Best France Christmas Markets to Visit in 2023

The great Christmas markets in France are one of the best places you and your family can visit during the festive season. France is home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world, with Christmas markets dotted all over the country. France Christmas markets are a winter wonderland filled with festive treats, local crafts, and holiday spirit throughout the Christmas period.

Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the best Christmas markets in France and help you find your destination for this advent season. The list only covers some of the Christmas markets in France (the best ones!), so be ready for a world of festive adventure!

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Why You Should Explore the France Christmas Markets

France has a long history of celebrating the festive period with some of the best Christmas markets in the world, dating back to the Middle Ages. Each shows Christmas cheer and festive spirit through twinkling lights, wooden chalets, nativity figurines, and artisan crafts that can’t be found anywhere else. So why France?

France Xmas Markets Have a Wide Variety

 If you’re looking for original gift ideas, the regional specialities in each area of France will offer you something unique this holiday season.

Traditional Blended with Modern

 Each year during the festive season in Western Europe, France Xmas markets offer something a little different mixed with historical tradition.

World-Renowned Christmas Celebrations

 Whether in Paris, Strausberg, or elsewhere, every city in France boasts that they have the best Christmas market, most beautiful Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, and Christmas trees – and somehow, every one of them is correct in its own way.

The Perfect Winter Getaway

If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your family from mid-November to early January, the market stalls, French cuisine, fairy lights, and mulled wine will give you an experience you’ll never forget.

Best Christmas Markets in France in 2022

The Christmas markets dotted around France are some of the most beautiful Christmas markets you’ll find anywhere. It’s almost impossible to make an exhaustive list of France’s best Christmas markets, but we’ve picked out the cream of the crop to help you find the best Christmas market for your holiday season.

Strasbourg Christmas Market – Christkindelsmärik

2022 Opening Dates: 25th November to 24th December 2022

best christmas markets in france

Strasbourg is known as the ‘capital of Christmas’, and there you’ll find one of the largest Christmas markets in the world with an unmatchable festive atmosphere. 

In Strasbourg, France, Christmas is a pretty big deal! Christkindelsmärik (meaning ‘market of the infant Jesus’) is the oldest Christmas market in Europe, going back to the Middle Ages when it opened in 1570! 

The whole city comes alive with Christmas lights, glorious garlands, and other decorations.

Strasbourg at Christmas is illuminated more than most cities in Europe! Over 300 market stalls in wooden chalets offer everything from mulled wine to homemade cookies. At the centre of it all is a giant Christmas tree that shines bright with the city’s lights.

The market sprawls across the city’s historic centre, completely taking over the town centre and making Strasbourg live up to its name. There’s a reason this famous Christmas market attracts tourists and locals alike year after year.

There are plenty of places to stay if you want to experience the Strasbourg Christmas market in 2022. Some of our family hotel recommendations include:

Colmar Christmas Market – La Magie de Noël

2022 Opening Dates: 24th November – 29th December 2022

christmas markets in france

The main Colmar, France, Christmas market refers to itself as the soul of Christmas. It’s one of the Christmas markets in France that focuses on the magic of the Christmas season, as its name, La Magie de Noël, implies!

The whole city centre of Colmar is closed off to traffic for the Colmar Christmas market (actually made up of six markets), meaning this historic town becomes more than just a Christmas market: it’s a Christmas wonderland made up of an array of the best Christmas markets in France.

Across its many stalls, you’ll find festive food, Christmas trees, hot chocolate, and more. There’s also a Gourmet market where you can buy fancy food like foie gras if you’re feeling like experiencing a culinary adventure this advent season!

There’s a merry-go-round and a sparkling Ferris wheel for the kids to get a great view of the whole city. The Ferris wheel is great during the day, but when it lights up in the dark, it becomes a transport to a new world.

Places to stay in Colmar include:

Nice France Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: 1st December 2022 – 1st January 2023

The Nice Christmas market is known for its massive Ferris wheel that takes pride of place over what could be argued to be the best Christmas market in Southern France. The beautiful wooden chalets that are famous in markets in France are here, too, filled with delights.

At this market, you’ll find a breathtaking ice skating rink next to the Three Graces fountain, a stunning city landmark. This market opens in early December and goes through Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

While you admire the Christmas tree and sip on your mulled wine, the nativity scenes and gift ideas combined with the warmer atmosphere of Southern France combine to make something truly special this Christmas.

Looking for somewhere to stay in the old town to visit this Christmas market in France? We recommend:

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Amiens France Christmas Market – Marché de Noël d’Amiens

2022 Opening Dates: 25th November 2022 – 31st December 2022

For those who prefer a Christmas market in Northern France, the Marché de Noël d’Amie is a popular Christmas market for families and people of all ages. 

