Ribeauvillé is one of the most picturesque villages in Alsace, and therefore one of the most touristy in this French region.
If you travel at Christmas time, you will be able to enjoy its peculiar Christmas market, set in medieval times.
🚗 Where to park in Ribeauvillé
Ribeauvillé has several free car parks, and the occasional paid car park.
We went to Ribeauvillé a total of 3 times during our trip. The first time to see the village early in the morning, the second time to go to the Carrefour (because it was the only supermarket open nearby) and the last time to see the medieval Christmas market.
Two of the times we had to park very far away because there were hardly any parking spaces available, and because my GPS played a trick on us.
And the only car park with a better location is Rue Klée.
If you go at Christmas, you’ll go crazy finding a parking space on the day of the medieval market. But if you go early in the morning, don’t worry, as you approach the entrance to the village you’ll see several car parks.
🛌 Where to stay in Ribeauvillé
🗺 Things to do and see in Ribeauvillé
A visit to Ribeauvillé is a must on any road trip to Alsace.
My advice, especially if you are travelling to this area in summer or at Christmas time, is to visit early in the morning. Around 9am.
In my itinerary for that day I put it in the first positions and I was able to enjoy the village in peace and quiet and without many tourists.
Ribeauvillé is known as the village of the three castles. Saint Ulrich, Giersberg and Haut Ribeaupierre dominate Ribeauvillé from the hill. These castles are the legacy of the Ribeaupierre family, to whom the village owes its name.
Like the other Alsatian villages, Ribeauvillé was a walled town. Hence the symbol of this French village is the Tour des Bouchers. It is so called because it is situated on the site of the former butchers’ guild. This 29-metre high tower was built in 1290. In the past, it separated the old town from the rest of the town.
I always find it difficult to describe the villages of Alsace because they all look like something out of a fairy tale.
Winding streets, Christmas or floral decorations (depending on the time of year), colourful half-timbered houses, so typical of the area. It is impossible to resist them.
And if you add cobbled streets, the magic of the place increases.
As I always recommend, the best way to let yourself be fascinated by the charm of the villages is to lose yourself in their streets.
Some of them will take you to Place de la Sinne, where you will find the Friedrich Fountain, whose sculpture represents agriculture and industry.
Others will take you to Place Hôtel de Ville, the heart of Ribeauvillé. Here you will find the town hall and the weekly market.
In Ribeauvillé you will be hard pressed to stop photographing almost every façade or street. Moreover, if you travel at Christmas time, all the facades are decorated, and that makes everything more difficult.
In Ribeauvillé you will find several religious buildings such as the Protestant Church, the Chapel of Saint Catherine, the Church of the Convent (with a very beautiful façade) or the Parish Church of Saint Gregory.
The latter dates back to the 13th century and is remarkable for housing one of the most famous organs in the region, dating from 1700.
During your walk in Ribeauvillé, don’t forget to take a look at Pfifferhüss. Or known as the house of the ménétriers (violinists), on the façade of which you can read an inscription dedicated to the virgin.
And before I leave you with a selection of photos of this beautiful Alsatian village, I’ll leave you with a link to this map where you’ll find all the most important places in Ribeauvillé.
The medieval market of Ribeauvillé is one of the most attractive of the Alsace region. It is only held on two weekends during the Christmas season 🎅. Specifically, the second and third weekends of December.
It usually coincides with our December long weekend 😏. Tell you nothing and I’ll tell you everything…
If you are one of the lucky ones who manage to visit Alsace coinciding with this market, don’t hesitate to visit it. But try to avoid going to Riquewihr if you plan to see both villages on the weekend – there’s no room for a needle!
My recommendation is – if you have enough time – to enjoy Ribeauvillé on any other day, and come back at the weekend to enjoy the market.
On market days it’s completely packed, and your pace won’t be any faster than Easter.
To be honest, I can’t recommend you more than walking around and discovering the different food🍴 and craft stalls in this particular Christmas market.
The market recreates in detail the medieval period. Minstrels, jugglers, costumes… Everything you can imagine to immerse yourself in medieval times.
Even a dragon!
Throughout the market, there are several attractions like the one in the picture. There is also an area with games for children. Without a doubt, what I liked the most was seeing the stall keepers dressed in period costumes, the different characters recreating scenes along the street and the dragon.
The Ribeauvillé market is a unique market in Alsace. I hope you will be lucky enough to visit it during your trip.
And if you don’t make it, you always have that excuse at hand to come back to this French region 😜.