Colmar & Strasbourg Christmas markets (FR) l En
We visited two of the best Christmas markets in Europe : labyrinthine small streets lined with century old half-timbered houses. We encountered uncommon, magical and authentic experiences in these beautiful Christmas markets!
We decided to visit Colmar on Saturday afternoon and arrived at about 4pm. We could see a lot of the car parks were already full but were lucky enough to find street parking not far away.
Colmar is a stunningly beautiful place but the market was HEAVING with people so it was hard to see much beyond the heads of the people squashed in the tide in front of us. We made the mistake of taking the double pushchair and it was really a headache to negotiate the crowds - we are used to people commenting on the pushchair but I don’t think I have ever heard so many people speculating on whether we had twins, grumbling about why would we bring a pushchair to a Christmas market and one man pushing past with his three dogs even rudely asked why would anyone have so many children?! We found it rather stressful as it wasn’t passible to browse or pause to look around for fear of been stampeded.
I expect lots of people wait until it’s dark to visit the markets to see all the lights alight but maybe the trick is to visit in the morning when it might be quieter, and leave the double pushchair at home!
It was pretty and we saw lots of nice stalls so we cane away feeling sad that we couldn’t really enjoy it because of the number of people. Jude was especially disappointed because queues for food were prohibitively long so we couldn’t get him his much requested waffle. Lucky we had another chance the following day.
After our experience of a very crowded Colmar we decided to leave early for the Christmas market in Strasbourg and arrived around 10am. We parked in the car park Austerlitz which was a short walk to the start of the main market area. Although there were already lots of people even at the start of the market day, the stalls are very spread out over a big areas so there was still space for us to easily get everywhere.
We spent about an hour and a half walking about and it’s a good way to see some of the beautiful sights of the city. We really liked the area around Petite France which is by the river and found some lovely little shops to look around including one which specialises in pain d’épices.
We went back to the main streets and stopped for a hot dog and a drink before continuing our exploration.
There was plenty to see, lots of beautiful architecture, glorious decorations and a lovely festive feel. Well worth a visit!
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Baby Change Facilities : No
Accessibility : Not ideal with a pushchair during the weekend as its busy. We would recommend a baby-carrier.