France is famous for its Christmas markets and we think that Arras in the north of France is one of the prettiest and most fun!
Set in the splendid and prestigious Grand’Place – the magnificent grand square of Arras town – this is a Christmas village more than a Christmas market.
The whole square is transformed into a magical winter wonderland from end November until Christmas Eve as more than 100 exhibitors set out their goods in the lovely wooden chalets and entice shoppers to browse and buy in a beautiful setting. Red carpets are laid for visitors to walk on, there are delicious cooking smells, musical events, workshops and twinkling lights – a truly special experience.
When you’re done shopping for regional and gourmet specialities such as champagne, chocolate and fabulous cheese and traditional toys and gifts there’s plenty more to keep you entertained.
What’s on at Arras Christmas Market?
The carousel with wooden horses set in the heart of the market.
Santa Claus is there every day and you can visit his house and post a letter in his mailbox!
Famous chefs will demonstrate how to cook great dishes (plus tastings) and to offer tips and ideas for recipes and for dishes to make Christmas that little bit more special (Monday – Saturday)
There are acrobats, jugglers, fire eaters, clowns and musicians in the late afternoon and evenings at the market, entertaining and making the children squeal with delight
A 600 m² ice rink is open every day (paid). And a toboggan run.
Music and song at the weekend – with a choir on Sundays
Saint-Nicolas will descend the beautiful Arras Belfry and perform a walk about distributing sweets to the children (see Arras tourist office website below for details)
Stay warm with a glass of mulled wine or delicious hot chocolate served in one of the heated chalets while you watch the free entertainment and if you fancy a snack there are plenty of choices here from traditional roast chestnuts, pretzels and strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue to the fabulous fluffy Flemish waffles that are a local speciality.
Arras is a lovely town to visit at any time of the year but at Christmas it’s perhaps just that little bit more special. There are plenty of restaurants, great hotels at all budgets, historic buildings and sites to visit, all around the two famous squares, Grand’Place and Place des Héros you’ll find cafés and bars with pavement seating – just perfect for watching the world go by, wrapped up warm!
Opening hours for Arras Christmas Village:From Monday to Friday: midday – 7.30pm Saturday: 10am – 9pm Sunday: 10am – 7.30pm December 24th: 10am – 5pm
For lots more information:
Arras – Ideal Weekend Destination
Arras – Town Hall, Belfry and Les Boves
Arras – Carrière Wellington
Arras Tourist Office arraspaysdartois.com