Of the many Alsace Christmas Markets, the Colmar Christmas Market felt like a scene out of a fairytale book. With magical lights, elaborate decorations, and incredible food, this is your guide to the Christmas Markets in Colmar.
During our week-long trip to the Alsace region of France last year, we spent every day scouring out the best “Marche de Nöel.” Colmar comes to the top of the list almost every time, so we opted to take a day trip from Strasbourg to experience the six markets. We had done two days of the Strasbourg Christmas Markets, so we had an idea of what to expect.
Arriving early in Colmar gave us a chance to experience the markets before the crowds. With a vibrant Christmas spirit throughout the historic town, the markets here had more of a focus on food than I expected. Some of our best bites were at the Colmar Christmas Markets (you could have eaten for days here!).
Crowds do come in heavy but it really doesn’t take away from the Yuletide magic. The decor is like a scene out of a book, with enchantingly decorated storefronts, shops, and streets. I could have spent hours wandering the streets — we were even lucky to get a few inches of snow while there!
If you’re planning to visit the Colmar Christmas Markets, I’m sharing my comprehensive guide to help you get the most out of your time!
Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks For Where to Stay in Colmar For the Markets:
- L’Esquisse Hotel and Spa, for the best luxury hotel
- Le Colombier, for the best all-around hotel
- The Colmar Hotel, for the best budget-friendly stay
Ultimate Colmar Christmas Market Guide 2023
What You Need to Know About The Colmar Christmas Market
Colmar Christmas Market Dates 2023
This year’s dates for Colmar Christmas Markets are November 23 to December 29, 2023.
The hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm and Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. On December 24 the market is open 10 am to 5 pm and on December 25 from 2 pm to 7 pm.
The Best Way to Get to Colmar
To get to Colmar, France, you can fly into EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, which is the closest international airport, about 60 km away in Basel, Switzerland. From there, you can either rent a car or take a direct train to reach Colmar which is well connected by the French railway system.
If you’re already in the Alsace region, several direct trains are available from Strasbourg (30 mins away for around €15). If coming from Paris, a high-speed TGV train from Paris Gare De Lyon station to Colmar is available and the fares start at around €50.
How Many Christmas Markets are in Colmar?
There are six different markets throughout Colmar’s Old Town. All are accessible on foot through the small city so it is quite easy to see them all on a day trip.
Which Christmas Market is Better Strasbourg or Colmar?
The two markets are quite hard to compare as Strasbourg’s markets are nearly triple the size to Colmar. Colmar is much smaller and does offer different things to eat and purchase. I recommend doing both as they’re quite near to each other and you can train from Strasbourg (or vice versa) in 30 minutes.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to the Colmar Christmas Market?
Free! All of the markets in Colmar are free to explore and enjoy the Christmas spirit!
How Much Time do You Need to See the Colmar Markets?
We went for a single day to see the markets and found it enough time to be able to peruse. I think 2-3 days in Colmar would give you more time to enjoy it and be able to do more day trips from the area. If you’re set up in Strasbourg, then a day trip is sufficient.
Where to Stay For Colmar Christmas Markets
There are several ways of going about seeing the markets in Alsace. Picking a single home base is my recommendation, whether it be Strasbourg or Colmar. Colmar would put you close to other renowned markets like Eguisheim and Riquewihr, so it can make for a great home base for exploring.
Best Budget Hotel: The Colmar Hotel
Nestled just on the city’s edge and steps from all the must-see sights, The Colmar Hotel is a steal. It may have a minimalist style, but it prides itself on being clean, and the perks of free parking and included breakfast is ideal. Book the best rates here.
Address: 14 Rte de Rouffach, 68000 Colmar, France
Best Mid-Range: Le Colombier
Set in the heart of Little Venice, this is one of those great all-around hotel choices for visiting Colmar. Le Colombier is nothing over the top, but clean and set with everything you need for a visit. Book the best rates here.
Address: 7 Rue Turenne, 68000 Colmar, France
Best Charming Hotel: Hotel Le Marechal
This beautiful, historic hotel has wooden beams and stone walls, with an interior design that transports you back in time. In addition to this, Hotel Le Marechal is perfectly placed right in the heart of the action, nestled within the enchanting Petite Venise quarter, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling markets. Book the best rates here.
Address: 5 Pl. des 6 Montagnes Noires, 68000 Colmar, France
Best Luxury Hotel: L’Esquisse Hotel and Spa
This is the nicest hotel in Colmar for design and amenities. Chic, modern, and set with a spa, you have every amenity you could need at L’Esquisse. Right on Place Rapp, you’ll be footsteps to all of the markets. Book the best rates here.
