Looking to plan a trip to the Alsace for Christmas, and then spending New Year in Rome, but I'm expecting that being a tourist during the actual holidays might yield challenges which we will need to account for in advance. Can anyone advise on shutdowns that occur which would cause difficulty finding restaurants or using public transit around and between those holidays? Also, I've heard that the holiday markets in Colmar typically stay open until December 28th, but is it also common for Christmas markets to simply convert to New Year markets but still sell Christmas stuff on into January??
We spent Christmas in London and New Year's in Rome a few years ago. Much of London, especially restaurants, were closed down, public transit too.
I know nothing about the holidays in Alsace. We stayed in beautiful Strasbourg and a charming wine village, Riquewehr , but not over the holidays. I do highly recommend staying in those locations in Alsace.
We left London for Rome and it was packed with Italians on holidays. Really, really crowded. It was much more crowded than I remember it being in the past in the Fall and Spring.
Get reservations for a hotel or apartment and for dinner reservations in place. NOTHING was open on New Year's Day. After walking an hour or more we found a very good pizza at a small Muslim Take Out Cafe. We ate outside at one of their sidewalk tables and were thrilled that we found somewhere open. It was very cold out but luckily we were wearing our down coats.
New Years Eve Dinners began around 10pm. There were some restaurants open at normal dining hours but many had very pricey "special New Years Eve dinners and festivities".
Honestly, we will never travel to Europe over the holidays again. it took a lot of extra planning. We were saved in London by American friends who live there and told us which places would be open, including grocery stores.
If you do end up in Rome for New Years, just be aware of the crowds and get your reservations in place!