The best Christmas markets in France
The Belle France guide to the festive season!
We’re rapidly heading into the festive season; the shops will soon start to play carols and there’s an advert for the latest toy on every other commercial ad break at the moment!
Something that is synonymous with Christmas are the markets that start to pop up at this time of year. And of course, one of the best places to visit a traditional Christmas market is France!
Well known for their traditional wooden huts, selling crafts, presents, and serving wonderful traditional food and mulled wine, they help to get you in the Christmas spirit! Lots of music and sparkle that transform cities and make them a magical place to visit.
So we’ve compiled a list of our favourite ones to visit, although the biggest and most well-known are in the northern half of the country, there are markets to be found all across the country.
With the spectacular cathedral as backdrop, Rouen is a very special place for a Christmas market, which is why it’s one of the most popular. It’s grown significantly over the past few years, and now even boasts ice rinks, so while you are browsing the stalls full of crafts, cosmetics, food and mulled wine, the kids can be taking a spin on the rink!
Find out more about the Rouen Christmas market.
A beautiful city at the best of times, it’s been given UNESCO World Heritage status, but when there’s a Christmas market there too, it makes it extra special. In the main square, there’s a big wheel, and the market is dotted about various parts of the centre, in fact, there’s almost 150 different wooden huts offering all manner of festive presents and food.
Find out more information on the official Reims tourism site.
With Strasbourg having plenty of Germanic influence, then there’s no doubt that this Christmas market is going to be one of the top ones in France. In fact, it’s the oldest, with the first one recorded to having taken place as far back as the 16th Century. Again, taking place near the cathedral, there is a huge Christmas tree in place, and the whole city is taken over with over 300 different stalls, it’s a huge market! There’s also an ice rink here too. This market has so many different offerings of food and wine, local Alsatian food being the specialty, that this is definitely one of the best to visit.
Find out more about the Strasbourg Christmas market.
We’ve already mentioned the huge Christmas tree in place in Strasbourg, and outside of Paris, the only other place in France which boasts such a huge tree is Caen. This immediately gives it elevated status when it comes to Christmas markets!
There’s a Santa’s Grotto here, and Santa parades through the town on 6th December, it’s a wonderful sight to see, the children will love it!
A wonderful traditional market, it really does feel special visiting here at Christmas.
A popular option for Brits, as it’s easy to get to on the Eurostar, Lille boasts some wonderful food and drink at its Christmas market, perhaps due to its proximity to Belgium! With the obligatory Ferris wheel and over 80 wooden huts, this Christmas market spreads throughout the whole city, as it’s covered in a huge crown of garlands! There’s plenty of regional specialties as well as gifts from all over the world. An international Christmas market!
Find out more about the Lille Christmas Market.
Paris has plenty of Christmas markets all over the city, but you can’t visit without walking down the Champs-Elysees. It’s a truly spectacular sight with the whole boulevard lit up with sparking lights, with a Christmas market along the edge. Each wooden hut is itself lit up making the whole experience truly wonderful.
Find out more about Parisian Christmas markets.
So much choice! What you can be assured of is a truly authentically French experience, traditional wooden huts, festive music, and delicious food and drink. And please share your pictures with us! Post on our Facebook page, Tweet us or tag us on Instagram.
City hall (hôtel de ville) - By DXR / Daniel Vorndran, CC BY-SA 3.0