Christmas in Paris

Jun 22nd, 2009, 12:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 302
Christmas in Paris

Hi Everyone,
I am considering a trip to London over Christmas. I am aware that London virtually shuts down on Christmas as well as Dec. 26. I was wondering if Paris is the same way? I was in Paris last month for the first time and can't wait to go back! So, now I am thinking that I could go to Paris first, spend Christmas there and then take the Eurostar to London. I would spend a few days in London and fly back to the US from there. Would this be a good idea? Are restaurants/sites/cinemas etc open in Paris on Christmas?Does public tranport run? Also, what about Christmas markets? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
elcon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 78
We spent 2 weeks in London a few years ago over Christmas. You are correct about it shutting down but there is still stufff to do. Christmas day we found Mass and it was wonderful to see the similarities and differences. The hotel we stayed at had plenty of activities so we took it easy that day. The next day, Boxer Day, we walked a lot and definitely hit Piccadilly. We did find a restaurant open. The fact that London closed down quite a bit didn't take anything away from the vacation. Having said that, how can you go wrong in Paris? I would wait for Paris experts to respond but there are a ton of Paris web sites out there too to check on things to do. Check out trip advisor too. There is a lot of info there.
Plan2GoSoon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,694
yes, public transport runs. London is actually the only city I know of where they shut down public transport on a holiday.

They have some Christmas markets beginning around very end of November or early December. I wouldn't expect them to be there after Christmas, though, as they are for prior to Christmas, but I don't really know to be honest.

Dec. 26th is not an official holiday in France, that's another thing peculiar to England.

Christmas is an official holiday in France, though, one of the biggest so do not expect "sites" to be open on Christmas, depending what you mean by that (museums will not be). I think the Eiffel Tower is always open, actually.
Christina is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Paris does the opposite of shutting down at Christmas. It is a major tourist period. Public transportation runs on the "Sunday/Holiday" schedule, which means things like waiting for the metro 7 minutes instead of 4 minutes.

The Christmas markets are getting better (and there are more than a half dozen of them), attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Bateaux Mouches operate 365 days a year, and many restaurants are open, as are cinemas -- and of course there are always churches to visit, even if you can't do things like climb the towers of Notre Dame on that day.

Life is 100% normal on December 26.

In case you haven't already checked, Christmas is on Friday this year, which will make it a long weekend with zillions of European tourists -- so try to make plans early.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 302
Thank you Kerouac!! I was in Paris in May and did many of the "touristy" things, but I really want to go back and hope I can make this work out. Thank you for your input as well Christina and Plan2gosoon. All the input helps.
elcon is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Paris is beautiful at Christmas time. We went this past year. We spent Christmas Day at the Pompidou and had dinner at Market with a reservation from The only major snafu we had was finding a place to eat on Christmas Eve as place we had a reservation was actually closed (joke's on us!) but otherwise places were open and happy to have us. Lots of trip reports from that week in 2008 - great resources for your trip.
Go you will not regret it!
NYCBella is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,907
Click on my name. Go to my Christmas Trip Report in Paris. Christmas in Paris is magical.

maitaitom is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,056
You will also find some good trip reports of Paris in Christmas on

KayF is online now  
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