If you celebrate Christmas, or would simply like to enjoy Christmas-oriented holiday festivities in Europe this year, little compares to the magic of a French Christmas Market. This holiday season, Winalist will help you decide where, when, and how to visit a famous Christmas market in France!
With end-of-year celebrations just around the corner, adults and children like are searching for fun activities to highlight their holiday season. During this time of year, you probably have one primary desire: to enjoy every moment with your closest loved ones. To make your holidays even brighter, you may wish to try a French Christmas market.
Winalist team has hand-picked ten magnificent Christmas markets in France you should discover this year! Each has its own historical tradition and is made more special by its surrounding culture. If you’d like to indulge in a special detour this holiday season, try visiting one of these unique Christmas markets.
For wine lovers, enthusiasts and professionals, it is great to be able to combine oenology with Christmas. That’s why Winalist suggests you visit Christmas markets that are either within or near French wine regions. Take the opportunity to meet winegrowers and even taste Christmas mulled wine while exploring cultural and historical sights!
1. Strasbourg, France Christmas markets
To kick off your holiday tour of France, be sure to stop in Alsace wine region of France to explore this region’s acclaimed Strasbourg Christmas market. Strasbourg has always been the TOP 1 Christmas market in France and is now the most famous. With 300 chalets and more than 2 million annual visitors, the capital of French wine, Alsace, is in full swing.
You can expect: hot chestnuts, gingerbread, mulled wine, musical evenings, magical shows… everything to please young and old!
There is so much to visit in this city after your visit to the Christmas market. We advise you to go to the Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral and to visit the Petite France district, both located in the city center. It has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
Additionally, the Alsace wine region is known for its excellent wine varieties. Also, after wandering in the alleays of it’s Christmas market, chose among the best wineries in Alsace to meet Alsatian winegrowers who will be happy to show you around their vineyards and present their cuvée to you. Among them, hosts such as Domaine Pierre Adam, Vin Zeysolff and many others will open their doors to you.
Wine experiences in Strasbourg & surrounding areas
2. Paris, France Christmas markets
The city of Paris is alive and lit during the winter and holiday seasons. Paris Christmas markets are a premier way to enjoy France’s most famous city during the holidays. The legendary City of Love will enchant your next Parisian trip during a family or romantic Christmas escapade.
Around 20 different Christmas markets and many pop-up markets are spread around the French metropolitan for December’s special celebrations.
Of course, other than the city being beautifully decorated with superb lighting displays along the Champs Elysée, many other charming delights will steal you heart away in Paris, from the amazing ice skating rink, fancy Champagne bars, gastronomic treats, massive Santa Clause illuminations, local art, crafts, toys, and so much more.
During the winter season, you’ll find primary Christmas markets along Avenue des Champs-Elysée and Paris Notre-Dame, but also:
- Saint Germain des Prés Christmas market in the Latin Quarter.
- Saint Sulpice Christmas market in the Latin quarter.
- Place des Abbesses Christmas market.
- Trocadero Gardens Christmas market.
Trocadero Gardens Christmas market is actually open from mid-November until mid-January. That’s enough time for you to enjoy a little bit of that winter wonderland, no matter what month you decide to visit Paris this winter.
Wine experiences in Paris & surroundings
Take a moment to discover the best wineries to visit in Paris.
3. Colmar, France Christmas Market
Colmar, France, a beautiful town nestled along the border of Germany, has five Christmas markets that delightfully blend French and German cultures. The chalets of Colmar stand out for their magnificent illuminations and their architecture worthy of Alsatians ancient traditions.
When you visit Colmar, you must taste their local products and visit the best wineries in Colmar. Delicious local products include foie gras, biscuits, charcuterie, mulled wines, and more. Also, don’t forget to admire the creations of local artisans, which include pottery artists, hat makers, and more.
Enjoy your winter visit to Alsace!
Wine experiences in Colmar & surroundings
4. Reims, France Christmas Market
Next, we suggest you’d stop in Champagne, the famous region of France where you’ll be able to experience amazing champagne tours and tastings. Visit the delightful city of Reims during your Christmas market hunt! A region renowned for its quintessential wines (and the only region that can bear this name), the French region of Champagne hides lovely surprises during every time of year.
Indeed, you will find a variety of activities during the holidays if you visit the city of Reims. Also known as the city of coronations, this city boasts a magnificent Cathedral where the kings of France were crowned, but also many world-renowned Reims Champagne Houses.
During end-of-year celebrations, Reims is transformed and shines with a thousand lights thanks to its decorations in emblematic places of the city. Its Christmas market are just as impressive with no less than 140 chalets that extend over the forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral as well as in the courtyard of the Palais du Tau: spectacular views are guaranteed!
In the heart of the city of Reims, there is a 50-meter-high ferris wheel that is especially installed for the Christmas holiday. During the day, you can enjoy a breath-taking views over town and their surrounding vineyards. Nothing could be more magical!
Speaking of vineyards, discover the widely-acclaimed Champagne Houses that make Reims a famous destination for winetasting: Champagne Moët & Chandon, visit Champagne Veuve Clicquot, and Vranken-Pommery.
Wine experiences in Reims & surroundings
5. Metz, France Christmas Market
Known locally as having France’s most beautiful Train Station, as well as a quite massive gothic Cathedral and beautiful gardens and parks, the city of Metz is home to many historical monuments and boasts much to impress. Located in the Lorraine region, north-east of France, Metz is close to Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and easily accessible by direct train even from Paris.
