The adorable and oh-so-pretty village of Riquewihr, France is like stepping into the pages of a fairytale. It’s almost hard to believe that you’re not on the set of some Disney movie. Visiting the Riquewihr Christmas Market and the village is an absolute must for those visiting the Alsace region for the French Christmas Markets.
Set amidst vineyards, you’ll pinch yourself as you approach the village of Riquewihr and start Googling ‘how to move to France‘ & ‘houses for sale in Riquewihr‘.
The Hotel de Ville greats you as you approach the main thoroughfare of Rue Général de Gaulle, a street that seems to embody the spirit of Christmas. I’m now convinced that when Coca-Cola were creating their campaign for Santa Claus in the early part of the 20th century, they must have spent some time in places like Riquewihr and Eguisheim. It’s positively the most magical and festive place on Earth.
Riquewihr Christmas market dates
The Riquewihr Christmas Market is open daily from November 25th until December 21st 2023.
The market is open from 10 am until 6.30 pm (7.30 pm on Saturdays & Sundays).
Riquewihr Christmas market map
riquewihr Christmas market
The main section of the Riquewihr Christmas Market is immediately as you enter to the left of the gates of the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall). You’ll find the village’s Christmas tree adorned with strings of lights and over 20 stalls selling everything from Nutcrackers, Christmas Baubles, Vin Chaud (mulled wine) & lots of yummy goodies.
Just off the main street of Riquewihr you’ll find a teeny tiny market, La Coeur de Noble selling local produce such as cheese native to the region, sausages, cured meats and lots of wine.
These 10 local producers are from the region of Alsace and if you want to try some really delicious cheeses, whiskeys and chocolates you cannot beat this fantastic Christmas Market in Riquewihr.
The best part of the Riquewihr Christmas Market is exploring the village itself. There are dozens of restaurants, bars and lots of stores dedicated to Christmas shopping. It’s outrageously pretty and you could spend a couple of hours stopping in all the stores.
I thought we would spend 15 minutes here, but after 2 hours we finally had to head to the next place. Perhaps it was the glorious sunny weather we had too, but Riquewihr stole my heart.
What to eat At the Riquewihr Christmas market
- One of the most delicious things I ate at any of the Christmas Markets in France was found at the Riquewihr Christmas Market. You know you’ve found a good stall when the line snakes down the road, and let me tell you it’s worth the wait.
If you love cheesy hot potatoes that are swimming creamy French cheese (lactose friends this is not for you), you’ve got to try the Pommes De Terre Coiffees Au Munster. You’ll smell it before you see it. There is an alternative dish, Poêlee Campagnarde which was a hot potato mixture of bacon, onion, and pheasant sausage, which also looked incredible too. Each portion is priced at €8.
- Bretzel – The Alsace region is known for its Bretzel’s (pretzel) and you’ll find a variety of flavors – plain with sea salt, cheese from the town of Munster (I highly recommend this one), and other toppings. They’re everywhere!
- Glühwein – You’ll see signs for ‘Le Vin Chaud‘ everywhere you go. Glühwein or mulled wine is typically a red wine that is served hot with spices such as star anise or cinnamon. You can also find a white mulled wine variety too, as well as apple cider in some of the stalls in the Christmas Markets in Riquewihr.
However, if you’re looking for cute and adorable mugs like the ones found in the German or Austrian Christmas Markets you’ll be very disappointed (I know I was). Only plastic-decorated cups are found at the Markets and you’ll pay a €1 or €2 deposit for the cup.
- Bredle – you’ll see these adorable varieties of small biscuits/cookies everywhere you go in the Alsace region. They are delicious and it’s best to grab a mixture to nibble on. They also make a wonderful gift, but make sure the package is vacuumed and sealed. As they do get stale easily.
The flavors of endless from gingerbread, and butter cookies to anise. You can purchase from the many market stalls in Riquewihr Christmas Market or any of the bakeries or patisseries around town.
- Chestnuts (Le Marron) – Roasted chestnuts are available on pretty much every street corner. I’ve still yet to try them, but they smell heavenly.
- Mannele – A brioche figure typically in the shape of a child. It looks like a doll. Tastes delicious. Can be plain or have chocolate chips throughout it. Traditionally eaten around December 6th when Saint Nicholas (Nick) visits well-behaved children. Sinterklaas in Belgium.
riquewihr christmas market parking
There are several parking lots around the perimeter of Riquewihr (cars are not permitted to enter the main street of Riquewihr village). See my map above for more information ^^.
I paid €4 for parking which was the minimum value allowed for a 3 hour stay.
Riquewihr to Colmar
The easiest way to travel from Riquewihr to Colmar is by car. I highly recommend renting your own set of wheels to explore the villages around Colmar and the Alsace region, there is so much to see and do in this area. I rented my car from RentalCars.com and loved the freedom of being able to explore the region of Alsace on my own schedule.
The drive from Riquewihr to Colmar is 20 – 25 minutes. The nearby Colmar Christmas Markets are really beautiful and a lot bigger than the ones found in Riquewihr.
Alternatively, if you are planning on visiting during the month of December and don’t plan on driving you should consider the Christmas Market Shuttle that traverses the towns of Eguisheim, Ribeauville, and Kayserberg and departs from Colmar. The Christmas Shuttle bus only departs on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.
The Land of Stars Christmas Shuttle Bus Lines:
- Line 1 : Colmar • Kaysersberg • Riquewihr • Ribeauvillé
- Line 2 : Colmar • Ribeauvillé • Riquewihr • Kaysersberg
An adult ticket is €15 and children aged under 12 years of age travel for free. Check the website listed below for bus schedules.
FYI: The website to book the Christmas Shuttle tickets is in French – but with the help from Google Translate you should be able to book the tickets.
where to stay in riquewihr
Riquewihr is an excellent day trip from Colmar, but perhaps you fancy staying in the town for a night or two. Personally, my one regret is not seeing Riquewihr lit up at night, and I think staying the night in the town would be something special.
Hotel à l’Oriel – Unbeatable location in the heart of Riquewihr, stay in a charming hotel that is steps from the main street of Riquewihr.
Best Western Hotel & SPA Le Schoenenbourg – Indulge in some well-deserved relaxation with a Spa hotel that in the summertime boasts a gorgeous swimming pool set amidst the vineyards. A short stroll in the center of Riquewihr.
Do note that if you stay in these small villages and towns of Alsace they tend to close their stores and restaurants by 8 or 9 pm.
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