Taylor-Colmar1

Strasbourg and Colmar Christmas Markets: Best in Alsace, France

A woman enjoying the Christmas season and markets in Alsace, France.

Nothing is more magical than celebrating the festive season in the “Capitale de Nöel” – Alsace, France. The Christmas markets in Alsace, France are filled with wooden chalet stalls that serve comforting regional treats and are surrounded by colorful timber wood structures that place you straight into a storybook.

Germany may be renowned for its traditional Christmas markets, but visiting Alsace in eastern France should not be overlooked. The region’s capital, Strasbourg, boasts one of the world’s largest and oldest Christmas markets, dating back to 1570! Even though Strasbourg is a larger city, it’s close to smaller towns and villages that also deck out for the holiday season.

The half-timbered houses in Colmar, Alsace, France.

The Alsace region of France is known for its half-timbered houses and buildings. In the later 1800s, Alsace was annexed to Germany following the victory of the French-Prussian War. It was under German occupation until World War I, when it was handed over to France under the Treaty of Versailles. From the architecture to the cuisine, this region has a lot of German influence.

The Rhine River is what separates Germany from Alsace, France. If you plan a large German Christmas market tour, visiting Strasbourg and Colmar is a must since both destinations are on the border!

Overall, if you’re a Christmas lover like me, then Alsace is an ideal place to add to your bucket list for the winter season. (I visited the end of November 2022.) Below is a guide for visiting the best Alsatian Christmas market this year!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and Colmar Alsace, France

Traveling to Alsace, France for the Christmas Markets:

The festive buildings in Strasbourg, France.

I traveled to Alsace, France for the Christmas markets from Luxembourg City, which had me doing train travel. Since Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace, I suggest taking a train to Strasbourg-Ville station.

The best way to figure out European public transportation is by downloading Omio, where you can easily purchase train and bus tickets. The leading train company that operates in France is the SNCF. Other train companies that do cross-border transport are the TGV Lyria, which goes from France to Switzerland; the Deutsche Bahn, which goes from France to Germany; the Renfe-SNCF, which goes from France to Spain and the Eurostar, which goes from London to Paris.

You can a FlixBus to Strasbourg, France.

Once you’re in Strasbourg, traveling to the smaller Alsatian towns and villages, like Colmar, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, etc. is easier. The best way to get to these small towns is by taking the train or using Bolt, a European rideshare app. (There are direct trains from Strasbourg to these picturesque villages.)

A decorated house in Colmar.

If you don’t want to rely on public transportation and instead enjoy the rural region of Alsace through a road trip, it’s best to rent a car!

Please note that you must have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license if you plan to rent a car in France. If you live in the U.S., you can easily obtain one by visiting your local AAA office.

For those flying into Alsace, the two main airports are Strasbourg International Airport and Basel-Mulhouse EuroAirport in Basel, Switzerland. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Walking is the easiest way to get around once you’re in the city and smaller towns. A lot of the Christmas markets in Alsace, France and popular attractions are within a short walking distance from each other.

Where to Stay during Christmas in Alsace:

The festive streets of Strasbourg at night leading to the cathedral.

When visiting Alsace in December, I suggest basing yourself in Strasbourg, which is France’s largest Christmas market.

I did my Alsace Christmas market trip with Caitlin of My Darling Passport and Kristy of Ventre’s Adventures. We stayed in the perfect three-bedroom Airbnb in the heart of Strasbourg, overlooking Cathedral Square. Click here to book this apartment.

In addition to staying at a rental property, Strasbourg has many other great hotels ranging from all budgets. Below are the best options based on location:

Luxury Accommodation: Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection

Boutique Accommodation: Hôtel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg – MGallery

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hôtel Gutenberg

Budget Accommodation: Cerise Strasbourg

What to Expect at the Alsatian Christmas Markets:

The Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

The region of Alsace is in France, but its cuisine reflects its German history. At the Alsatian Christmas markets, you’ll find everything from mulled wine to rich bites that feature regional staples like pork and cheese.

Overall, the Christmas markets in Alsace, France are like those in Germany, where they sell warm beverages, delicious sausages, glistening decorations and trinkets, incredible sweet treats, homemade clothing and home goods, rides for children, live music and more.

Below are all the good food and drinks you must enjoy at the Christmas markets of Alsace:

Gingerbread cookies from the Strasbourg Christmas Market.

Vin Chaud: Similar to glühwein that you find at the German Christmas markets, vin chaud is also a spiced hot drink enjoyed by adults at the Alsatian markets. Unlike glühwein, which is on the sweeter side, vin chaud is made from local bottles of the Alsatian Wine Route. It’s less sweet but goes well with the decadent Alsatian specialties.   

