Discover the Kaysersberg Christmas Market in Alsace

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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.

Stalls of the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

Stalls of the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments


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).

At the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

Us visiting the Kaysersberg Christmas market © French Moments

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.

Christmas market of Kaysersberg © French Moments

At Grand’Rue, towards the Christmas market © French Moments

Off we go…

Christmas market of Kaysersberg © French Moments

The passageway of the Town-Hall © French Moments

The event takes place in two adjacent locations:

In the courtyard of the Town Hall:

At the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

The market in the town hall’s courtyard © French Moments

And along the lane behind the church:

Stalls at the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

At the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

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!

At the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

The stalls of the Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

The square in front of the Town-Hall hosts a “marché paysan” (rural market).

Kaysersberg Christmas market, Alsace © French Moments

The rural market, place de l’Hôtel de Ville © French Moments

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!

Grand’Rue

First, the main street (Grand’Rue) is the place to be. You’ll find most of the stores, restaurants and tearooms there.

The main street of Kaysersberg at Christmas © French Moments

Grand’Rue of Kaysersberg © French Moments

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.

Christmas in Kaysersberg © French Moments

Kaysersberg at night-time © French Moments

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…

Christmas in Kaysersberg © French Moments

The River Weiss in Kaysersberg © French Moments

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.

Christmas in Kaysersberg, Alsace © French Moments

An inviting boulangerie-pâtisserie in Kaysersberg © French Moments

And hurry to get your own Mannala – briochy man – before they’re out of stock!

Christmas in Kaysersberg, Alsace © French Moments

Hurry up! These Mannalas won’t last long… © French Moments

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:



Booking.com


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).
Place de l'église, Kaysersberg © French Moments

The fountain on place de l’église, Kaysersberg © French Moments

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

Christmas lights in Kaysersberg, Alsace © French Moments

Christmas lights in Kaysersberg, Alsace © French Moments

Catch the train

Kaysersberg is situated 12 km from Colmar train station with train connections to Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Lyon, Basel and Paris.

By car

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

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)

Inspired? Pin it for later:

Discover the Kaysersberg Christmas market in Alsace © French Moments


Some of the links above are affiliates so if you’re planning a trip, using these links helps me keep things running. There’s no extra cost to you. All you have to do is click the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked.


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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