Without a doubt, the French capital has a lot to offer. But, when it comes to the festive holidays, there’s so much more you can see and do outside of Paris. A trip to any one of the destinations listed in this article will not only offer you a whole new opportunity to feel the magic of Christmas in France, but it will also help you better understand the people, values, and culture of this storied place.
So, without further ado, let’s take you beyond Paris’ well-heeled streets, to picture-perfect locations where you’ll get to experience a unique and magical Christmas.
Christkindelsmärik Market (in Strasbourg)
France has some of the most beautiful Christmas markets ever. Streets are filled with decorations and everywhere you go, there is the aroma of delicious goodies in the air. Christkindelsmärik Market in Strasbourg offers visitors a one-of-a-kind traditional Christmas experience, and if you can visit only one – let it be this one! Here you will get to explore over 300 chalets offering a vast selection of products that range from kids’ toys and clothing to tasty Christmas treats and unique hand-crafted gifts for the special people in your life. This is one of the most visited attractions in the city and it’s definitely one that you absolutely should not miss.
Dates : From November 23rd to December 30th 2019
Kaysersberg Christmas Market (in Colmar)
If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas in Colmar, then you’re in for a real treat. Kayserberg Christmas market has everything you need to enjoy a traditional Christmas, from mulled wine and gingerbread to aromatic sausages and more. There are exciting toys and goody bags for the kids as well as gifts for the whole family. At this market, there are also various fun and free activities that you can take part in to get in the convivial spirit of the medieval city of Kaysersberg. Although not as large as Strasbourg, this market is just as cheerful and festive. You and your friends or family will undoubtedly have the experience of a lifetime when you visit the Kaysersberg Christmas market.
Dates : From November 29th to December 23rd 2019
Cologne Christmas Market
From 25 November to 23 December this area transforms into one of the most vibrant and festive places in all of Germany. The Cologne Christmas market pops up between the Rhine and the cathedral, at the foot of the most impressive building in Cologne. It’s illuminated by thousands of dreamy fairy lights and covered in colorful crepe decorations. Explore this spectacular market to sample spiced wine, French Christmas cookies, Buche de Noel, and various other holiday treats. You’ll also find a massive offering of quality hand-crafted gift ideas for all.
Berlin Christmas Market
This market has a fascinating selection of foods, wines, toys, and clothing. If you’re searching for an authentic traditional Christmas experience, then the Berlin Christmas market is the place to be. There’s a sumptuous background as well as an extremely elaborate light installation that rivals anything else seen in the city. Everything from the street lights to the trees and buildings is adorned with bright lights and the season’s decorations. In the air hangs the mouth-watering aroma of baked Christmas treats. Within the stalls, you’ll find a wide range of products for sale at incredible prices. This is undoubtedly one of the best places to do your Christmas shopping if you want to get everything on your list in one convenient place.
Dates : From November 25th to December 25th 2019
Christmas Market in Frankfurt
As far as Christmas celebrations go, few are more spectacular than what you will find when you visit the Frankfurt Christmas market. Out of all of Europe’s cities, this has to be the one that offers visitors the most cheerful and vibrant atmosphere for the whole family. There’s a massive, beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the market. Everyone, both young and old will find something exciting to see and do here. From gingerbread treats to mulled wine, new toys, and hand-crafted gifts, this market offers something for everyone.
Dates : From November 25th to December 22nd 2019
Christmas Market in Vienna
Vienna is an amazing Christmas destination, and if you’re planning a getaway to this iconic city during the festive holidays, you shouldn’t miss paying a visit to the Vienna Christmas Market. In addition to being able to explore the breath-taking streets of Vienna, you will also get to experience all the Christmassy goodness this place has to offer. Taste the punch, have some chestnuts, sample the cheeses and sausages and more. Sift through the wonderfully diverse range of toys, clothing, books, and hand-made gifts made by local artisans to find the best gifts for those you care about. No matter what you choose to do, one thing’s for sure, the Christmas market in Vienna is the perfect way to feel the magic of Christmas outside of Paris.
Dates : From November 22nd to December 26th 2019
Christmas Market in Brussels
Are you ready to experience all the winter wonders Brussels has to offer? If so, then visit the Christmas market in Brussels to discover what a traditional Christmas in Belgium truly feels like. Starting from the 29th of November through the 5th of January, this magical adventure takes place in different venues in Brussels, including the Grand Place, the Bourse, the Place Sainte Catherine, the Place de la Monnaie, and the Place de Brouckere. It’s the ideal venue for anyone who wants to spend a few hours exploring all that this market has to offer.
Dates : From November 29th 2019 to January 5th 2020
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more magical experience than spending Christmas at Disneyland in Paris. Here you will truly be able to feel the wonder of Christmas spirit springing to life everywhere you go. Disneyland is among the top attractions at any time of the year, but during the festive season, nothing compares to its enchanting atmosphere. Kids of all ages – from 2 to 92 – will adore spending the day in this fairytale setting, enjoying the sights, sounds, and holiday treats.
Dates : From November 9th 2019 to January 6th 2020
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Asterix Park, and with it comes a spectacular experience for all visitors during the Christmas season. There will be a lot of surprises in store for you if you visit between 21 December and 5 January. Prepare for a Gallic Christmas and celebrate the festive holidays in a snow-covered setting with superb entertainment and activities. There are tons of attractions here, including Christmas music and holiday-themed shows. If you are a fan of the park, then you will enjoy this totally original universe they’ve created for you.
Dates : From December 21st 2019 to January 5th 2020
‘Christmas in a thousand and one colors’ is the theme of this year’s festivities sat the Castle Vaux le Vicomte. Time your visit for between the 23rd of November and just before Christmas and you will be able to take part in this joyful celebration of the holidays through color and lights. Everything from the courtyard to the outbuildings and the chateau itself will be transformed into a bright, magical, enchanted world for all to enjoy.
Castle of Breteuil
This castle, also known as ‘The Puss in Boots Castle’, is a wonderful place to spend the day with friends or family. During Christmas time, your visit here will be worthy of even the most romantic fairy tales ever told. There’s enchantment, delight, and wonder around every corner and the castle itself is adorned with gorgeous lights and decorations. There are also tons of activities for the whole family to take part in, making this one of the best getaways to feel the magic of Christmas.