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2024 Christmas markets in Riquewihr & in the heart of Alsace. Dates and my recommendations.

The magic of Christmas in Riquewihr and Alsace will reign again from the end of November 2024 to the beginning of January 2025. With its markets, its little lights and its magical decorations, Alsace is more appreciated than ever.

To help you organize your stay, I have prepared this page which summarizes the most spectacular Christmas markets in Riquewihr and the surrounding area.

We are waiting for you at “Remparts de Riquewihr”! Do not hesitate to book one of our holiday apartments and experience the Christmas magic in Alsace!  

All of them, from our small studio to the large family home, is decorated with a pretty Christmas tree.


To avoid big crowds, plan to come during the week and book well in advance.

Even if some associative Christmas markets are run by volunteers who are only available on weekends, you will have plenty to keep you busy ON WEEKDAYS with a visit to the large permanent markets such as Strasbourg, Colmar, Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Mulhouse or Turckheim.

Magic of Christmas in Riquewihr at the end of November.
Magic of Christmas in Riquewihr at the end of November. You should favor visits and stays during the week for a better experience.

RIQUEWIHR, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN FRANCE IN CHRISTMAS CLOTHES…

Christmas 2024 in Riquewihr: a fairy tale in the sumptuous setting of one of the most beautiful villages in France! Imagine this architectural gem nestled in the vineyard, at the foot of the mountain with, on top of that, the atmosphere of a Christmas fairy tale!

This Christmas market atmosphere lasts until the beginning of January. By booking one of our gîtes in Riquewihr you will be ideally located to discover the Christmas markets throughout Alsace and even in nearby Germany.

Riquewihr,
CHRISTMAS MARKET 2024.

For 2024, the Riquewihr Christmas market is scheduled from Saturday November 30 (inauguration on Friday evening 11/29) to December 22, 2024 in the evening.

Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The market is held at the bottom of the village, around the large fir tree on Place Fernand Zeyer next to the town hall and stretches under the trees of the Esplanade des Remparts.

There are also two small markets in private courtyards at the top of the village.

Christmas magic in Riquewihr in Alsace
Christmas magic in Riquewihr in Alsace
The Dolder, emblematic monument of Riquewihr, with its colorful mapping during the Christmas markets
The Dolder, emblematic monument of Riquewihr, with its colorful mapping during the Christmas markets

Christmas Magic

The streets in Riquewihr are decorated with many small fir trees, fairy lights and a host of decorations, each one more delightful than the last, so that the magic of Christmas is everywhere. Almost everywhere, you will have the opportunity to taste Alsatian specialties directly in the street: traditional treats that everyone prepared at home in the past. Try the mulled wine (vin chaud) to warm up.

About parking and car traffic during the Christmas market in Riquewihr: tips and practical advice.

Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in France and this is more true than ever during the Christmas period. The village is then literally stormed by visitors. It will unfortunately be complicated to find a parking space for one-day visitors. There is no free parking in Riquewihr but here are some practical tips and tricks that can help you.

Download the brochure (very complete and essential) with program of the festivities of all the villages around Colmar + shuttle schedules. At the moment, the 2024 documentation is not yet available but last year’s brochure will still help you.

FOR VISITORS WHO HAVE PLANNED TO STAY IN ONE OF OUR COTTAGES.

Some of our gîtes (White Stork , Dove’s Nest and Sentinel) have a private parking accessible during the Christmas market period. 

For the others, the municipality offers a public parking card for the vehicles of visitors who stay more than 3 days in Riquewihr (5 EUR / day instead of the full rate at the parking meter). There is no reserved space but this card (to be put behind the windshield) entitles you to unlimited parking on any public parking space around the historic village of Riquewihr (except new Vignoble car park) for the duration of the stay. Attention, car traffic and parking are totally prohibited within the historic perimeter.

ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT OF THE CAR FOR THE WINTER…

Riquewihr is one of the municipalities where the car must be equipped for the winter. Do not be impressed by possible winter traffic conditions: of course, caution on the road is always required, but in Alsace and the Vosges, snow is known (even if it falls less and less) and we have the appropriate equipment and know-how to quickly restore roads in case of snowfall… Personally, I have never needed snow chains while I travel a lot in the Vosges. On the other hand, from the end of October to the end of March, my vehicle is equipped with winter tires. This type of tire is not only useful in snowy weather but also on slippery and cold roads, where a summer tire has a much less good grip. While the set of winter tires is rolling, my car dealership keeps the summer equipment warm until the following season.

TIP – good to know

If you go to discover Alsace during the day with your car, do not return to Riquewihr in the middle of the afternoon, when all accesses are saturated. The vast majority of visitors to Riquewihr do not stay for the night. At the end of the day (7 p.m.), it is much easier to find a place.

