Fancy experiencing some of the best elements of an Alsatian Christmas Market but can’t quite make it as far as Eastern France? Well, luckily for you, the Gare de l’Est Christmas Market has just the solution for you. You see, Le Marché de Noël en Alsace à Paris (Alsace Christmas Market in Paris) takes place during the month of December and is foodie-focused around products which originate from the East of France. Here’s how to visit, as well as what you should know before you go!
2019 Christmas market opening times: 04/12/2019 to the 20/12/2019
Situated steps away from the Gare de l’Est station entrance, the covered marketplace is not what you might expect from a Parisian Christmas Market! Nevertheless, visit during opening hours and you can expect to discover over a dozen vendors set across three aisles. Indeed, now in its 38th edition, the Alsace Christmas Market in Paris is the oldest of its kind outside of the Alsace region!
In the background, music from the Alsace is playing. There are several Alsace wine vendors, as well as those who sell jams, traditional Munster cheese, and local pastries and biscuits. On the 6th of December, i.e. St Nicholas Day, every child frequenting the market will be given a St Nicholas Gingerbread.
Things to know before visiting the Gare de l’Est Christmas Market
Free to visit, unlike more traditional Alsace markets, most stalls at the fair accept debit cards, though it’s always good to bring a little bit of cash just in case! Otherwise, you should note that there is little to purchase by way of things that aren’t food stuffs or beverages.
There is simply one stall selling Alsace themed non-edible gifts. Among the offerings, you’ll soon discover small Alsace house models, books about the region, napkins, Christmas ornaments, and even tea towels. You should also note that, unlike a traditional Alsace Christmas Market, there is no hot food to take away, nor did I see anyone selling any vin chaud!
Though I enjoyed visiting the Alsace-themed market, I would not personally prioritise this Christmas in Paris activity, considering all of the other things to do throughout the city. After all, there are no other festive activities in the area and you’d instead be better served by heading to the Jardin des Tuileries Christmas Market followed by the trees of Place Vendôme and then the Grands Magasins if you truly want to enjoy an entire afternoon of festivities!