Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Christmas in Paris. What do I need to know?

Christmas in Paris. What do I need to know?

Reply

Nov 5th, 2018, 06:17 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,252
Christmas in Paris. What do I need to know?

Serendipity. Earlier this week I chatted with a friend who was looking for non-hotel lodging for her visiting family, when I mentioned that we were hoping to travel somewhere for Christmas, if we could find a sitter for DDog.

The "children" (17 and 22) chorused, "Lapland!" but at this late date only soggy igloo lodging remains, so the Arctic Circle was off the table. I spent too many hours yesterday building a matrix of the "to where" and the "at what cost," before the light bulb went on. Why not Paris? Though we have visited collectively more than a dozen times, we have not spent Christmas in this beautiful city.

Flights? Cheap. Lodging? Affordable apartments remain at this late date! It was a sign.

But before I push the buttons that will spring all the Euros from my pocketbook...

We would arrive late morning on 23 December. Presumably we could still procure items for Christmas dinner (e.g. duck? goose?) Would I need to order ahead? If not, pasta it will be.
Museums and the like are open on 24 December, correct? What about Grocers?
25 December closures are not a problem.
26 December. Museum closures won't be a problem, will they?

And, can we find a Christmas tree on 23 December?

In advance, thank you!
fourfortravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 07:15 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,327
I noticed my florist shop still had Christmas trees out front on Christmas Eve.
Belinda is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 08:19 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 469
Have you checked on the museum web sites for opening hours? My neighborhood doesn't do much in the way of duck or goose but friends serving those have had to order in advance from their local.
Envierges is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 08:25 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,990
Up until 7pm on Christmas eve, all of the food commerces will be in a frenzy of gastronomic sales.

And there is Picard for extraordinary stuffed capons, lobster tails and other such necessities.
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 08:43 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,252
Thank you, everyone! The "important" parts for this last-minute holiday will be the Christmas tree and something delicious to eat on 24 December (I'm liking stuffed capons and lobster tails...).

Museum closures aren't so much of an issue; we have visited many, so a day or two spent wandering Paris and perhaps a trip to Disney Paris (entirely the idea of the "children") will more than fill this impromptu holiday.
fourfortravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 09:40 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,498
fourfor, since you live in Europe, I assume you know about the problems with illegal apartment rentals in Paris, so know to look for the registration number in the ads.

Spending Christmas in Paris sounds just wonderful! Have a great time and do check out the "extraordinary stuffed capons, lobster tails and other such necessities." and report back!
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 09:50 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,215
Some museums closer early on Christmas Eve, even if they are open. Dec. 26th is not a national holiday, no reason museums would be closed abnormally, and Wednesday isn't a typical closing date for any I know of.
Christina is online now  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 10:25 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,990
There are Christmas trees available at the florist shops even after Christmas, since Orthodox Christmas is two weeks later and there is no lack of the faithful in the Paris region.
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 11:08 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,864
I had no problem finding a legal apartment for next month. Picards at Christmas!! So glad I have an oven and microwave. I think Christmas in Paris would be wonderful. We will be there the first couple weeks of Dec. Check out Denisea's trip reports. Friend's booked Lapland for 2019. Christmas day with everything closed might be very fun. I am sure a few places will be opened.
Macross is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 02:16 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 464
Yes, come to Paris for Christmas! This will be my 3rd year in a row in Paris. It is simply wonderful for the holiday. It's so festive with excitement in the air. You won't have any problem finding a tree and food stores will be open the 23rd and 24th albeit quite busy. But, that's part of the fun. Enjoy!
Dee_Dee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 5th, 2018, 10:52 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 68,367
What do you need to know?
It's magical.
Absolutely magical at Christmas.
I "skipped" Christmas and escaped the holidays at home. Dealing with grief and some really hard knocks. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. No regrets.
You'll figure out the tree. You'll figure out the food.
Christmas Eve was a concert at St. Chapelle -
https://www.classictic.com/en/christ...d060943ae92fa5
After wandering Rodin's garden -
Plan your visit - Paris | Rodin Museum
Dinner was absolutely fabulous.
Christmas Day was services at the American church -
https://www.acparis.org/
Walking to the restaurant for lunch, I passed a bakery open with workers busily making Yule logs. I regret not buying one.
Wandering at the base of the Eiffel tower, through the Christmas market and watching families ice skate, the kids using sleds. I don't think they still have the ice skating rink there any longer.
Everything about Christmas in Paris was marvelous. Do go! I don't think you will regret it.
starrs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 01:30 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,252
So many "Thank yous" to extend up and down this thread! Great information all around.

