The first Christmas markets appeared in France in the 16th century, in Alsace, on the border with Germany. The most beautiful and largest fairs are still held in this region. In the 20th century, the tradition of Christmas markets spread throughout France. Now in every region you can taste Christmas delicacies and sweets according to old recipes, visit festively decorated castles and take part in master classes and masquerades. We will tell you about the best Christmas markets in France.
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1. Paris, Ile-de-France
There are several Christmas markets in Paris. The largest is in the business district La Defense… The 250 pavilions sell souvenirs, jewelry, clothing, wines and food from all over France. The gastronomic pavilions are of particular note: they sell Corsican hams, Alpine cheeses, foie gras from southwestern France and sweets from Provence.
The most popular bazaar is located on the Champs Elysees… They sell toys and garlands, jewelry, souvenirs, sweets, foie gras, duck breast and mulled wine. Here you can also ride a skating rink and a Ferris wheel. And on the Concorde Square during the fair there is an exhibition of ice sculptures.
Other Christmas markets are located in Montparnasse, at the Eiffel Tower, on the Place de l’Est station and in the Bois de Boulogne…
When: from November 23 to December 28
Opening hours: 11.00 to 20.00 from Sunday to Thursday and from 10.00 to 22.00 on Fridays and Saturdays
Accommodation: from 1 153 rubles for 1 person per night
Guided tours by locals in Paris
2. Strasbourg, Alsace
The Strasbourg Christmas market is the largest and oldest. It was first held in 1570. Every year, a huge freshly cut spruce (the largest in Europe) is installed on the central square, all houses in the center are decorated, 300 carved wooden pavilions are installed on large squares, and from November 24 the whole Old Town turns into a Christmas market. Here you can buy everything: jewelry made of gold and silver, leather accessories, toys, gingerbread cookies, hundreds of types of raw smoked sausages and white wine that Alsace is famous for. Workshops for adults and children are constantly held in the pavilions and shops, where you will be taught how to make clay figurines, glass decorations, bake gingerbread and pies, cook mulled wine and embroider.
When: from November 24 to December 30, December 25 is a day off
Opening hours: from 11.00 to 20.00 on weekdays, from 11.00 to 21.00 on Fridays and from 11.00 to 22.00 on Saturdays
Accommodation: from 1 person per night
3. Montbéliard, Burgundy
The Montbéliard Christmas market takes place at the foot of the Saint-Martin temple… It is famous for its delicacies, its main streets are called “Gourmet Alley” and “Delicacy Alley”. Here you can taste fried and smoked sausages, Burgundy wines, hundreds of types of local muffins, sweets and cakes. In addition to concerts and master classes for adults, there is a lot of entertainment for children. IN Atelier de petit lutins children will be taught how to make Christmas toys, tell tales about fairies and leprechauns. And in a special pavilion that looks like a cave, the good fairy Airy gives gifts to children.
When: from November 25 to December 24
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11.00 to 20.00, Fridays and Saturdays from 11.00 to 21.00
Accommodation: from 1,850 rubles per person per night
4. Avignon, Provence
In Provence, even on New Year’s Eve, the temperature rarely drops below + 10 ° C, and Santons (nativity scenes made of clay, where hand-made small figurines of Jesus, Mary, the apostles and local residents are placed), which are installed in houses and churches, are considered the symbol of Christmas. Avignon, the most beautiful medieval city, hosts the most interesting fair in the region. On three squares (place de l’Horloge, place des Carmes, place Crillon) sell santons, candied fruits, muffins, calissons (honey, melon and almond candies), toys and wine. To place Pie there is a fair for children – with attractions, performances by musicians, master classes and a small skating rink. The Célestins Church hosts an exhibition of the most beautiful Santons.
When: from December 5 to January 6, from Tuesday to Saturday
Opening hours: from 9.00 to 19.00
Accommodation: from 1,664 rubles per person per night
5. Reims, Champagne
Christmas market in Reims is held in the square next to the gothic cathedral, which will be highlighted in all colors of the rainbow. The fair consists of 140 pavilions and is divided into several parts. Near the City Hall there are gastronomic pavilions selling airy pink biscuits, which are usually washed down with champagne, ham, sausages, chocolate and cakes. Pavilions with toys, souvenirs, leather and glass decorations are located on streets Burette, Concordet and place Drouet d’Erlon… A Ferris wheel is installed nearby, when you buy a ticket for which you will be given a glass of champagne. On Colbert street there are rides and an ice rink, children ride ponies and horses.
When: from November 24 to December 24
Opening hours: from 14.00 to 20.00 on Monday from 10.30 to 20.00 from Tuesday to Thursday and from 10.30 to 21.00 on Fridays and Saturdays
Accommodation: from 2,006 rubles per person per night
6. Colmar, Alsace
Colmar, a fabulously beautiful town near Strasbourg, has not one, but five fairs that have won the title of the best Christmas market in Europe several times. Shining boats float on the canals of Colmar, children’s choirs sing in churches, each house is decorated and looks like an illustration to a children’s fairy tale. On the place Jeanne d’Arc sell Christmas delicacies: foie gras, gingerbread, cakes and muffins, sausages, chukrut (a dish made from cabbage and several types of meat) and dozens of types of mulled wine. On place des Dominicains and on Place de l’Ancienne Douane sell toys made of glass, porcelain and clay, garlands and candles. Neighborhood Petite Venise – a real paradise for children, with an old carousel, attractions and a petting zoo.
When: from November 24 to December 30
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 10.00 to 19.00, from Friday to Sunday from 10.00 to 20.00
Accommodation: from 2 674 rubles per person per night
7. Lyon, Auvergne – Rhone – Alps
Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The city is famous for pork sausages, soft cheeses, pike dumplings and brioches. The Christmas market consists of 200 pavilions and is divided into two parts. At Place Carnot there are 150 pavilions selling jewelry, Christmas tree decorations, candles and home decorations. At boulevard de la Croix Rousse the second part of the fair is located – an indoor market with gastronomic pavilions, attractions, musicians and a farm with pets.
When: from December 1 to December 30, December 25 – day off
Opening hours: from 10.00 to 20.00 from Sunday to Thursday and from 10.30 to 21.00 on Fridays and Saturdays
Accommodation: from 1,532 rubles per person per night
8. Metz, Lorraine
Metz is an ancient city in northeastern France, decorated with garlands and toys. The Christmas market covers the entire city and is divided into 8 parts. To place Saint-Louis every year, a 17-meter-high wooden tower is built with sparkling lights. At place Saint-Étienne there is a skating rink and kiosks with food and mulled wine. IN garden Faubert a Fairy Road has been arranged for children, where they will meet Bremen Town musicians, fairies and tame animals, take part in games and competitions. On place de chambre there is a gastronomic fair, with oysters, foie gras, snails in garlic sauce, sweets, champagne and mulled wine. AND at place de République an exhibition of ice sculptures is open.
When: from November 18 to December 30
Opening hours: daily from 10.00 to 20.00
Accommodation: from 2,065 rubles per person per night
* Accommodation prices are indicated at the time of writing. The cost indicated in the material and the total price may differ.