Strasbourg Christmas Market Information (2023)


Our welcome to the Strasbourg Christmas market got here in two components. First, there was the cinnamon-laden air that rushed at us from the mulled wine stands of the well-known market, and, second, there have been the flashing, star-shaped Christmas lights that appeared to light up the second we stepped into the principle sq.. It was the kind of welcome befitting top-of-the-line Christmas markets in Europe.

We’ve liked Strasbourg and Alsace for over a decade, and this journey marked our second go to to the beautiful metropolis crammed with half-timbered buildings and centuries of French and German influences. It was our first alternative to go to in December, so we soaked up each element of the attractive vacation spot to place collectively this information to the markets and extra.

Stuffed animal decorations on a building.
Many retailers are lined in Christmas decorations

Concerning the markets

The historical past of the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, France, goes all the best way again to the twelfth century, so that they’ve had a whole lot of time to excellent issues to this diploma. And it reveals. Again then, there was a Saint Nicolas market on December sixth yearly, which in the end reworked into the well-known Christmas market (Christkindelsmärik) in 1570.

With over 4 centuries of historical past underneath its belt, that makes the Strasbourg market one of many oldest in Europe and the very first in France.

Now, over 300 picket chalets unfold in markets all through the town heart welcome guests for about six weeks in winter, sometimes from late November by the top of December. This 12 months, festivities start November 24 and run by December 24, 2023.

 

Angel decorations hung in front of the cathedral.
Seasonal decorations close to Strasbourg Cathedral

The place to search out the Strasbourg Christmas markets

With its well-known Christmas tree, conventional meals, celebrations, and procuring alternatives, there may be heaps to see and do on the Strasbourg Christmas markets. Technically, there are 15 completely different market areas, although some have only a few chalets and plenty of of them run collectively with out a main distinction.

Right here’s a take a look at a number of the essential areas to not miss.

Place Broglie

Food stalls and Christmas market vendors.
Meals distributors on the Christkindelsmärik

The oldest and most well-known part of the Christmas market in Strasbourg is the Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie. The title is of Alsatian origin—a German dialect—so it is sensible that it bears resemblance to the well-known Christkindlesmarkt of Nuremberg, Germany and comparable markets. Over 100 stalls fill the tree-lined sq. within the metropolis heart, making for a festive ambiance day or night time.

The Christkindelsmärik options many conventional decorations, together with Christmas lights, nativity scene collectible figurines, and colourful ornaments. Craftsmen additionally supply native meals merchandise and humanities and crafts. You’ll see all the pieces from native honey and wine to leather-based craftsmen, jewellery makers, and coppersmiths.

Should you haven’t had time to pattern the Alsatian specialties but, this can be a excellent spot to attempt some. We liked the wide range of various mulled wine flavors obtainable right here in addition to the baguette flambée—numerous completely different flavors of baguette pizzas.

Place Kléber

 Christmas tree lit up at night
The Christmas tree at Place Kleber

At Place Kelber, the star of the present is the unmissable Nice Christmas Tree. The tree, which is commonly over 100 ft (30 m) tall is the image of Strasbourg at Christmas. Day-after-day at 4pm, you may watch the tree come to life with sensible lights because the solar is setting.

Close to the tree, you’ll discover the distinctive “Sharing Market.” The Village of Sharing (Village du Partage) is residence to 90 service golf equipment and charities, together with the Purple Cross and Médecins du Monde. Guests have an opportunity to find out about their missions and to make a donation within the spirit of Christmas. It’s also possible to purchase a soup made by native celeb cooks whose proceeds go to assist social initiatives–it’s an effective way to heat up.

Place de la Cathédrale

Alsatian food stand selling pretzels.
Alsatian meals specialties on the market

The Cathedral is the town’s centerpiece, so the market surrounding the attractive constructing is within the coronary heart of the motion. It’s ringed by dozens of chalets offering a bit of little bit of all the pieces.

Across the Cathedral, there may be numerous meals from Alsatian pretzels (bretzels) to the meat-heavy dish often called choucroute. Along with the meals, there’s a vary of decorations, presents, and crafts corresponding to picket toys and knitted objects to maintain away the nippiness of winter in northeastern France.

We liked visiting Place de la Cathédrale at night time when the large cathedral was lit up.

