With six Christmas markets and a unique atmosphere, Colmar certainly comes into its own during the most wonderful time of the year.
TEXT: ELODIE NOËL | PHOTOS: TOURISME COLMAR
Christmas in Alsace is a time of wonder and emotion. In Colmar, a city infused in art and history, the traditional Christmas market boasts a unique atmosphere. With six different markets, nestled in the emblematic squares of the historic centre, each constitutes a small village with its own universe of passionate craftsmen. “The atmosphere is absolutely enchanting,” comments Olivia Gobilliard-Schreck, from Colmar tourism office. “Our six markets have wonderful light displays, making you feel like you are walking into a fairytale.” For the event, the whole city centre is decorated, offering a magical vision that never fails to impress visitors — Colmar was voted the city with the best Christmas lights in Europe last year.
Focusing on quality crafts, the markets host a total of 184 exhibitors, most of whom are locals. “The market is 77 per cent Alsatian stands, of which 30 per cent are Colmarians.” While handmade Christmas tree decorations always get plenty of attention, the market is also the place to find meaningful gifts for loved ones. “There is a stand that sells candles and statues of beeswax that I particularly love: they are made locally and very affordable, like most of the products available in the market,” adds Olivia Gobilliard-Schreck. And, of course, a Christmas market experience wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the local delicacies, like hot apple juice, a traditional kouglof (a delicious brioche), or the famous pretzel served with hot red wine with cinnamon. “There is nothing better to warm you up!”
The Christmas Market is open from Friday, 22 November to Saturday, 29 December from 10am to 7pm, except the Marché Gourmand which opens from 10am to 10pm: