Known for its Gothic cathedral and proximity to the Somme battlefields, the French city of Amiens draws in visitors for its unique blend of history and festivities. In winter, it hosts the Amiens Christmas Market.
In this guide, I’ll provide you with essential details such as the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations and local specialties to look out for during your visit.
The city is known for its illuminated façade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which adds a touch of grandeur to the holiday festivities.
Additionally, Amiens is known for the “Chroma,” a light and sound show that illuminates the cathedral and enriches the festive atmosphere.
Amiens Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Amiens features 130 chalets that line the main shopping streets, creating an authentic atmosphere for holiday celebrations.
Here, you can find Father Christmas engaging with children, multiple merry-go-rounds and ice rinks to entertain the young ones, and food stalls selling waffles and chocolate pancakes.
For adults, the market provides the option to enjoy mulled wine, locally-made mulled beer, and delicious treats like tartiflette.
It’s a balanced mix of activities and culinary options that cater to both younger and older visitors, set against the impressive backdrop of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Dates and Location
Amiens Christmas Market dates: 25th November to 31st December 2023.
Location: Place Notre Dame.
Opening times: Monday: 2pm to 7:30pm. Tuesday to Thursday: 10:30am to 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday: 10:30am to 9pm. Sunday: 10:30am to 7:30pm.
Christmas Eve: Closes early.
Christmas Day: Closed.
New Year’s Eve: Closes early.
Christmas lights: Light show every evening at Notre-Dame Cathedral from 7pm.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Notre-Dame Cathedral backdrop, 130 chalets, Father Christmas for kids, mulled beer for adults.
Specialities: Waffles, chocolate pancakes, tartiflette.
Where to stay: Mercure Amiens Cathédrale is a popular hotel, located 100 metres from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Amiens Christmas Market
The historic city centre is the best area to stay in Amiens for quick access to the Christmas market in Place Notre Dame.
This location puts you within walking distance of the market, Notre Dame Cathedral, and other local attractions.
For a convenient and popular choice, consider booking a room at Mercure Amiens Cathédrale, which is well-located near the Christmas market.
To make the most of your French holiday experience, I recommend reading my France Christmas Market 2023 guide, which provides valuable information on various markets throughout the country.
Location of Amiens Christmas Market
Christmas in Amiens
Christmas Specialties in Amiens
Macarons d’Amiens: These almond-based pastries have a soft texture and a slightly crisp exterior. Originating from Amiens, they’re often flavoured with honey, almond paste, or fruit. You can find these small treats at multiple stalls, and they make great gifts.
Tartiflette: Though not unique to Amiens, this French dish made of potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions is a warming, filling meal perfect for chilly evenings.
Waffles: Served hot and often dusted with powdered sugar, waffles are a crowd-pleaser. They’re available at various stalls and are a popular snack for children and adults alike.
Chocolate Pancakes: Fluffy and served hot, these pancakes often come with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. They’re a sweet treat that complements the overall food scene at the market.
Mulled Wine: A classic at many Christmas markets, mulled wine in Amiens sometimes comes with a local twist. Spices like cinnamon and cloves combine with red wine to create a warming drink.
Locally-Made Mulled Beer: Unique to Amiens, this beverage is a combination of local beer and spices. It provides an alternative to the traditional mulled wine and adds a local flavour to the drink selection.
Roasted Chestnuts: A common sight at Christmas markets, roasted chestnuts offer a smoky, nutty flavour. They’re often sold in paper cones and are easy to eat while exploring the market.
Gingerbread: Often shaped into festive figures or intricate patterns, gingerbread is a classic Christmas treat. Though not specific to Amiens, it’s a staple at many Christmas markets and adds to the variety of sweet options.
Pretzels: Another international favourite, pretzels are often available at the marché de Noël in Amiens. These twisted bread snacks come in both sweet and savoury varieties, catering to different tastes.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Picardy Pottery: Crafted in the region (now known as Hauts-de-France), Picardy pottery features unique designs often inspired by local landscapes and culture. These pieces range from tableware to decorative items, and each is typically hand-painted, making it a thoughtful gift that captures the essence of Amiens.