At the Central European Christmas markets, you are usually served mulled wine in a cute mug that you can keep. Please note that when you get vin chaud, you’ll pay more if you keep your cup and take it home; if you bring your mug back to the stand, you’ll get a partial refund. Of course, these mugs make for great souvenirs that remind you of the special memories made during Christmas in Europe!

Tarte Flambée: Also known as flammekueche in German, tarte flambée, is a type of Alsatian pizza or flatbread that is made with crème fraîche, fromage blanc (white cheese – usually gruyère), onions and bacon. No matter what time of year you visit Alsace, this is always a favorite among locals and visitors!

Spätzle: Known as one of Europe’s comfort foods, spätzle is a German pasta usually made into a small dumpling (like gnocchi) or a short noodle served with cheese, cream or gravy. At the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, spätzle is usually served with cream or cheese and contains bacon bits or ham.

Spätzle from the Strasbourg Christmas market.

Crêpe: A crêpe is a thin pancake that is a popular staple throughout France. At the Alsatian Christmas markets, you can find sweet and savory crêpes that usually include Nutella/chocolate, fresh fruit with powdered sugar or cheese, vegetables and meat.

Bretzel: Also known as pretzel in English, you can find this freshly baked pastry shaped into a knot throughout the different markets in Alsace. Pretzels are always a favorite treat at the European Christmas markets and they never disappoint.

Grumbeerekiechle: Also known as potato pancakes in English, this tasty Central European specialty is a favorite among locals and visitors who travel to the Alsatian markets. They are usually served with warm apple sauce or sour cream. Sometimes, they are also served or made with local cheese.

Gingerbread Cookies: One of the top Christmas market staples you’ll find almost everywhere in Europe are decorated gingerbread cookies. I always love getting a giant gingerbread cookie from a Christmas market and having it as a snack during long train rides.

Bratwurst/Currywurst: Undoubtedly, bratwurst (or sausage) is the leading Christmas market food. From Germany to Alsace and Poland to Hungary, you’ll find grilled sausages at almost every European holiday market.

Bratwurst is a German sausage made with pork, but you can also find chicken brats and vegetarian sausages. Currywurst, which is also a popular Christmas market food, is a pork sausage cut up and served in a curry-based ketchup.

Bredele: For those who have a sweet tooth or are looking for an excellent gift for a loved one, a bag of bredele is the way to go! This Alsatian goodie bag includes Christmas cookies, pastries and baked treats.

Best Christmas Markets in Alsace, France:

The festive streets of Colmar, Alsace, France leading to the Christmas markets.

Alsace, France’s two main Christmas markets are in Strasbourg and Colmar. From the end of November through the holidays, you can enjoy the magic of Christmas in two of France’s most beautiful villages.

Strasbourg Christmas Market:

Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas and largest Christmas market in France.

Also known as the Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg’s Christmas markets date back to the Middle Ages.

The entire city center is illuminated with dreamy Christmas lights during the holiday season. The half-timbered homes and buildings in the fairytale old town are wrapped with charming Christmas decorations, from teddy bears to ornaments and nutcrackers to candles.

The Strasbourg Christmas Market is held from November 24 to December 24, 2023. During the Christmas season, you can enjoy markets in Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg, Place Broglie, Place Kléber, Place du Château Strasbourg, Place Gutenberg, Place Saint Thomas, Place du Marché Aux Poissions, Place de Temple Neuf, Place Benjamin Zix, Terrasse Rohan-Marche des Delices d’Alsace, Place des Meuniers, Place Hallebardes, Place Grimmeissen, Place du Corbeau and in the Advent Village at Square Louie-Weiss.

Strasbourg is much larger than the storybook smaller towns throughout Alsace. However, the city had my favorite Christmas market in the area, with over 300 chalet stalls that brought you into what felt like a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Even though all the festivities in every European Old Town are magical, below are the best Christmas markets to visit in Alsace, France, if you’re limited on time:

A carousel at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.

Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg and Place du Château Strasbourg: The cathedral market is known as Strasbourg’s most famous and traditional Christmas market dating back to the 16th Century. Before the Chrìstkìndelsmärik started in this fairytale Alsatian city, it was the Klausenmärik, otherwise known as the Saint Nicholas market.

Nowadays, the Christmas markets by the cathedral extend to the castle, where you can enjoy hot spiced drinks, savory food, sweet treats and more.

Not only does the stunning Gothic Notre Dame de Strasbourg tower over the picturesque market, but it also boasts a carousel to enjoy, a nativity scene to admire and a historical astronomical clock. You can also listen to traditional Christmas carols from the local choir at the Strasbourg Cathedral.

What is cool about this Christmas market in Strasbourg is that a tourist train takes visitors to the castle side! It’s an adorable way to enjoy the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, with family and young children.

Place Kléber: This square is recognized for having the largest Christmas market in Strasbourg, France. It’s also where the giant Christmas tree stands and towers over the city. In fact, this decorated Christmas tree is one of the largest in Europe!

