Reims is a historic city in the Champagne region of France, known for its majestic cathedral and the production of the world-famous sparkling wine.
During Christmas, the streets of Reims come alive with festive stalls, lighting up the city’s heart with charm and warmth.
In this guide, I’ll detail essential information such as confirmed 2023 dates, opening times and the regional specialties to look out for.
Reims plays a significant role in French history, especially with its Gothic cathedral, where many French kings were crowned.
At Christmas, the city embraces this legacy by merging its rich past with festive celebrations, creating a unique blend of tradition and holiday spirit.
Reims Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Reims stands out with its impressive 150 chalets and a plethora of activities, reflecting the grandeur the city embraces during the festive season.
You’ll be charmed by the vibrant and festive atmosphere prevailing along the renowned Promenades.
The Ferris wheel at Place d’Erlon provides an unrivalled view of the beautifully lit Great Christmas Tree, while guided tours reveal the illuminated secrets of Reims.
The Children’s Kingdom and Santa’s House promise enchanting experiences for younger visitors.
And, of course, to truly experience the festive spirit of the Champagne region, indulging in a Champagne tasting session in a local cellar is essential.
Dates and Location
Reims Christmas Market dates: 24th November to 24th December 2023.
Location: Place du Cardinal Luçon.
Opening times: Monday: 2pm to 8pm. Tuesday to Thursday: 10:30am to 8pm. Friday: 10:30am to 10pm. Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Sunday: 10am to 8pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 24th November.
Santa: Yes at Santa’s House.
Ferris wheel: Yes, at Place d’Erlon.
Funfair: Yes, at Chaussée Bocquaine.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Public transport: Put the nearest underground or train station. Don’t worry with smaller cities.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: 130 chalets, vibrant Promenades, illuminated tours, Children’s Kingdom magic, Champagne cellar tastings.
Recommended tour: Guided tour of Reims Notre Dame Cathedral.
Specialities: Champagne, gingerbread, local cheeses, truffled sausages, French pastries.
Where to stay: Le cœur de Reims is a popular apartment hotel, located a 9 minute walk from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Reims Christmas Market
To be close to the Christmas market near Reims Cathedral, you’ll want to stay in the historic city centre of Reims. This area provides easy access to the market and other key attractions.
I recommend the popular Le cœur de Reims for its proximity to the market and central location near the Hotel de Ville.
Location of Reims Christmas Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
A city tour of Reims offers a deep dive into the city’s illustrious history and renowned culture.
With its iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, the intricate details of its gothic architecture, and the prestige of being in the Champagne region, Reims stands out as a must-visit, even during the colder months.
I recommend taking this guided tour of Reims Cathedral, allowing you to uncover the key highlights with the insight of a local guide.
On this tour, you’ll have the chance to marvel at Notre Dame Cathedral, with its grand statues and awe-inspiring stained-glass windows.
For those with a penchant for bubbly, the Champagne and Epernay family-run wineries tour might be up your alley.
Traverse the Avenue de Champagne, explore the Dom Pérignon village of Hautvillers, get a taste of history at a significant vineyard, and visit 2 family-run wineries to truly appreciate the essence of this region.
Following your exploration of Reims, I’d recommend checking out my France Christmas Markets 2023 guide to expand your understanding of other notable markets in the country.
Christmas in Reims
Christmas Specialties in Reims
Champagne: The city of Reims is located in the heart of the Champagne region. Naturally, many stalls at the Christmas market will serve this renowned sparkling wine. Sampling a glass while you wander is a unique experience, grounding you in the area’s rich wine culture.
Biscuits roses de Reims: A true Reims specialty, these pink biscuits have a crisp texture. Historically, they’ve been enjoyed when dipped in Champagne or red wine, offering a mix of sweet crunch and effervescence.
Truffled sausages: Incorporating the aromatic flavour of truffles, these sausages are a gourmet treat. They’re often served sliced, allowing you to savour the earthy tones with each bite.
Local cheeses: The Champagne region is home to various cheeses. Expect to find creamy bries and tangy blue cheeses at the market, perfect for pairing with a slice of baguette.
Mulled wine: Known in French as “vin chaud”, this warm beverage is spiced and sweetened. It’s particularly comforting during the colder months and acts as a staple in many Christmas markets across Europe.
