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Hidden Christmas markets

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Bonjour forum-users,

I'm writing about hidden Christmas markets in Alsace or elsewhere in France... can you recommend any that tourists wouldn't normally know about? What do you like to eat/drink/buy there? Where do you go to get a bit of Christmas spirit in France?

It's for my next Times Online column... Here's the last one in case you've never seen it -


Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!




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These aren't exactly hidden, Carolyn, but I love the Christmas markets at Aix en Provence and Avignon. Some years  there's also a speciality food market at Aix as well as many santon stalls and other local crafts etc. Avignon also has craft and Christmas food stalls, plus santon stalls. We enjoy hot wine, lunch and buy a new santon each year. Sadly Uzes didn't have its small Christmas fair last year, and I haven't heard any plans for it this year yet.


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Not exactly secret either, but Munster and Kayserberg in Alsace are good ones (much smaller than Strasbourg or Colmar, but more Christmas spirit).  Arrive around 4pm - any earlier and there isn't so much atmosphere (and half the stalls are closed for lengthy lunches!).  The kids stuff themselves with bretzli (sorry about spelling) and hot chocolate, and Mummy and Daddy enjoy hot Alsace wine - different to the red version, but good.

In the Vosges, there is a small but nice one in Gerardmer (mainly crafts, cheese and dried meat, and of course vin chaud, crepes, etc etc), and in St Die des Vosges near the cathedral.


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Maybe not what you want for your article but the best hidden markets are just across the border in Rheinland-Pfalz - within 30 minutes driving of the border at Lauterbourg:



-  both specialise in artisan craft items, the former more in wood, textile and leather the latter more in glass and ceramics.

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As andyh4 above says, there are some great markets just over the border.

Can I also add Trier to the list.  It does get very crowded at weekends though.

Another one (though also not in France) is the Christmas market in Luxembourg Ville (Place d'Armes)

Fairly small but great atmosphere, go in the evenings for carol singers/brass bands etc.

As well as the Glühwine, try the gromperer kischelshuer mit apfelsauce  (fried potato cakes with apple sauce) gorgeous!

Another specialty is Lard (inna bun).  No its not a slab of fat (or a CMOT Dibbler special) but actually grilled belly pork all crispy! lovely!


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