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Christmas Markets in Alsace

A stones’ throw over the border, the Alsace region is a fantastic place to go for wine-tasting, fairy tale villages and gourmet food. At Christmas time, this is taken to a whole other level.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

If you are looking for some Christmas spirit (in abundance!), then look no further than the Strasbourg Christmas Market (November 24 to December 24). Known as Europe’s Capital of Christmas, this market is France’s most popular, dating back to the mid-1500s. It is continually highly ranked in both Europe’s and the World’s Best Christmas Markets lists. The whole city transforms into one big magical Christmas playground with decorations galore and lighted walkways connecting different markets in eleven different locations. This is the best place to get unique Christmas gifts and decorations, enjoy a vin chaud or baguette flambée, or even a “Starred Soup” from a stall operated by Michelin starred chefs.

A Giant Christmas Tree

Photo: Noel

Place Broglie is the square that hosted the very first Christkindelsmärik (“Christ child market”) in 1871 and since then has been the heart of the Strasbourg Christmas Market. Here you will find the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), which is a great starting point for your Strasbourg Christmas Market crawl. From here head to Place Kléber which hosts Le Grand Sapin (the giant Christmas tree). This tree is one of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe according to European Best Destinations. Towering over 30m high, the tree is decorated with 7km of fairy lights and around 400 baubles! Every day there is a light and music show every hour on the hour starting with the lighting ceremony at 16:00 and continuing until 21:00.

Toys and Decorations

Another fantastic market location is the Place de la Cathédrale with the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg providing a stunning backdrop. Here you can enjoy markets on both sides of the cathedral one of which, named “toyland”, has a beautiful selection of handmade toys (of course!) as well as a carousel. Make sure you visit inside the cathedral as well, to view the Strasbourg Crèche which dates from 1907, is 18 metres long and presents five different nativity scenes.

Food to Eat and Gift

Continue to the Marché des Délices d’Alsace to another market dedicated entirely to food items. The market is very picturesque, sitting right on the bank of the canal and this is the perfect place to stop and have a snack. If you are looking for gourmet food items as gifts, then head to Place du Marché aux Poissons to peruse the market there.

Performances and Workshops

Photo: Marché Off

The Marcheé Off (Off Market) offers a different approach to the Christmas celebrations by “giving meaning to your Christmas shopping”. Various events take place throughout the month of December including numerous performances, Christmas traditions, DIY workshops, guided tours, and concerts. Check out their website for more details.

Colmar Christmas Market

Photo: Adobe stock

Although Strasbourg is the largest, the Colmar Christmas Market is the place to go for the quintessential fairy tale Christmas market. Said to be the village that inspired the Beauty and the Beast film, idyllic Colmar is repeatedly named one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and highly rated on the World Christmas Markets scene. This market is one of few that is open all throughout Advent as well as during the Christmas holiday days (November 23 to December 29). Think colourful, half-timbered buildings strung with garlands, lights and decorations, quaint market stands, with Christmas trees dotted around the many squares and the smell of the famous Alsatian pain d’épices (gingerbread) everywhere.

Six Different Markets

There are six distinct markets in Colmar, each with its own vibe and theme. From religious crafts at Place des Dominicains to culture of the region at Place Jeanne d’Arc. Toys and games can be found at Place de L’ancienne Douane and for unique handmade artisanal goods and antiques, visit the Indoor Market Koifhus.

Petite Venise is an absolutely adorable part of town and has a market with a Nativity scene that has live animals. The final market is the Gourmet Market by the beautiful St Martin’s church. Here you will find a big tent with individual food stalls around the perimeter and lots of tables for eating in the middle.

A must-stop destination for those who love to take to the ice during the festive season is the Parc du Champ de Mars where you can skate to your heart’s content on the artificial ice-skating rink and enjoy a festive drink in the cute and quirky Carousel Bar at Place Rapp.

Christmas Markets in the Alsacian Villages

Top Tip: During Advent weekends, there is a shuttle bus that runs between Colmar > Kaysersberg > Riquewihr > Ribeauvillé in a continuous loop from Colmar station (ticket can be purchased from the driver).


Riquewihr is one of (if not the) most beautiful villages in Alsace and is even more sublime during Christmas time. The Christmas market (November 25 to December 20) is located mainly on the Rue des Remparts near the Town Hall and there is also a mini-Christmas market for foodies Le Sentier des Saveurs located in the Cour des Nobles. A must-visit shop in Riquewihr devoted to Christmas decorations is La Féerie de Noel.


Photo: Christmas Alsace

Head to Ribeauvillé to experience a Christmas from another age at the village’s authentic medieval Christmas market (December 2, 3, 9 and 10). Meet the stallholders in their period costumes and pick out your favourite craft items from the treasures on their sublimely decorated stalls. Food lovers can delight in the aromas of wild boar roasting on the spit and slowly simmering soups. There is an unrivalled magical live Christmas show with something for all ages including dancers, street entertainers, acrobats, jugglers and fire eaters.


If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger markets to see an authentic Christmas market in a small town, Eguisheim is a lovely town to explore. It has two market locations on Place du Marchée aux Saules and Place Monseigneur Stumpf, and a stroll along the city ramparts rewards visitors with the discovery of various cute small nativity scenes, illuminations and decorations.


Widely considered amongst the best small Christmas markets in France, the Kaysersberg Christmas market (November 24 to December 19) lies at the base of the ruins of a castle and is renowned for its selection of vendors. Sticking strongly to its values of authenticity and tradition, most of the stall vendors you talk to are directly involved in the production of the products you buy. With a farmer’s market, Christmas exhibitions, Christmas treasure hunts and Christmas concerts there is much to do in in Kaysersberg in the holiday season.


The great winemakers’ cauldron at the warm and magical Obernai Christmas market (November 24 to December 31) has long attracted lovers of mulled wine and conviviality. The tasting of this local speciality is not to be missed for both the unique taste (the Obernai recipe is traditionally made with white wine) and the atmosphere around the cauldron.

I hope this list inspires you to explore some of the Christmas markets in the Alsace region. This region has no shortage of festive flair and it is the perfect way to celebrate the season. For more Christmassy festivities in the Dreiländer region please see our other articles: The Basel Christmas Market: Top Tips and Picks, Christmas in the Basel Area and Christmas Traditions in the Black Forest.

Alison Waterfield

Alison is a Brit who has been in the Basel area for over a decade. She currently resides in Oberwil, where she enjoys having countryside on her doorstep as well as town being only a short tram ride away. She loves cooking, baking and anything food-related and is a beginner food stylist and photographer. She enjoys being in nature and relaxing doing anything wellness-related, as well as engaging in creative activities such as abstract and fluid art and crochet.

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