Don’t forget to order a cup of mulled wine to keep you warm while you wander between the stalls.
Best Christmas markets in FranceHow do these rankings work?
This small town in a valley surrounded by three mountain ranges, Christmas in the Alps comes to life. Grenoble holds four markets in different locations that are open from the end of November through Christmas Eve. The picturesque alpine landscape is the perfect backdrop to celebrate the holiday season.
Naturally, Paris is home to many Christmas markets, which means tons of options. While it is possible to jump from market to market to shop and experience a hefty dose of the holiday spirit, the Champs Elysées market is by far the most famous. Work your way to the end of the market for a breathtaking ride on the Ferris Wheel that overlooks the glittering city.
Wine lovers, rejoice; this is the holiday market for you. Bordeaux is, of course, one of France’s most famous wine regions, and the Christmas market mulled wine stalls do not disappoint. There are tons of wines and other boozey drinks to choose from, and a little spike in your cup helps ward off the chilly winter winds.
While this might not be the best-known town in southern France, this quaint medieval city holds a wonderfully diverse Christmas market each year. There’s a unique blending of cultures at the Perpignan market, so you are sure to encounter traditions and cuisines you might not expect from holiday stalls. Enjoy shopping and eating as you stroll along the riverbank.
Located within Normandy, Rouen is the best city for a riverside Christmas celebration. The Seine might run through Paris too, but no city holds a riverside market quite like Rouen. Wander the stalls, but settle into a seat for a wonderful concert or show before jumping into a holiday game.
Strasbourg, the charming Old World town in Alsace, France, is home to the oldest Christmas market in France. It dates to 1577, and has become a top attraction for travelers to France in Decemeber. Don’t miss the 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, and get lost among the half-timbered homes festively decorated for the season.
For a milder holiday season, head to Nice along the French Riviera. The coastal city’s climate is cool, but temperate compared to the French Alps. And palm trees always look great in holiday lights. Walk among the Christmas stalls with a hot chocolate in hand, and take a ride on the Ferris Wheel at sunset.