My favorite Christmas Markets in Alsace, Germany and Switzerland

Discover christmas market in Alsace with a private guide

The Christmas period and Christmas Markets in Alsace and Germany begins every year on the first weekend and Sunday of Advent, more or less a month before Christmas and even from November 20 for some Christmas markets. A large number of Christmas events are organized throughout the region.

I give you my advice, visit the Christmas markets during the week if you have the possibility or if you have a day off to ask, it’s so much more pleasant and not so crowded.

You plan to visit Alsace and you need a transfer from or to an airport, click here

I know some wonderful and charming Christmas markets on weekends, like Ribeauvillé, but you have to be ready to face the crowd.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

The marvelous cathedral of Strasbourg during the Christmas Market
The marvelous cathedral of Strasbourg during the Christmas Market

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Saturday December 24, 2022

Strasbourg Strasbourg Strasbourg, where to start when writing an article on the largest Christmas market in France? Let’s start with a few figures: the Strasbourg Christmas market is more than 300 Christmas chalets, several kilometers of light garlands and the largest natural Christmas tree in Europe. Just that!

The inauguration of the Strasbourg Christmas market took place on Friday November 25, 2022 at the same time as the inauguration of the Colmar Christmas market.

The Strasbourg Christmas market, like the Colmar Christmas market, is spread across the city center. A total of five Christmas markets await you!

The Christmas market on Place Broglie in Strasbourg: the Christkindelsmarik

The largest in size, the Christkindelsmarik of Place Broglie (the “market of the child Jesus” in Alsatian) has existed since 1570.

The Christmas market Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg

For me, my favorite Christmas market in Strasbourg is the one at the foot of the Cathedral. Why? because I love this cathedral so much, so imposing and photogenic. Then there’s my favorite mulled wine, sold in a chalet that also offers honey and gingerbread. And I don’t forget to take a jump by the “Buchmesser”, the belly measurer: If you manage to pass between the corner of the building and the pillar installed there for several centuries, it means that everything is fine: D

The Christmas tree at Place Kléber in Strasbourg

Next, an unmissable place for the Christmas market in Strasbourg, Place Kléber and its majestic Christmas tree. Erected in the heart of Place Kléber, the Christmas Tree is the essential symbol of the Strasbourg Christmas market.

Every day at 4.30 p.m., the Grand Sapin lights up, a magical moment. It is the largest natural Christmas tree in Europe.

Since some years ago, an ice rink has been set up for adults and children in front of the Christmas tree on place Kléber.

The Christmas market in the Golden Square of Strasbourg

Located between Place Kléber and Place Broglie, the Golden Square Christmas market (Carré d’Or in French) is a veritable little Christmas village. I like to go there to discover the incredible decorations that adorn the storefronts of the shops in the square.

The Christmas market at Place des Rohans in Strasbourg

The Christmas atmosphere in Place des Rohan Christmas Market in Strasbourg is magic
The Christmas atmosphere in Place des Rohan Christmas Market in Strasbourg is magic

A few hundred meters below the cathedral, along the water, have been Christmas chalets. It’s a gastronomy market in a way. There are many winegrowers who have their wines tasted there, as well as artisans of local gastronomy.

Obviously, the Strasbourg tradition of the Strasbourg Christmas market is present in every neighborhood and every street of the city. Everywhere you will smell mulled wine and gingerbread, do not hesitate to get lost in the small streets.

The Christmas market at Petite France in Strasbourg

Maybe the most charming Christmas Market in the district of Petite France in Strasbourg. Don’t miss this place in Strasbourg or you will regret it. You will see here, old Alsatian houses crossed by the Ill river. You will feel like in a fairy tale in Petite France. You know what, Petite France is the first place I lived when I arrived in Alsace in 2009. I love this place 🙂

Riquewihr Christmas market

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Wednesday December 21, 2022

In Riquewihr, in this year 2022, the Christmas market will be held on Place Fernand Zeyer and on the Esplanade des Remparts, from Saturday November 26, 2022, every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the market is extended to rue du General De Gaulle (the main street).

