If you're planning on spending Christmas in France
, you can't miss our list of the 14 best French Christmas markets for 2023
. With options up and down the country, you're bound to find an atmospheric French Christmas market no matter where you're spending Christmas.
Why you should visit one of the best French Christmas markets in 2023
Christmas in France is synonymous with mulled wine, fondue, and of course, Christmas markets. If you're spending Christmas in France, there's no better way to embrace tradition
and elevate your festive experience than by visiting one of the enchanting Christmas markets in France. French Christmas markets are not just a local pastime; they are a cornerstone of French culture during the holiday season.
Here's why you should make it a point to immerse yourself in these authentic Christmas markets
packed with traditional French delicacies and set in incredible locations:
- A Taste of Tradition
French Christmas markets are a true celebration of French traditions, offering you a unique opportunity to taste and experience authentic French holiday treats. From the rich and decadent foie gras to the delicate sweetness of galettes and, of course, crêpes, these Christmas markets in France are a treasure trove of culinary delights and a chance to indulge in the very essence of French Christmas cuisine.
- Handcrafted Christmas Gifts
French Christmas markets are filled with charming, handcrafted treasures that make for unforgettable Christmas gifts. You'll find intricately designed ornaments, beautifully woven textiles, and artisanal products that reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of the region. Each item tells a story and carries the spirit of France.
- Magical Settings
The settings of French Christmas markets are nothing short of magical. Whether you're wandering through the medieval streets of Colmar, sipping mulled wine in the shadow of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, or exploring the charming market in Aix-en-Provence, you'll be surrounded by stunning architecture and breathtaking scenery. These settings elevate the festive atmosphere and make your visit truly memorable.
- Regional Diversity
France is a country of diverse regions, and each has its own unique Christmas market traditions. From the enchanting markets of Alsace with their timbered houses to the Provençal nativity scenes and the glittering lights of Lyon's Fête des Lumières, you can explore the rich tapestry of France's cultural diversity within the festive market scene.
So, if you're spending Christmas in France or anywhere in Europe for that matter, it's only right to fully embrace tradition and elevate your festive experience by visiting the local Christmas markets. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, savour traditional delicacies and shop for unique Christmas gifts. These markets are not just events; they are a reflection of the heart and soul of France during the holiday season.
What town in France is known for Christmas?
I'm sure you've all seen the incredible pictures of the snow topped, traditional French houses surrounded by Christmas decorations and food stalls and wondering where in France it is. The place in France synonymous with Christmas is none other than Strasbourg in Alsace. If you're planning on paying Strasboug a visit to explore its stunning Christmas market, keep on reading because of course, we couldn't write a blog about the best French Christmas markets without including the most famous one of all.
The 14 Best Christmas Markets in France
Christmas Markets in Alsace
Most of the most beautiful French Christmas markets
are in Alsace, and there is a reason behind that. The tradition of Christmas markets in France is ancient, dating back to the Middle Ages within the Germanic Roman Empire, which then occupied a large portion of the continent. Because of its proximity to present-day Germany, Alsace has continued this tradition. The only problem lies in which Christmas market in Alsace to visit.
1. Strasbourg's Christmas Market
Strasbourg's Christmas market
is actually the oldest Christmas market in France. Created in 1570, it is the French Christmas market with the highest number of visitors per year
attracting more than 2 million curious people to discover the 300 or so stalls.
With typical French Christmas decorations, its glittering cathedral
and majestic grand Christmas tree, a visit to this incredible Christmas market will allow you to fully savour this magical time of year in Strasbourg.
2. Colmar's Christmas Markets
You can find the real magic of Christmas at Colmar's Christmas markets
. The city hosts not one, but 6 Christmas markets
in different places:
- The Marché de Noël Gourmand, Place de la Cathédrale to discover local products.
- The Christmas Market on the Place des Dominicains
- The Christmas Market in the Place de l'Ancienne Douane
- The Christmas Market for Craftsmen in the Koïfhus
- The Children's Christmas Market in the Petite Venise district
- The Christmas Market on Place Jeanne d'Arc with its gourmet products
In addition, many Christmas activities await young and old to live the festivities to the end: ice rink, Father Christmas' giant letterbox and Christmas carols from boats on the city's canals.
3. Eguisheim Christmas Market
In the heart of one of the most beautiful villages in France, Eguisheim's Christmas market
in this medieval city is a must on your Christmas holiday in France. Between its colourful Alsatian houses and its castle
, you will be immersed in an authentic and traditional French Christmas market. Take a gander at the artisanal produce as you sample mulled wine and local specialities.
