The best Christmas markets in Alsace
Colmar during Christmas time ©alsace-lait.com
In Alsace, Christmas markets rhyme with festivals, illuminations, ornaments and traditions. From Gare de l’Est in Paris, it will take you less than 2 hours by train to reach Strasbourg and a bit more than 2 hours to go to Colmar. Starting at the end of November, you can walk in the most beautiful villages of Alsace, admire garlands and wreaths that adorn the streets, taste good Alsatian food such as pretzels and mulled wine in the chalets and little wooden houses, find ideas and gift boxes, as well as many craft products.
Each village will take you into its own atmosphere. These traditional Christmas markets in the region are indeed available in several towns and famous beautiful villages of Alsace: Colmar, Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, Kaysersberg, Strasbourg… From the most medieval to the most glittering one, we have selected for you the top things to do with family or friends, for a day, a weekend or for a longer stay.
From November 23rd 2018 to January 2nd 2019, discover the schedule and all the good places of the best Christmas markets to visit in Alsace.
STRASBOURG : OLDEST EUROPEAN MARKET
From November 23rd to December 30th 2018. Open daily from 11 am to 8 pm, night-time on Friday until 9 pm and Saturday until 10 pm.
The Christmas market in Strasbourg gathers 300 chalets spread over a dozen sites throughout the city center. Baptized Christkindesmäkir during its first edition in 1570, meaning “market of the child Jesus”, it is today the most visited in France and welcomes 2 millions of French and foreign tourists each year. Described as Christmas capital because of its international dimension, it highlights each year a European country. In 2018, Strasbourg will host Finland, where you can discover all the secrets in the Finnish village, at Gutenberg square.
Big Christmas tree, Kléber square, Strasbourg ©radio mélodie, Strasbourg ©radio mélodie
You can also enjoy being in Strasbourg to visit wineries in the surroundings, to meet winemakers and learn more about Alsatian wines.
The Pfister winery is located at 20 minutes from Strasbourg in Dahlenheim. You can discover there the work of winemaker as well as the facilities of a cellar and taste 5 wines from Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer grape varieties. The winery is even open on December 24th on reservation.
Pfister winery, Dahlenheim
At 25 minutes from Strasbourg, the owners of the Dischler winery, located in Wolxheim, offer a free tour and tasting in their cellar with explanations on the work of winemaker and on the various Alsatian grape varieties.
RIBEAUVILLÉ : A MEDIEVAL MARKET WITH FANCY-DRESS
Open on December 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th from 10 am until 7 pm on Saturdays and from 10 am until 6 pm on Sundays.
Located in the heart of the Alsace wine route and classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, this Christmas market is built around the medieval theme. Many animations are offered and you will take you in the heart of the Middle Ages. You will see dancers, wanderers, beggars… wander the streets, taste many sweet and savory treats such as boar on the spit and buy many decorations (wreaths, candles, cribs …). A real journey in time that will please both children and adults!
Christmas market in Ribeauvillé
On the main road of the village, the family-owned winery Louis Sipp, producer in organic farming, will welcome you to taste a wide range of wines and visit the cellars of this winery in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
RIQUEWIHR: AN ENCHANTING AND TRADITIONAL MARKET
Open from 1st to 23rd December, 2018. From 10 am until 6:30 pm during the week and from 10 am until 7:30 pm during the weekends.
A few minutes’ drive from Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr is a must-see in Alsace as it is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Between glittering decorations on the facades and monuments, gourmet tastings, songs and Christmas tales, the village sparkles and immerses you straight into the magic of Christmas.
Christmas Market, Riquewihr ©tourisme-alsace.com
In Riquewihr you can visit the Agapé winery. In this small family-owned property, Vincent Sipp, a warm and passionate winemaker will be delighted to welcome you and help you discover his wines. A cellar tour and free tasting are offered, and the winery is open every Saturday in December.
KAYSERSBERG: AUTHENTICITY AND TRADITION
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 30th to December 23rd, 2018.
This small Christmas market will take you into the 17th century in a picturesque setting. In addition to traditional handicrafts and creative workshops, you will discover the farmer’s market of the village and taste various regional products such as gourmet baskets topped with gingerbreads, honey, jams … A treasure hunt for children, from which you can collect all the information at the tourist office, is also organized.
Kaysersberg village ©noel-colmar.com
At 2-minutes drive from Kaysersberg, Jean-Baptiste Adam winery offers free tours where you can discover a 19th century cellar in self-tour. During the holidays you can buy gift boxes of the Alsatian terroir in food and wine pairing, an additional idea for Christmas!
COLMAR : MAGICAL AND OTHERWORLDLY
Open from November 23rd to December 30th 2018: Monday to Thursday from 10 am until 7 pm, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am until 8 pm. November 23rd, opening at 2 pm, December 24th closing at 5 pm, December 25th opening from 2 pm until 8 pm.
Elected 2nd best Christmas market in Europe in 2017, you will discover a route dotted with illuminations that will take you through 5 different markets:
– Dominicans Square: walk along the alleys where sixty small chalets are dominated by the elegant Dominican church with stained glass windows and illuminated works of art.
– Jeanne d’Arc square: this market is dedicated to local products and Alsatian specialties. You can also admire traditional half-timbered houses.
– Ancienne Douane Square: about fifty houses gathered around the beautiful Schwendi fountain await you. Do not miss the Koïfhus building illuminated at night.
– A few steps away from the Ancienne Douane: the internal market Koïfhus will allow you to discover many objects of art and antiquity of craftsmen of the region: pottery, wood carvings, jewels … On the first floor, you will be able to visit the Toy Museum.
– The Little Venice: the Christmas village for children who will marvel at rabbits, sheep, mechanical nursery, wooden rides and treats and who can post their letters in the mailbox of Santa Claus.
Do not miss the traditional Christmas carols of children singing on the boats of the Little Venice canal every Wednesday and Saturday at 5 pm.
At 7 kilometers from Colmar by car, you can visit the Emile Beyer winery located in the heart of the village of Eguisheim. You will also discover an authentic Christmas market in this village. The owners of this winery, will be glad to welcome you for a free tour and tasting or for a lunch in a typical Alsatian inn.
Emile Beyer winery, Eguisheim
At 10 kilometers from Colmar by car, you can also visit the Kuentz-Bas winery which also offers free tour and tasting where you can discover a cellar with ancient vat. This charming winery of Alsatian traditional style has been producing authentic wines for more than 200 years at a very good value for money.
Kuentz-Bas winery, Husseren-les-Châteaux
Finally, at twenty minutes by car from Colmar, at the gates of the Valley of Munster, you can visit the Schoenheitz winery. The owners, passionate about their work and who do not count their time during the visits, will be delighted to welcome you during this Christmas period to make you taste their wines in agreement with cheeses of the valley of Munster.
Schoenheitz winery, wine and cheese tasting in the valley of Munster, Wihr-au-val
We wish you a pleasant discovery of the Christmas Markets and of the Alsatian vineyard!