A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

5 Not to Miss Places on Your First 3-Day Visit to Paris at Christmas!

Christmas time view of Eiffel Tower and a well-lit Merry-go-round!
Christmas time view of Eiffel Tower and a well-lit Merry-go-round!

Paris is a dream for many and why not! The vibes of love, the beauty of the city and marvel of the mammoth man-made creations fuels the aspiration to get up & close to the ‘City of Lights’! Best time to visit Paris is generally said to be summers but it is that kind of place which can be visited any time of the year. Visiting Paris during Christmas time that is in the latter half of December until the new year is fast catching up these days. We give you all the more reasons and must visit places to plan a trip to Paris soon before this year ends!

Well, as people say it is kind of off-season in December and so it might turn out a little pocket-friendly and save you some extra Euros! Plus the bonus turns out to be that the city of lights is even ornately illuminated during this festive season. More so after a fresh snowfall, the sight of Eiffel Tower in the backdrop with snow-laden Paris is mesmerizing.

Weather of Paris in December & Early January:

Usually, December is the coldest month in Paris. Apart from mercury nearing zero and minus temperatures, there is a fair possibility of snowfall and occasional rains. In December 2018 around  Christmas Day, the highest temperature noted was 7° while the lowest touched -1°. On average, over the years around this time, Paris has a 7°/2° temperature.

Here are 5 Places or Attractions that Make Visiting Paris Magical at Christmas:

#1 Eiffel Tower:

Eiffel Tower - A monument that's worth to see time & again when visiting Paris
Eiffel Tower – A monument that’s worth to see time & again when visiting Paris

There was none in the history who visited Paris and didn’t see this magnanimous architectural masterpiece. Of lately, Paris and Eiffel Tower have become synonymous when we talk about sightseeing in Paris. The illuminated tower in the evening during late November & December is a pure treat to the eyes. Plus being an offseason one can expect shorter ques for entering & to the way up. 

Champ de Mars view from Eiffel Tower is must to see while visiting paris
Champ de Mars view from Eiffel Tower

Around this time Eiffel Tower also hosts few free activities for both kids and adults for a limited period on its first floor. These include virtual reality gaming experience, photo booths and more. The effervescent vibes and people around Champ de Mars and the Trocadero elevates the spirit of the festival while visiting Paris even more.

#2 Christmas Markets:

Visiting Paris at Christmas, the next thing that cannot be missed are the Christmas markets. Around Eiffel Tower itself, very near to the place from where Seine river night cruise starts, there is one prominent Christmas market that happens. Apart from this all across Paris especially near the well-known gardens, Christmas mrkets can be noticed from a distance.  The markets are usually a mix of retail shops, fun rides and eateries.  One can enjoy waffles, pizzas, pasta, Marrons, Vin Chaud (mulled wine) & more. Among the major Christmas markets in Paris are the ones at Champs-Elysées, at La Defence, at Montmartre and the one at Notre Dame Cathedral. Most X-Mas markets in Paris generally close around 10 PM.

#3 Witness the Illuminated Paris with a Seine River Cruise:

Seine River Cruise is a must to do while visiting Paris
Seine River Cruise is a must to do while visiting Paris

The beauty of Paris is enhanced manifolds when it is decorated with lights and other decorations to embark the festivities. One of the best ways of appreciating the beauty of one such evening in Paris apart from walking across the major streets is taking up the Seine River Cruise. It is roughly a 45 to 60 minutes ride with recorded commentary about the significance of the monuments passing by. During this cruise one can also see the several bridges which make Paris even more famous across the world.

Generally, two options are available for the cruise, one package comes with dinner which is served inside the boat or cruise tour with a glass of Champagne. The cruise costs around 15 Euros or more.  It is open for advance booking too.

#4 Attend a Christmas Midnight Church Service:

Notre Dame Cathedral (December 2018)- Must see place while visiting Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral (December 2018)- Must see place while visiting Paris

The most popular choice of the church for attending a midnight Christmas service would have been Notre Dame Cathedral but post-April 15th, 2019 fire, this church is under a massive restoration.

Christmas Midnight Church Service at Notre Dame Cathedral (December 2018)
Christmas Midnight Church Service at Notre Dame Cathedral (December 2018)

Attending a Chrismas Midnight Church Service is exceptional and worth experiencing! In fact, it is the best way to feel the festive vibes like a common Parisian. Paris has some of the most beautiful & historically significant churches of the world like Église Saint Eustache, Basilica du Sacré Coeur – Montmartre, Église de la Madeleine (Madeleine Church) etc. For attending Christmas service in English one can visit American Cathedral (1.2 km. from Arc de Triomphe), St Michael’s Church at, St George’s Anglican Church and more.

#5 Be at Disneyland Paris!

Christmas Parade at Disneyland - Must See Place while visiting Paris
Christmas Parade at Disneyland – Must See Place while visiting Paris

Visiting Paris cannot get magical enough if you haven’t added Disneyland Paris in your ‘must-see places in Paris’ list. It is an attraction that leaves not only children but adults also enchanted. With Christmas festivities around, even Disneyland and its characters get into the festive mood. There are Christmas special parades in the park and special light shows and performances by the most loved & popular Disney Characters.

A 3-Day Itinerary for Visiting Paris First Time:

Louvre Museum - Must see while visiting Paris
Louvre Museum – Must see while visiting Paris

Day 1: Visit Louvre Museum, Arc De Triomphe and in the evening enjoy Christmas Market.

Day 2: The second day, of course, can be fixed for Eiffel Tower, enjoy the Seine river cruise and then attend a Christmas Midnight Church service.