A special December-trip will only bring you more delights as you’ll discover traditional and charming Christmas markets sprinkled along gorgeous settings:
- Place de Chambre Gastronomic market: right next to the Opera and the Temple Neuf, you’ll have a large choice of traditional and local dishes – from snacks to fancy fois gras and wine pairings.
- Place d’Arme market: at the Gothic Cathedral’s foot you will be once more spoiled for choice: raclette, tartiflette, churros, mulled wine,… and the largest big wheel of Europe that can bring you up to 66 meters!
- Place Saint-Jacques market: more to eat with huge choucroute pots, but also many wooden toys, local crafts and cute souvenirs.
- Place de la République market: this is the largest one where you’ll find several attractions for children, special exhibitions and shows.
- Place Saint Louis market: last but not least, this is the most typical of the markets in Metz. With over 50 chalets, it transform the square into a single Christmas village.
Don’t forget to try a classic glass of spiced Mirabelle-plum warm wine, mirabelle being the emblematic plum that only grows in Lorraine. Speaking of local, you’ll make some friends if you actually pronounce it “Mess” like a true Messin!
6. Lyon, France Christmas Market
Welcome to the Lyon, the “City of Lights.” This city lights up all December thanks to its Christmas market but also due to its flagship event: the Festival of Lights. Each year, the city of Lyon puts on a magnificent light show that delights both Lyon residents and foreign visitors.
This bright event brings together more than three million annual visitors who stroll through the city to observe the 46 sound and light creations. On this occasion, the people who live in Lyon make their own mulled wine and offer it to passers-by at the bottom of their door.
As for the Christmas market set up on Place Carnot and made up of 150 chalets, we find local products, artisanal confections and also delicacies that know how to warm us up in this winter period.
Take advantage of these festive moments to discover wines that will fill your Christmas tables and visit the best wineries in Lyon. To do so, go to nearby winegrowers and ask them to tell you about their wine, show you their vines, and taste their cuvées. This wa, you can choose the bottle that will go perfectly with a dinner party once you’re home. Hosts and wineries such as Domaine de Prapin, the Château de Champ-Renard, and the Domaine Frédéric Berne will be delighted to welcome you this holiday season!
Wine experiences in Lyon & surroundings
7. Montbéliard, France Christmas Market
The city of Montbéliard also offers a fabulous light show for the Christmas season. More than 100,000 lights are spread over the village and beautify emblematic monuments like the Château of the Wurtemberg Ducs and the Saint-Martin Temple.
This city located between Germany wineries and Switzerland wineries is enriched by legends and traditions of spreading Christmas presents to children. You will be immersed in such traditions thanks to local craftsmen and manufacturers who sell their own pieces of art including paintings, drawings, toys, wool hats, gloves, and scarves.
8. Kaysersberg, France Christmas Market
Let’s go back to the Alsace wine region to visit more Christmas enchantments! Located just 12 kilometers from Colmar, Kaysersberg’s christmas market is renowned for being one of the most beautiful villages in the Alsace region and boasts an exceptional Christmas market during the holidays.
The wooden chalets and the nativity scene exhibition allow you to discover more about Christmas traditions. On the program: tasting of honey, brandy, charcuterie or wine produced in the best wineries of Kaysersberg valley. We also advise you to taste the wines of the Alsace region – both warm and cold!
Wine experiences in Kaysersberg & surroundings
9. Angers, France Christmas Market
From the end of November until the end of December, Angers is another city worth visiting for its Christmas markets. In the Pays de la Loire, the Anger Christmas market is know to be one of the loveliest.
The iconic Place du Ralliement and the Grand Théâtre are all the more sublime for these winter festivities. You’ll be happy to taste local mulled-wine and spicy cider, and discover local treasures such as wooden toys and glass art, or sweet delicacies like nougats. Also be sure not to miss each years’ shows and concerts!
Wine experiences in Angers & surroundings
10. Bordeaux, France Christmas Market
Even if Bordeaux wineries, located in the south-west of France are famous, visiting the region during christmas is also a pretty good idea! Bordeaux’s Christmas market is apart of this Top 10 list for a reason!
Indeed, it truly starts to feel like Christmas in mid-November when Bordeaux’s shops and streets are decorated with beautiful light settings. Make sure not to miss Allée de Tourny, a prestigious shopping avenue with luxury boutiques to find unique and peculiar gifts. Being the biggest of the region, Bordeaux’s market gathers no less than 150 chalets selling toys and locally-made products. Huge Christmas trees and local mulled wine are also everywhere in Bordeaux’s Christmas festivities.
Wine experiences in Bordeaux & surroundings
There is certainly no shortage of Christmas markets in France during the holiday season. We hope this list has inspired you to travel to these different wine regions and that it will make your Christmas even more magical!
During these end-of-year celebrations, consider offering a Winalist gift card to those around you so that they can explore wine estates and perhaps even buy their wine at the right price from the producer! One of the best gift idea for wine lovers!
Wishing you Happy holidays from everyone at Winalist!
When do Christmas markets start in France?
They usually start at the end of November. Each year however the dates vary a little each year.
Which Christmas market in France is the biggest?
The one of Strasbourg is the biggest of them all – that’s why it is considered to be Europe’s Christmas capital city