Alsace is one of the most visited destinations in Europe in the month of December and the main reason why so many tourists come to this region is because of its Christmas markets, as they are the most famous in the old continent. That is why we have decided to prepare an article with the list of the best Christmas markets in Alsace this year based on all our trips to this French region.
Christmas market in Place Kléber, Christmas market in Colmar or Christmas market in Turckeim with its classic Advent calendar are some of the chosen ones but here we tell you in detail our 9 of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Alsace with location, dates and schedules so that you can enjoy them to the fullest.
The most beautiful Christmas markets in Alsace
1. Place Kléber market in Strasbourg
- Location: the central square of Strasbourg, France
- Dates: from 24 November to 24 December
Strasbourg is home to the best Christmas market in Alsace. As well as being the capital of the region, it is also known as the capital of Christmas. In fact, the Strasbourg Christmas market has been voted the best Christmas market in Europe on several occasions. The magic began there in the 16th century, as it was the first Christmas market in France and one of the oldest in Europe.
Strasbourg has more than 13 Christmas markets with almost 400 stalls spread across its squares, all located on the Grande Île, offering Alsatian specialities and handcrafted gifts for the festive season.
But the most important Christmas market in Strasbourg is the one on Place Kléber. This is where the 30-metre high Christmas tree – Le Grand Sapin is put up. It is the tallest decorated natural fir tree in Europe and is the most representative symbol of the Alsatian Christmas and of a tradition that goes back five centuries to 1570.
This Alsatian Christmas market is known as “le Village du paraje” (the village of sharing), where 138 wooden stalls are grouped together, most of which belong to NGOs.
Strasbourg is one of the most illuminated cities in Europe during the whole month of December.
2. Place des Dominicains Christmas market
- Location: 68000 Colmar, Alsace region, France
- Dates: from 24 November to 29 December
Another of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Alsace is located in the town of Colmar.
This Alsatian town is home to 6 Christmas markets located in each of its 6 squares but the most important is the Place des Dominicains, which is the largest and most popular Christmas market in Colmar with more than 70 stalls. Christmas decorations, handicrafts and food are sold here.
All the windows and little houses surrounding the Christmas market are beautifully decorated, the streets are filled with Christmas lights and the atmosphere is permeated with the smell of oranges, cinnamon and mulled wine for the duration of the festive season – wonderful!
Don’t miss the illumination of the stained glass windows of the Church des Dominicains, one of the most beautiful attractions of the Christmas market.
Other recommended Christmas markets in Alsace that are located in Colmar are: Place de l’Ancienne Douane, Place des 6 Montagnes Noires and Place Jeanne d’Arc; in Koïfhus and the gourmet market at Place de la Cathédrale.
3. Turckheim Christmas market
- Location: Zone Artisanale Chemin du Heilgass, 68230 Turckheim
- Dates: 24 November to 24 December. But the Advent calendar runs from 1 to 24 December. The ceremony takes place at 5 p.m. and lasts 30 minutes.
Continuing our list of the best Christmas markets in Alsace is the elves’ market in Turckheim, mainly because of its life-size advent calendar on the main square.
It consists of 3 little colourful houses with 8 windows each, which add up to the 24 days of Advent. Every day at 5 p.m., from 1 December to 24 December, a lamplighter accompanied by children opens a window where they will discover an image of the historical and religious heritage, rites and customs and legendary characters of Alsace. It’s a very cool ceremony not to be missed.
In this traditional Advent Calendar you can live a magical experience in a setting dedicated to children, who can also share their dreams, through the Wishing Well.
At the Turckheim elves’ Christmas market, you will find more than 20 original wooden houses, all different from each other, offering a variety of gastronomic and decorative Christmas products.
4. Eguisheim Christmas market – a card from Alsace
- Location: D14, 68420 Eguisheim, Alsace
- Dates: 24 November to 23 December.
- Opening hours: from 10 am to 7 pm.
This Alsatian Christmas market located in the beautiful village of Eguisheim, is one of the most important in the region. It has been awarded the “Christmas Towns and Villages” label, which rewards the authenticity and richness of Alsace’s heritage.
As night falls, the half-timbered houses turn on their Christmas lights and the atmosphere is filled with the smell of mulled wine, giving the town a magic that will not leave you indifferent.
