Visit Paris in December

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That’s it, the cold is well established in Paris and you may be wondering where to go? What to do now? What to visit in Paris in December? Fortunately, for every month of the year, Keewego has answers to your questions. December being the month of Christmas, find in this article the activities related to this event, as well as the different ice-skating rinks. Then find a selection of temporary exhibitions from Parisian museums to discover.

Paris in December : outdoor outings

Christmas Decorations

Paris in December allows you to discover the city of light, more illuminated than ever. Whether in the shopping streets or on the main avenues, the city is lit up by a thousand lights. Of course, it is the busiest roads that will dazzle you the most, such as rue de Rivoli, Boulevard Haussmann (see below), and of course the Champs-Élysées.

The most beautiful avenue in the world is brilliantly lit every year, from the Place de l’Étoile, where the Arc de Triomphe proudly sits, to the Place de la Concorde. The dominant color of the illuminations in recent years, is red.

Please note that on the evening of December 31, a sound and light show will be projected on the Arc de Triomphe. It will then be followed by a fireworks display for the first few minutes of the New Year!

The windows of Paris' major department stores in December

Every year, the largest department stores in Paris redouble their ingenuity to charm passers-by. It has become as much a trade war as a custom. Each one tries, each year to surpass himself to offer the most grandiose of shows, to all and to all. And to the delight of both Parisians and visitors alike, the result is still as magical as ever!

The show presented by the windows of Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement, Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, the Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV) and the luxury boutiques on Avenue Montaigne (Dior, Vuitton, Chanel…) will impress you. Works of art to turn Paris into a real open-air museum in December. To discover them all, take part in our temporary guided tour of Paris in December!

Christmas markets

There are several dozen of them all over the capital to bloom everywhere, from the end of November to the beginning of January: the Christmas markets. Paris in December, allows you to discover the city of light more warm than ever with the scents of hot wines, teas and spices floating in the air. The most popular, due to their size and the number of stands they house, are located in the Jardin des Tuileries and on the Esplanade de la Défense.

The first one allows you to discover from another angle the most famous garden in Paris, located between the Louvre Museum and the Concorde, along the rue de Rivoli and the Seine. Its wooden chalets are home to merchants, and many attractions are also on offer. This Christmas market will give you the opportunity to spend a pleasant moment with your family in a majestic setting where the statues of the garden are enthroned here and there. Take advantage of the Louvre’s evenings on Wednesday and Friday evenings (opening until 10pm) to visit the museum in a more serene atmosphere, due to its low attendance at these slots.

As mentioned earlier, other Christmas markets take place in Paris in December, such as the one at Place des Innocents near Châtelet, the one around the Centre Pompidou, and the one at Notre-Dame on the quai Montebello. A non-exhaustive selection, since many smaller ones are found throughout the city.

The skating rinks of Paris in December

With the cold come flakes, gloves… and skates! Then let’s go, for an activity that warms up young and old, while making you discover the magical places of Paris.

The Ice Palace

First of all, there is the largest and most beautiful skating rink in the world, the one that takes place every year, under the sumptuous glass roof of the Grand Palais. From mid-December to the beginning of January, three slots are offered, and with them three different entry rates. The experience is different every time.

In the morning (10am – 1pm) you can skate inside the 1937 Universal Exhibition, with a metal structure heavier than that of the Eiffel Tower above you!

In the afternoon (2pm – 7pm), you can start to see the sun go down, and the first lighting installations immerse you in a magical world.

Then come the nocturnes (8pm – 2am) where you will discover a unique show. The palace and its glass roof are more beautiful than ever and you are accompanied under the stars by lively music to make you spend an exceptional evening.

WhereAvenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris 75016 Paris
AccessLine 1,9 ,13. Stations : Franklin-D.Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau
Bus 28, 42, 52,63 , 72, 73, 80, 83 et 93
Morning ratesAdultes : 20 €
children : 12 €
Afternoon ratesAdultes : 25 €
Children : 12 €
Night ratesEveryone : 25 €
Additional infosFree entrance for children under 3.
The child rate is valid until 12 years old included.
Skate rental is included in the price; if you have your own skates, the price remains unchanged.
The children's rate is not applicable for night shifts.
Children under 16 years old must be accompanied for nocturnal events.
Children under 14 years old must be accompanied during the day.
No special rates for non-skaters.

The panoramic roof of the Montparnasse Tower

This will become a more established custom, every year, in the habits of Parisians. Since 2016, the highest skating rink in Paris has been located at the top of the Montparnasse Tower to offer you, as a bonus, the most beautiful view of the entire city.

The other rinks

On the roof of Galeries Lafayette with a view of the Opéra Garnier, there is 160m² of skiing open to all lovers of skiing and shopping.

At the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars ice rink also welcomes you for the Eiffel on Ice event in mid-December.

Finally, in the heart of Paris, you will find the skating rink in front of the Hôtel de Ville and the Forum des Halles.

The temporary exhibitions of Paris in December

Paris has one of the largest museums in the world and they do not deprive themselves, rightly, of proposing temporary exhibitions not to be missed. A brief overview to visit Paris in December in the warmth of December.

Charlie Chaplin @ Philharmonie de Paris

Let’s start directly with the most unusual, but also the most enchanting of all. An exhibition to rediscover Charlie Chaplin’s work in its musical dimension and, more broadly, in its close relationship to dance, rhythm, the illusion of speech and sound.

Equipped with your free helmet at the entrance of the visit, immerse yourself in the universe of a multi-talented man-orchestra to laugh, and remember with nostalgia the greatness of this actor who became a legend thanks to his character of Charlot.

Leonardo da Vinci @ Musée du Louvre

For the 500th anniversary of the death of the multifaceted Florentine artist, here is a unique retrospective that shows how Leonardo da Vinci put painting above all else and how his investigation of the world, which he called “the science of painting”, was the instrument of his art, whose ambition was nothing less than to bring life to his paintings. In a style aimed at achieving perfection, immerse yourself in the master’s sketches and studies to deepen the universe of this world’s most beloved genius. Given the very high number of visitors, online booking is mandatory on

Toulouse-Lautrec @ Grand Palais

In this place of many possibilities, after or before the ice rink, you can go to the retrospective dedicated to the one who is considered as the soul of Montmartre. On two floors, several hundred works show the artist in all his contemporary dimension and his taste for the modernity of his time. A key event in Parisian cultural life.

Francis Bacon @ Centre Pompidou

In all, some sixty masterpieces are on display, including twelve triptychs. They all come from the last twenty years of the artist’s life, after the death of his companion who committed suicide on the eve of the opening of his previous major Parisian exhibition at the Grand Palais in 1971. This period of his life is the most highly rated in the art market but also in the eyes of the public.

Picasso @ Musée Picasso

This little-mediatized exhibition nevertheless makes it possible to understand the intellectual and artistic process that led Pablo Picasso to paint Guernica as he can be admired. Or how this genius experimented successively on his works with the use of forms as an alphabet reached the perfection of his flagship work shouting all his horror of war. A little-known period of the artist, yet fundamental in all its artistic dimension and its contribution to painting.

Degas @ Musée d’Orsay

For the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera, here is a retrospective of an artist who spent his life rubbing shoulders with the city’s various operas, introducing all fans of these works to the backstage, dressing rooms, orchestras and dancers of this artistic world. An exciting exhibition on a little painted environment and never with as much dexterity as Edgar Degas. A universe of pale colours highlighted with touches of light as if to remind us of the grace of the opera dancers.