Last updated on 26 November 2020. In 2020, the city of Nice will not hold their annual Christmas market due to COVID-19.
All throughout Europe, the end of November or start of December marks the start of a month’s long tradition that is the Christmas Market. If you’ve never been to a Christmas market, you can expect to find local vendors selling handcrafted goods, regional or local food, and hot wine. You can also find attractions such as a ferris wheel, rides for children, and sometimes an ice skating rink.
If you’ll be spending Christmas in Europe, consider a visit to the Village de Noel in the south of France. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 🎄
Christmas market in Nice
Even with the warm winter weather we enjoy in Nice, the Christmas spirit still shines through. Whether you’re looking for Christmas ornaments, aromas, cakes, and sweets, you’re in the right place.
The Christmas market is held annually in Nice’s Albert 1er gardens, or le jardins Albert 1er in French. During this festive time of year, the garden is filled with more than 50 chalets, a Ferris wheel, a skating rink, and several rides for children.
Accessing the Christmas market
The Nice Christmas market normally runs from December 1 – January 1. It’s open daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the market closes at 9:00 pm.
This post is filled with photographs I took on a few visits to the Christmas market located in the Gardens of Albert the First and Place Massena.
Strolling through the market
Before you even enter the Christmas market, your eyes immediately spot the giant ferris wheel surrounded by vendor booths and children’s rides.
Walking through the market, it’s very difficult to get lost since all the chalets are lined along the foot path. Follow along as you discover chalets with artisanal, handmade goods.
The city of Grasse in France is world renowned for their perfumes. Renting out a chalet at the Christmas market is a good way to offer gift ideas and even get new customers.
Want more to do in Nice? Check these articles out!
Christmas market food and drinks
One of the booths you’re sure to find in a French Christmas market is a fromagerie. Fromagerie is french for “cheese shop”.
I just love the red, blue, and green cheeses on display! Which cheese would you try? Photographed here are tomato & olives, truffle, pesto & basil, and the lovely lavender in the back. You could always try them all 😋
One dish associated with France is foie gras, or duck liver. At the Christmas market, you are likely to find this dish served up in a new way… on a waffle! Foie gras is normally eaten with toasted bread, so this is a real treat.
Cheese isn’t the only treat you’ll find. Despite being a Christmas market in France, there is one chalet offering market goers chimney cake, a traditional Hungarian dessert.
The chimney cake is made of sweet yeast dough that is formed in a cone shape, buttered and roasted over charcoal. You can choose to have your chimney cake covered in several toppings. My favorite is the cinnamon sugar!
A trip to the Christmas Market wouldn’t be complete without churros and nutella! What’s great is that this is made to order. Just imagine biting into fresh, hot, crunchy churros on a cold night.
Lastly, and certainly not least, you will find vin chaud, or hot wine, at the Christmas market. This drink is closely associated with Christmas markets all over, and not just in France. Though, we can acknowledge that the French do know their wine!
You can choose to have red or white hot wine, liquor, or non-alcoholic drinks such as hot chocolate.
If you have the chance, visit the Christmas market at night. Nice does a beautiful job every year in decorating the beautiful Albert 1er garden and the surrounding Place Massena.
After you’ve had some time to walk around the chalets, and enjoy the food and drinks offered, walk around to explore the different light installations. The light shows will wow you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed walking through the market with me.
Have you had the chance to visit a Christmas market? I’d love to hear from you!