Once you have found a parking space, stay there and use the Christmas Shuttles (unless you plan to come back late, after the end of the Riquewihr Christmas market). This will save you from wasting time and patience looking for parking spaces in each village visited. This is particularly important on Saturdays and Sundays.

FOR ONE-DAY VISITORS

– Do not arrive right at the opening of the Christmas market. The car parks will already be well sold out. That day, it’s not the time to sleep in! Arrive before 09:00 am! Discover the village and go for a coffee while waiting for the market to open.

– If you arrive in the middle of the day, it is a safe bet that all road accesses are saturated. Rather than getting stuck for hours in your car, park right away from the village and go to Riquewihr on foot.

VIDEO

Experience the atmosphere of CHRISTMAS
in one of our charming holiday homes in the ramparts of Riquewihr!

From mid-November to mid-January, all our cottages welcome you with a decorated fir tree to allow you to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere as in an Alsatian family.
From the studio to the large luxury apartment: our romantic places are among the best holiday accommodations in Alsace.
Choose yours and book well in advance!

At The 2024 Christmas Market In The Neighboring City Of Colmar

Colmar is less than 15 kilometers from Riquewihr. As every year, the Colmar Christmas market will be open every day from the end of November to the end of December 2024. In fact, we should say THE Christmas markets of Colmar since there are now 6 Christmas villages and divided into several places in the old town.

In Colmar as in Strasbourg, the Christmas market is plural and is spread over several sites in the historic city. To pleasantly enjoy the Christmas market, more than ever, we will insist on a visit outside the weekends. On weekdays, it’s much more pleasant!

A good plan is to stay with us in Riquewihr.
Not only will you enjoy the magical atmosphere of Riquewihr, but you will also be just a few minutes from all the other Christmas markets in the neighborhood: Colmar, Ribeauvillé, Sélestat, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim.

In front of the old customs house (Koïffhus) in Colmar during the Christmas season
In front of the old customs house (Koïffhus) in Colmar during the Christmas season
THE KEY WORD: AVOID THE WEEKEND!

The final 2024 dates are:
From November 26 to December 29, 2024

Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday to Sunday: from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. December 24: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
December 25 & 26: from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For security reasons, Christmas markets close at the scheduled time. The gourmet market and the Ferris wheel will remain open until January 5.

The Christmas festivities in Colmar have a dedicated website that will tell you all the details.

Christmas atmosphere in Colmar, Alsace
Christmas atmosphere in Colmar, Alsace
At the Medieval Christmas Market in Ribeauvillé, these elves serve wine and hot apple juice.
At the Medieval Christmas Market in Ribeauvillé, these elves serve wine and hot apple juice.

RIBEAUVILLÉ, where THE CHRISTMAS MARKET is a PERMANENT SHOW…

Ribeauvillé has always stood out by a medieval Christmas market that mobilizes a very large number of associations and volunteers. The visitor will find many activities, not just chalets.

Ribeauvillé offers one of the busiest Christmas markets in Alsace.

You can discover games and animations for children, artisanal and Christmas products and taste medieval food and drinks (all import products are prohibited!).

MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS MARKET IN RIBEAUVILLÉ,
2024 EDITION

The Ribeauvillé Christmas market has a long history.

In Ribeauvillé, the medieval period survives thanks to architecture but also thanks to festivals throughout the year, including the Christmas period. In Ribeauvillé, Christmas markets are… medieval. They take place in mid-December.

As you will have understood, the qualitative Christmas market of Ribeauvillé deserves a long visit. Not in a gust of wind, not a quick visit between two other Christmas markets. In Ribeauvillé, visitors take the time to stroll, have fun, enter the special atmosphere of the medieval Christmas party.

The Ribeauvillé medieval Christmas market
4 kilometers from our gîtes in Riquewihr, the Ribeauvillé Christmas market deserves a long visit, not a quick visit between two other Christmas markets.
Christmas market Ribeauville
The formidable Ribeauvillé dragon regularly descends from the Taennchel mountain to participate in the medieval Christmas market!

The dates for 2024

This year 2024, the medieval Christmas market of Ribeauvillé will take place on Saturday and Sunday 7 & 8 as well as on 14 & 15 December 2024.

As it is the volunteers of the Pfifferdaj associations who organize this medieval Christmas market, it unfortunately does not take place on weekdays.

Ribeauvillé is only 4 kilometers from our vacation rentals in the Remparts de Riquewihr. Most visitors who stay with us spend at least half a day on this event, which is a unique experience.

