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10 Things to do in Reims at Christmas

I invite you to know what are the Christmas plans that you can do in Reims to fully enjoy these dates in the city.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

7 min read

10 Things to do in Reims at Christmas

Christmas in Reims | ©P.K. - Paris

The best things to do in Reims have to do with exploring its historic buildings, as well as its vineyards. But during Christmas this changes a bit, as it opens up the possibility for you to enjoy a wide range of traditions that have to do with this special holiday.

Here are the best things to do in this city during Christmas so you can plan a visit that fits your expectations and interests.

1. Go to the famous Reims Christmas Market

Reims Christmas market| ©Vincent Noel
Reims Christmas market| ©Vincent Noel

The most famous Christmas activity in Reims is its Christmas market, which has up to 1000 different merchants and 150 wooden huts, attracting year after year hundreds of visitors from Paris and other cities in northern France.

The atmosphere is accompanied by carolers, light shows, jazz bands, magicians and all kinds of street entertainment. In this Christmas market there is also a section of gourmet products, as well as a Ferris wheel whose cabins are heated to comfortably enjoy the views.

Champagne is also usually abundant in every corner of the city and different artisan producers take the opportunity to offer free or paid tastings at their stalls.

Information of interest

  • Date: open from the beginning to the end of December and comes to life in the afternoon and evening.
  • Tip: at Christmas, the markets can be included in the itinerary when booking a private tour of Reim.

Book a private tour of Reim

2. Go to Épernay to see the Habits de Lumière

Vineyard in Epernay| ©gasdub
Vineyard in Epernay| ©gasdub

Épernay is a city located a couple of kilometers south of Reims that is known for being the undisputed capital of champagne production. In fact, you can book the champagne tour of Épernay and Hautvillers to get to know this world in depth.

But in the second weekend of December, Épernay is filled with art installations, sound and lights with various street theater acts, music and champagne tastings. All within the framework of the activities of the Christmas festivities known as Habits de Lumière.

In addition, on Sunday, which is the closing day, a parade of prestigious cars of the last century is organized, which over time has become one of the most representative events of this Christmas festival. So if you are visiting Reims for 2 days or more, you should take the opportunity to enjoy the Habits de Lumière.

Book the champagne tour in Épernay

3. Attend the Christmas mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims

Reims Cathedral| ©GaudiumPress Imágenes
Reims Cathedral| ©GaudiumPress Imágenes

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims is the most visited tourist attraction in the city throughout the year and, specifically, at Christmas because it offers special masses that have to do with the origin of this Catholic holiday. So much so, that it is usually included in the itinerary when hiring a guided tour of Reims.

On December 24 and 25, masses are organized during the afternoon and evening commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. At the same time, they raise other reflections on the Catholic faith in the 21st century and on the spirituality of this religion.

But Christmas masses not only occur during the official date of this celebration, but throughout December these religious events are organized, which can be very entertaining and interesting even for those who do not consider themselves believers.

Interesting information

  • Price: entering the Cathedral and attending mass is completely free.
  • Recommendation: it is important that you know how to visit the cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims at the time of your visit, to enjoy its historical importance and its role in the Christian traditions of Christmas.

Book a guided tour of Reims

4. Visit the Moët & Chandon cellars and sign up for a wine tasting

Tasting on the tour| ©Eric Flexyourhead
Tasting on the tour| ©Eric Flexyourhead

At Christmas, several of the major champagne producing companies usually organize several special tastings geared to the spirit of this time of year. This means that very specific types of champagne are usually offered to the accompaniment of live music and even Christmas decorations.

If, in addition to that, you are interested in the idea of learning a bit about the process of creating champagne, as well as the history of the main brands that became a world quality benchmark, I recommend booking an excursion to the Moët & Chandon and Taittinger cellars from Reims.

This is one of the best excursions from Reims and the best thing is that you are accompanied by a guide, in a small group and you can be picked up directly at the hotel. Besides, apart from getting to know these two great producers, the tour includes champagne tasting and visits to family wineries.

Book an excursion to the Moët & Chandon wineries

5. Attend the space exhibitions at the Palais du Tau.

Palais du Tau| ©Grotevriendelijkereus
Palais du Tau| ©Grotevriendelijkereus

Another important tourist attraction in the city of Reims is the famous Palais du Tau. This site is located right next to the cathedral and was the residence where the French monarchs would dress up before going to the coronation ceremony.

