Top 7 Paris Christmas Markets 2014

In French it’s ‘Marché de Noël,’ in English we 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 I’ve curated my top 7 holiday markets for you with descriptions, pros and cons, and all the necessary information. Runners-up are at the bottom of the list.

Champs-Elysées market

Champs-Elysées market (8th district)

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: typically there is an ice skating rink, Ferris wheel, and Santa Claus appearances.

Paris ferris wheel

Pros: Glamorous location, activities other than shopping, one-stop shop for gifts
Cons: crowded, sometimes a tad overpriced
Open: 14 November 2014 – 4 January 2015, 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.

hot wine paris

Pros: one-stop shop, high quality
Cons: easy to get lost, overwhelming, outside of Paris
Open: 20 November – 27 December 2014, from 11am – 8pm
Metro: La Defense (Grande Arche)

Saint-Germain market (6th district)

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.

Paris santa

Pros: easy-in easy-out, less crowded, central Paris
Cons: small
Open: 28 November 2014 – 4 January 2015, from 10am -8pm
Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Près, Mabillon

Montmartre market (18th district)

Surrounding the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, this holiday market is the one that will truly send you back in time – wandering the winding cobblestone streets of Paris’ old artist neighborhood and stumbling upon this small market is an absolute treasure. Plus, gazing out from the hill over the whole city is enough to make any romantic’s heart beat. I guess that’s why there are so many people visiting this ‘marché de Noel.’ Bonus: stop in the Sacre Coeur Basilica to take in the beautiful architecture and choir services(http://www.musique-sacree-notredamedeparis.fr/) … as well as some welcome heat! Related: Montmartre Abbesses market (see below).

Montmartre sacre coeur

Pros: most beautiful
Cons: small, crowded, stairs/hills to get to Sacre Coeur and market
Open: 5 December 2014 – 4 January 2015, from 10am to 8pm (Saturday and Sunday open until 10pm)
Metro: Anvers, Lamarck-Caulincourt

Eiffel Tower Trocadero Market (16th district)

Packed into the Trocadero gardens are more than 100 booths for you to delight in… all with a picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower, right across the river. Um, need I say more? I’ll repeat: Across From the Eiffel Tower! Related: Eiffel Tower Branly market (see below)

Eiffel Tower

Pros: Eiffel Tower, one-stop shop, photo opportunity
Cons: very crowded
Open: 13 December 2014 – 4 January 2015, from 11am – 8:30pm
Metro: Trocadero

Notre Dame Market (5th district)

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 right by some huge Parisian monuments, so expect a crowd. Read Louise’s take(http://www.sightseekersdelight.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=17) on this market from her visits last year… our Seine tour starts right there so she had some great opportunities to explore before leading her tours.

Notre dame sunset

Pros: central Paris, niche market for arts, start of Seine tour
Cons: crowded, short run time (see below)
Open: 12 December – 23 December 2014, from 10am – 8pm (Saturday and Sunday open until 9pm)
Metro: Cité

Montparnasse Market (15th district)

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.

French onion soup market

Pros: non-touristy, local goods
Cons: a bit secluded
Open: 4 December – 31 December 2014, from 11am – 8pm
Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue

Other markets (by district)

6th – Saint-Sulpice market
Where: surrounding Saint-Sulpice church
Open: 1 December – 24 December 2014, from 10am – 8pm
Metro: Saint-Sulpice

7th – Eiffel Tower Branly Market
Notes: extremely crowded
Where: foot of the Eiffel Tower
Open: 17 December 2014 – 4 January 2015, from 10am – 7pm
Metro: Bir-Hakeim, Trocadero

9th – Saint-Lazare station Market
Notes: good for foodies
Where: just outside of Saint-Lazare train station
Open: 28 November – 31 December 2014
Metro: Saint-Lazare

10th- Paris Est station Market
Notes: specialties from traditional Alsace
Where: just outside of Paris Est train station
Open: 4 December – 19 December 2014, from 9am – 8pm (Sundays open from 10am)
Metro: Gare de l’Est

12th – Place de la Nation Market
Notes : worldwide goods
Where : Place de la Nation
Open: 1 December – 24 December 2014, from 10am – 8pm
Metro: Nation

18th – Montmatre Abbesses Market
Notes: good for kids
Where: Place des Abbesses
Open: Open: 29 November 2014 – 1 January 2015, from 10am-8pm
Metro: Abbesses

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