Magical World of Christmas Market in Alsace and Tips for First-time Visitors
Christmas Season in European countries doesn’t only intend Family Time, Gift Giving, or Christmas decoration but, its most awaited event is its whimsy Christmas market all over the European countries.
Installation of the Christmas market is usually considered as the best time of the year, where everyone can enjoy some hot mulled wine, warm speculoos biscuits, of course, festive food, and artisanal products.
And of course, the pleasure to watch all the Christmas decorations in the wooden chalets, house vendors selling everything from music, arts, and crafts to toys, and the snow-covered cathedrals.
Some of the famous Christmas Market in Europe is found in big cities like Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, Brussels, Belgium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Nuremberg, Germany, Copenhagen, Denmark, Manchester, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden, and many more.
Christmas Market as Tradition
Did you know that Christmas Markets in Europe attracts many people, or shall I say millions of visitors from around the world? Traditionally, Christmas markets open up on the last Monday before Advent this year, around from November 26th to December 23rd.
This year, our little family settled to visit Alsace for the second time around this year. However, it’s our very first time to visit Alsace in the middle of the Christmas season.
The plan is to visit some Alsatian villages, including Kayersberg, Eguisheim, and a lot more.
Are you excited to know about our story? So buckle up, and enjoy the ride to the magical world of Christmas Market in Alsace France
Our First Day in Kaysersberg, Alsace
Arriving early in the afternoon in Kaysersberg, we found a place where to park our car to get the bus to visit the Christmas Market of Kaysersberg. If you think that it’s easy to visit the Christmas Market in Alsace? NO! not a all!
To get access to the center of this village, we have to take a bus from the carrefour (grocery store) where we left the car. Paid 3 euros for the whole day parking and free shuttle bus (destination: Christmas Market)
We waited around 15-20 minutes for the shuttle bus, and the ride was only 10 minutes from our location. The bus was so full of people it was like riding the bus in the Philippines with some passengers on standing mode.
Finally, after so much time of waiting, we lastly step our foot at the Kaysersberg Christmas Market area. And started walking and discovering for the first time this magnificent village!
Oh, I forgot to tell you the most important detail. It was raining that day If I say rain I mean it’s really pouring. We didn’t have a choice but to continue our visit and eventually we visited a group of markets and tasted some of the best artisanal Alsatian products that they offered.
Photos from Kaysersberg (Chirstmas Market)
Strolling the area was really a great experience, even though the rain is pouring hard. We bought some gifts, souvenirs, and discovered a lot of unique handmade products (which they don’t let you take pictures) so be careful about that.
Travel Tips: Make sure to visit the website of Kaysersberg Village before going there to visit their Christmas Market. There is free shuttle busses ride, and as well as specific parking for your car. Another tip is to avoid taking pictures of the products in the Christmas Market. You don’t want to see local vendors get angry.
Day 2 at Eguisheim
The day went pretty fast, at 4:00 pm, we went back to get the car and our destination? To check-in at the hotel for the next days. Getting to the hotel was not that tough. We just followed the quaint and narrow roads of Alsatian villages to Trois Epis, where the hotel located.
On the next day, we headed to Eguisheim. Another majestic village to look up. It’s our second time here as well, but the first time to visit its Christmas Market. What do we expect? Well, crowded place as usual.
To our surprise, Eguisheim wasn’t that crowded compared to Kaysersberg. There are fewer people (honestly, not too much) than we expected. I was lucky to take a photo of this stunning postal picturesque view of this gingerbread village.
I think I have already mentioned a few times that Eguisheim is one of my favorite villages in Alsace, apart from it’s tasty looking gingerbread houses and paved narrow streets, I also love its history.
Today, we are exploring more of Eguisheim’s Christmas Market, its food, wine, and, of course, its local products, and many more.
Eguisheim Christmas Market
Entering the center of Eguisheim, we perceive the Christmas market of the village. It was really colorful and look majestic.
Our first stop was into a small corner where small chalets exposed Pain d’épices, hot wine, charcuterie (delicatessen) includes sausages, dried sausages, foie gras, bacon, and a lot more.
Stoping from one local vendor to another, we were so pampered by these charming people who never let us go without giving us some tester (samples) of their handmade products.
Our second stop was in a small Biscuiterie/Patisserie, where we tasted some of their specialty biscuits and desserts. I didn’t dare to take pictures cause I know they might be okay with it.
Meanwhile, after hours of walking, we eventually went to a small restaurant, settled in the center just nearby the church of the village.
