Despite its popularity during the summer months, Annecy is equally, if not more magical during winter. It’s the perfect spot for a festive mini-break, with the Annecy Christmas market alone being a good enough reason to visit.
For families of all ages, this picture-perfect town has so much on offer, so we’ve put together our top picks for the upcoming festive season.
Take a look at our favourite things to do this Christmas in Annecy, France…
The Annecy Christmas Market
The main Christmas market consists of around 80 quaint chalets where Artisans sell their wares. Everything from festive delicacies to handmade clothing and local Savoyard dishes can be found here. The market this year will be running from 22/11/2021 to 02/01/2022, daily between 11am and 9pm.
The Village des Alpes
The Village des Alpes is the place to be in Annecy this festive season. Food and drink chalets fill the village in front of the Courier shopping centre, making it a great place to grab some roasted chestnuts, a hot chocolate, or even tartiflette. There are also craft beers and cider bars as well as over 50 hours of live music and open fireplaces!
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Open-Air Ice Skating
This year, there will be a 400m² ice rink located in Seynod town hall square. Skates can be rented from 3€ and there is a selection of snacks including candy floss, waffles, pancakes and more! Families can even enjoy concerts and a musical programme on Thursdays-Saturdays from 6.30pm.
Throughout the market area, you will find many free activities for children and adults alike. Festive storytellings, children’s workshops, face painting, concerts and choirs are just some of the things you can expect to find, and it’s all for free!
Annecy Christmas Lights
It’s worth sticking around until dark for a number of reasons, one of which is the mesmerising light shows projected onto walls around the town.
This year’s timings are yet to be announced, but you can guarantee that simply walking around the Old Town and seeing the city in lights will get you in the Christmas spirit!
The Annecy Christmas Market is of course a fantastic spot to find a Christmas gift for that special someone, but don’t forget about all the other great shops in the town!
From the Courier Centre to small, independent merchants, there’s no end of places to do your Christmas shopping in Annecy. Here are some of our favourite places to buy gifts in Annecy:
- Søstrene Grene – Gifts for recipients of all ages including homeware, crafts, food and more
- Les Palettes – Quality clothing and accessories
- Murmur – Homeware, gifts and accessories
- Le Comptoir de Mathilde – Gifts for French-loving foodies!
- Retropical Vintage – Vintage clothing and accessories
Food and Drink
At the Market
One of the joys of Christmas markets everywhere is being able to experience the local cuisine. The Annecy Christmas market is peppered with chalets and stalls offering Savoyarde dishes such as tartiflette and diots, making hearty, on-the-go lunches, or early dinners.
And for those with a sweet tooth, every corner holds a crêpes stand and waffles, churros, toffee apples and more are never far away.
In the Town
If you’re after a warm drink, then Haven and Le Bar Roux d’Heure are great spots for a cosy hot chocolate or a cup of coffee. To discover other places to eat and drink in Annecy, check out our full blog here.
Foire de la Saint André
Another event worth visiting during the festive season is the ‘Foire de la Saint André’, an annual market that has taken place in Annecy since the middle ages. The market now takes place on the first Tuesday of December and is one of the biggest events on the Annecy calendar.
Stall-holders from all over France make up nearly 5.5km of stands, which line the streets of Annecy selling everything under the sun.
Thousands of visitors descend on Annecy for the day, so if you’re driving, then plan to park away from the town centre and walk in.
Explore the Lake
Though it might not be the first thing you think of on your winter holiday, a cycle around Lake Annecy on a sunny winter’s day before the Christmas Market is simply stunning. With beautiful white-capped mountains and quiet roads, it’s a magical time to explore the villages around the lake. Read more about the route on our cycling in Annecy page.
So, there’s a snippet of what to do in Annecy throughout the Christmas period, but if you’re still looking to book accommodation in Annecy, be sure to click on the link below to view the incredible properties we work with in the area!