Spending Christmas in France, a country overflowing with elegance, historical significance, and pride, is a delight that one affectionately embraces and serves as a reminder of how wonderful life can truly be.
Take a breath and perceive how the melodies of traditional French Christmas carols are spreading throughout the atmosphere, bringing happiness and enchantment into your heart. Each aspect of such an atmosphere has been carefully chosen to inspire amazement. It is adorned with delicate details, takes you to a distant horizon, and inspires a profound admiration for life.
The perfume of delicious treats fills the air at every stop along your journey to celebrate Christmas in France, enticing your taste buds with their mouth-watering aromas. Each traditional French festive dish has a unique narrative that reflects the mix of French culinary customs.
Knowing that life is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated, you experience a profound sense of fulfillment when celebrating Christmas in France’s elegant ambiance.
5 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in France
Even though France is an excellent destination for exploring all year round, the winter provides its own unique attraction. With its stunning mountains covered in snow, alpine ski activities, and glimpses of the Mediterranean sun, France in the winter is guaranteed to impress and delight you if you enjoy wearing warm jackets and cozy scarves.
So where can you celebrate Christmas in France? We’ve compiled a list of the 5 top locations in France, both on the mainland and in overseas regions, to visit during the winter.
One of the best times to travel to France is in December, when Christmas markets, trees, and other holiday-related attractions appear throughout the country’s capital. The Lights Festival at Jardin des Plantes and Le Festival du Merveilleux at Musée des Arts Forains only represent a pair of exceptional Christmas food and wine festivals that take place in Paris throughout the winter months.
While Avenue des Champs-Elysées is yet another renowned Christmas destination, the Eiffel Tower, especially sparkling at night, is an iconic Christmas sight in Paris. Hundreds of thousands of LED lights comprise the famous street, illuminating it from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
If you wish to experience Christmas shopping in Paris, you will need to go to Boulevard Haussmann. In this area, you can discover Printemps Haussmann and Galeries Lafayette, two of the greatest shopping centers in Europe. The animated glass windows that are professionally decorated by the two establishments each year are a source of an annual competition.
Strasbourg decorates for Christmas in its most spectacular light-colored attire, earning the title of “capital of Christmas.” Its historic Christmas market, the “Christkindelsmärik” on Place Broglie, is the city’s primary appeal. There is nothing quite comparable to the Strasbourg Christmas Market with its over 300 market stalls, kilometers of light garland, magnificent Big Tree, and spectacular exhibitions and musical performances.
During the entire month of December, the city fills with the aroma of Christmas wine and gingerbread thanks to the shining chalets. Visitors are assured of having a wonderful and profound experience that surpasses anything in Europe. The enormous Christmas tree on Place Kleber is yet another Strasbourg holiday icon. The historical city of Grande Ile makes a charming setting for holiday decorations. La Petite-France is one of the best areas in Strasbourg to experience this cheerful ambiance for Christmas in France.
Colmar seems like it originates directly from a fairy tale! It is the most magnificent ancient town in the Haut-Rhin region of the Alsace area, with colorful architecture and brimming with eateries and charming shops. The town has been favored by the Swiss and Germans and is surrounded by vineyards and medieval monuments. Colmar is an excellent location for celebrating Christmas in France and offers various winter sports.
Colmar’s historic streets, which are dotted with spectacular Renaissance timber-framed buildings, are ideally suited to the holiday season. Five Christmas markets, including the Petite-Venise, are held in the old district.
The center of a particularly tourist-friendly region, characterized by picturesque wine villages that resemble scenes from fairy tales, is home to the capital of Alsace wineries. Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, and Riquewihr are the three villages that reflect Alsace during Christmas and feature true Christmas fairs.
Now we’re heading south to the lovely beach town of Collioure in the Occitanie Pyrenees Orientales region, which is situated on the Cote Vermeille in southern France. Collioure reflects elegance and enjoys a distinguished creative past that influenced the Fauvist art style in the 20th century. Christmas is a special local time, and the area is incredibly delightful. The lamp posts along the seafront and the small boutiques and galleries have both been brightened up.