In Riquewihr, the streets are decorated with many small Christmas trees, light garlands and a lot of decorations, each more delightful than the next, so that the magic atmosphere of Christmas in Riquewihr. Almost everywhere, you will have the opportunity to taste Alsatian specialties directly in the street: traditional sweets that everyone prepared at home in the past and mulled wine to warm up.

Above, you can watch a video of the Christmas Market in Riquewihr from previous years. The chalets on the esplanade next to the town hall are open every day. There are other Christmas markets in private courtyards. On weekends, traders from Riquewihr set up other stands in the main street and even in some side streets. Here is a Sunday evening in December, a magical atmosphere in the streets of Riquewihr…

Colmar Christmas markets

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Thursday December 29, 2022

In Colmar, there are traditionally 5 Christmas markets distributed in the most beautiful places of the historic city. The second largest Christmas market in France after Strasbourg. The Colmar Christmas markets open from November 26, 2022 at 2 p.m. Do not hesitate to go there during the week. There will be fewer people and it will be more pleasant because you will be able to see everything in great detail and approach the stands without being jostled by the crowds that flock there on weekends.

Eguisheim Christmas Market

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Friday December 30, 2022

Eguisheim is another village famous for its decorations during the Christmas period, from the end of November to the beginning of January. The Christmas market of Eguisheim is open during week-day and week-end.

Bergheim Christmas market

Another beautiful village on the wine route near Ribeauvillé. Combining tradition and creativity, this Christmas market will enchant you with its warm and authentic atmosphere in the heart of the fortified town of Bergheim. Also, do not miss the beautiful exhibition of nativity scenes that you will discover along the village’s alleys.

Obernai Christmas market

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Saturday December 31, 2022

Obernai is another beautiful medieval town in the land of Mont Sainte-Odile. The thirty wooden chalets of the “Christmas Gastronomy in Alsace” market invite you into an enchanting setting between the scents of gingerbread and the scent of mulled wine. Ideal for filling your baskets with local craft products and gifts.

Sélestat Christmas market

From Friday November 25, 2022 -> Friday January 06, 2023

Sélestat remains a city a little unknown to tourists. Sélestat is a pretty town with a rich historical and architectural heritage. The Christmas animations are beautiful and neat. It is also the historic cradle of the Christmas tree, the oldest written mention of which dates back to 1521. The Christmas tree is presented there every year through an exhibition which traces its decorations through the ages (beautiful exhibition in Saint-Georges Church, until the end of the last week of January). In short, a visit to Sélestat is essential for all those who wish to get off the beaten track with a high quality approach. From the end of November to Epiphany, many events and exhibitions including the Christmas village (chalets) which ends for the first time on December 30.

Mulhouse Christmas market

From Thursday November 24, 2022 -> Tuesday December 27, 2022

Mulhouse organizes a superbly colored Alsatian Christmas market in the heart of the historic center of Mulhouse with its exceptional particularity: the Etoffe de Noël, a fabric created each year especially for the occasion and which refers to the rich industrial and artistic past of Mulhouse in weaving material. The facades of the pedestrian streets provide a festive setting for the Christmas market.

The fabric of the year in Mulhouse

Mulhouse organizes the most colorful Christmas market in Alsace with Christmas fabrics created especially each year for the end of year celebrations.

Mulhouse is an important city of Alsatian culture. All year round you can visit the city’s five major museums, the automobile city and its Schlumpf collection, the train city (the largest railway museum in Europe), the wallpaper museum, the Eletropolis museum as well as the Museum of Fine Arts. Mulhouse enjoys a strategic geographical position, 30km from Switzerland, 15km from Germany and a few kilometers from the Vosges.

