ESL – What’s on:  8 things to do in France in December Part 1

26 November

What’s on:  8 things to do in France in December Part 1

What's on: Eight cool things to do in France in December

1. The Strasbourg Christmas market (pictured above)

This is the oldest “marché de Noël” in France, dating back to the 16th century. Set in the quaint, medieval old town, it has 300 stalls, making it one of the largest markets in Europe. The heart of the festivities is Place de la Cathédrale, in front of the gothic cathedral. Open until December 30th.

There are, of course, plenty of other decent Christmas markets around France. Here are 13 others worth checking out! But remember, the one on the Champs-Elysees has been cancelled this year.

2. Festival of Light, Lyon

From December 7th to 10th, a variety of different artists will light up buildings, streets, squares and parks all over the city.

The town has promised 50 installations in total, and has even launched a free app to go with the event.



3. Crib Figurine Fair – Foire aux Santons – Until December 24th

The Provence region is famous for its “Santons”, hand-painted nativity scene figurines made out of terracotta. At the faire in Mouans-Sartoux artists from all over France come together to showcase and sell their creations. If you fancy displaying a traditional “Provençal crèche” this Christmas you’ll find everything you need at the fair, from hundreds of accessories for the crib to books on the history and art of figurine making.

4. See a Christmas concert in a church

Churches across France will be offering some spectacular Christmas shows this month.

For those in Paris, check out the one in the Saint Chapelle church (in the first arrondissement, pictured below) that will feature the music of Bach, Purcell, Corelli, the Ave Maria and other traditional Christmas songs. (It happens on the 22nd of December and the 29th).

“Not only do you get to listen to the gorgeous music, you also get to savor the astounding beauty of the church and its brilliant stained glass windows,” says Richard Nahem, who runs the Eye Prefer Paris blog.

If you’re in Paris, it’s also worth taking a look at Les Billettes Church in the Marais, or the traditional Christmas Concert at the gothic wonder, St. Severin.

Watch for 4 more December things-to-do-in-France, which will be given in a few days time.


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