Strasbourg Christmas Market Guide 2023 (+ Insider Travel Tips)

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Last Updated on fifth November 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

Self-proclaimed to be the ‘Capital of Christmas,’ Strasbourg is a real delight come wintertime. Indeed, the whole lot of the town is reworked into a real winter wonderland, with illuminations, large timber, and market stalls put in all through the town. Here’s your final Strasbourg Christmas Market information, together with journey ideas and what to know earlier than visiting.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Dates 2023: November twenty fourth – December twenty fourth (dates of every occasion held in Strasbourg could fluctuate)

Please word that the Strasbourg Christmas Market can be recognized the Christkindelsmärik or Marché de Noël de Strasbourg.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Guide

I’ve visited Strasbourg throughout Christmas time a handful of occasions now, and every time feels simply as magical because the final. From the pungent cinnamon air to the possibility to walk alongside the banks of the river beneath twinkling fairy lights with a piping scorching vin chaud in hand, it’s definitely one among my high selections on locations to go to in Europe on the finish of the 12 months.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Guide

Why is Strasbourg the Capital of Christmas?

Strasbourg is self-proclaimed to be the capital of Christmas. And, to be trustworthy, they’re not completely improper! During November and December, the whole lot of the French metropolis is reworked right into a mesmerising winter wonderland, with beautiful twinkling lights, Christmas Markets far and wide, and loads of festive occasions. Strasbourg additionally claims to have the oldest Christmas Market in Europe.

nativity in strasbourg

How previous is the Strasbourg Christmas Market?

As I discussed, the town boasts the declare of internet hosting the oldest Christmas Market in Europe. As far again because the Twelfth-century, an annual Saint Nicolas market was held on December sixth yearly and recognized regionally as Klausenmärik.

This type of market was held in lots of cities throughout the Holy Roman Empire, together with in Vienna. Even at the moment, the Saint Nicolas Market was fairly business, and there have been stalls promoting varied merchandise like soaps, candles, and gingerbread.

lights at strasbourg christmas market

In 1570, this was reworked into the Christmas Market when Protestantism arrived in The Alsace. At this time, the Saint Nicolas Market was seen as “survival of the papacy”. However, as stall sellers wished to maintain promoting round Christmas time, a Feast of the Nativity celebration was permitted, which centred round Christmas day.

Originally, the Christmas Market was solely held for the three days previous to Christmas Eve, although this was step by step grew to 36 days by the latter half of the Nineteenth-century.

And so, with some 4 centuries of Christmas Markets being hosted on the town, Strasbourg certain is aware of easy methods to placed on a mesmerising show! This is very so when you think about that, proper up till the Eighties, Strasbourg was the one city in The Alsace to host a market!

christmas market illuminations

Strasbourg Christmas Market places

One of crucial issues to know earlier than visiting the Strasbourg markets is that there are literally Christmas market places dotted everywhere in the metropolis. There are technically 13 completely different Christmas Market places, although these usually are not all made equally!

While a few of the markets include a handful of chalets, different occasions see stay music performances and row upon row of Bavarian fashion chalet. In whole, there are over 300 chalets so that you can peruse…

christmas market location strasbourg
place kleber christmas market

The Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie

The oldest and one of many largest components of the Strasbourg Christmas Market is the half which takes place at Place Broglie. This Christmas market is especially centered on meals, and it’s right here the place you’ll discover all form of savoury and candy treats, together with potato pancakes and raclette.

There are over 100 stalls right here, and one finish of the sq. even has plenty of picnic benches the place you’ll be able to take your meals to eat whereas sitting down. Unfortunately, a lot of the stalls on this space promote mass-produced items and so should you buy groceries right here you then received’t be coming away with essentially the most distinctive Christmas Market presents.

The Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie

Place de la Cathedrale

Lying within the shadow of the illustrious Strasbourg Cathedral, my private favorite of the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg is that of Place de la Cathedrale. Thanks to its gorgeous location, that is in all probability the most well-liked Christmas Market within the metropolis and so is at all times fairly crowded.

There are a couple of stalls promoting varied presents and souvenirs however some are mass-produced issues and so the very best factor to do on the Place de la Cathedrale is to bask in a vin chaud whereas admiring the façade of the cathedral.

Place Kléber

Lying within the shadow of the large tree, this Christmas Market is positioned fairly centrally, which means that you simply’ll possible go by way of it a number of occasions en path to different Strasbourg markets.

