In 2022 my husband and I flew to France for three child free days, to enjoy the Carcassonne Christmas Markets and explore the area. We stayed in a lovely little hotel called Hotel L’Aragon which is positioned right at the foot of Carcassonne Castle and about a 15 minute walk from the main town. If you are planning on making a similar trip then do it, we had a great time and the area is beautiful. However, the Carcassonne Christmas markets are not very big or like traditional Christmas markets, but they are special and here is everything you need to know to help you plan your trip.
The Carcassonne Christmas Markets
The markets are set up in the centre of town in a horse show shape surrounding an ice rink. They are really decorative and covered in pretty lights making them feel very festive. In total there were about 30 different stalls. Of the 30 there was probably only 5 stalls selling actual items like bags, belts and other gifts, the remainder were all selling food and drink.
What we found was that all of these stalls were selling wine for 3 Euros a glass, that was their main selling point, but every stall selling alcohol was also selling food in some capacity. I’m unsure if there is a law or rule they must follow but this was a definite theme throughout the markets.
Some of the food was brilliant such as the filled jacket potatoes, charcuterie boards and the oysters. Others looked a bit less exciting and a bit more like an after thought like mini pieces of cheese on toast, but there is definitely a lot of choice and something for everyone.
Unlike other Christmas markets we have been to before the idea in Carcassonne seems to be that you stay at the stalls, stand around the counter and enjoy your food and drink. This creates a lovely atmosphere but it also means it does get busy so if you don’t like crowds be sure to grab your food and drink and head out of the market area as there are plenty of other places to sit down if you want.
It’s also worth noting that every stall within the Carcassonne Christmas markets is cash only and Euros at that so make sure you have your spending money already withdrawn and exchanged.
We had a wonderful time at the Carcassonne Christmas markets and I would highly recommend Carcassonne as a weekend getaway as there are lots of great places to explore just don’t expect to spend the whole weekend shopping at the markets as they are definitely more for eating and drinking.