It’s one of the newer Christmas markets in France, first opened in 1997, but that doesn’t make it less amazing!

This Christmas market in France focuses on craftmanship and, along with the traditional mulled wine and other Christmas goodies, you’ll find unique stalls here from when the market opens in mid-November.

Flower arranging is a very popular craft in Amiens, and Christmas flower displays are stunning to see. You’ll find fresh vegetables, handcrafted decorations, and more in this astounding and unique Christmas market in France!

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in this old town, we suggest:

Paris Avenue des Champs-Elysées Christmas market

2022 Opening Dates: November 19th 2022 – January 8th 2023

Paris is full of Christmas markets, but the Avenue des Champs-Elysées Christmas market is the largest Christmas market in the French capital.

As well as being the largest Christmas market in Paris (though not in France), it is considered one of the greatest tourist spots under the Eiffel Tower. Filled with nativity scenes and Christmas decorations and sprawling across Paris, it’s the pinnacle of Paris Christmas markets.

Christmas markets in France under the Eiffel Tower are a breathtaking discovery, filled with mulled wine, delicious food, and more. 

Explore the place de la Concorde and Paris’s Latin quarter while enjoying the Champs-Elysées market stalls and other Paris Christmas markets.

It’s also one of the longest-running Christmas markets in France, going from mid-November to mid-January. Just bear in mind that Paris can get expensive!

Places to stay include:

Lille Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: 24th November 2022 – 30th December 2022

best france christmas markets

Lille is a charming city in the north of France, very near the border with Germany, giving it a different atmosphere than some of the other options that many decide upon when visiting France.

The Lille Christmas market is smaller than many of the others in Europe, but from its Christmas tree decorations to its food and drink, this Christmas market is the most charming Christmas market in France!

It’s a great location for travellers from the UK, who can get the Eurostar train there in around an hour and a half, and what you’ll find is a magical Christmas experience. The Christmas market is a gastronomical delight, filled with French delicacies galore.

The market surrounds shops, crossing through the Place Rihour and other important areas, meaning that you can visit the Christmas market and explore other shops, restaurants, and more!

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Lille, we suggest:

Reims Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: 1st December – 31st December

Reims in northeastern France is the unofficial capital of the Champagne region, which means that the regional specialities you’ll find at the Christmas market in Reims include a champagne bar!

Nearly 150 chalets decorate the streets of Reims with illuminations, fairy lights, food, drinks, events, and so much more. Just 45 mins from Paris, the Reims market takes place under the gaze of the Reims Notre-Dame cathedral, an important piece of architecture and history.

Not only that, but the Ferris wheel will take you above the city to spy all of the beautiful lights below – an amazing place to enjoy a glass of champagne at the end of the night!

Looking for somewhere to stay in Reims while attending the Christmas market? Try:

Bordeaux Christmas Markets – Main market and Darwin

2022 Opening Dates: November 25th – December 25th, 2022 (main market), 10th-12th December 2022 (Darwin)

bordeaux xhristmas markets

The main Bordeaux Christmas market is one of the most exciting tourist events of the year. Shopping during the day transforms into breathtaking sights at night when the market lights up with brilliant decorations.

Over 150 vendors sell their wares at this market, which is a huge one in southwest France. You’ll find local specialities (including fine Bordeaux wine!) as well as clothes, decorations, jewellery, toys, and other handcrafted regional products.

You can also find the Darwin market, an alternative Christmas market quickly becoming popular. It’s a very artsy take on the traditional Christmas market, including books, sports equipment, art, and more! However, it only runs for a couple of days, so take advantage of it.

Some great places to stay in Bordeaux include:

Annecy Christmas Markets – Marché de Noël du Vieil Annecy (Old Annecy Christmas Market), Village des Alpes, Village des Artisans.

2022 Opening Dates: November 21st 2022 – January 1st 2023

The Old Annecy market is the most traditional of the three main markets in Annecy, with around eighty stalls all arranged around the St. François-de-Sales church in the Old Town of the city.

At the Village des Alpes, you’ll really get to experience the sights of the Alps in this region, including skating around on an open-air rink right under the breathtaking views of the mountains.

Finally, the Village des Artisans is a small market that focuses on, well, artisans – crafts made by about ten local artists that can’t be found anywhere else. Annecy also sometimes includes ‘guests of honour in their markets to add international excitement!

For a great place to stay in Annecy, try:

Calais France Christmas Market – Calais Christmas Village

2022 Opening Dates: 26th November 2022 – 4th January 2023

Calais adores Christmas! The entire city centre transforms into a Christmas village through the latter part of the year, with Christmas stalls, food, drink, lights, and all the classic staples of a Christmas market in France.

