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Chrisymas Lights in Paris - Concorde

December in Paris: Weather and What to Do during the Christmas Period

by stillinparis

Planning to visit Paris in December? Need tips about what to do during the Christmas holidays in Paris? Unsure of what to pack to tackle the chilly Parisian weather? Welcome to StillinParis.

Christmas Lights in Chaps Elysée - Paris
Christmas Lights in Champs Elysée – Paris

No matter how long you spend in Paris, you will undoubtedly be impressed by the city’s unforgettable architectural and cultural heritage.

You will also be able to enjoy the many pleasures of the proclaimed capital of gastronomyfashion and shopping – especially at this time of the year. On December 31st you could celebrate  New Year’s Eve in Paris in style at the Champs Elysée with 300,000 other people.

Weather in Paris in December

Average Temperatures in Paris en December

  • average minimum temperatures in Dec. in Paris : 2°C / 36°F
  • average maximum temperature in Dec. in Paris: 7°C / 45°F
  • average rainfall : 59 mm

Although the Parisian climate can be chilly towards the end of December, temperatures are rarely below freezing (on average between 2°C/36 ° F and 7°C/45°F). The first couple of weeks of December are milder but are still cool as Winter settles in.

Paris weather in December (Snow)
Paris weather in December (Snow)

Paris can be cloudy during December, and there are on average 15 rainy days (however, the showers are generally light). Of course, there is also a possibility of snow over the Christmas period. To see a snow-covered Paris is to witness the city at its most beautiful.

With plenty of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations over the festive season, Paris certainly lives up to its famous nickname – the ‘City of Light’.

What to Wear in December in Paris

If you are visiting Paris this month, you should be prepared for cold weather.

Aside from the usual winter coat, scarf,  and gloves, an umbrella might be useful (but a raincoat can make walks easier) , as well as shoes with a good tread to ensure you don’t slip over!

Don’t forget to leave room in your luggage for any shopping or souvenirs you might pick up during your stay. See 5-day weather forecast for Paris

Paris in December: Events, Musicals, and Opera in Paris

Festive Lights and Windows

Lafayette Xmas Windows Dec. 2015
Galeries Lafayette Paris Xmas Windows

You can see many beautiful Christmas lights in Paris. The most famous are those of the Champs Elysées Illuminations, Montmartre Hill lights and Galeries Lafayette Christmas Window.

Galeries Lafayette is one of the most famous department stores in Paris. Here you can find brand-name items and fashion of every variety. The Christmas window is a real spectacle of the city, adorned with lights and stunning decorations to welcome in the festivities. A cruise of the river Seine is a fantastic way of seeing the Christmas illuminations in all their glory.

There are many tours available from Champs Elysées avenue to Notre Dame Cathedral and the wonderful Concorde Place, which are organized to let you discover Paris’ beauty during the Christmas period.

>Book your illumination Tours by Tootbus

Wonderful Christmas Cruise on Seine River

Paris en Scène Dinner Cruise

Enjoy an unforgettable Christmas Cruise on the Seine River! It is an unmissable opportunity to have a gourmet Xmas meal while being impressed by top Parisian monuments and illuminations

Many companies propose a gourmet Christmas Eve dinner on Dec. 24, 2022 like Bateaux Parisiens, Capitaine Fracasse or Yachts de Paris.

Some companies like Bateaux Parisiens and Bateaux Mouches have also an offer for Xmas lunch on Dec. 25, 2022.

>> More info on Xmas Cruises in Paris

Selection of Xmas activities in Paris:

Ice Skating at Grand Palais - Paris
Ice Skating at Grand Palais – Paris

Open-Air Ice Skating

During this period, many open-air ice skating rinks offer the chance to enjoy winter entertainment with friends or family through outdoor activities at ice-rinks. These can be found on the square in front of the Paris City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), on the Champs-Elysées at Grand Palais, and in the Jardins du Trocadéro.

See Museums in Paris .

>> Book now your hotel in Paris and save money

25th and 26th December in Paris

Christmas day, December 25th is a public holiday – so most museums and attractions will be closed as well as the shops.

Nevertheless, some museums and monuments are open on Christmas day such as the Museum of Montmartre or Espace Dali and The Pompidou Centre – the most important Contemporary Art Museum in Paris.

Some churches and religious monuments are open, such as Notre Dame CathedralSacré Coeur Basilica and Madeleine Church. These Churches often organize events and special celebrations on 24th and 25th December where you can see exceptional live choir performances.

The 26th of December is not a holiday – there is no Boxing Day in Paris – so most museums, monuments, and shops will be open for business.

During the New Years Eve celebrations on the Champs Elysée avenue, several surprise events are planned to welcome the new year into the city.