Collioure is a highly esteemed destination with many pleasant pubs and restaurants, making a trip there for Christmas a necessity, especially if you enjoy a more temperate climate while being by the sea.
Without any doubt, Dinan is one of France’s most charming little towns to celebrate Christmas in. When admiring Dinan underneath the Christmas lights with family or friends, you may observe an immense, shining Christmas ball on the theater’s terrace or walk up to the Saint-Malo church and marvel at its illuminated architecture. Your eyes will sparkle with the medieval city’s splendor and the wonder of Christmas.
Dinan offers a festive fair throughout the entire month of December, making Christmas especially spectacular. It is a true delight to stroll through the charming port, stone, timber mansions, and cobblestone streets. There also happen to be some charming shops, art galleries, and delightful little pubs and eateries. One could easily picture living in the past century while walking around here.
Traditional Decorations For Celebrating Christmas In France
The Christmas decorations in France are a significant draw for the most delightful time of the year, as people from all over the world gather to witness the streets decorated in magical colors for the festive period. The main avenues are magnificently illuminated with glowing arches, colored bulbs, brilliant flames, and glistening light displays.
Around mid-November, Christmas lights and other decorations begin to appear on French streets, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience and bringing everyone’s spirits up throughout the year’s coldest days. The cultural capital of France has recently become even more delightful thanks to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne, Place Vendôme, Montmartre surroundings, Bercy Village, and many more locations throughout the nation.
Although it might appear unexpected, while celebrating Christmas in France, the festive tree is not the most preferred decoration. The French prefer to adorn the house with traditional garlands of greenery that are coiled around windows, hung over entrances, and tied around stair rails.
There might be occasional organic seasonal decorations, such as pine cones or berries, but there always seems to be an excessive amount of sparkle. On a mantel, flavorful wax candles are placed into the greenery, and brightly colored lights are weaved into the branches.
French Christmas Dinner Delights For Traditional Celebration
The traditional Christmas in France incorporates an immense celebration dinner that generally takes place on December 24 rather than December 25. As the multi-course feast usually commences with Champagne and Christmas is perceived as an excellent opportunity for dining extravagantly, amuse-bouche choices for France’s widely recognized sparkling might consist of foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon, and oysters.
Traditionally presented with seasonal chestnut stuffing, turkey is the primary course offered during Christmas in France. Even though turkey is by far the most prevalent main course in French cuisine, some families opt to depart from the norm and eat pork roast, ham, or even exotic meats such as wild boar.
The cheese course, which usually involves at least one truffle-dusted contender, accompanies the main course, as is customary for the majority of traditional French meals: There are plenty of delectable selections, including Brie, triple-cream Brillat-Savarin, and double-cream Chaource.
No French meal could be accomplished without some of their internationally acclaimed special French sweet treats, and the bûche de Noël, or Yule Log, is an excellent choice for Christmas in France. A buttercream frosting is rolled throughout the baked and chilled genoise to create this delectable treat, which eventually gets decorated to resemble a log, as suggested by the cake’s name.
Some prefer to purchase a pastry “bûche” from the neighborhood patisserie, while others choose the supposedly lighter ice cream alternative from the supermarket. Together with marzipan, meringue, and other ingredients, a handcrafted Yule log is a stunning demonstration of baking and decoration. It can also be an exciting culinary venture for the entire family to get involved with since the ingredients are prepared in advance.
As you can see, the celebration of Christmas in France and its affluent environment accompany you on an adventure to a world where everything is carefully planned to evoke amazement and admiration toward life.
France is a celebration of the splendor of existence and the vast mosaic that mankind experiences, and in this elegant ambiance, you become aware that every moment is intended to be loved and appreciated. Christmas in France is an encouragement to delight in the glory of the world and the happiness of shared memories!
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology who’s eager to explore the wonders of nature. As a travel enthusiast and animal lover, she hopes to inspire others to discover and cherish the beauty and importance of the natural world.