The 90 log cabins

90 stands await you on Place de la Réunion and around Mulhouse Cathedral during Christmas Market
90 stands await you on Place de la Réunion and around Mulhouse Cathedral

More than 90 stands await you on Place de la Réunion and around Mulhouse Cathedral. They are all beautiful large log cabins. The Mulhouse Christmas market is a unique, warm and festive atmosphere in which traditional products, delicacies and decorations typical of Alsatian Christmas mingle. Guided tours, stories, songs, Advent concerts and participatory workshops await you.

The illuminations, magical atmosphere in Mulhouse

Magic lights of the Christmas market in Mulhouse
Magic lights of the Christmas market in Mulhouse

The illuminations are renewed each year and participate in the magic of the Christmas market by drawing inspiration from the patterns of the fabric as well as the symbols of Alsatian Christmas. Do not hesitate to get lost in the small lit alleys around the cathedral to make the most of the Christmas atmosphere.

Kaysersberg Christmas Market

Friday + Saturday + Sunday from November 25, 2022 -> December 18, 2022 + Monday December 19 + Tuesday December 20

Kaysersberg is probably the most famous village in Alsace with Riquewihr. Kaysersberg also won the prize for the favorite village of the French in 2017 and it’s not for nothing. So it’s all year round that I go to this magnificent city, whether this evening to take part in the many events organized, or simply for a little walk. The Christmas market inside the old town of Kaysersberg is a must in Alsace and is obviously one of my favorite Christmas markets in Alsace.

From your first steps in the main street (Rue du Général de Gaulle), you will fall under the charm of this Christmas atmosphere while strolling between the 30 wooden chalets of the Christmas market in the heart of the historic center of Kaysersberg. The artisans, scrupulously selected by the members of the Noël à Kaysersberg association, welcome you and offer you their artisanal and original creations: wooden toys, decorations for your Christmas tree, blown glass objects, jewellery, lamps… You will only have spoiled for choice to find your Christmas gifts. But above all, don’t forget to get lost in the small passageways adjacent to Rue du Générale de Gaulle, as they are magnificently decorated, and small Christmas concerts take place there at nightfall, while breathing in the aromas of hot chestnuts and mulled wine with spices of course, it’s like being in the Middle Ages.

The chalets are decorated with fabrics, the streets and alleys are nicely decorated, the products sold here are designed by craftsmen, all in one of the most beautiful towns in Alsace overlooked by the castle of Schlossberg, enough to have a good time in Kayserberg. The secret of the hot mulled wine of the association of Kaysersberg volunteers is disclosed in the report, it is made from lemon, orange, star anise, cinnamon and clove. We even came across a little Alsatian dressed in the traditional way.

ALSATIAN LIVING MUSEUM – Experience the Christmas tradition at Alsace Living Museum 

From Saturday November 26, 2022 -> Sunday January 01, 2023

The Living Museum of Alsace is located in Ungersheim between Colmar and Mulhouse. It is a complete village built with historical houses rescued over years everywhere in Alsace. Secrets for an authentic Christmas is a collection of exhibitions, storytelling, guided tours, etc. that take place every day from November 27 to January 2. A must see not to be missed!

Baden-Baden Christmas Market in Germany

From Turday November 24, 2022 -> Friday January 06, 2023

If I had to make the awful choice of picking just one favorite Christmas market, I believe I would pick Baden-Baden Christmas Market.

Nestled at the foot of the Black Forest, about an hour and a half drive from the Colmar / Riquewihr region, the traditional Christkindelsmarkt, Baden-Baden’s “Baden Jesus market”, with its many attractions, transports you to a winter fairy tale: the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread accompanies you as you walk among more than 100 very high quality stands set up in front of the casino and its gardens. Right next to the Christkindelsmarkt, boutiques and luxury stores link up with the historic old town where shopping fans can succumb to their favorite temptations. An excursion worth the trip.

Located at the foot of the Casino, Baden-Baden’s magnificent Christmas market seduces visitors with its romanticism worthy of a winter fairy tale. During the Advent period, the city center of Baden-Baden dresses up with thousands of Christmas lights to offer you a sparkling romantic atmosphere.