Roasted chestnuts: A classic winter snack, these are roasted on open fires at the market. Their nutty flavour and soft texture make them a crowd-pleaser.
Gingerbread: Found in many European Christmas markets, gingerbread in Reims often features local spices. Whether in the shape of cookies or houses, its sweet aroma is unmistakable.
Chocolates and pralines: Many stalls sell artisanal chocolates, showcasing the craftsmanship of local chocolatiers. Flavours might range from classic milk chocolate to those infused with Champagne.
Hot chocolate: Creamy and warming, this drink is often topped with whipped cream. After sipping on Champagne, it serves as a sweet alternative to warm your hands and heart.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Champagne bottles: As the epicentre of the world-famous Champagne region, it’s not surprising to find beautifully packaged bottles of Champagne. They serve as an exquisite gift, capturing the essence of Reims and its longstanding wine-producing heritage.
Biscuits Roses de Reims gift boxes: These signature pink biscuits from Reims are commonly sold in elegant boxes. Besides being a delightful treat, the packaging often showcases the history and tradition of this unique regional speciality.
Champagne cork ornaments: Reflecting the region’s wine-making legacy, these ornaments are crafted from Champagne corks. They often feature intricate designs or festive motifs, making them a charming addition to any Christmas tree.
Lace and textiles: Reims and its surrounding areas have a tradition of producing fine lace and textiles. Scarves, tablecloths, and other items can be found, beautifully crafted and reflecting the region’s artisanal prowess.
Champagne jams: These spreads incorporate the distinct taste of Champagne. Perfect for morning toast or as a glaze for certain dishes, they offer a taste of Reims in every jar.
Traditional wooden toys: A nod to the festive season, wooden toys like nutcrackers or figurines are a classic choice. Craftsmen often demonstrate their skills live, carving these toys right at the market.
Local art prints: Reims has a vibrant art scene, and many local artists sell prints or originals of their work. Capturing the city’s landmarks or abstract interpretations of its culture, they serve as a lasting memory of your visit.
Things to Do in Winter
I recommend checking out Visit Reims, the city’s official website, for the city’s latest events and winter activities.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here’s how we can make our Christmas visits to Reims more sustainable:
Eco-friendly Accommodation: When booking your stay, opt for hotels in Reims that prioritise eco-friendliness. Many establishments in the city have now switched to renewable energy sources, incorporating solar panels and energy-efficient methods. By choosing such accommodations, you’re directly supporting sustainable initiatives in the local hospitality sector.
Reducing Food Waste: The Christmas markets in Reims are a treat for the taste buds. However, it’s essential only to order what you can finish. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also allows for resources to be used more effectively, ensuring that more visitors can savour the delightful food offerings.
Ethical Consumption: As you wander through the Reims markets, be mindful of your purchases. Choose items that you genuinely need or have a definite use for. This way, we can minimise unnecessary production and reduce the potential for waste.
Sustainable Diets: Reims is renowned for its exquisite gastronomic heritage. While indulging, consider locally sourced options with a lesser environmental impact. For example, opting for a dish featuring local cheese or produce can drastically reduce the carbon footprint compared to imported alternatives.
Sustainable Transport: The beauty of Reims lies in its walkable streets and efficient public transport. Instead of hiring a car, consider using the city’s trams or buses. Additionally, exploring the city on foot or by renting a bicycle reduces emissions and offers a more intimate experience of Reims’ festive charm.
The Reims Christmas Market 2023 will be held from 24th November to 24th December 2023.
The Christmas Market is primarily located in Place du Cardinal Luçon, right in the heart of Reims. The Ferris wheel is located at Place d’Erlons.
The Christmas market opens its doors to visitors on Monday: 2pm to 8pm. Tuesday to Thursday: 10:30am to 8pm. Friday: 10:30am to 10pm. Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Sunday: 10am to 8pm.
Winter in Reims tends to be cold but not extremely so, with occasional snowfall. The Christmas period sees a surge in visitors, making certain areas lively, especially around the market and main attractions. It’s always a good idea to bundle up and be prepared for a bustling atmosphere.
If you would like to leave a review of Reims Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Reims, France. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.