In France, Christmas is a hue, and the markets bring striking energy to towns and cities of different sizes throughout the country. There are only a few periods in the west European country that is as magical as the yuletide. From the bustles of Paris to Normandy’s sea sights, Christmas markets attract both visitors and locals in their droves for shopping.
You can take on the colorful wooden shops that mark the streets and boulevards as the markets are lined with food, local products, and vintage gears that you will find very useful. The region of Alsace and Northern France is perhaps the most known location for Christmas markets. These places have existed since the 1500s and can thank the German influences on the place (German Christmas markets are historically fantastic).
Here Are The Top 10 Christmas Markets in France:
The most popular and oldest market in France is the Christkindelsmärik in the French city of Strasbourg. From Bredele to Christmas trees and other items, there is a vast array of things to get in the city’s Christmas market. The massive crowd that comes to the city every yuletide period is amazing. At least two million visitors are expected to grace the region’s fairy-tale yearly even if there is a transportation strike.
When it comes to festivities, Strasbourg is special. It does not only have the world-famous Christmas market, but it is also home to about 10 spectacular markets which can all be reached on foot. These marketplaces are some of the most traditional in France, connecting families to celebrate with drinks, food, festoons, and crafts of the season. For a traditional treat, visitors can be got the Place des Meunieres, and for wines, Place d’Austerlitz is the best bet.
The Christkindelsmärik market is situated on Place Broglie and is open until a day before Christmas. If you have planned an extensive Christmas shopping that would go on till the year’s end or further, you can visit the Gothic Cathedral. It is open from November 22nd until late December.
Colmar Christmas Market
Like Strasbourg, Colmar has many Christmas markets. However, the major Colmar Christmas market is a superb spot of its own. Etched in some of Colmar’s most famous architectural spots and below the shining trees, visitors can discover shops lining the streets, display spice gingerbread, local art, ornaments, and many more. There are about 5 markets in the town.
Visitors can also find about 60 more shops at Place des Dominicains and Place de l’Ancienne Douane; close to the beautiful Lauch River. There is Petite Venise, a children’s market that has stalls selling handmade toys and a big letterbox. Place Jeanne-d’Arc is another place to visit where visitors can find an amazing array of local treats, traditional wine, foie gras, and cookies. Colmar Christmas market dates are November 22nd to December 29th.
The bright city of Lille opens its doors to visitors during the holiday period with the smells of mulled wine and fresh garlands. Usually, it is the pyrotechnics that attracts visitors to the city, but it takes the season seriously. In the market are about 90 shops that deal win locally-crafted gifts and products from different parts of the world.
This market is smaller than many others in the country; however, it makes the ideal backdrop for a romantic time outdoors The Place Rihour deal with traditional items like chicory pate, Maroilles cheese, and soft caramels (babeluttes). The Grand Place, which is a 50m high Ferris wheel, has some of the best views over the area, decorated with glistening Christmas fairy lights. It is opened until December 29th.
Rouen in Normandy
This is the capital of Normandy and is connected to Joan of Arc, who in 1431 was burnt at a stake here. Rouen has some of the best holiday items in the area. The massive church offers the backdrop to a marketplace that has more than 70 stalls. There are about two ice rinks where visitors can keep people busy and ample entertainment to thrill the entire family.
The market and other holiday events transform the city of Rouen into a special winter wonderland. The city is popular for taking holiday festoons with seriousness and excitement that no one would want to miss. The Christmas market opens from November 27th to December 31st.
The Mulhouse Christmas is popular for its textiles (etoffes) and the festive spirit it elicits every year. Chalets, fairy lights, and stalls forge an Alsatian winter paradise where visitors will find booths selling handmade items from Mulhouse with traditional Vosgien and Swiss gifts. It is open until December 29th.
Every year, Mulhouse has a nouveau fabric made which festoons the booths all over the city. The museum also hosts a market dedicated to fabrics. The Christmas highlight in the city is in the Place de la Réunion, located in the old city center. The fine city hall is well-lit and overlooks about 50 shops that have all the holiday attractions. At Place de la Concorde, you will get traditional Hungarian craft and arts, and the Saint Etienne Church offers interesting Christmas music concerts.
This town’s Christmas market is located on the Place d’Armes close to the gothic cathedral. The Ferris wheel offers sublime views over Metz. It ranks high among the best Christmas markets in the continent and is opened until December 29th.
The yuletide starts in the Nancy in Lorraine on Saint Nicholas Day. The town celebrates on the first weekend of December, and in the afternoon of the first day. Also, street performers impress the crowds till the fireworks start at night on Place Stanislas. On December 2nd is the Saint Nicholas Parade when Santa Claus dishes out gingerbread to boys and girls who have been good.
At about that time, the Christmas market commences, mostly in Place Maginot, where people can get local food from fresh charcuterie to bread, Mirabelle liqueur, bonbons, and Bergamotte. Carol singing, folk dancing, and street entertainment are also featured.
Markets on the Champs-Elysees are the most visited Christmas markets in France. However, due to disagreements between the mayor’s office and organizers, they relocated to the Jardin des Tuileries down the road. This garden is close to the Louvre, and it has many stalls selling French handmade items and local treats.
This city’s traditional Christmas market takes overwhelms the Place Saint-Sauveur in the city center. You can select items from top international shops that fill the air with pleasant smells. Falaise is another market to visit in Caen, and you can get Christmas stocking, nativity figurines, and foie gras there.
Reims in the region of Champagne makes for a perfect Christmas experience. It has the largest Christmas market in the area; also, visitors will discover close to 35 chalets scattered around the city. The Children Kingdom is also there where children can come close to Santa Claus, participate in free ice skating, and ride a train. Close is the Craft Market that sells jewelry, ceramics, and other objects.
Best Christmas Markets in France – Summary
Spending Christmas in France is an already phenomenal place and even more attractive. A thing to do throughout your time in the country during the Christmas season is to visit the many local and not-so-traditional holiday markets. Christmas is celebrated uniquely in France, and you will simply be amazed at what you will discover.
What is your favorite Christmas Market in France? Let us know in the comments down below.