On top of that, you’ll find the annual Christmas parade, many events like dancing, circus performances, the Town Hall’s Magic Forest, special events for children, Christmas carolling concerts, and even more.

Calais Christmas village also features a World of Toys, which includes a famous indoor skating rink for everyone to enjoy.

Some great places to stay in Calais include:

Lyon Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: 26th November – 24th December 2022

Lyon’s Christmas market at Place Carnot is legendary, with a big wheel, a giant holiday tree, and galore lights and stalls. You’ll find a different handcrafted item at each chalet, whether it’s food, decorations, or gifts.

There are over 140 wooden stalls, and the market decor is magical. Within it, you’ll almost feel like you’ve stepped into a snow,y festive fairytale!

Not only that, but if you arrive between the 8th and 11th of December, you’ll be able to experience the annual Fête des Lumières, the Festival of Lights, which is full of beautiful masterpieces from around the globe.

In Lyon, we recommend staying at:

Arras Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: 25th November – 30th December 2022


In Arras, you’ll find the enormous advent market north of Paris, given its special atmosphere due to the traditional Flemish structures you’ll find all around the city. The gold-topped houses with snow attached look like their very own decorations.

There are many rides for kids (and adults!) at the market, including a big wheel, sledge slide, carousels, ice skating rink, and more. You can also try your hand at face painting or creating some special Christmas crafts!

On top of all that, the friendly atmosphere of Northern France combines with crisp white wines, local sweets and savouries, and the kinds of mouthwatering meals and treats you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Arras? Try:

Toulouse Christmas Market – Christmas Village

2022 Opening Dates: November 25th – December 25th 2022

tolouse christmas market
Image by UpSticksNGo Crew

Starting at the Place du Capitole, you’ll experience beautiful fir-lined paths in this brightly-lit village. Traditional gifts, foods, drinks, and jewellery, not to mention toys, are sold across the many dozens of wooden chalets.

You’ll find all sorts of special things to eat and drink, from mulled wine and churros to more local sweets and savouries. 

There are also specific artisan chalets. Remember a visit from Santa to make things complete!

The most special thing about this market is that it is highly focused on accessibility: in Toulouse, it’s a Christmas village for everyone.

Some options to stay in Toulouse include:

Mulhouse Christmas Market

2022 Opening Dates: November 24th – December 27th

french Christmas markets

Mulhouse is the land of textiles, and this comes into play in this city’s unique take on the Christmas market. Stunning decorative fabrics cover everything from the chalets to the streets, and you can purchase your own clothing or materials too!

The festive decorations covering the Mulhouse market are unlike anywhere else, brightening the French night sky with sparkling illumination.

There are also a number of shows and events, like nativity scenes from around the world, Christmas crafts and games for children, a Christmas treasure hunt, fabric workshops, and so much more to discover!

While staying in Mulhouse, we recommend the following:

Alsace France Christmas Markets – the 7 Pays de Noël (Christmas Lands)

2022 Opening Dates: Around November 25th – January 4th

The Alsace region loves Christmas, and almost every little town and village have its own Christmas markets in this part of France! It’s a cultural region of its own near the German and Swiss borders north of the Rhine.

Let’s take a look at the seven official ‘Christmas lands’ declared by the tourist board in Alsace and how each has its own twist on the Christmas market.

These regions go from the north of Alsace to the south, and each has a title! These are:

  • The Land of Christmas Mysteries (Le Pays des Mystères de Noël). This is the very north of Alcase. Places include Haguenau and Wissembourg.

  • The Land of Christmas Lights (Le Pays des Lumières de Noël). Christmas markets in this area focus on characters such as Saint Nicholas, the angel known as Christkindl (Christ child), and more. Here you’ll find Saverne in the northeast of the region.

  • The Land of Christmas Flavours (Le Pays des Saveurs de Noël) This region includes the oldest Christmas market, the Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg. All of the markets in this region have a heavy emphasis on Christmas foods and flavours.

  • The Land of Christmas Trees (Le Pays du Sapin de Noël) These decoration-heavy Christmas markets have one city to thank for this being their claim to fame. This land includes Sélestat, the first documented place where Christmas trees were decorated worldwide!

  • The Land of Christmas Stars (Le Pays des Étoiles de Noël) is one of the biggest Alsatian Christmas lands, including Colmar, Riquewihr, Éguisheim, and Kaysersberg.

  • The Land of Christmas Eve/Christmas Vigils (Le Pays des Veillées de Noël) is a tiny region encircled by Land 5. It is made up of the open-air museum village of the Écomusée d’Alsace.

  • The Land of Christmas Carols and Textiles/Cloths (Le Pays des Chants et des Étoffes de Noël). The Christmas market in Mulhouse is the biggest of these, and Altkirch is another. Each focuses on the textiles and songs tied to the history of Christmas in the region.

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