What would Christmas be without the traditional markets? Many of the towns in Lorraine have festive markets where you can stroll through the aisles and discover regional artisan crafts and local cuisine.
A visit to Metz is a must to experience the magic of Christmas. Beginning on 18 November, the soft aromas of cinnamon, spices and pine fill the streets of this vibrant city. The Christmas lights enhance the exceptional gilded architectural heritage of the town. While eagerly awaiting the first snowflakes and the countdown to Christmas Eve, discover our 5 favourite reasons to come and experience the wonder of Christmas in Metz.
Beginning on 26 November, take a walk on the colourful and magical trail that starts at the County Hall (Hôtel du Département). At nightfall, teddy bears, elves, gingerbread hearts and toy soldiers light up along the banks of the island Petit Saulcy. 400 lanterns dot this poetic circuit, created from the inspiration of the illustrator Guy Untereiner. Inspired by the folklore of Moselle, the artist brings these fairy-tale like characters to life, on a trail that will take you back to your fondest childhood memories.
Across from the majestic Saint-Etienne Cathedral, take a ride on the largest temporary big wheel in Europe, taking passengers to a height of 66 m. At the top, the panorama is breathtaking. Take in the stunning view of the cathedral and its architectural details from this exceptional vantage point.
Our tip: take a ride at night, when the illuminations complement the golden hues of the famous ochre-coloured Jaumont stone of the town. Back on firm ground, be sure to visit the cathedral, also known as the “Lantern of God.” The building has the largest expanse of stained glass windows in France, with 6500 m².
Under the big tent on the Place de la République, discover a magical setting of snow and ice. 30 craftsmen from around the world come to create the more than 80 ice sculptures, straight from the pages of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Perrault and Andersen. A delight for all ages. Don’t forget your hat and mittens: the temperature in the Ice Palace stays under 6°C!
The 25th edition of the Lights of Metz hike takes place on 2 December. The 10-km journey begins at nightfall at the Saint-Symphorien sports complex and takes participants on a tour of the illuminations of the monuments, streets and Christmas markets of the town. Each year, the path through the city is different, with festive events and surprises along the way, all of which is kept a secret up to the departure. Come share in this fun-filled, family-friendly event. After all that walking, follow the sounds of Christmas carols towards delightful gourmet treats.
After a stroll through the squares of the town centre, shopping for treasures to slide under the Christmas tree, treat yourself to a well-deserved break at the Bourguignon pastry shop. The Christmas-themed window display is an irresistible invitation to pass the threshold. Delight in a “Palet messin,” delicious melt-in-your-mouth honey gingerbread covered with a thin layer of sugar, orange peel, hazelnuts and thin slices of almonds. Pair the treat with a finely spiced mulled wine, and savour it all in a chalet in Place Saint-Louis.