I’ve written about my recent trip to Europe and the delight of discovering a neighborhood with a canopy of Christmas lights in London. But one of the other holiday surprises on this trip was seeing tiny Parisian Christmas tree lots all over the city.


I stayed near Gare du Nord during my time in Paris, which appeared to be more residential and work-a-day than some of the areas I’ve visited before on holiday. The result was that little shops, many of them ordinarily florists, had turned the sidewalk and any nearby street parking into lots for trees.


Coming from the western U.S., and specifically Los Angeles, seeing these lots was a pleasant surprise; where I’m from, Christmas trees are usually sold in parking lots, empty land, or at big box stores. And they’re all geared toward people who will be taking their tree home via automobile.

Everyone I saw buying a tree at these Paris lots, on the other hand, carried their tree home, like this guy with his son:


The Parisian lots ranged in size. Some took up entire corner plazas and were bustling with shoppers:


And others were just a few trees outside a store:


Here are a couple few more:


I didn’t have much time for sightseeing and exploring on this trip, but interestingly enough seeing these trees offered as much of an insight into Parisian life as most of the things I’ve done while visiting the city in the past. Clearly, Parisians enjoy the holidays, and live sufficiently walkable and compact lifestyles as to make this kind of Christmas tree lot work.

— Jim Dalrymple II


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.


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