This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.
Christmas in Colmar, France
If you are visiting France in December and have an extra day or two, why not jump on a train to explore one of the best Christmas Markets in Alsace? Sure, there are lovely Christmas Markets in all of France, but the Alsace region is the place to go for the quintessential fairytale Christmas Markets.
Imagine a medieval fairytale town with cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, Christmas lights and decorations, wooden chalets selling everything from handicrafts to local delicacies, and the smell of hot chocolate or mulled wine. It is no wonder why the Colmar Christmas Market is one of the best Christmas Markets in France!
How to Get to Colmar in December
If you want to spend some days in Colmar in December, we recommend traveling to Colmar by train. The Alsace region and Colmar at Christmas are particularly busy, and the Christmas Markets are in pedestrian areas with no car access. Once in Colmar, you can explore the other Christmas Markets in Alsace by train or by special shuttles connecting the different towns.
STRASBOURG TO COLMAR: If after visiting the Strasbourg Christmas Market you wish to continue to Colmar, you have hourly trains from Strasbourg to Colmar. Count on it taking 30 minutes – Click here to book your train from Strasbourg to Colmar. If you are staying in Strasbourg, you can consider this day tour with private transportation which explores the Christmas Markets of Colmar, Riquewihr, and Kaysersberg.
PARIS TO COLMAR: Trains to Colmar leave from Paris Gare de l’Est train station. The distance from Paris to Colmar is 500 km but thanks to the fast trains it only takes 2 hours and a half to reach Colmar!
There are direct connections from Paris to Colmar, but some proposals include a change of trains in Strasbourg. If you are planning a Paris to Colmar day trip, book the very first train Paris to Colmar that offers a direct connection – Click here to book your train from Paris to Colmar
LYON TO COLMAR: There are five trains a day connecting Lyon Part Dieu train station to Colmar. Some train connections include a change of trains in Dijon. Count on it taking 3 hrs 15 min to 4 hours, depending on the train connection – Click here to book your train from Lyon to Colmar
From the train station in Colmar, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to Old Colmar. Out of the train station in Colmar, Christmas shuttles are set up between several towns around Colmar (Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, and Eguisheim).
Christmas Market in Colmar – Stay Overnight if You Can
A day trip from Lyon or Paris to Colmar to see the Christmas Market is feasible but tiring, especially if you get up early to take one of the first trains. If possible, stay one night on site so you can visit everything at a slower pace and enjoy the rest of the city as well.
Colmar is an excellent destination for a 2-day trip or a weekend getaway. The advantage of staying overnight is enjoying the city when the day crowds are gone. Early in the morning or at dusk, you can almost have the Petite Venice to yourself! When it’s the blue hour, with soft street lighting and perfect reflections in the still waters of the canals, the fairytale is real.
Finding accommodation in Colmar will not be difficult as there’s a wide choice of places to stay for all travel styles. But in Colmar at Christmas time, booking in advance is essential. Hotel Saint-Martin and Hotel Le Colombier are our favorite options to stay in Colmar.
We also recommend having a look at this article on where to stay in Colmar, with a description of the best neighborhoods to stay in Colmar for tourists and more hotel recommendations.
Colmar Christmas Market Dates 2022
This year, the Colmar Christmas Market dates will open from 24 November to 29 December 2022. If possible, try to visit in November, ideally during the week. There are always a lot of people during the weekends!
Here are the Colmar Christmas Market opening hours for 2022:
- From Monday to Thursday chalets and animations are open from 11 am to 7 pm
- On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, chalets, and animations are open from 10 am to 8 pm
- On 24 December, the market opens from 10 am to 5 pm
- On 25 December, the market opens from 11 am to 8 pm
- On 26 December, the market opens from 11 am to 7 pm
TIP: A day trip to Colmar to see the Colmar Christmas Market is especially popular, so book your train tickets and accommodation well in advance!
Christmas Market in Colmar – What to Expect
There are six different Christmas Markets in Colmar (Old Town). But don’t worry, the distances are short, and you can easily walk from one market to another.
The market locations are always the same:
- Marché de Noël – Marché Gourmand Place de la Cathédrale (Gastronomic Market)
- Marché de Noël – Place des Dominicains (Arts and Crafts)
- Marché de Noël – Place de l’Ancienne Douanne (Arts and Crafts)
- Marché aux Sapins – Champs de Mars (the place to buy your Christmas Tree)
- Marché de Noël – Place Jeanne d’Arc (reconstitution of a traditional Alsace village)
- Marché de Noël des Enfants – Petite Venise (for kids)
CHRISTMAS MARKET COLMAR – WHAT WE LIKE:
Colmar, already superb all year-round, is sublimated by the lights and decorations of the Christmas Markets.
Ideal size: not too big but lots of things to see and do.
Lots of pretty objects to observe and buy and good, local specialties to taste.
CHRISTMAS MARKET COLMAR – WHAT WE DON’T LIKE:
It is too crowded on weekends!
The hotel prices escalate during this period, especially on the weekends.
After two unusual years because of the pandemic, the Colmar Christmas Market is back with fewer chalets and more distance between them so people can circulate better. Wearing a mask covering the mouth and nose is not compulsory in the Christmas Market in Colmar but is highly recommended when it’s too crowded or on public transportation.
Expect a total of 25 km of light garlands, 90 projectors, 26,000 Christmas balls, and more than a thousand firs, birches, and various shrubs that will create the warm atmosphere of the end-of-year celebrations. There’s something to see everywhere, but don’t miss the Christmas illuminations in these places:
- Musée Unterlinden, place Unterlinden et quai de la Sinn
- Archives Municipales
- Façades rue des Têtes and rue Kléber
- Maison des Têtes
- Théâtre Municipal
- Ancien corps de garde
- Champ de Mars and Place Rapp
- Médiathèque, place du 2 février
- Maison du Guetteur
- Petite Venise
- Musée d’Histoire Naturelle et d’Ethnographie
- Fontaine Rapp
- Train Station
- Churches Saint-Joseph and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul
What to Do in the Colmar Christmas Market 2022
Apart from strolling around the different markets and soaking up the city’s unique atmosphere, here are the things you don’t want to miss during your day trip to Colmar. For times and prices, ask for the complete program in the Tourist Office located at Place Unterlinden.
- The carousel bar to have a drink in a quirky place
- Cooking shows by reputed chefs in the Gastronomic Christmas Market
- Christmas concerts (different locations, free entrance)
- Unterlinden Museum (a must of Colmar all the year-round)
Kids and Adults
- The ice-skating rink at Place Rapp
- A children’s choir sings Christmas songs on the famous flat-bottomed boats of Little Venice. It is Magical! (14 December 2022)
- Toy Museum (a must of Colmar)
- Choco Story Colmar (a must of Colmar)
- Christmas concerts (different locations, free entrance)
- Mechanical Christmas Crib at Sainte-Marie Church (from 26 November 2022 to 29 January 2023)
- The Christmas Market at Little Venice, with its funfair, and Santa’s mailbox
- Christmas Treasure Hunt. Get the booklet and treasure map for free at the Tourist Office
- Several theatre shows (different locations)
- Street performances at the ice-skating rink
So there you have it, our quick guide to the Colmar Christmas Market 2022 with everything you need to know to plan some fun days of Christmas in Colmar, France