It was only around two months ago that I found out about Alsace, a beautiful region in North Eastern France with an old town feel to it. It was then that I start to search for real-time images via Instagram, and I just knew it had to be a must-visit for me during the holiday season. I managed to get the weekend off from work and literally booked a last minute trip, squeezing this trip as the “trip before my final trip of the year”.
I arrived in Colmar in the afternoon, and unfortunately, it was raining that day…
Pro tip, always check the weather daily leading up to your travels so you know exactly what to bring and wear!
Colmar and other towns in Alsace are quite small so you can literally park anywhere and circle the entire town within an hour or two. I would suggest Parking Turenne as it is closest to La Petite Venise, my preferred starting point to see Colmar. Parking can be a risk, as the parking lot is small and can get crowded on the weekends so I suggest parking at Parking Saint-Josse which is a multi-story parking structure and also close by.
Source: Instagram: @christofs70
There are so many beautiful landmarks and decorated buildings no matter which corner you turned! It definitely gave me this feeling of something out of a storybook. From La Petite Venise, I made my way to the first iconic spot of Colmar. Situated next to the Schwendi Fountain, there is a Christmas market leading to a pink decorated home with the Christmas tree beside it. It’s literally what I picture now when I think of Colmar! I purchased a cup of Glühwein at that Christmas market before continuing to the next corner a few meters from there (and of course came back for another round).
On a side note, there are 6 different Christmas Markets in Colmar and all the information, as well as an illustrated map, is listed here.
Within a couple of meters in distance was another famous photo spot in Colmar. The alley where Au Vieux Pignon is situated in a perfect combination of lights and decors and everyone can get their personal shot of it just by standing on the stairs of Ancienne Douane, across from it.
I ventured through some of the alleyways, bought some sweets from a small store, continued to the next Christmas Market located next to Place Jeanne d’Arc. This Chrismas market seemed to be very popular as it had more variety of booths and was a tad bit more crowded.
To end a wonderful night and experience in Colmar, I had dinner at Aux Armes de Colmar and the food impeccable. It’s been so long since I had fois gras and it was also my first time trying tarte flambe, which is a specialty in this region.
I ventured to the nearest, yet popular town the next day, about 15 minutes away from Colmar. Eguisheim seems to have a smaller and cozier vibe to it which made me eager to explore after having some lunch.
What I thought to be a normal lunch turned out to be one of the longest tasting experience I’ve had; every bite was worth savoring. It was my first time trying escargots and I was shocked at how scrumptious it was cooked in herbs and garlic! My duck entree with the fried duck liver was indescribable. The liver just melted like butter in my mouth! I highly recommend this place as the food were simply top-notch, and the service held to its standard.
By the time I left out of the restaurant, it had already been past 3PM and soon the day would come to an end. Luckily, we were able to leave the car parked at the restaurant and walked into the town center of Euguisheim which is about a 5 minute walk. This saved a great amount of time as well as some money on paying for parking. What I really loved about this town was the nice signs leading to the Christmas market. The decorations for here is by far my favorite from Colmar; there was even a piano set up with live music, as well as horse ride carriages. From there, I made my way to the town center next to Chateau Saint-Leon. Since this town is extremely small, that was basically it. There was a small alley which I visited, took some pictures, but circled back to the Christmas market again.
Source: Instagram: @chloe_penderie
Being restrained on time to only a short weekend in Alsace, I was only able to thoroughly ventured to two towns but I would highly suggest exploring other towns along the region if given more time!
After coming back from Alsace and doing post-research on this unique region, I’ve created a map of all the different towns I’d recommend visiting if you plan a trip here. There are many different photo points (that the internet and Instagram cannot specifically tell you, but I can), food, and Christmas markets. Hopefully, this will save you time in planning so that you can spend more time enjoying this holiday season with your loved ones! The towns I’ve included with the following order (or reverse) of recommendation to visit: Mulhouse, Eguisheim, Colmar, Riquewihr, and Strasbourg.
It was my first time experiencing the Christmas markets in Europe and it felt amazing to be in the moment there, feel the town come to life not just with their decors, but with the people it draws in and the spirit it gives off. This is proof that you can enjoy the Christmas markets in Alsace for a quick weekend and have enough time for food, drinks, and pictures!
If you enjoyed this read, make sure to pin it!