Lace Products: Amiens has a history of lace-making, and you can find intricate lace doilies, tablecloths, and even clothing items. These finely crafted products offer a touch of elegance and are often sold by artisans who can share the story behind each piece.
Local Honey: With an emphasis on local produce, some stalls sell jars of honey sourced from the Picardy region. The flavours vary depending on the flowers the bees have frequented, and you’ll find it’s a sweet gift or souvenir that supports local beekeepers.
French Linens: A common yet luxurious gift idea is high-quality French linens. Available in a variety of colours and patterns, these linens are often made from 100% cotton and make excellent gifts for anyone appreciative of fine home goods.
Wooden Toys: A staple at Christmas markets, wooden toys are both traditional and enduring. From toy soldiers to miniature cars, these toys are usually crafted by local artisans, making them a unique gift for children.
Hand-painted Ornaments: Ornaments are available in numerous styles and themes, often reflecting French culture or the spirit of Christmas. Hand-painted and delicate, these ornaments can add a touch of Amiens to any Christmas tree.
Christmas Wreaths: Handmade and adorned with locally sourced foliage, these wreaths bring a piece of Amiens nature into your holiday decor. They range in size and complexity, suiting various tastes and door sizes.
Gourmet Food Baskets: Assembled with an array of local produce, such as cheeses, sausages, and jams, these baskets are a feast in a box. They are a convenient and tasty gift showcasing the region’s culinary richness.
Scarves and Gloves: Knitted or woven, these winter accessories are practical gifts that also convey a sense of style. Made from various materials like wool or cashmere, they keep you warm while adding flair to winter outfits.
Antique Prints: For those interested in history or art, antique prints of Amiens or historical scenes make for unique gifts. These are typically sold in mint condition and can provide a glimpse into the area’s past.
Fine Liquors: A selection of the region’s wines, brandies, and liqueurs can be found at the Amiens Christmas Market. These provide an opportunity to take home the flavours of Picardy, neatly bottled for enjoyment long after the holiday season.
Things to Do in Winter
For the most current information on things to do in winter and upcoming events in the city, you might find Visit Amiens useful, as it serves as the city’s official website.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are some suggestions for travelling more sustainably in Amiens this Christmas.
Eco-Friendly Hotels: Amiens has various accommodation options that rely on renewable energy. By opting for these eco-conscious hotels, you’re reducing your carbon footprint right at the core of your trip. They often have energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets, and stringent recycling programmes.
Reducing Food Waste: The Christmas market in Amiens is a place to indulge, but it’s also easy to over-order. Consider sharing dishes or ordering smaller portions to minimise food waste. Many food vendors are also locally sourced, so eating at these stalls can reduce transportation-related carbon emissions.
Ethical Consumption: Buying all the unique crafts and food items is tempting when shopping at the market. Try to only purchase items you truly need or will use. Many stalls sell locally made or sustainable goods, which supports the local economy and reduces your overall environmental impact.
Sustainable Diets: Amiens’ Christmas market does offer plant-based or vegetarian options. Choosing these foods not only aligns with a more sustainable diet but also supports vendors who are making an effort to offer eco-friendly options.
Sustainable Transport: Amiens has an efficient public transport system, including trams and buses, making getting around the city easy without a car. You can also explore the city centre on foot or hire a bicycle. By doing so, you help to reduce emissions and contribute to a greener holiday season.
The Amiens Christmas Market 2023 takes place from 25th November to 31st December 2023.
You’ll find the Christmas market in the city centre of Amiens, specifically around Place Notre Dame and the cathedral, which is a focal point for the festivities.
The Christmas market in Amiens opens Monday: 2pm to 7:30pm. Tuesday to Thursday: 10:30am to 7:30pm. Friday and Saturday: 10:30am to 9pm. Sunday: 10:30am to 7:30pm.
Amiens tends to get quite busy during the winter holidays, especially on weekends when visitors arrive from nearby cities. For a less crowded experience, visiting on weekdays is recommended.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Amiens, France. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.