Joyeux Noel from the fairytale land! After years of wanting to see Alsace’s Christmas markets, we have finally managed to visit thanks to my high school best friend, Emma, who decided to move in Basel, Switzerland and convinced us to explore this amazing area.
In the last couple of years I have seen so many beautiful pictures from Alsace so I knew I had to see it with my own eyes.
Sadly, we only had a few days to explore both Alsace and Switzerland, so we could not stay more than one day in the first one. That being said, we made an itinerary for one day and explored the famous Colmar and Strasbourg and the tiny charming village Riquewihr which is situated on the Alsace Wine Route in eastern France. Today I will tell you all about the first stop which was Colmar ❤
HOW TO ARRIVE
We landed at Euroairport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and the first thing I noticed at this airport, which seemed really cool and funny, was that we could actually choose in the airport in which country we want to arrive in. You have to go left for France/Germany and right for Switzerland. Isn’t this crazy?
Moving on to Alsace, you have 60 km to Colmar from the airport, 75 to Riquewihr and 130 km to Strasbourg, so it is not such a heavy itinerary for one day.
You can rent a car directly from the airport, we chose Enterprise Car Rental which had good prices and a lower deposit than other companies.
WHERE TO STAY
We were based in Basel for our whole trip, except from the days we spent in the Swiss Alps. I told you all about this great adventure on one of my previous blogs. If you have not seen it, click HERE and check it out ❤
Basel was the perfect fit for us since it is located just 6 km from the airport, but also because Emma and her fiancée live here and they were so kind as to host us for this trip. I will tell you all about our Switzerland itinerary in my next blog.
I do have one more thing to say about accommodation. I would recommend choosing a hotel or a guest house close to the border, in France or Germany, since Switzerland is crazy expensive from all points of view: accommodation, food, drinks etc. As a plus, if you rent a car, you won’t even feel the difference, but your pockets will 🙂
WHAT TO SEE
So, as I told you before, we chose to visit Colmar, Riquewihr and Strasbourg in one day. But, today, I will tell you all about the magical Colmar and my next blog will be about Strasbourg and Riquewihr. I must admit I have so many beautiful pictures from Alsace and I want to show them all to you.
Our first stop was Colmar, the third largest commune of the Alsace region, situated on the Alsatian Wine Route. Moreover, they consider Colmar as being the “capital of Alsatian wine“.
But the thing that made me love this town the most was definitely their interest in Christmas decorations. The city was glowing even in daylight. All those beautiful perfectly preserved gingerbread houses decorated with stuffed bears and Christmas gifts, the lovely trees dressed for holidays and friendly people drinking mulled wine and eating Alsatian goodies. It was like the perfect Christmassy décor. Colmar exceeded my expectations.
We had like three hours to explore during the day, from 10.00-13.00, because we also wanted to explore Strasbourg on daylight. But we did not want to miss the beautiful lights of the city by night so we were back at aproximately 19.30 to have dinner here. Best decision ever considering the Christmassy decor. ❤
Colmar’s streets stole my heart away. The Christmas market is just full of goodies and you actually do not know what to taste first. My biggest disappointment is that I totally forgot to make a picture with the yummy cheese bratwurst I ate in Colmar so you would be able to have your own. It was literally the best I have ever eaten and I must admit I am not a big fan of minced meat.
Be sure to check:
- The Old Town and Place de la Cathédrale
- Koïfhus, Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House)
- Quartier de la Krutenau (Little Venice)
- Quai de la Poissonnerie
I must admit I was so charmed about everything that we did not follow our list and now I regret not seeing all the beauty in this town. But I am sure we will be back in summer time as well to see the colorful houses adorned with cute flowers and then I will make up to it.
For museum lovers, I have good news. You should put Unterlinden Museum, Musée Bartholdi, Toy Museum and Museum of Natural History and Ethnography on the to do list.
As I said before, on our way back to Basel, we stopped again in Colmar to have dinner and taste once again the traditional Alsatian food which is so tasty. The Christmas market was already closed here as well, but we still could admire the city lights and drank a glass of mulled wine.
WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT IN COLMAR
Alsatian cuisine it is known all over the world for its yummy dishes. Due to its proximity, it incorporates Germanic culinary traditions and is marked by the use of pork in various forms. Traditional dishes include baeckeoffe, flammekueche, choucroute, and fleischnacka.
Besides of the street food we ate because we couldn’t literally stop ourselves by seeing all those goodies, we had lunch in Strasbourg and dinner in Colmar.
For dinner, we chose Brasserie Schwendi in Colmar and I could not have been happier. I chose a dish for meat lovers. I think it is called Bibalakas: scrag of pork slice, roasted potatoes and munster cheese. I would love to try it again.
My boyfriend chose Roesti Forestiere meaning grated potatoes and bacon served in a stove topped with mushrooms and hollandaise sauce and Emma chose the healthiest option – Vegetarian Roesti which meant grated potatoes topped with vegetable and grated cheese.
We added some mulled wine to the story and everything was perfect. We got back to Basel with a big smile on our faces.
That’s it for today! I hope Colmar already stole your heart too and this will be your destination for next Christmas. If you are not convinced yet, I won’t let go and this week I will post my second part of “My Christmassy Alsace” blog about Starsbourg and Riquewihr. The pictures are just amazing – so many Christmassy vibes ❤
Also, I wanted to share with you guys one travel blog I have recently discovered that gives you hints on traveling around the world without spending so much money. It is called “Cheapest Destinations” and I think it will be helpful for you as well. Click HERE and check it out.
I wish you all a magical December,
Blonde around the World ❤