Place Kléber is house to probably the most distinctive Christmas Markets within the Alsace as that is the place the  “Sharing Market” (Village du Partage) is held. Essentially 90 or so charitable organisations arrange stalls to elucidate their missions and, within the spirit of Christmas, guests are inspired to donate to charity.

Small producers of Alsace market

If you’re in search of a very distinctive reward to convey house out of your time on the Strasbourg Christmas Market, you then’ll need to head to the small producers of Alsace market on Place des Meuniers.

As its identify would recommend, this market is all about small producers. And whereas the most important focus is on food and drinks (suppose cookies and craft beers), there are additionally a couple of craft distributors on web site.

christmas market food strasbourg

OFF Christmas Market

Yet one other market the place you may need to do a spot of procuring is OFF Christmas Market, which is held  at Place Grimmeisen. With a selected give attention to sustainability, you’ll discover distributors promoting every little thing from recycled DIY presents to honest commerce merchandise being offered from repurposed transport containers.

OFF Christmas Market

Place du Chateau Strasbourg Christmas Market

This Christmas Market is on the opposite aspect of the Cathedral from the principle one and contains of some stalls promoting souvenirs and meals. This can be the place the vacationer prepare departs which you’ll be able to go on should you fancy a touristy guided go to of Strasbourg (together with a bit little bit of historical past).

Terrasse Rohan- Marche des Delices d’Alsace

The Palais Rohan is a former residence of the prince-bishops and cardinals which now homes the Fine Arts Museum. From late November to Late December, the sq. in entrance of the constructing is house to an Alsatian delicacies market the place you’ll be able to bask in every little thing from native gingerbread to regionally produced wines.

Terrasse Rohan- Marche des Delices d’Alsace

Vieux Marché-aux-Poissons 

This market is positioned proper subsequent to the Terrasse Rohan market and is house to a small handful of stalls promoting meals merchandise like honey, vin chaud, and craft beer from native breweries.

Place Saint-Thomas

Nestled within the shadow of the Twelfth-century Protestant church of Saint Thomas, the St Thomas Christmas Market contains of a smattering of stalls promoting regionally produced crafts and a number of other foodie stalls.

Place du Temple Neuf

Conveniently positioned near the Cathedral Market, Place Kléber, and Place Broglie, this small but nice Christmas Market is house to fewer than two dozen stalls.

Place Benjamin Zix

This pint-sized Christmas Market is fashioned of slightly below a dozen stalls alongside the canal. On the way in which to Petite France, right here you’ll discover stands promoting jewelry, wine, and festive decorations.

Place Benjamin Zix

Village d’Advent

Located throughout the Petite France neighbourhood, this Christmas Market is positioned between water and pastel hued homes and is best-seen at night time when the whole space is bathed in golden fairy lights. This little village boasts stalls promoting chocolate, wine, sweet, jams, and infrequently is prolonged till the start of the brand new 12 months.

Regardless of the Christmas Market, I extremely suggest going for a stroll by way of the Petite France space of the town as nicely, the place you’ll be able to snap images of timber-framed buildings and see medieval structure. 

Place Gutenberg

Each 12 months, a visitor nation is invited to the Christmas Market and they’re allowed to arrange stalls promoting meals from their house nation and promote souvenirs as nicely. Place Gutenberg is usually house to a Christmas Tree which is illuminated in blue lighting. Past friends have included:

  • 2014 – Belgium
  • 2015 – Luxembourg
  • 2016 – Portugal
  • 2017 – Iceland
  • 2018 – Finland
  • 2019 – Lebanon

Other festive occasions and issues to do in Strasbourg

As nicely because the markets, there’s an entire host of festive actions which you received’t need to miss out on throughout your journey together with concert events, exhibitions, and reveals. From admiring the illuminations to indulging in some native delicacies, listed below are essentially the most festive issues to do in Strasbourg.

gingerbread lights strasbourg

Admire the Christmas decor

If there’s one festive exercise that’s completely free and Strasbourg in all probability does higher than anybody else, it’s the magical festive decor. To start with, a lot of Strasbourg’s historic previous city (Grand Île) is full of pastel-hued timber-framed buildings.

decor in strasbourg

When that is mixed with numerous fairy lights, miniature timber, and even teddy bears caught to sure façades, you find yourself with an actual life-sized Christmas metropolis (and, at moments, it might really feel as should you’re ready for an elf to come out from across the subsequent nook!)

