Inspiration articles

Christmas in Metz:
our 5 favourites

A visit to Metz is a must to experience the magic of Christmas. Beginning on 17 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.

Saint Nicholas weekend

On 1 and 2 December 2018, head to the Place de la Comédie to experience the magic of the Saint Nicholas festival! The Artist’s Village of Saint Nicholas takes over the square in front of the opera-theatre with a solidarity market organised by charities. It’s the perfect spot for Christmas shopping, where you can find a handmade gift to put under the tree! Also on the programme: activities for kids and theatrical and artistic games by the theatre companies Compagnie des 4 Saisons and Compagnie Atelier Mobile.

The event of the weekend: the traditional Saint Nicholas parade kicks off at 4 p.m. on 2 December in the centre of town. Magically decorated floats ride through Metz in the presence of the patron saint of Lorraine and of schoolchildren, before arriving at Place de la Comédie at nightfall. A spectacular show for the whole family brings this enchanting weekend to a close.

The trail of lanterns

Le Sentier des Lanternes © Benoît Lapray/Inspire Metz

Beginning on 23 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 Fabert Park along the banks of the Moselle River. 400 lanterns dot this poetic circuit, created from the imagination 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.

New in 2018: the “En quête de Moselle” app. Parents and kids can go on an augmented reality treasure hunt in the heart of the trail of lanterns. It’s one month before Christmas and an elf is missing. Without him, the holiday might be a disaster. Your mission: find him!

The big wheel and its Christmas village

Adrien MARTIN

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 in the little Christmas Market on place d’Armes, 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.

Gourmet break at the Gourmet Market

Philippe GISSELBRECHT

What better way to celebrate the Christmas spirit than with a gourmet break! Just below the majestic Metz Cathedral, a visit to Place de Chambre is a must for foodies! Local restaurants offer all kinds of specialties in their little chalets on the square. With sweet treats and savoury delicacies like oysters, foie gras and snails, there’s something to please all tastes! At nightfall, revel in delights for your taste buds and your eyes while enjoying the warmth of the braziers.

The Traditions Market on Place Saint-Louis

Marché de Noël place Saint-Louis à Metz © Philippe Gisselbrecht/Ville de Metz

After a stroll among the chalets in the squares of the town centre, shopping for treasures to slide under the Christmas tree, treat yourself to a well-deserved break in Place Saint-Louis. Right near the majestic, 17 m-tall Christmas Pyramid put up on the square every year, Chez Mathilde serves a variety of drinks at their chalet, including a delicately-spiced mirabelle plum white mulled wine*. Enjoy it at the chalet or while admiring the poetic wooden horses on the nearby carrousel.

* Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.