Christmas DIY Projects
France offers wonderful opportunities when it comes to Christmas gifts. Christmas markets in France are very popular with many UK shoppers because they offer a wide range of unusual Christmas gift ideas and because they are also fun to visit.
Even the most jaded Christmas shoppers could hardly resist entering a festive atmosphere when shopping at a Christmas market in France. French Christmas markets often have numerous stalls offering everything from delicious cakes, pies, chocolates, sweets, cheeses, cakes, meat, and other products to traditional Christmas decorations, crafts, and Christmas gifts. Christmas markets in France also offer many other activities such as fairs, concerts, and entertainment.
With Christmas music in the background, bright Christmas lights, the delicious smell of roasted chestnuts filling the air, and the welcome offer of a glass of Vin Chaud (mulled wine) to keep out the cold, Christmas markets in France offer a truly magical Christmas atmosphere.
Most Christmas markets in France are annual events that begin in late November, with a small number opening in early December. As Christmas markets and events in France can vary from city to city, check with your local French Tourist Office for details.
Below is a selection of Christmas markets in Northern France which, being close to the UK, provide an ideal day for Christmas shopping or perhaps a much needed Christmas break.
Christmas Market in Lille
Lille’s month-long Christmas market, held in the city center on Place Rihour, is a colorful Christmas scene full of lights and wooden houses, offering everything from French Christmas delicacies, local crafts, jewelry, toys, and Christmas gifts.
Among the highlights of Lille’s Christmas market is the Grand Place’s Santa Claus waterwheel, which takes part in a spectacular event every Saturday in December when it “falls” from the Chamber of Commerce’s 80-meter high bell tower, and the last Saturday before Christmas an orchestra of 450 tubas plays Christmas carols.
Christmas Market in Amiens
The town center of Amiens considered the largest and most important Christmas market in Northern France, is transformed into a beautiful festive setting of Alpine Christmas splendor with chalets and stalls selling Picardy products and goods.
Visitors to the Amiens Christmas market can easily shop while strolling through the pedestrian areas decorated with Christmas trees and ornaments. Entertainment is also offered in the form of shows, songs, and activities for children.
The magnificent Gothic cathedral of Amiens, Notre-Dame d’Amiens, is also worth a visit in the evening. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral is the heart of the “Cathedral of Colours”, which takes place at Christmas and at other times of the year.
Boulogne-sur-Mer Christmas Market
The Boulogne Christmas market is an annual event that takes place within the walls of the charming old town. With its cobbled streets and picturesque charm, the Boulogne Christmas market offers stalls selling all kinds of handicrafts, Christmas gifts, regional delicacies and local specialties such as smoked herrings and sparkling biscuits. Previous Christmas markets have included an ice sculptor, a music parade, and fireworks.