Alsace is perhaps one of the most charming French regions and this thanks to the beauty of its towns which, on many occasions, seem like the scene of a fairy tale. Furthermore, this area is also famous for its long tradition of organizing Christmas markets.
The vast majority of municipalities are filled with wooden stalls and the streets are decorated from top to bottom to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Despite the cold it usually gets, we assure you that in few places in the world the atmosphere is as warm as these days in Alsace. This weekend, the last of November, the vast majority of its Christmas markets open their doors. Do you want to know which are the most beautiful? Keep reading!
The oldest market, that of Strasbourg
In Strasbourg you can visit the oldest Christmas market in France, under the name of Strasbourg Capitale de Noël, with nearly 450 years of history. It’s also one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe, with as many as 300 stalls, spread across more than a dozen different locations in the city centre. So in reality, Strasbourg is not a single market but several Christmas markets.
In place Broglie, at the foot of the Strasbourg Opera, since 1570 there has been the Christkindelsmärik (market of the Child Jesus) which has more than 70 craft and even food stalls, while in place Kléber there is one of the symbols of Christmas in Strasbourg more than five centuries: the giant fir, more than 30 meters high. The most popular, however, is the market in Place de la Cathédrale, with almost fifty food and craft stalls, and where a temporary store of the famous German brand of Christmas decorations, Käthe Wohlfahrt, is usually set up.
The Strasbourg Christmas markets will be open from Friday 25 November to Saturday 24 December.
The most beautiful market, that of Colmar
Colmar, a small city in the Alsace region of France, is one of the most popular places for European travelers especially during the month of December.
Its fame is due to the uniqueness of the city which, with cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, seems to have come out of a fairy tale, but its Christmas fame is more than deserved and has also earned it several awards. Indeed, in 2018, Colmar received the second prize for the best Christmas market in Europe and the first prize for the best lighting, given that there are 1,150 computer-controlled light bulbs in the city that vary the type of light show according to of the time of the year.
In Colmar, there are a total of six markets which are very easy to spot if you go through the old part of the commune, as they are located very close to each other: on place Jeanne d’Arc, place des Dominicains, the covered flea market du Koïfhu, on the Place de l’Ancienne Duoane and the La Petite Venise flea market. The latter is more oriented towards children, since here, in addition to the Christmas stalls, there are also some fairground attractions. In addition, since 2018, a gastronomic market has been held on the Place de la Cathédrale with nine stalls where nine chefs offer show cooking and culinary specialties from the region that can be tasted in a quiet area.
Another of the Christmas attractions in Colmar is the large ice rink, about 800 square meters, which is installed every year in Place Rapp.
The Colmar Christmas markets will be open from Thursday 24 November to Thursday 29 December.
The most fairy-tale markets, that of Eguisheim and that of Kaysersberg
If you are planning a trip to Alsace at Christmas, Eguisheim should be on your list of cities to visit yes or no. For many years it received the title of #VillagePrefere (France’s favorite village) in a very popular program on French television.
Its streets, fortified since 1257, are arranged in concentric circles, for this reason it is advisable to start the tour from the outermost street and go around the historic centre. The church of Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul was rebuilt in the late 13th and 14th centuries in the Gothic style, covering an old Romanesque church.
The Eguisheim 2022 Christmas market, which will be attended by around thirty artisans who will be located in the Place du marché and Place Mgr Stumpf, will be open from 25 November to 30 December.
On the other hand, Kaysersberg should not be forgotten either. This small town stole the #VillagePrefere title from Eguisheim, a wholly justified decision. Located just 20 minutes from Colmar, its main street is Rue du Général de Gaulle, surrounded by wooden houses and colors, which ends at the Sainte-Croix church square, which is worth entering. The most beautiful part of the city is the fortified bridge over the river Weiss, surrounded by colorful houses.
On top of a hill are the remains of a 13th century castle, which bears the same name as the town. We didn’t visit it as it got quite late for us strolling the beautiful streets of Kaysersberg.
If you like Disney movies, walking through Kaysersberg will give you the feeling that you are inside the town where Beauty and the Beast takes place.
Although there are many shops dedicated to Christmas decorations, the Kaysersberg 2022 Christmas market will be located on Rue du Général de Gaulle, from 25 November to 20 December, while the Christmas market of traditional products will take place on the Place de la Mairie.