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Xmas decor in Paris?

When do the lights and decorations go up in Paris to celebrate the Xmas holiday? I'm going for several months this Fall and hope to be able to stay long enough to see the City of Lights all lit up! Thanks.

Posted by
8293 posts

We arrived in Paris On December 8th 2011 and the lights and decorations were already installed in all their glory.

Posted by
23465 posts

Lights are generally on around Dec 1st. There is no magic starting date. Watch you 90 days limit carefully.

Posted by
335 posts

Thanks for the warning - I've read about the 90 day limit but also have printed out some info about a "long stay visa for nonprofessional purpose" that I want to check out. I'd love to stay a week or two beyond the 90 days, just to see the Xmas decor.

Posted by
9039 posts

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess they do this the same time as Germany - right before Advent begins, which is right around Thangsgiving.

Posted by
33306 posts

Holly If you want a special visa such as you mentioned be sure to start the process of getting it plenty early. They often take a while, may involve a visit to a consulate and can not be obtained once you have left your home country. They often involve a fee.

Posted by
73 posts

I was there for Thanksgiving last year (which was early - around Nov 22) and there were lots of lights and decorations up. And they had a delightful "Christmas Village" event down the Champs Elysees - such a treat of truly local culture! Enjoy!

Posted by
893 posts

Since there's no official date/time to start the Christmas decoration season, it's pretty random. The windows at Galeries Lafeyette wil most likely be decorated mid-to-end November. Most places will have their lights on the first weekend in December. Christmas markets start dates will be posted in advance, but are likely to start last weekend in Nov. or first weekend in Dec. Don't know when the Christmas tree goes up in front of Notre Dame. Last year, the free carousel in every arondissement wasn't until the week before Christmas, but that was the latest starting date of anything I was aware of. The Christmas markets will almost certainly continue until Jan. 1. The Christmas decorations and lights at least a week beyond that. The visa is a lot of work (and cost) to get if you only want to stay a few extra weeks beyond the 90 days. it's usually for those who want to stay a year. If you can change your plans to only be in France (or anywhere in the Schengen) for only 90 days, it would make things much easier.