In Place Kléber, over 130 wooden stands sell homemade gingerbread, crafts and delicious local delights! There is also a light show in the evenings to enjoy and an ice rink to go skating.

The Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

Place Broglie: Located in front of Strasbourg’s Hotel de Ville (City Hall), a lovely Christmas market called Christkindelsmärik (Christ Child Market) boasts stands filled with ornaments, vin chaud, local art and festive treats.

In the evening, Hotel de Ville has a magical light projection on the building with snowflakes.

Place Gutenberg: A smaller Christmas market in Strasbourg that cannot be missed is the one along Rue Gutenberg. There’s a beautiful blue tree with a “Merci” sign at the top of it.

You can walk through and enjoy the market stalls and leave a letter to Santa Claus in the mailbox next to the tree.

Place Saint Thomas and Place Benjamin Zix: Situated in the picturesque La Petite France, which features canals and covered bridges, you can enjoy vin chaud, magical Christmas decorations, handmade jewelry, French artisan cheese and more at these waterfront markets.

Colmar Christmas Market:

The Colmar Christmas market.

No better place will get you into the Christmas spirit than wandering through the cobblestone streets and the festive and picturesque fairytale setting in Colmar, France.

Colmar is a charming town in Alsace located on the German border. It’s recognized for its architectural heritage and Christmas market that runs from November 23 to December 29, 2023.

As someone who visited Colmar during a summer getaway in 2018, I can attest that it’s one of my favorite places in the world! Walking through the town will make you feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Summer may be one of the best times of year to visit Colmar, the Christmas period is also magical! In fact, Colmar is one of the most famous European Christmas market Instagram locations, so expect there to be a lot of tourists during the month of December.

The quaint town of Colmar makes for one of the best day trips from Strasbourg. You can find many of the same Christmas market staples you’d come across in Strasbourg, along with local products from Alsace, France.

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Colmar, Alsace, France.

The Colmar Christmas markets are famous for having a different theme. Below are the best six Christmas markets to visit in Colmar, Alsace, France:

Places des Dominicains: Located in front of the Église des Dominicains, this beautiful Christmas market sells the best artisan products from the Alsace region. You can find everything from ceramics to ornaments and decorated rolling pins to knitted scarves, gloves, sweaters, etc.

La Petite Venise: The most picturesque Christmas market in Colmar, is in the town’s Little Venice area. Even though it’s considered the children’s Christmas market, it’s perfect for all to enjoy!

At the market in La Petite Venise, you can warm up to spiced vin chaud or chocolat chaud (hot cocoa), fill up on gingerbread cookies and spätzle, go on some rides and enjoy the postcard-perfect views along Colmar’s canals.

Place de l’Ancienne Douane: Known as Colmar’s largest Christmas market in the center of town, the Place de l’Ancienne is another magical spot to enjoy rides, vin chaud, warm crêpes, grilled sausages and pure happiness! (There are over 50 market stalls at this spot.)

If you’re in Colmar at night, this Christmas market glimmers with twinkling lights, teddy bears, ornaments, lit-up candles and illuminated displays.  

Colmar, Alsace at night during the Christmas season.

Indoor Market Koifhus: If you visit the Christmas markets in Alsace, France on a rainy day, you must visit the only indoor market at the Koifhus, the old customs house. You can enjoy beautiful decorations in this market, from Christmas trees to lit-up garlands.

Some of the best things to purchase from Colmar’s indoor Christmas market are rolling pins, cutting boards, art pieces, chocolates, wreaths, home décor and more.

Place Jeanne d’Arc: One of the smallest Christmas markets in Colmar, but known to be the most traditional is the one located in Place Jeanne d’Arc, which is in the heart of town. It’s known for selling traditional local products and food like Alsatian wine, Christmas cakes, cheese and foie gras.

Gourmet Market: This Alsatian market is among the best places to enjoy local specialties. It features around 10 chalet stands and is one of the best foodie markets to savor tarte flambée, vin chaud, potato pancakes, homemade chocolates and craft beer!

Best Things to do in Alsace at Christmas:

A woman enjoying the holiday season in Colmar, Alsace.

Enjoy the Riquewihr, Obernai, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé and Mulhouse Christmas Markets:

When visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, you must also venture to the small towns of Riquewihr, Obernai, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé and Mulhouse. These markets may not be as extensive as those in Strasbourg or Colmar, but they are still festive with magical decorations, tasty treats and jolly vibes.

Below are the dates for the small village Christmas markets in Alsace:

A decorated building from the Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

Riquewihr Christmas Market: November 25 through December 21, 2023

Obernai Christmas Market: November 24 through December 31, 2023

Eguisheim Christmas Market: November 24 to December 23 and December 27 to December 30, 2023.

