An excursion to get you in the Christmas spirit!

We’re a little like wonder-struck kids who haven’t grown up every time December comes around: we see the festive spirit in everything and childhood memories come alive again. To make the most of this pre-Christmas build-up of excitement, follow us. You won’t need a sleigh, just a bicycle will do!

 

A charity Christmas market in Saint-Denis

Let’s start in front of the basilica of Saint-Denis, which is playing host to a charity market! Thirty or so stall-holders will showcase their skills in the shape of different foodstuffs and crafts: jewellery, fine foods, cosmetics, soaps and more. There is a long list of products to keep most people happy. Concerts and a variety of workshops turn this into a truly eclectic market!

Count me in! 13th to 22nd December, place de la Légion d’Honneur, Saint-Denis

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°32019 – Place du 8 mai 1945

 

©Markus Spiske via Unsplash

 

 

Eco-friendly gifts from the Recyclerie

Are you yearning for a bit of greenery? Head to the Recyclerie, hidden away in an old train station on the Petite Ceinture (a disused railway line). This is an incredibly eco-aware, eco-friendly place which we love visiting. Various themed Christmas markets are held here: on December 11th and 12th, we’ll buy a one way ticket to the Land of the Rising Sun as we visit the Japanese Christmas market – a great opportunity to buy some more original presents.

Count me in! 4th to 19th December 2021, 83 boulevard Ornano

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°18031 – Place Albert Kahn

 

La Recyclerie © La Recyclerie via Instagram

 

 

A village atmosphere at Montmartre Christmas market, Abbesses

If you want to warm yourself up, make tracks for one of Paris’ most famous hills: Montmartre. This district reminds everyone – French people in general, Parisians, foreign tourists – of a small village with its cobbled streets. It gets even prettier as Christmas draws near! On the iconic Place des Abbesses (lit up specially for added festive magic), you’ll find almost 15 stall-holders selling products from France’s different regions and gifts (jumpers, jewellery, candles) for you to put under the Christmas tree.

Count me in!  26th November to 2nd January 2022, place des Abbesses

🚲 Velib’ station: station n°18042 – Place Pigalle

 

Marché de noël © Matt Seymour via Unsplash

 

 

A foodie paradise at the Alsatian Christmas market at the gare de l’Est train station

Rather than biking to Strasbourg by Velib’, you can explore regional gems at the Alsatian Christmas market at the gare de l’Est. Foodies will be simply drooling over the array of pretzels, biscuits, liqueurs and preserves. We have even seen – as in previous years – a 15-foot-tall gingerbread Saint Nicolas make an appearance on the 6th of December…

Count me in! From December 1st to December 17th, 2021, in front of the gare de l’Est train station.

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°10016 – Récollets – Square Villemin

 

Bretzels © Ana Ulin via Flickr

 

 

A peek behind the scenes with Father Christmas at the Galeries Lafayette’s window displays

Come back down to earth and prepare to be dazzled in a way that will recapture the magic of your first Christmases.  Dramatic scenes play out in Lapland – a snow storm has cut off Santa’s workshop’s present factory and the elves have set off to the four corners of the globe to try to solve this unfortunate problem. You can follow them on their adventures through eight different mini-tableaux: sorting the post, making biscuits etc. It’s a wonderful, exuberant display of colour.

Count me in! From 9th November to 31st December 2021, 40 boulevard Haussmann

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°9032 – Mathurins – Auber

 

Galeries Lafayette ©My B.  via Sortiraparis

 

 

Eyes wide as saucers on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

What would you say to two kilometres of Christmas lights stretching along one of Paris’ most elegant boulevards? Yes, of course – on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, please! Last year, a sparkling, glittering hot-air balloon-themed display took up residence here. What on earth will they dream up for us this year? To find out, come along and enjoy the beautifully-illuminated building façades lit up just for Christmas – you’re sure to be left wide-eyed and wide-mouthed.

Count me in! From 18th November 2021 to 30th January 2022, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°8103 – Artois – Berri

 

Faubourg Saint-Honoré © Luxsure

 

 

A sneak preview of a Swedish Christmas

Let’s continue our journey through the streets of the capital until we reach…Sweden! It’s the perfect opportunity to add a foreign twist to your Christmas dinner thanks to herrings, salmon or even cranberry preserve. You’ll soon be wishing people God Jul and Njut av maten like a native!

Count me in! From 26th November to 5th December 2021 / the Swedish church – 9 rue Médéric

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°17026 – Jouffroy d’Abbans – Wagram

 

Confiture d’airelles  ©Maria Petersson via Unsplash

 

 

A nod to Christmases future with the Good Planet foundation’s eco-friendly Christmas market

For those who want to continue their journey a little further (you could always take the opportunity to link up with our ‘Roaring Twenties’ itinerary in Boulogne-Billancourt), why not  stop off at the Good Planet foundation’s eco-friendly Christmas market? All of the products available to purchase comply with at least one of the following criteria: they are manufactured according to environmentally-friendly methods, designed to promote eco-friendly behaviours, encourage social inclusion or make a financial contribution towards social or environmental initiatives. A children’s workshop where they can make their own Christmas decorations from recycled materials is also held here!

Count me in! Saturday 11th, Sunday 12th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th December,
1 carrefour de Longchamp

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°21032 – Sèvres-Gallieni

 

Présent ©David Olivier Gascon via Unsplash

 

 

A wonderful ride past the display windows of the Bon Marché department store

Let’s continue this spellbinding journey with some mouth-watering machines. The four main display windows of the Bon Marché showcase the adventures of Aristide the gingerbread man. These mini-tableaux are set to music, with the different themes being ‘Musical’, ‘Cheerleader’, ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘Cabaret Burlesque’. Why is he called Aristide? That’s an easy question – it’s a nod to the founder of the Bon Marché, Aristide Boucicaut, upon whom the character Octave Mouret in the famous novel “Au bonheur des dames” was modelled.

Count me in! Starts 29th October 2021, 24 rue de Sèvres,

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°6107 – Place Alphonse Deville

 

  Bon Marché ©My B.  via Sortiraparis

 

 

Travel through time at the Natural History Museum (the muséum national d’Histoire naturelle)

Let’s finish with something more educational as we shine some light on the ‘L’Evolution en voie d’illumination’ (Evolution: illuminated) exhibition. There’s no Father Christmas here, but plenty of magic nonetheless thanks to this open-air exhibition which pays homage to extinct or largely-unknown life forms. Sea creatures, dinosaurs and more – don’t worry if you’re unable to identify, for example, a rather strange fish – there’s plenty of interpretive signage. This is a great trip to do with family or friends – it’ll surely prove to be an eye-opening experience!

Count me in! 29th November 2021 to 30th January 2022, Jardin des Plantes

🚲 Vélib’ station: station n°5034 – Censier – Santeuil

 

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle © MHNH

 

 

Bons plans, sorties, événements et balades à vélo… Une fois par mois, Vélib’ vous fait découvrir la Métropole du Grand Paris autrement !