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The Best Christmas Markets in Alsace – Updated for 2023!

Christmas markets in Alsace are magical, with lights strung around old wooden buildings, the smell of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts, and all the artisan stalls displaying their goods. Here are the best Christmas markets in Alsace.

Visiting the Christmas markets is one of my favourite things to do during the wintertime. The cosy atmosphere makes the cold months of November and December come alive. Christmas decorations line the streets and stalls are put up in old towns. Entire cities get engulfed in festivities and lights. Seeing these markets is the best way to spend the holiday season. Here are the best Christmas markets in Alsace that you can’t miss!

Christmas lights in the shape of snowflakes light up the night sky and the shophouses. This is one of the best christmas markets in alsace.

Strasbourg for BIG markets

Strasbourg Christmas Market, also known as marché de Noël de Strasbourg in French and Christkindelsmärik in German, is a huge Christmas market that takes up a huge portion of the city. There are over 300 stalls every year, and you could easily spend a full day or two wandering around the markets. Take advantage of being in the big city to pick up some last-minute gifts from the main shops, though handcrafted pieces from the stalls are beautiful, too! This is the heart of the upper Rhine Valley and is worth a visit.

Dates: November 24 – December 24 2023

Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region. It would be easy to make this a home base if you wanted to explore multiple markets. Alternatively, Colmar is a great base and is closer to some of the other markets, but it is smaller, meaning it’s likely more expensive as well.

Ribeauvillé for medieval markets

Ribeauvillé is a must-visit stop along the Alsacian wine route, as well as on a Christmas market tour of Alsace. The town is incredibly charming and there’s the nearby Beauville outlet if you want to buy or gift incredible linens. It’s also a great place to try cremant, the light sparkling Alsatian wine. These Christmas markets are the medieval markets – people dress up in medieval dress, eat roasted boar on a stick and other old Christmas treats, and sell traditional goods and decorations. This is an Alsatian Christmas Market like no other.

Dates: December 2-10, 2023 *70th anniversary!*

From Strasbourg: 1 hr drive

From Colmar: 30 minute drive

Riquewihr for wine and culture

Riquewihr is so charming, many people say that the town in Beauty and the Beast was based on it! Riquewihr is also in the heart of the Alsatian wine region and along the Alsace wine route, so it’s the perfect place to stroll around the sweet Christmas markets with a glass of hot mulled wine (white is traditional of Alsace). These are often labelled the most picturesque of the Alsatian Christmas markets, and they’re usually less busy than Colmar and Strasbourg.

Dates: November 26 – December 21 2023

From Strasbourg: 1 hr drive

From Colmar: 30 minute drive

Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr are very close together, so I’d visit these together!

Colmar for charm

Colmar is becoming more visited by tourists every year, and for good reason! Colmar is a stunning little town that has kept its charm despite rising tourist numbers. The Colmar Christmas market is done well and is easy for those who are nervous about going to a small market and not understanding anything. There’s loads of information about Christmas markets and Colmar in English and friendly vendors who speak English, but you’re still getting the experience of a beautiful Christmas market.

Dates: November 22 to December 28, 2023

Distance from Strasbourg: 73 km, 1 hr drive

Kayersberg for authenticity and tradition

This is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Alsace, and these markets are still rooted to tradition and giving visitors an authentic glimpse into what a real Christmas market looks like. There’s also a Christmas farmers’ market, where you can buy traditional regional products, such as jam, wine, gingerbread, and Alsatian Christmas biscuits. These also make great gifts!

Dates: Weekends from November 24 to December 19, 2023

From Strasbourg: 1 hr drive

From Colmar: 30 minute drive

hot chocolate in a mug shaped like a boot, topped with whipped cream

Food to Eat at Alsatian Christmas Markets

Mulled White Wine à l’Alsacienne – Alsace is a wine region, famous for its wine route (which can be driven or cycled). This hot mulled wine is festive and a Christmas market classic. Red is also usually available!

Bretzel: Bretzels are pretzels. They’re light and fluffy, and absolutely delicious. You can get these year-round, though the ones at Christmas markets are warm and a great treat to walk around with.

Bredele: Bredele are small Christmas biscuits that are made in Alsace during the Christmas season. These are usually widely available at Christmas markets.

Gingerbread: Gingerbread has become such a Christmas staple. Get it from bakers’ stalls at the markets for the freshest gingerbread!

Gaufres & Crepes: Gaufres, or waffles, are always popular to walk around a market with. You can usually get waffles and crepes from the same stall, and there are so many toppings to choose from.

Chestnuts: Roasted chestnuts are found all over markets, and you can usually smell them roasting before you see them! Chestnut cream is also a popular crepe and waffle topping.

Apple Cider & Hot Chocolate: These are found all over the markets! If you don’t want mulled wine, these are great options. ALWAYS get cream on your hot chocolate.

Marshmallows: You’ll find marshmallows covered and chocolate and rolled in various toppings all over Christmas markets. They usually are in a bell shape and are great if you have a sweet tooth.

The Christmas markets in Alsace are so special and magical; they’re something everyone should experience at least once!

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