Ribeauvillé Christmas Market: December 2 & 3 and December 9 & 10, 2023

Mulhouse Christmas Market: November 24 through December 23, 2023

Savor Delicious Alsatian Food at the Best Restaurants:

A woman enjoying the Christmas decorations in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

As I mentioned above, Alsatian food is savory, rich and perfect for the cold winter weather. In addition to savoring all the incredible food at the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, the cities of Strasbourg and Colmar have excellent eateries to enjoy!

Below are the best restaurants to eat in Strasbourg and Colmar:

Strasbourg:

Tarte Flambée and escargot from a restaurant in Strasbourg, France.

Au Pont Corbeau: This is one of Strasbourg’s best and most authentic Alsatian and French restaurants that cannot be missed during a trip to this charming city.

Le Tire-Bouchon: If you’re a tapas lover who enjoys renowned wines, this stylish French small-plate restaurant with international dishes is a great option during an Alsace trip.

Restaurant Les Chauvins Pére & Fils: Located in Strasbourg’s most famous “teddy bear house” (pictured above), this restaurant serves traditional Alsatian dishes and offers a cozy atmosphere that will leave your heart feeling warm.

Colmar:

A berry pie and coffee from Au Croissant Doré in Colmar, France.

Au Croissant Doré: This charming coffee and French pastry shop makes for a wonderful breakfast or snack option in the heart of Colmar’s Old Town.

Koifhus Winstub: If you’re looking for a traditional Alsatian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere in the center of Colmar, this spot is perfect.

La Soï: A great tarte flambée restaurant near the heart of all the Christmas events, La Soï is perfect for those seeking a comforting meal.

Taste Your Way through the Alsace Wine Route:

Kaysersberg, France on the Alsace Wine Route.

Not only is visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France one of the best things to do, but so is following the legendary Wine Route.

Alsace’s wine region is one of the most prestigious in France. Most award-winning wines produced here are white wines like Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Crémant d’Alsace. As you enjoy different tastings, you’ll discover that these wines are fresh and full of aromas that go well with the region’s cuisine.

The Alsace Wine Route is over 100 miles long and goes through the region’s most picturesque areas, along with the fairytale villages. You can explore the wine route on a guided tour or on your own. If you visit Alsace in the summer, you can bike through the Wine Route.

The small towns that go through the Alsatian Wine Route are Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Obernai, Ribeauville and Thann. During a wine tour, you can enjoy a tasting, meet winegrowers, learn about regional wine production, and visit different vineyards, historical wine cellars, tasting rooms and more.

Stroll through La Petite France in Strasbourg and La Petite Venise in Colmar:

A woman overlooking La Petite Venise in Colmar during the Alsace, France Christmas market season.

The two most picturesque areas in Alsace, France are La Petite France in Strasbourg and La Petite Venise in Colmar. Not only are these two locations picturesque during the holiday season, but they are also lovely to stroll through year-round.

La Petite France and La Petite Venise are located on a canal system and are surrounded by half-timbered houses. You can sign up for a canal cruise in La Petite Venise in Colmar and learn about the charming town.

Visit a Museum in Alsace, France:

A museum in Colmar, France.

In addition to visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, touring a museum is also a great thing to do during winter. Below are the best museums to visit in Strasbourg and Colmar:

Strasbourg:

Colmar:

Walk through the Strasbourg Cathedral and Colmar’s St. Martin’s Church:

The Strasbourg Cathedral

Located in the heart of Strasbourg’s Old Town, surrounding one of the best Christmas markets in Alsace, France is the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. Also known as Our Lady of Strasbourg, this Catholic cathedral features Gothic and Romanesque architecture and has been around since 1439.

For many years, the Strasbourg Cathedral was the tallest building in the world. It also has one of the most intricate facades that tell countless stories. What also makes seeing this cathedral one of the best things to do in Strasbourg is that it holds an astronomical clock that was built in 1574.

Another church you must visit in Alsace is the Église Saint-Martin in the heart of Colmar. It’s a Gothic-style Roman Catholic church that dates to the 14th Century. It was damaged during the French Revolution but was later restored.


A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

Looking to visit other magical Christmas markets in Europe? Check out the below:

Vienna, Austria

Prague, Czech Republic

Budapest, Hungary

I hope you all enjoyed reading this helpful guide for the Christmas markets in Alsace, France. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of France:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Paris, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

In addition, a great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Shop My Alsace Christmas Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on November 4, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    This is the top Christmas market on my bucket list! Can’t wait to see these quaint adorable villages decorated so beautifully! I love all the storybook homes and shops. So colorful and so festive for the holidays. Love, love, love this guide and all the stunning photographs of you and the great landscapes. Awesome read ~ love you tons, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

    • Taylor Deer on November 7, 2023 at 9:28 am

      You would love it! We need to go next year hehe

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Taylor-Colmar1

Strasbourg and Colmar Christmas Markets: Best in Alsace, France

A woman enjoying the Christmas season and markets in Alsace, France.

