French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

  • Our complete guide to Christmas Markets in France

    Christmas markets are one of France’s great attractions at this time of year, going right through to the end of December. Lille is one of the big four, along with Paris, Strasbourg and Avignon, but in cities and towns across the country this festive tradition still thrives. There’s a sense of old-fashioned magic by day or after dark and wonderful, leisurely shopping opportunities for food, decorations and gifts.

    Our guide to Christmas markets is a treasure trove of information, with complete details of around 25 markets – from Arras in the North to Avignon in the South. We give all you need to know in detail, including location, access and parking, goods for sale, food specialities and Christmas events. Find options for travel by road, rail and air and links to a range of accommodation in the surrounding areas for your short break or week.

    Traditionally, housewives in rural France would spend the weeks before Noel preparing and baking typical local festive dishes and the markets grew from this tradition, which is still a really big part of French life.

    Savour smells, sights and sounds and get immersed in the language as you weave in and out of enticing stalls laden with one-off handcrafted gifts and delectable foodstuffs and drinks for delicious Christmas recipes. You’ll also find unusual candles, decorations, figures for traditional nativity scenes, cards and ornaments for the Christmas tree with a touch of French style.

    Many markets incorporate fun fairs, festivals of light and sound, Christmas parades and fun events, making a day trip or short shopping break even more alluring.

  • Our guide to the best Christmas markets in France


    It’s the season for magical French Christmas markets to shimmer into life all over France. So many cities and towns stage these fabulous mixtures of shopping, community and carnival – and the markets really do capture the traditional magic of Christmas as a season of light, good food and family feeling.

    The markets are really worth a visit for both their atmosphere and the great shopping. We know that many Francophiles and lovers of traditional Christmas spirit go every year for a market mini-break. For seasoned visitors and first-timers alike, our guide to the Christmas markets of Franceis indispensable. We’ve put together detailed information on over twenty of the top markets, from north to south and from small towns to large cities.

    Our guide lists the top markets and for each one paints a picture of the place, setting and character, the variety of products on sale and special events taking place. We also give dates, travel information and links to a range of self-catering accommodation and B&Bs in the area to enable you to plan your trip.

     avignon marche de noel copyright ville d'avignon jp campomar

    Strasbourg Christmas market is the oldest and one of the largest in France with a breath taking setting in front of the Cathedral. Mulhouse market reflects the architecture of the Alsace region with half-timbered stalls featuring exceptional fabrics.

    Easily accessible by car from the UK are the towns of Northern France. Arras holds a spectacular Christmas market on the splendid Grand Place with lots of arts and crafts. The market at Béthune features Flemish-style chalets selling festive crafts, regional produce and other gifts.

    Licques is famous for its traditional turkey parade and the market sells quality, traditionally-reared organic poultry. Amiens Christmas market, one of the largest in northern France, has an alpine flavour and sells kitchenware, fine crystal and hand-made glass, as well as a variety of fish.

    For anyone who fancies a trip further south, the markets in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Avignon and Menton are all celebrated events with real local character – and easily accessible by the TGV train.

    Most markets run from around the third week of November to either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve and all include events and parades that enhance the fun, spectacle and sense of community.

    Browse our Guide to Christmas Markets in France