The Colmar Christmas Fair is one of the most beautiful in Europe, attracting thousands of visitors every year. But there are many other things to do in winter in this charming little town.
Located in the French region of Alsace, close to Germany and Switzerland, Colmar is a perfect destination for lovers of architecture, art, food and wine. Also, the city boasts a historic center that seems to be detached from fairy tales and a lot of world-class museums, some more interesting than others.
One of the most popular times to visit Colmar is, of course, December, when the magic of Christmas surrounds the entire city.
But again, if you prefer to travel outside the summer season to avoid the crowds, Colmar will not disappoint you. The city is a wonderful destination in any season!
Here are some reasons why Colmar should be on the top of any list of destinations to visit during the winter holidays:
The city looks like a great mixture of stories and fairy tales. With just under 70,000 inhabitants, Colmar seems to be more of a rural town, with Gothic and Renaissance architecture, a maze of cobbled streets, colorful markets and traditional old restaurants. The historical center of the city seems to have remained during the sixteenth or seventeenth century, including the famous Little Venice area (La Petite Venise) at its southern end.
When you arrive in the Old Center, stroll along Rue des Clefs, Rue des Tetes and Rue de Marchands, all located near Place de la Cathedrale, to capture the true charm of this Alsatian city. Other tourist attractions in the city include Saint-Martin Collegiate Church, Old Guard Corps, Old Adolph (the oldest building in Colmar), Saint-Matthieu Church, Maison Pfister, Maison des Tetes and Bartholdi Museum.
The Colmar Christmas Market is included every year in the top of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. In December, the whole city is surrounded by the magic, lights and specific aromas of this holiday.
Besides the fact that the city itself looks like a painting, during the Christmas season, when everything is decorated with tens of thousands of lights and festive decorations, Colmar is amazing! Basically, there are six different Christmas fairs, although most of them seem to work together. Although most of them have similar types of food, gifts, souvenirs and ornaments, there are some differences between them. And not only the Christmas markets look spectacular this time of year. Some buildings, such as La Maison des Tetes (Casa Capetelor) and the Little Venice area have lights designed on them, which feature bright stars and winter landscapes. Everything is done in a coordinated way to make the city feel even more special.
Very close to Colmar there are other cities with beautiful Christmas markets. From the central station of Colmar you can take the train to reach other nearby cities quickly. Colmar is located in the center of Alsace, being the easternmost region of France, having a border with both Germany and Switzerland. From the train station you can take the train to Basel, Switzerland, take the train or bus to visit the Christmas markets in Freiburg, Germany, or you can leave for Strasbourg, another French city with a magnificent Christmas market (Christkindelsmarik, dating from 1570, thus being the oldest Christmas market in Europe).
The food is amazing. In Colmar you will find gourmet restaurants, including 8 Michelin-starred restaurants and many other great places, with cuisine that includes French specialties, but also German dishes. Our recommendations would be Restaurant L ‘Arpege and Restaurant Au Fer Rouge.