French Riviera: Best Christmas Events

french riviera christmas cote d'azur market village

During the Christmas holiday season, the French Riviera turns into a magical place that everyone will love! This time of year, there is something for everyone. See the Christmas markets, villages, and other entertainments!

There are places to party with champagne and DJ’s. There are places to go if you want a ski chalet vibe. And there are places where you can get a homey nostalgic feeling.

With the traditional market chalets, parades, lights, and many local delicacies, the French Riviera celebrates Christmas in its fullest. The highlight of the celebratory season in the French Riviera is the Christmas markets and villages. The traditional log chalets are icons of the season.

Below is a complete list of the Christmas events throughout the French Riviera that you will want to see as you spend your holiday vacation here:

Nice, France Christmas Village and Market

Traditions are essential for the Nicoise in celebrating the festive season. Still, there are lots of surprises awaiting everyone in Nice’s Christmas village and market.

Highlights

  • Go and find what you look for your Christmas gift-giving in the 70 traditional chalets with delicacies and gifts ideas;
  • Lovely lights and decors will light-up the illustrious Promenade des Anglais.
  • An enchanted forest with 600 firs will take you into a winter wonderland.
  • An ice-skating rink, a Ferris wheel, workshops, parades, and many entertainments are set up for kids.
  • Traditional Christmas Mass will take place for both devout and seculars.
  • A nativity scene with life-size figurines is in the side of the Church for reminding everyone of the essence of celebrating Christmas. And it is good for your Instagram post, too!

See our guide to Nice Christmas Events & Markets for more information.

Monaco Christmas Village and Market

monaco french riviera christmas cote d'azur market village

Eager tourists are clamoring to see what is new in Monaco and Monte-Carlo every holiday season. With different themes every year, there ate so many excitements that await you.

Christmas events & Markets: Highlights

  • There are numerous Christmas villages and markets on the port and other shopping districts, hotels, and the Casino;
  • The theme this year is “White Christmas”;
  • As always, there are traditional chalets for crafts and gourmet.
  • The Ice skating rink and go-karts on ice will complete the winter experience of everyone.
  • The Christmas village has three parts: Igloo village, Inuit village, and Ice village.
  • Musical performances, ice shows, street performers, and the occasional treasure hunts will sure to entertain everyone!

We have guides for what to do for Christmas in Monaco and another guide specifically all about the Christmas Village and Markets.

Cannes’s Christmas Village and Market

During the Christmas season, Cannes lights up with chalets and decorations.

CHRISTMAS EVENTS & MARKETS: Highlights

  • There are 46 chalets featuring local specialties and exquisite handicrafts, with two stalls for traditional creches.
  • The theme this year is “Cannes is Magic.”
  • This is where you can see and take photos with the largets animated artificial Christmas tree in the whole French Riviera (33 meters high).
  • There are many Christmas parades with animated characters and funfair.
  • Marvel at the light illuminations of famous landmarks and structural heritages.
  • Have fun in the skating rink and numerous games, rides, and entertainment for kids.

Take a look at our guide to Christmas in Cannes.

Antibes Juan-les-Pins Christmas

antibes french riviera christmas cote d'azur market village

Enjoy a unique Christmas experience in this partyish town in the French Riviera. From the holiday decor to the activities around town, it truly highlights the tradition and culture of the Christmas in Cote d’Azur.

CHRISTMAS EVENTS & MARKETS: Highlights

  • There are Christmas villages in various locations.
  • Chalets with specially made gourmet and handcrafts ideal for gifts are on the markets.
  • Ferris wheel, carousel, rides, and an ice skating rink are set up for kids.
  • Animal farm, a dancing fountain with lights, and a “Creche road” will add cheer for the celebration.
  • Santa will arrive at sea in ski!
  • Casemates workshops have a number of activities to offer.

Check out our guide to Christmas in Antibes.

Christmas In the French Riviera resort towns

Aside from the traditional market chalets, ice skating rinks, and decorations, Christmas in the French Riviera is full of character and individuality in each of the towns. If you want to experience how the locals celebrate the festive season, take time to visit the resort towns.

Saint-Tropez

The main focus of the celebration in Saint-Tropez is the entertainment-focused Telethon. There are sporting challenges, giant barbecues, garage sales, etc., that everyone can take part in. Theater, concerts, comedies, and musicals add to the fun. See our guide to St Tropez for Christmas for more details.

Cagnes-sur-Mer

Kids will definitely love the workshops and parades that the town organizes for them! Disney characters will cheer up everyone on the streets. As part of the community gathering, traditional Christmas masses will be on several churches. There are also theaters, Santa’s Forest, animations, pony rides, and horse-drawn carriage rides. See our guide to Christmas in Cagnes-sur-Mer for more.

Beaulieu-sur-Mer

You can see the Christmas elves performing on the streets of Beaulieu-sur-Mer. The musical entertainment all around town, theater performances, and ice show will make sure you enjoy Christmas in this town. For more information, see this our guide to Christmas in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Menton

There are numerous parades, children’s workshops, and musical entertainment around Menton. With carols, spiced treats, and glittering decors, the celebration guarantees that you experience the Christmas season with all your senses.

Official (PDF) Itinerary

  • Dates: December 24, 2019, to January 5, 2020
  • Location: Jardin Biovès and Esplanade Francis-Palmero

Mougins

Food trucks and stalls will give you a taste of the season with their warm winter treat. There are also various booths from exhibitors that will have gifts, ideas, and crafts. You and your kids can learn gingerbread-making and other skills from the workshops. There will also be live music concerts and pony rides for families to enjoy.

Mougin’s Tourism Website Events List

  • Dates: December 7, 8, 14, 15, 18 – 22
  • Location: Mougins village

St-Paul-de-Vence

The town will focus on the traditions surrounding arts and gastronomy. Numerous events include a Truffle Market and musical entertainment.

St Paul de Vence Official Calendar of Events

  • Dates: December 24, 25, 28, 31 and January 1, 2019
  • Location: St-Paul-de-Vence town center

Villefranche-sur-Mer

The town of Villefranche-sur-Mer celebrates Christmas in a very Mediterranean style. The point of the festivities is always the sea! Celebrate Christmas here with live music, performance sports, cinema, light shows, giant creches, and many activities for a complete winter holiday experience.

Official Tourism Website Events Calendar

  • Dates: December 7 to 22
  • Location: Whole town

Enjoy the fun in the French Riviera this Christmas Season!