For your Christmas in Paris, Emily, helps you make your Paris Christmas dreams come true with suggestions on some of the best (alternative) Paris Christmas Markets filled with gift ideas and fun-filled experiences this season. – Updated December 2022
Ever since the Champs-Elysées Christmas market was canceled by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in 2017, the quality of the Marché de Noël has been called into question citywide. While the mayoral move may have been merely symbolic (the Champs-Elysées market simply moved to the nearby Tuileries Garden in the years that have followed and similar low-quality Marché de Noël continue to pop up all across town – we won’t send you to those ones 😉), those planning a Paris vacation should take the same heed as Hidalgo in separating the joyous from the junky when it comes to holiday fun.
Luckily those spending Christmas in Paris have several opportunities to shop for authentic French products and enjoy some festivities in the French capital. Regular Paris attractions, including markets, tastings, and food events, provide a great alternative to the overpriced cones of churros and Made in China products found at the typical Marché de Noël in Paris. Of course, there are the classic markets that remain high-quality fun that you can check out on our Top 7 Paris Christmas Market Roundup. These are for those of you who want something a little more left-field!
photo: Paris Secret
1. Eco Market
This year let’s celebrate responsibly and take a stroll along the stalls of the creators that care about the quality of their products as well as the impact of consumption at this time of year.
For an eco-responsible Christmas head to La REcyclerie from 10 to 11 December / 17 to 18 December; at 83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018. This is a great place to visit with or without a Christmas market, as it is connected to the Little Belt – an abandoned train track that circles Paris but has been out of use and has since become a haven for green space in the city center. Year-round they consider a more ecological means of running a café with interesting markets throughout the year (so save the address!) but it makes for a particularly special Christmas market.
2. A Psychedelic Christmas
Are you looking for something that takes the word ‘alternative’ to heart? The Christmas market at Point Ephemere 200 Quai de Valmy, Paris 10 between 21 – 22 December 2022 has a feast for the eyes (including those following you on Instagram) with vintage and original objects, body painting, jewelry, lithographs, and more!
3. Giving Back
For the third year running, le Rosa Bonheur, Cigalou et le Secours Populaire de Paris (French charitable organizations) have set up “Mother Christmas is Love” a Christmas market concept that has the children who don’t have the means to celebrate Christmas at its heart – 16 December 2022 at 7 pm, 2, allée de la Cascade 75019.
To participate, all you have to do is bring a new educational or creative toy (no plush toys) for children aged 4 to 11, worth at least €20. If you don’t have time to shop a contribution of 20€ will be asked at the entrance.
Donations and toys will be collected at the entrance by volunteers from Secours Populaire de Paris. The toys, loaded into the truck that evening (essentially Santa’s sleigh), will be distributed to the children the next day at the headquarters and your donations will be used to finance the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations of the families taken in by Secours Populaire de Paris.
There is also a lineup of live music to be enjoyed at the market from French creators.
4. Disney Delights
Disneyland has its own way of celebrating Christmas and this year its focus is very much on bringing the tastiest food it can muster. They have several chalets, each with a particular specialty, from pretzels to cheese tartiflette and beef bourguignon! It will be running from 12 November 2022 to 19 March 2023, at Disneyland, 77700, Bailly Romainvilliers
5. Give the gift of experiences
If you still don’t quite find what you’re looking for at the myriad of Paris Christmas markets, we’ve got one more suggestion for you. You’ve already given yourself the gift of Paris, now you can take that gift one step further or share it with your loved ones by offering them one of many experiences of a lifetime. A cooking class in Paris is a wonderful way to offer a taste of France. Offer them a gift certificate or indulge in a hands-on cooking class for yourself. While many schools will be closed on Christmas day, Boxing day (December 26th), and New Year’s Day, you’ll find plenty of offerings before and after the holidays.