One of the very best locations to admire the Christmas decor is alongside Rue du Maroquin, the place lots of the distributors have adorned their shops. Yet one other location the place the timber-framed façades are dripping with glowing lights and coated in plush toys is Place du marché-aux-cochons-de-lait (Square of the Market of the Suckling Pigs).

christmas decor strasbourg

Giant tree

One of the principle highlights of any journey to Strasbourg throughout Christmastime is the possibility to see the impossibly massive tree which towers a staggering 30 metres in peak and purportedly boasts 7 km price of fairy lights!

There has been an annual tree since 1994 and it’s positioned in Place Kléber within the city centre so that you received’t miss it! Each 12 months the tree has a special theme. If you strategy the tree and look beneath, you then’ll discover that there’s a small picket mannequin of an Alsatian village.

If you go to on the hour, each hour at 5 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm and eight pm (with music), 9 pm, 10 pm and 11 pm (with out music), you then’ll be handled to a five-minute mild present.

giant tree strasbourg
strasbourg christmas tree

The Children’s Village, place Saint Thomas

If you’re visiting Strasbourg with youngsters, you then received’t need to miss the Children’s Village, which is a festive occasion geared toward a youthful viewers. There are stay performances all through the month, together with circus acts and interactive video games.

Ice skating 

There was an annual out of doors ice skating rink held on Place Kléber in entrance of the Aubette constructing. However, this has been cancelled since 2022 and doesn’t look set to return anytime quickly.

Illuminations 

If you’re spending any time in Strasbourg throughout the festive interval, then you should definitely dangle round after darkish with a view to benefit from the stunning illuminations strung up throughout the town.

My explicit favorite place to benefit from the lights is on Rue Mercière, the place you’ll be able to benefit from the sight of angels swooping down from above in entrance of the Gothic cathedral. The well-known mild arch saying Strasbourg Capitale de Noel will be discovered between rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Poissons and Pont au Corbeau.

strasbourg capitale de noel
christmas illuminations

Go procuring 

Not solely on the Christmas markets but in addition in outlets round city wherein you should purchase a memento or two out of your time within the Alsace:

  • Pain d’épices Mireille Oster (14, rue des Dentelles)- This gingerbread store sells genuine Alsatian gingerbread in addition to different candy treats
  • Un Noël en Alsace (10, rue des Dentelles)- This store is open all 12 months spherical and is devoted completely to Christmas! Step inside throughout opening hours and also you’ll discover all types of enjoyable Christmas decorations on the market.
  • Maison Bollinger ( 2 Rue Mercière)- you should purchase Alsatian wine glasses right here. These distinctive wine glasses are marked by their inexperienced stems and make for a novel memento out of your time in Strasbourg that may show you how to bear in mind your journey for years to return.
shop front at strasbourg

Take day journeys to different Alsace cities 

If you fancy seeing a couple of different Christmas Markets throughout your time in Alsace, then Strasbourg is a good base from which to discover the encompassing area. If you don’t need to rent a automotive, then you’ll be able to take the prepare to Colmar the place you’ll be able to benefit from the Colmar Christmas Market.

If you would favor to find a few of the smaller cities within the area, then you’ll be able to rent a automotive (test automotive rental comparability costs right here). One of my favorite Christmas Markets near Strasbourg is the one held in Obernai.

Explore Strasbourg Cathedral 

Strasbourg’s large cathedral is without doubt one of the most hanging in Europe and was as soon as the tallest constructing on the planet (between 1647 and 1874). Free to go to, at Christmas time, the church is house to a nativity set which, at 20 metres in size, is without doubt one of the greatest in France.

strasbourg cathedral

Food and drink to strive in Strasbourg

To be trustworthy, one of many biggest attracts of visiting Strasbourg throughout the festive interval is the chance to pattern plenty of scrumptious Christmas Market meals. Here are some snacks you received’t need to miss out on:

bretzels strasbourg christmas market
  • Bretzels – as massive as your face, delicate, bread-like pretzels
  • Bredeles – these scrumptious little spiced biscuits are baked within the form of stars
  • Pain d’epices – this spiced gingerbread is baked in all types of shapes and is just like gingerbread
  • Tarte Flambee (Flammekeuche) – that is the Alsace reply to pizza. Tarte Flambée is a skinny breaded crust topped with creme fraiche or cheese, in addition to mushrooms or lardons
  • Crepes and waffles- If you’re in search of a snack on the go or a candy deal with, then one of many quickest and most reasonably priced issues to do purchase is a crepe.
  • Vin chaud – Mulled wine is a agency favorite on the Christmas Markets. You can get vin chaud in each crimson and white wine (and sometimes even rosé). If you need to make some mulled wine for your self, take a look at our scorching wine recipe.
  • Spiced apple juice – if you’re in search of a non-alcoholic various to mulled wine, then spiced apple juice will be discovered everywhere in the markets
christmas market food

Getting round Strasbourg

Like many medium sized cities in Europe with a medieval coronary heart, you’ll be able to simply get round a lot of Strasbourg on foot. Almost the entire markets are inside shut strolling distance of one another. Just you should definitely convey snug footwear as there are many historic cobbled lanes (notably in Petite France).

