The Colmar Christmas Market scene mesmerizes millions of visitors every year, with its charming half-timbered houses dressed up in lush garlands, twinkling lights, glittery baubles and every festive ornament imaginable, the city truly becomes a scene out of a fairytale book!
In this Colmar Christmas Market guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about experiencing the beauty of the Colmar Christmas Market scene for yourself.
NOTE: We last visited this Christmas market in December 2019, so take note that some things may be different this year. We’ve tried to keep this guide as up-to-date as possible, but let us know if you spot anything we should change!
Winter Packing Essentials:
When is Colmar Christmas Market?
According to Colmar’s Christmas Market website, the dates for this year’s Colmar Christmas Market are from November 23 to December 29, 2023.
Where to Stay for Colmar Christmas Markets
In need of a place to stay? Here are some quick recommendations for hotels near Colmar Christmas Market:
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Where to Find Colmar Christmas Markets
The Colmar Christmas market scene consists of six different market locations sprinkled around the picturesque Old Town, each of them with its own festive style.
Here are the beautiful markets you can visit at the Colmar Christmas market scene:
The Place de l’Ancienne Douane Christmas Market
The Place de l’Ancienne Douane Christmas Market is one of the biggest locations of the Colmar Christmas market scene with over 50 festive stalls scattered through the city’s picturesque canals.
With the extensive variety of options, you can find about anything in this market, from the typical tourist-oriented souvenirs such as postcards and magnets to more niche products like craft beer and local wines, as well as a varied menu of Christmas market foods and drinks.
This market is definitely one of the most visited ones in the city, but don’t let the crowds scare you away, the beautiful setting and elaborate decorations make it all worth it!
The Artisan Arts Market at Place des Dominicains
Settled in the shadow of the imposing Église des Dominicains you will find this Colmar Christmas market location offering an array of beautiful products made by artisans of the Alsace region, from stunning blown glass pieces to paintings, to handmade jewelry and more.
This is definitely a great location to visit in the Colmar Christmas market scene if you are looking for unique gifts to take home, or a very special souvenir for yourself.
Besides all the exceptional shopping opportunities, this market also offers your necessary food options, including a vin chaud stall that serves its mulled wine in cute boot-shaped mugs!
The Place Jeanne d’Arc Alsatian Specialties Market
Another Colmar Christmas market that you do not want to miss is the one located at Place Janne d’Arc, with a focus on local Alsatian specialties you can expect to find a variety of gourmet local products such as local honey, jams, foie gras, and wines.
If you are looking to delve into the local cuisine this is the right place for it, also a great spot to purchase some unique treats to take back home with you!
The Petite Venise Children’s Christmas Market
Located in one of the most picturesque areas of Colmar, the Petite Venise Children’s Christmas Market has something to offer to people of all ages!
While it definitely has a selection of stalls targeted to the little ones, with adorable wooden toys and different types of games, this market also keeps the adults in mind, with a few stalls selling beer and wine.
If you have a little one with you, make sure to look out for a big yellow mailbox where they can drop off their letters to Santa—how cute?!
The Gourmet Christmas Market at Place de la Cathédrale
This small collection of stalls at Place de la Cathédrale is the newest addition to the Colmar Christmas market loop, and it is every foodie’s dream!
The Gourmet Christmas Market consists of nine unique little stalls offering elaborate hearty dishes, such as a creamy truffle risotto, bouchee a la Reine with bouncy späetzle, and many other delicious dishes that you normally wouldn’t find in any other Christmas market.
In addition to the tasty options, its undercover location makes it the perfect place to hide from the winter elements while enjoying a delicious lunch!
The Indoor Market at Koïfhus
If you get to the point where you can’t feel your fingers and toes, don’t you worry, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end, instead make your way to the very convenient indoor Christmas market located at the medieval Koïfhus!
This cozy indoor market offers a wide variety of very unique products made by local craftspeople and artisans, such as charming felt hats, beautiful jewelry, lovely handmade ceramics, and more.
