Reims was the site of the first French Christmas celebration when, in 496, Clovis and his 3,000 warriors were baptized. Bishop Rémi had purposely chosen the day of the Nativity for this ceremony. Other important events eventually took place on Christmas day in the following years. During the run-up to Christmas, Reims' Christmas Village combines street entertainment, magicians, carol singers and market stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations and food.
About the Market
The festive season in Reims enjoys a large Christmas market with 125 chalets at Place d'Erlon and along the Condorcet and Theodore Dubois streets. This beautiful city in Champagne holds numerous events such as orchestra and choral concerts, carol singers, nativity scenes, fairytales for children and parades. Wednesday and Friday afternoons fill up with Jazz music. Father Christmas welcomes the children every day in his chalet.
The Christmas photos were supplied by Destination Reims
More About Reims
Reims is the place where French kings were crowned for centuries. The city is most widely recognized for its famous champagne caves along with its tree-lines avenues and surrounding vineyards. The city, which was also the site of Napoleon's last victory, has extraordinary architecture and champagne!
- Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful striking blue stained glass window, where the kings of France used to be crowned
- St. Remi's basilica, one-mile walk from the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Reims, is a colossal building with exceptional from the 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th centuries
- Palais du Tau, built between 1498 and 1509, occupied by the kings on the occasion of their coronation, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Reims. Now it features museum that displays royal attire from coronations of French kings, statues and treasures of the cathedral from past centuries.
- Maison de Pommery cellars under the Gothic-style buildings and gardens. A magnificent 116-step stairway leads to a maze of galleries dug into the chalk. Various stages of champagne making are shown, and the end product is for sale in the gift shop.
- Mumm Champagne vinyards and cellars offering the tour about making this fine treat, and tastings of one of the world's premiere champagnes
- 11 champagne houses that you can visit in the vicinity of Reims
The main shopping district is located around the cathedral. Nearby streets to browse are the long rue de Vesie, the cours Langlet, and place Drouet d"Erion.
Champagne is a must on any shopping list. They can be purchased from major houses in town or from smaller champagne makers within the Routes Du Champagne. Another specialty here is the light and delicious little pink cookie known as biscuit de Reims. Shop windows abound in Chocolate and candied specialties, and you should try liqueur-filled chocolate champagne bubbles and corks.
Accommodation in Reims
Accommodation in central Reims gets booked fast during the Christmas market period, so search for a hotel in Reims now. Alternatively you may want to try charming rural self catering accommodation near Reims, as during the winter months many holiday property owners allow short stays.
Transport quick facts about the markets:
Free Parking: No
Pay Parking: Next to town centre
Coach Parking: Yes
Nearest Bus Route: Various
Nearest Railway Station: Reims Gare de TGV Champagne-Ardenne, 500m from market
Nearest Tram Stop: No
Nearest Tube Station: No
Nearest Airport: Paris Airport
Nearest Ferry Port: Calais (see our route planner for driving directions)
Getting to Reims
Suggested Travel Routes
Choosing to travel by train to France is a simple option. It’s fast and cost effective and also allows you to enjoy the beautiful French countryside. With a great rail network in place, it has never been easier to get to France by train. Book Eurostar and TGV tickets
By Train: It is easy to reach Reims with Eurostar. You can take Eurostar from St Pancras International in London to Paris and then change for a TGV to Reims (Paris - Reims 45 min only). Change at Paris Gare du Nord then take Metro line 4 in the direction of Porte d'Orleans (or a taxi) to Paris Gare de l'Est for frequent connecting trains. Get off at Reims Gare de TGV Champagne-Ardenne. The typical journey time of 4 hours 10 minutes from London allows time for you to change in Paris, but this is intended as guidance only. Book Eurostar and TGV tickets
By Plane: the nearest arirport is Reims Champagne Airport but is does not have a direct connection with London anymore. The best idea is to fly to other larger airports and then take a domestic flight to Reims Champagne Airport. Book cheap flights to France.
Taking your car from the UK to Reims:
By Tunnel: take your car on Eurotunnel from Folkestone, Kent direct to Calais in France. Journey time is about 35 minutes and the cost varies but is around £55 day trip return for a car and 5 passengers.
By Boat: It is usually cheaper to take a car over to France by boat, because the journey takes longer. Operators such as Seafrance and P&O offer regular ferry trips across the channel, with prices ranging from around £30 for a return day trip. Book a ferry to France.
Reims can be reached by car very easily. The motorway A4 passes Reims on its way from Paris to Strasbourg and is well signed posted. The motorway A26 passes Reims from north to south.