New Year and Xmas at Opera Bastille:  Raymonda By Nureyev

until 31 December 2022  – Opéra national de Paris

The Ballet Don Quichotte by Nureyev.

New Year and Christmas at Opéra Garnier

Ashton / Eyal / Nijinski: creations by the contemporary Choreographers. A surprising production. An Original Ballet for Year’s End in Paris

Read more about Christmas Events in Paris

Exhibitions in Paris in December 2022

December 2022 will be a culturally rich month for the French capital , with many fantastic exhibitions taking place in the City of Light.

  • Morozov Colletction at the Luis Vuitton Fundation from 22 Sept. 2021 to Feb. 20221
  • David Hockney, a Year in Normandie at Musée de l’Orangerie – form Oct. 2021 to Feb 2022
  • Signac Collection at Orsay Museum – Oct., 2021 to Feb. 2022

3 days in Paris – Art Exhibition

15 Galleries, more than 60 local artists of the district of Marais with paintings for sale from 200€ to 10 000€.

Christmas at Disneyland Paris

Christmas at Disney Land PAris
Christmas show at Disney Land Paris

Experience the magic of a family Christmas at Disneyland Paris!

Illuminations, Disney fairies, and fun for all the family… Christmas is certainly the best time to visit Disneyland Paris.

Book your stay at Disneyland Paris!

Paris Christmas Markets in December

It would be a crying shame miss out on the hot chocolate, wine, crepes, and waffles found at the Christmas Markets in Paris.

You can also buy many typical French products like locally-made cheese.

read more : All Christmas markets in Paris

Christmas Market Champs Elysées Paris
Champs Elysées Christmas market in Dec.

From mid-November 2022 to early January 2023- 10am-7pm

Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés de Paris – 6th arrondissement Metro : Saint-Germain-des-Prés


Canceled in December 2022

Avenue des Champs-Elysées – 8th arrondissement Metro : Champs Elysées – Clemenceau


From late November 2022 to 1 January 2023 10am – 5pm

Place des Abbesses – 18th arrondissement Metro : Abbesses

  • CHRISTMAS MARKET IN GARE SAINT-LAZARE From mid-November 2022 to December 2022

Gare de Haussmann Saint-Lazare – 9th arrondissement Metro : Saint-Lazare

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Sarah 22/12/2013 - 2:17 am

We , my husband, 2 children and I are coming to Paris for the New year. Any suggestions for a place of nice family dinner or fireworks or celebrations, as my children will be allowed to wake pass mid night only New Year’s Eve ??

Parisianguy 22/12/2013 - 11:09 am

You CAN Go to Double Fond a café théâtre in paris 4th(place sainte Catherine) .There Willbe celebrations, dinner, magic shows but no fireworks. You CAN also celebrate new years eve at the aquarium at trocadero. One advice : book in advance

Isha Narang 01/10/2014 - 8:43 am

Hey me and my husband are coming to Paris on this 27th dec till 2nd Jan to celebrate new year so any idea that I can get for the weather in dec there and what best we can do on 31st night and then where is the best place to shop for reasonable price shopping for me and my hubby

stillinparis 02/10/2014 - 12:10 pm

Hey I can recommand you many things :
a romantic river cruise on the Seine,
a Special New year’s eve at the Opera
many restaurants in Paris have a special dinner menu for this event (read our special new years eve guide).
For Shopping you can try French designer stock clearance store . ( go to our shopping menu for more details).

David 22/10/2014 - 1:20 pm

are museums and shops open 26 Dec. in Paris? is there a boxing day?

stillinparis 04/11/2014 - 8:41 pm

Most of Museums , monuments and stores are open on 26 Dec. There is no Boxing day in France. It´s not a public holiday

Julia 04/11/2014 - 8:44 pm

When Christmas light in Champs Elysees Ave will be inaugurated this year?

stillinparis 04/11/2014 - 8:54 pm

This year the new decorations on World’s most beautiful avenue will be inaugurated on 20 Nov 😉

kristin 05/11/2014 - 12:21 am

I was in Paris last year for the end of december. The year before I was in NY. For me Paris is the best place to spend Xmas holidays

David 05/11/2014 - 12:26 am

You have not visited London ! It’s wonderful for year’s end holidays

kristin 05/11/2014 - 12:29 am

London is good for shopping, but I really prefer Paris for its magic atmosphere , its illuminations, its typical Christmas markets…

Kelly 25/11/2019 - 6:29 am

Is Paris not too cold during festive season? The best reasonable accommodation there pls.

