ALSACE CHRISTMAS MARKET ROAD TRIP VLOG | Ft. Strasbourg, Colmar & Mulhouse, France (+ Hidden Gems!)


if you love Christmas and fairytales as
much as I do, you are going to love this video because today I’m taking you on a
magical Christmas market road trip through the Alsace region of France
visiting some of the most incredible Christmas markets in the world from the
mega famous to the delightfully obscure. Stay till the end for a map and detailed
itinerary as well with insider tips you don’t want to miss. And if you’re new
around here, this mysterious voice is Christina and I make videos all about
Europe. Be sure to hit that subscribe button for a new Europe video every week, but for now join me for a magical
Christmas road trip around Alsace. For this trip I was joined by my two friends
Sophie and Susanna. We began our journey in Strasbourg, the largest city in Alsace
and the official seat of the European Parliament. We’d be coming back here at
the end of our trip to properly explore but for now it was time to hit the road.
After some car rental drama we were well on our way to our first stop: Obernai.
Obernai is a quaint little town only 20 minutes from Strasbourg known as a haven for wine and beer production. We booked a hotel right on the main square
which meant glittering views right over the Christmas market. We learned pretty
quickly though that small-town markets can close early so we spent the evening
in the carby loving arms of a local delicacy known as Tarte flambée before a
prompt food coma. After a refreshing Obernai-ght, we woke up ready to tackle our
first Alsatian Christmas market. Obernai, like many towns of the Alsace
is a literal story book come to life with half-timbered houses lining
cobblestone streets and an endless parade of Christmasy facades studded
with garlands, baubles and teddy bears. The Christmas market here is small but
nonetheless spread out across the prettiest corners of town including the
main square Place du Marché. And what I loved and would see time and time
again in Alsace was the abundance of helpful resources for tourists, with maps
and programs always available for free. But, with an itinerary like ours, there’s no time
to waste. As the crowds began to roll in, we were off to explore Colmar. The best
way I can describe Colmar to you is that it’s like the Disneyland of Christmas
markets. With six markets to offer visitors, Colmar is definitely one of the
most popular and well-known Christmas markets in Alsace, but just like
Disneyland even with crowds it’s still possible to feel the magic. With facades
decked out in teddy bears, frosty white Christmas trees all around and
half-timbered houses lining scenic canals, it’s tough to find a more magical
backdrop for drinking mulled wine, At Colmar’s six different Christmas markets
you’ll find everything from local food products and handicrafts to beautiful
jewelry handmade by local artists. This year Colmar even has a gourmet food
market with nine food stalls churning out gourmet dishes for all to enjoy. After a good amount of time freaking out
over the beauty of it all, it was time to go onwards to our home for the next two
nights: the fairytale town of Eguisheim where
we were renting a three-story timbered dream house ripped straight from a
storybook. Literally though this house was illustrated in a storybook. After
inhaling some truffle ravioli and plenty of wine it was time for bed.
The next morning though brought on a whole new throng of adventures including
a morning castle hike and a visit to our most adorable next stop: Turckheim. There
are a few things that make Turckheim a very special Christmas destination. First of
all it looks like this, second its streets are literally filled with
speakers that blast Christmas carols consistently and of course it has
perhaps the cutest Christmas market stalls in all of Alsace. Painted
whimsically to depict a real-life elf village the Christmas market at Turckheim is like walking into Whoville. It’s a tiny market but an adorable one with
its own special wishing well and a famous advent calendar that puts on a
special show every day of December leading up to Christmas
at 5:00 p.m. but because it wasn’t yet December we moved on to our next stop,
the very difficult to pronounce Niedermorschwihr. This tiny town was one I
starred on Google Maps months ago and while there’s no Christmas market here
it’s still ridiculously cute and the perfect place for a gratuitous photo
shoot for all. After indulging our vanity we continued on to Kaysersberg, translated
to the kings mountain, one of the best-known villages along the Alsatian
wine route. The special thing about Kaysersberg is that it doesn’t just feel
like a town with a Christmas market, it feels like the entire town has been
engulfed by Christmas, with magical storefronts and displays sprinkled all
around. Two main markets dominate Kaysersberg, the authentic Christmas
market and the farmers market of local producers which – just going to say – is a
great place to drink wine. And while there’s no more than 30 artisans selling
their wares at this small market the finds here are pretty unique from
delicious smelling candles to origami earrings. We ended the evening back at our cozy
home base at the enchanting Eguisheim Christmas market. The streets of Eguisheim
are uniquely built in concentric circles around the town’s main square which
makes exploration simple and lovely. This market by night was one of my personal
favorites: tiny but cozy and every bit as magical as you imagine Christmas markets
should be. The next morning though as the crowds rolled in, it was time for us to
roll out. Easier said than done because the thing nobody tells you about staying
in a charming half-timbered house on a cobblestone lane is that inevitably you
must depart from said cobblestone lane and doing so can be low-key mission
impossible. The next stop on our itinerary was Thann, a small city with an
equally small but lovely market. One of their Christmas claims to fame is an
event where Santa and his elves literally abseil down the church tower to
deliver treats for local children. While we saw no flying Santa’s we did see
trees beautifully decorated by local villages, an impressive church and one of
