The Christmas market started officially on Saturday in Riquewihr (Nov. 24, 2012).
Here is a set of pictures taken on Sunday evening between 5 pm and 6 pm. At that time, especially on a Sunday evening, a large part of the crowd had already departed and so the streets were again practicable.
The stalls of the plaza near the City Hall are open daily. But this year there are also other stands in some private courtyards of Riquewihr and even in some side streets. The late afternoon, just before it is completely night, is probably the best time of the day to visit a Christmas market. When the daylight is fading, then the full magic of the Christmas lights and atmosphere is coming live.
Hints and tips for a more convenient visit
Every year, Christmas market means a magical atmosphere in the streets of Riquewihr … And like every year we are advising visitors to avoid weekends when possible. Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
And Riquewihr is even more popular during Christmas times. Most of the families living in a 2 or 3 hours drive radius are day trippers and will favor weekends since children are in school and parents at work during weekdays.
Should you have the opportunity to visit Riquewihr during weekdays, take it without any hesitation. In the evening, you will enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the old streets for yourself.
Struggle for parking spaces will be much easier on weekdays. And you will enjoy the markets a lot more.
If you have no other choice than visiting the Christmas markets during weekends, you should definitely consider the park and ride facilities.
Park and ride
To reach Christmas destinations without a car, use the special means of transport available during the period of Advent (Christmas Shuttles lines, TER regular lines (train and buses of the Alsace Region), which drop you off close to many markets and Christmas events.
Christmas Shuttles are operating between Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and Colmar on the following dates:
01, 02, 08, 09, 15, 16, 22 and 23 of December 2012. EUR 4,00 per person / day. Children under 12 years old are travelling free of charge.
A 16 pages leaflet is available online from the local tourist office with the following info:
- Access to the Christmas destinations without a car!
- Map of the transport network
- Where can you buy your ticket and at what price?
- The 9 Christmas destinations accessible without a car
- Timetables for Christmas Shuttles and TER lines
- Contact details for the tourist information offices in the Land of Stars