Last updated on September 23rd, 2023 at 04:01 am
Every year, when the cold season is upon us in the French capital, the city dresses with its most beautiful twinkling lights and about a thousand Christmas decorations to set the holiday mood. If you’re a Christmas lover, you’ll love Paris in winter, so know where to find the best Christmas Lights in Paris!
Let’s be honest; hunting for Christmas lights is probably one of the best activities in Paris if you want to feel that sweet Christmas spirit. So, grab a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee) and walk those cobbled streets to watch those pretty illuminations.
Where To Find The Best Christmas Lights & Decorations In Paris
Table Of Contents
Around mid-November Paris, when the beautiful yellow and orange shades leave around mid-November, Paris starts to fall off the trees. The season feels a bit more gloomy for certain people; it is high time that every street and shop overlay its magical lights and decorations to set off the Christmas mood.
(Although you can find Christmas decorations and whatnot almost everywhere, even on the very first days of October, insane.)
It’s as if Paris’s most famous and fanciest streets compete to see which will be the prettiest and most dazzling.
Reading this guide to the best Christmas lights and decorations lets you quickly see a pattern; most are close to luxury/designer shops!
After popular shopping places follow up in their steps, what’s better than some pretty lights to remind the people that it is Christmas soon to make them remember to buy gifts?
The Christmas lights in Paris start to lit when the sun begins to set, so as soon as it is dark, you’ll be mesmerised by the beauty of Paris in winter with its stunning Christmas decorations! So, get your best selfie stick out to snap a pretty shot of you and the Christmas decorations in Paris!
Now, you can tour your Paris Christmas lights to get into the Christmas mood while enjoying some pretty light displays.
This list isn’t classed by the order of the best spots to check; it’s a random order.
When do Christmas lights go up in Paris?
Christmas lights in Paris go up as early as mid-November. If you’d like to visit before the Christmas rush and still enjoy the Christmas display, I recommend staying at the end of November; it is slightly crowded but less than if you’d visit closer to Christmas.
The Christmas lights in Paris usually stay until the first week of January (same for some Christmas markets) after Christmas; New Year is also an excellent time to visit Paris and admire them with a lesser crowd.
All those places are effortless to reach and are doable even if you only have a few days to spend in Paris, and you can plan your whole trip around those Christmas lights as those areas also have plenty of activities to do and are trendy neighbourhoods.
#1 AVENUE DES CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES
I’m sure you’ve heard of it already; the Champs Elysées is one of the most famous avenues worldwide.
So, of course, this fancy avenue is dressed up in its prettiest colours and lights when the Christmas season comes. Nothing over the top, though, simple lights and decorations, but they do the job of turning the Champs-Elysées into a must-see for Christmas lights in Paris.
You might wonder why I recommend this place if it’s nothing over the top. It’s simple; the avenue already has a lot of charm, so that’s why it doesn’t need much yet as I said is still a must-see if you want to experience that special winter Parisian feeling. Remember, sometimes, less is more.
It’s worth checking out whether you like shopping or not.
Access: L1 From Franklin D. Roosevelt (bottom) To Charles De Gaulles Etoile (top)
#2 BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN
If you know your Parisian history or are an architecture fan, you have probably heard about the Boulevard Haussmann.
Well known for its unique architectural style, the Boulevard Haussmann is a must-see even if the lights aren’t on yet. However, they add many charms to this famous Boulevard, so missing this spot would be a shame.
For a little historical note: the construction of this neighbourhood ended in 1864 after seven years of work. So, a must-visit! It is a significant part of Parisian history.
Access: L3 Chaussé D’antin
#3 GALLERIES LAFAYETTE & LE PRINTEMPS
I have already mentioned the Galeries Lafayette as a winter activity in Paris if you’re looking for Christmassy stuff on my Paris winter bucket list. Le Printemps is the following shopping centre on the Boulevard Haussmann, where you can also find some great Christmas Lights and beautiful displays outside.
For many Parisians, visiting the Galleries Lafayette every winter when they put up the Christmas decorations is a tradition.
