The stunning, and historic city of Reims in the Champagne producing area of France is lovely at any time of the year – but especially so at Christmas. Reims is said to be where the first French Christmas celebrations took place in 496BC. It happened when King Clovis and his 3000 warriors were baptised on Christmas Day by Bishop Rémi of Reims.
Reims Christmas market features 150 chalets lit with twinkling lights and offering seasonal gifts. Street entertainers from carol singers, to jazz bands and magicians keep everyone happy. There’s a gourmet market, and sound and light show on the Cathedral and on monuments. The Ferris Wheel has heated cabins from which to take in the views of the shimmering city. And of course there’s a Champagne bar and tastings galore to be had in the town.
Reims Christmas market 2022
Reims Christmas market 2022 takes place from 1 – 31 December 2022. At just 45 minutes from Paris by TGV – it’s an unmissable Christmas day out.
Details of opening times and more: reims.fr
More to do in Reims at Christmas:
Visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims – a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is where, for centuries, the Kings of France were crowned. The beautiful stained glass windows and facade of the cathedral are simply stunning. For Christmas 2022, a free fabulous show “Regalia” will take place throughout December. The incredible sound and light show will take you through the emotion and beauty of a day in the coronation of a King.
Be amazed by St. Remi’s basilica a short walk (circa 1.5km) from the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Reims. This immense and ancient building is full of history.
Don’t miss the Palais du Tau, built between 1498 and 1509. The Kings of France would stay here when attending their coronation ceremony. This building too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now home to a museum of royal clothing from the coronations of French royalty plus statues and treasures of the cathedral from past centuries.
More Christmas in Champagne festivities
At nearby Epernay, the capital of Champagne, you can see the fabulous show “Habits de Lumière” (Suits of Light), 9-11 December 2022. The Avenue de Champagne comes alive with art installations, sounds and lights, street theatre, music, champagne bars, tastings, demonstrations by chefs from the region and on the Sunday morning a parade of prestige cars. See the Epernay Tourist website for more details: epernay-tourisme.com
At Châlons-en-Champagne a beautiful city of art and history, with canals and rivers crossing the city, passing by wooden framed houses, you will find the Christmas Market from 2-31 December 2022. See the Châlons-en-Champagne tourist website for more information and details: en.chalons-tourisme.com.
Fismes, the birth place of Asterix creator Alberto Uderzo, is a picturesque setting for the traditional “Saint-Eloi Fair” usually held the first Saturday of December. For details see the Fismes Tourist Office website.
The towns of Champagne present a warm and festive welcome as part of the Noëls de Champagne (Champagne Christmases). During this time several towns put on a host of events: exhibitions, gourmet markets, street animations, nativity scenes, parades and fairy tales as well as outdoor ice rinks and concerts. See details on the Champagne-Ardenne Tourist Office website.
Where to drink Champagne in Champagne at Christmas
Of course Champagne is high on most shoppers’ lists and there are several Champagne houses to visit in Reims. We recommend you check the Reims Tourist site to validate dates, times and details (which may be subject to change). Plus, visit the Tourist office to get lots of details of what to see and where to go. Champagne aficionados will love Maison de Pommery cellars under their Gothic-style buildings and gardens. A magnificent 116-step stairway leads to a maze of galleries dug into the chalk. Various stages of champagne making are shown, and the end product is for sale in the gift shop. There are a dozen Champagne houses to visit in Reims from the oldest, Ruinart, to Piper Heidseck, Veuve Cliquot, Taittinger, Krug, Mumm and many more. See details for tours and tastings on the Reims Tourist Office website