News Digest: Black Friday Deals & Christmas Markets



News Digest: Black Friday Deals & Christmas Markets

France is getting in the festive spirit this week and there are great discounts available for train travellers for Black Friday. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Medicine Shortages in France

France’s Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament (ANSM) has announced a shortage of several common medications across the country. Some 277 medicines are affected, most noticeably Doliprane (the most popular form of over-the-counter paracetamol in France), the prescription-only antibiotic amoxicillin, and two drugs used for treating Type 2 Diabetes (Ozempic/ semaglutide) and Trulicity/dulaglutide).

In response to the shortage, limited medicine orders are being supplied to pharmacies and patients are restricted to a maximum of two boxes of the affected drugs. The shortages are being attributed to a spike in seasonal infections, compacted by a reduction in medicine production during the Covid-19 pandemic and a rise in antibiotic prescriptions (likely due to reduced immunity and increased social contact post-pandemic).

French Health Minister François Braun reported that stocks of Doliprane were expected to return to normal in the coming weeks, but lamented that amoxicillin stocks may take longer to replenish.

2. SNCF Railcard Discounts

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly way to travel around the country, France’s state-operated railway SNCF is offering a 50% discount – €24.50 instead of the usual price of €49 – on its Avantage railcards this week. The limited-time offer is available for the Carte Avantage Jeune, Adulte and Senior railcards, and applies to both first-time purchases and renewals. The Avantage railcards are valid for one year and provide a 30% discount on all one-way weekend tickets, return tickets including at least one weekend day/night, and all one-way tickets with an accompanying child. The offer is available until November 28 and you can find out all the details here.

While we’re on the subject of saving money, this week is also Black Friday (Friday, November 25th), and many shops and services across France will be offering discounts, promotions, and sales, so keep an eye out for seasonal offers.

3. Christmas Markets Open in France

Even though Thanksgiving isn’t traditionally celebrated in France, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) also marks the start of the festive season for many cities around the country. France’s oldest and most famous Christmas Market in Strasbourg opens this Friday, while the surrounding markets in Colmar and Mulhouse open up from Thursday (Nov 24th) onwards.

Other popular Christmas markets in France also get underway this week, including Paris, Bordeaux, and Montbéliard, while Nice’s market starts on December 3rd and Lyon’s Fête des Lumière (Festival of Lights) takes place from December 8th to 11th.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our American and Canadian readers in France or overseas, and anyone else celebrating – have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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