The appetite of visitors will also be satiated by the wide selection of things to eat. I’m going to make you a little list of what I fell for. After discovering the “Trinkhall” nativity scene exhibition, I couldn’t resist the smell of mulled wine accompanied by garlic butter toast (Knoblochbrot in German). Once finished, I walked through the dozens of chalets set up around the garden in front of the casino. What a joy to see chalets so beautifully decorated, not only inside, but especially outside, on the side doors and even on the roof. That’s when my attention was caught by a fried potato cut in a spiral and sprinkled with Paprika. They serve me this with a garlic sauce, it’s a treat and I’ve never seen this anywhere else. Ah, if I had seen that at the Gengenbach wine festival but I hadn’t tasted it, I made up for it. Well, enough fun, these appetizers have given me an appetite, I’m hungry for a real meal. No need to look for a restaurant, you will find everything you need on the Baden-Baden Christmas market, which in terms of gastronomy is by far the most qualitative that I have had the opportunity to visit. At the end of the garden, I found a large chalet offering many drinks (local beers, Sekt, Champagne, and soft drinks) as well as good food. I fell for a potato pancake covered with a huge slice of salmon with a chive cream, delicious. My sister, a cheese fan, couldn’t resist the Cheese Spaetzles sold by another stand 10 meters downstairs and we ended up on the tables set up for lunch. In Baden-Baden, each chalet selling food has a few high tables so you can sit comfortably and avoid spilling mulled wine on your fingers. In the central aisle that crosses the Casino garden, there are even large barrels in which you can sit down to eat, drink or simply rest a little. It is in this central aisle, just in front of the large Christmas tree, that an exhibition of stained glass is presented each year.

Attention to detail is the key word at the Christmas market in Baden-Baden. As I mentioned above, the Christmas chalets are superbly decorated from the foundations to the roof, you are served your drinks in real glasses, cups, flutes, your dishes on real plates with real cutlery. You are asked for a deposit and it is returned to you once your drink or dish has been consumed. I often wondered what were the little wooden houses a meter high deposited on the roads adjacent to the casino garden. I inquired and it is in fact concrete blocks installed temporarily to block the passage of vehicles which are dressed in a small wooden house!! What a good idea!!

Christmas chalets are superbly decorated from the foundations to the roof in Baden-Baden
Christmas chalets are superbly decorated from the foundations to the roof in Baden-Baden

I can tell you one thing, I didn’t regret my trip to Baden-Baden. It was flawless, my favorite Christmas market dear readers. The Christmas atmosphere at its peak. Come and see the Baden-Baden Christmas market if you are passing through the region during this wonderful Christmas period.

Gengenbach Christmas Market in Germany

Christmas Market in Gengenbach
Christmas Market in Gengenbach

From Wednesday November 30, 2022 -> Friday December 23, 2022

Gengenbach is a small village in the Upper Rhine Valley located in Germany, 40km south of Strasbourg and an hour’s drive from Riquewihr. Remember, we were already there this summer for its brilliant wine festival as well as at the beginning of each year for its crazy Carnival, the “Fasnacht”. I come here all year round because as we show on this blog, the Upper Rhine Valley is rich in events and Gengenbach is a must. As you can imagine, the Gengenbach Christmas market “the Adventskalendar” is a place to see if you are like me a lover of authentic and traditional Christmas markets.

Atmosphere guaranteed in Gengenbach!

I love this city, first of all because the architecture there is just sublime. The medieval atmosphere is present in the streets and alleys of Gengenbach, the magnificent half-timbered houses that adorn the main street of Gengenbach, the “HauptStrasse” in front of the Town Hall “Rathaus”, look like the great Alsatian houses that the can be seen in Colmar, Riquewihr and throughout the Upper Rhine valley.

For Christmas, Gengenbach puts forward every year the theme of the advent calendar, the famous “Adventskalendar”, the name of the Gengenbach Christmas market. The Rathaus, the town hall of Gengenbach, transforms the windows of its facade into real small windows decorated with a number representing each day of Advent. Every evening at 6:00 p.m. you can look up at this sumptuous building and witness the opening of the day window. Atmosphere guaranteed!

