Laura Loss - Nov 27, 2023
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Christmas markets are a much-awaited event towards the end of the year, enjoyed by both young and old alike. From Alsace in the North of France to the Alps, the Atlantic coast, and even the south, Tourism Review presents a list of the most beautiful and unique places in France to experience the magic of Christmas with family and friends.

Reims Christmas Market

The Reims Christmas Market is located just 45 minutes away from Paris by TGV. It is the third-largest resort in France in terms of the number of chalets. Last year, the Christmas market was moved to the upper part of the Jean-Louis Schneiter promenade and to the Porte de Mars esplanade, which can now accommodate 150 chalets instead of the usual 130. The Gourmet Market, made up of 10 chalets on the station square, highlights local work and producers.

The market still offers traditional activities, such as the Children's Village, a magical world featuring Santa's igloo, a little train, and two transparent bubbles enclosing automata. You can also enjoy a Ferris wheel on Place Drouet d'Erlon with closed and heated nacelles, allowing you to admire Reims from 55 meters high.

Dates: November 24 to December 24, 2023

Amiens Christmas Market

Northern France has some enchanting end-of-year celebrations, but the largest Christmas market in the Hauts-de-France region is held in Amiens, although many of us may not know it. The market is spread over 2 km between Place René Goblet and the Hôtel de Ville, featuring around 120 chalets, including local and artisanal products.

Celebrations start November 25 with the opening of the Christmas village, the creators' village, and the ice rink. Santa's house and the illuminations launch the next day. You cannot miss the Chroma show projected on the cathedral's facade, which takes place every day from December 1, from 7 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.

Dates: November 25 to December 30, 2023

Arras Christmas Market

From November 24 to December 30, around a hundred chalets are multilocated in the Grand'Place, the Place des Héros, and the Place d'Ipswich with the traditional Santa Claus house. This year, energy sobriety will not include a toboggan run or an ice tunnel. A 25-meter-high fir tree is erected on the Place des Héros, where illuminations are projected onto the town hall belfry facade. A Little Train also runs on weekends to enjoy the entertainment.

Dates: November 24 to December 30, 2023

Lyon Christmas Market and Festival of Lights

The traditional Festival of Lights announces Lyon’s Advent season. The Lyonnais decorate their windowsills with thousands of "lights," the city's monuments are adorned with numerous light projections and videos, making this festival the largest gathering of digital and light arts in the world. Thirty installations are spread across emblematic places such as Place Bellecour, Place des Terreaux, Fourvière Hill, and Tête d'Or Park. This year, the festival will occur from Thursday, December 8th, to Sunday, December 11th.

The Christmas market starts two weeks before the festival, on November 26th, on Place Carnot, near Perrache station and the Confluences Museum. The market has almost 100 chalets. Visitors looking for unique gifts can also explore the Lyon Can Do It market at the Grand Hôtel-Dieu every Saturday from November 18th to December 23rd. Creators come together to satisfy those seeking original and locally-made gifts, including paintings, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, and more.

Dates: Festival of Lights from December 7 to 10, Christmas market from November 26 to December 24, 2023

Nancy Christmas Market

Nancy Christmas celebrations begin early since we also celebrate Saint Nicolas here! Eight villages are set up in as many places. The largest of them, Saint-Nicolas village, occupies Place Charles III with its 65 chalets. The gourmet village, featuring regional culinary specialties, is built on Place Vaudémont. Canada and its maple syrup-based specialties are featured at the village sous la porte at the foot of the Saint-Nicolas gate.

The festivities highlight the Great Saint Nicholas Weekend (December 9 and 10), marked by a grand parade of the patron saint of Lorraine, themed "Glass and Lights" this year. This parade attracts up to 100,000 curious people a year between Carnot and Stanislas Places.

Dates: November 24, 2023 to January 7, 2024

Strasbourg Christmas Market

The Strasbourg Christmas market is a truly remarkable event! It boasts more than 300 exhibitors, making it the largest Christmas market in France. The fir tree erected on Place Kleber is traditionally over 30 meters tall, making it the tallest in the country. With a history dating back to 1570, the Christkindelsmärik (meaning "child Jesus market" in the Alsatian language) is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. In short, Strasbourg truly deserves its title as the "Christmas capital"!

While strolling through the primary market around the cathedral is a must, be sure to also walk on Place Broglie to experience the historic Christkindelsmärik and admire the beautifully lit and decorated Town Hall. Additionally, don't miss the "responsible and committed" Marché Off on Place Grimmeissen, which features vintage furniture, second-hand clothes, DIY decorative objects, organic products, workshops, and concerts.

Dates: November 24 to December 24, 2023

Colmar Christmas Market

Colmar, a large Alsatian town between Strasbourg and Mulhouse and nestled in the heart of the vineyards, is the most typical and traditional of the area's towns. During the holidays, the town offers six Christmas markets, each with its unique charm.

One of the most traditional markets is held inside the Koïfhus building, a majestic medieval structure. Here, visitors can admire the creations of around twenty local artisans, including ceramists, potters, master glassmakers, cabinetmakers, wood carvers, hatters, and jewelers. On the first floor, visitors can find and explore the Toy Museum, an extraordinary installation that entertains both young and old.

After exploring the Koïfhus market, visitors can head to the Place de l'Ancienne customs to find stalls overflowing with holiday gift ideas. The Place de la Cathédrale gourmet market is perfect for those seeking to indulge in local cuisine. Nine Colmar chefs, known for their first-rate gastronomy, showcase their dishes and specialties here.

Dates: November 23 to December 29, 2023

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