Christmas in Alsace

3 Days in Strasbourg, Colmar and Eguisheim

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But seriously, spending the holidays in the Alsace region of France has been on my bucket list for years. Nothing quite compares to walking hand in hand with your boyfriend along the cobblestone streets surrounded by twinkling lights while drinking some vin chaud to keep ya toasty.

Our adventure began in Strasbourg – the capital of Christmas and home to the oldest Christmas market in France. The best known markets are found near the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Place Kléber and Place Broglie but there are markets with unique things to offer almost everywhere you look.

Apart from seeing all the decorations, I was most looking forward to trying the food! I grew up with my grandmother who spent the first part of her life living in Germany and Belgium so a lot of these dishes brought me back to my childhood. Since the Alsace region has gone back and forth between French and German rule for centuries there’s a noticeable influence on the cuisine. The most famous regional dish is choucroute (sauerkraut) served with a variety of meats and potatoes. Alsace is also known for their tart flambée (or flammekeuche, which is basically a delicious thin crust form of pizza), meat stews, pretzels, foie gras, beer and wine.

After spending a day/night in Strasbourg we drove an hour south to the magical town of Colmar. Decorative, flowery, and full of the traditional half-timbered houses it really does look like something straight out of a fairytale. It’s also one of the most colorful towns that I’ve seen in France – coming in shades of rose, blue, yellow, apricot and green. Apparently (centuries ago) the color of each house once signified the family’s trade. The charming Little Venice neighborhood of the old town was my favorite. It’s quite small and the canal isn’t very long but we spent around an hour exploring it.

To end our three day trip we made a last minute decision to drive to the picturesque medieval village of Eguisheim, the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s opening scene of the Beauty and the Beast. It’s a walled town made up of three concentric circles that can easily be seen on foot within an hour or two. I would love to go back and explore some more of the smaller villages in the region!

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