One of the pleasures of a holiday in Alsace, in any season, is to visit a weekly market to buy fresh local produce. So grab your basket and let’s go!
Week after week, year after year: markets are an old tradition
Local markets were created in the Middle Ages by the princes. They were frequently set up by force to allow lords to convert into cash the goods taken from the peasants. The lord determined the market places, dates where appropriate, or even prices. These markets used also to meet the needs of the community and to provide eatable products and utensils of everyday life. Then, during the fourteenth and fifteenth century, some cities were granted the right to have a weekly market and even an annual fair sometimes.
At Alsatian markets, it is the time of a meeting between farmers, growers, beekeepers and consumers looking for quality products. Strolling on the market provides a relaxing time outdoors, an opportunity to discover picturesque squares and mix with the locals. There are regulars, residents of neighborhoods or nearby. There are also tourists interested in the specifics of a traditional Alsatian or Rhine market. All come to choose, from a wide variety of local products often from organic agriculture (labelled AB for Agriculture Biologique), the most tasty food.
From Wissembourg to Strasbourg or from Colmar to Mulhouse but also in the German Kaiserstuhl close, without having to make a long way to the many farms, you will discover a wealth of seasonal and natural ingredients: fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat, mushrooms, chestnuts, honey, herbs …
In Alsace, some well-known products are Munster cheese, Alsace wines, liquors, cabbage and beer! The meat is mostly pig: bacon for the tarte flambée (Flammkueche), Alsatian presskopf, the Kassler (smoked pork fillet), Sauerkraut (choucroute) and a variety of sausages (charcuterie).
Fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, spices and ingredients for basic or sophisticated dishes attract the visitors to the weekly market.
Unique taste and freshness, diverse and varied flavors stimulate all your senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
Market stalls color the square of the town and fill the air with tantalizing flavors that bring your appetite! Often, farmers, gardeners and other professionals offer their products for tasting. They like to talk about.
Quality is particularly important. On most markets in Alsace you will find a wide range of organic vegetables together with the information provided by the farmers about which vegetables are grown where and how it has been fertilized.
Of course the offer of the markets vary depending on the season, as nature dictates: strawberries and asparagus in spring, bright flowers and berries in the summer, unusual types of squashes and spicy mushrooms in autumn, and every herb specialties and hot chestnuts in winter.
Fill your basket with fun and delicious food! On the market (if you try some French) you can also gather some useful tips and ideas about how to combine the products: with a friendly chat with the farmer’s wife or the vegetables’ merchant the market visitors will learn how to prepare a tasty meal or which wine fits with which cheese.
You can already imagine the traditional dish that you will prepare after returning to your apartment.
Our selection of weekly open air markets (all year round)
Colmar – Marché des Tanneurs – Every Thursday from 07:30 to 18:00
Colmar – Place de l’Ancienne Douane – Every Thursday from 07:30 to 13:00
Colmar – St Joseph – Every Saturday from 07:30 to 13:00
Dambach-la-Ville – Place du Marché aux Poissons – Wednesday from 08:30 to 12:30
Freiburg-im-Breisgau – Münstermarkt near the cathedral – Every day from 07:30 to 13:00. The biggest market (180 stalls) is on Saturday – In Germany, one hour drive from our holiday apartments in Riquewihr or La Vancelle. To be combined with a visit of the cathedral and the Kaiserstuhl vineyards in a beautiful day out.
See our report about ‘A day out in Freiburg-im-Breisgau‘.
Herrlisheim-près-Colmar – Marché à la ferme “freschakorb”, 7a rue d’Eguisheim (7km from Colmar) – Wednesday and Saturday from 09:00 to 12:30
Kaysersberg – Place Gouraud – Every Monday from 07:30 to 13:00
Mulhouse – Canal Couvert – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 06:30 to 12:30
Sélestat – Old Town – One of the eldest and biggest markets in Alsace in the historic city center of Sélestat. Only a 15 minutes drive from our holiday apartments in Riquewihr or La Vancelle. Large and colorful markets. One of our favorites. Tuesday from 08:00 to 13:00
Strasbourg – Place de la Gare (hotels side, opposite to the railway station) – Monday 07:00 to 13:00
Strasbourg – Pont du Marché – Monday 07:00 to 19:00.
Strasbourg – Place Broglie (not far away from the famous place Kleber in the heart of Strasbourg) – Wednesday and Friday – 07:00 to 18:00.
Strasbourg – place du Marché aux Poissons (not far away from the cathedral) – Saturday – 07:00 – 13:00 – Alsatian products, food and specialties
Indoor / covered markets
Colmar – Marché couvert – 13 rue des Écoles – 68000 Colmar
In the heart of historical city of Colmar.
The market hall was built in 1865. An island, the market is surrounded by three streets and the river Lauch, which allowed market gardeners to bring their products directly with their punts (long, narrow, flat-bottomed boats, square at both ends and propelled with a long pole, frequently used in Alsace in the past). The choice of materials for the market hall: bricks, iron and cast iron, shows the beginning of the industrial age in the middle of the XIXth Century. Since its restoration in 2010, the market of Colmar welcomes in a new permanent market (There you will find most of the finest products of the region), supplemented by outside stalls every Thursday. It is quite easy to find a nearby parking space for a short time. The market hall is heated in Winter.
Tuesday and Wednesday 08:00 – 18:00 / Thursday 7:00 -18:00 / Friday 8:00 – 19:00 / Saturday 8:00 – 17:00.
During Christmas Markets period (December), Saturday 8:00 – 19:00 and also Sundays 10:00 -19:00
Sainte-Croix aux Mines – Local products – In Summer (July and August), every Tuesday from 17:30 in the gardens of Villa Burrus.
Buy the products and cook / grill / taste your dinner right there in the gardens!
This page is brought to you by Les Remparts de Riquewihr – new luxury holiday apartments created in an old historical winery facing the vineyards in Riquewihr.