Nothing is more magical than celebrating the festive season in the “Capitale de Nöel” – Alsace, France. The Christmas markets in Alsace, France are filled with wooden chalet stalls that serve comforting regional treats and are surrounded by colorful timber wood structures that place you straight into a storybook.

Germany may be renowned for its traditional Christmas markets, but visiting Alsace in eastern France should not be overlooked. The region’s capital, Strasbourg, boasts one of the world’s largest and oldest Christmas markets, dating back to 1570! Even though Strasbourg is a larger city, it’s close to smaller towns and villages that also deck out for the holiday season.

The half-timbered houses in Colmar, Alsace, France.

The Alsace region of France is known for its half-timbered houses and buildings. In the later 1800s, Alsace was annexed to Germany following the victory of the French-Prussian War. It was under German occupation until World War I, when it was handed over to France under the Treaty of Versailles. From the architecture to the cuisine, this region has a lot of German influence.

The Rhine River is what separates Germany from Alsace, France. If you plan a large German Christmas market tour, visiting Strasbourg and Colmar is a must since both destinations are on the border!

Overall, if you’re a Christmas lover like me, then Alsace is an ideal place to add to your bucket list for the winter season. (I visited the end of November 2022.) Below is a guide for visiting the best Alsatian Christmas market this year!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and Colmar Alsace, France

Traveling to Alsace, France for the Christmas Markets:

The festive buildings in Strasbourg, France.

I traveled to Alsace, France for the Christmas markets from Luxembourg City, which had me doing train travel. Since Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace, I suggest taking a train to Strasbourg-Ville station.

The best way to figure out European public transportation is by downloading Omio, where you can easily purchase train and bus tickets. The leading train company that operates in France is the SNCF. Other train companies that do cross-border transport are the TGV Lyria, which goes from France to Switzerland; the Deutsche Bahn, which goes from France to Germany; the Renfe-SNCF, which goes from France to Spain and the Eurostar, which goes from London to Paris.

You can a FlixBus to Strasbourg, France.

Once you’re in Strasbourg, traveling to the smaller Alsatian towns and villages, like Colmar, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, etc. is easier. The best way to get to these small towns is by taking the train or using Bolt, a European rideshare app. (There are direct trains from Strasbourg to these picturesque villages.)

A decorated house in Colmar.

If you don’t want to rely on public transportation and instead enjoy the rural region of Alsace through a road trip, it’s best to rent a car!

Please note that you must have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license if you plan to rent a car in France. If you live in the U.S., you can easily obtain one by visiting your local AAA office.

For those flying into Alsace, the two main airports are Strasbourg International Airport and Basel-Mulhouse EuroAirport in Basel, Switzerland. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Walking is the easiest way to get around once you’re in the city and smaller towns. A lot of the Christmas markets in Alsace, France and popular attractions are within a short walking distance from each other.

Where to Stay during Christmas in Alsace:

The festive streets of Strasbourg at night leading to the cathedral.

When visiting Alsace in December, I suggest basing yourself in Strasbourg, which is France’s largest Christmas market.

I did my Alsace Christmas market trip with Caitlin of My Darling Passport and Kristy of Ventre’s Adventures. We stayed in the perfect three-bedroom Airbnb in the heart of Strasbourg, overlooking Cathedral Square. Click here to book this apartment.

In addition to staying at a rental property, Strasbourg has many other great hotels ranging from all budgets. Below are the best options based on location:

Luxury Accommodation: Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection

Boutique Accommodation: Hôtel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg – MGallery

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hôtel Gutenberg

Budget Accommodation: Cerise Strasbourg

What to Expect at the Alsatian Christmas Markets:

The Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

The region of Alsace is in France, but its cuisine reflects its German history. At the Alsatian Christmas markets, you’ll find everything from mulled wine to rich bites that feature regional staples like pork and cheese.

Overall, the Christmas markets in Alsace, France are like those in Germany, where they sell warm beverages, delicious sausages, glistening decorations and trinkets, incredible sweet treats, homemade clothing and home goods, rides for children, live music and more.

Below are all the good food and drinks you must enjoy at the Christmas markets of Alsace:

Gingerbread cookies from the Strasbourg Christmas Market.

Vin Chaud: Similar to glühwein that you find at the German Christmas markets, vin chaud is also a spiced hot drink enjoyed by adults at the Alsatian markets. Unlike glühwein, which is on the sweeter side, vin chaud is made from local bottles of the Alsatian Wine Route. It’s less sweet but goes well with the decadent Alsatian specialties.   

At the Central European Christmas markets, you are usually served mulled wine in a cute mug that you can keep. Please note that when you get vin chaud, you’ll pay more if you keep your cup and take it home; if you bring your mug back to the stand, you’ll get a partial refund. Of course, these mugs make for great souvenirs that remind you of the special memories made during Christmas in Europe!

