Treat yourself to a last-minute getaway and cross the last names off of your Christmas list while you’re at it. As you wander down historic streets laced with the warming scent of cinnamon, where fairy lights twinkle from the branches of towering trees and magnificent landmarks stand over dainty medieval houses, you’ll find yourself falling in love with the festive season all over again. Here’s our pick of the best Christmas markets in France, Germany and Belgium.
It’s that wonderful time of year again – where people gather together in the chilly town squares to visit Europe’s best Christmas markets, soak up some festive cheer, see the twinkling light displays and enjoy a steaming mug of comforting glühwein. While the markets’ winter wonderland atmospheres are undoubtedly a huge draw, there are countless unique gifts to find for loved ones back home too, with artisans and vendors coming from across the world to sell their wares.
Much like in Germany, Christmas markets in France are a traditional affair, but with the added bonus of delicious Gallic treats too. Otherwise known as Marchés de Noël, city squares across the country are transformed into winter wonderlands for the festive season, with merchants travelling from far and wide to sell the very best of food, wine and gifts. Every lovingly decorated display, Christmas tree and tasty French delicacy helps to create an unforgettable experience.
We take a look at some of the best Christmas markets France has to offer.
Can’t decide between bratwurst or saucisson? Find the best of both worlds in Strasbourg, a hidden gem bordering two of Europe’s finest holiday destinations. Sitting just inside the French border with Germany, the city’s fairy-tale houses and 11th-century cathedral make an idyllic backdrop for a Christmas market. However, there’s far more to the Grand Est capital than just the festive season. Home to the second largest student population in France, the city also has its finger firmly on the pulse of modern culture, the evidence of which can been seen by the fantastic annual events held in Strasbourg.