Christmas in France

Traveling is a passion for many, including myself. I have found throughout my travels that learning the language of the country you’re visiting can be a crucial aspect. It makes your trip much more fun and interesting.

 So if you’re ever consider visiting France or a francophone country like the dreamy island of Mauritius (and there are many others!), then why not learn french? At Albert Learning, we give online, private language courses accustomed to your writing and speaking level. You can also have the option of taking group classes or private free discussions to perfect your conversation skills.

With the Christmas holidays approaching, the dreamy city of Paris, as well as many other cities around France, become popular destinations, attracting tourists from all nationalities. You’re probably wondering, what’s the hype all about?  That’s what we’re going to find out. It’s because holidays in France are uniquely magical around that time of the year.

Indeed, many cities and towns in France have kept an old-school tradition of celebrating Christmas. From the streets decked in  Christmas decorations and sparkly festive lights to the famous Marché De Noël, or Christmas Fair, found in many cities around France and Europe.  Let’s see some of the traditions of a typically french Christmas : 

Le Marché De Noël :

The magic of Christmas in the town of Strasbourg in the region of Alsace Lorraine, France

Since they were created in Germany, Christmas markets have become popular around Europe. The Christmas markets of the region of Alsace, in the north of France, are particularly famous for their authentic local delicacies. The Christmas fairs of Strasbourg or Colmar are among the most popular destinations for tourists. Shop owners expose their specialties in markets made of wooden cabins. In these magical fairs, you can have a cozy Vin Chaud (mulled wine) to warm you up in the snowy weather.

You can equally taste the local gingerbread subtly called in french the ‘Pain D’épice’, and have Raclette or Fondue (A dish mainly made of local melted cheese). You can also find many other attractive Christmas presents, such as local wine, delicious chocolates or tasty homemade jams, called Confiture, that are made in the region. The markets are held across the country as well as across Europe throughout the month of December. 

Dreamy Christmas Decorations

The Christmas spirit comes out rather early in many french cities, especially Paris and its magical street decorations in the wintertime. The streets of Paris are decorated with sparkly lights and colorful decorations are hung on lamp posts. In the Champs-Élysées, a famous avenue in Paris, the tall trees along the long avenue would be fully decked in sparkly colorful lights, with the sumptuous monument The Arc De Triomphe in the background. 

A glimpse of the flamboyant red lights illuminating the Champs Elysee 

The designers Blachere Illuminations have created the lighting for this year’s over the top display theme on the color red.

The avenue is lit in an annual ceremony where a public figure lights up the avenue for the first time of the year.

Flamboyant Christmas lights also decorate luxury shops and big shopping malls in every city. My personal favorites while visiting Paris were the lavish Galeries Lafayette decorations, which is a big luxury retail store, particularly the huge Christmas tree in the center of the lavish gallery in Boulevard Haussman. Christmas windows and decorations are a signature touch of Les Galeries Lafayette in the holiday period, with a new theme every year created by famous decor designers. This year, the kingdom of bees is the theme for the decoration, as well as for luxury pastry chefs to create delicacies inspired by the fascinating creature.

Christmas tree decor in France

Christmas tree and windows at Galeries Lafayette in Haussman Boulevard, Paris.

Experience Christmas Magic in Disneyland Paris

A staple of every family trip to Paris remains the magical theme park Disneyland, just outside the city of Paris. In this huge theme park, you will be able to meet your favorite Disney characters. You can also enjoy the many attractions inspired by the Disney world. Disney’s festive season lasts from November 2019 to January 2020. You can witness Christmas shows and parades as well as markets, light shows and streets lavishing in decorations. A day ticket usually costs from 87 € but it’s worth making your childhood dreams come true.

Disneyland in Paris

Christmas magic as you have never experienced it before, Picture in Disneyland Paris theme park.

Enjoy the winter sales :

Paris is often called “La capitale de La Mode”, or the capital of fashion, and rightfully so. French women in particular have a flair for fashion, with their basic but chic style. It is a habit of french people to give gifts during Christmas. They save up for the winter sales which start during the holiday period. Indeed, the winter sales in France are a great opportunity to shop until you drop ! Everything from designer clothes to accessories, jewelry, and furniture can be shopped at a reduced price. So don’t think twice about checking out the winter sales if you travel to France during the holidays!  

Christmas shopping in France

The lavish windows of Les Galeries Lafayette department store for Christmas 2019.

Hope you enjoyed reading this piece. For those who want to witness the magic of Christmas in France, learn French. Be a pro at grammar and vocabulary in French, and speak like a native.