As the temperature drops and the nights draw in, the City of Light, AKA Paris is illuminated by the Christmas lights, window displays, and glittering department stores throughout the city. But if you’re looking to see the best of the ‘vitrines’ (window displays), then you simply must head to Printemps, a department store close to Galeries Lafayette and nearby to the Garnier Opera House. Here’s your guide to the Printemps Christmas Windows 2019…
Printemps Christmas Windows 2019 | 7 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
Printemps is not only the word for Spring in French but also happens to be one of the four ‘Grands Magasins’ of Paris. Situated on Boulevard Haussmann, the department store was created by Jules Jaluzot in 1865. Characterised by its iconic domes and 44,000 m² of floor space spread over 25 floors and 3 buildings, Printemps Haussmann offers a luxury shopping experience in a historically listed building.
Each year, the shop floor and window displays are decked out for the festive season in Paris. For 2019, the themed window displays of Printemps are straight out of a fairytale: the larger than life displays comprise of puppets, plenty of colour, and many automation. Inside the store, the festive theme is continued with some 185 Christmas trees, all decorated in a similar fashion.
The ‘vitrines’ (of which there are 11) themselves are filled with furry animals, and no less than 60 puppets, ranging from dancing turkeys to parrots. Of course, as each window represents an iconic brand, you’ll find luxury bags, scarves, and the like hidden amongst the vibrant displays.
How to visit the Printemps Christmas Windows 2019
Open as of 17:30 on the 7th of November, the glittering displays comprise of around a dozen window displays, each sponsored by a different brand. Opened by fashion designer and lifestyle blogger Chiara Ferragni, the windows are available to admire from free via the exterior of the store.
Though they’re likely to see plenty of foot traffic over the second week of November (on account of just having been opened), you’re much more likely to better see and enjoy the twinkling displays and the glittering lights above if seen towards the end of the month. And while the displays are visible during the day, their illuminated nature means that they’re that much more magical come nighttime.
The closest metro stations are Havre-Caumartin (lines 3 and 9), Auber (RER A), and Opera (lines 3, 7 & 8). If you have a little time after visiting the Printemps Christmas lights, then you should know that the store is filled with miniature decoration and trees, all sporting ‘Printemps’ printed decorations.
Head up to the rooftop (2 Rue du Havre 9ème étage) and you’ll come across La Perruche Restaurant, which offers spectacular views of Paris, as well as of the Eiffel Tower. Otherwise, just a few steps away, Galeries Lafayette offers its own Christmas displays, including a wonderful Christmas Tree in the centre of the Art-Deco cupola (in 2019, the tree will be installed towards the end of November).
Elsewhere in the 9th arrondissement, there are many interesting and unusual things to discover. Highlights of this chic Parisian district include Rue des Martyrs (famed by a Parisian book of the same name) and the many covered passages of Paris which are a total timewarp back to the 19th-century and are the precursors to modern shopping walls.