Last Updated on 24/12/2022 by secretmoona
As the year ends, Paris dazzles with Christmas illuminations and shop window decorations. The city lives up to its name as the City of Lights, from the most luxurious neighbourhood to the fanciest shop and department store. Here is the program for 2022.
One of the best ways to spend Christmas/Winter in Paris is to watch the Christmas lights and decorations. Despite the complex and complicated context due to the energy crisis, this year, many cities have decided to keep their display of Christmas lights decorations. Paris is among the many towns that have maintained the decorations.
Almost everywhere in Paris, streets and shop windows are decorated with LED lights, amusing characters, and seasonal suspensions shine with thousands of lights for the delight of adults and kids alike. Paris does live up to its name as the City of Lights during the festive period.
Wandering the shopping streets, charming cobbled squares, and tourist districts after dark is jaw-dropping. From the Champs Elysées to Boulevard Haussmann, Paris’ breathtaking architecture provides the perfect backdrop for the twinkling Christmas lights.
When do the Christmas lights in Paris start?
The Christmas lights in Paris start from mid-November to the end of December (or early January in some cases). Districts such as Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Haussmann (headquarters of the Grands Magasins “department stores”) are the first to light up. Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Bercy Village, Avenue Montaigne and Place Vendôme follow after. Like the queen of the party, the most famous Avenue in the world, the Champs-Élysées, is last with their illuminations.
Almost all of the Christmas lights in Paris will light up until next year, around 2nd January 2023. Therefore, if you are visiting Paris after Christmas, you might still be able to see some of them. The Christmas decorations in Boulevard Haussmann last until mid-January.
Where to see the most beautiful Christmas lights and decorations in Paris?
Paris is a beautiful city which becomes even more stunning during the festive season. Whether you are out discovering the city or shopping, be sure to include a visit to one of the places to discover the magic of Christmas in your daily itinerary. With the variety of illuminations, you will find just what you need. Discover the Christmas lights on the streets of the emblematic Champs Elysées or stroll on Boulevard Haussmann for dazzling lights. Head to Place Vendome or near the Seine River to see the displays of the Samaritaine and BHV. Alternatively, head south of the River for more Christmas atmosphere at Le Bon Marché.
Christmas Lights At Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The Champs-Élysées is the most popular location to see the Christmas lights. For years, the Avenue has been where people gather for all sorts of celebrations, including New Year.
The famous Avenue covers from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe and is always decorated with spectacular lights dazzling the trees lining it. Four hundred trees lining the famous street are decorated with red LED light bulbs, creating the most spectacular sight. But this year, the City of Light is shining a little dimmer due to the crisis caused by the rising cost of energy.
The duration of the lights this year will be cut by a week, and lights will be turned off at 11:45 pm instead of 2 am. Even the Eiffel Tower lights, which are generally on until 1 am, shuts down at 11:45 pm. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the lights will stay until 2 am. And red, the festive theme colour for the previous years, was swapped for the champagne-coloured lights.
Dates: The famous lights will shine from 20th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023. The lights will stay longer on December 24 and 31, 2022.
Location: Avenue des Champs Elysées, 8th arrondissement.
Access: Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau, George V (L1); Franklin D. Roosevelt (L1 & 9)
Not far from the Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne is worth the detour. This posh Avenue, lined with boutiques and haute couture houses (Dior, Gucci, Versace etc.), lights up in style. The streets are adorned with garlands and brightly decorated trees during the festive period.
Like most places this year, lights are turned off on shop windows and houses earlier than usual. Head there to admire Christmas lights full of sobriety and class.
You can admire the Eiffel Tower from the Avenue! If you walk down the Avenue, you will arrive at Place de la Concorde, then rue Royale on your left. The street is not far from rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (Hermès, Dior, Chanel…). Alternatively, if you continue on Place de la Madeleine and rue Tronchet, you will find the Grands Magasins on Boulevard Haussmann.
Dates: November 19th 2022, to January 2nd 2023.
Location: Avenue Montaigne, rue François 1er, 8th arrondissement
Location: Access: Franklin D. Roosevelt (L1 & 9); Alma-Marceau (L9)
Rue Saint-Honoré and Faubourg Saint-Honoré
The lights along Saint-Honoré and the surrounding streets are among the most spectacular in Paris. Every year, Faubourg Saint Honoré sparkles. After all, the chic neighbourhood is known to be home to Paris’ fashion powerhouses.