Another of the most important Christmas markets in Alsace that you can visit in the village of Eguisheim is the one located in the Place du Château Saint-Leon, the main square of the village. There they set up a Nativity scene and decorate the fountain and the façades of the houses with garlands and coloured lights.
5. Mulhouse traditional Christmas market
- Location: Place de la Réunion, before the church of Saint-Etienne
- Dates: 24 November to 27 December. The market is closed on 25 December. Visiting hours vary according to the day between 10 am and 9 pm.
Continuing our list of the best Christmas markets in Alsace is the Mulhouse market. It is one of the most traditional in the region and is located in the heart of the town, in the Place de la Réunion, next to the Saint-Etienne church and the town hall.
The most striking feature of this Alsatian Christmas market is the Christmas textiles, considered to be one of the most emblematic symbols of the Alsatian Christmas. Every year, new editions of fabrics are created to decorate the façades and streets, adding to the festive atmosphere.
In addition to the traditional stalls where you will find the rich gastronomy of Alsace with the typical mulled wine, you can buy Christmas decorations with the design of the fabrics of the annual edition, such as tablecloths, scarves, etc. You will also find a giant Ferris wheel, from where you can see the whole town illuminated.
Mulhouse is also renowned for its museums, as it houses some very important ones such as the prestigious Cité de l’Automobile, the Cité du Train, the Museum of Textile Printing and the Ecomuseum of Alsace where you can learn about some of the Alsatian traditions through the activities.
If you are spending the night there, we recommend a night visit to the Wesserling Park, about 40 minutes from Mulhouse. It is a former royal factory with 5 gardens full of lights where you can immerse yourself in the Christmas traditions of Alsace.
6. The spirit of the Alsatian in Kaysersberg Christmas market
- Location: 39 Rue du Général de Gaulle, 68240 Kaysersberg
- Dates: 24 November to 19 December, but only from Friday to Sunday.
- Opening: from 10 am to 7 pm.
The Christmas market in this charming Alsatian village is called Christmas Land and is located in an authentic and picturesque 17th century setting at the foot of the castle ruins. And Kaysesber is one of the villages included in the Alsace wine route, so its Christmas market is ideal if you want to taste some of the most famous wines.
Every Advent weekend, more than 30 wooden stalls offer countless gastronomic delights such as bredele (the famous Christmas cakes with almonds, hazelnuts, aniseed, chocolate, vanilla), sweet or savoury kougelhopfs, beraweckas (nut loaves) and manalas (little brioche men), always accompanied by a delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine, of course. You will also find Christmas decorations, toys for the little ones, ceramics, etc.
The little houses surrounding the market are perfectly decorated with a lot of lights and garlands that illuminate the cold streets of the Alsatian village.
Kaysesberg village was voted France’s Favourite Village in 2017. All the more reason to visit.
7. Ribeauville medieval Christmas market
- Dates: from 2 to 10 December 2023, but only Saturday and Sunday.
- Opening: 10am – 7pm on Saturdays/ 10am – 6pm on Sundays.
Known as “the city of the Ménétriers” because of its architecture, the village of Ribeauvillé is home to one of the most curious Christmas markets in Alsace, a medieval market unique in the region.
You will find it along the Grand Rue and you can enjoy fire shows, jugglers, minstrels and dancers dressed in medieval costumes.
There you can buy local products such as gingerbread, sweets, Christmas biscuits and mulled wine, as well as Christmas decorations such as Advent wreaths, handmade cribs, candles…
This Christmas market is only held on weekends in December, but if your visit doesn’t coincide you can always stroll along the Grand Rue and enjoy the Christmas decorations on the street.
8. Riquewihr – in the “village of Beauty and the Beast”
- Location: 68340 Riquewihr, Alsace
- Dates: 25 November to 21 December
- Opening: from 10 am to 7 pm
Riquewihr is another of those Alsatian villages that seem to be straight out of a medieval fairy tale. So much so that it is believed that Disney was inspired by it for the location of the film Beauty and the Beast. The truth is that he was inspired by villages in Alsace which, like Riquewihr, still have an ancient centre. By the way, it is part of the Les plux Beaux Village de France tourist association, so you can imagine its beauty.