Terrasse Rohan and Place du Vieux Marché aux Poissons

People at a wooden chalet selling mulled wine.
Terrasse Rohan is the place for mulled wine

South of the Cathedral, the market that spans Terrasse Rohan and Place du Vieux Marché aux Poissons is the place to go for conventional Alsatian Christmas treats. You’ll discover foie gras served in numerous methods, chocolate, and crepes.

You’ll additionally discover a number of the finest cookies and mulled wine you may get your palms on. This a part of the market options conventional cookies referred to as bredele from the Alsace bakers’ federation who will educate you on the completely different varieties and mulled wine constructed from Tribu des Gourmets, an affiliation devoted to selling dry Alsatian wine.

Carré d’Or

Christmas display with reindeer and ornaments on a storefront.
Decorations within the Carré d’Or

Just some steps from the Cathedral, it’s simple to inform while you’ve entered the Carré d’Or—the town’s previous gold quarter—as a result of the streets remodel right into a winter wonderland. As soon as residence to goldsmiths, the realm is now lined with retailers and eating places that pull out all of the stops for the vacations.

The market right here is centered at Place du Temple Neuf and is filled with candles, jewellery, and many good issues to eat. While you’ve browsed the distributors, don’t miss the prospect to stroll by the streets, that are a number of the finest adorned within the metropolis. There are many lights, and particular person retailers have daring shows with stuffed animals, ornaments, holly, branches, ornaments, and extra. It’s a sight to not be missed while you go to Strasbourg in winter.

Petite France

Canal and half-timber buildings.
Picturesque Petite France in December

Second maybe solely to the Cathedral is the realm of the town often called Petite France. Even if you happen to’re not conversant in Strasbourg, you’ve in all probability seen the postcard excellent view of this cute neighborhood on the river.

Right here, the River Ailing splits into channels that move by the realm that was residence to the town’s tanners, millers, and fishermen within the Center Ages. Now one of many essential vacationer points of interest, Petite France has buildings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with sloping roofs and open lofts that have been supreme for drying hides. Because of locks and a swing bridge, it’s simple to come back by on a canal cruise or to hover over the water to attempt to get the enduring photograph.

The markets on this space are centered at Place Benjamin Zix and Place Saint-Thomas. They each characteristic retailers promoting Christmas decorations, candles, scented soaps, teas, and all kinds of different issues. The vin chaud right here is especially good.

Sq. Louise Weiss

Vendor stall with Christmas lights.
Stall promoting conventional Alsatian merchandise

The stalls in Sq. Louise Weiss home distributors promoting solely Alsatian merchandise, so it’s a terrific place to turn out to be acquainted with French liqueurs, native apple cider, jam, nougat, mushrooms, honey, and cheese. Come hungry and pattern all the pieces.

The sq. can be the house of the Introduction Village, which has numerous actions for guests of all ages. There’s a full program together with performs, storytellers, music, and extra. It’s open each day from 11:30am to 9pm, so there are many alternatives to expertise it.

Place Grimmeissen

People gathered inside a large white tent.
The OFF Market

Place Grimmeissen is completely different from all the opposite sections of the Strasbourg market. There may be nothing conventional right here, which is why it’s referred to as the “OFF Market.”

Quite than cute picket chalets, we discovered steel containers and big domed tents. Quite than ornaments and lights, we discovered classic furnishings, authentic artwork, and distinctive garments.

Every thing right here is natural, socially accountable, and fair-trade. The choices are distinctive and modern—a cool technique to maintain issues fascinating in an in any other case conventional atmosphere.

Lit up sign

What to eat on the market

Meals in Alsace is a singular combination of French and German influences. You’ll discover numerous meat and potatoes alongside nice wines, gentle pastries, and all types of scrumptious snacks. At Christmas in Strasbourg, there are many scorching, filling dishes within the markets to maintain away the chilly in addition to numerous candy treats of the season.

These are a number of the conventional Christmas meals we discovered most frequently in Strasbourg.

Traditional Christmas cookies for sale.
Various kinds of bredele

Bredele – Within the shapes of stars, bells, hearts, and different issues of the season, conventional bredele are a staple of the Strasbourg market. These dry cookies are available numerous completely different flavors, together with cinnamon, vanilla, anise, and extra. You’ll discover the best number of bredele obtainable on the meals stands at Place du Marché-aux-Poissons and Palais Rohan.

Vin chaud – In most Christmas markets in Europe, vin chaud (aka glühwein or mulled wine) is crimson. However, in Strasbourg in December, white wine is the best way to go. Made with dry Alsatian wine, orange, lemon, cinnamon, and sugar, white vin chaud is promoted by the connoisseur affiliation “Tribu des gourmets du vin d’Alsace” all through the market. We have been pleasantly shocked with how good it’s and the way a lot the citrus provides to the nice and cozy concoction.

