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Located in the heart of the Alsatian Wine Route amongst lovely vineyards is the Riquewihr Christmas Market. This quaint Medieval town may be small, but it certainly is mighty with its Christmas market and wine.
So once you’ve explored the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Colmar, and even smaller towns like Obernai, Kaysersberg, or Ribeauville, you definitely need to make your way to the Marche de Noel Riquewihr.
Thankfully, after visiting last year, I’ve got the ultimate guide on the Christmas Market in Riquewihr with all the details you need to plan your trip!
Riquewihr Christmas Market Guide
The Marche Noel Riquewihr is honestly so charming. You’ve got vineyards surrounding the town, beautiful twinkling lights above, and tons of winemakers selling their delicious Alsatian wines.
To help you enjoy your getaway to one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages, here is everything you need to know including Riquewihr Christmas Market dates and times, information about the market and events, what to eat/drink, other things to do, and more!
Riquewihr Christmas Market 2023 Dates
The Christmas Market in Riquewihr will run through November 25-December 21, 2023. During this time it is open every day, unlike the markets in Ribeauville or Kaysersberg, which are open only 2-3 days per week.
Riquewihr Christmas Market 2023 Hours
During the week (Monday-Friday) the Riquewihr Alsace Christmas Market is open from 10 am-6:30 pm. On the weekends (Saturday & Sunday), it is open from 10 am-7:30 pm.
Riquewihr France Christmas Market Details & Other Events
This stunning village in the Alsace has a Christmas market complete with about 100 stalls selling anything from local beer and wine to ornaments and holiday decor.
Being a small town, you really can’t miss the market once you get there! Plus, on the weekends, it even extends along Rue du General de Gaulle.
This market really does it big for wine lovers, especially as there are tons of local vintners selling their tasty wines including Reisling, Pinot Blanc, and even Alsatian Cremant (sparkling wine).
It is a fantastic market to visit for food and wine, and in the evenings the Christmas tree lights up beautifully with twinkling lights overhead!
Aside from exploring the Christmas market, another great event in Riquewihr is the Christmas Concert by the Men’s Choir of Riquewihr on December 1 from 8-10 pm. It takes place at the Sainte-Marguerite Protestant Church at Place des Trois Eglises.
There is also a Christmas Music Concert on December 15 at 8 pm at Place des Trois Eglises as well. Both concerts are free to attend, and you can make a donation while there.
What to Eat at the Riquewihr Christmas Market
Local specialties are the name of the game in Riquewihr. So to enjoy with all that Alsatian wine, here is what to eat at the Riquewihr Marche Noel.
- Tartiflette: I’ve had tartiflette in the Alps before, but this is very different and perhaps even tastier. This potato dish combines potatoes with sausages and Munster cheese to create a creamy delightful combination that you’ll definitely need to try.
- Tarte Flambee: This is an Alsatian must-try. This flatbread is topped with creme Fraiche or fromage blanc and has onions and lardons to complete it. There can be other toppings, but this is the typical tarte flambee.
- Bretzels: AKA pretzels for English speakers. Enjoy delicious pretzels topped with salt, cheese, lardons, and more!
- Chestnuts: Want to try a classic Christmas market delight? Definitely grab a bag of roasted chestnuts. Have fun cracking open the shell to eat the roasted meat inside.
- Pain d’Epices: This is gingerbread, but instead of the cookie, it is in loaf form. It contains spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and more! It can also have dried fruits or nuts in it too.
- Kougelhopf: This is a bundt-shaped cake made with yeast and can come plain or with dried fruit or nuts inside. Sometimes it is also dusted with powdered sugar. There is even a kougelhofs shop in Riquewihr called Kouglopf & Cie.
- Local Products: Again, you can find chalets selling anything from cheeses and spices to honey and jams.
What to Drink at the Riquewihr Christmas Market
Being in the heart of the Alsace Wine Route, you know wine is definitely on the menu. But here is what to try while at the Marche de Noel Riquewihr.
- Local Wine: Obviously. There are a ton of local winemakers selling their wine, and you can do a tasting, get a glass of wine, or purchase a bottle to take with you. White wines reign supreme in the Alsace, so be sure to try things like their Reisling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Cremant.
- Local Beer: There are local brewers also selling anything from spiced holiday beers to ales.
- Vin Chaud: AKA mulled wine or gluhwein. This is hot spiced wine, and in the Alsace, you can get it in either red (rouge) or white (blanc). The white one is definitely worth trying as it is an Alsatian delight.
Other Things to Do in Riquewihr
While you could just spend a couple of hours at the Riquewihr Christmas Market and leave to discover the other Alsace Christmas Markets, you can also stick around and explore the town!
Here are some things to do in Riquewihr during your time there.
- Feerie de Noel: Can’t stop holiday shopping? Head to the Christmas store, or Feerie de Noel, in the town for even more goodies!
- Museum of the Thieves and Winemaker’s House: Located in a defensive tower from the Middle Ages, you can explore what was once a prison in Riquewihr. It still has both a strappado (a torture instrument) and an underground cell. The tower also communicates with a Winegroom’s House where you can see the kitchen and its old utensils, a bedroom, and the cellar with various tools.
