Thinking of spending Christmas this year in France? You are sure to love it! The pageantry of Christmas leading up to the holiday is grand and festive and yet a certain air of peace and serenity descends over France during Christmas. There are dozens of Christmas related activities in France during Christmas, not to forget numerous exciting Christmas markets.
Christmas in France is a major celebration, as is in most other Christian countries across the world. It is a public holiday, and a great time to plan a visit to this beautiful country to brighten your Christmas with a stroke of French tradition.
Interesting Facts About Christmas In France
Traditional French Christmas celebrations include attending a mass at the local church on Christmas eve. After mass, families gather together for a long and sumptuous meal called Réveillon, in the wee hours of Christmas morning. Besides great Christmas food in France, there are a number of other traditions unique to the country. There are no cards and no carol singers on Christmas. The French like to spend Christmas in a quiet and sober manner.
Families huddle together and play France Christmas games around the fireplace. Rather, than setting out colorful stockings for Santa to fill, kids in France leave their shoes instead! They wake up to find their shoes brimming with goodies, candies, and cookies! Writing to Santa Claus is a tradition in most countries, but in France, Santa always writes back! These were just a few of the dozens of fun facts about Christmas in France. Plan a visit to Christmas to unravel many more!
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8 Reasons Why You Must Spend Christmas In France
- The Christmas markets hosted in France are by far the most colorful, festive, and grand markets in all of Europe. This is a great time to explore the markets and soak up some Christmas spirit.
- Enjoy a traditional Le Réveillon, that stretches on late into the night – a once in a lifetime experience!
- A perfect excuse to enjoy some great wine. Vintage wines, Crémants, and Champagne are on the offering everywhere! These drinks paired with foie gras and cheeses add to the culinary experience!
- Wake up to glistening snow-covered mountains on a secluded chalet in the Alps.
- Christmas isn’t commercial in France. It is all about great food and bonding with your loved ones.
- Christmas traditions in France are fun.
- This is a great time to hone your skiing skills. French ski resorts offer great discounts during the festive season.
- Christmas decorations in France, are truly breathtaking. But, there are plenty of other events, festivals, and France Christmas activities to celebrate winter, even before it is really Christmas. Fête des Lumières in Lyon, and Nord-Pas-de-Calais deserve a special mention.
4 Best Places To Spend Christmas In France
There isn’t a city that is as romantic as Paris. Brightly lit during Christmas, Paris is quite a sight to behold. Right from the iconic Eiffel Tower to Marais, and Notre Dame, all of Paris’ landmarks are lit up and the many bustling boutiques and unique ambience, add to the festivities of the season.
There are numerous Christmas markets hosted in the city every year during Christmas. The market at La La Défense, in particular, is a must visit. It is the largest market in town, located right in front modern high-rise buildings. During the days leading up to Christmas, traditional wooden chalets are set up all the way to La Grande Arche.
Must Experiences: Visit Eiffel tower, go skating on the ice rink at Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, treat your taste buds to a gastronomic experience at Gare de l’Est, enjoy incredible hilltop views at Montmartre market.
Temperature in December: An average of 4°C
How to Reach:
By Air: There are 3 international airports in France – Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Beauvais, and Orly International Airport. A number of airlines operate flights to and from most other parts of the world.
By Road: Paris enjoys good bus service and is linked to most other cities of the country. Eurolines runs a number of busses to and from other cities in France.
By Rail: You may also travel to Paris via train from most parts of Europe.
Suggested Read: 10 Offbeat Destinations In Europe Straight Out Of Fairy Tales
For the best ever Christmas experience in France, head to Toulouse. There is an air of festivity in the entire city. Place du Capitole, located outside the grand town hall, features rows of wooden chalets huddled next to each other, all selling vintage artisanal products.
This market is a great place to shop for gifts as the variety is simply tremendous.
You will find everything from pottery, to handmade jewelry, to clothes, and even cute France Christmas Ornaments and keepsakes at this market. Be sure to taste some traditional foie gras and cake served at the stalls. Take a selfie by the side of the giant Father Christmas on your way out.
Must Experiences: Plan a trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival, just an hour’s drive away. This spectacular event is nothing like you have ever experienced.
Temperature in December: An average of 2.7°C
How to Reach:
By Air: Fly into Blagnac Airport 11 km west of downtown Toulouse. There are flights to Blagnac from major cities such as London, Paris, Munich, and Frankfurt.
By Rail: You may catch the national intercity train. Tickets are available on portals such as iDTGV.
By Road: An inexpensive way to travel to Toulouse is by bus. There are numerous busses to Toulouse from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Belgium.
When winter sets in, the lifts in Morzine open! The Christmas lights twinkle, and the whole city is ready to welcome Santa. This beautiful city in France is a great place to revel in the festivities of Christmas. The city hosts a number of Santa Crawls for the party lovers. These parties are free to join for anyone with a Santa costume. Kick off a fun old family Christmas by heading to bars that host Xmas Carol Mega parties. A trip to Morzine, is a great way to enjoy a cocktail of a traditional yet contemporary France Christmas celebration.
Must Experiences: Meet Santa at the town square, hit the slopes, take a spin on an indoor rink, hop onto a Parapente ride to pump up some adrenaline, treat yourself to a hammam, spend a night in a chalet in the snowy mountains.
Temperature in December: An average of -5°C
How to reach:
By Air: Fly into one of the closest airports at Geneva, Chambery, Grenoble, or Lyon. If you are traveling from outside France, Geneva would be the best bet.
By Rail: You can also board one of the fast TGV trains to Lyon or Paris and then on to Thonon or Cluses.
Get into the spirit of Christmas and be prepared to enjoy the warmest of welcomes in this winter wonderland. Located in Eastern France, Montbéliard turns into a page out of a fairy tale book, as Christmas eve in France approaches. The locals in the city relive the tradition of Württemberg during advent and organize a grandiose Christmas market.
There are over 160 colorful stalls brimming with authentic handicrafts and goods. Visitors may enjoy a number of scrumptious Christmas specials, and dance to the music and sound of carols.
Must Experiences: Pay a visit to the Musée de l’Aventure Peugeot museum. This fabulous gallery is more than just a museum, but a treasure trove of over 200 historic cars. Also, explore The Castle of the Dukes of Wurttemberg.
Temperature in December: An average of -5°C
How to reach:
By Air: There are a number of cheap flights to Basel-Mulhouse Euroairport, which is just a 50-minute drive from Montbéliard.
By Rail: The city is also served by TGV trains from Strasbourg, Paris, and Zurich. These trains stop at Belfort-Montbéliard TGV station located 20 km from the city center of Montbéliard.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places To Spend Christmas In France
Q: Are there Christmas markets in France?
A: France exudes a fantastic atmosphere during Christmas. It hosts close to 12 traditional Christmas markets scattered across the country.
Q: Which is the best Christmas market in France?
A: While each Christmas market is unique, some of the best markets are hosted in Paris, Lille, Colmar, Strasbourg, and Mulhouse. These markets wow several thousand visitors from across the world.
Q: Where is the best place in France to spend Christmas?
A: Paris, is undoubtedly the best place in France to spend a Christmas vacation.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set out to enjoy a thrilling Christmas in France. Book your tickets to France with TravelTriangle now!
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