Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | Written by Mira
With the holiday season quickly approaching, Europe’s famous Christmas markets are in full swing. While Germany and other areas of France, such as Colmar and Strasbourg, have more extravagant markets, the ones in Metz are worth the visit.
There are at least four markets spread out around Metz, each a little different from the last. To get into each market, our health passes were scanned due to the possibility of eating and drinking. I met up with my friends on a Friday afternoon at market #1. In Republique Square, the market has ice skating and a carnival ride for 5 euros each. I personally didn’t go ice skating, but my friends did (I was the designated photographer when I arrived). I did go on the “Flyer,” a swing ride similar to the one I did in Luxembourg at the beginning of the semester. On this ride, I got the best view of Metz even though we were spinning around in circles. We could see the cathedral from above the rooftops of the other buildings and it was interesting to see just how tall the cathedral was compared to everything else.
The rest of the first market were two heated shops with various Christmas decorations, and many food and drink stands. You could get anything from waffles, beignets, and crepes to sandwich raclettes, hot chestnuts, and rich hot chocolate, to name a few.
Market #2 of the day was near the church. This one was filled with multiple rows of vendors selling all sorts of things, from flavored hot chocolate kits to etched vinyl, from halva and baklava to Christmas tree ornaments. I had been on the hunt for gloves that fit my hands well that weren’t knitted, and I found the perfect pair! At the end of the stalls, there was a large carousel!
Market #3 was near the cinema, closer to the Cathedral, but not quite the Cathedral market. I’m sure each of these markets has a specific name or are named based on the streets, but we just referred to them by the landmarks we knew. This third market was smaller and had about eight booths. We did get to sample some “pain aux fruits” (fruit bread) and dried apple chips that were delicious!
Market #4 was in front of the Cathedral. This one had the main attraction of a Ferris wheel! We were saving this market for last because we wanted to see the city of Metz at night from up high. The rest of the Cathedral’s market was mainly food. There were vendors for falafel and hummus, French onion soup (or just onion soup since we’re in France), paninis, etc. The Ferris wheel was quite cold, but beautiful! Luckily the Ferris wheel compartments had blankets! The pictures of the city from the Ferris wheel didn’t turn out too well because of the glare of the windows, but the view was spectacular! We even saw the “Flyer” that we did earlier all lit up in the dark.
I love how each market in Metz has its own personality. We didn’t go to the same market 4 times, but we got a different experience from each one. If you are really looking for the famous French Christmas markets, Colmar and Strasbourg are musts!