What to do in Paris in December

by Ali Postma

It’s finally December, one of our favorite times of the year in Paris. The Christmas lights are up, markets are springing up around the city, mulled wine is appearing in bars… And we can’t forget the ice-skating rinks. There’s a Christmas spirit in the air this month and a spring in people’s steps as they prepare for their celebrations. It’s a busy month in Paris and your calendars are sure to be jam packed, perhaps with some of these events.


Start your month on the right foot by attending Art Detox at Centre Pompidou on December 1. Reiki masters will guide you through a relaxing meditation before perfumers delight your senses with original fragrances, all while reinterpreting masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou collection. Finally, you will attend a conference with a specialist art historian. 

A poster for the Citizen Brunch Club with eggs and bacon on toast (left). A poster for event Art Detox with two people standing in tree pose, seen from the back with an art installation (right).
Citizen Brunch Club / Art Detox

For those who are into tattoos, head to Drink, Ink, Print at Le HangArt on December 5 for your chance to be inked. The event celebrates the launch of the Puces de L’Illu, a festival of contemporary illustration at The Campus Fonderie de L’Image from December 7-8.

Poster for FKA Twigs performer at the Salle Pleyel in Paris this December (left). A pink poster for Drink, Ink, Print December event in Paris (right).
FKA Twigs / Drink, Ink, Print


British singer-songwriter FKA Twigs has just released her highly anticipated new album, MAGDALENE. As a former back-up dancer, Twigs is an incredible performer and you can see her live at Salle Pleyel on December 1. Meanwhile, Israeli-French singer-songwriter Yael Naim is performing live at Théâtre du Rond-Point on December 5.

A poster for the Marché de Noel Nordique, a Christmas market in Paris this December (left). A black and white photograph of singer Yael Naim who is performing this December in Paris (right).
Le Marché de Noël Nordique / Yael Naim

Christmas Markets

Where better to get your Christmas shopping done than at the numerous Christmas markets that are being held in the city this month? The options are seemingly endless; but here are a few that have caught our eye.

A poster for popular Christmas market Marché de Noel des createurs, taking place this December in Paris.
Journée des créateurs marché de Noël

Firstly, there’s Journée des créateurs marché de Noël  + brunch at Les Grand Voisins on December 7 and 8. For Montmartre lovers, Le marché de Noël Made In 18e is at Le Hasard Ludique on December 8. Get your Scandinavian fix at Le Marché de Noël Nordique at La Cité Fertile on December 14 and 15. And finally, there’s La Grande Hivernale de Paris Night Market at La Villette from December 13-15 and December 20-24.

A watercolor painting of the Christmas chalet outside the Ritz Hotel in Paris (left). The ice rink at the Grand Palais, lit in electric blue (right).
The Ritz Paris Chalet de Noël / Le Grand Palais des Glaces

Inspired by Nordic Christmas markets, the Ritz Paris will install a wooden Chalet de Noël in the middle of Place Vendôme, where winter delicacies will be served by pastry chef François Perret from December 7 to January 5. The menu features hot chocolate, gingerbread, and apfelstrudel, and you can also takeaway marble cake, chocolate bears, jams, and teas.

A daylight scene from the Grand Palais ice rink in December in Paris under the glass nave (left). A top-shot of chocolates, cakes, and patisseries for Christmas at the Ritz Hotel (right).
Le Grand Palais des Glaces / The Ritz Paris Chalet de Noël


In exciting news, an ice-skating rink will be installed on the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann for the first time ever. That means you can skate alongside incredible views of Paris, the Eiffel Tower included, and under the stars. What’s more, the rink is free and it will be open from November 20 to December 21.

A poster for the event The Brunch Queen in Paris every Sunday (left). An evening at the Grand Palais ice rink, lit up with blue lights (right).
The Brunch Queen / Le Grand Palais des Glaces – Philapaname Photo

Everyone’s favorite ice-skating rink and the biggest in France, Le Grand Palais des Glaces, is back this winter much to everyone’s surprise (it usually only happens every two years). Take this opportunity to skate under the famous nave accompanied by light shows and DJ sets one last time before the Grand Palais closes for renovations next December 2020.


It seems like December is the month to brunch. And it makes sense; what cozier way to spend your Sunday morning than over a nice cup of coffee and a delicious meal that’s been made for you? Every Sunday this month, you can enjoy brunch at the Citizen Brunch Club at Le Citizen Hotel, or at The Brunch and the Queen at Acqua e Farina. It’s December, treat yourself!

A night scene of the Champs Elysées with its Christmas lights.
Stephanie Leblanc

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Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

2 comments on “What to do in Paris in December

How about an article on what to do if you are in Paris Dec 5th during the transportation strike?

Hi! I would suggest staying close to home and exploring the neighborhood where you will be staying/living! 🙂 Good luck…

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