Santa Claus is known by many names in different parts of the world but there is something which sets apart the French Pere Noel from this popular figure of Western culture, bringing you all a lot of places where you can meet Santa Claus in France . This French version of Santa Claus has his own unique style of dressing in an inbuilt hoodie in his white fur-trimmed cloak. He prefers a glass of fine wine or calvados, a special pear or apple brandy over the usual milk and cookies. Kids don’t have to wait till midnight to receive their gifts as this Santa comes right after the evening mass on the eve of Christmas. This festive time in France is truly a memorable experience with many unique traditions and customs that are followed only in this beautiful country.
Visit These Places To Meet Santa Claus In France
Here is a list of places where you can meet Santa Claus in France during Christmas to make your festive season all the more fun and memorable!
1. Hamlet of Santa Claus, Andilly
This spectacular abode of Pere Noel is a must visit place if you happen to be in France or Geneva in the Yuletide season or otherwise too. Located at Andilly, it’s 5 minutes away from Cruseilles and less than half an hour drive from Geneva and Annecy. The place will give you a magical and real feel of Christmas and you can actually see how Santa dwells in his home. It houses a sleeping Santa resting on his bed. There is a toy workshop where he creates wonderful toys for the little ones with the help of his tiny helpers. You can also meet Mrs. Santa and walk through the whole house into the kitchen and a special room which is full of gifts.
Write a letter to Santa and post it in the letterbox and be sure to get a reply from him. This place is sure to leave you enchanted with its dream decor in winter fineries and sparkling lights. There are amazing storytelling sessions by Mrs. Claus in her thatched cottage which will transport you in a dream world. The place is one of the few places around the world where we can actually see and experience the life of Santa Claus. This is definitely one of the best places to see Santa Claus in France.
Timings: 12 PM to 6 PM during the Christmas season, timings and days may change after that. Closed on 25th December.
Entry fee: INR 400 for adults; INR 200 for kids (3-11)
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2. Notre-Dame Christmas Markets
This market is very close to the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in a garden which is called Square Rene Vivian. The garden falls in between the River Seine and the church. If you and your kids are looking forward to meeting Santa Claus in France, then this is a must visit place. The splendid grandeur and the beautiful backdrop will be an added attraction along with the free entertainment activities to keep the little ones happily busy.
You get to admire the craftsmanship of the locals and shop some of those unique creations to take back home as a memoir. The kids can play and get up, close and personal with the French Pere Noel and have lots of fun at this market.
Timings: 10 AM to 8 PM; till 9 PM on Fridays and weekends
Dates: 12th December to 23rd December every year
3. Place du Capitole, Toulouse
A magnanimous inflatable figure of Father Christmas along with rows of beautiful wooden chalets selling those artistic French creations are the main attractions of this famous Christmas fair in Toulouse in France. Located at the Place du Capitole, the market is based all around the huge town hall and is one of the best places to see Santa Claus in France. You simply cannot miss the stall of mulled wine located just beside the giant Pere Noel.
While the kids are busy getting their pictures clicked with one of their favorite Christmas characters, you can enjoy this heavenly delight to keep you warm in the chilly winters. This is also a perfect place to shop for gifts and there is an amazing variety of things to choose from right from clothing to jewelry to pottery to toys and artifacts. The market also has some mouthwatering local delicacies and desserts which are a must try.
Timings: 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Dates: 24th November to 25th December
4. Village De Noel Paris La Defense
This is one of the oldest and the biggest Christmas markets in Paris which has reached its 24th edition this year. The carnival consists of more than 350 stalls which display some of the stylish French clothing, woolens, shoes, jewelry, handicrafts and many more such items. Other than this, the place is where you and the kids can meet the traditional French Santa Claus in his best of getups. The children will love to spend some time with this fictional character for whom they wait all the year around.
The place has some famous food stalls serving the local cuisine and a live music performance from some of the well-known bands. There are a lot of activities and games for the little ones and also for the grown-ups too. Overall, a great place to hang out with family and get immersed in the spellbinding holiday ambiance. At night, the whole area is lit up with colorful lights and the sky-high buildings surrounding the place serve as the perfect contrast backdrop to give it an offbeat look.
Timings: 11 AM to 8 PM; Friday 11 AM to 10 PM; Saturday 10 AM to 10 PM
Dates: 22nd November to 29th December
5. Lumieres De Noel, Montbeliard
One of the most famous Christmas fairs in France, this place in Montbeliard, located in the east of the country, is known for its lavish shimmering illumination and innovative animation. There is something for everyone here in the whole family but the kids will surely have a gala time and will be overjoyed to meet Santa Claus in France. Along with the regular fare of crafts and artifacts, the stalls are filled with some of the tastiest gastronomical treats for the food lovers.
There are loads of activities for the children where they can know and learn about the traditional style of celebrating the winter festival in France. This Christmas village has an ice skating rink and tiny elves workshop. There is Aunt Airie who is believed to be a local fairy and Father Whip who makes sure that the kids are well behaved or they don’t get the surprise treats falling from Santa’s pockets.
Timings: Mondays 2 PM to 8 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:30 AM to 8 PM; Friday 10:30 AM to 9 PM; Saturday 10 AM to 9 PM; Sunday 10 AM to 8 PM
Dates: 24th November to 24th December
6. Strasbourg De Noel
Strasbourg was known as the Christmas Capital of France and hosts some of the oldest Christmas markets of France. The old world charm of the place is escalated to a new high with splendid decorations and colorful lights all around the town. You can have a memorable time here meeting with the traditional French Santa Claus. Markets are filled with traditional wooden chalets, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and impressive concerts and shows, children’s games.
There are choir groups singing carols at the four corners of the town; you can even join them if you wish to. Both the young and the old will be mesmerized by the captivating sights and sounds of this town which looks like a scene from some fairy tale. The highlight is the gigantic Grand Sapin with a height of 30 meters which is illuminated from top to bottom and adorned with glittering decors. A visit to this place during the festive season is guaranteed to leave you with some magical memories to last for a lifetime.
Timings: 11 AM to 8 PM; till 9 PM on Fridays and 10 PM on Saturdays; closed on 25th December
Dates: 23rd November to 30th December
These are some of the places where you can meet Santa Claus in France and make the most of your holidays amidst festivities, revelry, old-world traditions, and vibrant marketplaces. The young ones and the adults too will have an illustrious vacation learning about the unique customs and traditions which are followed in the country during Christmas setting it apart from the rest of the world. To enjoy your France trip to the fullest, get in touch with TravelTriangle and be assured of an unforgettable and enthralling time with the whole family.
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