Just purchased the airline tickets. Lodging is next. Friends have offered their home, which sits on the avenue leading to Versailles, but I am disinclined because I/we want to be in Paris for Christmas. We have only ever stayed in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th and twice in the 16th (friend's house) and will probably stay in either the 4th, 5th, or 6th again for convenience, which I know will come at a price this late in the game.
fourfortravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 05:11 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 138
As others have said, there are Christmas trees all over. Last year we stayed outside of Paris and shopped at the largest Carrefour in France (multiple times). Their Christmas assortment (in addition to their normal 'stuff') was unbelievable. I would add that the place was an absolute mad house on the 23rd and 24th. If you could go on a weekday morning, there were few people there. Loved it !

Just as a side note, if you will be in the need for boxes to put presents in, I found those harder to locate. You could always find wrapping paper and gift bags (at what I considered a high price), but gift boxes were nearly impossible to find. The gift bags were cheapest at the small shops that sell all kinds of cheap stuff. There is also a HUGE Tati in the 9eme that would be a good source for this type of thing on the cheap.
1994 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 06:06 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,252
1994, thank you. The "children" are 17 and 22; aside from a few small gifts that "Santa" will leave for them on Christmas morning, they are quite thrilled to have Paris be their Christmas gift. I'm not sure I could find a box large enough to gift wrap Paris, anyway.

The afternoon of 23 December is now dedicated shopping time in order to prepare for Christmas. Should be crazy fun!
fourfortravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 07:19 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,990
In that case, wear your knee pads, shoulder pads and helmets!
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 09:58 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,498
Have a wonderful time! I am envious.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 10:43 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,051
Picard's wonderful foods come frozen--keep that in mind when planning cooking times. Oh, those appetizers!
Underhill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 01:21 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 74,525
I was in Paris one Christmas Day and was shocked to find many shops and cafes and restaurants open and even some museums! People were all about strolling around. The French celebrate Christmas Christmas Eve with a traditional meal Christmas Eve - nothing much family wise on Christmas Day - I spent several Xmases with French in-laws and none ever did any family thing on Christmas Day. They always at Christmas Eve dinner after the older folks returned from midnight mass- a tradition in their family and many.

And if into skating check out the large ice rink put up in front of the Hotel de Ville - rent skates and skate around in beautiful surroundings:

https://www.google.com/search?q=hote...w=1269&bih=610

And IME the elaborate Christmas-themed decorated windows of the Grands Magasins - Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps by the Opera are the best and draw throngs of folks: https://www.google.com/search?q=gran...w=1269&bih=610

And hit the Christmas Markets - though you see plenty of these in Austria - many are open thru Jan 6 or so: https://www.google.com/search?q=chri...w=1269&bih=610
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 11:05 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,252
"In that case, wear your knee pads, shoulder pads and helmets!" I have shopped the NYC Bloomingdales on the day after American Thanksgiving. Paris will be a breeze.

I am excited for Picards! So many delicious choices; I just hope there will be something remaining when we arrive.

We have found an apartment in Saint Germaine through Vacation in Paris, so no worries about improper apartment-letting. Not the one I really wanted, but I was willing to sacrifice a four-story climb (no lift) for the one we settled on: bright and spacious, lovely kitchen and with room for a (small) Christmas tree. We'll have the holiday dinners in the apartment.

Thank you, Pal. The Christmas markets are something I shall research for the closing hours. The "children" are all in for iceskating at Hotel de Ville, too; talking them into looking at holiday windows might be a stretch, we'll see.
fourfortravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 2018, 11:14 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62,599
That will be a lovely holiday.

Just one thing >>We have found an apartment in Saint Germaine through Vacation in Paris, so no worries about improper apartment-letting. <<

Is the registration number included in the listing? Simply being offered by an agency doesn't mean it is legal.

Last edited by janisj; Nov 6th, 2018 at 11:17 PM.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:31 PM.