The oldest department store in Paris is not to be found on the left-bank of the city like all the other Grands Magasins (BHV, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and once-upon-a-time Samaritaine). Instead, Le Bon Marché was founded by a husband wife duo Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut. Much like the other great department shops in the city, this Rive Gauche store too is decorated annually for Christmas. Here’s how to See Christmas at Paris Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche!
Christmas at Le Bon Marché 2019-2020 dates | November 6, 2019 to January 1, 2020
Set across multiple levels, the department store is divided into various sections; accessories, shoes, women’s wear, and even a bookshop selling all kinds of wares, including a particularly impressive selection of Paris books. The entire layout of Le Bon Marché is open-plan and surrounds a geometric dazzling staircase.
In 2019, the theme of Christmas at Le Bon Marché is that of the ‘king of trees’. Wander in during opening hours and you can expect to find a forest of ‘sapins’ (fir trees) suspended from the ceiling, surrounding the staircase, and glittering with tens of thousands of twinkling lights. On the second floor, there’s also a Christmas shop featuring all kinds of baubles and ornaments.
Christmas activities and things to do close to Paris Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
Not far away, you’ll soon discover the rest of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of the city (named for the imposing ecclesiastical building that is Paris’ oldest church). Home to medieval churches and plenty of Hausmmanian architecture, the Parisian district is well-known for its chic eateries and upmarket shopping opportunities.
When it comes to particularly delicious eats in the area, I particularly love Le Bistrot d’Henri for traditional French fare (think Beouf Bourgignon and creamy pastas). Otherwise, head to the Abattoir Végétal for delightful vegan eats and cocktails.
In terms of Christmas activities, other than attending concerts at St Germain church or Saint Sulpice church (i.e. the one that’s mentioned in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code), one of the best Christmas activities just a short ten minute stroll away is that of the St-Germain-des-Prés Christmas market.
Taking place between November 30th 2019 and January 5th 2020, there are over a dozen chalets selling artisanal goods and plenty of foodie opportunities. There’s even the chance to buy vin chaud to go for €3. Though most of the market stalls accept bank card (CB- Carte Bancaire in French), it’s always a good idea to bring cash, just in case!