Consistently voted as some of the prettiest and coziest Christmas Markets in Europe, the Colmar Christmas Markets have been on my bucket list for years. After spending the day and evening exploring them I can confirm they are truly spectacular.
The town of Colmar is the third largest town in Alscace, however, the area where the Christmas Markets in Colmar are located are in the historic center and a short walk from the train station.
Walking around Colmar is like stepping into a fairytale. Gingerbread houses, teddy bears and ornate lighting illuminate the town of Colmar and turn it into a festive paradise. It’s divine!
If you’ve been looking to capture the festive feelings around December, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Christmas Markets in Colmar as being one of the best French Christmas Markets for ambiance, setting, and accessibility.
Colmar Christmas Market Map
Colmar Christmas Market Dates
The Colmar Christmas Markets 2023 run from the 23rd of November 2023 until the 29th of December 2023.
Colmar Christmas Market opening hours
The Colmar Christmas Market is open daily from the following times:
Monday – Thursday: 11 am to 7 pm
Friday – Sunday: 10 am to 8 pm
The Christmas Market in Colmar has shorter opening and closing hours on the 24th, 25th & 26th of December 2023.
Christmas Markets in Colmar
There are 6 Christmas Markets in Colmar that are spread out across the city. There is not a lot of signage in Colmar as to the locations of the Christmas Markets but one of the beautiful things about this pedestrianised town is that you can walk everywhere and discover something just around every corner.
With over 162 outdoor stalls spread out across Colmar, you should plan to spend a couple of hours exploring the Christmas Markets and the town of Colmar. The Colmar Christmas Markets are of course best visited in the evening as it starts to illuminate. By 4.30 pm the skies have darkened enough for the market lights to be turned on and the town of Colmar really comes alive.
1. Place des Dominicains
Located beside the beautiful church of Église des Dominicains that dates back to the 14th century, the Place des Dominicains is a charming Christmas Market with lots of food, handicrafts, and mulled wine stalls.
2. Place Jeanne d’Arc
A cute converted car park with lots of stalls selling handicrafts and you’ll start to notice the trend of seeing lots of pretzels, or bretzels as they are known. All across the Alsace region, and especially during the Christmas Markets you’ll find bretzels of a variety of flavours being sold in the market stalls. I highly recommend trying the bretzel with a sharp cheese from the town of Munster, it’s gorgeous and even better when warmed up.
3. Place de l’Ancienne Douane
4. Koïfhus – Indoor Market
The indoor market of Koïfhus makes for a nice brief escape from the chilly weather outside. There are a handful of stalls inside selling ornate jewelry, ceramics, and some of the most beautiful and decedent iced cookies you’ll ever see.
5. Petite Venise
Little Venice (Petite Venise) is a gorgeous part of Colmar that has a series of canals that run throughout it. You can hop on a small boat that will traverse you around the canals. Embark at the pier in Petite Venise and enjoy a 25-minute boat ride. See map above for the location.
You can purchase your boat tickets at the pier which are priced at €8 for an adult ticket, and €4 for a child’s ticket under the age of 10.
One of the most adorable activities that you should witness if you happen to visit Colmar on a Wednesday or Saturday is to head to Little Venice between 5 pm and 6 pm and listen to a children’s choir as they float by on illuminated boats singing Christmas songs. It’s just adorable and one of the cutest things you’ll see at the Colmar Christmas Markets.
You may even spot Père Noël (Father Christmas) on the canal waterways of Colmar.
The Christmas Market in Petite Venise is aimed at children with a couple of rides available, including a rocking sleigh with Santa perched on the edge, and a horse race track. You’ll also find similar market stalls selling mulled wine, handicrafts and food.
6. Gourmet Market
A very small market that is dedicated to a handful of restaurant-quality food from chefs of Colmar. Beneath the Ferris-Wheel you’ll find a small tent with lots of tables to stand at and eat your festive delights, or purchase some mulled wine.
The 37-meter Ferris Wheel soars above Colmar and if you can brave the chill you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views and photographs.