the most delicious food revelations of our trip: a Spaetzi box with cheesy
spaetzle noodles covered in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and bacon bits. The
perfect to go snack and one I inhaled in the car as we moved on to our next stop.
One of our goals this trip was to explore lesser-known markets in Alsace
Thann was a great example of one that’s a bit more off the radar but filled with
local charm… but the thing about seeking out lesser-known markets is you’re never
quite sure where they might be, which is how we first crashed a children’s
taekwondo recital before finding our next stop. Oh yeah and this was after we
had driven to a city in search of a mysterious market that literally did not
actually exist. But all the struggles were worth it for the Kingersheim
Christmas market, one of the most unique Christmas markets in Alsace. Everything in this market is a tribute to recycling, upcycling and
living an eco-friendly lifestyle. From decorations made of upcycled bike
wheels to all the vendors selling incredible crafts made from repurposed
materials. A vendor here even tipped us off to get another amazing local market
nearby so off we went. The Pfastatt Christmas market is one
that’s often left off tourists radars. After all it’s only open for one week a
year but if it’s wholesome family fun you’re after this market is it. It even
had a man hosting trivia about the market. We continued with a bit of
backtracking to see the blue Christmas event at Guebwiller, so named for
obvious reasons, before hitting our final stop for the night: Mulhouse, a city
famed for its textiles but perhaps lesser-known than many of the other big
cities in the Alsace region which is a real shame if you ask me because the
Christmas markets here are really something special. One of the most unique
features of this market is a Christmas fabric that they roll out every year.
This fabric is used to decorate the market stalls, printed onto cups,
represented in lighting fixtures and oh yes you can even buy it by the meter. The
centerpiece of this Christmas market is of course the ferris wheel which
provides amazing views over the city and Church. after a few cups of vin chaud you
might even find yourself brave enough to hop on yourself. The next day was a bit of a fail. We had
no idea what the weekend rush would have in store for us as we drove our way to
Riquevir, known as one of the most scenic Christmas markets in Alsace. The
parking situation was so dire we even spotted cars parking along the road two
kilometers from the city centre so we turned back and ran. Sadly this view was
all we would get to see from Riquevir this time but not to worry… In Alsace you’re never far from an adorable village
so onwards to Ribeauvillé, a charming medieval town which hosts a
medieval Christmas market two weekends of the year. While this market wasn’t on
during our visit we were able to find parking so that’s already a win, plus the
Christmas decorations were already all up with unique elements that gave the
market an undeniably cozy feel from lanterns lining the trees and streets to
cutesy cookie inspired cutouts suspended all around. This was definitely an
adorable place to get into the Christmas spirit! En route back to Strasbourg I begged my
friends to take me to Sélestat, a little-known town that I had read about
which is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Christmas tree. How
could I not? Unfortunately Sunday was an eerily quiet time to visit. Sélestat
isn’t known so much for its market itself but rather its various displays
devoted to the almighty Christmas tree. In fact the Humanist museum here is where
you’ll find the oldest written record of Christmas trees, a marvel we didn’t get
to see because everything was closed for Sunday. Even the famed Christmas tree
garden seemed to be closed in spite of being announced as open daily and so
defeated after a short stop, we were onwards to our final destination of the
road trip, fittingly the capital of Christmas: Strasbourg. From the festive
skating rink and giant Christmas tree at Place Kléber to the market at Strasbourg’s
majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, there’s Christmas magic literally around
every single corner in this amazing city. The oldest market in Strasbourg can be
found at Place Broglie dating back to the mid 16th century. While definitely one of
the busiest markets in Strasbourg selling typical products like ornaments
and lights, it’s probably the best market in the city to grab a bite especially
when said bite is oozing with potato and cheese.
But anyway Strasburg also has a variety of unique markets to offer besides the
most famous ones. There’s the OFF market, an alternative market where you’ll find
unique goodies in stalls housed in igloos and shipping containers. There’s
also the market at Place Gutenberg which welcomes a new guest country every year.
For 2019 the guests of honour were Lebanon which meant plenty of amazing
foods to try and even some low-key partying. And of course my personal
favorite the Alsatian delicacies market along the water, where you can purchase
local Alsatian food products like of course wine. This is the perfect place to
unwine-d with a glass of wine in hand or two and maybe to bring some bottles home
as well. What can I say? I’m an easy sale! And with that the most
magical road trip has come to an end. Thank you for watching Smarties. If you
like this video be sure to hit that like button and let me know in the comments
which market was your favorite and of course subscribe to for more videos just
like this one. Tntil next week – bye!

5 thoughts on “ALSACE CHRISTMAS MARKET ROAD TRIP VLOG | Ft. Strasbourg, Colmar & Mulhouse, France (+ Hidden Gems!)”

  1. I hope you enjoyed this magical road trip through Alsace! Let me know in the comments which of these places you'd like to visit most 😉 And PS the road trip itinerary/map is available here: http://happytowander.com/alsace-xmas-map

    You can also read more about all these locations here: https://happytowander.com/best-christmas-markets-in-alsace/

  2. Oh my G! Is this town for real Christina?!?! Or is inside disneyland? Lol This is awesome def a must visit destination 😊🥰

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