It’s time for you to step into the country’s fairytale-like towns which are transformed into glowing, joyful centres of true Christmas cheer, perfect for finding gifts for loved ones, enjoying the food and drink of different French regions and having a fun-filled day with you and your family. Are you visiting France this festive period and wondering where you can get your dose of European Christmas magic? Well, look no further than our list of the Top 5 Christmas Markets in France.
Situated near the border with Germany and Switzerland, the town has historically always been influenced by its Christmas-loving neighbours. This is no more evident than in the plethora of Yuletide celebrations and festivities that are put on in this Alsatian town, filling it with joyful, festive delights. A grotto of endless Christmas treasures awaits, including light-shows, beautiful Christmas trees and the delicacies of the food market. Their famous Christmas market provides everything you could possibly desire, from mulled wines to bredele cakes. Truly magical, the first markets in Strasbourg were held in 1570, the first to exist in France. This year, an addition of an Icelandic Christmas village has been added to the plentiful options of festive experiences in Strasbourg.
If you are enjoying a holiday in or around Paris, Reims is an ideal festive day-trip. Located but 45 minutes away from the capital their market of the season offers 145 stalls of festive magic for all the family. The 21st edition of the Christmas market will take place at two UNESCO world heritage sites: the Cathedral and Palace of Tau, where you can be sure to find festive produce of every variety. Children will love meeting Father Christmas, the free ice skating and enchanting wooden toys. The beautiful Craft Market at the Palace of Tau is the perfect place to find Christmas presents for your loved ones. For something truly decadent and appropriate for the region, why not enjoy some champagne tasting on the big wheel high above the town? A day of yuletide enjoyment is guaranteed for everyone.
Open every day from 10:30 am to 8 pm (from 2 pm to 8 pm on Mondays)
Open until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays
The best thing about Colmar and its magical Christmas market is that the town is nearly fully pedestrianised, giving you the freedom to explore the wonderful nooks and crannies that this enchanting place has to offer. The market was voted the 3rd Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2016 and it is for good reason that it remains a favourite. The ambiance of the Old Town makes it feel as if you have stepped into a fairytale, illuminated by the glow of the Christmas lights and the beautifully assembled market. From monuments, churches, museums and alleys, the whole town is decorated, transformed into what they call “a veritable open air theatre where the warm Christmas mood envelops the heart of the town.”
Open until the 30th December at the following times:
from Monday to Thursday: 10:00am to 7:00pm
Friday and Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am to 8:00pm
Christmas Eve: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Christmas Day: 2:00pm to 7:00pm.
Located in Eastern France, in the Franche-Comté region, you will find a Christmas market like no other, set in the town centre of Montbéliard. The Christmas market is pure enchantment, a fairytale dream with a glowing and hospitable atmosphere that the town is well-known for. The town revives the tradition of Württemberg through the market comprised of 160 stalls of beautifully crafted, top-quality products. You will find a host of hand-picked craftsmen, an enchanting display of lights, and carefully chosen activities for young and old and magic in the air. Sample the delicious produce from the region, revel in the cheering music and choirs singing, and have a spin on the ice rink. An enchanting and heartwarming experience to be had by all.
The market is open until Christmas Eve, at the following times:
Monday: 2pm to 8pm
;Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 11am to 8pm (except Thursday 21st December: 11am to 9pm)
Friday and Saturday: 11am to 9pm
Sunday: 11am to 8pm (except Sunday 24th December: 11am to 6pm).
Christmas Lights Illuminated every day: 4.30pm to 10pm
Considered to be the country’s second favourite market after Strasbourg’s, receiving 3 million visitors, Metz provides a beautiful and vast Christmas market, spread over 5 different sites. The city’s major monuments are lit up offering a beautiful light display across the town. This has merited the self-proclaimed title of “capital of lights”, seen particularly at the Gothic Cathedral and the Place d’Armes. A view of the cathedral can be seen from the top of the 60m high ferris wheel. A ride on this should not be missed, taking you up above the town, and exhibiting some of Metz’ most iconic monuments. Furthermore, there is a huge ice rink of 1000m2and an Ice Sculpture Wonderland at Place de la République, both activities to be enjoyed by all the family. Featuring several different markets, providing the best of festive produce and Christmas cheer to all, Metz at Christmas is not to be missed.
For opening hours for the numerous different markets and events, visit the Metz Christmas Market Website here.