9 amazing things to do in the Alsace in winter

When you purchase through links on our site we may earn a commission, Learn More >>

For those visiting the Alsace region in the Grand Est region, of France, winter is a beautiful and unforgettable time of year. The snowy countryside is filled with activity as people go cross country skiing and don snowshoes to explore the frozen forest paths and mountain lakes.

Visitors wander beautiful villages straight from a fairy tale, while others drive the Alsace wine route, there is something for everyone in this part of France.

Strasbourg is one of the tops places in the Alsace in winter.
Strasbourg in Winter

Perfect things to do in the Alsace in winter

In the Alsace winter, local villages come alive as they host their traditional Christmas markets with handcrafted ornaments, festive clothing, delicious food, and all the charm you would expect from a European winter wonderland.

The winter months of France offer travellers a plethora of activities and sights to enjoy. From the glistening snow on the Vosges mountains to the twinkling stars of the night sky, there is no shortage of adventure in these cold months. The Alsace in winter is the perfect place.

Things to do in Strasbourg, France in Winter

When you visit Strasbourg city center in Winter you will find the area around the Strasbourg Cathedral comes alive with Christmas lights, a giant Christmas tree and the Christmas markets.

The Strasbourg Christmas markets in northeastern France are considered the oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating back to the Middle Ages.

Strasbourg Christmas Tree erected in Place Kleber.

All across the historic center and the petite France area of the city center you can enjoy wine tastings and traditional Alsatian foods. The Strasbourg Christmas markets and its huge Christmas tree won’t soon be forgotten.

The half-timbered houses of the petite France quarter on the river ill are famous in this beautiful city. The petite France district where the city’s tanners used to live is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is in easy walking distance from the Strasbourg cathedral and place Kleber when visit Strasbourg the Alsatian capital.

La Petite France in Winter

The Strasbourg Christmas market is not the only attraction in winter, you can also visit the European Parliament, modern and contemporary art galleries, take a boat tour, explore winding streets and visit the Neustadt imperial quarter and that’s not even mentioning the shopping opportunities when visit Strasbourg.

Stay in Strasbourg

More Alsace Christmas Markets in Winter

Christmas markets in France can be found in many towns and villages throughout the Alsace in winter. People from all over the world come to the Christmas market in this region to buy handicrafts and decorations, eat traditional foods, and drink mulled wine.

Christmas markets in the Alsace

They also enjoy seeing the beauty of the unique Alsatian villages with their half timbered buildings that dot the landscape. From Ribeauville to Colmar, in winter, there are many wonderful things to experience during your visit this holiday season.

The bigger markets in Colmar, Strasbourg and Mulhouse with their giant christmas trees, Christmas Lights and hot wine start in late November and open all the way up to Christmas Day.

Snow shoe hikes in the Vosges Mountains in Winter

Every winter in the Alsace, there are many hikers who make their way to the Mountains in eastern France to explore the natural beauty of this region.

The snowshoe hikes here can be especially beautiful days when the sky is clear and the sun is shining. The area is lush with fir trees, which provide a sense of seclusion from other parts of the world.

We recommend taking a guided tour that starts in the Col du Calvaire and includes a stop at Lac Blanc alpine lake.

Visit a wine cave in the Alsace in winter

Bennwihr is a small town on the Alsace wine route near Ribeauville. It’s not only one of the largest producers of Alsace wine, it also offers visitors an opportunity to try a wine made there. The vineyards that surround the little town of Bennwihr are some of the oldest in France, dating back to the 16th century.

Wine in the Alsace region

The Bestheim wine cave in Bennwihr offers visitors a variety of wines that are perfect for every palate. Whether someone is looking for a light and refreshing white wine or they’re craving something full-bodied and robust, the knowledgeable staff at Bestheim Vins et Crémants d’Alsace will be able to recommend the perfect bottle.

Winter could be the best time to visit and try the impressive collection of Alsace wine, when the crowds are busy with the Christmas markets.

Visit Casino Resort Barrière Ribeauville in Winter

Located in the heart of one of France’s most well know wine-producing regions, The Resort Barrière Ribeauville is recognised as one of the country’s top tourist destinations.

With an elegant spa and luxurious snow-capped mountains in the distance, the Resort Barrière Ribeauville is an all-year-round resort destination.

