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Festive breaks to France
Couple at Christmas Market

The best French Christmas markets

Visiting France at Christmastime is a magical experience, with its beautiful festive markets selling all kinds of local goods.

Whether sipping a glass of mulled wine along the Seine or exploring Strasbourg's diverse food scene, France’s Christmas markets won't disappoint.

Woman in Paris at Christmas

Paris Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to end of December

Paris's Christmas markets are a haven for food enthusiasts, with endless delicacies. They're packed with family-friendly entertainment, from ice rinks to fairground rides.

The capital's biggest festive market is La Magie de Noël at the Tuileries Garden. Enjoy tasty hot and cold food at the market stalls set against twinkling lights and a Ferris wheel. You'll also find a Christmas-themed carnival, an artisan village featuring hand-crafted souvenirs and a champagne igloo.

Other Paris Christmas markets you can't miss include:

Find more tips for the ultimate Paris Christmas holiday in our comprehensive guide.

Colmar at Christmas

Colmar Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to end of December

Colmar's romantic atmosphere makes its Christmas markets among France's best. Its cobbled streets and historic timber-framed buildings are adorned with colourful lights and decorations, while the air is filled with cinnamon and chestnut scents. The 800-square-metre ice rink and Christmas-themed rollercoaster are perfect for a fun-filled family afternoon.

Food enthusiast? Explore the food markets at Place de la Cathédrale or shop for hand-crafted souvenirs around the Old Town.

Other Christmas markets in Colmar include:

  • Petite Venise Christmas markets
  • Place de Dominicains Christmas markets
Lille Christmas Market

Lille Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to end of December

Lille comes alive with thousands of decorations, lights and exciting activities at Christmastime, so you can't miss out! A walk around Place Rihour promises regional delicacies, handmade gift ideas and fantastic entertainment for the whole family.

Enjoy sweeping views of Lille Christmas Market from the Ferris wheel in the Grand Place, or wander through the artificial snow village. Explore the Swiss-style chalets – a treasure trove of arts and crafts from France, Russia, Poland and Québec – and enjoy Lille's joie de vivre during this magical period.

Strasbourg Christmas Tree

Strasbourg Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to Christmas Eve

Home to France's oldest Christmas market, Strasbourg glows during the festive period. Dating back to 1570, Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmäriks are next to the impressive Gothic cathedral, making them extra charming.

The historic quarter, Petite France, lights up with countless decorations and a beautiful Christmas tree in the heart of the square. Whether shopping for souvenirs or trying the local cuisine (don't miss the spiced bread!), Strasbourg always impresses.

Visit other traditional Christmas markets around the city, including:

  • Place de Meuniers Christmas markets
  • Place d'Austerlitz Christmas markets
  • Place Saint Thomas Christmas markets (best for families)
Reims Cathedral

Reims Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to Christmas Eve

Reims’ Christmas markets enjoy a unique location at the foot of Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They’re home to 145 wooden chalets selling authentic local goods, from regional specialties to handmade souvenirs. You can also expect fantastic entertainment, with jazz performances, Christmas carols and organ grinders.

Enjoy a glass of mulled wine while exploring Reim's architectural wonders or admire the city's beauty from another perspective on the Ferris wheel.

Make the most of your time in Reims by planning a champagne tour in the Champagne-Ardenne region.

Rouen Christmas Tree and Cathedral

Rouen Christmas Market

When: Typically from end of November to Christmas Eve

Rouen is one of Normandy's most popular destinations, and it's no wonder why. The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, unique architecture and fascinating museums. And it only gets better at Christmastime!

Rouen has named its Christmas markets Rouen Givrée (Frosted Rouen), perfectly representing the festive atmosphere. Its city centre turns into a winter wonderland, with shimmering decorations and unmissable entertainment day and night.

Looking for other popular European destinations to spend Christmas? We have you covered. Explore the best Dutch, German and Belgian festive markets for a memorable holiday.


Le Havre Christmas Market

Visiting Le Havre at Christmas? This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts some of France's best festive markets. Held in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, they boast a Ferris wheel, a Christmas village and Santa's sleigh. Over 30 wooden chalets showcase local goods, from sweet and savoury treats to handcrafted souvenirs.

The city also enjoys a family-friendly activity calendar, with games, street performances and sing-alongs.

Family at Christmas Market

Calais Christmas Market

This picturesque port city goes all out for Christmas, so make sure to include it in your itinerary! Calais organises many fun activities for everyone, from a Christmas parade and a magical forest, to ice-skating rinks and double-decker carousels.

Shop for local souvenirs and traditional delicacies or take your kids to Santa's grotto for an unforgettable experience.

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