Christmas Lights in Colmar

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Welcome to the Christmas Lights in Colmar – a lights festival that transforms the French city of Colmar into a magical wonderland, illuminated by captivating Christmas lights and festive decorations.

 

Christmas in Colmar Main
Festival highlights

Twinkling fairy lights adorn the medieval buildings, while twinkling trees and shimmering string lights cast a spellbinding glow on the cobblestone streets. 

This festival of lights not only brightens the long winter nights but also warms the hearts of those who wander through its fairy tale setting. Come and join us on a luminous journey through one of Europe’s most charming Christmas light shows, where every corner tells a story of festive joy and wonder.

About the Christmas Lights in Colmar

In the heart of winter, the charming city of Colmar, France, becomes a dazzling spectacle of Christmas joy, earning its reputation as one of the best Christmas lights in Europe. The Christmas Lights in Colmar is a visual symphony, with houses adorned in colorful Christmas lights and decorations, transforming the ancient streets into a true Christmas wonderland. 

This magical transformation coincides with six distinct Christmas markets, each offering its unique blend of festive cheer and twinkling lights.

Here’s a glimpse of the featured lighting displays that make the Christmas Lights in Colmar an unforgettable experience:

  • Christmas Trees: Majestic Christmas trees stand tall at various locations, each lavishly decorated with a right blend of traditional and creative ornaments, bathing the surroundings in a warm, festive glow.
  • Fairy Lights: Draping gracefully over trees and winding through the city’s architecture, these delicate lights add a touch of whimsy and enchantment, creating a dreamlike ambiance throughout the city.
  • String Lights: These lights adorn the charming market stalls, weaving through the bazaars like glowing threads, illuminating the festive goods and happy faces of vendors and visitors alike.
  • Light Projection: In strategic spots like the House of the Heads and the picturesque area around Petite Venise, light projections bring buildings to life with stunning visuals, adding a modern twist to the historic facades.

Each of these lighting displays contributes to the overall magic of the festival, turning Colmar into a luminous fairy tale setting that captivates visitors with its warmth and festive spirit.

Festival Dates (2023)

Mark your calendars for a journey into a world of festive enchantment, as the Christmas Lights in Colmar come alive from November 23 to December 29, 2023

These magical dates beckon you to a place where time seems to pause, allowing you to immerse yourself in a holiday atmosphere like no other. 

As the chill of late November sets in, the city begins to sparkle with a myriad of lights, leading you into a December filled with wonder, culminating in a luminous celebration of the season’s spirit. This time frame offers the perfect opportunity to experience the joy and beauty of Colmar’s transformation into a glistening Christmas wonderland.

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An image inspired by the festive atmosphere of the Christmas Lights in Colmar

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The mesmerizing Christmas lights festival casts its joyful glow in the picturesque town of Colmar, located in the Alsace region of France. This historical town, renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and winding canals, provides a storybook setting for the festival. 

As the fairy lights twinkle against the backdrop of timber-framed houses, Colmar becomes a living canvas of Christmas cheer, inviting visitors from around the world to partake in its festive splendor.

Traveling to Colmar From the Airport

The nearest airport to Colmar is the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, situated about 45 minutes away by car. Upon landing, visitors have several options to reach the heart of the festival:

  • By Car: Rent a car from the airport for a scenic drive to Colmar.
  • Shuttle Services: Various shuttle services are available from the airport directly to Colmar.
  • Public Transport: Buses and trains offer regular services connecting the airport to Colmar.

Journeying by Train from Other Major Cities

Traveling to Colmar by train is a convenient and scenic option from various cities:

  • From Paris: Take a high-speed TGV train from Paris Gare de l’Est to Colmar, a journey of about 2.5 hours.
  • From Strasbourg: Regular regional trains connect Strasbourg to Colmar, with a travel time of approximately 30 minutes.
  • From Lyon: Board a direct TGV train from Lyon Part-Dieu to Colmar, typically taking around 3.5 hours.
  • From Basel: A short trip of about 45 minutes on regional trains will get you from Basel to Colmar.
  • From Frankfurt: Direct ICE trains from Frankfurt to Colmar are available, taking around 2 hours.

Take note, however, that train schedules and ticket prices may vary, so it is highly recommended to visit the respective train’s official websites for the most up-to-date information.