My hint & tip
To have a small chance of finding a parking space, go there very early in the morning. Have breakfast on site and visit the city before the market opens and before the crowd arrives…

Leaving the car and taking the Christmas shuttles is another option, especially if you want to be there in the afternoon to be amazed by the Christmas illuminations.

Ribeauvillé is only 4 kilometers from our cottages in the Riquewihr Ramparts: good walkers wishing to take a breath of fresh air will join Ribeauvillé (an hour’s walk) by the pretty little road that overlooks the vineyards and will return by bus or taxi.

In Bergheim in Alsace: from the end of November to the beginning of January, dozens of nativity scenes to see on the Christmas Crib Trail.
In Bergheim in Alsace: from the end of November to the beginning of January, dozens of nativity scenes to see on the Christmas Crib Trail.

BERGHEIM AND HIS WAY TO THE nativity scenes

Every year, from the end of November to the beginning of January, many families in Bergheim decorate their homes with a pretty Nativity Scene visible from the outside. More than 80 Christmas cribs are waiting for you, far from the crowd, in the small streets of the village. From the large crib of several square meters that occupies the entire courtyard of the house to the miniature crib that nestles behind a window, they are naive representations or real works of art. They light up at nightfall and bring the magic of Christmas to the heart of the visitor who walks along a route dotted with white stars.

A small plan is available at the entrances to the village.

From Nov 29, 2024 to January 5, 2025

BERGHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET: TO DISCOVER…

Elected “Favorite Village of the French” in 2022, Bergheim is fortunately still away from the large crowds. Between Sélestat and Ribeauvillé, Bergheim is located 7 kilometers from Riquewihr. The village is known for the quality of its wines but it also offers the visitor a beautiful medieval heritage enclosed in impressive ramparts.

The Bergheim Christmas market is held for two three-day weekends at the beginning of December. The chalets are largely occupied by artists and artisans from the area who offer their personal creations.

The Porte Haute in Bergheim, Alsace at Christmas time
The medieval tower “Porte Haute” in Bergheim, Alsace at Christmas time
At the Bergheim Christmas Market, you can enjoy mulled wine around the braziers.
At the Bergheim Christmas Market, you can enjoy mulled wine around the braziers.

the dates for 2024

This year 2024, the Bergheim Christmas market will be held over two long weekends, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: from 29/11 to 1/12 and from 6 to 8 December 2024.

Bergheim is only 7 small kilometers from our vacation rentals in the Riquewihr Remparts.
Visiting their Christmas market is a nice outing not to be missed when you stay with us.

I recommend…

Personally, I love having a good time at the Bergheim Christmas market in the evening. On Fridays and Saturdays, the market is open until 9:00 p.m. while the large permanent markets close much earlier. Then, I stroll along the way to the cribs…

Selestat Christmas market on the Humanist Library square
Selestat Christmas market on the Humanist Library square

SÉLESTAT, A NUGGET TO DISCOVER ABSOLUTELY…

Sélestat is a small must-see town just 20 minutes by car north of Riquewihr and Colmar.

Although full of treasures, Sélestat remains a city somewhat unknown to tourists. Perhaps because they often rush on the highway between Strasbourg and Colmar or because they stay on the wine route without thinking of stopping in Sélestat. What a pity!

For 2/3 people, our holiday apartment The Mountain Hiker***** is ideally located near Sélestat, in the heart of Alsace to serve as a base for discovering Christmas-related events.

SÉLESTAT, HISTORIC CRADLE OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

Sélestat is a beautiful city with a rich historical and architectural heritage. The Christmas animations are very beautiful and interesting, of undeniable cultural richness. There is not only mulled wine to drink. We are far from the invasive crowds, for a really qualitative moment.

In 2021, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the oldest written reference to the Christmas tree dating back to 1521.

Selestat, capital of the Christmas fir.
Account book of the town of Sélestat dating from 1521. It contains the oldest mention of the Christmas tree making Selestat the Capital of the Christmas tree.
Selestat Christmas market on Place d’Armes
Selestat Christmas market on Place d’Armes

The dates for 2024

The festivities around Christmas in Sélestat usually take place from the end of November to the end of December. Some exhibitions are even extended in January.

The 2024 dates are not yet final at the time I write these lines but I show you here the link to the 2023 program.

Many animations are repeated from one year to the next. This will allow you to see the richness of the events and animations around Christmas that are offered in Sélestat!

Kaysersberg in December at Christmas time
Kaysersberg in December at Christmas time

KAYSERSBERG, AN AUTHENTIC CHRISTMAS MARKET.

The small town of Kaysersberg, very close to Riquewihr, organizes a nice Christmas market every year that it proclaims “authentic”. The thirty exhibitors who welcome visitors are carefully selected according to the quality and origin of the proposed crafts. Half of them come from Alsace.

