Local Experiences

Christmas Shopping in Paris – Where to Go and What to Buy

By Colette Davidson

Everyone loves receiving gifts at Christmastime, especially when they’ve come from a special place. So, if you happen to be in Paris in the weeks leading up to the winter holidays, make sure to stock up on traditional French items that your friends and family members will devour with joy. Here is a list of spots around the capital to find everything on even the most demanding wishlist.

Christmas Market at the Champs Elysées

What could be more romantic than strolling the Champs Elysées on a brisk winter’s night, as you sip mulled wine and ponder whether to buy that Christmas tree ornament with “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) written upon it or a giant gingerbread cookie for your grandma. This market is Paris’s largest, and offers traditional goodies, artisanal wares and foodstuffs under the roofs of tiny wooden chalets. And seeing the Champs Elysées all lit up by Christmas lights and tree ornaments will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.

November 15 – January 5
Métro: Passy, Champs Elysées-Clemenceau or Concorde

Christmas Market at La Défense

On the western edge of the city is this giant market, with 350 stalls filled with traditional and more modern goodies to share with friends and family back home. The enormous Grande Arche creates a stunning backdrop for your shopping. The only challenge here will be fitting all your purchases onto your lap on the train back to your hotel.

November 27 – December 28
Métro/RER: La Défense

Galéries Lafayette

Paris’s massive, upmarket department store is impressive throughout the year, but it truly shines at Christmas time. In addition to the decorations and lights strung all around, the inner sanctum of the store – with its open, opera-like interior – is engulfed by a brightly-lit, sky-high Christmas tree. Its impressive, interactive window display can be admired each Christmas, and is especially a hit with kids. Galéries Lafayette is the one-stop-shop to find high-end clothing, jewelry and makeup with a chic French twist for that picky cousin back home.

40 boulevard Haussmann
Métro: Chaussée d’Antin-La Fayette
Open: Monday to Saturday 9:30am-8pm, and Thursday until 10pm


If nothing else, this luxury department store just down the way from Galéries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussman is a sight to behold – its giant, 1930s-era glass cupola is registered as a historic monument by the French government. At Christmas, the store’s interior transforms itself into a winter wonderland, with ornaments and decorations galore, plus a moving window display outside that has crowds lining up each year. With the store split into three separate sections along Boulevard Haussman, this is the place for elegant men’s and women’s clothing and other personal items, household treasures and decorations.

64 boulevard Haussmann
Métro: Chaussée d’Antin-La Fayette
01 42 82 50 00
Open Monday to Saturday 9:35am-8pm, and Thursday until 10pm

Fat Tire Tours offers private tours throughout the holiday season, where you can see all the beautiful Christmas lights along with your personal tour guide. 

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A family by the eiffel tower.