Inside there is a museum that exhibits the jewelry and clothing used by the French kings during their ascension to the throne. But the best part is that, during Christmas, the museum often offers special exhibits geared towards learning about the traditions of the monarchs. This means you could see the jewelry or clothing worn during the Christmas Eve banquets.

As this museum is located right next to the main tourist attraction and in the heart of the historic center of the city, you can include it in the tour when booking a private tour of Reims and get to know it without any problem if you are visiting Reims in 3 days or less.

Book a private tour of Reims

6. Enjoy a concert at the Reims Opera House

Opera in Reims| ©Fred Romero
Opera in Reims| ©Fred Romero

The Opéra de Reims holds special concerts at the end of the year and for December 25th. The exact time and theme of these concerts changes every year, as it is possible that it is an opera event as well as a concert organized by the local symphony orchestra.

Either way, the idea of enjoying an event in a theater hall as special as this one is a once in a lifetime experience for many tourists, especially at a time as entertaining and special as Christmas.

Keep in mind that these Christmas concerts are almost always held on weekends because it is more convenient for both tourists and locals who work during the week.

7. Do your shopping at Galeries Lafayette Reims

Galeries Lafayette Reims| ©ritsch48
Galeries Lafayette Reims| ©ritsch48

Christmas is also synonymous with consumption and shopping for many people. For this, the historic center of Reims has several shopping areas that can be favorable for you to buy gifts for your loved ones or some souvenirs.

One of the most recommended places is Galeries Lafayette, a famous French department store where you can find everything you need, from clothes and conventional objects to designer brands.

In addition, at Christmas, both the inside and outside of this store are usually full of Christmas decorations and, therefore, it can be a tourist activity even if you do not intend to buy anything. If you are worried about prices, you should know that despite being a store with a reputation for being expensive, you will find small or large details that can fit your budget.

8. Go to a Stade de Reims game

Auguste Delaune Stadium| ©Josian Tremlet
Auguste Delaune Stadium| ©Josian Tremlet

The local soccer team of Reims plays in Ligue 1 and is called Stade de Reims. Throughout the month of December and around Christmas there are usually matches at the Auguste Delanue stadium, as these dates are part of the French soccer league's competition schedule.

If you consider yourself a lover of this sport, then you can't miss this place. It is also right next to one of the city's most beautiful urban parks, so it can be an excellent entertainment alternative for the little ones if you are traveling with your family.

The exact date of these matches depends on how Ligue 1 is developing at the time of your trip, but chances are that there will be at least two or even three matches of this team throughout the month of December in your city.

9. Don't leave without tasting an authentic Christmas dinner

Boudin blanc| ©Danielle Scott
Boudin blanc| ©Danielle Scott

French gastronomy is characterized by being quite peculiar. For this reason, you should not miss the opportunity to know how are the Christmas meals in this country, and your passage through the city of Reims in December and during Christmas are a perfect occasion for this purpose.

Most of the gastronomic restaurants offer Christmas dishes representative of the holiday such as duck fuagras, boudin blanc and roast turkey.

As for desserts, you have to know that the bûche de Noel is a cake that has a trunk shape with chocolate and is filled with cream. My advice is to try it, as many describe it as a delicious dish.

10. Take the opportunity to make a short getaway to Paris

In Paris| ©Patrick Nouhailler
In Paris| ©Patrick Nouhailler

Reims is very close to Paris, about 90 minutes away. For this reason, many Parisians often visit Reims when they want to make a getaway to the countryside. In your case, you could take the opportunity to make a trip in the opposite direction to enjoy the Christmas attractions that the French capital has to offer:

  • The streets decorated with the typical lights of this season.
  • Its shopping areas to do your Christmas shopping with a much more diverse range of products.
  • The parks with decorations and the typical Christmas lighting.
  • The Eiffel Tower and its surroundings become the epicenter of the Christmas spirit in one of the largest cities in the world.

If your trip to the city of Reims is long enough for you to consider touring other parts of northern France, then you should take advantage of a day or two to visit the capital.