Attention: the Kaysersberg Christmas market only takes place on weekends (Friday to Sunday).

For your accommodation, our special places to stay located in Riquewihr, a few kilometers from Kaysersberg, offer you a central position to visit all the most remarkable Christmas markets.

The Kaysersberg Christmas market is traditionally located in the courtyard of the Arsenal and behind the church.

But there are also other stands and chalets, in the backyards and all over the city.

On the small square in front of City Hall, the sheds offer a selection of Alsatian local products (charcuterie, eaux-de-vie, formages, honey, bread…).

Christmas market in Kaysersberg, Alsace
Christmas market in Kaysersberg, Alsace
Kaysersberg at the Christmas market season. The main street.
Kaysersberg at the Christmas market season. The main street.

The dates for 2024

The Kaysersberg Christmas market will open in 2024 on the four weekends of Advent, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

November 29 and 30, 2024, December 1, 2024

December 06, 07 and 08, 2024

December 13, 14 and 15, 2024

December 20, 21 and 22, 2024

The hours of the Kaysersberg Christmas market are identical every opening day, namely: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 8pm.

Strasbourg And Its Large Christmas Market: Less Than An Hour From Riquewihr

The Strasbourg Christmas market should be held from November 27, 2024 from 2 p.m. to December 27 at 6 p.m. The chalets will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day (with the exception of December 24, where the chalets will close at 6:00 p.m.).

The Strasbourg Christmas market is no longer presented. In fact, in Strasbourg as well as in Colmar, the Christmas market is plural and is spread over several sites with different themes. To pleasantly enjoy the Christmas market, more than ever, we will insist on a visit outside the weekends. On weekdays, it’s much more pleasant!

By staying in one of our apartments in Riquewihr, it will be very easy for you to spend the afternoon and evening in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg Cathedral and the Christmas market lights
Strasbourg Cathedral and the Christmas market lights
TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The key word: above all, don’t try to enter Strasbourg by car! Take public transport. One of the many TER trains from Colmar or, if you still prefer the car because you plan to come back late at night, use the Parking + Tram formula.

By joining Riquewihr to Strasbourg by the A35 motorway, exit at Illkirch and park at the specially provided car park (P + R beaking, very reduced rate). Then, in a short time, you will be in the heart of Strasbourg and its Christmas markets.

Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas, has a dedicated website that will tell you all the details as they are known.

Strasbourg and its famous large Christmas tree
Strasbourg and its famous large Christmas tree

And When Christmas Ends…

The day after the Epiphany, the Feast of the Magi, on January 6, when the Christmas celebrations fade in our memories, when the lanterns have been removed and the new year has begun its march towards Easter, then another Alsace is revealed. Some find it more authentic, far from the tumult of the crowds.

January is the month of nurseries. Christmas is the starting point and the Epiphany, on January 6 with the arrival of the Magi, a highlight of a magic that extends until the beginning of February.

Feast of the Three Wise Men (Epiphany) at the Ecomusée d'Alsace.
Feast of the Three Wise Men (Epiphany) at the Ecomusée d’Alsace.
ON THE TRAIL of NATIVITY SCENES

Tradition has it that cribs in churches are exhibited until Candlemas (February 2), 40 days after Christmas, the commemorative day of the presentation of Jesus at the temple and blessing of candles. This is still often the case for our greatest happiness because some cribs are real works of art, sometimes monumental, that are worth your visit.

WINTER In Alsace…

Winter is the season of traditional Alsace. Mid-November, January and February offer many discoveries to those who know how to look and get closer. Riquewihr is your base to discover the vineyard and the Vosges and Alsatian mountains!

The large nativity scene carved from lime wood at Thannenkirch church.
The large nativity scene carved from lime wood at Thannenkirch church. Many nativity scenes, true works of art, are visible in Alsace.

Christmas and winter atmosphere in our special places to stay …

Our holiday homes in Riquewihr are wonderful places to stay in winter. In the living room of our Dove’s Nest house***** (4 people) as well as in the Loft of the White Stork***** (2 people) you will have a secure pellet fireplace. During the Christmas market period, all our apartments, from the small studio to the largest apartment, have their Christmas tree.

Those who have chosen to stay in Riquewihr in one of our apartments at the Riquewihr Ramparts will be privileged people who can soak up – in the early morning or at nightfall – this medieval city atmosphere that Riquewihr knows how to offer so well. The success of Christmas markets in Alsace is now global. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your stay. If you want to avoid the large crowd, prefer weekday stays and from the end of November. As for Christmas decorations, they are in place in Riquewihr as everywhere in Alsace at least until the Epiphany and often until mid-January.