All About Christmas Markets in France

It’s not just Germany, Austria and Switzerland with traditional Christmas markets, such markets are becoming increasingly popular now in France as well.

The Christmas markets in France bring together strong traditions with delicious festive French food and drink. In this guest post, Sarah and Max from the Travel Far And Wide blog will cover the biggest Christmas markets in France, the influences behind the markets, and the typical products that are sold in French Christmas markets.

Christmas Markets in France

Biggest Christmas Markets in France

France’s Christmas markets reflect the diverse tapestry of its regions, each bringing its own unique character and traditions to the fore. Here are some of the biggest Christmas markets in France:

  • Strasbourg Christmas Market: Perhaps unsurprisingly, as the city has flip flopped between Germany and France in its history. Strasbourg, often termed the ‘Capital of Christmas’, hosts the renowned Christkindelsmärik, one of Europe’s oldest and most frequented Christmas markets.

Set against the backdrop of picturesque canals and half-timbered houses, over 300 wooden chalets populate the historic Grande Île district, offering everything from artisan crafts to mouth-watering treats.

The heart of the market, Place Kléber, is home to the city’s Great Christmas Tree, standing at a magnificent 30 metres and adorned with vibrant decorations. Nearby, Place de la Cathedral, overshadowed by the magnificent Strasbourg Cathedral, also teems with festive activity.

  • Lille Christmas Market: Lille’s market may be smaller, but its intimate charm makes it stand out, creating a relaxed atmosphere favoured by locals and regional visitors. While strolling the cobbled streets lit with holiday decorations, the aroma of regional dishes from bistros and cafes entices many a passerby. An iconic Ferris wheel in the Grand Place lights up the evenings and affords panoramic views of the illuminated city below.
  • Paris Christmas Markets: Paris has several Christmas markets that are worth visiting. The market at the Tuileries Garden is a standout, where wooden chalets present handmade crafts, French treats and warming drinks. Meanwhile, the market by the Notre Dame Cathedral is famed for its artisan products, set against a backdrop echoing Paris’s deep-rooted history.

Influences Behind the Markets

The Alsace region, which is home to the Strasbourg Christmas market, France’s biggest, oldest and most famous, is a perfect example of regional foods influenced by German culture. The region has been a huge influence on Christmas market food across France (and wider Europe). The blend of French and German cultures is evident in the market’s offerings, which include gingerbread, mulled wine, and other traditional Christmas treats.

Typical Products Sold in French Christmas Markets

French Christmas markets offer a wide range of products, including artisan crafts, local delicacies, and festive decorations. Here are some of the typical products sold in French Christmas markets:

  1. Handmade Nativity Crafts: French Christmas markets are known for their handmade nativity figurines, which families collect as part of their nativity displays they keep at home. As well as nativity figures, visitors can also find a wide range of other craft products, such as jewellery and textiles
  2. Gingerbread: Gingerbread is a popular treat at French Christmas markets. The gingerbread is often shaped into festive figures such as Santa Claus, snowmen, and Christmas trees. There is also ‘Pain d’epice’ which is like gingerbread, but more cake than bread.
  3. Mulled Wine: Mulled wine is a traditional Christmas drink that is popular in France. The wine is heated and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and other spices to create a warm and comforting drink.
  4. Cheese: Cheese is an important part of French culture, and it is no different during the Christmas season. French Christmas markets offer a wide range of cheeses, including Brie, Camembert, and Roquefort.


In conclusion, French Christmas markets are a wonderful way to experience the holiday season. The markets offer a unique blend of French and German cultures, with a wide range of products and festive activities. From the biggest markets in Strasbourg and Lille to the smaller markets in Paris, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

So, if you are planning a trip to France during the holiday season, be sure to visit one of the many Christmas markets and experience the magic of the season firsthand!

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