In French Merry Christmas is 'Joyeux Noël'
France is known for its gourmet food, artists, fine wines and so, so much more. Among the list, is Christmas as well, with each town celebrating Christmas in her own way. While the choices are plenty, we gathered a list with some of the best places to spend Christmas in France! From Paris, the City of Light which promises magical and glittering Christmas, to Strasbourg, or better, the "capital of Christmas"! Strasbourg is the proud host of France's most famous Christmas markets, dating back to 1570 attracting visitors from Europe.
Paris- Experience first-hand why Paris is called the City of Light!
Christmas Markets in Paris: 15/11-31/12/17
Christmas is just around the corner, gift giving, festive events, illuminated streets, shops, houses are a few of the things people look forward to! Paris, having a reputation to keep up to, during this merry season, the city of Lights, shines as bright as ever turning into a magical winter wonderland! Sparkling presentation of Christmas lights, animated window displays, ice skating, numerous Christmas- themed markets, carousels, special performances and a giant Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde, are some of the things to expect this year in Paris. What's more? In the spirit of Christmas, restaurants update their menus with special Holiday diches, delicious and unique!!
Starting from mid-November, Paris hosts the famous traditional Christmas markets, a huge shopping event, originated from Germany and the Alsace. Since 1990, they have expanded all over Europe earning a spot in every Christmas celebration all through Paris. The chalets not only give the idea of a warm and magical atmosphere – as they are wooden -, but also make the perfect place for people to obtain Christmas decorations, hand-made gifts and "secret" ingredients to elevate their Christmas diches!
Strasbourg- Home of the oldest Christmas market in Europe!
Christmas Markets in Strasbourg: 25/11-31/12/2017
In 1570, Christkindelsärik was not only the first Christmas market held in Strasbourg, but also in Europe! Strasbourg is known as the capital of Christmas, and during this season it goes a long way to prove why. Every Christmas, around 300 stalls are spread in the city centre, giving it, the warm and magical touch Christmas bring, filled with tree ornaments, figurines and Christmas treats like cookies and mulled wine. Christmas in Strasbourg are unique and original forming an Alsatian tradition, dating back to that first ever Christmas market in 1570, and carrying on until today.
Strasbourg follows closely the traditions of Advent; the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, a season of prayer and fasting. As a result, 4 Advent concerts take place along with a variety of live music performances, ice skate rinks, carol singing, Nativity plays and cultural events.
Lille– For numerous gift ideas from across the globe
Christmas market in Lille: 17/11-27/12/2017
Lille, a small city located in the Northern France and only two hours away from Paris, is the ideal place to spend Christmas for families and those looking for traditional winter-y food and wine, among locals and a minority of tourists. During Christmas Place Rihour is teeming with season food and wooden gift markets with figurines, Christmas ornaments and so much more, from Russia, Poland, and Canada. To elevate your experience, take a picture with the 18-meter-long Christmas tree and hop onto the enormous Ferris wheel and enjoy an astonishing view of the city!!
Colmar– Pure magic!!
Christmas markets in Colmar: 24/11-31/12-2017
Colmar a beautiful authentic village with narrow streets, old houses. During Christmas the village lights up with five Christmas markets and a variety of activities to choose from, including wine-tasting, concerts, guided yours, exhibition of traditional toys and so much more!!
Amiens- Largest Christmas Market in Northern France
Christmas markets in Amiens: 24/11-30/12/2017
Celebrate with Amiens the 20th anniversary of the biggest Christmas Market in the north of France and enjoy the delicacies, crafts and decorations the craftsmen of France and the 130 chalets have to offer. For the anniversary students of the Saint Luc Art School will create works of art in the holy spirit of Christmas.
Montbeliard– A combination of authentic French gastronomy, arts and crafts
Christmas markets in Montbeliard: 25/11-24/12/2017
A town in the Eastern France known for its hospitality, transform into an enchanting Christmas wonderland. With more than 160 stalls teem with original products and crafts, illuminated streets, music and choral songs. Did you hear? Corsica will be this year's guest of honour!
Metz– Frozen Fairyland and ice sculptures
From 18th November to 30th December 2017
If the six main squares flooded with Christmas markets, are not enough to make you want to visit Metz, then I’m sure the Frozen Fairyland and the ice sculptures will give you the motivation you’ve been missing. Of course, it wouldn’t fill like a proper Christmas wonderland without a merry-go-round, mulled wine, an ice ring and a Ferris wheel. You can find all that and much more in Metz, along with beautifully illuminated streets and decorations.
Mulhouse– The place where Christmas comes to life!
Christmas markets in Mulhouse: 25/11-27/12/2017
Like every other place we mentioned before Mulhouse has Christmas markets, mulled wine, decorations and music, but what makes it stand out is it's the rich and unique industrial textile history. The constantly evolving fabric dresses the entire city bringing Christmas to life!!
Avignon– Flooded with tradition
Christmas markets in Avignon: First three weeks of December
Arras– 140 artisans and exhibitors
Christmas markets in Arras: 24/11-30/12/2017
Nice– A winter retreat
Christmas markets in Nice: 02/12/17-01/01/2018
Wherever you choose to spend your holidays, I hope you enjoy yourselves!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Emily from StayPlanet