French Connections

Besançon's Christmas market offers carol singing, over 60 stalls selling arts and crafts and local products, folk dancing and plenty of street entertainment.

Besançon's Christmas market offers carol singing, arts and crafts, local products, folk dancing and plenty of street entertainment

About the Christmas Market

Located in the Jura Mountains, Besançon offers charming atmosphere during Christmas period. People can enjoy beautiful carol singing, arts and crafts, local products, folk dancing and plenty of street entertainment. The variety at the stalls will satisfy expectations of every shopper. To increase festive atmosphere try local Mulled wine that tastes incredibly well in the market environment.

The Christmas market photos are courtsy of Besançon tourist office website

More About Besançon

Besançon is all lush forests, streams and Swiss-influenced architecture.

Once a major centre of French clock-making, today's industry seems to be centred largely on precision engineering. Besançon was also the birthplace of artificial silk – or rayon – in 1890.

The old town features architecture from 16th to 18th centuries, the cathedral and the remarkable astronomical clock; signs of Roman life still remain. The 17th century citadel looms over old town and now houses several museums and a zoo. There is also a Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology.

The principal street, Grande-Rue, cuts across the square along the line of an old Roman road. At its north western end, the livelier part of town with shops and cafés is the place de la Révolution and the excellent Musée des Beaux-Arts, with some good nineteenth and twentieth century works, two magnificent Bonnards and a wonderful clock collection.

Accommodation in Besançon

Accommodation in central Besançon gets booked fast during the Christmas market period, so search for a hotel in Besançon now. Alternatively you may want to try charming rural self catering accommodation near Besançon, as during the winter months many holiday property owners allow short stays.

Transport quick facts about the markets:

Free Parking: Yes at Chamars
Pay Parking: Yes at Marché Beaux Arts
Coach Parking: n/a
Nearest Bus Route: Line 27
Nearest Railway Station: Viotte Ligne 10, 20 mins from market on foot and 10 mins by bike (Velocité are offering cycle hire from the station - first 20 mins free and then 1 euro per week)
Nearest Tram Stop: n/a
Nearest Tube Station: n/a
Nearest Airport: Bal Mulhouse
Nearest Ferry Port: Calais - about 6 hours drive to Besançon (see our route planner for driving directions)

Getting to Besançon

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.

As a foot passenger from the UK to Besançon:

By Train: It is easy to reach Besançon with Eurostar. You can take Eurostar from St Pancras International in London to Paris (2 ½ hours) and then travel on to Besançon with TGV. Connections can also be picked up from Ashford or Ebbsfleet.

When travelling via Paris, change at Paris Gare du Nord then take a RER high-speed commuter train line D (or a taxi) to Paris Gare de Lyon for frequent connecting trains. Get off at Besançon Viotte Station. The typical journey time of 6 hours and 15 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: there are no airports in Besançon; you can fly to to Paris CDG and then take a TGV connection. Book cheap flights to France.

Taking your car from the UK to Besançon:

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. Book Eurotunnel tickets.

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.

The drive from Calais to Besançon is just over the hour.

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