Come warm your heart with the abundance and the festive smells of the Alsatian Christmas markets! Over a weekend or during a short break, it is often difficult to choose from all the markets and villages to discover. Winalist gives you ITS selection of Alsatian Christmas markets by theme.
History & Tradition recall
Outdoor markets celebrating the Advent season are born in Central and Eastern Europe (Austria, Switzerland, Germany and also in Alsace) in the 13th century. The first market in Strasbourg appeared in 1294. The first markets dedicated to Christmas and Saint Nicholas appeared in the 15th century. It was only in the 1990’s that other cities in Europe set up their own Christmas markets with stands looking like mountain chalets, attractions, and therefore, offering a more commercial version of Christmas markets.
Organized by the cities around December, these markets feature small stalls with decorative items, Christmas cribs, traditional cakes such as Winachtsbredala or Bredele (famous Alsatian Christmas cookies), regional products and lots of mulled wine, cinnamon, and roasted chestnuts. In addition to your taste buds and nose, you will treat your eyes with beautiful Christmas lights that will really make you feel these holidays’ magic. Here is our selection, with practical information below :
The largest markets, open continuously
The few markets that are continuously open are located in the largest cities.
Colmar: This is one of the main markets in Alsace. Several markets are scattered throughout the city to discover and the decorations are beautiful.
Strasbourg: it is definitely the most famous one and the one that attracts the most people. With several markets also scattered throughout the neighborhoods, you can appreciate all the smells during your adventure trail. On the way, we advice you to stop by the Christmas tree of the Kleber Square, it’s just magnificent!
Mulhouse: further South, this large city less touristy than the other two, hosts between its beautiful architectural buildings a more secret, but equally celebratory market. This year, modernity is coming with the panoramic selfie to be shared with #noelamulhouse (Christmas in Mulhouse)!
More intimate and less touristy markets
Ottmarsheim: a small market with an intimate and family friendly atmosphere punctuated with shows, carriage rides, and filled with beautiful illuminations. You can find products from local museum shops and designers.
Eguisheim: in the middle of hills covered with vines, in the small central square of the village, the Christmas market has become a cozy nest. Come and discover an authentic market in the winding streets of one of the most beautiful villages in Alsace.
Kaysersberg: one of the most famous wine villages dominated by its 13th-century imperial castle. At that century, the village was already well in the Holy Roman Empire for its wine. We really like the village’s natural charm and half-timbered houses!
Sélestat: this village does not skimp on animations! Come discover the Winter Garden and the pine trees exhibition that shows their decoration over the centuries. Nine discovery stages are waiting for you in the city! We won’t tell you more.
Bergheim: a small village that hosts a path of Christmas nativities and even a living nativity scene, with guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm.
Medieval Christmas markets
Ribeauvillé: a medieval and original Christmas market, a great classic of the region in one of the most famous villages of the Alsatian Wine Route.
Neuf Brisach: the walled city of Vauban turns the clock back to make visitors experiment this era again with exhibitors, costumes, heritage trades and crafts, tavern, boar on the spit and farm animals!
Discover Alsatian winegrowers, taste wines and couple your celebration meals with awesome wine!
The wines of Alsace have this particularity to complete all your meals, from starter to dessert. Take the opportunity to visit some family-owned wineries of this beautiful vineyard. This is the best way to understand and discover the particularities of Alsatian wines, from their production to their aromas. Choosing among all the wineries being hard, we propose you another Winalist selection:
Alsatian Christmas markets’ opening dates sum up
– Colmar, November 24th – December 31st
– Strasbourg and Sélestat, November 24th – December 24th
– Mulhouse, November 24th – December 27th
– Kaysersberg opens the last weekend of November (24th-26th) and the first three weekends of December
– Eguisheim, November 24th – December 23rd.
– Riquewihr until December 25th, Monday to Friday from 10am to 6:30pm (except December 24th: closing at 18pm), Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7:30pm.
– Bergheim: November 25th – December 23rd, with entertainment and guided tours on weekends at 6pm.
– Ribeauvillé: opens on the 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th of December (only the first two weekends of December)
Only December 8th, 9th and 10th:
– Ottmarsheim, Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 10am to 7pm
– Neuf Brisach, medieval entertainment from 2pm to 7pm on Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays.
Also published on Medium.