Colmar sign outside of the train station in Colmar is the perfect photo op!
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Ultimate Guide to Christmas Markets in Colmar, France 2023

2023 Dates for Christmas Markets in Colmar, France: November 23 – December 29, 2023

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by strolling through the charming Christmas markets in Colmar, France?

With their twinkling lights, festive decorations, delicious food, and unique crafts, these markets will transport you to a winter wonderland that will make you feel like a kid again.

So pack your warmest clothes, grab a cup of mulled wine, and let’s explore the magical Christmas markets of Colmar.

Our European Christmas Market Itinerary at a Glace

In 2022, we embarked on a dream adventure as we checked off our bucket list by visiting the Christmas Markets in Zurich, Strasbourg, Colmar, and Basel. Another couple joined us, and we were on an unforgettable journey together. Below is a list of our 7-day itinerary. The only change we would make is eliminating Basel, Switzerland, and spending two nights in Colmar, France, instead. I hope this helps as you plan your Bucket List Christmas Market trip!

My husband and I with another couple as we checked off of our bucket list of visiting European Christmas Markets in 2022. This picture was taken at Place Rapp on the carousel with boozy Hot Chocolate drinks.

Colmar Christmas Markets

Discover the enchanting charm of Colmar’s festive Christmas markets! This idyllic small town offers the perfect setting for a magical holiday experience.

With all six markets within easy walking distance, you can easily explore them all in just one day. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and indulge in delicious treats, charming crafts, and delightful winter scenery.

To savor the holiday magic fully, I recommend allowing two days to leisurely wander through the markets and immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

The markets are the busiest on weekends. If you prefer less crowds, try to visit during the weekday. All the markets are free to enter.

Step into the magical world of French Christmas Markets and discover the delightful tradition of Vin Chaud, also known as Gluhwein. Unlike the German Christmas markets we’ve seen before, they serve their Vin chaud in reusable, durable plastic cups instead of ceramic cups.

Christmas Markets in Colmar run from November 23 – December 29, 2023

Half timbered houses make Colmar have a quaint feeling that you are in a fairytale.

Located in the heart of Alsace, Colmar is often called the capital of Christmas. Its quaint streets and pastel-colored half-timbered houses offer a picturesque backdrop for the numerous markets throughout the town.

Gourmet market – Place de la cathédrale

Located near the Cathedral, this market focuses on gourmet food. Local chefs highlight Alsace region specialties, making this gourmet Christmas Market a foodie delight!

This market is dedicated to local gastronomy and offers artisanal food products such as foie gras, cured meats, cheeses, and wines. It’s the perfect place to stock up on treats for your Christmas dinner or to find unique gifts for your foodie friends.

             Times: 10 am-10 pm daily

A picture of the Vin Chaud plastic cup that they had at the Gourmet Market

Place des Dominicains

This is one of the few places to find a ceramic mug. The oldest and most famous is the Marché de Noël, which takes place in the Place des Dominicains. Here, you will find over 60 wooden chalets selling handmade crafts, regional delicacies, hot beverages, and the famous Alsatian Christmas cookies known as bredele.

Times: Weekdays, Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm.
Weekends Friday – Sunday, 10 am-8 pm
December 24th, 10 am-5 pm
December 25th, 11 am-7 pm
December 26th,11 am-7 pm

One of the few Christmas markets were there were ceramic cups for the Vin Chaud. These were cute stockings.

Place de l’Ancienne Douane

This market is located in the heart of Old Town, surrounding the Schwendi fountain. Over 50 stalls line both sides of the Lauch River and extend to Colmar’s Medieval Koifhus building.

Times: Weekdays, Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm
Weekends Friday – Sunday, 10 am-8 pm
December 24th, 10 am-5 pm
December 25th, 11 am-7 pm
December 26th, 11 am-7 pm

Christmas Lights decorate the streets of Colmar giving it warm, festive vibe.

Place Jeanne d’Arc

For a more traditional Christmas atmosphere, head to the Place Jeanne d’Arc, where you’ll find a beautifully decorated Ferris wheel and a charming carousel. The wooden stalls offer handmade gifts such as toys, candles, clothes, jewelry, and gourmet treats like chocolates, honey, and gingerbread.

