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Visiting the Colmar Christmas market is like stepping into a dreamy winter wonderland. Soft, twinkling lights shine overhead as you smell the sweet scent of vin chaud and pain d’epices. The air even feels electric at night when you can see animated light displays as well as the excitement of the people around you.
Colmar is honestly one of the most beautiful towns in France on a normal day. Between its half-timbered colorful buildings to the Launch River lazily flowing through the village, it is no wonder why this is a must-visit place year-round.
But something about it during the holiday season makes it all the more charming. So after spending time in Strasbourg, you’ll definitely want to come check out the Colmar, France Christmas market too!
If you’re planning a visit to the Colmar Christmas market in 2023, this is the ultimate guide for you!
Colmar Christmas Market Guide
To help you figure out the perfect way to see the Colmar winter market, this guide includes helpful information including the Colmar Christmas market dates and times, which Christmas markets to see, what to eat and drink, other things to do in the area, where to stay, and more!
And a fun fact: there are actually 6 incredible Christmas markets in Colmar to see! So we will be discussing every one of them.
Colmar Christmas Market Dates in 2023
First and foremost when it comes to planning your Colmar, France Christmas market trip, you’re going to need to know when it is happening.
The Christmas markets in Colmar are set to open on November 23, 2023, through December 29, 2023.
Colmar Christmas Market Opening Hours
All of the Colmar Noel markets are open from Monday-Thursday from 11 am-7 pm, and Friday-Sunday from 10 am-8 pm.
The markets are open on December 24 from 10 am-5 pm, December 25 from 11 am-8 pm, and December 26 from 11 am-7 pm.
The Gourmet Market is open Monday-Thursday from 11 am-9 pm and Friday-Sunday from 10 am-9 pm.
Colmar Christmas Markets to Visit
As I’ve said before, there are actually 6 Christmas markets in Colmar, France in different locations around the town.
They are known for their own offerings, so let’s talk about each market and where they are located.
Place des Dominicains Christmas Market
Place des Dominicains
Located next to the beautiful 14th-century Dominican Church is this stunning Christmas market. The church is surrounded by lit-up trees and 60 stands selling anything from handcrafted goods to tasty delights.
While 60 stands don’t seem like a lot, this is actually the largest Christmas market in Colmar to visit. This is also the place to find the iconic Christmas market mug!
Take in the stunning view of the church being lit up against the market, as you sip mulled wine from a lovely little holiday mug.
During the day, you can also go inside of the Eglise des Dominicains and enjoy its architecture and decor.
Place Jeanne d’Arc Christmas Market in Colmar
Place Jeanne d’Arc
Located on Place Jeanne d’Arc at the corner of Grande Rue and Place Jeanne d’Arc is this cute market selling local products. Here you can find anything from pain d’epices (loaves of ginger-spiced bread), foie gras, wine, and more.
It is also known for displaying a cozy Alsatian village flair with its half-timbered houses and charming chalet booths.
Place de l’Ancienne Douane Christmas Market
Place de l’Ancienne Douane
Okay, so far all of the markets are named after where they are located, which makes them pretty easy to find.
This is also the case with the Place de l’Ancienne Douane market. Here you’ll find 50 booths around the Schwendi Fountain and along the river.
This is where you’ll also find lovely decorations, treats, wine and beer, and more to enjoy while at the market or even to take home with you.
Koifus Christmas Market
Place de l’Ancienne Douane
Located next to the Place de l’Ancienne Douane Christmas Market is the Koifus Christmas Market in Colmar.
This market is actually located inside the 15th-century Customs House (or Koifus). What makes this particular market unique, apart from being a great place to warm up on chilly days, is that it is where many local artisans sell their crafts.
Whether you want a new mug, piece of artwork, or hand-made ornament, you’ll be able to find that and more at this market.
Place des Six Montagne Noires
This market is certainly the most scenic, with views of the river as well as the lovely architecture of the city around this market.
As a bonus, on weekend evenings, you can enjoy the moving light projections on the buildings alongside the canal.
This area is also great for the kiddos, as there are little rides for them to enjoy, including one that blasts snow on giggling children!
Aside from that, there are, of course, great local foods and crafts you can purchase too.
Rue de la Montage Verte
Located next to the big Ferris wheel, this is one of the most delicious markets you’ll ever visit: the Marche Gourmand.
This market exclusively sells local food and drinks from restaurants in the area. It is underneath a covered tent, and you’ll find 9 stalls lined up selling anything from soup to tartiflette and more!
