Where to See Holiday Lights & Decorations in Paris This Season?

The annual Christmas tree display at Paris' Galeries Lafayette department store

Courtney Traub 

Looking for a little holiday cheer during a year-end trip to Paris? Starting in late November and early December, elegant Christmas lights displays and festive decorations adorn over 130 streets and monuments in Paris, turning the city into a true winter wonderland. The capital's old-fashioned department stores also get all gussied up for the season, unveiling elaborate and creative decorations and holiday window displays that delight visitors of all ages. Read on to learn where to head for lights and decorative displays in 2019 and 2020, and embrace all the magic of Paris this winter. 

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Christmas Lights on the Avenue des Champs Elysées

Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysées in Paris: a treasured annual tradition.

Jean-Pierre Lecourret/Lonely Planet Images /Getty

The majestic Avenue des Champs-Elysées is flooded with lights every winter, with light-drenched trees stretching all the way from the Place de l'Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.

This year, 200 trees lining the avenue will scintillate with predominantly-red, energy-efficient lights, designed to have minimal ecological impact.

Don't forget to visit the large Christmas market around the nearby Jardin des Tuileries while you're at it, grab some mulled wine, and find some original, authentic Parisian Christmas gifts

In 2019, the lights will be switched on at dusk/at around 6:00 pm on November 24th, 2019. French actress Ludivine Sagnier will preside over the festivities this year. The displays will be taken down on January 9th, 2020. 

The street is lit from 5:00 pm until 2:00 am each day. In addition, enjoy them all night long on Christmas Eve (December 25th) and on December 31st, to bring in the new year in Paris.

Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt or Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

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Lights and Decorations Around Place Vendome

The elegant Place Vendome is festively lit up every year for Christmas.

Masao Ishihara/Sebun Photo

 

The elegant Place Vendome and surrounding area is also festively lit for the holiday season. Why not stop for a warming and festive afternoon tea at the recently renovated Ritz Hotel, then go out and admire the gorgeously lit square and the beautiful, narrow little streets around it?

See the lights this year from late November, 2019 through early January 2020.

Metro: Tuileries, Concorde or Opéra

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Christmas Lights on Avenue Montaigne

Holiday lights on Avenue Montaigne with the Eiffel Tower in the distance

Herve Hughes/Getty Images 

Known for its luxury boutiques and high-fashion shopping opportunities, the prestigious Avenue Montaigne and its elegant houses are getting all gussied up for the holidays this year.

Take a peek at this stately street and its storybook-worthy lights and decorations after visiting the main displays on the nearby Avenue des Champs-Elysées. You can seem them here from November 19th, 2019 through late December.

Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt or Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

04 of 07

Lights and Holiday Window Displays at Paris Department Stores

The window displays at Galeries Lafyette are enchanting for young visitors.

Courtney Traub  

The classic Paris department stores district near the Opera Garnier is awash with lights and elaborate window decor and imaginative scenes every holiday season, starting in early to mid November and throughout the January sales season in Paris.

Find them at Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, and surrounding stores on Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arrondissement. On November 20th, Galeries Lafayette will unveil a giant tree featuring ornate artificial flowers, animated bees and dragonflies under its art-deco cupola inside.

That same day, the Galeries is to reveal its annual holiday windows displays, which is also themed around a "Christmas hive" and bees this year. Inspired, fantasy-filled figures and brighty colored packages will light up the windows. The whimsical windows should prove a treat for kids especially. 

Just down the block, Printemps department store flips the switch on its lights and holiday window displays from mid-November.

In 2019, the Bon Marché department store on Paris' left bank (Metro: Sevres-Babylone) and the BHV department store in the city center (Metro: Hotel de Ville) are also unveiling festive window displays, all worth beelining to. No pun intended, of course.

Metro: Havre-Caumartin; RER: Auber

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05 of 07

Decorations and Lights at Bercy Village

Bercy Village is not only a great spot for Sunday shopping: it gets dressed up for the winter holiday season, to festive effect.
Julien Hekimian / Getty Images Entertainment

The outdoor shopping "village" near Paris's National Library in the south of the city will be festively lit and decorated for the holidays from mid-November 2018, and displays will remain up for visitors to enjoy until January 20th, 2019. This is an interesting and off-the-beaten-path part of town that's worth visiting when you're searching for something new, and the expansive mall is perfect for last-minute Christmas shopping.

See them from November 14th, 2019 through January 16th, 2020.

Metro: Bercy

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Christmas Decor at Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame at Christmas time.
Filip Farag/Moment/Getty Images

As if Notre Dame Cathedral weren't stunning enough on its own, the Gothic cathedral hosts an enormous, lavishly decorated tree on its main plaza every Christmas season. The decorations generally appear in mid-November to early December. Also make sure to also check out the artisanal holiday market that's set to spring up on the square this year, running from December 13th through December 29th, 2019.

Metro: Cité or Saint-Michel

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Paris Illumine Paris

From mid-November to early December, the Paris City Hall will brilliantly light some 125 streets around Paris for the holidays, with lights switched on from 5:00 p.m each night until 2:00 a.m. Some streets illuminated last year included Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, la rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais, Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, Avenue de Saint Ouen, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Rue de Rennes, Place de la Convention, Rue de Belleville, Place du Jourdain, Rue de Richelieu, Rue des Saints-Pères, or Rue de Grenelle.

See this page at the Paris Tourist Office for more details on the streets that will be festively lit in 2019-2010 as part of this event.

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