Kaysersberg, the “Mountain of the Emperor”, certainly deserves its prestigious name. When the time of Advent starts in Kaysersberg, you know you’re for a treat. Rustic decorations and illumination ornate the beautiful façades of the town’s half-timbered houses‘. Not far from Colmar, the Kaysersberg Christmas Market is one of the most traditional festive events in Alsace!
Why it’s worth visiting the Kaysersberg Christmas Market?
For many, the Christmas market of Kaysersberg is the most authentic of all the Alsatian markets.
The reason why? It’s not about the quantity… it’s about the quality! Indeed, each year the municipality carefully chooses some 30 craftsmen to offer their goods at the market.
Our visit to the Kaysersberg Christmas market in Alsace
Our visit to the Kaysersberg Christmas market was an enchanting one. Last time we went there (back in 2012!) we were stunned by the beautiful decorations and illuminations (I’ll get back to that later in the article).
You’ll find the stalls of the Kaysersberg Christmas market off the main street. There are several ways to access it. We chose to go through the passageway of the town-hall. You’ll find it signposted from the main street.
Off we go…
The event takes place in two adjacent locations:
In the courtyard of the Town Hall:
And along the lane behind the church:
There is a wide range of Christmas presents’ ideas: floral art, pottery, Christmas crib figures, glass ornements, toys made from wood, rich fabrics… Oh and without forgetting mulled wine, gingerbread and bredalas!
The square in front of the Town-Hall hosts a “marché paysan” (rural market).
The Christmas exhibition
Before you head back to the main street of Kaysersberg, make sure you visit the Christmas exhibition in the Arsenal Room (next to the Tourist Office). It features enchanting scenes of Alsatian Christmases with the local’s heroes: Saint-Nicolas, Hans Trapp, Christkindel…
Christmas in Kaysersberg: decorations and illuminations!
You don’t need to visit Kaysersberg in Christmas to enjoy the beautiful historic town. With its half-timbered houses, old churches and castle, Kaysersberg is already a treat…
But when the night falls at Christmas, Kaysersberg transforms into an enchanting world. Like in many other places in Alsace, the municipality and the residents decorate and lit up their streets with great care. Let me give you a few not-to-miss sites to see!
First, the main street (Grand’Rue) is the place to be. You’ll find most of the stores, restaurants and tearooms there.
Place de l’église
Place de l’Eglise is wonderfully decorated. See the fountain of Constantine. It features a rich rustic Christmas decoration. At the feet of the statue lies a traditional nativity scene.
The Fortified Bridge
Then, head towards the fortified bridge. An amazing picture-postcard view of yesteryear Christmas awaits you.
Visitors particularly enjoy the night-time view of the fortified bridge. A unique feature in Alsace, the bridge spans the River Weiss, linking the Badhus to the Faller Houses. Overlooking the whole scene is the castle perched atop the hill…
The River Weiss looks like a mountain stream…
The hidden courtyards
Moreover, don’t hesitate to enter the intimate and sometimes hidden courtyards (as long as they’re open to the public!). They will surprise you with their decoration, some of them featuring a Nativity scene.
Finally make sure to taste one of the local specialties.
And hurry to get your own Mannala – briochy man – before they’re out of stock!
Many cultural events are organised during the weekends of Advent in Kaysersberg: Treasure hunts, classical music concerts, guided tours of the town, the shepherds’ Christmas, workshops for children, etc.
Where to stay during the Kaysersberg Christmas market?
My advice: don’t wait too long before booking your accommodation in Kaysersberg, particularly at Christmas time!
The Kaysersberg Christmas market draws a lot of people and availabilities in hotels/short-rentals tend to go very quickly.
To book your accommodation in Kaysersberg, Alsace, click on this affiliate link which will redirect you to our partner booking.com… or use the interactive map below:
About Kaysersberg in Alsace
The remarkable heritage of Kaysersberg goes hand in hand with famous historical personalities who have marked the region and beyond:
- Geiler de Kaysersberg (humanist preacher at the Strasbourg Cathedral),
- Matthieu Zell (the first reformer of Strasbourg, and
- Albert Schweitzer (Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1952).
The round keep of the medieval castle dominates the town of Kaysersberg and its vineyards. The view from the viewing platform offers a breathtaking panorama of the town’s roofs, the Weiss Valley, and the vineyards. Beyond the Plain of Alsace the Black Forest in Germany closes the horizon.
How to get to Kaysersberg
Catch the train
Kaysersberg is situated 12 km from Colmar train station with train connections to Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Lyon, Basel and Paris.
The main road that crosses the commune of Kaysersberg links Colmar to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. It is really easy to get to Kaysersberg from Mulhouse (55kms), Strasbourg (80 kms), Freiburg-im-Breisgau (65 kms), and Basel (80kms) and Nancy (130kms). Paris is distant of 440 kms.
Flight to Alsace!
Finally the closest international airports are Strasbourg-Entzheim and the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Euroairport, both at equal distance (70km) with national and European airlines.
Find out more about the Kaysersberg Christmas market
- Our discovery article about Kaysersberg
- Our article about the Alsace Wine Route
- The Christmas website of the tourist office of Kaysersberg
- Caution! The Kaysersberg Christmas market is not open every day. It takes place during the four weekends of Advent (Friday-Saturday-Sunday).
In fact, Kaysersberg is a good base to explore other popular Christmas markets in Alsace and beyond: Riquewihr, Colmar, Éguisheim, Sélestat and Freiburg-im-Breisgau.
A small English-French Glossary for Christmas!
(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs
- Advent = Avent (m)
- bridge = pont (m)
- castle = château (m)
- Christmas market = marché de Noël (m)
- Christmas Tree = sapin de Noël (m), arbre de Noël (m)
- church = église (f)
- Father Christmas = Père Noël (m)
- half-timbered house = maison à colombages (f)
- holiday season = période de Noël (f), temps des fêtes (m)
- Santa = Père Noël (m)
- square = place (f)
- stall = étal (m)
- street = rue (f)
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