At the foot of the Rathaus are the chalets of the Gengenbach Christmas market. Local craftsmen offer their creations, and as usual in Germany, in terms of gastronomy, you will be delighted. No need to eat before coming to Gengenbach because many local specialties are offered such as the famous wurst (grilled German sausages), or a black forest ham sandwich covered with raclette, yum yum, enough to warm me up. All of this, of course, accompanied by a good mulled wine made with the wine of local winegrowers, the “Glühwein”, or even a flute of Sekt, the excellent German crémant.

A stage is set up throughout the period of the Gengenbach Christmas market and throughout the evenings, orchestras made up of several dozen musicians set the mood with high quality Christmas music.

That’s actually what I like about Gengenbach, the quality. Everything is done with good taste, here we have a taste for detail. As often on the German Christmas markets, the Christmas chalets are decorated from head to toe for the happiness of your eyes (and your photos by the way). And what could be better than drinking a quality mulled wine from a real cup or a good Sekt from a real glass flute. We take 2 EUR deposit in addition to the price of your drink, which we return to you when you return your cup or flute after having consumed it. I always bring one home, it makes me remember this moment and this atmosphere so nice. Nice little touch for the environment, even cans of Coke or other cans are recorded at 1€. Bring back the can once consumed and we will give you back your euro.

When you add up all the points I love about the Gengenbach Christmas Market, you understand why I come here every year at least once and I advise you to do the same if you visit the Upper Rhine Valley at this time. You will not be disappointed.

A little anecdote about Gengenbach lived a few days ago: the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was shown on TV during the holidays. In this film, children find golden tickets allowing them to visit the famous Wonka chocolate factory. Among them, a German child Augustus with a big weakness for chocolate. When the child is presented, he is said to come from Düsseldorf, at this time the film shows a photo of a typical small snow-covered German village… I let you guess… And yes it is indeed Gengenbach that we see on the screen, although being subtitled Düsseldorf 🙂 (Film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Tim Burton between the 16th and 17th minute).

MEISENTHAL – The Craddle of the Christmas bubble

From Thursday November 17, 2022 -> Friday December 30, 2022

Glass has been produced in Meisenthal since the early 18th century, and since the 19th century Christmas decorations from Meisenthal were famous. They say the Christmas baubles hanging in the Christmas firs were first invented and created there. It is possible to watch glassblowers in their activity of glassblowing, especially during the holiday season, when they make thousands of Christmas baubles in the old traditional and artisanal way. Take some home to decorate your own Christmas fir! I suggest you to combined with a visit to the Cristallerie Royale de Saint-Louis (nearby) or/and the beautiful Lalique Museum in Wingen-sur-Moder. Contact me and I will organize an A La Carte day trip just for you.

FREIBURG im BREISGAU Christmas Market in Germany

Freiburg Christmas Market
Freiburg Christmas Market

From Wednesday November 16, 2022 -> Friday December 23, 2022

Located in the very heart of Freiburg’s beautiful old historical quarter, the Freiburg Christmas Market is held on the Rathausplatz, the Franziskanerstraße, the Unterlindenplatz and on the Kartoffelmarkt.

BASEL Christmas markets – Switzerland

From Thursday November 24, 2022 -> Friday December 23, 2022

The Basler Weihnacht – the Basel Christmas market – is Switzerland’s largest Christmas market. It takes place at the two sites of Barfüsserplatz (Cordeliers Square) and Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square), in the heart of the Old Town. In a warm and magical atmosphere, traders and artisans from the region and from all over Switzerland offer their products and demonstrate their skills on 180 illuminated wooden stands and chalets. Every day from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The last day at Münsterplatz (cathedral) until 6:00 p.m. and on Barfüsserplatz until 8:00 p.m.
Do not go by car! Take the train from Strasbourg, Sélestat, Colmar, Mulhouse or Saint-Louis.

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