best christmas markets in europe
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Incredible Christmas Markets In France (In 2024)

From hidden gems nestled in the Alps to the most breathtaking squares of major cities, here are the best Christmas markets in France.

There’s nothing like browsing the wooden stalls at a French Christmas market and sipping on mulled wine to put you in the holiday spirit.

Christmas markets originated in Germany in the late Middle Ages. But now this festive annual tradition has spread all across Europe and beyond.

Each Christmas market in France offers its own regional specialties, handmade crafts and historical traditions. It’s a blend of holiday spirit and cheer with the unique traditions of different European cities and villages.

Whether you’re looking for rustic charm or glittering urban celebrations, you’re spoiled for choice with hundreds of various Christmas markets held each December across France.

Here are the best Christmas markets in France:

1. Colmar

christmas markets in france

christmas markets in france

With its historic town center and centuries-old traditions, the Christmas market in Colmar is one of the most charming markets in Alsace, France.

The market is known for its delicious food, handcrafted gifts and hot wine. And it attracts thousands of people every year who come to enjoy the festive atmosphere and find the perfect Christmas gifts.

The market is held at the Place de la Republique in the heart of Comar’s charming old town. And it stretches from the Old Town Hall to the St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Browse more than 200 stalls offering a variety of goods from traditional Alsatian foods to souvenirs made by local artisans. And there’s a magical ferris wheel and merry go rounds to keep your kids entertained.

And don’t miss the hot wine – it’s one of the highlights of this breathtaking market. Each Christmas market has its own version of this heartwarming drink, and Colmar’s local recipe includes cinnamon, cloves and oranges to add to the spice.

Indulge in some regional specialties like gingerbread, Choucroute Garnie (hearty sauerkraut with sausages) and Flamkussen, or thin bread dough covered with cheese or cream and sprinkled with onions and pork.

The market is especially spectacular at night with its fairytale homes lit up in festive colors and twinkling lights.

– contributed by Mark of Wyld Family Travel

2. Annecy

Annecy christmas

Annecy christmas

Annecy christmas

(photos courtesy Ville d’Annecy) 

Annecy is the perfect storybook Christmas destination cozily nestled into the French Alps.

This quaint and colorful medieval city transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays with the gorgeous backdrop of the towering French alps and famed Lake Annecy.

The Annecy Christmas Market is composed of 3 different market areas – all with its unique spirit.

The Old Annecy Christmas Market (Marche de Noel du Vieil Annecy) has more than 80 different market stalls set around the St. François-de-Sales church.

The Village du Alps is a part of the market that recreates a traditional Savoy village with its assortment of wooden chalets. And it also boasts an ice-skating rink.

For some local Christmas handcrafts, don’t miss the Village des Artisans part of the market for an assortment of handmade souvenirs to fondly remember your winter visit to Annecy.

And don’t miss Annecy’s amazing local food.

The Annecy market is home to many specialty dishes from around the Savoy region including diots (a variety of local sausages), tartiflette (an alpine dish comprised of potatoes, cheese, lardons, and onions), and more.

If you’re craving some sweet winter delicacies, you’ll find copious amounts of crêpes, churros and waffles complete with your favorite toppings.

These Christmas market sweets pair well with a cup of mulled wine, so get your fill as you peruse the market stalls.

If you’re traveling with kids, make a trip to Santa’s village – and don’t miss the light show projected onto City Hall in the evening.

– contributed by Emma of All Over the Place

3. Paris

paris christmas

paris christmas

paris christmas

Paris has some incredible Marchés de Noel filled with tempting delicacies – and set amid some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

There are many Christmas markets around the city, including at Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Hotel de Ville, Saint-Germain-des-Pres and La Defense.

A visit to a Parisian Christmas market is one of the best things to do in Paris in winter, to indulge in French delicacies and shop for some souvenirs.

The Magic of Christmas, or La Magie de Noel, at Tuileries Garden is the biggest and best-known Christmas market in Paris.

There are plenty of fairground rides and a massive ferris wheel with city views for miles that’s great fun for both kids and adults.

And if you’re craving some festive goodies, you’re in luck because Paris has a ton of delicious options to choose from. You might even get a yummy whiff of the melted cheese from the raclette stall before you see it.

In addition, you’ll find all the traditional French favourites like onion soup, omelettes, garlic snails and crepes. And indulge in some international foods like pretzels, sausages, paella and waffles.

There’s plenty of mulled wine (vin chaud) on offer along with your standard red and white wines. And if you really want to celebrate, there’s even a champagne bar.

– contributed by Martha of May Cause Wanderlust

4. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

This charming city in the Alsace region is home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe dating back to 1570.

Strasbourg has the biggest of the Alsace Christmas markets. And there are 15 different Christmas markets scattered around the city with a wide variety of traditional foods.

Enjoy the savory Bretzel, a soft pretzel served in a variety of ways. A popular favorite is Flammekueche, or Tarte Flambee, an Alsatian thin crust pizza.

Sweet treats include Beignets piled high with powdered sugar and Bredele, little Alsatian cakes and baked goods that are traditional Christmas treats. Another must is a glass of mulled Alsatian wine and Kougelhopf, an Alsatian cake made with raisins and almonds.

And there’s plenty to keep kids entertained from rides and games to an elves’ workshop where they can write letters to Santa. Place Kléber has a Giant Christmas Tree and a fun ice skating rink that kids love.

Strasbourg also has some incredible handicrafts including tree ornaments that make memorable gifts. You’ll also find jewelry, adorable wooden toys and goodies like gingerbread, chocolates and macarons.

– contributed by Jenifer of The Evolista

 

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