Your complete guide to Strasbourg’s Christmas Market

by | Nov 16, 2021

Christmas is special, but Christmas in Strasbourg is exceptional! This is the ultimate guide to the best Christmas market in Europe.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no one does Christmas like Strasbourg. With over 300 stalls set up around town, you’ll be able to find everything from handmade toys to sweet treats at the Strasbourg Christmas Market. Get ready for a winter wonderland full of holiday cheer.

Strasbourg, the capital of Christmas is an exquisite city that never fails to enchant. Every year close to two million visitors flock here from all over Europe for its unique charm and festive spirit. For almost a month in December you will find few other cities on Earth which can compare with the enchantment found within Alsace-Lorraine’s grande Île district during France’s most famous holiday season—the “Noël Européen.”

Must-see attractions around Strasbourg Capital of Christmas

The market stretches across ten sites around this historic area. There are so many things waiting just beneath your feet – each site is filled with magnificent markets selling sweets made by master chocolatiers or handcrafted wooden toys. And YES – there is a giant, magnificent, majestic Christmas Tree!

The Great Christmas Tree in Strasbourg

Strasbourg’s traditional Christmas tree was first mentioned in 1605 and it has been a part of their tradition ever since. Every year, Strasbourians bring out a thirty-meter tall decorated fir to the heart of Place Kléberto and celebrate what is considered as “Strasbourg Capital Of Christmas.” It also happens that this particular city holds the title for having Europe’s highest decorated Christmas trees with colourful ornaments adorning its branches – which makes them one unique place during Christmastime!

This year, the tree is decorated with a modern twist. It’s covered in rough wooden shapes and light overhead baubles that remind us of their ancestors’ tradition to use apples as decorations for this time-honoured custom while also evoking silhouettes evoke “bredele”, those little Christmas biscuits baked during Advent which may be exchanged among friends and family members throughout December until they are all gone.

When night falls, the tree is slowly lit up and with it comes this magical atmosphere that immerses everyone in dreams. At Place Kléber at 5 pm every evening you can experience its awakening for yourself!

Grand sapin place Kleber (c)Philippe de Rexel

Grand sapin place Kleber (c)Philippe de Rexel

Christmas Lights at Strasbourg Christmas Market

In addition to the Great Christmas tree, Strasbourg Christmas Market features many artistic illuminations, including more than 600 light stars that adorn the covered bridges.

Enseigne Capitale de Noel (c)Philippe de Rexel

Enseigne Capitale de Noel (c)Philippe de Rexel

These architectural illuminations from Place Louise Weiss to the Sainte-Madeleine bridge allow the visitor to better appreciate the richness of Strasbourg’s historical and architectural heritage by highlighting its characteristic features, including beautiful chimneys, roofs, windows & doors decorated with reliefs and gargoyles.

Cathedrale et illuminations rue Merciere (c)Philippe de Rexel

Cathedrale et illuminations rue Merciere (c)Philippe de Rexel

Original Gifts & Decorations in Strasbourg Christmas Markets

There are over 300 Christmas chalet style stalls in the city of Strasbourg, France. Each chalet is decorated with lights and tinsel which give the market a magical feel. Throughout the market there are stages where you can enjoy traditional French songs and carols.

Products on display include handmade rocking horses, pull along toys, puzzles, hand-sewn fabric hearts, homemade cakes and drinks, traditional gingerbread, table decorations, candles and many more craft collections.

Christmas has always been about sharing, about connection to the past and the future generations. But more than ever before, this big family is eager to share nice stories around their Christmas table. Naturally, stories about food traditions are on the top of their list. So why not start with some tasty treats from Strasbourg?

Stand marche de Noel (c)Christophe Urbain

Stand marche de Noel (c)Christophe Urbain

The markets here are built up next to each other, so you can easily walk from one to the other. You will find some great restaurants and cafes to warm up with a hot drink or grab something tasty to eat. The traditional products of the region are bredle biscuits, foie gras, Alsatian mulled red or white wines and of course Alsatian beer.

At Place Kléber, there are pestors, jewellery designers and glassmakers alongside the jute makers, toymakers and potters who keep the art of ceramics alive. There are also traditional craftsmen like cabinet makers, clock repairers and enamellers.

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Concerts at Strasbourg Christmas Market

The Christmas Market in Strasbourg is not only about delicious food, glittery decorations and sweet smells. There are also many concerts at the Christmas market in Strasbourg throughout December. These events are a great way to get into the festive spirit while enjoying some of that typical French Alsatian concert.