Times: Weekdays, Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm
Weekends Friday – Sunday, 10 am-8 pm
December 24th, 10 am-5 pm
December 25th, 11 am-7 pm
December 26th, 11 am-7 pm

Buildings are quaint with the timbered style and decorations for Christmas. It makes Colmar a Christmas wonderland.

Place des Six Montagnes noires

Located in Petite Venise, this market is designed for kids—a horse carousel and a large mailbox post a letter to Santa.

The first Christmas Market that we came upon was at Petite Venise. It was truly magical.

Times: Weekdays, Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm
Weekends Friday – Sunday, 10 am-8 pm
December 24th, 10 am-5 pm
December 25th, 11 am-7 pm
December 26th, 11 am-7 pm

Indoor Craft Market at Koifhus

Don’t miss the Village des Artisans if you want a more intimate experience. This small market features only 20 stalls but offers an authentic and cozy atmosphere. You can watch the artisans at work, enjoy hot wine, and browse unique crafts such as pottery, woodwork, and handmade soap. The first floor features a toy museum.

Times: Weekdays, Monday to Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm
Weekends Friday – Sunday, 10 am-8 pm
December 24th, 10 am-5 pm
December 25th, 11 am-7 pm
December 26th, 11 am-7 pm

The streets of Colmar at bright with Christmas lights at almost every turn.

More activities to do in Colmar beyond the Christmas Markets

On Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 5 pm, children from the Colmar region sing on the picturesque “Petite Venise” in illuminated boats.

December 2, 2023 at 2:30-3:30pm Christmas Cellar – Martin Jund’s Domaine: Christmas concert located at 12 rue de l’Ange, Domaine Martin Jund. Christmas carols will be performed by the Croq’Notes de la Manécanterie de l’école Saint Jean de Colmar.

December 16, 2023, 8:30-9:30 pm, the Manécanterie de Saint-Jean and the Aachen Girls’ Choir (Germany) will perform an Advent Concert at Place du 2 Février.

Ice Skate at Place Rapp and enjoy a hot drink on a beautifully decorated 1990’s carousel.

Take a flat-bottom boat ride along Petite Venise (Little Venice) to view the half-timbered houses from the water.

Flat bottom boat ride in Little Venice was a great way to see the timbered buildings up close. Swans are common throughout the Alsace region.

Explore the local vineyards where the famous Alsace white wines are produced on the Alsace Wine Route.

Visit towns close by to Colmar that also have Christmas Markets. Such as, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Ribeauvillé

What to Wear to the Christmas Markets

Late November and December are between 30-40 degrees F in Colmar. It does snow in Colmar, but usually not more than an inch. Rain is also possible; pack a waterproof coat and or an umbrella.

Packing during cold weather can be difficult because of the bulk of warm items. Since we would be gone for two weeks and moving to a new city every one to two days, we wanted to limit ourselves in baggage. We packed one 24-inch suitcase and one 21-inch carry-on for us. I also packed a foldable, expandable bag to bring souvenirs home. This worked well for us as we traveled from each city by train.

Pack layers. In 2022, we got lucky as it wasn’t too cold. There were days that I was comfortable with a puffer vest, sweater, and a base layer shirt. Below is a list of what I packed for two weeks in Zurich, Strasbourg, Colmar, Basel, and London.

  • Two merino wool thermal shirts
  • Two Long Sleeves T-shirts
  • Two Long Sleeves blouses
  • Pullover
  • Three sweaters
  • Packable down jacket
  • Black puffer vest
  • Long maxi dress
  • Two jeans (black and blue)
  • Two pants
  • Two fleece-lined leggings
  • Scarf
  • Gloves, not mittens
  • Beanie or stocking hat
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Walking shoes
  • Thermal merino wool leggings
  • Socks, merino wool
  • Thick black tights
  • Small cross-body bag
  • Reusable, foldable grocery bag

What to eat & drink at the Christmas Markets in Colmar

Spätzle, a traditional German dish, is a popular comfort food best described as a soft and chewy egg noodle. This delicious dish is often a side dish accompanying meat, poultry, or fish or as the main course when served with rich, creamy sauces and toppings.

Mushroom and Spatzle at the Christmas Market in Colmar, France.

Tartines

If you’re looking for a delicious, quick bite while exploring the Colmar Christmas Markets, then Tartines should be on your radar. Tartines are a French open-faced sandwich consisting of dense, crusty bread generously topped with savory spreads, meats, vegetables, and cheese. The endless options range from classic combinations like ham and cheese to elevated toppings like smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Vin chaud

Also known as mulled wine, it is a traditional warm beverage that originated in European countries during winter. The drink is made by simmering red wine with various spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and sometimes adding fruit like oranges or apples. So, there’s no better way to experience the Christmas Markets than with a glass of warm Vin Chaud.

Bretzel

Also known as pretzel, it is a trendy and beloved snack from Germany. Its distinctive twisted knot shape and coarse salt-sprinkled surface make it a distinct and recognizable delicacy. They can be enjoyed in various ways, from being enjoyed on their own as a quick snack to being served alongside a variety of dipping sauces or even used as a bun for sandwiches.

A bretzel is a staple item at the Colmar Christmas markets.

Knack d’Alsace

Knack d’Alsace is an authentic French sausage that reigns supreme in Alsace. Made with a blend of pork meat, spices, and a dash of white wine, this sausage boasts a delightful aroma and flavor that will tantalize your taste buds.

Choucroute

If you plan to visit Strasbourg’s famous Christmas markets, you cannot miss out on the traditional Alsatian dish, Choucroute. This hearty and savory dish consists of slow-cooked sauerkraut and various meats such as smoked sausages, pork knuckles, and bacon. The dish is usually served with boiled potatoes, giving you a taste of traditional French cuisine.

The Choucroute originated in Alsace-Lorraine, a region that borders France and Germany and is now considered one of the ultimate comfort foods in the country. It is incredibly flavorful and will warm you up on even the coldest winter day. Make sure to try this delicious dish and experience one of the hallmark culinary delights of the region!

Tarte Flambee

Tarte Flambee, also known as Flammekueche, is a traditional Alsatian dish that is a must-try for any foodie visiting the Christmas markets in France. It is a thin, crispy pizza-like pastry topped with crème fraîche, onions, lardons (bacon cubes), and sometimes cheese. The base is made with a soft mixture of flour, water, and salt rolled out thinly and baked in a wood-fired oven, giving it a truly authentic taste and a delightful crunch.

Local wines of the Alsace region of France

If you want to complement your Spätzle with the perfect wine, look no further than the Alsace region of France. Nestled along the eastern border of France, the Alsace region is renowned for its crisp, dry white wines that perfectly balance the natural sweetness of local grapes with a mineral edge brought on by the region’s unique soil composition. With over 50 grape varieties grown in Alsace, the area offers a fascinating range of wines, from the rich and complex Gewürztraminer to the crisp and refreshing Pinot Blanc.

Pain d’épices

Pain d’épices, or French gingerbread, is a delicious baked treat originating in the Alsace region of France. This aromatic cake is made with honey, spices, and rye flour. The deep brown color and rich, moist texture indicate the skill and patience required to create such a complex pastry. The sweet and spicy flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg make it the perfect treat for the winter season. Traditionally, Pain d’épices is served alongside a hot cup of tea or mulled wine, and it’s a staple at the Christmas markets of Strasbourg and other cities in the Alsace region.

Souvenirs to buy at The Christmas Markets in Colmar

  • Alsace wine
  • Alsatian linens and textiles
  • Handcrafted Christmas Ornaments
  • Gingerbread molds

Where we stayed in Colmar

Colmar is very popular during the Christmas season. I would recommend that you book your accommodations well in advance. I started planning our 2022 trip in June of 2022.

Our Pick

Hotel Turenne

Hotel Turenne is conveniently located near the entrance of Old Town Colmar—just 10 minutes from the Colmar Train Station. The location is rated 9.3 on booking.com. Great for solo travelers. There is a hotel bar, breakfast is offered, and many dining options are nearby.

Best Choice

Relais & Châteaux La Maison Des Têtes

  • Colmar Christmas Market – Place Jeanne d’Arc is 550 metres away.
  • Excellent location in Colmar. It was rated 9.7 on booking.com
  • Rated high for comfortable beds
  • Great for Solo Travelers
  • Exceptional breakfast
Best Value

James Boutique Hôtel Colmar centre

  • Five-minute walk to the Colmar Christmas Markets
  • Family rooms available
  • The overall rating on booking.com is 9.0
  • Great for Solo Travelers
  • Concierge services and helpful staff

Getting around Colmar

We walked around Colmar easily. We took a cab from the train station to our hotel. Wear good walking shoes or waterproof boots to walk on cobblestone streets comfortably.