Tarte Flambée: Also known as flammekueche in German, tarte flambée, is a type of Alsatian pizza or flatbread that is made with crème fraîche, fromage blanc (white cheese – usually gruyère), onions and bacon. No matter what time of year you visit Alsace, this is always a favorite among locals and visitors!

Spätzle: Known as one of Europe’s comfort foods, spätzle is a German pasta usually made into a small dumpling (like gnocchi) or a short noodle served with cheese, cream or gravy. At the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, spätzle is usually served with cream or cheese and contains bacon bits or ham.

Spätzle from the Strasbourg Christmas market.

Crêpe: A crêpe is a thin pancake that is a popular staple throughout France. At the Alsatian Christmas markets, you can find sweet and savory crêpes that usually include Nutella/chocolate, fresh fruit with powdered sugar or cheese, vegetables and meat.

Bretzel: Also known as pretzel in English, you can find this freshly baked pastry shaped into a knot throughout the different markets in Alsace. Pretzels are always a favorite treat at the European Christmas markets and they never disappoint.

Grumbeerekiechle: Also known as potato pancakes in English, this tasty Central European specialty is a favorite among locals and visitors who travel to the Alsatian markets. They are usually served with warm apple sauce or sour cream. Sometimes, they are also served or made with local cheese.

Gingerbread Cookies: One of the top Christmas market staples you’ll find almost everywhere in Europe are decorated gingerbread cookies. I always love getting a giant gingerbread cookie from a Christmas market and having it as a snack during long train rides.

Bratwurst/Currywurst: Undoubtedly, bratwurst (or sausage) is the leading Christmas market food. From Germany to Alsace and Poland to Hungary, you’ll find grilled sausages at almost every European holiday market.

Bratwurst is a German sausage made with pork, but you can also find chicken brats and vegetarian sausages. Currywurst, which is also a popular Christmas market food, is a pork sausage cut up and served in a curry-based ketchup.

Bredele: For those who have a sweet tooth or are looking for an excellent gift for a loved one, a bag of bredele is the way to go! This Alsatian goodie bag includes Christmas cookies, pastries and baked treats.

Best Christmas Markets in Alsace, France:

The festive streets of Colmar, Alsace, France leading to the Christmas markets.

Alsace, France’s two main Christmas markets are in Strasbourg and Colmar. From the end of November through the holidays, you can enjoy the magic of Christmas in two of France’s most beautiful villages.

Strasbourg Christmas Market:

Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas and largest Christmas market in France.

Also known as the Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg’s Christmas markets date back to the Middle Ages.

The entire city center is illuminated with dreamy Christmas lights during the holiday season. The half-timbered homes and buildings in the fairytale old town are wrapped with charming Christmas decorations, from teddy bears to ornaments and nutcrackers to candles.

The Strasbourg Christmas Market is held from November 24 to December 24, 2023. During the Christmas season, you can enjoy markets in Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg, Place Broglie, Place Kléber, Place du Château Strasbourg, Place Gutenberg, Place Saint Thomas, Place du Marché Aux Poissions, Place de Temple Neuf, Place Benjamin Zix, Terrasse Rohan-Marche des Delices d’Alsace, Place des Meuniers, Place Hallebardes, Place Grimmeissen, Place du Corbeau and in the Advent Village at Square Louie-Weiss.

Strasbourg is much larger than the storybook smaller towns throughout Alsace. However, the city had my favorite Christmas market in the area, with over 300 chalet stalls that brought you into what felt like a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Even though all the festivities in every European Old Town are magical, below are the best Christmas markets to visit in Alsace, France, if you’re limited on time:

A carousel at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.

Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg and Place du Château Strasbourg: The cathedral market is known as Strasbourg’s most famous and traditional Christmas market dating back to the 16th Century. Before the Chrìstkìndelsmärik started in this fairytale Alsatian city, it was the Klausenmärik, otherwise known as the Saint Nicholas market.

Nowadays, the Christmas markets by the cathedral extend to the castle, where you can enjoy hot spiced drinks, savory food, sweet treats and more.

Not only does the stunning Gothic Notre Dame de Strasbourg tower over the picturesque market, but it also boasts a carousel to enjoy, a nativity scene to admire and a historical astronomical clock. You can also listen to traditional Christmas carols from the local choir at the Strasbourg Cathedral.

What is cool about this Christmas market in Strasbourg is that a tourist train takes visitors to the castle side! It’s an adorable way to enjoy the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, with family and young children.

Place Kléber: This square is recognized for having the largest Christmas market in Strasbourg, France. It’s also where the giant Christmas tree stands and towers over the city. In fact, this decorated Christmas tree is one of the largest in Europe!

