On Monday, I went to the marché de Noël near me in Angers. French Christmas markets are a great way to get in the Christmas spirit, do a little shopping, and enjoy some festive treats. Let me tell you more about what you can find at French Christmas markets and share my video I made so you can go on a virtual tour with me!
Christmas in France: Visiting a French Christmas market
First, let me lead with my French Christmas market video I put together:
Traditionally, Christmas markets in France started in Eastern France and Germany, with the oldest (and best maybe?) in the Alsatian town of Strasbourg. Other popular ones to visit are in Colmar and Metz and I’ve heard the one in Ribeauvillé is gorgeous. I’ll have to put those on the list for next year!
You’ll find a bunch of different vendors who set up shop in beautifully decorated chalets, the colorful little houses you’ll see in my video. Here in Angers, the chalets are blue and red because those are Angers’ city colors. Look closely and you’ll see that the roofs are made of imitation slate, which represents the traditional slate you’ll find in the Anjou region.
Sometimes Christmas music will be playing in the background as you walk around and you may even see groups of carolers helping to spread the Christmas cheer.
Bring a healthy appetite to a French marché de Noel if you find yourself doing Christmas in France so you can take advantage of all the amazing food and drink options. My market had raclette sandwiches, tartiflette, soup, saucisson, crepes and waffles and wonderful-smelling vin chaud. That’s a Christmas in France must. The vin traditionnel is generally red wine flavored with orange, cinnamon, cardamom and other festive spices. Some vin chaud options even have Cointreau liqueur or rum to really warm you up.
In terms of sweets, I picked up some macarons and even found trendy donuts and a cookie dough bar, two very new things on the scene that aren’t typically French.
One of my favorite parts is that many of the vendors will offer you a sample of their product(s) and I happily tasted saucisson and cheese before buying both. You know, to get in the spirit. 😉
In addition to food, you can find artisanal wares and other interesting goods, many of which are local. One of the chalets even focused on a wide array of maple syrup products from Canada!
Yes, you are required to wear a mask at this particular French Christmas market, and you have to show your pass sanitaire to enter.
Have you been to a French Christmas market or spent Christmas in France? Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!