Getting to Colmar

Train – the best mode of transportation to Colmar is the train. If you were planning a visit from Paris, a high-speed train from Paris to Colmar is approximately 2.5 hours. Most European cities can reach Colmar by train.

We traveled from Strasbourg to Colmar by train. Trains were readily available, and we bought tickets for approximately $17 at the train station. It was a 30-minute train ride.

Air – fly into Basel Mulhouse Airport (BSL) or Zurich (ZRH) as Colmar sits on the German, France and Switzerland borders.

There isn’t a train station at the Basel airport; you must take the #50 bus from Basel airport to the Basel SSB train station. It will take 1 hour and 15 minutes from Basel Airport to Colmar train station. Thirty-one direct trains run from Basel SSB to Colmar daily.

It takes almost 2.5 hours to reach Colmar from the Zurich airport by train.

CT Tip: Make some Euro coins available if you use the train station bathrooms. We didn’t find many places outside the train stations that charged for bathroom use otherwise. But most times, when you are waiting to depart on the train, you use the bathroom. They will not accept foreign currency or credit cards.

French phrases to use at the Christmas Markets in Colmar

  • Bonjour – Good Morning, Hello
  • Au revoir – Goodbye
  • Pardon, excusez-moi – Pardon, excuse me
  • Merci – Thank you
  • Merci beaucoup – Thank you very much
  • Parlez -vous anglais – Do you speak English?
  • Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël
  • Happy Holidays – Joyeuses fêtes

Travel Insurance for visiting the Christmas Markets

While nobody wants to think about accidents, illnesses, or other unforeseen events during their travels, being prepared is essential. That’s why getting travel insurance is crucial for any traveler. This can cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. Travelex and Travel Guard are some of the best travel insurance companies that provide comprehensive coverage at reasonable rates.

How to Stay Connected while traveling to the Christmas Markets

How to use an eSIM Card

Are you going on a trip and want to stay connected without racking international roaming charges on your cell phone? Here’s what you need to do: set up wifi calling before you leave home. It’s easy to do and will allow you to call and text using wifi even when your phone is in airplane mode.

If you have an Apple phone, you can even FaceTime with other Apple users. Android users can communicate with WhatsApp.

Another great option is to buy an eSIM card via Airalo. Upload an eSIM to your phone (don’t delete your eSIM from your cell phone carrier; switch it off for Data usage). Your eSIM provider will give you instructions on how to do this. Be aware that the eSIM is for data only and will only work in the countries where you’ve purchased the service. If you need to make calls or text using data, you can still use WhatsApp. Stay connected and save money with these tips!

FAQ Colmar’s Christmas Markets

Is Colmar Christmas market worth visiting?

Yes, Colmar is magical at Christmas time. It should be on your bucket list if you like to visit Christmas Markets.

What are the dates of the Colmar Christmas market?

In 2023, November 23-December 29, 2023

How many Christmas markets are there in Colmar?

There are six Christmas markets in Colmar. Many of them are close together.

Are Christmas markets in Strasbourg or Colmar?

There are Christmas markets in Strasbourg and Colmar. Of the markets we visited on this trip, Strasbourg and Colmar were our favorites. Both cities are not far from each other and can be visited during the same trip. If you want accommodations in one city and visit the other, this is quickly done since they are just a 30-minute train ride from each other for less than $20 one way.

Christmas Lights on the streets of Colmar making it a magical Christmas fairy tale.

Final Thoughts on Christmas Markets in Colmar, France

Colmar is truly a Christmas lover’s dream come true. Its picturesque setting and unique markets make it the perfect destination to get into the holiday spirit. But the Christmas magic doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for the next blog post to explore the best Christmas markets in Strasbourg, France and the Best Christmas Markets in Basel Switzerland 2023 Guide. Grab your travel guides and start planning your holiday adventure!

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One Comment

  1. I’ve been wanting to visit Colmar for ages!! It’s high on my bucket list and I’d love to experience the Christmas markets one day. Thanks for sharing all your recommendations and tips on this place!

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