Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tis the Season: More Christmas Markets in France and Germany

A bit back in time, the low-key city of Metz in the Lorraine region of France, east of Paris, is a great place to take in the Christmas Market feel without the bus loads of tourists and jam-packed stalls that are more common in the larger Christmas market cities like Strasbourg, France and Nuremberg, Germany - although those too can be magical to visit as long as you have booked ahead for an in-town hotel.

Metz’s Christmas market is spread out over a few large squares that dot the old part of the city. While you can find crafts and trinkets to buy, the emphasis is far more on delicious holiday treats to eat. Chocolate is big here as well as special pastries and candies honoring Saint Nicolas, and Christmas in general. My favorites were the fresh fruit cups or kabobs coated in fresh chocolate, with your choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate. All I can say is these are not to be missed. Mulled cider and roasted chestnuts are also plentiful and warming, as well as made-to-order crepes- all delicious.

The region of Lorraine is full of beautiful green farmland producing glorious local foods. Mirabelle plums, dark yellow fruit that is a specialty of the region, can be found in everything from jams to liquors. These are proudly on sale throughout Metz and can be found, along with organic items at La Ferme Lorraine, 2 place Raymond Mondon, 57000 Metz; Tel : 387 630 909; Web:; open Monday 3:30 to 7:00 pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00pm/2:30 to 7:00, Friday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm located just a few blocks from the train station. 

The Metz Christmas Market, as well as its larger counterparts, are all magical affairs filled with lights, wonderful food, and good cheer, reminding us of the Christmas spirit past rather than the shopping spirit of the present.

Happy holidays!

Strasbourg Christmas Market – see info on earlier post

Metz Christmas Market - more information on earlier post 

Colmar France Christmas Market is from  November 25 to December 31

Nuremberg Germany Christmas Market has 180 booths with traditional Christmas fare from November 27 to December 24, 2009. Open every day from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (10:00 pm on weekends).

Munich Germany Christmas Market has a 100-foot tall Christmas tree glittering with 2500 candles from November 27 to December 24, 2009. Open every day from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm (9:00 am to 8:30 on Saturdays, 10:00 to 7:30 on Sundays).

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