There’s a reason behind this. This Parisian mall in itself, due to its unique architecture, is quite a sight, and, in addition to this, the decorations change every year.
Each year, with a new theme (the 2019 Theme is “the Hive”), they set up a new original giant Christmas tree underneath the neaf of the building and matching displays outside for everybody to enjoy. Everyone, locals or tourists, is always excited to know what it is going to look like
#4 WESTFIELD FORUM DES HALLES
Westfield Forum Des Halles shopping centre was redesigned a few years ago. They did not hesitate to go all out during the Christmas holiday to please their customers and make Christmas shopping more pleasurable.
It makes it a fantastic place to visit during the holiday season in Paris if you want to see pretty Christmas lights in Paris.
It has great places to eat and shop if you’re looking for some leisure time while you admire the Christmas decorations and maybe even find some for your tree to bring back home!
Access: L4 Station Les Halles
#5 BERCY VILLAGE
Bercy Village is now a quaint shopping centre designed in a small village where you can find many restaurants and shops if you fancy doing a small shopping spree. Bercy Village gets some new decorations throughout the year to fit the events happening at the moment. And, of course, it has some beautiful lighting.
It is a place that I like going to, and I reckon it is even more cosy and enjoyable in winter with all the Christmas lights and decorations. There’s also a considerable cinema there if you want to warm up and watch a movie there.
Access: L14 Station Court St Emilion
#6 CHRISTMAS ILLUMINATIONS AT AVENUE MONTAIGNE
Montaigne Avenue is one of the three streets that compose the “Triangle d’Or” of Paris. It is well known for the many designer shops and luxurious hotels (i.e. Plaza Athenée) you can find there.
If you’re curious, the two other streets that compose this golden triangle are The Champs Elysée (our #1 in this list) and the Avenue George V.
Every shop’s display is decorated for Christmas; however, one thing makes La Rue Montaigne worth adding to your Christmas bucket list in Paris.
The Dior Christmas Tree. Like the Gallerie Lafayette, the Dior shop set a stunning Christmas Tree as the frontage of its shop. It’s a popular spot; if you walk down Avenue Montaigne to look at the illuminations, there’s a lot of chance that you’ll see some people shooting photos in the street in front of the Dior Christmas Tree.
As I mentioned above, you can also find the Plaza Athenée on this avenue. Even if you like me, you may not be able to afford a night there; you can still enjoy the architecture and decorations of the building!
Access: L1 Franklin D. Roosevelt.
#7 RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT-HONORÉ / RUE DE LA PAIX
A few minutes walk from the Galerie Lafayette and the Boulevard Hausmann, passing by the stunning landmark the Opera Garnier, you’ll quickly arrive by the Rue de la Paix.
This street is home to a dozen popular luxury shops that lead to a famous place (see #8), so the whole road gets very festive and dresses up with some dazzling Christmas in front of every shop and light-ups.
Access: L14/L12 Madeleine
#8 PLACE VENDÔME
Yet another place full of fancy luxuries designers shop to end this list of the best Christmas Illuminations in Paris.
Of course, the place is refined and a significant landmark to visit if you’re in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris. For the Christmas season, the area installs some beautiful huge Christmas in the same theme as the one in the Rue de la Paix and Rue Du Faubourg Saint Honoré, as those two streets are linked to the place.
They make a great walk if you’re counting on exploring the 1st Arrondissement of Paris.
They will lead you to the Opera if you’re starting from Rue Du Faubourg Saint Honoré or to the Jardin Des Tuileries, which hosts a fabulous Christmas Market you must visit in Paris.
Access: L1 Concorde
The saint-Germain-Des-Près chic neighbourhood is located in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris and is well known for its famous medieval church where a Christmas Market takes place every year.
Which means it is a great place to see some beautiful Christmas Lights. Close by, you can find some notorious café such as “Les Deux Magots” and “Café de Flore” if you fancy treating yourself to some hot coffee or hot cocoa while you admire the Christmas decorations on the street.
