Spending Christmas in France? Want to see France’s Christmas decorations? Not sure what to do in Paris during Christmas? Eager to do some Christmas shopping in France?
This article gives you all of our INSIDR secrets to the best Christmas Markets in France, the prettiest Christmas trees and where to find the best Christmas treats and products. Celebrate this holiday season like a local with our Christmas in France recommendations below.
VISITING THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The first Christmas markets in France were established in Alsace and along the French-German border. Continuing this holiday tradition in France, today, Christmas Markets are celebrated throughout all of France however the area in which you are in will depend on the style of market. For example, Christmas Markets in Provence are very different from the Christmas Markets in the northern parts of France. In the southern part of France, we recommend visiting the Christmas Markets in Lyon and Avignon, some of the best during the holiday season.
For our top picks and insights into the best Christmas Markets in France, read our article:
Best Christmas Markets in France
BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS TREES AND NATIVITY SCENES
During the holiday season, there are many beautiful Christmas trees around France, especially various city’s main squares. One of the most stunning and largest Christmas trees is in Strasbourg in Place Kleber, in Paris in the main Hall de la Coupole at Galeries Lafayette as well as in Disneyland outside of Paris (as soon as November 11th!).
If you are interested in seeing religious Nativity scenes, there is one in almost all of the biggest churches in France. One in particular that is worth a visit is the one in Avignon- it is human-sized and really animated!
TASTING CHRISTMAS SPECIALITIES
Every Christmas Market, supermarket and local market in France turns into a true foodie heaven during the Christmas season. For this reason, it’s one of the best times of year to visit France- good food is everywhere! Some of the products you must try during this time of year in France are Foie Gras, Champagne, Oysters, Truffles, Chocolates and Christmas Pastries.
To read about some of the best places to sample these delicacies and take part in Christmas traditions in Paris, checkout our article:
Specifically in the Provence area, there is also a Christmas tradition of sampling 13 different French Christmas desserts on Christmas supper. These desserts represent Jesus Christ and the 12 apostles, and range from dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, candied lemon, gingerbread, nougats and marzipan candies.
SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
In all the Christmas Markets in France you can find exquisite and original Christmas tree decorations. Do note however that they will differ depending on which region of France you shop in! The best places to do Christmas shopping in Paris to purchase original Christmas items are actually in the department stores. At Galeries Lafayette there is an entire area dedicated to Christmas decorations. Similarly at Le Bon Marché, the children toys floor will make you never want to grow up!
Our secret INSIDR tips:
If you want to buy Christmas decorations like a local, go to Maison du Monde- a French home decor store that has wonderful items!
If you want to buy tiny Nativity scenes like a native, buy your new Nativity scene in Provence- they have a unique tradition of making Nativity scene figures called “santons de Provence.”