The Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood is to be found on the rive-gauche (i.e. left-bank) of the River Seine. Situated somewhere between the Latin Quarter and the arrondissement where you’ll find the Eiffel Tower, this Parisian area is best-known for its chic shops and authentic Parisian eateries. And come Christmastime, there’s also a Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market where you can purchase to-go food or artisanal wares. Here’s how to visit, as well as things to know before you go!
20192020 Christmas market opening times: 30/1/2019 to the 05/01/2020
Situated in the shadow of the oldest church in Paris, you’ll find several rows of wooden Christmas chalet stalls on the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In total, there are around thirty chalets at the Parisian Christmas market, which has been held in the square for well over twenty years.
Unlike some other festive events in the City of Light, the market offers both artisanal goods and handcrafted items, as well as the opportunity to purchase takeaway food (churros, crêpes, and the traditional Alsacian tartiflette) and hot vin chaud (priced at €3). Many of the goods for sale at the 6th arrondissement market are luxury in nature.
Things to know before visiting the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Christmas Market
Before visiting, you should know that like all Christmas markets, the event gets pretty busy during the weekends, particularly towards the end of December when the school holidays are in full swing. Otherwise, you should know that while some stalls accept bank cards (carte bancaire in French), it’s always a good idea to bring cash just in case!
The nearby Abbey turned church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is always worth a wander inside, particularly considering that its roots date all the way back to the 6th-century when an Abbey was founded on site by the son of Clovis.
At this time, the ecclesiastical building would have been situated just outside of the walls of the city of Paris. In time, the building was reconstructed, renovated, and modified, meaning that much of what you see now was constructed during the Middle Ages. Today, the Romanesque nave is one of just a handful left within the French capital.
Last but not least, while many people in Paris speak a fantastic level of English, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language. Bring along a French phrasebook like this one to help you get by. Nearby, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy other Christmas activities in Paris, including the festive decorations at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche department store.