- Musee du Dolder: Located in the city’s tower, in what was once a defensive gate, watchtower, and belfry is now a museum of the history of this wine-growing city from the 13-17th centuries.
- Notre Dame de Riquewihr: Enjoy a lovely visit to the ancient Notre Dame in Riquewihr.
- Viewpoint Over Riquewihr: Take in the view of the city from this scenic viewpoint where you can admire the half-timbered architecture as well as the vineyards.
- Go Wine Tasting: There are wineries and vineyards all around you! So why not go for a tasting? Maison Hugel, Domaine Mittnacht-Klack, and Gite l’Agape are some places nearby.
- Explore the Wine Route: Why not explore more villages on the Alsace Wine Route? If you have a car or driver, definitely stop by Ribeauville, Obernai, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Turckheim, Barr, and Colmar!
Where to Stay in Riquewihr
While you could just visit Riquewihr during a day trip from Colmar, if you want to enjoy this charming village for longer, here is where to stay.
Hotel Restaurant Saint-Nicolas Riquewihr: This is a great place to base yourself in the heart of Riquewihr! Made of 3 half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, you’ll love the charm of the traditional rooms. Plus, it has a restaurant for meals and an honesty bar in its cellar to enjoy a drink after a day of exploring.
Best Western Hotel & Spa Le Schoenenberg Riquewihr: This lovely hotel is full of perks including both an indoor and outdoor pool, a bar and terrace, a restaurant, and a spa.
L’Adrinhof: Stay in a charming bed and breakfast located in the courtyard of the Autrey Abbey in Riquewihr. The rooms are quaint and traditional, each with its own bathroom, and you’ll love the B&B’s panoramic terrace with views of the surrounding area.
Getting to Riquewihr and Around
Like with other smaller towns in the Alsace, there isn’t a train station. So you can’t simply fly into a nearby airport and take the train in.
However, you can take the bus. You can fly into Strasbourg, Basel/Mulhouse, Frankfurt, or even Paris and then take the train to Colmar.
From there, you’ll take the bus that goes to Riquewihr. This is bus line 68R016, and it takes about 30 minutes to get there from Colmar’s train station.
However, during the Christmas market season, you can also take a day trip from Colmar with the Navettes de Noel, or the Christmas Shuttle. This bus will take you from Colmar to smaller towns like Riquewihr, Ribeauville, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Turckheim, Gunsbach, and Munster depending on the line you take.
To get to Riquewihr, you’ll take either line 1 or 2. Line 1 goes from Colmar to Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Ribeauville before going back to Colmar. Line 2 goes in reverse.
On Fridays, the shuttle departs every 2 hours, and on Saturday and Sunday, every 30 minutes.
If you decide to take the shuttle, definitely purchase tickets at the Colmar train station and try to get on the first bus. The day pass costs about €10. You can grab a schedule while here too.
And, of course, if you want to enjoy the Christmas Market in Riquewihr at your own pace and not have to follow a bus schedule, you can also rent a car from Colmar or Strasbourg and drive to Riquewihr.
This will also allow you to get to Riquewihr earlier in the day and avoid the crowds, especially on the weekends.
Once you’re in Riquewihr, it is a smaller town, and pretty walkable on its own.
Best Time to Visit the Riquewihr Christmas Market
Luckily, this Christmas market is open daily during the season, meaning you can even visit mid-week. However, it does seem like more stands are open on the weekends.
So if you want to avoid crowds, definitely show up midweek, earlier in the season, and earlier in the day. Even evenings during the week will likely be far less crowded than on the weekends when the Christmas shuttle is running.
It was pretty crowded when we visited on a weekend via the Christmas Shuttle. But it wasn’t as crowded as Ribeauville.
So, you could choose to show up on the weekend as soon as the markets open and perhaps enjoy it without crowds for a bit!
But overall, to avoid crowds, the weekdays are best! You can either take the normal bus most of the week or you can take the Christmas Shuttle if you come on a Friday!
Other Tips Before Visiting Riquewihr
To wrap up this ultimate Christmas market guide to Riquewihr, here are some other tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Toilets: Public toilets are a nice thing to know about when you’re eating/drinking around a Christmas market. There is one located on 64 Rue du Général de Gaulle and one on Rue des Remparts near Parking des Vignerons.
- Parking: For regular cars, you can park at Parking des Vignerons, a paid parking lot on the corner of Av. Mequillet and Pl. des Charpentiers, and one on 14 Rue des Trois Eglises.
- Learn a Little French: Being in a smaller town, knowing some French is certainly helpful. Some people do speak a little English, but even knowing basic phrases helps. I have a whole guide on French Phrases!
- What to Wear: Wearing things like gloves, a hat or earmuffs, a scarf, warm socks, and water-resistant boots is a good idea. Pair that with a warm jacket (like this one from The Northface), jeans, and a sweater and you’ll be good to go!
- Check Out Other Markets: Don’t forget to swing by other cities like Strasbourg and Colmar or smaller towns like Kaysersberg, Ribeauville, and Obernai for their markets!
This is everything you need to know to have the best time at the Christmas Market in Riquewihr! Would you like to visit?
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