You may probably find it a bit strange to see a post about Christmas be published in the middle of the Summer? Actually we are just a little more than 100 days away from the earliest Christmas markets in Alsace (Colmar is starting on Nov 21, 2014). And waiting for a last minute opportunity for what is the absolute peak season in Alsace might ruin your nerves and your hopes. As we publish (beginning of August), almost half of our accommodation at Les Remparts de Riquewihr is already firmly booked.

So, while having that nice cool drink on your Summer terrace, maybe it is worth having a thought for your Christmas trip to Alsace. Welcome!

Christmas market in Riquewihr
Christmas market in Riquewihr – Dawn over the upper part of main street with Dolder tower

The Christmas market 2014 will start officially in Riquewihr Nov. 29, 2014 and will welcome you until late December, 28.

Opening times :
Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 18.30, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 19.30

Here is a set of pictures taken last year in December on a weekday (Wednesday Dec 18, 2013) in the late afternoon (5-6 pm). As you may see on the pictures there is no such a crowd comparable to weekends. The streets were easily practicable.

The stalls of the plaza near the City Hall are open daily. But there are also other stands in some private courtyards of Riquewihr and even in some side streets. The late afternoon, just before it is completely night, is probably the best time of the day to visit a Christmas market. When the daylight is fading, then the full magic of the Christmas lights and atmosphere is coming live.

Riquewihr Christmas market is open daily, even on weekdays.
Riquewihr Christmas market is open daily, even on weekdays:
Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 18.30, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 19.30

Hints and tips for a more convenient visit

Prefer weekdays

Every year, Christmas market means a magical atmosphere in the streets of Riquewihr … And like every year we are advising visitors to avoid weekends when possible. Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Main street of Riquewihr on a weekday in December.
Street La Couronne in Riquewihr on a weekday in December. On weekends, expect large crowds.

And Riquewihr is even more popular during Christmas times. Most of the families living in a 2 or 3 hours drive radius are day trippers and will favor weekends since children are in school and parents at work during weekdays.

Riquewihr - Upper part of the rue des Remparts
Riquewihr – Upper part of the rue des Remparts

Should you have the opportunity to visit Riquewihr during weekdays, take it without any hesitation. In the evening, you will enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the old streets for yourself.

Off the main street, a romantic atmosphere in a small narrow street
Off the main street, a romantic atmosphere in a small narrow street

Looking for parking spaces will be much easier on weekdays. And you will enjoy the markets a lot more.

The charming rue de l'Oriel in the lower part of Riquewihr
The charming rue de l’Oriel in the lower part of Riquewihr

If you have no other choice than visiting the Christmas markets during weekends, you should definitely consider the park and ride facilities.

The main Christmas market in Riquewihr, near the town hall, in the lower part of the village.
The main Christmas market in Riquewihr, near the town hall, in the lower part of the village.

Park and ride

To reach the Christmas destinations around Riquewihr without a car, use the special means of transport available during the period of Advent. Leave your car at its parking lot. You will save time and hassle. Christmas Shuttles lines, TER regular lines (train and buses of the Alsace Region) will drop you off close to many markets and Christmas events.
Christmas Shuttles are operating between Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and Colmar.
EUR 4,00 per person / day. Children under 12 years old are travelling free of charge.

Christmas atmosphere in the main street of the lower part of Riquewihr.
Christmas atmosphere in the main street of the lower part of Riquewihr.

Program of 2014 Christmas events from end of November to beginning of January

Programme of Christmas events in Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and others villages of the area are available on the tourist office website. Click here.

Every year the tourist office is publishing downloadable brochures with a lot of info. When the 2014 edition will be available we will provide you with the links.

  • The program of Christmas events in the Ribeauvillé – Riquewihr area (including the Christmas markets, concerts, events in the winemaker’s cellars, religious events, nativity scenes, information about public transportation, etc.)
  • Same as above but for a larger area including Colmar, Kaysersberg and Eguisheim.

Usually, documents above also include some useful practical information.

  • Access to the Christmas destinations without a car!
  • Map of the transport network
  • Where can you buy your ticket and at what price?
  • The Christmas destinations accessible without a car
  • Timetables for Christmas Shuttles and TER (local train and busses) lines
  • Contact details for the tourist information offices in the Land of Stars
Christmas atmosphere in the main street of the upper part of Riquewihr.
Christmas atmosphere in the main street of the upper part of Riquewihr.

This page is an initiative of Les Remparts de Riquewihr – luxury and romantic holiday homes in the heart of Alsace, France – ideal base to visit all of Alsace as well as nearby Germany and Switzerland.

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