Christmas markets in France create a festive mood. From the legendary Strasbourg Christmas market to other lesser-known but stunning marketplaces, this guide will take you on a journey to the most beautiful French Christmas markets. If you want to take the most out of these amazing French Christmas marketplaces, you must learn to order food in French. You will find the most delicious cuisine in these places, making your trip to France even more exciting.

Find the best French Christmas markets

5 most beautiful French Christmas markets

These markets are the colorful hub of the holiday season. Although France has over 300 markets, we have carefully selected the top 5 for you to pick from. Before we get into the details of these French Christmas markets, we would like to discuss the significance of learning French by podcasts. These podcasts contain relevant topics initiated by native French speakers. Watching these podcasts can help you expand your French vocabulary and develop fluency like native speakers.

Paris: The unmissable Christmas markets

Every year, Paris is converted into a stunning holiday environment, with Christmas markets attracting locals and tourists.

The streets come alive, hosting a variety of activities and events. One of the highlights is the Christmas market at Paris’ Notre-Dame. Nestled on the borders of the iconic cathedral and the lovely Viviani Square, this market provides a magical spectacle complemented by Paris’ oldest tree.

The La Défense Christmas Village is the largest Christmas market in Île-de-France. With over 300 exhibitors, this truly festive paradise captivates with its diverse activities, hundreds of light displays, and gastronomic stalls.

Visit the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, where “The Magic of Christmas” plays. This typical Christmas market features French cuisine and artisanal products.

Strasbourg: A magical Christmas market experience

Strasbourg, called the “Christmas Capital,” is home to one of France’s most spectacular Christmas markets. The atmosphere is magnificent, with 300 chalets, a massive fir tree, and many shows lighted by innumerable shimmering garlands.

The Strasbourg market is organized into three distinct zones, so planning your visit requires some forethought. Magical Christmas is a typical market that brings Places Kléber, Broglie, Petite France, Place Gutenberg, and Place de la Cathedral to life and transforms them into magical worlds.

Next door, Noël Secret offers a more intimate experience in the center of Strasbourg. There are artisan workshops on the Gayot market square and daily stories and shows on the Mathias Mérian square to entertain both young and old. Finally, the OFF Market focuses on the social and solidarity economy.

The must-sees are the big fir tree on Place Kléber, the cathedral’s nativity scene, the famed “Christkindlmärik” arch on Place Broglie, and the glowing blue tree on Place Gutenberg. Every corner of Strasbourg is illuminated, including installations such as the Porte de Lumières and the enormous chandelier at the Rue du Fossé des Tanneurs and Grand-rue intersection.

Enjoy holiday environment at Christmas market

Rennes: The Magic of Breton Christmas

Regarding French Christmas markets, Alsace is frequently the first place people think of. However, Brittany, led by Rennes, displays year after year that it understands how to immerse its guests in the romance of Christmas.

Multiple markets have been put up in Rennes’ bustling city centre. Place du Colombier is the major gathering place for a month of activities, shows, and festive stalls that entice passers-by.

Children can enjoy the classic carousel, which has been installed especially for the occasion. In addition, a selection of chalets within the Colombia shopping centre will entice you with mulled wine, unusual gift ideas, and native Breton products.

However, the Mail François Mitterand hosts Rennes’ most well-known Christmas market. Formerly located on Parliament Square, this market creates a magnificent environment with approximately forty chalets, many light decorations, an illuminated Ferris wheel, and a traditional wooden horse carousel that will enchant both young and old.

Nantes: Tradition and innovation at the Christmas market

For decades, Nantes has lit up and come alive around its must-see Christmas market, which is among the most popular in France. On Place du Commerce and Place Royale, elegant huts stand, housing over one hundred devoted craftspeople.

These take you on a voyage through authentic Christmas products, decorations, and unique gift ideas. Culinary delights abound, including roasted chestnuts, enveloping mulled wine, golden pancakes, and fluffy waffles.

Nantes has long stood out for its unique blend of tradition and innovation. Thus, besides the conventional market, the city offers “L’autre Marché”.

The space, which is located on the Esplanade Carré Feydeau, focuses on artisans and producers working in the social and solidarity economy. It is a location where each purchase has a unique purpose and where each gift displays an ethical and responsible attitude. It is a fantastic approach to mix festivity and civic engagement.

Lille: Wonder at the Christmas market

With almost three decades of tradition, the Lille Christmas market continues to improve and expand. Every year, more exhibitors arrive to present their unique gift ideas and brilliant decorations that will wow visitors’ eyes.

The enthusiasm of the festivities comes to life on Place Rihour, thanks to regular appearances by Santa Claus, exciting music, diverse entertainment, and stunning illuminations that flood the square.

Discussing the Lille Christmas market without mentioning the spectacular Ferris Wheel is impossible. It sits boldly, offering anyone who dares to climb it a stunning perspective over Lille’s rooftops.

Visit spectacular ferris wheel

These five most amazing French Christmas markets can help you enjoy this holiday to its fullest. To enjoy the festive seasons, you must become good at French. Explore italki to get the best French tutor online to expand your language skills. This platform is perfect for mastering French at a gradual pace.

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Frequently asked questions

What are French Christmas markets?

During the Advent season, French Christmas markets are festive, open-air markets in towns and cities across France. They are known for their traditional decorations, handmade crafts, and seasonal food and drink.

When do French Christmas markets take place?

French Christmas markets typically occur from late November to late December, leading to Christmas Eve. Some markets may start earlier or end later, depending on the location.

What can I expect to find at a French Christmas market?

At a French Christmas market, you can expect to find a variety of goods, including Christmas decorations, handmade crafts, gifts, toys, and regional food and drink specialities.


French Christmas markets offer a magical and festive experience that captures the essence of the holiday season. From the charming decorations to the delicious food and unique gifts, these markets delight visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in the joy and traditions of the season as you explore the sights, sounds, and flavors of these enchanting markets.

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