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Christmas in Colmar, France – is a magical atmosphere I will never forget. It was one of my top European Christmas Experiences ever.

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Despite my eternal love for the German Christmas Markets, if I am to pick one place in Europe to behold the magic of Christmas flowing through the air – it´s going to be the little French town of Colmar (sorry, Rothenburg ob der Tauber). Christmas in Colmar feels like an illusion taken from children’s books. But, pinch me! – This is real.

With its half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, cozy cafes, mysterious antique shops, and of course, some of the most delicious French patisseries, Colmar is a festive fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime.

My pre-Christmas tradition

In our family, one of our favorite pre-Christmas traditions is visiting Christmas Markets across Europe. Every year in December, we seek to travel somewhere colder in Europe in search of a Christmas spirit.

Also read: Holiday Mood – My Vintage Christmas Playlist

Life in Spain is wonderful, no doubt. But you barely get this Christmas-is-coming feeling with +16°C in Dec, right?! And what about snow, Gluhwein, hot chocolate, and cozy Christmas sweaters? Those barely make any sense in Spain. Our trip to Christmas Madrid was interesting, but nothing like the magical Christmas in Colmar.

Besides, nothing cheers one up quite like grabbing a cup of hot chocolate in the company of your loved ones, with all those shimmery lights on around you.

Also read: Christmas in New York

Last year, after exploring the Swiss Christmas Markets, we decided to take a day trip to the French Province of Alsace. As we were based in Basel, it seemed quite of a reachable goal. Besides, one of the capitals in Northeastern France, Strasbourg, could be easily found among the prettiest Christmas Markets in Europe in the travel media. We just couldn’t resist.

From Basel to Strasbourg via Colmar

The train from Basel to Strasbourg goes quite often. As it was cold and gloomy outside (plus peak season), we decided against traveling by car. If traveling in the warmer months and during the off-season, the car would be definitely the best option to explore Alsace. But with the Christmas Market hype, we thought parking might be an issue, not to mention the weather conditions.

So, on a foggy December morning, we bought two tickets to Strasbourg and departed Switzerland in search of a French Christmas spirit. While I was initially beyond excited to visit Strasbourg, I ended up falling in love with Colmar.

Also read: My Top 5 Christmas Destinations in Europe

After meandering the charming streets of Strasbourg for a while, we had a few hours left and decided to get off the train in Colmar before we headed back to Basel. I’ve heard before that Colmar was pretty for the holiday season, but it had overcome my expectations.

A random stop on the way back home ended up being my ultimate winter travel crush.

The Magical Christmas in Colmar

It´s hard to describe with words how magical the tiny little village of Colmar actually felt.

Some streets looked like they doubled for the “Beauty and the Beast” animated movie. The half-timbered town of Colmar should be extremely beautiful all year round. But all the dazzling lights and decorations, jolly market excitement, charming French cafes and shops, appetizing smells and spices during Christmas Eve, turned The Old Town of Colmar into a real-life fairy tale.

The Magic of Christmas in #Colmar, France. With its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Colmar is a festive #fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime! #winter #travel #destinations #blog #Christmas #markets #Europe #France

Colmar’s unique construction style is a mix of French and German architectural techniques.

Some of the buildings date back to the XIV century. The most picturesque quarter in the city is “Little Venice”. Taking a canal boat tour would be an amazing idea in the summer months.

The Magic of Christmas in #Colmar, France. With its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Colmar is a festive #fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime! #winter #travel #destinations #blog #Christmas #markets #Europe #France
Straight from the “Beauty and the Beast”

Delicious snacks, crafty items, festive decorations, and everything handmade… Christmas in Colmar is a bewitching travel experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

The Magic of Christmas in #Colmar, France. With its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Colmar is a festive #fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime! #winter #travel #destinations #blog #Christmas #markets #Europe #France
The Magic of Christmas in #Colmar, France. With its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Colmar is a festive #fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime! #winter #travel #destinations #blog #Christmas #markets #Europe #France
Little Venice
The Magic of Christmas in Colmar, France - Modern Christmas tree
Modern-art-inspired Christmas Tree

About the only fly in the ointment…

Everything about Colmar was perfect, except one little accident that could have ruined our experience.

I’ve already mentioned the weather conditions on the day we visited Alsace – thick fog, cold wind: it was -1°C, but felt like -10°C at least. So, once we got back to the train station in Colmar, we noticed on the screen an alert that our train had been postponed.

Apparently, there was some kind of an accident at the French railroad. As a result, we spent 3 hours freezing inside the small (and very crowded) Colmar train station. We couldn´t really leave, cause no one knew when our train would arrive.

Not sure whether this happens often, or whether traveling by car in winter would be easier (especially with the fog and lack of parking in the peak season). But I felt like warning you to warm up for this trip!

The Magic of Christmas in #Colmar, France. With its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, Colmar is a festive #fairytale everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime! #winter #travel #destinations #blog #Christmas #markets #Europe #France
Parc du Champ de Mars

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