4. Ribeauvillé Christmas Market
Travel back in time for a singular and authentic Christmas, between acrobats, jugglers or fire-eaters, the Ribeauvillé Christmas market
is certainly unique. The artists and musicians invite you to dance to the rhythm of a joyful farandole
. The half-timbered houses and the Alsatian alleys take you to the heart of an open-air festival. Meet the merchants decked out in period costumes and unearth handicraft treasures on their stalls and stalls.
5. Kaysersberg Christmas market
Close to the other Christmas markets, the one in Kaysersberg is the perfect mix between sweetness and authenticity. When visiting the market, you can also take part in lots of fun festive activities like a Christmas treasure hunt
, explore Christmas toy exhibitions
and attending the Night Watchman's Parade.
Among the most beautiful villages in France
, Kaysersberg is also part of the Alsace Wine Route.
so why not extend your stay for an extra few days and explore this scenic French region too.
6. The Mulhouse Christmas market
The Mulhouse Christmas market
is definitely of the most peculiar French Christmas markets to visit because the entire city is decorated in rich tapestry to celebrate the town's manufacturing history. You are not dreaming; every year, the fabric is created and decorates the facades and the pedestrian streets. Climb 38 metres high on the Big wheel and watch the Christmas show before your eyes from the sky. Taste the local cakes in the wooden chalets: the Berawecka, a soft cake with pears, plums, figs, and kirsch and the Pebkucha, a cake of life made of honey and spices.
7. Reims Christmas Market
Reims Christmas market
offers you various festive, craft and gastronomic products on the square in front of the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral
. When evening comes, the whole city of Reims lights up! Plus, an incredible Christmas light show comes to life on the cathedral's façade, lighting it up. Afterwards, why not go ice-skating at the nearby ice rink?
8. Amiens Christmas Market
Nominated in the "Best Christmas Market in Europe" category by the European Best Destinations website, the Amiens Christmas market
is a perfect mix with its Christmas stalls, light shows, and Father Christmas. Festive fans of any age will be spoilt for choice with things to do!
9. Lille Christmas Market
, the city of the North shines with a thousand lights during the festive season and is a must-see during Christmas. The famous Lille Christmas market
is set up on Place Rihour
. Let yourself be tempted by a warm chocolate waffle and a glass of mulled wine while strolling through the aisles of the chalets. Take a tour of Lille's must-see attractions: the Big Wheel, the skating rink at the Chamber of Commerce and the wooden caterpillar built at the foot of the Opera House.
10. Annecy Christmas market
Celebrate Christmas in the Alps by visiting the Christmas market in Little Venice. Annecy
is a must-see Christmas destination, and there are many things to do there, but even more so during the winter festivities. Every day, nearly 150 exhibitors offer Christmas decorations, gift ideas and handmade creations.
11. Lyon Christmas market
For a month, the market will be located on Place Carnot, between the Saône and the Rhône. We advise you to visit the market during the Lyon Festival of Lights
from 7 to 10 December 2023 - the most popular and well-known event in the city. Admire the light shows projected on the emblematic monuments of the city centre while taking a tour of the various chalets of the Christmas market.
12. Bordeaux Christmas market
Enjoy the magic of the festive season by sharing a convivial moment with friends or family at the Bordeaux Christmas market. More than 300,000 visitors discover a hundred trade stands, animations and various food outlets each year. It is a privileged place in the city's heart, not to be missed if you visit Bordeaux at Christmas.
13. Toulouse Christmas Market
Place du Capitole is where you can discover the Pink City's Christmas market
. Stroll through the stalls lined with Christmas trees and numerous immaculate white chalets and search for the perfect Christmas gift: jewellery, unique designer pieces or wooden toys. Taste Christmas delicacies such as churros, mulled wine, and aligots and spend some time on the giant ice rink.
14. The Paris Christmas Market
The French capital transforms itself for the festive season and hosts many Christmas markets for the occasion. You will find open-air ice rinks
to celebrate winter with your family, numerous chalets, and temporary restaurants. La Défense
is home to the largest Christmas village in Île-de-France
, with over 250 stands.
Which of these French Christmas Markets will you visit in 2023?
We hope we've inspired you with our list of the best Christmas markets in France for 2023
, which one will you visit? Regardless of which one you visit, we're positive that you'll have a magical time during your Christmas in France. Once you've conquered all the French Christmas markets, take a flight to the UK to explore their Christmas markets
or even Germany
. Christmas is a time for celebrating this incredible season with your loved ones, indulging in delicious food and feeling merry and bright, so enjoy!
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