Access: L4 Saint-Germain-Des-Près
#10 COVERED PASSAGES IN PARIS: GALERIE VIVIENNE
Many things and places define Paris’ charm, one being its covered passages hidden inside the buildings throughout the French capital. They are also well worth the visit at any time of the year.
However, it is sure that you shouldn’t miss it during the winter holiday season if you’re a Christmas fan and you’re looking for some of the most beautiful Christmas Lights in Paris.
One of the most famous of those Passages is the Galerie Vivienne dress up with some adorable decorations, as you can see in the photo and light up its Galerie with twinkling lights. All of this adds more magic to this already unique and stunning Galerie.
Some more passages of Paris are also decorated for Christmas, although if you only need to visit one for Christmas lights, it has to be the iconic Galerie Vivienne.
#11 Le Village Royal
“Le Village Royal” is in Madeleine, a chic passageway offering beautiful Christmas lights. You can find the famous light bears you see all over those Instagram Paris posts!
Of course, it gets crowded quickly, like every popular photo spot in Paris therefore if you’d like to get some beautiful photos with the bears!
Address: 25 Rue Royale/ 24 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris
Hours: Mon-Sat: 8:30 am to 8:30 pm / Sun: 9:30 to 7:30 pm
2022 EDIT: Sadly, the bears are not on display this year. However, I keep this place as a good place to see Christmas lights in Paris as they installed Christmas trees and other decorations. Of course, in my opinion, the bears were much cuter, but it’s still nice.
#12 Lumières En Seine – Parc De Saint Cloud (92)
Lumières En Seine is a 2km trail lights event located sightly outside of Paris and has the most beautiful lights displayed inside the Domaine National de Saint Cloud. The park is grandiose; it only adds more charms and a romantic atmosphere to this beautiful event.
If you love Christmas lights, missing out on “Lumières en Seine” would be a shame. It is one of the best Christmas light show Paris I have attended.
This is a popular event, so make sure to book your tickets online; I highly recommend not missing this event if you’re having a Christmas vacation in Paris.
Date: starting 17th November 2023
Check out the official website for more info about the event and ticket prices: Lumières en Seine.
The Christmas season in Paris is one of the happiest times of the year. Where the city glows up and gets this cosy feeling that makes you want to drink hot cocoa at the Christmas Market or have a cheeky glass of hot wine, will you soak in the festive atmosphere?
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Where To Find The Best Christmas Lights Paris
✈ Best Travel Ressources To Plan Your Next Trip
If you need help planning your next trip, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! Here are my favourite websites and apps to plan a trip!
✈ How To Find Flights?
My favourite website to book flights is Skyscanner; it is a good comparator for finding the cheapest flights.
Google Flight is also a good help when it comes to comparing flights.
✈ Where To Book Accommodations?
The best sites to book accommodations are Booking.com or Expedia. They both allow you to collect points for a discount; it’s worth comparing the two as they often have different pricing for the same hotels.
Another perk about Booking.com and Expedia is that you can get bundle deals for flights and accommodations, which can sometimes help you save a lot of money. And don’t worry; you can also select to add accommodation for only a specific part of the trip if you’re not only staying in one place.
✈ Best Sites To Book Activities
My go-to website when I need to book an activity is GetYourGuide when I can’t get a ticket directly on the website or if it’s easier to go through them.
I always check if the price is the same, though, as the whole point is for it to be easier but not more expensive.
If I don’t find the activity I want on GetYourGuide, I like to check Viator for more options!
You can also check out Klook if you need to book more than just activities and would like to get everything from the same website—(i.e. transport cards, car rental, hotel…).
✈ Other helpful travel resources
– Radical Storage: If you need a place to keep your luggage for an extended period when you travel, I recommend using them. It was a great help when we needed a place to keep our luggage safely while we left the city for a few days.
– TheTrainline: If you love to travel by train like me, then TheTrainline needs to be your go-to website for train travel in Europe. It is very reliant and easy to use.
Disclaimer: this resources box contains affiliate links, which means I earn a little commission if you book anything through my links at no additional cost. They help me support the blog and generate more content. Happy travels!