Will be staying in Paris from December 18-26. Have an apartment with kitchen. I'm assuming everything is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so am planning to cook and eat with my family on those days. Other than that, what's open during that week on non-Christmas days? Do places like the Louvre, shops, restaurants, bakeries, etc. stay open till the 25th, or do businesses shut down for the week? Please advise. Thanks. Diana W.
This is a common question from first time visitors to Paris. Although the French have many jours feriées, and December 25 is one of them, it's important to remember that this is the capital of France, with 12 million residents in the city and suburbs, not to mention the perpetually large number of international business travelers and tourists.
So the short answer is "no", everything won't be closed. Even on Christmas and New Year's Day it is possible to find shops, restaurants, cinemas and museums open in Paris. Read this article I wrote last year in the Secrets of Paris website, What's Open on Christmas and New Year's Day in Paris.
When in doubt, always call ahead. Reservations are always a good idea, but especially during the holidays when fewer places are open.