fake snow, animated characters that tell a story, and music to fun surprises, every window display is worth stopping at. However, some windows are incredibly out of the world and others are more modest.
Since this is one of the most visited spots to see Parisian Christmas decorations and lights, the windows are usually crowded with both locals and tourists alike, so you’ll want to go outside the peak hours when Parisian workers are done with work.
Before leaving Galeries Lafayette, step inside and you’ll be treated to the most beautiful Paris Christmas tree.
Just like the window displays, the theme of the tree changes every year but what doesn’t change is its size and extravagance. In some years, the tree is even inverted.
In my opinion, if you have to go just to one place to see Christmas decorations in Paris, let that place be Galeries Lafayette.
If you can, plan to see the tree at the top of the hour as there is a “mini-musical show” around the tree with lights for a few minutes. It can’t get more magical than this!
5. Printemps Haussmann
Just next to Galeries Lafayette is Printemps Haussmann, another Grand Magasin or department store whose windows become a hot tourist spot during the Christmas season in Paris.
Like Galeries Lafayette, this store goes all out when it comes to window displays. From perfectly designed animated characters that tell a story, music, circus, and miniature of the building itself, this is another place not to miss.
While most people head to Galeries Lafayette, I find the displays at Printemps Haussmann much more fun, complex, and more detailed.
6. Boulevard Haussmann
By visiting Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann department stores, you’ll be right at Boulevard Haussmann but don’t just see the window displays and leave.
This Boulevard is also covered in Christmas lights on the trees that alight the street and the buildings themselves are shimmering all night long.
If you look closely, you’ll even be able to see a decorated Christmas tree in a little square along the street.
If you want to enjoy all the Christmas lights in Paris but don’t want to walk a lot, then I recommend joining this Open-Top Christmas Bus Tour. This bus tour will take you through all the famous places listed in this article, from the Champs Elysées, Place Vendôme, boulevard Haussmann, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, to so many others. You’ll be able to enjoy the illuminated streets and landmarks from the comfort of your seat while listening to an audio commentary. You can book this Christmas bus tour from here!
Another way to admire the city at Christmas is by joining this Champs Elysées & the Arc de Triomphe guided tour. On this tour, you’ll admire a million lights on Champs Elysées while your guide gives you some facts about Paris, taste the famous macarons at Ladurée, and end your tour at Arc de Triomphe to take in the city’s illuminated sights from above. You can book this Christmas guided tour from here.
Alternatively, you can join this Christman tour that combines a little bit of everything that comes with Christmas in Paris. This private guided tour will take you to popular landmarks like the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, and Place Vendôme to see their illuminated lights and to Jardin des Tuileries to experience a Parisian Christmas market, all while your knowledgeable guide gives you some facts about them. You can book this private Christmas guided tour from here.
7. Bercy Village
Bercy village is like Santa’s own little village! Walking along the main street will feel like walking under a Christmas forest with unique decorations that change every year.
In the past years, Bercy Village has been covered in a thousand lights and dazzling white umbrellas that blanket the entire street. And at the end of the street, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree awaits you!
There are usually people taking photos with the tree, so you’ll need to be patient for your turn if you want to get a pic.
Pic up a Vin chaud from the Christmas chalets around the area and walk around the dreamy Christmas village!
8. Village Royal
Most of the places mentioned above are usually crowded but if you want to see Paris Christmas decorations in a rather intimate place with fewer crowds, head to Village Royal as it’s still unknown to many people.
This little passageway is perfect for shopping and cozying up at a restaurant but during Christmas, you’ll find gigantic green sparkling bears with beautiful red balloons that are the perfect props for those looking for Instagramable spots in Paris.
Right in the heart of the 8th arrondissement near Madeleine church, this is one of the best places to see Christmas decorations in Paris.
Location: 25 rue Royale, 75008 Paris.
9. Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and Place Maurice Barrès
Before leaving this area, make a stop at Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré! This is another street that goes out when it comes to decorating.
They switch things up every year but one that still stands is the decorated hot air balloon at Place Maurice Barrès and the luxury stores that decorate their storefronts. One particular is the Dior storefront.