Stroll past the boutiques, and all compete for the most stunning display. The streets are decorated with fir trees and bright lights. The Vendôme Montgolfière, or hot air balloon, is the top attraction. Don’t hesitate to hop on for the most magical experience.
Take advantage of the displays of these Parisian shops. The Dior and Chanel boutiques are particularly beautifully decorated.
- Chanel Paris: 261 rue Saint-Honoré
- Dior Paris: 19 rue Cambon at the corner of rue Saint-Honoré
- Louis Vuitton: 2 Place Vendôme
- Cartier: 17 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
- Yves Saint Laurent: 213 rue Saint-Honoré
- Hermès Paris: 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
- Burberry: 376-378 Rue Saint-Honoré
Dates: From 17th November 2022 to 30th January 2023
Location: Rue Saint Honoré -1st arrondissement; rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré – 8th arrondissement
Access: Concorde (L1, 8 & 12), Madeleine (L8, 12 & 14)
After discovering the Christmas lights on rue Saint-Honoré, make your way to Place Vendome, still in the chic district of the capital. Place Vendôme is one of the former royal squares. Home to fashion houses and luxury jewellery shops, it is one of the best places to see beautiful Christmas lights in Paris.
The square, with its high pillar, is decorated with several Christmas trees shining brightly. The trees decorate the already beautiful shop windows.
Stroll along the streets of the chic district, such as Rue de Castiglione, Rue Saint-Honoré and Rue des Capucines, to see the shops decked out in Christmas style. Stop by the Ritz Hotel, which perfectly embodies the neighbourhood’s prestige.
Dates: From 22th November to 2nd January 2023
Location: Place Vendôme, 1st arrondissement
Access: Concorde (L1, 8 & 12) or Tuileries (L1)
La rue des Bulles
What better way to celebrate the end of the year than with a glass of bubbly? The champagne house Nicolas Feuillatte marked the end of the year by renaming a street in a nod to the famous champagne bubbles. The pedestrian rue Montorgueil for the occasion became Rue des Bulles!
The installation of 6,000 biodegradable white and gold balloons suspended above the street creates an illuminated canopy of light garlands at nightfall. Magical atmosphere guaranteed!
Dates: From 8th December 2022 to 1st January 2023
Location: 1 rue Montorgueil, 1st arrondissement
Access: Etienne Marcel (L4) or Châtelet-les-Halles (L4 & A)
Christmas in Paris is when Paris lives up to its nickname, “The City of Lights”. Everywhere lights and decorations lighten the streets. Bercy Village, an open-air shopping mall, also displays magnificent illuminations.
LED lights brightening the mall, along with Christmas entertainment, awaits all the visitors. With winter fairies, reindeer, and elves, it’s the best place to take your children to meet Santa.
Dates: From 17th November 2022 to 4th January 2023
Location: Bercy Village, Cour Saint-Emilion, 12th arrondissement
Access: Cour Saint-Émilion (L14)
Have you been to Paris in winter? What is your favourite place to see the Christmas decorations and lights in Paris?
Where to see the most beautiful Christmas window displays?
Discovering the window displays is always a great moment. Each year, the most popular Grand Magasins (department stores) compete against each other for the most beautiful display. Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché, BHV and now Samaritaine are the stores to visit with your children or not.
Christmas Lights at Boulevard Haussmann
Anyone interested in architecture or fashion will know about this famous boulevard. Two of Paris’ most famous grand magasins are located on Boulevard Haussmann.
The trees lining the boulevard are covered in Christmas lights, along with the beautiful Art deco buildings.
Dates: From 12th November to 1st January 2023
Location: Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arrondissement
Access: Chaussée d’Antin Lafayette (L7 & 9)
The Galeries Lafayette wins the battle of the Christmas display. They’ve always had the most extravagant window displays for as long as I can remember. Every year, they develop a theme better than the previous one. And every year, adults and children move from one window display to another, mesmerised by the little animated characters, music and captivating scenes. With 11 scenes to go through, bring a fully charged camera.
But the icing on the cake is the tree decoration within the department store itself. The 20-metre Christmas tree takes the central stage under the dome of the main store. This year’s theme symbolises Christmas with a beautiful green Christmas tree. I highly recommend going on the suspended glass walkway. Avoid going there on a Saturday or during peak hours as it gets jam-packed.
If you have more time, head to the terrace, which offers one of the most beautiful views of Paris with a breathtaking view of the Opera and the Eiffel Tower. From there, you can admire the Christmas decorations of Boulevard Haussmann.
