Expat Magazine

Christmas Bazaars in Paris

By Sedulia @Sedulia
Sebastian-Joseph-flickr Christmas market in Brunswick, Germany. Photo by Sebastian Joseph at Flickr

After living in Bavaria, where the snowy Christmases were magical, I found Noël in Paris, at least at first, a bien piètre affaire (not too impressive). All those chemical-sprayed Christmas trees and gold balls! Of course, Paris is always beautiful... 

One of the things I missed the most were the German Christmas markets, in which the entire pedestrian zone of large cities turns into a fair of antiques, food, hot spiced wine, live or piped-in Christmas carols, and Christmas decorations and presents. In recent years, Paris has tried to catch up by setting up its own Christmas markets, for example at the bottom of the Champs-Élysées and at the Gare de l'Est. The ice-skating is also nice-- there's already one open on the Champs and the others open in mid-December. 

To get in the mood for Christmas, I also like some of the charity bazaars that flourish at this time of year. The church, school and club bazaars can have great bargains, as the good ladies save up all their best stuff all year for the brocantes, import wares from their native lands, or cook delicious specialties for the fair. (Or, to be honest, you could find a basement full of tables of old sweaters, acrylic knit ornaments and men in loden coats serving soup....) Anyway, dépaysement garanti! 

Here are a few Paris Christmas fairs coming up. Keep your eyes peeled for posters in bakeries and small grocery stores. Reminder, don't traipse across Paris without checking first that the dates and times are correct. And this is just for starters... check the Pariscope for more info.

Danish Church
Christmas bazaar, 30 November-2 December
17 rue Lord Byron, Paris 8e

 Swedish Church
Christmas bazaar, December 7-9
9 rue Médéric, Paris 17e

Scots Kirk
Christmas fair, 1 December
17 rue Bayard, Paris 8e

Saint George's Anglican Church
Christmas market, 1 December
17 rue Auguste-Vacquerie, Paris 16e

Hungarian Catholic Mission of Paris
Vente de Noël, 30 November- 2 December
2 rue Albert-Thomas, Paris 10e

Saint Joseph's English-speaking Catholic Church
Christmas bazaar, 2 December 
50 avenue Hoche, Paris 8e

Association of American Wives of Europeans (AAWE)
Christmas bazaar, 1 December
At the American Church of Paris, 65 Quai d'Orsay, Paris 7e

Christuskirche (German Protestant Church)
Christmas bazaar, 2 December
25 rue Blanche, Paris 9e

Catholic Diocese of Paris
Many Christmas bazaars, concerts, pageants and journées d'amitié, listed by arrondissement here.


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