Address: 2 Av. de la Marne, 68000 Colmar, France
Best Luxury Hotel 2: Relais & Châteaux La Maison Des Têtes
For those wanting an elevated stay with a wonderful dining option, La Maison Des Têtes is the hotel to book. It’s in a 17th-century building that has been renovated. The location is in the center of Colmar, so you will be well situated for exploring. Book the best rates here.
Address: 19 Rue des Têtes, 68000 Colmar, France
The Colmar Christmas Market Locations
Place des Dominicains (Arts and Crafts)
Located on the north side of town, this is one of the better arts and crafts markets in town. There are a few things for kids like the rides here as well. It’s a perfect spot to go for a stroll and look at the decor and timbered buildings that line the street.
Place Jeanne d’Arc
If you’re looking to stock up on food items to bring home, the Place Jeanne d’Arc market is where to go. There are several stalls that offer packaged goods from cookies to liqueurs. The atmosphere is incredibly charming and brings you back in time to a traditional Alsatian village.
Place de l’Ancienne Douane
One of the larger markets in Colmar with nearly 50 stalls, this market is spread out across both sides of the River Lauch. It was my favorite market for getting to see a variety of things, look at the hand-crafted decor, and more.
Indoor Market Koifhus
If you’re cold and want to warm up, head to the indoor market. Inside, several artisans have stalls that sell handmade things. Everything from jewelry to ornaments, this is a wonderful artisan market. For me, this was the best selection of unique gifts and things to buy. It didn’t feel overly touristy but very local and artisanal.
If you’re traveling with a child, you’ll want to carve out time at the market in Petite Venise. Not far from Place des Siz Montagnes Noires is the market for children. While you can eat almost anything here, there are also several rides for the kids to enjoy. This was a hit with our daughter!
Marché Gourmand Place de la Cathédrale (Gourmet Market)
One of the newer additions to the Colmar markets is the gourmand market. Just near the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin are the stalls serving gourmet food. There are even live cooking demonstrations at this market!
If you’re looking to eat through the market, this is where to go. You’ll find everything from foie gras to soups, and local wines. One thing that is great is that it’s covered so if you’re cold, you’ll be protected from the weather here.
What to Eat at the Markets
- Vin Chaud (mulled hot wine that comes in white or red)
- Alsatian Wine (several regional options within the market)
- Chocolate chaud (flavored or not, if you can find noisette or hazelnut, it’s a must-try)
Tip: When you order a drink, it will come in a plastic mug (you can keep it if you like) but you can return it to any vendor and they will give you a few Euros back.
Best Savory Food:
- Galette de Pomme de Terre (Grumbeerekiechle)
- Tarte or baguette flambée (wood-fired pizza that is covered in crème fraiche, bacon, and onions)
- Knack d’Alsace with choucroute (Knack is a sausage and is often served with choucroute, a pickled cabbage that is heated up)
Best Sweet Food:
- Gaufres (waffles topped with Nutella or other sauces. My favorite is topped with “creme de marron” or sweet chestnut paste)
- Kougelhopf (German/French cake that comes in a variety of flavors)
- Manalas (brioche buns in the shape of men)
- Bredele (specialty cookies that are traditional staples of the market. They come in several shapes and flavors like anise and chocolate.)
- Aux Armes de Colmar (casseroles, pork knuckle, sauerkraut, and regional wines)
- Restaurant Au Koïfhus (grilled meat platters & tartes flambées)
- Restaurant La Soï (tartes flambées)
- Au Croissant Doré (coffee and croissants)
Must-See Christmas Displays in Colmar
Things to Do in Colmar While Visiting
Consider a Wine Tasting Tour
You are in the heart of the Alsatian wine country! Whether it be a tasting room in town or a nearby winery, there are several ways to experience the local wine. In town, Domaine Karcher et Fils is one of the better historic wine producers. You can stop into the family-run property for a tasting, and it’s recommended to call ahead for a reservation.
With so many nearby wineries that often do seasonal experiences, you could consider jumping on a tour. This half-day wine tour takes you through the heart of Alsace to learn about winemaking.
See One of The Christmas Concerts
During the months of November and December, there are several concerts throughout Colmar on stages. You’ll even see boats with choir groups singing down the canals. As you walk through town, consider stopping by to listen in.
Visit a Nearby Christmas Market
One benefit of being in Colmar is that you’re super close to nearby towns that have wonderful Christmas Markets. You’ll be close to towns like Riquewihr which was one of our favorite Alsatian markets. It’s an absolute fairytale village that inspired the setting of Beauty and the Beast. Another local market nearby is in the town of Eguisheim — great for an hour or two stroll in a quintessential French village with a handful of stalls.
See the Museums
Right in the heart of the city are several wonderful museums. Consider visiting Unterlinden Museum which is known for its historical art. There is also the Bartholdi Museum, famous for the works of artist Frederic Bartholdi (known for the Statue of Liberty!).
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