Day 3: Keep the day for treating yourself with Disney magic. Visit Disneyland Paris!

Stay Here:

We stayed in Campanile Paris Est – Porte de Bagnolet, IBIS budget Paris Coeur d’Orly Airport. Read the review of these hotels here.

Helpful websites to search hotel: Trivago and Bookings.com

Helpful Tips to know for Visting Paris:

  • On 25th December and 1st January, many places in Paris are closed only a few museums and gardens are open. Disneyland can be enjoyed on this day as it is open.
  • Do plan your itinerary with some time left in your hand to roam around and enjoy the city without rushing.
  • Buying tickets for sightseeing places beforehand can save you from serpentine lines and is a big time saver!
  • Trocadero is one of the nearest metro stations from Eiffel Tower. Plus museum building near Trocadero is phenomenal for viewing as well as taking photographs with Eiffel tower as a backdrop.
  • Do not miss trying out Ice-skating in the rinks made mostly near Christmas markets.
  • Generally, kids below the age of three years do not require tickets in metro trains, buses and many sightseeing places.

Best Mode of Transport:

  • Uber taxi is available but if you are travelling with a baby or a toddler then carrying a baby seat for riding in this taxi service is required in most cases. Payment is generally asked via Card.
  • Local Taxis are also available but they charge a bit higher than Uber.
  • Bus and Metro train are more economical options. Paris is well connected by metro train network so one can go with that quite easily. Arriving at Disneyland metro station (better known as Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station) gives you a feel as if you are riding a train to Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movie.

There are different combo passes for visiting vivid monuments most popular one being Paris Pass. Please explore what works for you the best and decide. It is not necessary to cover all the monuments. Similarly, Hop on- Hop Off bus might be good for you if you do not want to walk or want to explore more monuments in a day or two. Though it might be a little expensive.


Keep Euros handy. Getting a multi-currency card is also highly advisable.

Theft: Keep an eye on your belongings as due to increased tourist influx during Christmas time it is so very possible.

Language in Paris:

Generally, people speak French and English.

Common French Words
Common French Words

Hope that this article is helpful for planning a better itinerary for the first time visiting Paris around Christmas!

Do give us a Like, Comment & Share!

Looking for budget International Trip then do check this 10-Day Itinerary for an Amazing Family Trip To East Thailand!

(26) Comments

  1. A very comprehensive guide to Paris, for sure! The only thing I feel sad about is Notre Dame cathedral. It will be sad to miss the Christmas Mass there.

  2. Paris is one of our favourite cities in the world. We have not been there during Christmas though. Would love to experience the Christmas markets and lose ourselves in the vibes of Christmas.

  3. I’ve always wanted to attend mass in the church on Christmas in Paris , I’m sure it’ll be like a dream come true and loved the way detailed everything

  4. This list contains my two most favorite and dream places to visit- effel tower and paris disney land! Bookmarking this page for future.

  5. Paris is a beautiful place to visit and there are so many things one can visit and have fun. All the pictures are so beautiful and looks like must visit. I’m definitely going to visit all these places.

  6. shubhada bhide says:

    Perfect itinerary. When I am planning to visit Paris, just going to follow your suggestions. BTW Paris looks even more beautiful in Christmas.

  7. Paris is no doubt a dream destination for many people like me, I don’t know whether I will be able to make it or not but must say today I experienced the beauty of this place through your blog. Lovely write up.

  8. Nisha Malik says:

    Paris is like a dream vacation for me. Its on my wish list and I am sure to visit this city of dreams one day. Your post is helpful in planning a great itinerary for the city.

  9. It’s rightly said Paris is a dream destination. Your 3-day itinerary is making me want to pack my bags right now! The pictures are mesmerising.

  10. Paris has been on my travel wishlist since long. I am keen to visit Paris during Christmas time and see amazing streets and celebrations.

  11. My wishlist always have Paris on top 3 places I wish to visit and I will make sure that I don’t miss these places !!

  12. […] <<Read about Visiting Paris during Christmas Time here>> […]

  13. Paris, who wouldn’t like to visit this happy and romantic city of the world. The images look breathtakingly beautiful, I am sure this will help many of us.

  14. It is the reason why I am always attracted towards Paris. It is on my bucket list. I collect things that read Paris. Will keep this post in mind when I travel

  15. Paris is such a magnificent country, it in wishlist and man love the Christmas vibes of the country

    1. I think you meant France is a magnificent country.. Paris is the captial city.. 🙂

  16. These are some stunning images! Paris definitely looks so pretty during this time of the year!

  17. Visiting Paris is on my list. Thanks for sharing such details post. I would love to see more such posts.

  18. Europe has all the beauties that can attract a traveller. All these places are so beautiful and I would like to visit as well.

  19. Mrinal Kiran says:

    Paris is a place everyone dreams of visiting… Loved how you explained everything in details… Bookmarking this for further reference! 😍

    1. Well, not exactly but you need to choose your countries well in that case. Winters brings out an altogether charm of Europe.. It is festive season there and Paris is pure beauty. Do read the article about visiting Paris at Christmas time.

  20. Your 3 days iterinary for Paris is really helpful for people who are planning a trip there.

  21. Wow what perfect post. Paris in 3 days, sounds awrsome. This post is travel goals. I love the way you shared entire itinerary

  22. You summed up paris so well in this blog. I would plan my trip to paris accordingly .

  23. Shub says:

    Christmas is such a magical period and visiting Paris is an added fun! I am bookmarking this post.

  24. Paris is such a beautiful city! Great work there with the review of the hotels and the plan worked out!

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