Adult ticket prices for the Ferris Wheel are €9 & Children €7.
One of the best ways to explore the neighboring Christmas Markets in towns like Eguisheim, Eguisheim, Turckheim, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr or Neuf-Brisach is to take the Christmas Shuttle which departs only during the weekends in December.
As the designated driver of our Christmas Market tour in Alsace I never really had a chance to sample the delicious mulled wines or any of the famous wines that are produced in the Alsace region. Hoping on the Christmas shuttle or taking a guided tour is a sure way of getting to experience all the deliciousness of the Christmas Markets in France.
For information on the schedules that operate during the weekends, check out the link here. The website is in French and you can purchase your shuttle tickets directly from the website.
Tickets for the Christmas Shuttle is €15 per adult during the weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday).
There are 5 bus lines that operate the following routes for the Christmas Markets in the following villages;
- Line 1: Colmar • Kaysersberg • Riquewihr • Ribeauvillé
- Line 2: Colmar • Ribeauvillé • Riquewihr • Kaysersberg
- Line 3: Colmar • Eguisheim
- Line 4: Colmar • Turckheim • Munster
- Line 5: Colmar • Neuf-Brisach
Where to stay in Colmar
There’s no better place to base your stay than in Colmar city center. You can easily travel to nearby Christmas villages such as Riquewihr, Eguisheim, or Turkheim by car or bus.
Colmar is quite a large town so it’s quite spread out. The train station is a 12-minute walk to the historic part of the town.
Relais & Châteaux La Maison des Têtes – A stunningly beautiful 17th century building that has lovingly been restored and now a 5-Star hotel. The location is unbeatable and you’re steps from the Colmar Christmas Markets. Book in advance.
ibis Budget Colmar Centre Gare – A budget hotel that escalates in price around the start of the Christmas Markets. The location is solid and includes private parking. The price for the hotel is typically €52 per night, but during the month of the Christmas Markets in Colmar you can expect to pay €200+ a night.
James Boutique Hôtel Colmar – A gorgeous boutique hotel a 5-minute walk from the Christmas Markets in Colmar, with an intimate setting and tastefully decorated rooms.
Getting around Colmar
I would highly recommend renting a car when visiting the town of Colmar, for the sole reason that there is so much to see and do in the area. Within Colmar there is no need for renting a car at all, only if you are exploring outside of the town.
The nearby towns of Riquewihr, Eguisheim & Turkheim are absolutely gorgeous and worth visiting. In fact my favorite day of my trip driving around Alsace was exploring the towns of Eguisheim and Riquewihr, I think they may be some of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to in my life.
I rented my car through Rental Cars and found it incredibly easy to navigate the back roads of Alsace with the help of Google Maps. Everything is very well signposted and the smaller towns have plenty of parking lots. Do try and arrive early, or plan your visit during the weekdays when it’s a lot quieter. I traveled mid-week and had no problem finding parking, and the towns were busy without being overwhelming.
If you don’t fancy driving, there is an option to take the Christmas Shuttle buses mentioned above. However, these only operate during the weekends and are quite busy.
You can also take local buses between towns. I based one night stay in Turckheim, but found the buses and trains were not that frequent and had to time my visit to Colmar to make sure I would make the bus back to Turckheim before service stopped for the evening. So just bear that in mind if you are planning on staying outside of Colmar and relying on public transportation.
Parking in Colmar
There are several parking lots in Colmar if you are visiting for the day. I would recommend arriving early on the weekends, but during the weekdays you should find it easier to secure parking.
On the map above you’ll find several of the parking lots in Colmar that I’ve listed as places to park.
The Christmas Markets in Colmar are really beautiful. With gingerbread houses, canals, and some of the most festive market stalls and lights, it’s easy to see why Colmar is a perennial favorite each winter season. When planning your vacation make sure to include a couple of days exploring the neighboring villages, they’re unmissable.
Interested in more Christmas Markets in France?
Check out my posts on the best Christmas Markets in Europe for more information on where else to visit.