Anonymous 05/11/2014 - 8:58 pm

Restaurants are they open for Christmas ?

stillinparis 08/11/2014 - 11:59 am

Yes many restaurants are open for Christmas day even if the most part is closed.
Some restaurants have special Xmas menu.
You can opt for a Xmas diner of lunch in a boat river cruise https://www.still-in-paris.com/todoin/attractions/best-paris-river-cruises/

Liz 07/11/2014 - 1:22 pm

Is ice skating free during year’s end holidays?

stillinparis 08/11/2014 - 12:02 pm

Ice skating is free on the Ice skating of the City Hall, but you have to rent skates (about €5)

Nicole 18/11/2014 - 10:34 pm

If I wore waterproof suede knee high apres boots (the nice looking ones, but with a thick heel), would I be out of place or too under dressed?

stillinparis 20/11/2014 - 11:15 pm

You will certainly not be under dressed, thigh boots are trendy in Paris. But if your are planning to walk it can be difficult to walk in Paris with thick heels. And if it snow it is almost impossible.

Maria Angeliki 20/11/2014 - 5:02 pm

Hello I’m going to celebrate my 18th birthday in 10th of December in Paris!!! Could you recommend me a place to find a good birthday cake and and a bar to go on that special day?

stillinparis 20/11/2014 - 8:14 pm

Hey Maria, thanks for reading us! you can find good birthday cake at this place http://www.mesjolisgateaux.fr/votre-gateau-sur-mesure
the best si to order in advance. You can also find god cakes in many tradional “boulangerie” . where will you have your habitation?
. There is a huge place to celebrate your birthday in Paris.
For a unique birthday , the retaurant “La coupole” at 102, boulevard du Montparnasse 75014 Paris (Metro Montparnasse)
For a festive birthday, “Les caractères” a club not too expensive situated at , 25 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris (Metro Odeon).

Miriam 08/11/2015 - 3:13 am


My husband, two young daughters and I will be in Paris for about 6 days for Christmas from somewhere hot. Please, where can we get affordable winter wear on arrival?

stillinparis 09/11/2015 - 2:07 pm


there are many places easily accessible from Paris Center where you can find affordable clothes for kids and there parent :
Italie 2 Shopping Center , C&A at boulevard Haussmann. Saint Lazare Shopping Mall (Camaieu, promod …)

Fiona 21/12/2015 - 12:20 pm

Hello, my boyfriend and I will be in Paris for 4 days over new year, very excited! I’m not sure where the best place to go is on new years eve, we are thinking the Champs Elysee but also keen to go the eiffel tower – where would be best do you think? Also, we leave on the 2nd December and will be travelling by underground from Convention to Charles De Gaulle, do you know of any restrictions on 2nd January as we’ll be leaving our hotel around 5am!

stillinparis 25/12/2015 - 11:40 am

Hello Fiona

Thanks for reading us. There are many ways to celebrate NYE in Paris. This year there is a public audio and video show over the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysées. (it gather about 500 000 people)
For the Eiffel Tower, the best thing is to have a reservation in a restaurant or a diner-cruise with a view on the Tower. (It can be expensive !)
Many people celebrate also the New Year on the Trocadero where you have a wonderful view on the Eiffel Tower

stillinparis 25/12/2015 - 11:45 am

For the 2nd January there is no specific restriction but Metro service starts at 5.34 am at convention

ching 11/12/2016 - 5:53 pm


Is there any fireworks on new years eve this year? Thank you!

stillinparis 11/12/2016 - 8:22 pm

Generally, there is no fireworks scheduled for the new year’s eve in Paris but a video on the Arc de Triomphe.
But in 2015, the City of Paris organized a surprise with an exceptional.

N. Lipiz 11/11/2019 - 2:58 pm

My wife and I will be in Paris during the first two weeks in December celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. What do you suggest for us to do during our visit? What should we wear to be prepared for the weather?

stillinparis 12/11/2019 - 12:32 pm


Thanks for contacting us . You can find many things to do there : https://www.still-in-paris.com/visit-paris/paris-4-5-days-travel-guide/
You will have the possibility to visit the Chateau de Versailles. You can also try Fontainebleau or Vaux le Vicomte. A dinner cruise should be perfect to see Christmast light from the Seine. The weather can be cold in Paris but not excessively . You should wear a good coat

Christina Trama 25/09/2022 - 4:07 pm

We arrive in Paris Dec 26. We are so excited for the beautiful of Paris at Christmas!

Brid 17/11/2022 - 11:06 pm


Please can you recommend the best way to travel from Disneyland Paris to Orly with 2 young children.

stillinparis 18/11/2022 - 9:49 am

Hello The best way is to use a shuttle . You can also use Parisian transportation : RER-A until chatelet/les halles station and then RER-B until Antony. You will find there the Orlyval.

Belle 20/11/2022 - 12:32 pm

Hello 🙂
Please recommend any restaurant for celebrate New Year with view of Eiffel tower, can see firework, good spot for take photo.
Thank you


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