Here’s a fact: there’s absolutely no way you’ll miss this market (unless desired) as a tourist in Paris at this time of the year. I mean, who is not interested in walking the Champs-Élysées boulevard at least one time when in Paris? Therefore, it seems like you’ll simply be pushed into it, and since you’re there, might as well see it, right?
The roundabout of the Champs-Élysées marks the beginning of the entire market area, and it spreads on the sidewalks all the way to the Place de la Concorde, facing the Big Wheel.
It is said that the entire market has around 200 wooden chalets, but when walking there, it really seems like there are a lot more. It literally takes almost two hours to wander around, taste things offered by the merchandisers, talk with them, buy things or simply enjoy the moment and not rush like you’re on schedule or something.
The market is pretty well organised. There’s the food area (this includes more than just French food: you’ll also find fresh Alsatian, Hungarian, Romanian or Turkish food – and probably more other nationalities) that I consider it was the largest in the market.
I remember the best advice that I got from a good friend when I was in New York: whenever you’re hungry, follow the smell that you like. This is pretty much the case here. Also, I am sure that you can’t go wrong by following your cravings at that specific moment.
What I liked, in particular, was the warmth and the good vibes that I got from the merchandisers.
Although I am not a fan of the French cheese in general, I must say I really liked the tomato and the pistachio one. The lavander cheese honestly tasted like perfume, therefore it was a big NO for me.
Bruno, the merchandiser, tryed to talk us into it an told us a story about how special that cheese was. What can I say, at 59 euros per kilo, there must be something about it, right? In the end though, he won: ‘It is not expensive. It is French.’
You’ll also find the art and hadmade area. And an improvised skating-rink. And the smell of mulled wine on top of everything around.
At this point it makes no sense to state everything that you can find there, since, as mentioned, you have pretty much everything you want: from souvenirs and gifts, food and amazing looking desserts, music and joy, to the luxurious shops and stores, cafés and restaurants on Champs-Élysées, the kind of things that the boulevard is well-known for.
The drawback, I must say, it’s exactly the location. The fact that it is situated in such a well-known place makes the chalets and some little stores a little too touristy or cheap at some point. But that’s just the feeling that I got, it is not necesarilly the truth, so don’t get mad before I finish writing.
Paris has a lot to offer as far as Christmas markets is concerned. And this is definitely just the beginning, since we are not even in December yet, when most of the markets will be ready for the public. However, the market here on Champs-Élysées will stay open until January the 3rd, everyday from midday to midnight.
Photo source: personal archive, courtesy of the beautiful people that I met on Champs-Élysées Christmas Market.