Bretzels and baguette flambée for sale.
Bretzels and baguette flambée

Baguette flambée – Tarte flambée—additionally referred to as flammkuchen—is a mainstay of Alsace. A skinny crust topped with crème fraiche, white cheese, thinly-sliced onions, and lardons, you’ll discover it on menus from Strasbourg to Colmar. Tarte flambée is historically cooked in a wood-fire oven and there are a a number of variations like gratinée (with gruyère or Emmental cheese) or my favourite forestière (with mushrooms).

On the market, the well-loved elements of the tarte flambée are placed on baguettes, leading to baguette flambée. They’re extra transportable on this format and simpler to eat on the market chalets. Try Place Broglie for a seemingly countless choice.

Mannele – Brioche treats formed like a bit of man, mannele are Alsatian pastries which have raisins or chocolate chips for eyes. They’re made specifically for Saint Nicolas Day on December sixth however can be found all through the vacation season. Native chocolaterie Jacques Bockel makes its personal, non-traditional model from chocolate with completely different fillings like hazelnut and salted caramel.

Choucroute garnie cooking in pan.
Choucroute garnie

Choucroute garnie – Choucroute garnie is the perfect market meal for lovers of sausage. The dish sometimes contains heat sauerkraut with sausages, different salted meats, and potatoes. Fatty and cheap, the meat is cooked low and sluggish for max tenderness and is the right factor to heat you up on a chilly winter night time. You’ll discover choucroute garnie each on the markets and in conventional eating places.

Jarret de porc braisé à la bière – Jarret de porc braisé à la bière is a sublime title for the Alsatian beer braised pork knuckle (or schweinshaxe) that graces many menus. Previously a peasant meals, the meat is commonly marinated for days after which sluggish roasted till it’s practically falling off the bone. It’s usually accompanied by potatoes and cabbage variations.

Gingerbread Christmas lights hanging across a street.

Extra to do at Christmas in Strasbourg

There may be heaps to discover past the attractive Christmas markets. Should you’re planning to spend time within the metropolis in December, think about these points of interest.

Go to Strasbourg Cathedral

Close up of ornate cathedral at night.
Strasbourg Cathedral lit up at night time

Unquestionably essentially the most imposing sight in Strasbourg is the town’s 600-year-old cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece dominates the skyline and is a must-see while you go to Strasbourg.

Accomplished in 1439, the Strasbourg Cathedral is taken into account one of many best works of Gothic structure. Its ornamented façade options tons of of sculptures that virtually soar out from the partitions, and its spire soars 465 ft within the air. That includes a rose window and stained glass from the twelfth century, the inside can be a sight to behold.

Take a river cruise

Taking a canal cruise at all times offers a singular perspective on a metropolis. We’ve liked them from Amsterdam to Bruges, and the expertise was the identical on our go to to Strasbourg.

Relying on which cruise you’re taking, you might even see barely various things. Highlights usually embrace the Grande Île–Strasbourg’s UNESCO-listed Massive Island and its distinctive structure–and Petite France, the previous tanners’ quarter with cafes and half-timber buildings.

Go to extra native Christmas markets

Brightly colored buildings decorated for Christmas.
The primary road of Riquewihr

The cities of the Alsace Wine Route are enchanting any time of 12 months, however there’s one thing very particular about Christmastime. When you’ve got even a half-day to spare, think about a fast journey to at the least considered one of these gems.

Except for Strasbourg, the Colmar Christmas market is the principle vacation spot in Alsace in winter. Its medieval buildings with their colourful, tiled roofs and their half-timbered facades look they got here from a storybook. The six Christmas markets within the historic heart of Colmar imply that there’s numerous festivity available for about 5 weeks, from the final week of November by the top of December.

Different unbelievable cities to go to within the space embrace Riquewihr, Turkheim, and Kaysersberg.

Riquewihr has a number of areas that includes Christmas presents, seasonal meals, and Alsatian delicacies to take residence. Turckheim has a small each day Christmas market punctuated every night by the opening of a window within the life sized Introduction calendar. It’s also possible to be part of the Evening Watchman making his night rounds by the city at 9pm, a practice with over 300 years of historical past. Kaysersberg goes all-out with decorations, and its market can be price a go to.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Guide

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