The best 2016 Paris Christmas Markets, along with pros, cons, and a map
In French it’s Marché de Noël. In English you would say Christmas markets or Holiday markets. In German it’s Christkindlmarkt. Well, whatever you call it, these markets are an amazing part of winter in Paris.
Below you’ll find this year’s top Paris holiday markets. You’ll see descriptions, pros and cons, and other necessary details.
Note: It’s been extremely challenging this year to find out which of the smaller markets will actually be open. Most sites cite dates from 2014 and 2015. For that reason, at the bottom of this article you’ll see a list of “To verify” markets. These are more of my favorites (some of the best, really) but their opening details this year are still unclear.
As I do on-the-ground research, you’ll see updates to this article with 2016/2017 dates. I’ll also show any market cancellations. Before you head out, check this page to make sure there’s a market!
Spanning from Place de la Concorde past the Grand Palais, the ‘marché de Noël’ on the Champs is one of the largest in Paris. More than 100 little wooden booths await you, selling anything from artisan cheese to Paris themed tree ornaments to jewelry to – let’s not forget – hot wine and to-go food!
The Champs-Elysées is truly beautiful this time of year because the holiday lights on the tree-lined avenue are lit up as well.
Other points of interest: specific gourmet food ‘villages’, ice skating rink, Ferris wheel, Santa Claus appearances.
- Pros: Glamorous location, activities other than shopping, one-stop shop for gifts
- Cons: crowded, sometimes a tad overpriced
- Open: 11 November 2016 – 8 January 2017, from noon-midnight (Friday and Saturday open until 1am)
- Metro: Concorde, Champs-Elysées Clemenceau, Franklin D Roosevelt
La Defense market
This is the largest winter market in ‘Paris’ (though technically… it’s just a tad outside of the city) – at least 350 vendors selling France artisanal products under the gaze of the Grande Arche in the business district. This market tends to have higher quality products than, for example, on the Champs-Elysées. This combined with its size makes many Parisians consider it the best ‘marché de Noël’ in the region.
- Pros: one-stop shop, high quality
- Cons: easy to get lost, overwhelming, outside of Paris
- Open: 17 November – 27 December 2016, from 11am – 8pm
- Metro: La Defense (Grande Arche)
One of my personal favorites, this small (30 stands) holiday market surrounds the beautiful Saint-Germain-des Près church in the center of Paris. Being a smaller market in a less-touristy location, I’ve often found it less crowded. It’s also in a great location for fabulous Parisian restaurants and nightlife, so consider a visit before dinner and drinks.
- Pros: easy-in easy-out, less crowded, central Paris
- Cons: small
- Open: 1 December – 31 December 2016, from 11am -9pm
- Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Près, Mabillon
Trocadero Eiffel Tower Market
After two years of cancellation, Trocadero is back in the holiday spirit! The ice rink and holiday village will once again light up the Trocadero gardens.
Here you’ll find over 100 booths to delight in. Plus, the ice rink is free – don’t forget your skates! Rentals are possible at a cost.
Take in the picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower, right across the river. Need I say more? I’ll repeat: Across From the Eiffel Tower!
- Pros: Eiffel Tower, one-stop shop, photo opportunity, ice skating
- Cons: very crowded
- Open: 15 December 2016 – 3 January 2017, from 11am – 11pm
- Metro: Trocadero
Notre Dame Market
Nestled just across from the Notre Dame Cathedral in the center of Paris, this ‘marché de Noel’ focuses on arts. Though make no mistake: there WILL still be hot wine!
It’s really a scenic place for a holiday market, since you have the beautiful Seine river flowing past and Notre Dame as a backdrop.
Just be aware that this tiny market is both small, and right by some huge Parisian monuments…so expect a crowd. http://sightseekersdelight.com/paris-christmas-markets-and-local-delicacies/ Read Louise’s take on this market from her visits in previous years. Our Seine tour starts right there so she had some great opportunities to explore before leading her tours.
- Pros: central Paris, niche market for arts, start of Seine tour
- Cons: crowded, short run time (see below)
- Open: 16 December – 25 December 2016, from 10am – 8pm (Saturday and Sunday open until 9pm)
- Metro: Cité, Saint Michel
Right at the foot of Montparnasse Tower (the only true skyscraper in Paris) is this sizeable holiday market. There’s a concentration on good local products so is a great place to buy souvenirs for family. Although it is a busy market with 40-50 vendors, I’ve found a lower concentration of tourists here… so if you want to work on your French, head here!
Bonus: What do the French call the most beautiful view in Paris? The one without Montparnasse, of course! Climb the Montparnasse tower (http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/en/) before or after your stroll for a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower and all of the city.
- Pros: non-touristy, local goods
- Cons: a bit secluded
- Open: 10 December – 31 December 2016, from 11am – 8pm
- Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue
Markets unconfirmed for 2016
I’ll update this list as more information becomes available. For now though, let’s plan on these markets (sadly) being closed in 2016.
Eiffel Tower Branly Market
- Notes: extremely crowded
- Where: from l’Alma to Bir Hakeim bridges
- Open: month of December 2016, from 10am – 7pm
- Metro: Bir-Hakeim, Trocadero
Saint-Lazare station Market
- Notes: good for foodies
- Where: just outside of Saint-Lazare train station
- Open: 20 November – 25 December 2016
- Metro: Saint-Lazare
Paris Est station Market
- Notes: specialties from traditional Alsace
- Where: just outside of Paris Est train station
- Open: 1 December – 15 December 2016, from 9am – 8pm (Sundays open from 10am)
- Metro: Gare de l’Est
Montmatre Abbesses Market
CANCELLED IN 2016
- Notes: good for kids
- Where: Place des Abbesses
- Open: Open: month of December, from 10am-5pm
- Metro: Abbesses
Montmatre Sacre-Coeur Market
CANCELLED IN 2016
- Notes: great view
- Where: in front of Sacre Coeur
- Open: Open: December 1- 18, from 11am-9pm
- Metro: Anvers, Lamarck Caulaincourt
Map of 2016 Holiday Markets
Note: This article was originally posted in 2014 but has been updated for freshness and to reflect 2016 dates.