Arras Christmas Market: France’s biggest north of Paris

We all miss France, we have all been dreaming of it. But now, finally, is the time we can start making our dreams turn to reality. Now is the time to plan for the ultimate European Christmas in 2021. Without question, the top of the DON’T MISS list is the Arras Christmas Market.

Arras Christmas Market means special family moments together

Arras Christmas Market is your long overdue opportunity to take a step back and relish happiness and seasonal spirit, making memories as you go. Arras Christmas market is far more than just a market, with traditional carousels, big-wheel, sledge-slide and ice-skating all adding to the intoxicating winter wonderland experience.

Arras - Marché de Noël manège
Arras - Marché de Noël manège

It’s a shopper’s paradise too!

Endless rows of stalls in the Grand Place with Christmas wares ─ from wreaths and candleholders to personalised wooden decorations, chic French garments and homewares ─ all with the famous French touch. Here’s your chance to buy the unusual, the unique and the handcrafted.
Each purchase is pleasantly punctuated by something else going on: People deep in conversation with locals about andouillette (the local sausage sensation), ordering vin chaud (mulled wine) and the kids impatient to get a glimpse of Le Père Noël (“He speaks FRENCH!”), visiting ‘Ice World’ and devouring a crêpe oozing gooey artisan chocolate.
Over in the next square along ─ Place des Héros ─ you can lick a window (not literally of course – it’s the French expression for window shopping) at the Bleu d’Arras shop and ponder how many people you can tick off the gift-list with these exquisite porcelain tree decorations with their long heritage in Arras.

photo FLAMENT, arras, marché de noel
photo FLAMENT, arras, marché de noel -0945

Arras Christmas market - a convivial affair

This isn’t your usual seasonal shopping scrum. Here, the locals take their time, observe traditions such as buying delicacies for Réveillon (Christmas Eve family meal) and catch up with neighbours over a few oysters and a glass of crisp white wine.
Folks in Northern France are also big on beer and savour it like a good wine. During the market, nip to the hip bar Chez Marcel to check out Luka’s line of taps (not to mention his cliché-curly French moustache!).

Arras - Marché de Noël
Arras - Marché de Noël

Look beyond the lights: You’re at the heart of WW1 country

The famously friendly locals will bend over backwards with their recommendations for must-see places to visit, with WW1 site the Wellington Quarry likely at the top of the list. Christmas isn’t just about the material things and nowhere will you feel more inclined to appreciate health, happiness, friends and family than here at this underground memorial. The graffiti that allied soldiers drew whilst tunnelling in an offensive against German forces is a sad yet life-affirming sight ─ one of many dotting the Northern France landscape.

Plan your trip for Christmas in France 2021 – and put the Arras Christmas market at the top of your MUST DO list!

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