If you enjoyed this festival, you might want to check these other amazing lights festivals in Europe as well:

Light Up Lancaster

Berlin Festival of Lights

Festival Hours

As the sun dips below the horizon, the quaint city of Colmar begins its transformation into a luminous wonderland. This enchanting festival of lights truly comes to life after sunset, when the fairy lights, string lights, and projections cast their mesmerizing glow on the city’s medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. 

This magical moment, where day turns to night, marks the beginning of each day’s festivities, inviting visitors to stroll through the illuminated streets and markets, bask in the warm glow of the lights, and immerse themselves in the festive ambiance. 

The lights continue to dazzle late into the evening, ensuring that every moment in Colmar during this season is filled with wonder and joy.

How Much Does It Cost to See the Christmas Lights in Colmar

One of the most delightful aspects of Colmar’s Christmas lights festival is its accessibility — the captivating display of Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city are free for all to see and explore. 

Visitors can wander through the glowing streets, marvel at the beautifully lit buildings, and soak in the festive atmosphere without any cost. This inclusivity makes the festival a cherished destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike, looking to experience the magic of the holiday season.

Christmas lights in Colmar 1
An image inspired from the enchanting beauty of the Christmas Lights in Colmar

Weather During the Christmas Lights in Colmar

From November to December, the city of Colmar experiences cool weather typical of a winter in northeastern France. In these months, the city experiences average temperatures ranging from lows of about 0°C (32°F) to highs around 7°C (45°F). The air is often brisk and fresh, with occasional light snowfall adding to the festive ambiance, transforming the city into a picturesque winter scene.

Recommended Clothing for Comfortable Festival Enjoyment

To fully enjoy the festival lights in this chilly weather, dressing warmly is key. Here’s a list of recommended clothing:

  • Thermal Underwear: A base layer of thermal underwear will provide insulation and keep you warm as you explore the festival.
  • Sweaters or Fleece Jackets: Layering with sweaters or fleece jackets allows for warmth without the bulk, ensuring comfort as you move around.
  • Waterproof Winter Coat: A waterproof and windproof coat will protect you from any unexpected rain or snow.
  • Hat, Gloves, and Scarf: These accessories are essential to protect your extremities from the cold and can be a stylish addition to your winter attire.
  • Warm Socks and Waterproof Boots: Keep your feet warm and dry with insulated socks and waterproof boots, especially important for walking on potentially snowy or wet paths.
  • Umbrella: An umbrella can be handy for unexpected rain or snow showers.

Best Hotels to Stay Nearby

For those seeking a comfortable and convenient stay while attending the enchanting Christmas lights festival in Colmar, several hotels stand out for their exceptional service, amenities, and proximity to the festive activities.

Novotel Suites Colmar Centre

Situated at 27 Rue Bartholdi, this 4-star tourist hotel is a blend of comfort and convenience. Guests can enjoy amenities like a fitness center and spa, perfect for unwinding after a day of festival exploration. 

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, ensuring guests stay connected, and features a welcoming bar. As a pet-friendly establishment, it welcomes all members of your family. Its central location makes it an ideal base for experiencing the heart of Colmar’s festivities.

ibis Styles Colmar Nord 

Located at 49 Avenue de la Foire aux Vins, this hotel offers a harmonious mix of comfort and practicality. Guests will appreciate free parking, making it a convenient choice for those traveling by car. The hotel is pet-friendly, catering to those traveling with furry companions.

 An outdoor pool and fitness center provide relaxation and exercise options, while its proximity to the festival ensures guests are never far from the holiday cheer.

Hotel Le Marechal

Nestled in the picturesque location of 5 Place des Six Montagnes Noires, this hotel offers an ambiance of elegance and tradition. It boasts a fine restaurant, perfect for indulging in local cuisine, and a business center for those needing to stay productive. 

The hotel’s commitment to service is evident in its full-service laundry, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free stay. As a pet-friendly hotel, it ensures that all guests, including four-legged ones, are well taken care of. Its prime location in the heart of Colmar makes it an ideal choice for festival-goers looking to immerse themselves in the city’s festive atmosphere.

What to Eat

In the midst of the sparkling Christmas Lights in Colmar, a variety of delightful eateries await, each offering a taste of the local cuisine that perfectly complements the festive atmosphere.

