Nestled in the heart of France’s Loire Valley, Tours is a medieval city characterised by its Gothic cathedral, timber-framed homes, and narrow cobbled lanes. Visitors who frequent the ancient settlement during the winter will soon discover the Tours Christmas Market, which takes place on an annual basis. Here’s how to visit the Marché de Noël de Tours.
Tours Christmas Market Dates 2021: 26th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Tours is a historic and medieval city in the heart of the Loire Valley, which is fondly referred to as the ‘Garden of France‘ on account of its lush green landscape. The city is also the gateway to the thousand-plus Châteaux
One of the most iconic places to enjoy Christmas in Tours is in Place Jean Jaurès, where there is a beautiful (and spectacularly large) Christmas tree. In 2020, there was no Christmas tree in front of the Hôtel de Ville. The reason given was that ‘a suitable tree could not be found’ that met the ‘town hall’s criteria’.
One of the most fun activities to take place during the Tours Christmas Market is the ‘election’ of the most beautiful Christmas chalet. Other highlights of Christmas in Tours include a ferris wheel and ice skating.
Christmas Market locations in Tours
Prior to 2020, there was only one giant Christmas Market in Tours, which took place between the station and town hall. Instead, in 2021 the Christmas Markets of Tours will take place in smaller forms in four iconic locations across the city.
Each area will be decked from head to toe with various sets of Christmas decorations and illuminations. As always, I personally recommend visiting the markets at night as this will allow you to enjoy the Christmas lights at their best.
The historic Heurteloup will host one of the smaller Christmas Market locations in Tours. The daily event will run seven days a week and sees around twenty stalls selling everything from Christmas Market Food to unique gifts including handmade jewellery and artisanal food products. Close by, there’s a traditional merry go round.
Place de la Résistance
One of the more popular Christmas Market locations in Tour is on the Place de la Résistance. This location of the city sees a number of Christmas chalets. There is also a carousel for children in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Place de la Cathédrale
2021 sees a brand new location for the Tours Christmas Markets on the Parvis of the grand Gothic cathedral itself, on Place de la Cathédrale. The market replaces a 2020 market that was held on Place Châteauneuf and will not take place again in this location for the foreseeable future.
This market will only run from Monday the 13th December – Sunday 26th December and features ‘made in France’ artisans selling their wares such as jewellery and ceramics, which make for unique gifts and souvenirs.
Place Anatole France
Yet another iconic Tours location where you can enjoy a traditional Christmas Market with Bavarian style chalets and beautiful decorations is on Place Anatole France. This is also where a small ice skating rink can be located, as well as a large Ferris Wheel and a carrousel.
How to visit the Christmas Market at Tours
The Christmas Markets will be open from Friday the 26th November to Sunday the2nd January. From Sunday to Thursday, the markets will be open from 11 AM – 8 PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, the market will be open from 11 AM – 9 PM.
The Christmas Markets themselves are free to visit. With this being said, be sure to bring cash as not every vendor accepts card payments (and those that do often have a minimum spend).
Like most Christmas Markets in France, you’ll have to pay a deposit in order to get a cup for any hot drinks that you consume. Unlike in the German Christmas Markets, Christmas Market cups are plastic cups as opposed to ceramic mugs. You need only return your cup to recuperate your deposit at the end of your visit. Alternatively, you can keep your cup as a fun Christmas Market souvenir.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She now splits her time between London and Paris! Follow Sophie on Instagram.