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France Christmas Markets

There are a number of cities in France that really do turn on the lights and the festive spirit on Christmas.

Each year these cities have Christmas markets, a thrilling experience that really does put some cheer into that excited time just before Christmas.
Paris features more than a few Christmas markets, with most starting sometime between late November and early December. Contact the Paris Tourism Office for more information.

Strasbourg - This is one of the largest Christmas markets in France and the setting in front of Strasbourg Cathedral is breathtaking and opens from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24. In its 431st year, this market in Alsace is the oldest Christmas market in France.

Be confident to visit La Petite France, a cozy neighborhood of timbered fairy-tale buildings with Christmas shops and a gingerbread bakery. Mulhouse - This Alsatian market features shopping while sipping mulled wine and "bredele," or Christmas biscuits and opens from Nov. 21 to Dec. 31.

The tourism office offers a tour package, "Discover Christmas in the Land of Christmas Carols and Fabrics," which features two nights' hotel stay, a dinner and entry to the Textile Printing Museum. To get more information, contact the Mulhouse Tourism Office or call 033-389-35-48-48.

Besancon - December - The Christmas Fair is set in this delightful Franche-Compte village, also the home to an astronomical clock with 30,000 parts and several beautiful fountains.

Brest - The market in this small city in Brittany features chalets selling Christmas wares and opens from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24. To get more information, log on the Brest government site (in French) or call 033-298-44-24-96.