This article is part of a series which researches the top cities for Christmas Markets in Europe. In this series, Lyon was recognised as the 42nd most coveted Christmas Market from a list of over 500 European cities.
About Lyon Christmas Markets
France’s Christmas markets, or marché de Noel, date back centuries – with the first in the country taking place in Strasbourg in the 16th century – and are an unmissable part of the festive build-up, combining the French love of food and drink with the country’s flair for celebration and theatre.
While Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmarik is the country’s oldest, and arguable most iconic, Christmas market, there are plenty of other French cities whose Christmas celebrations are worth a visit – Lyon’s among them. Alongside the famous and historic festival of lights, or Fete des Lumiéres, the Christmas markets in Lyon offer a great way to soak up the festive atmosphere for all the family.
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#1 The Christmas market at Place Carnot
This is Lyon’s oldest and most traditional Christmas market, taking place in the heart of the French university city. There are around 140 Christmas chalets gathered around Place Carnot each year, where vendors of all kind, from Lyon, its surrounds and countries further afield, showcase their wares, from food to drink, gifts to trinkets, clothing to jewellery. The market itself is one of France’s most picturesque, with a brightly lit festive Ferris wheel at its centre and children’s activities including face painting and a Christmas carousel.
When: Nov 24-Dec 24
Where: Place Carnot
What time: 10.30am-8pm (Sun-Fri), 10.30am-10pm (Sat)
#2 The Christmas Village at Croix-Rousse
The second of Lyon’s Christmas markets, Croix-Rousse’s festive offering replicates the look and feel of a Christmas village, complete with a live action Christmas farm – animals included! With up to 60 vendors selling decorative items, jewellery, clothing, ceramic, leather goods and art prints, you’ll be sure to find a unique and unusual Christmas gift, in the most Christmassy of settings.
When: mid-December (dates TBC)
What time: TBC
#3 Fete des Lumieres
The festival of lights, Fete des Lumiéres, is one of Lyon’s most prized traditions, and an incredibly special event to witness for any visitor. For three days only, from December 6th to 9th, Lyon hosts the Fete des Lumiéres, where designers and artists come from far and wide to participate in a city-wide exhibition of brightly lit masterpieces. It’s something that has to be seen to be believed: the city lit up, its buildings, streets, squares and parks, by more than 80 enormous art installations and designs that perfectly harness the bright lights we have all come to associate with the festive period.
When: Dec 6-9
Where: throughout Lyon
What time: N/A
Official Website: http://www.fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr/en
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