In Place Kléber, over 130 wooden stands sell homemade gingerbread, crafts and delicious local delights! There is also a light show in the evenings to enjoy and an ice rink to go skating.

The Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

Place Broglie: Located in front of Strasbourg’s Hotel de Ville (City Hall), a lovely Christmas market called Christkindelsmärik (Christ Child Market) boasts stands filled with ornaments, vin chaud, local art and festive treats.

In the evening, Hotel de Ville has a magical light projection on the building with snowflakes.

Place Gutenberg: A smaller Christmas market in Strasbourg that cannot be missed is the one along Rue Gutenberg. There’s a beautiful blue tree with a “Merci” sign at the top of it.

You can walk through and enjoy the market stalls and leave a letter to Santa Claus in the mailbox next to the tree.

Place Saint Thomas and Place Benjamin Zix: Situated in the picturesque La Petite France, which features canals and covered bridges, you can enjoy vin chaud, magical Christmas decorations, handmade jewelry, French artisan cheese and more at these waterfront markets.

Colmar Christmas Market:

The Colmar Christmas market.

No better place will get you into the Christmas spirit than wandering through the cobblestone streets and the festive and picturesque fairytale setting in Colmar, France.

Colmar is a charming town in Alsace located on the German border. It’s recognized for its architectural heritage and Christmas market that runs from November 23 to December 29, 2023.

As someone who visited Colmar during a summer getaway in 2018, I can attest that it’s one of my favorite places in the world! Walking through the town will make you feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Summer may be one of the best times of year to visit Colmar, the Christmas period is also magical! In fact, Colmar is one of the most famous European Christmas market Instagram locations, so expect there to be a lot of tourists during the month of December.

The quaint town of Colmar makes for one of the best day trips from Strasbourg. You can find many of the same Christmas market staples you’d come across in Strasbourg, along with local products from Alsace, France.

A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Colmar, Alsace, France.

The Colmar Christmas markets are famous for having a different theme. Below are the best six Christmas markets to visit in Colmar, Alsace, France:

Places des Dominicains: Located in front of the Église des Dominicains, this beautiful Christmas market sells the best artisan products from the Alsace region. You can find everything from ceramics to ornaments and decorated rolling pins to knitted scarves, gloves, sweaters, etc.

La Petite Venise: The most picturesque Christmas market in Colmar, is in the town’s Little Venice area. Even though it’s considered the children’s Christmas market, it’s perfect for all to enjoy!

At the market in La Petite Venise, you can warm up to spiced vin chaud or chocolat chaud (hot cocoa), fill up on gingerbread cookies and spätzle, go on some rides and enjoy the postcard-perfect views along Colmar’s canals.

Place de l’Ancienne Douane: Known as Colmar’s largest Christmas market in the center of town, the Place de l’Ancienne is another magical spot to enjoy rides, vin chaud, warm crêpes, grilled sausages and pure happiness! (There are over 50 market stalls at this spot.)

If you’re in Colmar at night, this Christmas market glimmers with twinkling lights, teddy bears, ornaments, lit-up candles and illuminated displays.  

Colmar, Alsace at night during the Christmas season.

Indoor Market Koifhus: If you visit the Christmas markets in Alsace, France on a rainy day, you must visit the only indoor market at the Koifhus, the old customs house. You can enjoy beautiful decorations in this market, from Christmas trees to lit-up garlands.

Some of the best things to purchase from Colmar’s indoor Christmas market are rolling pins, cutting boards, art pieces, chocolates, wreaths, home décor and more.

Place Jeanne d’Arc: One of the smallest Christmas markets in Colmar, but known to be the most traditional is the one located in Place Jeanne d’Arc, which is in the heart of town. It’s known for selling traditional local products and food like Alsatian wine, Christmas cakes, cheese and foie gras.

Gourmet Market: This Alsatian market is among the best places to enjoy local specialties. It features around 10 chalet stands and is one of the best foodie markets to savor tarte flambée, vin chaud, potato pancakes, homemade chocolates and craft beer!

Best Things to do in Alsace at Christmas:

A woman enjoying the holiday season in Colmar, Alsace.

Enjoy the Riquewihr, Obernai, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé and Mulhouse Christmas Markets:

When visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, you must also venture to the small towns of Riquewihr, Obernai, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé and Mulhouse. These markets may not be as extensive as those in Strasbourg or Colmar, but they are still festive with magical decorations, tasty treats and jolly vibes.

Below are the dates for the small village Christmas markets in Alsace:

A decorated building from the Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

Riquewihr Christmas Market: November 25 through December 21, 2023

Obernai Christmas Market: November 24 through December 31, 2023

Eguisheim Christmas Market: November 24 to December 23 and December 27 to December 30, 2023.

