Possibily the best Christmas town in the world is Colmar. We spent 4 nights exploring this town and it's 5 different Christmas markets. If there is a more festive and magical town during Christmas we would like to see it. There is an area in Colmar called the "Christmas Zone" and every square inch of that zone was decorated beautifully. We were blown away by the Christmas spirit in Colmar.
There were red signs throughout the town that would help lost visitors find their way between the 5 Christmas markets. After a couple glasses of vin chaud, or mulled wine these sign might come in handy.
This area is called "Petite Venice" and was the most picturesque and colorful area of town.
Our favorite thing about the Christmas markets is the vin chaud, or mulled wine. It's perfect to sip on when you are walking around in the freezing cold. Almost every stall has it's own recipe and we had a lot of fun sampling them. You buy a cup for 1 euro and then you can use it at all the different stalls. These also make for good souvenirs for people touring different Christmas markets, since each town has a different cup or mug.
The stalls each sell different things. Snacks, toys, santas, ornaments, chocolates, you name it! These markets supply you with everything you need to get your Christmas shopping done.
The best Christmas market in Colmar has to be the one specifically for children. They have a mini roller coaster and a manger that has live donkeys, sheep and rabbits. We felt like kids again running around here.
We happened to be in France for Beaujolais Nouveau which is a special day where you can first legally drink the new Beaujolais wine. This new, fresh wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November each year. People have parties and wait until 12:01 AM and then the wine is opened and everybody celebrates the new vintage wine. Normally wine being young is a somewhat bad thing, but these very fresh wines can be rather good and makes for a great excuse to partake in the local "culture."
On our last night in Colmar there was a little boat with children carolers rowing down the canals in Petite Venice. We can't wait to come back to Colmar for Christmas another year.