Best December Events in Paris: 2017 Guide

2017 Guide

Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office

Festivals and Seasonal Events:

Holiday Lights and Window Decorations in Paris

Starting in late November, Paris is bathed in sparkling holiday lights and elaborate window displays. For a little inspiration ahead of your trip, check out our photo gallery of past holiday lights and decorations in Paris.

Paris Christmas Markets

Bring in the holiday cheer in Paris with special Christmas treats, vin chaud (hot wine), decorations, and gifts at these traditional annual markets.


Get full info on 2017-2018 Christmas markets in Paris here

Seasonal Ice-Skating Rinks

Every winter, ice-skating rinks are set up at several locations around the city. Admission is free (not including skate rental).

Locations: Find complete info here on 2017-2018 ice skating rinks in Paris

Hanukkah Celebrations in Paris

Hanukkah is celebrated from the evening of Tuesday, December 12th through the evening of Wednesday December 20th this year. There are generally menorah lightings in Paris: Check this website for listings (in French only), see this page at the Grand Synagogue of Paris, or consult this page at for more information on Hannukah in Paris. 

The Autumn Festival

Since 1972, the Paris Autumn Festival or "Festival de l'Automne" has brought in the post-summer season with a bang by highlighting some of the most compelling works in contemporary visual art, music, cinema, theater, and other forms.

Through early December 2017.  Consult the official website for program details (in English)


Arts and Exhibits Highlights This Month:

Being Modern: MOMA at the Fondation Louis Vuitton 

One of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year, the MOMA at the Fondation Vuitton features hundreds of remarkable works of art generally housed at the world's largest modern art museum in New York City.

From Cezanne to Signac and Klimt, to Alexander Calder, Frida Kahlo, Jasper Johns, Laurie Anderson and Jackson Pollock, many of the 20th century's most important artists and their work are highlighted at this exceptional show. Make sure to reserve tickets well ahead to avoid disappointment. 

The Art of Pastel, from Degas to Redon  

Compared to oils and acrylics, pastels tend to be seen as a less "noble" material for painting, but this exhibit proves that all wrong. The Petit Palais' look at magnificent pastels from nineteenth century and early twentieth-century masters including Edgar Degas. Odilon Redon, Mary Cassatt and Paul Gaugin will make you see the world in a softer-- and quietly sublime-- light. 

Photographisme: A Free Exhibit at the Centre Georges Pompidou 

As part of Paris Photography Month, the Centre Pompidou is hosting this remarkable free exhibit dedicated to exploring the creative fusion of photo and graphic design. 

  • Dates: November 8th, 2017 through January 29th, 2018

For a more comprehensive list of exhibits and shows on in Paris this month, including listings at smaller galleries around town, you might want to visit Paris Art Selection

More on Visiting Paris in December: Weather and Packing Guide