Hotel Balzac’s Guide to Christmas Markets in Paris
22 September 2017
Immerse Yourself in Magic this Festive Season!
This winter, a five-star festive season awaits you at Hotel Balzac. But beyond the exceptional evenings of fine-dining and limitless luxury which can be found within the cosy confines of our hotel, a walk around the city will acquaint you with a wondrous winter wonderland; and nowhere more so than in Paris’ magical Christmas Markets.
Marché de Noël des Champs-Elysées
Where? Avenue des Champs-Elysées
When? 15th November – 4th January
What? 230 ft. Ferris Wheels & Festive Family Fun
The allure of the world’s most beautiful boulevard only intensifies during the festive season, when 400 Christmas Trees and thousands of twinkling LED lights align the length of the Champs-Elysées. But this uber-festive façade is just a foreword to the magic that awaits within.
Perhaps the biggest appeal of the Champs-Elysées’ Christmas Market, is its offering of something for everyone - where kids (and big kids) can delight in an everchanging lineup of free festive shows, ice skating at the 4,000m2 ice rink, and of course visits to Santa in his grotto! While the romance of the region is at the height of its powers during winter - enhanced further by the height of the Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde, where the splendour of Paris during Christmastime can be admired from 230 ft. up in the air.
A stroll along the avenue also provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy a true taste of Christmas - where charming wooden chalets are on hand to entice you in with their delicious festive fare. In particular, roasted chestnuts, raclette, and foie gras provide the flavours of a traditional French Noël, which can of course be washed down with a cheering cup of vin chaud (mulled wine).
After tasty treats, you can also pay a visit to the numbering artisans who also make their home in the wooden cabins. Selling just about everything, adults and children alike are assured to find enjoyment in the traditional toys, and nostalgia inducing trinkets on display.
Marché de Noël de La Défense
Where? Esplanade de La Défense
When? 19th November – 27th December
What? Skyscraper Surroundings & Hot Cheesy Goodness
If you’re in the (literal) market for a spot of seasonal shopping, look no further than Esplanade de La Défense. Set across 10,000m2 - with no fewer than 350 stalls - this Christmas Metropolis in Paris’ business district is your one-stop-shop for anything and everything festive.
Given its sheer size, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the quantity and diversity of goods on display; but the quality at Marché de Noël de La Défense is also unsurpassed. In particular, the lovingly handmade crafts - courtesy of artisans from around the world - are a perfect addition to any stocking, spanning everything from: handblown glass decorations, to painstakingly carved nativity figurines, and the usual abundance of traditional toys.
Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, replenishment opportunities are also aplenty - where familiar Christmas comforts are joined by succulent hams from Corsica, and creamy Alpine fromage. The hot cheesy goodness that is raclette is also a must at this marché - regarded by many as the best in the city!
But that’s not to say Esplanade de La Défense is all about indulgence. A stroll under the glistening lights, will also acquaint you with all manner of Christmas theatre and storytelling; and between Wednesday and Sunday, children can meet Santa Clause in his charming wooden grotto. The skyscraper surroundings of this Christmas Village also contribute to the festive fairytalelike aura, with a climb up the stairs of the Grande Arche unveiling beautiful panoramas over the esplanade.
Marché de Noël Alsacien
Where? Gare de l'Est
When? 24th November – 31st December
What? Traditional Christmas Décor & Festive Food in Abundance
Upon arrival at Marché de Noël Alsacien, the enticing aromas of the festive season waft through the air with the promise of gourmet delights - which is promptly provided in the numbering delicacies like pretzels, pains d’épices (spiced bread), charcuterie, foie gras, gingerbread, sauerkraut, and mountain cheeses. All of which, are best enjoyed in the accompaniment of Alsace wine.
Once you’ve managed to drag yourself away from the festive fancies on display, less edible offerings also thrive at the market. In particular, traditional tree decorations, which can be found in all shapes and sizes - which is probably something to do with the Alsace region being the first place in the world to decorate festive fir trees... giving birth to the Christmas Tree as we know it today!
Of course, all of the expected Christmas trimmings can also be found at Gare de l'Est - with plenty of yuletide entertainment, and visits from Santa Clause. But ultimately, in France, good food is a passion, and Paris’ Marché de Noël Alsacien is a foodie’s delight.
Book Your Christmas Break at Hotel Balzac
Whether you’re heading to the capital for a five-star festive break with family, or for a romantic getaway with loved ones, our exclusive offers are assured to contain the perfect package for you. We look forward to welcoming you to the wondrous winter wonderland that is Paris, this Christmas!
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