The Alsace area of France might be one of my favorite places in Europe, and the towns of Strasbourg and Colmar are magical at Christmas. If ever there was one place in the world that embodied the spirit of Christmas, it would most definitely be Strasbourg, France. In fact it’s called Capital de Noël (The Capital of Christmas)!
On the first weekend of December, we spent a long weekend in Strasbourg with a day trip to Colmar. It was really easy to get there! We took a train from Munich and arrived at the Strasbourg train station. We stayed in an Airbnb outside of the city center and used the tram to get to the city center. Hotels and airbnbs book up really far in advance for the Christmas season in Strasbourg! You can use this link for $40 off your next Airbnb reservation.
There are ten Christmas Markets throughout the city of Strasbourg, and we managed to hit all of them! The entire city is lit up with over the top festive Christmas decorations . You can easily spend the day just walking through the city from market to market, admiring the decorations. Of course we tried the hot mulled wine (Glühwein in German, Vin Chaud in French) at each market throughout the city.
The biggest and most crowded Christmas Market in Strasbourg is around the Cathédral Notre-Dame. We spent some time looking for sausage stands, but we quickly realized these markets were different from the ones in Munich. Instead of sausage, we tried tarte flambé, cheesy Spätzle, macarons, crepes, and lots and lots of vin chaud. I actually preferred the hot mulled wine in France to the hot mulled wine in Germany. The hot mulled wine in France is much less sweet than the hot mulled wine in Germany.
We ate most of our meals at the Christmas markets, but we did have once nice meal in Strasbourg at Chez Yvonne. SO GOOD. We ate here in September when we visited Strasbourg with my parents and we liked it so much that we wanted to bring our friends! Their coq au vin is amazing and we’ve also had the escargot both times we’ve been…never thought I would like the taste of snails, but they’re delicious! The streets around Chez Yvonne had some of my favorite decorations in the city.
We took a quick 30 minute train ride to Colmar from Strasbourg and spent the day exploring Colmar’s Christmas markets. Colmar is by far one of the most colorful towns I have ever seen and every way we turned offered a new Christmas market even more beautiful that the last, if that is even possible! I think the decorations may have even been more over the top then the decorations in Strasbourg, and I was definitely a huge fan of the carousel bar!