Metz takes on a magical atmosphere at Christmas, where historic architecture serves as a backdrop to lively holiday activities.
The city is known for its enchanting cathedral, scenic canals, and the vibrant Metz Christmas Market that attracts locals and tourists alike.
In this article, I’ll provide you with all the essential details, such as dates, opening times, locations, and local specialties, that make this Christmas market unique.
Christmas in Metz is marked by a blend of historic charm and modern festivities. The city’s medieval streets are illuminated with twinkling lights, while the canals reflect the glowing decorations.
Metz Christmas Market 2023
At the heart of Metz, the Christmas market unfolds across five distinct locations, each with its own flavour and attractions.
Place d’Armes is a great place to start your Christmas visit to Metz. While Place Saint-Louis brings medieval charm to life with illuminated 13th-century houses serving as a backdrop for chalets offering mulled wine, crepes, and artisan gifts.
Meanwhile, the République Square caters to skaters of all levels and becomes a hub of activity, especially in the evenings.
For a focus on local gastronomy and crafts, Place Saint-Jacques houses the exclusive Moselle-certified chalets.
Over at Place de Chambre, gourmet food stalls operated by Metz restaurant owners offer complete dishes in the late afternoon.
Finally, don’t miss the family-friendly activities and performances during Saint Nicolas’ Days, which span multiple locations, including Place de la Comédie and the Opera House.
Dates and Location
Metz Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 17th November to 24th December 2023.
Location: Place d’Armes, Place de la République, Place Saint-Louis, Place Saint-Jacques and Place de Chambre.
Opening times: 11am to 7pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: The Sentier des Lanternes light trail is located on Ile du Petit Saulcy, behind the Salle Fabert.
Santa: Yes. Children can meet Santa on Saint Nicholas’ Day at Place de la Comédie.
Ice skating: Yes, at Place de la République.
Ferris wheel: The 60 metre Big Wheel is located at Place d’Armes.
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: Expansive selection; homage to glassmaking tradition; under cathedral’s illumination; spiced mulled wine scent in the air.
Specialities: Artisanal breads and pastries; Metz beer; Mirabelle plum liqueur.
Where to stay: La Citadelle is a highly-rated hotel, 4 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Metz Christmas Market
For proximity to Metz’s Christmas markets at Place d’Armes and Place de la République, consider staying in the city centre. This area provides easy access to both festive locations, ensuring minimal travel times.
In particular, I recommend staying at La Citadelle; it’s a popular hotel and perfectly situated near the markets.
For more information on French Christmas markets worth visiting, you’ll find my guide an invaluable resource filled with details such as locations and specialties.
Location of Metz Christmas Market
Christmas in Metz
Christmas Specialties in Metz
Bûche de Noël: A traditional French Christmas dessert, Bûche de Noël is a rich, chocolate sponge cake rolled to resemble a Yule log. It’s filled with cream, typically covered in a chocolate ganache, and decorated with edible Christmas-themed decorations.
Quiche Lorraine: A staple from the Lorraine region, quiche Lorraine is often available at Metz Christmas Market. It’s a savoury pie filled with a mixture of cream, eggs, and cheese, occasionally featuring bacon. You’ll find variations with vegetables, but the original remains the most popular.
Marrons Grillés: These are grilled chestnuts, a snack you can find throughout the Christmas market in Metz. They’re simple yet satisfying, often served in small paper bags so you can munch on them as you explore the stalls.
Vin Chaud: A beloved winter warmer, Vin Chaud is the French version of mulled wine, spiced and sweetened to perfection. Red wine is simmered with a combination of spices such as cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, as well as citrus peel and sugar. This delightful beverage is a staple at Christmas market stalls, providing a warming drink to enjoy while exploring the market.
Gaufres: Known in English as waffles, Gaufres are a popular snack found at Christmas markets across France, including Metz. They are typically light and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and served hot with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Crêpes: Another treat you’ll commonly encounter is Crêpes, thin pancakes that can be filled with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings. The choice from simple sugar and lemon juice to Nutella and banana combinations is yours.
Saucisse de Montbéliard: Originating from the Montbéliard region of France, this smoked sausage made from pork is a popular addition to many Christmas market food stalls. Often served in a baguette with mustard or ketchup, it’s a hearty snack for those braving the winter chill.
Saucisson: This French dry sausage is another snack you might find while wandering the Christmas market in Metz. It’s often flavoured with ingredients like nuts or dried fruits, providing a savoury contrast to many of the market’s sweet offerings.
Raclette: Originally from the mountainous regions of France, Raclette is both a type of semi-hard cheese and a dish. The cheese is melted in the dish and scraped off onto boiled potatoes, charcuterie, and pickles. It’s a convivial meal often enjoyed in the colder months.