This is a great place to visit during lunch or dinnertime, especially as this market is open until 9 pm during the Colmar Christmas market season.
They also have cute little wine-glass-shaped cups for enjoying some local Alsatian wine.
Best Colmar Christmas Market
When it comes to the best Christmas market in Colmar, my personal favorite is the Petit Venise Christmas Market. Between the moving animations on weekend evenings and the smaller, more intimate atmosphere, it definitely stood out to me.
However, they were all incredible, and you can even visit all of them in just one day in Colmar!
Colmar Christmas Market Map
For an interactive version of this map, click here!
What to Eat at the Colmar Christmas Markets
You better come hungry to the Colmar Christmas market, because there is plenty of good Alsatian food to eat! Here are some things you must try during your time in Colmar.
Pain d’Epices: This is an essential holiday treat in the Alsace, especially at the Colmar Alsace Christmas markets! These loaves of bread are made with many spices, most notably ginger, and can have nuts or dried fruits mixed in! They also make it in cookie form!
Tarte Flambee (Flammekueche): This is a thin-crust dough that is covered with either cheese or creme fraiche and topped with onions and lardons. Sometimes you can find other toppings too, but this is the traditional version sold.
Fois Gras: Yes, you can actually find foie gras for sale in the middle of the market as well as other pates. There are booths selling these delights for you to either enjoy with Christmas dinner or take home as a gift for friends and family.
Munster: One of the best French cheeses to try is Munster. This is a soft rind cheese and is typically served over spaetzle or potatoes at markets.
Bredele: These are delicious spiced cookies that you can find all over the Christmas markets in Colmar.
Kugelhofps: This yeasted cake is typically round and looks similar to a bundt cake. It can have nuts or dried fruit inside and may be sold in various sized and dusted with powdered sugar.
Local sausages: If you’re at the Marche Gourmand, there are loads of local Alsatian sausages to try!
Mannele: These are little brioche buns shaped like people and are as cute as they are tasty.
What to Drink at the Weihnactsmarkt Colmar (aka Colmar Christmas Market)
Think that you can only get mulled wine? Think again! Here are some things to try at the Colmar Christmas Market!
Vin Chaud (Mulled Wine or Gluwhein): This hot spiced wine is full of things like cinnamon, anise, cloves, etc., and can be served as vin chaud rouge (red mulled wine) or vin chaud blanc (white mulled wine). It will certainly warm you up on chilly winter evenings. The best mulled wine we found was at the Place des Dominicains Christmas Market at the booth with a sign saying “Vin Chaud a l’Ancienne.”
Mulled Beverages: It isn’t just mulled wine here! For the kiddos or those who don’t want to drink alcohol, you can enjoy other hot spiced drinks including apple cider, orange juice, and more!
Local Alsatian Wine: Being in the middle of the Alsace Wine Route in Colmar, you better believe there are some great local wines. There are several booths around the markets offering tastings as well as selling bottles and glasses of wine. I loved trying the local Cremant (their sparkling wine) as well as Reisling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Blanc.
Local Alsatian Beer: Yes, France makes more than just wine in the Alsace! There is local beer on offer too! You can find booths where you can sample beers as well as buy a bottle to enjoy at the markets or buy some to take home.
Eau de Vie: This is a local liquor made in the Alsace and is known as a digestif.
Chocolat Chaud: You cannot visit France without tasting its amazing hot chocolate. The Colmar Christmas Market is no exception.
Other Things to Do in Colmar at Christmas
There are SO many things to do in and around Colmar at Christmas time! Whether you want to visit other markets outside of town or explore museums, here are some awesome things to do in Colmar around Christmas.
Musee Unterlinden: This is one of the most popular museums to visit while in Colmar. Located in a former 13th-century Dominican convent as well as an early 1900s bathhouse, this is now home to the Isenheim Altarpiece as well as tons of artwork and artifacts from prehistoric times to modern times.
Musee du Jouet: Reflect on the toys of Christmas past at the Toy Museum in Colmar! This place has toys on display from the 1800s to today!
Musee Hansi: Discover how the ideal Alsace region would look according to the artist, Hansi at this museum.
Musee Bartholdi: This museum is dedicated to French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, and the museum is located in his birthplace. Fun fact: Auguste Bartholdi created the Statue of Liberty, and you’ll find little plaques in the city with the Statue of Liberty on it!
Musee d’Histoire Naturelle: This museum displays the region’s natural history including wildlife and geographical features.
Espace d’Art Contemporain Andre Malraux: For contemporary art from regional artists and beyond, you’ll love visiting this place, which has 5 exhibits a year.
