Somewhere under that big hovering square arc sits a Christmas market that seems to increase in size each year. This is La Defense Christmas Market, a little further from the centre of Paris but well worth the journey by metro or RER.
A village of around 350 stalls is set up right in the heart of the Paris business district. Think Canary Wharf in London and you’re along the right lines. The village is directly outside the exit to both metro and RER so minimal walking is required.
The market is a collection of little wooden huts with stall vendors selling everything from sweets, chocolates, crafts and clothing to a decent variety of food. The ever-popular raclette and tartiflette can be found in the very centre of the market.
Prices are very similar to those at the Jardin de Tuileries Christmas Market. A portion of tartiflette or raclette will set you back €8-10 with smaller items such as sandwiches and fries more in the region of €3-8.
With this being the main business district and Paris living in times of threat and attack, it was expected that security remained tight. Bags were searched on the way into the village and also at various points within the village also. It was a comforting sight to be honest.
The choice of food was incredibly varied but we ended up heading to a stall selling Toulouse sausages in a baguette for €7.50. Here, the vendor slathered mayonnaise onto a fresh baguette, added a mixture of peppers and onions plus the all important sausage.
You can’t really go wrong with a sandwich in France, the French do them so well. This one was no exception. A nice garlic flavour from the sausage went very well with the fried peppers, onions and mayonnaise, well worth the money.
We got some fries from the opposing stall for €3 a cornet. These were weird in shape, almost with a curve in them. Nice fries but no sauce was offered which was a shame.
La Defense Christmas Market offers a good experience for those wanting a quick drink, a bite to eat and a few stalls to browse through. For me, it’s not in the class of Jardin de Tuileries Christmas Market – that has far more to see and do.
It is, however, a very good introduction to Parisian Christmas Markets and sits in a stunning setting underneath the large arc. That alone has to be the motivation to come and check out La Defense Christmas Market.
Opening Times: 22nd November – 29th December
Nearest Metro: La Defense