Ribeauvillé Christmas Market: December 2 & 3 and December 9 & 10, 2023

Mulhouse Christmas Market: November 24 through December 23, 2023

Savor Delicious Alsatian Food at the Best Restaurants:

A woman enjoying the Christmas decorations in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

As I mentioned above, Alsatian food is savory, rich and perfect for the cold winter weather. In addition to savoring all the incredible food at the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, the cities of Strasbourg and Colmar have excellent eateries to enjoy!

Below are the best restaurants to eat in Strasbourg and Colmar:

Strasbourg:

Tarte Flambée and escargot from a restaurant in Strasbourg, France.

Au Pont Corbeau: This is one of Strasbourg’s best and most authentic Alsatian and French restaurants that cannot be missed during a trip to this charming city.

Le Tire-Bouchon: If you’re a tapas lover who enjoys renowned wines, this stylish French small-plate restaurant with international dishes is a great option during an Alsace trip.

Restaurant Les Chauvins Pére & Fils: Located in Strasbourg’s most famous “teddy bear house” (pictured above), this restaurant serves traditional Alsatian dishes and offers a cozy atmosphere that will leave your heart feeling warm.

Colmar:

A berry pie and coffee from Au Croissant Doré in Colmar, France.

Au Croissant Doré: This charming coffee and French pastry shop makes for a wonderful breakfast or snack option in the heart of Colmar’s Old Town.

Koifhus Winstub: If you’re looking for a traditional Alsatian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere in the center of Colmar, this spot is perfect.

La Soï: A great tarte flambée restaurant near the heart of all the Christmas events, La Soï is perfect for those seeking a comforting meal.

Taste Your Way through the Alsace Wine Route:

Kaysersberg, France on the Alsace Wine Route.

Not only is visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France one of the best things to do, but so is following the legendary Wine Route.

Alsace’s wine region is one of the most prestigious in France. Most award-winning wines produced here are white wines like Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Crémant d’Alsace. As you enjoy different tastings, you’ll discover that these wines are fresh and full of aromas that go well with the region’s cuisine.

The Alsace Wine Route is over 100 miles long and goes through the region’s most picturesque areas, along with the fairytale villages. You can explore the wine route on a guided tour or on your own. If you visit Alsace in the summer, you can bike through the Wine Route.

The small towns that go through the Alsatian Wine Route are Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Obernai, Ribeauville and Thann. During a wine tour, you can enjoy a tasting, meet winegrowers, learn about regional wine production, and visit different vineyards, historical wine cellars, tasting rooms and more.

Stroll through La Petite France in Strasbourg and La Petite Venise in Colmar:

A woman overlooking La Petite Venise in Colmar during the Alsace, France Christmas market season.

The two most picturesque areas in Alsace, France are La Petite France in Strasbourg and La Petite Venise in Colmar. Not only are these two locations picturesque during the holiday season, but they are also lovely to stroll through year-round.

La Petite France and La Petite Venise are located on a canal system and are surrounded by half-timbered houses. You can sign up for a canal cruise in La Petite Venise in Colmar and learn about the charming town.

Visit a Museum in Alsace, France:

A museum in Colmar, France.

In addition to visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace, France, touring a museum is also a great thing to do during winter. Below are the best museums to visit in Strasbourg and Colmar:

Strasbourg:

Colmar:

Walk through the Strasbourg Cathedral and Colmar’s St. Martin’s Church:

The Strasbourg Cathedral

Located in the heart of Strasbourg’s Old Town, surrounding one of the best Christmas markets in Alsace, France is the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. Also known as Our Lady of Strasbourg, this Catholic cathedral features Gothic and Romanesque architecture and has been around since 1439.

For many years, the Strasbourg Cathedral was the tallest building in the world. It also has one of the most intricate facades that tell countless stories. What also makes seeing this cathedral one of the best things to do in Strasbourg is that it holds an astronomical clock that was built in 1574.

Another church you must visit in Alsace is the Église Saint-Martin in the heart of Colmar. It’s a Gothic-style Roman Catholic church that dates to the 14th Century. It was damaged during the French Revolution but was later restored.


A woman enjoying the Christmas markets in Alsace, France.

Looking to visit other magical Christmas markets in Europe? Check out the below:

Vienna, Austria

Prague, Czech Republic

Budapest, Hungary

I hope you all enjoyed reading this helpful guide for the Christmas markets in Alsace, France. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of France:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Paris, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

In addition, a great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Shop My Alsace Christmas Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on November 4, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    This is the top Christmas market on my bucket list! Can’t wait to see these quaint adorable villages decorated so beautifully! I love all the storybook homes and shops. So colorful and so festive for the holidays. Love, love, love this guide and all the stunning photographs of you and the great landscapes. Awesome read ~ love you tons, mom 👩🏻 xoxo ❤️

    • Taylor Deer on November 7, 2023 at 9:28 am

      You would love it! We need to go next year hehe

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