La Cocotte de Grand-Mère 

Located at 14 Place de l’Ecole, this charming bistro offers an authentic French and Alsace dining experience. Guests can enjoy a variety of regional dishes accompanied by a long list of fine wines. The bistro’s inviting ambiance, complete with sidewalk tables, provides the perfect setting for a leisurely meal amidst the festival’s merriments.

La Fleur de Sel 

Nestled in Quai de la Poissonnerie, this restaurant is a gem for those seeking traditional Alsatian cuisine. Known for its delicious tarte flambee, La Fleur de Sel is situated in a beautiful half-timbered building that features a waterfront terrace, offering diners picturesque views and a charming atmosphere.

Le Fer Rouge 

Situated at 52 Grand Rue, this restaurant is housed in a stunning 15th-century half-timbered building, brimming with art and history. Specializing in Alsace-style fare, Le Fer Rouge provides a unique dining experience where guests can savor the local flavors in a setting that’s as rich in culture as it is in culinary delights.

More Places to Explore in the Area

While the Christmas Lights in Colmar are a sight to behold, the city and its surroundings offer a plethora of other attractions, each rich in history and culture, beckoning visitors to explore beyond the twinkling lights.

Unterlinden Museum

Situated in Place des Unterlinden, this museum is a treasure trove of art and history, housed in a beautifully preserved 13th-century Dominican convent. The museum boasts an extensive collection, ranging from medieval to modern art, including the renowned Isenheim Altarpiece. Its serene cloister and gardens offer a peaceful retreat for contemplation and appreciation of the arts.

Musée du Jouet (Toy Museum): 

Located at 40 Rue Vauban, this delightful museum is a journey through the history of toys. From intricate toys of the 1800s to contemporary favorites, the museum offers a nostalgic and educational experience for both children and adults. It’s a wonderful place to explore the evolution of play and marvel at the craftsmanship of vintage toys.

St. Martin’s Church 

Nestled in 18 Place de la Cathedrale, St. Martin’s Church stands as a testament to the grandeur of Gothic architecture. Known for its impressive structure and intricate stained glass windows, the church is not only a place of worship but also a significant historical landmark. Visitors can admire its architectural beauty, soak in the serene ambiance, and explore the rich history that the church embodies.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Christmas Lights in Colmar

As the Christmas Lights in Colmar dim and the festive season draws to a close, the memories of twinkling fairy lights, historic cobblestone streets bathed in a warm glow, and the joyous atmosphere of the markets linger on. 

This enchanting festival not only illuminates the city but also the hearts of those who visit, leaving an indelible mark of festive spirit and warmth. 

Whether it’s the spellbinding lights, the taste of local delicacies, or the exploration of Colmar’s rich cultural tapestry, the experience is sure to be cherished for years to come. As we bid farewell to this year’s festival, we hold onto the anticipation and excitement for what the next Christmas Lights in Colmar will unveil.

FAQ

Is there parking available near the festival?

Yes, there are several parking areas around Colmar, including both free and paid options. During the festival, parking can get quite busy, so it’s advisable to arrive early or consider public transport.

Are smoking areas designated within the festival?

Smoking is not allowed in enclosed public spaces or near the Christmas markets. Visitors are advised to respect local regulations and smoke in designated areas only, away from the crowds.

Can I bring my pet to the Christmas Lights in Colmar?

Yes, pets are welcome at the festival but must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be considerate of other visitors and clean up after your pet.

Is the festival accessible for visitors with disabilities?

Yes, the Christmas Lights in Colmar festival is accessible for visitors with disabilities. Most areas are wheelchair friendly, and there are accessible restrooms available.

Are there any ATMs available near the festival?

Yes, several ATMs are located throughout Colmar, especially near major tourist spots and Christmas markets.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

In case of an emergency, contact the local emergency services immediately. There are also festival staff and security personnel on-site who can assist with emergencies.

Is photography allowed at the festival?

Yes, photography is allowed and encouraged! However, please respect the privacy of other festival-goers and ask for permission before taking photos of individuals.

Are there any food restrictions or vegetarian options at the food stalls?

The Christmas markets in Colmar offer a variety of food options, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices. However, if you have specific dietary restrictions, it’s a good idea to check with individual food vendors.

Christmas lights in Colmar 2
An image inspired by the Christmas Lights in Colmar

Sources:

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/colmar/

https://traveladdicts.net/colmar-christmas-market/

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