If it is advisable go a bit additional afield, then you’ll be able to simply take the tram or bus between locations. Buses and trams require the identical sort of ticket, which will be bought on a bus, from a kiosk at a cease or in a CTS workplace. 

It’s costlier to purchase a ticket on the bus so I like to recommend shopping for your ticket at a kiosk. Almost all tram stops have a kiosk and so that you’ll by no means be too distant from one. If you’re taking the tram, you should definitely validate your ticket earlier than you get onboard as in any other case you danger a positive.

What to know earlier than visiting Strasbourg at Christmas

Like many different Christmas markets in Europe, money is king and lots of stall holders nonetheless don’t settle for credit score/ debit card funds. We discovered this for plenty of stalls, together with a few of the meals ones.

You must also word that the crowds in Strasbourg (notably within the latter half of December and at weekends) are merely unreal. Be certain to maintain a detailed eye in your belongings always and carry your valuables in a cross physique bag with a zipper.

strasbourg at night

You must also pay shut consideration to the place you retailer your cellphone. I personally at all times journey with a cellphone leash like this one now in order that my cellphone stays simply accessible and but it’s exhausting to pickpocket.

If I might offer you only one tip, it could be to decorate warmly. I like to recommend packing a shawl, hat, thermal layers, and a heat jacket. Rain isn’t unusual (and it snowed after I visited the market in 2022) so do you should definitely pack an umbrella too!

In order to get any type of drink, you’ll must pay a cup deposit, which can be returned to you once you return your cup. Unfortunately, the cups used for vin chaud and the like usually are not the lovable collectors’ mugs equivalent to in Germany however really plastic cups.

strasbourg christmas scene

How lengthy do you want on the Strasbourg Christmas Markets?

Both occasions I’ve visited the Christmas Market, I’ve made certain to remain in a single day and haven’t regretted it in any respect! One of essentially the most magical durations of the Strasbourg Markets is put up dusk when the whole lot of the town is illuminated by glittering lights.

If you do an in a single day keep, then you can too go to the Petite France space very first thing within the morning to keep away from the bigger crowds which kind afterward. All in all, I’d say to remain at the very least two full days (together with one night time).

If you need to use Strasbourg as a base to discover close by cities, you then’ll need to keep three or 4 nights. If you’re at the moment planning your journey, then you should definitely use our instructed Christmas Market itinerary to assist encourage your schedule.

christmas market in strasbourg

Where to remain in Strasbourg

I’m not going to lie: visiting Strasbourg throughout the Christmas Market interval is without doubt one of the priciest occasions of the 12 months to go to and so that you’ll battle to seek out good reasonably priced lodging. Even mid-range locations are likely to hike up their costs from the top of November by way of to the top of December.

This is as a result of all lodging locations know that they’ll simply replenish (the markets see a whopping 2 million guests a 12 months). As such, if you wish to safe someplace good, then your solely actual selection is to pay the inflated costs and e-book nicely forward of time so to make sure you get to remain in high quality lodging. Here are a few of the greatest locations to remain in Strasbourg:

Petite France is an idyllic place to remain, the place you’ll begin off every day of your time in Strasbourg wandering alongside medieval streets between timber-framed buildings. Here are a few of the greatest locations to remain within the space based mostly on web-reviews and site:

Le Bouclier d’Or Hotel & Spa: This luxurious resort is conveniently positioned inside strolling distance of many Strasbourg sights. Amenities embrace a spa, parking, and air-con. Check costs and availability right here.

Pavillon Régent Petite France: For an unforgettable keep throughout your time in Strasbourg, you’ll need to keep on this five-star resort. Highlights embrace a spa, 24 hour entrance desk, air-con, and a health centre. Check costs and availability right here.

Enjoyed studying this final Strasbourg Christmas Market information? Pin this text now, learn it once more later:

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Sophie Nadeau loves canine, books, journey, pizza, and historical past. A Francophile at coronary heart, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the subsequent sundown shot or consuming one thing candy. She splits her time between Paris and London and travels as a lot as she will be able to! Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

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