Musee du Chocolat: You had me at chocolate. The Choco-Story Colmar is a place where you can discover the history of this tasty treat as well as sample chocolate, create your own chocolate, and even see some art made from chocolate.
Parcours Museal de la Bibliotheque des Dominicains: Discover the history of Colmar and the Alsace from the Middle Ages to the 1800s at this museum.
Churches: There are some seriously stunning churches to visit while in Colmar including the Eglise des Dominicains, Eglise Saint-Matthieu, and Collegiale Saint-Martin.
Sip Wine Around Colmar: Aside from the epic Christmas markets and booths where you can sample wine, there are places to taste wine around the city as well. Check out places like Domaine Viticole de Colmar, Domaine Karcher, and Domaine Martin Jund to taste local wine in the town.
Go on a wine day trip! Since you’re already situated on the Alsace Wine Route, it is a great idea to check out wineries nearby as well as cute towns! You can take either a half-day wine tour or a full-day wine tour to really take it all in without having to drive, or, if you want to just check out the cute towns nearby, there is this Alsace Villages Tour. And, if you have a car, then definitely check out nearby towns like Riquewihr, Ribeauville, and Kaysersberg.
Take the Colmar Christmas Shuttle to Smaller Alsace Towns: On the weekends, you can take the Navettes de Noel, or the Colmar Christmas Shuttle that stops in smaller towns like Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Ribeauville for their charming Christmas markets. This bus runs every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday and every 2 hours on Friday.
If you don’t want to rent a car to get around, the Navettes de Noel is a great option to see these towns on your own! Just be sure to get in line early to buy tickets and keep in mind the pick-up times in each town so that you don’t get stuck waiting on a bus!
You can catch the bus at Colmar Gare SCNF or Colmar Place Scheurer-Kestner.
There is also a daily bus that visits Eguisheim so you can check out the Christmas market here any day of the week versus the ones only open around the weekends.
Where to Stay in Colmar
Here are some great places to stay during your Christmas in Colmar visit!
Budget: Hotel Turenne
Located close to the canals of Petite Venise, this place is charming and comfortable for your stay! We stayed here during our time exploring the Colmar markets and loved it!
Mid-Range: Hotel Colomier Suites
Located in Petite Venise, this is a great base for exploring the area! Its mix of modern touches with its charming exterior will give you all the Alsace Christmas feels!
Luxury: La Maison des Tetes
This boutique hotel has 21 rooms and is in a historic building known for its 106 small stone heads on the facade. The rooms here have views of the street or courtyard, and they also have a Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel.
Getting to Colmar & Getting Around
Colmar is fairly easy to get to thanks to its train station. It is only about 30 minutes from Strasbourg, so you can add it to your Alsace Christmas market itinerary!
You can fly into either Paris or Strasbourg and take the train over.
After that, the main town is pretty walkable, so you can walk around to the Christmas markets in Colmar as well as other attractions.
For getting outside of town, you can either rent a car or take the Navettes de Noel bus if you want to visit smaller towns for their Christmas markets.
Best Time to Visit For the Colmar Christmas Market
While the Colmar markets run from late November through late December, I’d say that the best time to visit would have to be around late November or early December during the week.
Weekends are super busy in Colmar, but during the weekdays it really isn’t bad. If you visit during the day it is also far less crowded. We stayed here on a Friday and Saturday in early December and it wasn’t crowded on Friday during the day.
However, the evenings get really busy in some areas. It also is busier the closer you get to Christmas.
So go earlier in the holiday season, during the day, and optimally during the week for fewer crowds. That being said, you’ll definitely want to see it lit up at night as well!
Other Tips For Visiting Colmar For Christmas Markets
Here are a few tips to consider before your Christmas market trip to Colmar!
Where to Park: There is parking available in the city at various parking garages including Parking Montagne Verte, Parking Saint Josse, Parking Mairie, and Parking Rapp.
What to Wear: Warm clothes, obviously! But in all seriousness, definitely pack things like gloves, a hat or earmuffs, a scarf, warm socks, and water-resistant boots. Pair that with a warm jacket (like this one from The Northface), jeans, and a sweater and you’ll be good to go! It definitely is chilly during the holiday season in the Alsace.
Learn a Little French: While many people do speak English in Colmar, it is super helpful to speak French. I have a whole guide on the most useful phrases to know here!
This is the ultimate guide to the Colmar Christmas market including where to stay, things to do, markets, and more! Have such a great time visiting these markets!
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