Dates: From 16th November 2022 to early January 2023
Location: Galeries Lafayette, 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arrondissement
Access: Chaussee d’Antin La Fayette (L7 & 9)
Le Printemps Haussmann
Printemps is another “grand magasins” located on Boulevard Haussmann. Just like the Galeries Lafayette, the Printemps Haussmann offers fabulous Christmas windows. The window displays are impressive, with animated characters with a circus theme. There are 11 windows to discover four different scenes, such as clowns, tightrope walkers, etc. Children and adults will be amazed by the animations, clowns and artists’ acts.
Inside the store, the adventure continues with more decorations and activities. You will find a Christmas tree on the 6th floor. Although the Binet dome and tree are not as spectacular as the Galeries Lafayette, what is excellent about the Printemps is the activities they have in store.
The Christmas lights and window displays in Printemps Haussmann are the best in the capital. They even compete with those in New York and London. I might be biased, but there is no better place to see the Christmas window display in Paris than Printemps Haussmann.
Dates: From 9th November to 1st January 2023
Location: Le Printemps Haussmann, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arrondissement
Access: Metro: Chaussee d’Antin (L7 & 9)
Passage Couvert de la Galerie Vivienne
If you like visiting covered passages, take advantage of the decorations in the Galerie Vivienne. One of Paris’s most emblematic covered passages is located on the other side of Place Vendome. Since the passage is located in a luxurious neighbourhood, most boutiques are chic shops.
Galerie Vivienne is beautiful to visit during Christmas since it is decorated with lots of twinkling lights creating a magical atmosphere. There are many shops: fashion boutiques, tea rooms, gourmet food boutiques, old bookshops and much more.
Location: 4 rue des Petits-Champs, 2nd arrondissement. You can also access Galerie Vivienne via 5 Rue de la Banque and 6 Rue Vivienne but rue des Petits-Champs is the most spectacular entrance .
Access: Bourse (L3) or Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (L1 & 7)
Westfield Forum des Halles
Westfield Forum des Halles is one of the biggest shopping centres in France. It’s ideal for shopping for the best Christmas presents and admiring Christmas decorations.
Under the canopy of the shopping mall, you will find a gigantic Christmas tree and Santa’s throne. If you get hungry while admiring the decorations, you can find somewhere to eat as there are many restaurants.
For those who want to experience a real magical moment, there is ice skating on level 1. A good idea to keep the kids occupied and entertained during the shopping trip. Entry is free.
Dates: From 5th to 29th December 2022
Location: Westfield Forum des Halles, 101 Porte Berger, 1st arrondissement
Access: Les Halles (L1, 4, 7, 11 7 14) or Châtelet-les-Halles (RER A, B & D)
The BHV Marais celebrates Christmas by dedicating their window display to Provence. If you want to experience what celebrating Christmas in the warmer southeast of France feels like, head to the BHV Le Marais.
Although this department store is not as big as the Galeries Lafayette or Le Printemps, their lights and window displays are worth a visit, especially if you are in the area.
Dates: From 9th November 2022
Location: 14 rue du Temple, 1st arrondissement
Access: Hôtel de Ville (L1 & 11)
La Samaritaine is another “grand magasin” and, as such, offers a magnificent Christmas window display. The newly renovated department store is in a historic Art Nouveau-style building. This year’s theme is a dance, with the store’s four widows displaying different types of dance.
The festive decorations continue inside. There is a giant advent calendar. Each day from 1st to 24th December, the department store unveils one of the doors to reveal a present for a lucky shopper: perfume, holidays etc…
Dates: From 6th November to 25th December 2022
Location: La Samaritaine, 9 rue de la Monnaie
Access: Pont Neuf (L7)
Le Bon Marché
Another big department store worth visiting to see the Christmas lights display Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. Le Bon Marché is the oldest of the Parisian department stores and is the only one located on the Left Bank.
The windows this year celebrated the department store’s 170th anniversary! Each of the four main windows displayed different scenes but with a Christmas tree bulb as the central theme, “La Fabrique des boules de Noël du Bon Marché”.
Le Bon Marché bears its name badly since it’s oriented towards luxury. Bon marché is French for low prices and bargaining. It is less frequented than the other department stores on Boulevard Haussmann.
Dates: From 28th November 2022
Location: Le Bon Marché, 24 rue des Sèvres, 7th arrondissement
Access: Sèvres Babylone (L10 & 12)