Related Post: French Christmas Ornaments
10. Hotel de Ville
Hotel de Ville hosts one of the small Christmas markets in Paris but it also combines it with Christmas lights to create a mesmerizing look.
Beyond the forest of Christmas trees that dot its front square, its front facade dazzles in Christmas lights with falling fake snow.
Bundle up, grab a Vin Chaud, and take in the beauty at Paris’ city hall.
11. Galerie Vivienne
Galerie Vivienne is one of the covered passages in Paris! Though it’s the most elegant passage even without the lights, at Christmas, this elegance is taken to the next level.
Right from the moment you step inside to the end of the passage, every corner is dripping in shimmering lights.
From the many strings of lights and its charming colorful tiles to the transparent glass roof, Galerie Vivienne is indeed one of the best places to see Christmas lights in Paris.
Location: 4 Rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris.
12. Les Halles
Another gigantic Christmas tree in Paris worth seeing is at Les Halles shopping mall known as Westfield Forum des Halles.
Under the canopy of this mall in a large area, you’ll find a perfectly decorated Christmas tree that almost touches the ceiling.
Location: 101 Porte Berger, 75001 Paris.
Related Post: Useful gifts for Paris lovers
13. Le Bon Marché
Another department store that you have to see during Christmas is Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
Unlike Galeries Lafayette which has just one grand Christmas tree in the centre, Le Bon Marché has several decorated small ones hanging from its ceiling (though every year they change how they decorate so you might find something on your visit).
That, topped with several strings of lights with a backdrop of its iconic flight of stairs, this department store makes it to the list of places to see Christmas decorations in Paris.
And like other Grand Magasins, you’ll also find animated window displays.
14. BHV Marais
Just next to Hotel de Ville, BHV Marais is another Grand Magasin that puts up Christmas window displays.
However, I find that the window displays here are not as extravagant as at other department stores, but if you’re in the neighborhood or after seeing the lights at Hotel de Ville, you can make your way there.
15. Disneyland Paris
Last on this list of Christmas lights in Paris (but definitely not least) is Disneyland Paris. Though it’s technically outside the city, if you’re looking to take a Christmas day trip from Paris, Disneyland Paris will not disappoint.
Magical all year, Disney outdoes itself at Christmas. From magical Christmas enchantments, mind-blowing decorations, characters that put on memorable performances, and Disneyland Paris rides, to beautiful fireworks at night, there is nothing not to love about Christmas at Disney.
I recently visited Disneyland Paris during the festive season and I’ve put together a complete guide to spending Christmas at Disneyland Paris that I believe you’ll find helpful!
Before you go, make sure that you book this Disneyland Paris entry ticket in advance to save time.
FAQs About Seeing Christmas Decorations in Paris
When do Christmas Lights go up in Paris?
Though the timings are different for each spot, in general, Christmas lights in Paris go up from mid-November to the beginning of January.
is Christmas a good time to visit Paris?
Absolutely! Paris is always a good idea regardless of when but during Christmas time, the city even becomes more magical. You’ll be able to see the charming Christmas lights, the Christmas markets, and the decorated department stores.
Where are the best Christmas lights in Paris?
All the ones mentioned above are great spots but the most common ones include Champs-Élysées Avenue, Place Vendôme, Avenue Montaigne, and Galeries Lafayette.
How long are Christmas lights up in Paris?
They start from mid-November to early January. So, close to 1.5 to 2 months.
What do you wear in Paris at Christmas?
The trick for dressing for Paris in December is layering. You can check out my complete article on what to wear in Paris in winter here.
Final Thoughts on Where to See Christmas Decorations in Paris
Paris takes on the true meaning of the city of lights during the Christmas season!
Whether you stop at the various department stores to be mesmerized by the animated characters in their window displays or brave up the cold as you admire the glistening lights in the streets, Paris will be a treat regardless of what you choose to do.
So, why wait? Check out the above Christmas lights in Paris to fully immerse yourself in the festivities that come with the French capital during this time of the year.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
- What to do in Paris in December
- Best Places to Visit in Paris
- What to do in Paris in January
- Best Museums in Paris
- Fun things to do in Paris on a Rainy day
- Best things to do in Paris in February
- What to do in Paris in March
- Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower
- How to spend One day In Paris
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