The casino features Poker, blackjack roulette, slot machines and more. Onsite, you will find 2 restaurants and 2 bars for you to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink, including the popular sports bar with its big-screen TVs.

The casino brings in top-class entertainment such as singers and comedians to keep you entertained weekly on your trip to the Alsace in winter. Accommodation is available onsite at the resort or in the little town of Ribeauville, one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Struthof Concentration Camp in Winter

Located in the hills above Strasbourg was Struthof Concentration Camp. Struthof was the only camp ever established in France. Between 1941 and 1944, Alsace was administered by Germany as an integral part of the German Reich.

Winter snow on the ground at Struthof

The camp operated from 21 May 1941 and was evacuated early in September 1944. Some 22,000 people died at the camp. Today you can visit the camp, walk the grounds and view the barracks and buildings.

These buildings include a museum and a gas chamber. A winter visit to Struthof Concentration Camp gives you a great perspective of the condition that prisoners faced of the cold Alsace in winter.

Cité de l’Automobile in Mullhouse

Cité de l’Automobile is one of the most visited museums in France, with more than 500 000 visitors each year.

A day trip to see impressive cars is well worth it.

The museum is established on the site of an old Citroën factory, where cars were made from 1919 to 1954. It has more than 400 exhibits of cars and other items related to the history of automobile manufacture.

It is one of the most prestigious car museums in the world featuring the famous Coupé Napoléon, the 150 Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and more. This facility is a must-see for any car enthusiast! If you need to escape the winter weather this is one of the best places to visit.

Haut koenigsbourg castle

Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg, a mesmerising medieval castle, awaits you on a day trip in the Alsace. Perched atop a hill, this 12th-century fortress offers panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and quaint villages below.

Koenigsbourg from above
Haut Königsberg Castle

As you explore its majestic walls and historical interiors of Haut Koenigsbourg, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of knights and kings. In winter, the castle takes on a fairy tale charm, making it a magical destination for your visit.

So bundle up, step into this captivating world, and let the castle’s tales whisk you away on an unforgettable journey through history.

Let’s make this winter adventure one for the books! Mind you, you may need a hot mulled wine to warm up on day trips like this in the mountains

Colmar Market Hall (Marché couvert)

Located in Colmar, France, the Marché couvert is a large covered market that features a variety of goods ranging from crafts to food.

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Colmar, it’s a great place to explore and experience French culture at its finest. The building is also well known for its gorgeous façade with a distinctive clock tower jutting out from the centre.

The Colmar Market Hall in the little Venice area of town

Ducking into the Market hall during winter in Colmar you will find about twenty merchants selling high-quality products including fruits and vegetables, butchery, cheese dairy, bakery and pastry, fish mongering and great coffee.

The Market Hall in Colmar will present you with the opportunity to see and learn about Alsatian cuisine.

Getting to the Alsace in winter

  • Alsace is located in Eastern France on the border with Germany and Switzerland.
  • Alsace France is best accessed by Strasbourg Airport or the Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport. We recommend Kiwi Flights for your flight searches.
  • From Paris the TGV fast train services to Basel, Strasbourg and Freiburg. From Germany, Freiburg is the key access point for transport arrivals by train. Book your train tickets today with Omio
  • Book a bus to the cities of Alsace France such as Strasbourg, Colmar or any of the small towns of France from domestic and international locations
  • Rent a car on arrival at Airports with Auto Europe to visit Alsace in winter.

Getting around the Alsace in winter

  • All the areas of the Alsace are conveniently linked by public transport. There is a network of buses and coaches. The most simple way to organise your trip is to plan your public transport needs on the Vialsace. 
  • Alsace’s destinations are accessible by 2500 km of bike paths and green paths. This makes the Alsace bike tours a great way to see Alsace attractions. The A 35 motorway crosses Alsace from the North to the South going through Strasbourg, Colmar, Mulhouse et Saint-Louis.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has given you some great ideas for your trip to the Alsace region in France in winter. It is easy to find so many things to do in the Alsace in winter that will make your trip to France unforgettable.

Don’t forget many people love to visit the Alsace in winter, their Christmas markets draw them in from everywhere.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in France click through to our France Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration and helpful vacation planning.

More travel inspiration for your trip to France

Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller, and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not discussing travel or planning travel, you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate, having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

Having a beer in Pilsen Czech
Mark Wyld

Content Creator