Tarte aux Mirabelles: Exclusive to the Lorraine region, Tarte aux Mirabelles is a tart made with Mirabelle plums, a small yellow fruit renowned for its sweet and full-bodied flavour. Although the plum season ends in September, many locals freeze the fruit to make this tart for holiday gatherings, offering a touch of summer sweetness amidst the winter chill.
Pain d’Épices: Literally translated as ‘spice bread’, Pain d’Épices is a French gingerbread loaf made with rye flour, honey, and a blend of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cloves. It’s a common treat throughout the festive season and is often enjoyed with a cup of mulled wine.
Pretzels: A traditional snack borrowed from neighbouring Germany, pretzels, known as Bretzels in French, are a popular choice at the Christmas market. These twisted, baked bread products are usually sprinkled with coarse salt, satisfyingly contrasting the many sweet treats available.
Chocolat Chaud: Perfect for the chilly weather, Chocolat Chaud is the French version of hot chocolate. Made with rich, dark chocolate and creamy milk, it’s a delightful indulgence, often topped with whipped cream and served in mugs to keep your hands warm as you walk around the market.
Flammekueche: A dish shared with the neighbouring Alsace region and Germany, Flammekueche is a type of thin pizza with cream, onions, and bacon. Also known as Tarte Flambée, it’s a comforting and tasty snack that’s easy to eat on the go.
Macarons: These small round cookies, made with almond flour and filled with ganache or jam, are a staple of French patisserie. You might find special seasonal flavours at the Christmas market, adding a festive twist to this classic sweet treat.
What to Buy
Lorraine Faience Pottery: One of the region’s most significant traditional crafts, Lorraine Faience pottery pieces are exquisitely hand-painted and make unique and special gifts. Products range from functional kitchenware to decorative items, each piece reflecting the artisan’s skills.
Mirabelle Plum Products: Native to the Lorraine region, the Mirabelle plum is celebrated in a variety of products. You’ll find everything from delicious Mirabelle jam and preserves to potent Mirabelle brandy on sale in Metz’s Christmas market.
Traditional Christmas Decorations: Plenty of festive decorations are available in keeping with Christmas tradition. Expect intricately carved wooden nativity scenes, glass baubles, and handmade candles that are sure to bring Christmas cheer into your home.
Regional Wines: The Alsace and Lorraine regions are known for their excellent wines. Bottles of crisp whites like Riesling and Gewürztraminer and the region’s famous Crémant, an effervescent wine, make for an ideal gift for any wine enthusiast.
Handmade Textiles: Metz’s Christmas market features numerous stalls selling a variety of handmade textiles. Beautifully crafted tablecloths, blankets, and other homewares are often available, each showcasing local artisans’ fine craftsmanship.
Artisanal Cheese: A staple in any French market, artisanal cheese is always a hit. From soft Brie and Camembert to strong Roquefort, you can find a cheese to please every palate, along with knowledgeable vendors who can guide your selection.
I highly recommend visiting Tourism Metz, as it contains a plethora of useful information for those planning to explore the city of Metz. Here’s a guide to the top things to do to get you started with planning your visit.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Metz at Christmas.
Renewable Energy: Metz, being a forward-thinking city, has numerous hotels running on renewable energy. I encourage you to choose hotels or accommodations that use renewable energy sources in their operations.
Reducing Food Waste: Christmas markets are known for their indulgent food offerings. To contribute to waste reduction, consider sharing food with your travel companion at the Christmas market. This allows you to taste a wider variety of foods and helps prevent unnecessary waste.
Ethical Consumption: When shopping at the Christmas markets in Metz, prioritise locally made and ethically sourced products. Supporting local artisans not only boosts the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping of goods. Look out for stallholders selling Lorraine pottery or Metz’s signature yellow glass.
Sustainable Diets: Opt for food items that are locally sourced and grown. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting food from distant locations. The Christmas market in Metz features many stalls that serve dishes made from local produce, such as quiche Lorraine.
Sustainable Transport: Metz has an extensive public transportation network, which includes buses and Mettis (high-level service buses). Using these transport options reduces carbon emissions compared to hiring a private car. Also, the city centre, where the Christmas market is located, is highly walkable, allowing you to enjoy the city’s festive ambience while also being environmentally friendly.
The Metz Christmas Market dates start from 17th November to 24th December 2023.
The Christmas markets in Metz are held at multiple locations across the city, including Place d’Armes, Place de la République, Place Saint-Louis, Place Saint-Jacques and Place de Chambre.
The Metz Christmas Markets are open from around 11am to 7pm.
Yes, Metz experiences cold winters. Average temperatures in December range between -1°C (30°F) and 6°C (43°F). Be sure to pack warm clothing.
Yes, Metz is generally safe for tourists during winter. However, it’s always important to stay vigilant, particularly in crowded places like Christmas markets.
If you want to leave a Metz Xmas Market review, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Metz, France. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.