Christmas Markets of France

November 17, 2014

One of the best things about travelling to Europe in the winter is the number of excellent Christmas markets available to visit all over the continent. France, in particular, is home to some wonderful markets, with stalls selling all the best in local produce as well as traditional crafts and gifts from all over the world.

Each winter, the Place Rihour in Lille is lovingly decorated and plays host to over 80 stalls selling everything from food, arts and crafts and other traditional. You can even get a panoramic view of the city from the huge, 50 foot Ferris Wheel in the midst of the market, and enjoy the view as Christmas carols ring out around you.

As far as classically Gallic settings go, the market in the pretty city of Caen is perfect. Traditional Christmas markets don’t come much better, with over 50 stalls selling the famous Santon figurines for Christmas mangers, as well as foie gras, Christmas desserts, art, leather goods and jewellery. Father Christmas will also be on hand to hand out gifts to lucky visitors!

The Christmas market in Rouen is also in beautiful setting, lying right in front of the city’s cathedral. The market has plenty of stalls with a range of great gifts and tasty treats for sale, as well as two ice rinks if you’re feeling brave!

Arras is one of the best markets in the north of France, with 90 stalls packing out the square of the Grand Place. The square is transformed into a winter wonderland, with red carpets laid down at your feet and a chalet with Santa’s grotto, ideal for families with young kids!

Slightly bigger than neighbouring Arras, Amiens has its own Christmas market, with over 130 stalls selling traditional gifts and food, including local delicacies such as Amiens Macaroons. Amiens Macaroons follow a special recipe including Valencia almonds and honey. There are also rides for kids, such as merry-go-rounds, and a light show set against the cathedral.

A popular destination with UK tourists on its own merit, Dunkirk is also the setting of a brilliant Christmas market from 14 December this year. There will be a laser light show, a Ferris wheel and stalls galore, selling everything from locally-sourced food such as foie gras and pastries to traditional toys and gifts from all corners of the globe.

The market in Reims has over 100 stalls, selling all your traditional market wares, plus a chalet where kids can go and visit Santa Claus. Reims town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the capital of France’s Champagne region, so you can enjoy a glass of bubbly as you celebrate the festive season!

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