A Guide to the Best Christmas Markets in France

14th November, 2017
When Christmas time approaches, there is nothing we love more than to visit a Christmas market to sample seasonal snacks and pick up homemade gifts. Spending Christmas in France can provide you with the opportunity to visit some of the best markets in Europe, and find some truly unique presents. With the scents of mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts filling the air at these Christmas markets, you’ll be feeling the festive spirit in no time at all! 

Lille Christmas Market
With around 80 chalets of stalls, this market is fairly small in comparison to it’s other French Christmas market competitors. Yet what it lacks in size it makes up for in its convenience and compactness, meaning you won’t risk losing your loved ones in the crowd. With arts, crafts and local cuisine on offer, there will certainly be some inspiring Christmas gifts to find. Not just about the shopping though, there is plenty to entertain the kids at this market, with Father Christmas performing a show every Saturday in December. If you’re a bit old for Santa, you can experience the picturesque view of the town from the giant Ferris wheel. On the last Saturday before Christmas there will also be an orchestra of around 450 tubas, entertaining everyone at the market with carols. Only an hour and a half away on the train from London, you can even make this market visit a day trip!  

Paris Christmas Market

While you may think up any excuse to visit Paris, this is certainly one of the best reasons to go to the capital city. With the Christmas decorations and lights in full-swing, the iconic sights of the city will look even more spectacular. The market situated at the Champs-Elysees is certainly a thing of grandeur, although this will draw rather large crowds. Take this chance to wander the city and explore the many other markets dotted around, which all share a more traditional feel than the chic splendour of the Champs-Elysees market.  

Amiens Christmas Market

The biggest Christmas market in Northern France, the Amiens Market displays a Christmassy alpine scene that will really get you into the festive spirit. With pedestrianised streets to house the chalets and stalls, it really is all about the market here. With produce from the Picardy region on sale, you’ll find plenty of local delicacies, such as the delicious Amiens macarons. There are plenty of other reasons to visit Amiens, as the Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame d’Amiens, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.    

Strasbourg Christmas Market
Strasbourg is near both Germany and Switzerland, allowing this French market to take inspiration from all three countries. Known as the Christkindelsmärik, this is the oldest Christmas market in France, starting way back in 1570! With over 300 stands, there will be something for everyone, although the city specialises in hand-made decorations and Christmas designs. Be sure to keep your energy up with some tasty street food, such as bredeles, little star-shaped spiced biscuits. The Strasbourg market is a great one for families, featuring the Children’s World, an ice-rink outside the Cathedral, and a huge 30-metre Christmas tree!  

Metz Christmas Market

Looking to surpass the success of its previous years, the city of Metz have been running incredible and ever more impressive Christmas markets for the past 15 years. With 100 wooden cottages and stalls lining the city square, you will find some beautiful handcrafted goods, including local ceramics, jewellery and art. Perfect for children, you’ll also find a classic wooden horse carousel, Santa Claus village and steam train rides.  

Toulouse Christmas Market
Want to get into the festive spririt? Visit the chalet-bars serving mulled wine at the Toulouse Christmas Market and take in those delicious seasonal aromas. If you’re stuck for gift ideas, then you’re bound to find the perfect present here, as the stalls have everything from candles to clothing. With a traditional Provencal nativity scene you’ll be feeling Christmassy in no time. While wandering around the market, you might bump into Father Christmas handing out little gifts for the kids, and you can even snap a selfie with him!  

Montpellier Christmas Market
Spanning the entire length of the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this incredible Christmas market. Artisinal gifts line the Christmassy cabins set up through the market, including beautifully intricate handmade lace and gorgeously scented candles. Wines, chocolates and cheeses make up only some of the delicious offerings available at the stalls. If you are looking to stay in Christmas villas in the south of France over the festive period, this is an ideal market to take a trip to.  

Montélimar (Rhône-Alpes) Christmas Market

For an authentic Provincial Christmas, be sure to visit the Montélimar Christmas market. The capital of the nougat, this is the place to be if you fancy some sweet treats. The market also has a strong craft section, with glass and woodworking stalls, as well as the more delicate jewellery and ceramics. While you’re there, you can drop off your Christmas list in Santa’s box when you visit him. Other activities to keep the kids entertained are the Christmas train and traditional carousel.   Are you going to visit any of these markets over Christmas? Let us know which one is your favourite using our social media channels!