Riquewihr Christmas market is located in the market on Place Fernand Zeyer, where you can buy Christmas decorations, handicrafts and taste local products. The smell of gingerbread, bretzels, all kinds of sweets and traditional hot chestnuts fills the streets. In addition to Christmas, if you like wine tourism, try visiting some of the wineries in the surrounding area. It’s a town surrounded by vineyards where at Christmas it’s easy to end up parking on the outskirts.
9. Obernai Gastronomic Christmas market
- Location: Place du Marchée, 67210 Obernai
- Dates: 24 November to 30 December
- Opening: 10 am – 8 pm. 24 December open from 11am to 6pm, closed on 25 December.
This being France, it’s hard to get away from culinary delights. If you’re a foodie, Obernai’s Christmas in Obernai offers a foodie Christmas atmosphere with almost forty chalets at the foot of the bell tower where you can enjoy spiced or gingerbread, French cheeses, foie gras and more. Also typical Alsatian Christmas products such as bredele, a pastry made of aniseed, butter, gingerbread and almond cream, which is made in special Christmas-related shapes.
Christmas markets in Alsace open after 24 December
Most Christmas markets in Alsace are only open until 24 December, but there are some that extend the dates until the end of the year or even the first days of the following year.
- La magie de Noël à Colmar, until 29 December
- Noël à Haguenau, until 30 December
- Noël à Eguisheim, until 30 December
- Sélestat, berceau du sapin de Noël, until 30 December
- Le marché de Noël des Lutins à Turckheim, until 30 December
- Rêvez Noël à Obernai, until 31 December
- Féérie de Noël à Saverne, until 1st January
- La forêt enchantée in Altkirch, until 2 January
Itinerary to visit Alsace during Christmas
Your itinerary for the Christmas markets in Alsace will depend on the number of days you have available. We suggest a route for 3 or 4 days, which is the most usual time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets in this French region.
Route through the Christmas markets of Alsace in 3 days
Day 1: visit to the Strasbourg Christmas market and stroll through the city.
Day 2: visit the Christmas market in Colmar in the morning and the Christmas markets in Eguisheim and Turckheim in the afternoon, where you can see the Advent event at 5 pm.
Day 3: on the last day you can visit the Christmas markets of Kaysesberg, Riquewihr, Ribeauville and Bergheim.
Tour of the Christmas markets of Alsace in 4 days
Day 1: visit to the Strasbourg Christmas market and stroll through the city.
Day 2: visit to the Christmas market in Obernai and Sélestat.
Day 3: visit the Christmas market in Colmar in the morning and the Christmas markets in Eguisheim and Turckheim in the afternoon, where you can see the Advent event at 5 pm.
Day 4: on the last day you can visit the Christmas markets of Kaysesberg, Riquewihr, Ribeauville and Bergheim…
Tips for visiting Christmas markets in Alsace
Here are some tips for visiting the Christmas markets in Alsace that you may find useful when planning your trip:
The best advice we can give you to visit this French region and visit the Alsace Christmas markets is to book your flights as far in advance as possible, as prices skyrocket as December approaches. If you can’t find an affordable flight and you live in Europe, you can always get up the courage to take your car, although this is only valid for those who live in communities relatively close to France and have plenty of time to make a multi-day drive through the south of France to Alsace.
Bring warm clothes: down jackets, thermal T-shirts and leggings, fleeces, hats, gloves, warm and waterproof boots, mackintoshes, umbrellas… Christmas in Alsace is beautiful, but freezing. Wrap up warm or you’ll have a bad time.
Another important tip for visiting the Alsatian Christmas markets is to get up early to make the most of the day, as there are other tourist attractions in the villages. It is already dark by 4.30 pm. It is best to see the villages and their markets both during the day and at night, as you will be able to take better photos during the day and see the Christmas lights at night.
Be aware of the opening hours of the Christmas markets in the villages of Alsace. Most are open between 10-11am and 7-8pm, but they can vary on weekdays and weekends, so it’s best to ask at the tourist office as soon as you arrive. Some Christmas markets are only open on weekends.
Always carry cash, as some stalls at Alsatian Christmas markets only accept card payments for a minimum amount.
Finally, we hope you the most beautiful villages and markets in Alsace region in this article. If you have any questions or suggestions you can write to us in the comments or on social media.
Merry Christmas! I wish you have a wonderful Christmas day with all the warmest things and full of love.