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Colmar holds its annual Christmas market from 23 November to 31 December and it is regarded as one of the most unusual French markets with its special character. It takes place in the Old Town at 5 various venues: Petite Venise for children, Place des Dominicains, Place de l'Ancienne Douane, Place Jeanne d'Arc and inside the Koifhus, the old customs house.

Colmar holds its annual Christmas market from 23 November to 31 December and it is regarded as one of the most unusual French markets with its special character. It takes place in the Old Town at 5 various venues: Petite Venise for children, Place des Dominicains, Place de l'Ancienne Douane, Place Jeanne d'Arc and inside the Koifhus, the old customs house.

About the Market

The old town is beautifully decorated and the lights are turned on by a local celebrity. Following the tradition, four weeks of Advent before Christmas, candles are attached to branches of holly and fir to protect against evil spells.

There is alot of choice of entertainment from five Christmas markets in Colmar.

Children’s Christmas Market in Petite Venise - features colourful houses in a natural and magic décor with a multitude of treasures for children: stuffed toys, wooden toys, clowns and gingerbread. Children can have fun on a wooden horse merry-go-round, specially designed for this occasion and an animated Nativity scene. More over the town of Colmar has put up a gigantic letter box on Place des Six Montagnes Noires, where the children can post their letter to Father Christmas.

Christmas Market Place des Dominicains - the atmosphere at this square with 65 stalls is enhanced by lights around 14th century stained-glass windows of the Dominican Church.

The Covered Market of the Koïfhus - this market is set in a 14th and 15th century building, a previous centre of trade and economy. It offers art objects and antiques, Master glaziers, cabinet makers, wood sculptors, hatters, artistic jewellers, second-hand booksellers and antique items.

Christmas Market Place de l’Ancienne Douane - this lovely square situated next to the "Koïfhus" hosts about 50 little stalls harmoniously placed around the Schwendi Fountain erected by Auguste Bartholdi.

Christmas Market Place Jeanne d’Arc - those who love Alsatian cuisine will have a chance to purchase all local traditional products at this market. Great variety of food!

More About Colmar

Colmar escaped the destruction of the 2nd World War and today offers one of the most charming city centres of Alsace. The old centre of Colmar is typically Alsatian with crooked houses, half-timbered and painted, on crooked lanes - all extremely pretty, and very touristy.

Colmar’s attractions do not stop at its buildings. It is also the proud possessor of one of the last and most extraordinary of all Gothic paintings – the Issenheim Altarpiece, painted by Mathias Grünewald. It is kept in the chapel in the Musée d'Unterlinden. The folding panels of the altarpiece were painted around 1515 for the Prior of the Monastery of St. Anthony at nearby Isenheim. Its visionary evocation of the suffering in the Redemption of Christ still has the power to move; seldom has the agony of the dying Christ been more forcefully portrayed.

A short walk into the town, the Dominican church has some fine glass and a beautiful altarpiece known as Virgin in the Rose Bower, painted in 1473 by Martin Schongauer, who is also represented in the Musée d'Unterlinden.

Accommodation

Accommodation in central Colmar can be hard to come by during the christmas market period, to locate a hotel please enter the dates below to search. Alternatively you may want to try self catering accommodation near Colmar, during winter months many of our advertisers will be open to short stays. Click here for a list of properties.

Transport quick facts about the markets:

Free Parking: No
Pay Parking: No
Coach Parking: No
Nearest Bus Route: Various
Nearest Railway Station: Colmar station
Nearest Tram Stop: n/a
Nearest Tube Station: n/a
Nearest Airport: Colmar-Houssen Airport (business flights mostly), 3km away from the town
Nearest Ferry Port: Dunkerque (see our route planner for driving directions)

Getting there

Suggested Travel Routes

Choosing to travel by train to France is a simple option. It’s fast and cost effective and also allows you to enjoy the beautiful French countryside. With a great rail network in place, it has never been easier to get to France by train.
From the 14th of November 2007, visitors travelling from the UK to France, will be able to catch the High Speed 1 Eurostar train, direct from St Pancras International to the Continent. Click here to plan your rail journey Raileurope - Eurostar bookings 

As a foot passenger from the UK to Colmar:

By Train: you can take Eurostar direct from St Pancras International in London to Paris. Then from Paris' Gare de l'Est station, there are three round-trip high-speed trains per day to Colmar. Connections can also be picked up from Ashford or Ebbsfleet. A full timetable can be viewed by visiting Raileurope - Eurostar bookings 

By Plane: there are connecting flights e.g. with Air France into either the Basel-Mulhouse or the Strasbourg airports near Colmar. It is worth checking online to find out which airlines are offering the best deals at the time.

Taking your car from the UK to Colmar:

By Train: take your car on Eurotunnel from Folkstone, Kent direct to Calais in France. Journey time is about 35 minutes and the cost varies but is around £55 day trip return for a car and 5 passengers.

By Boat: It is usually cheaper to take a car over to France by boat, because the journey takes longer. Operators such as Seafrance and P&O offer regular ferry trips across the channel, with prices ranging from around £30 for a return day trip.

Colmar is situated on the A35 autoroute. It is 650km away from the port of Dunkerque and the drive takes about 6½ hours.