The Church of Saint-Thomas de Strasbourg will be host to a concert on November 28th, 2021 by Les Petits Chanteurs de Strasbourg – Maîtrise de l’Opéra national du Rhin under the direction Luciano Bibiloni. The performance is entitled “Christmas suspended in time” (Noël suspendu dans le temps) and it’s free admission.

“The concert of angels” on 11th December at Saint Peter the Younger Catholic Church is a unique performance that will make you feel like the 16th and 17th century were just in your living room. The event features instrumental work by Philibert Jambe de fer, Praetorius, Schein, Schütz, Tunder.

This year, on 17th December at Sainte-Aurélie Church in Strasbourg you can enjoy a concert full of music and enjoyable holiday songs! The Choir of Saint Guillaume will perform with Bach Collegium Strasbourg Ortenau. From vocal to instrumental pieces, they’ll be singing scholarly works from the Baroque period up until contemporary pop standards for this creative celebration that are sure not going unnoticed by genre lovers everywhere.

Aromas at Strasbourg Christmas Market

The smell of cinnamon and spices waft through the air. A quick stroll down Rue des Dentelles reveals an array of stalls selling delicacies such as mulled wine, sausages and Christmas cookies. You can even find fried potatoes topped with cheesy goodness!

Marche de Noel place de la cathedrale (c)Philippe de Rexel

Marche de Noel place de la cathedrale (c)Philippe de Rexel

The ambience is inviting and full of excitement as people are all around you, enjoying their desserts and taking in the lovely smells. Off to one side, there is a tent where they give demonstrations of making some of the dishes. By watching it being made, you get more excited about tasting it!

As you make your way through the market, happily munching on your goodies, you can’t help but smile as this market brings back childhood memories.

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Strasbourg Christmas Market Date & Location

The famous Christmas Market in Strasbourg starts from 26th November this year to 26th December. The days and weeks are jampacked with activities that will keep the whole family engaged. The markets open every day between 11 am to 2 pm and close between 8 pm to 10 pm. The preferred mode of transportation here is to walk or use the tram.

The markets with more than 300 stalls are spread across 13 squares in Strasbourg. These squares include Place Broglie (The historic Christ Child Market), Cathédrale, Château, Corbeau, Place Kléber (The Great Christmas Tree is here), Marché-aux-Poissons, Meuniers, Temple Neuf, Saint-Thomas, Benjamin Zix, and on the terrace of the Palais Rohan (Alsatian Christmas Delicacies Market), and in Rue Gutenberg and Rue des Hallebardes.

Christmas market in Strasbourg Map, by Strasbourg Tourist Office

Christmas market in Strasbourg Map, by Strasbourg Tourist Office

Where to find the best food in Strasbourg

When it comes to fine dining while in Strasbourg, check out Restaurant Le Buerehiesel, Au Crocodile restaurant, Restaurant 1741, Les Funambules and Umami – each of these is a One Michelin Star restaurant. A city with five restaurants that hold one Michelin Star each!

Restaurant Le Buerehiesel (refined regional cuisine)

4 parc de l’Orangerie, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Au Crocodile restaurant (Classic Cuisine)

10 rue de l’Outre, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Restaurant 1741 (tasty, flavoursome, expertly done cuisine)

22 quai des Bateliers, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Les Funambules (precise and aromatic dishes)

17 rue Geiler, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Umami (creative, fusing flavours from near and far)

8 rue des Dentelles, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Other notable restaurants include Le Violon d’Ingres (impeccably prepared modern cuisine), Zuem Ysehuet (modern, seasonal cuisine), Mademoiselle 10 (bistro), Le Bistrot d’Antoine (super bristo), La Casserole (modern cuisine), Gavroche, Le Banquet des Sophistes (fusion cuisine), In Vino Veritas (Italian with a splendid focus on wine), Au Pont du Corbeau (Alsatian), La Vieille Enseigne (Alsatian), Utopie (creative local produce), La Brasserie des Haras (traditional dishes), Maison des Tanneurs dite Gerwerstub (Alsatian), La Vieille Tour (traditional cuisine) and Colbert (modern and fusion cuisine).

Some restaurants in this list are home to past Michelin Chefs and future top chefs – it is no surprise that the restaurants here get fully booked well in advance.

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Places to stay when visiting Strasbourg Christmas Market

There are many hotel options available when at Strasbourg. These include Hôtel Château de l’Ile, Pavillon Régent Petite France, Hôtel Régent Petite France & Spa, Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hôtel & Spa Autograph Collection and Hôtel Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Nov 2021 – World Travel Magazine.

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