Rouen Christmas Market, Normandy

Written by on November 5, 2019 in Christmas Markets

Rouen Christmas market by the Cathedral

Rouen is a firm favourite with visitors to Normandy. There’s just something about those multicoloured half-timbered houses and gothic churches on every street corner – as French cities go, the ‘city of 100 bell towers’ (as Rouen was once called by French writer Victor Hugo) is certainly up there with the prettiest of them!

For that reason, it comes as no surprise that Rouen pulls out all the stops when it comes to Noël. The festive fun, known as Rouen Givré [Frosty Rouen] goes on until the end of December, and is well worth a trip out to Normandy. We’re talking thousands of magical lights all over the medieval city centre. In fact, more than eighty streets and squares are lit up for Christmas in Rouen!

Best of all is the traditional Christmas market which takes place in front of Rouen Cathedral. It’s façade was immortalised on canvas by none other than Claude Monet in his famous ‘Cathedral Series’. The market comprises around 70 chalets selling local produce (cheese, cider, caramel, Calvados, the list goes on) as well as traditional arts and crafts, jewellery and Christmas decorations galore. Have you ever wanted to hang a mini Camembert on your Christmas tree? Now you can.

Mulled cider and the oldest inn in France

Large clock in a tower in the historic centre of Rouen

And mulled wine? Forget mulled wine. At a Norman Christmas market, there’s mulled cider in abundance, made with delicious apple juice, cinnamon, cloves and spices. Those feeling brave could even go for a hot Calvados and honey, Normandy’s answer to a hot Toddy.

After the Christmas market, head to the Place du Vieux Marché. Dominated by the huge modern church of Saint Joan of Arc, this square is where the Maid of Orléans met her fiery fate. In December it is also home to a big wheel from which you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama over Rouen’s higgledy-piggledy rooftops, the Gros Horloge (Rouen’s ornate astronomical clock) and the gothic towers of Rouen Cathedral.

The big wheel also has the added bonus of being on the same square as the oldest inn in France, La Couronne, which dates all the way back to 1345! Hiding behind a traditional half-timbered façade is a medieval world of wooden beamed ceilings, lead framed windows, worn upholstered chairs and heavy red curtains. Oh, and amazing food!

Rouen Christmas Market 2019

The Cathedral of Rouen looming over the Christmas market, trees with twinkling lights

Rouen Christmas market will take place from 27 November to 31 December, 2019

For more information on Rouen at Christmas, visit the Rouen Givré website (French). For more information on food and drink in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourism website.

Rouen is just over an hour by train from Paris…

By Fran Lambert, normandyfoodie.wordpress.com

All photos © Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès 

Related Articles

10 festive cities to visit in France at Christmas

We look at some fabulously festive cities to visit in France at Christmas. You’re guaranteed a bit of Christmas magic here! Strasbourg Head for Strasbourg‘s Christmas market. Known locally as the Christkindelsmarik, it’s the oldest in Europe. From the end of November to the end of December it’s full of beautiful lights and decorations. There […]

Continue Reading

The ultimate guide to Christmas in France 2019

There’s nothing quite as festive and fun as an authentic Christmas break in France. Wandering along charming squares and frosty cobbled streets where the breath-taking ancient architecture of historic cities provides the perfect backdrop for the twinkling Christmas lights in December is magical. Check out our ultimate guide to Christmas in France 2019. Warm up […]

Continue Reading

Christmas at the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Christmas at the  Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte combines a historic, stunning castle with a fairy-tale-like festive display. In 1661, the famous French writer and poet Jean de la Fontaine wrote of the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte: The stage was set with green so lush, and by a hundred torches lit; Once curtain raised, all Vaux was hushed. […]

Continue Reading

Christmas Markets in Paris 2019

Christmas markets Paris 2019, the dates, details and locations. Take in the sight of the twinkling city of light, warm up with a chocolat chaud or mulled wine. Wander the cobbled streets, elegant squares and legendary public gardens. The Christmas markets of Paris will definitely bring out the happy in you! The Christmas lights will […]

Continue Reading

Best places to see the Christmas lights in Paris

Christmas is when Paris really does live up to its name as the City of Light. Wandering along charming squares and frosty cobbled streets where the breath-taking ancient architecture of this historic city provides the perfect backdrop for the twinkling Christmas lights in December is magical. The city can be very cold in winter so […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top