We took a break, ordered some drinks (I ordered the hot mulled red wine) Hubby took a coffee and Mom-in-law ordered a glass of Alsatian wine.
Photos from Eguisheim Christmas Market
Thus, we had our special time spending beautiful moments in this enchanting village. We actually ordered some Boudin Blanc et Noir (Black and White sausage/pudding), but the butchery doesn’t have stock anymore, so we have to come back the next day.
Therefore, we continued our journey looking out for some potential gifts to give to our loved ones. Well, surely, the day didn’t end there. It was only at the beginning of the afternoon. It’s time to go for wine tasting!
Travel tips: For visiting Eguisheim, I recommend you to take a car and park it in the designated parking area in the village. In our case, we took the 14B Rue du Rempart S Parking, which is 3 euros per day.
Day 2 in Obernai Christmas Market
After the wine tasting porting, we ended our day visiting the nearest town, Obernai. We parked our car in the same place as our last visit. The whole objective of the visit is actually, first to eat some snacks (it was around 5:00pm) and stroll a bit then go back to the hotel for our dinner.
If you’ll ask if it’s our second time here? Yes! We have visited Obernai and the rest of the Alsatian villages before. However, as I have already mentioned, it is also our first time to visit Obernai in Christmas Holiday Season.
Even though it was only five o’clock in the afternoon, the sky looks already dark. We chose a restaurant in the vicinity (Hôtel la Diligence, hotel & restaurant), and after that, we had our quick visit to the Christmas Market in the center of Obernai.
Wandering in the center, we were so fascinated by the colorful Christmas lights and the Christmas tree, and as well as the Bell Tower with ‘Obernai Revez Noël’ indicated on it.
It was absolutely magical!
Decorated Streets of Obernai
There are so many things to discover at the Christmas Market of Obernai as well. There’s Crêperie, Buiscuiterie/Desserts, Handmade regional products crafts, and a lot more.
Other Chalets offer Christmas beer, Pretzels, Alsation Foie gras, Sauerkraut, Kugelhopfs, Manneles, and Alsace wine and hot wine (vin chaud)
Travel tips: The ideal area where to park your car is in the center of Obernai. We took the same location the same as from our first visit (Parking des Fines Herbes). I recommend you to take it too.
Day 3 in Sélestat
Our third day came, this day, we opted to visit Sélestat, a 30-minute ride from our hotel. Our initial plan was actually to visit the Christmas market of Sélestat and then go for lunch in one of a restaurant in the neighborhood and go back to Eguisheim to get our ordered Boudin.
First stop before going to the Place d’Armes, we went inside the Complexe of Sainte-Barbe. A place where different expositions are available for tourists. Many different exposé of Christmas decorations (Christmas tree, lights, statues, bells, mistletoe, gingerbread, and other Christmas accessories)
Available on the second floor of the Complexe were local vendors exposing their handmade products/artisanal. Including painting, books, magazines, jewelry, accessory, art crafts, and a lot more.
With respect to the artists, I didn’t take any pictures of their original/local products exposed. Personally, I’d prefer to protect their artistic originality.
Christmas Market in Sélestat
According to its history, Sélestat plays a big role in the Alsace Christmas tradition. Its Christmas market occupies in the Place d’Armes with its glittering Christmas decorations, ornaments, ‘vin chaud’ (mulled wine), Christmas cakes, local Alsatian produce biscuits, and gingerbread.
Sélestat’s Christmas market takes place from 29 November to 29 December 2019.
At the Place du Marché vert, there’s an ice-skating rink available for those who want to upgrade their Christmas experience. On the other hand, St. Goerges Church has Christmas tree exposition (inside in the church). These decorated fir trees are hung in the nave of the church under the arches.
Entering the St. Foy Church, we were stunned by these gorgeous Meisenthal Baubles Chandelier. It composes 173 Christmas baubles in various colors. It looks awesome!
In the center part of the church, you’ll see the picturesque nativity crib which you won’t see the baby Jesus yet since he is not yet born.
If you like to know more about Sélestat, I’m inviting you to read my recent post Explore Sélestat Alsace, The Land of Storks
For Christmas Market chasers, I’d like to recommend you the 10 places/towns that are interesting to visit in the Alsace Christmas season.
You can begin with Nancy, then Metz, Wissembourg, Haguenau, Saverne, Strasbourg, Obernai, Sélestat, Ungersheim, and Mulhouse.
Magical World of Christmas Market in Alsace