One of our favorite discoveries in this market was the incredibly intricate gingerbread creations showcased on the top floor, so make sure to check them out!
What to Eat at Colmar Christmas Markets
As mentioned above, you will be spoilt for choice with all the delicious dishes that you can find throughout the city’s festive locations.
So to help you narrow down your options, here are a few ideas of what to eat at the Colmar Christmas market scene:
Bouchee à la Reine
We spotted this dream of a comfort meal at the Gourmet Christmas market at Place de la Cathédrale, and it’s safe to say this was one of the best things we ate during the whole trip.
Bouchee à la Reine consists of a buttery flaky cone-shaped dough filled with creamy chunks of meat and accompanied by spätzle, it is incredibly delicious, comforting, and filling, and in our opinion, an absolute must-try while visiting the Colmar Christmas market food scene!
Spätzle is a super comforting dish that is typical of Central European cuisine and it consists of a bouncy type of egg noodle that tends to be covered with gooey melted cheese, so basically, a European version of mac and cheese—sold!
And while spätzle works as a side dish to the meaty Bouchee à la Reine, you can also find it being served by itself throughout the Colmar Christmas market loop.
So if all you want is some cheesy goodness, spätzle is the way to go!
Tartines are open-faced sandwiches with all kinds of ingredients, we spotted these ones at the Colmar Christmas market with toppings like olives, egg, salami, and lots and lots of cheese!
These little cheesy creations are the perfect winter snack on the go; warm, comforting, and easy to hold as you walk around looking at all the beautiful decorations and unique stalls!
Hot chocolates are great year-round, but there is something magical about sipping on a hot chocolate in one of the most festive cities in the world surrounded by gorgeous Christmas decor!
While you are sure to find hot chocolate on a few of the stalls throughout the Colmar Christmas market—which we don’t doubt are also delicious—we indulged in this one at Au Croissant Doré and nothing will ever come close.
This is a Viennois style hot chocolate, which means that it comes buried under a massive mountain of delicious whipped cream, and we strongly believe that anyone who steps into Colmar should try it!
Vin chaud is the French version of the intoxicatingly fragrant mulled wine that has become a quintessential part of any European Christmas market, and you will easily find it at many stalls around the Colmar Christmas market scene.
Every stall might even have its own version of the drink, so make sure to try a few around the city to compare, and if you are not really in a drinking mood, but don’t want to be left out, don’t worry, there’s also an alcohol-free version of this iconic festive beverage.
It is an absolute must of any Christmas market, so make sure to grab a cup, or two!
Due to its proximity to Germany, it is quite common to find salty pretzels being offered throughout the Colmar Christmas market scene.
Simple and unassuming, the pretzel makes a great savory snack on the go for those “I-feel-like-eating-something-but-I’m-not-really-hungry” kind of moods—bonus points if is fresh out of the oven!
Grumbeerekiechle (AKA Galette de Pomme de Terre) with Munster Cheese
Don’t panic, it doesn’t taste how it sounds, on the contrary…
Grumbeerekiechle is the Alsatian version of the German favorite; Kartoffelpuffer, a distant cousin of the North American hashbrowns; they all consist of a kind of grated-potato-cake, however, what distinguishes all of them is the way they are served, and the Grumbeerekiechle might just have our favorite presentation.
The Alsatian version covers its potato cakes with thick slices of gooey melted Munster cheese for the ultimate comfort meal, which also makes it the perfect dish to soak up all those vin chaud!
Another delicious local dish that you need to try at the Colmar Christmas market scene is the Knack d’Alsace, a flavorful sausage unique to the area.
The Knack d’Alsace is an excellent choice of snack for when you are feeling peckish but are not really starving for a whole meal, plus is a local delicacy, so it would be rude not to try while in Colmar!
Choucroute, another Alsatian take on a popular German dish; sauerkraut.
You will be able to find choucroute throughout the Colmar Christmas market scene being served as a little mountain of sauerkraut on a plate, topped off with some kind of steamed meats.
This one is definitely a love-or-hate kind of dish, but if you do enjoy fermented foods then you should definitely try this regional dish!
What to Buy at Colmar Christmas Market
You have admired the sights, awed at the gorgeous decorations, and devoured all the delicious dishes, now is time to find the perfect souvenir to take home as a token of your trip, or the perfect present for a loved one who you wish to share your festive voyage with.
Here are some ideas of great things to buy at the Colmar Christmas market scene:
The Colmar Christmas market scene boasts an array of artisan shops that offer a wide variety of unique products, such as gorgeous handmade jewelry; one stall at the Indoor Artisan’s Market caught our eye with its beautiful fantasy-themed necklaces inspired by dragons and folklore.
Sadly, we were not able to photograph it since most artists try to protect their unique designs this way, so you will have to make your way there and discover them for yourself!
For a delicious souvenir or gift to take back home, you cannot go wrong with a colorful bag of sweet Bredele; a traditional festive cookie unique to the Alsatian area.
These colorful cookies come in all shapes and forms, and they are sold in conveniently assorted bags, so you get a little bit of everything to try!
You will be able to find Bredele stalls sprinkled all throughout the Colmar Christmas market scene, so make sure to pick up a bag or two.
The Alsatian area is home to some world-renowned specialties, such as foie gras, incredible wines, cheeses and tasty jams, which would make any foodie back home very very happy!
Or you, they can also make you very happy, sometimes is okay to be selfish when you can only fit so much foie gras and wine in your luggage—we won’t tell…
PS: For a more local shopping experience, head to the 19th century indoor market hall in Petite Venise, located at 13 rue des Ecoles.
Christmas lights and ornament stalls are to be expected at any festive fair, but we have never seen lights like the ones we found at this Colmar Christmas market.
We spotted these gorgeous feathery string lights at the Children’s Christmas Market in Petite Venise, and we were absolutely mesmerized!
Each individual light bulb seems to be covered by, what I can only describe as, fairy wings—don’t they look straight out of a fairytale?!
If you feel as passionately about them as we do, make sure to not miss this stall at the Children’s Christmas market.
It’s impossible to walk through the Colmar Christmas market scene and not spot at least one colorful and busy stall selling the classic gingerbread heart-shaped cookies with icing on them that last suspiciously long.
These visually enticing cookies are such an iconic element of Christmas markets throughout Europe, which is why they would make the perfect gift or souvenir to take back home to commemorate your Christmassy trip abroad, and it will also serve as a seasonal decoration for years to come.
A tip from the professionals: Do not eat the cookie! It will not taste as good as it looks.
Extra Tips for Visiting Colmar Christmas Market
Marvel at the gorgeous Christmas facades
One of the best things about the Colmar Christmas market scene, is that the magic doesn’t end where the market ends, the whole city dresses up for the occasion, with garlands dangling from window wills, red and gold shiny baubles hanging from trees, and some type of festive light feature decorating most streets in the Old Town; the whole town looks straight out of a fairy tale!
So don’t limit yourself to the Christmas market locations, and make sure to take your time through the city to admire all the gorgeous festive facades.
Most of these festive fairs still tend to be strong on cash culture, so to make your day easier and less stressful, make sure to take out enough cash at the beginning of the day for all your festive purchases.
Plus, having some coins will come in handy if you have to use one of the many public bathrooms in the city after enjoying one too many vin chaud.
Bring a small reusable bag for shopping
To make your visit to the Colmar Christmas market loop as eco-friendly as possible, be sure to bring along your own bags to carry all your Christmas shopping!
Most shops won’t have big bags to offer you, and if they do it might come at a price, so it is just better to be prepared and pack your own reusable shopping bags.
Where to Find More Info on Colmar Christmas Markets
Official website: Noel Colmar
Help us improve this Colmar Christmas Markets Guide!
Do you have a pro tip about Colmar Christmas Markets? A particular souvenir you loved, or a delicious treat you tried? Let us know in the comments what your insider tips are for Colmar Christmas Markets so we can help improve this guide for all future visitors.