CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
Note this article was previously published, but has been updated for the 2015 season. Enjoy!
Strasbourg, France is known as the Noel Capital and has held a Christmas Market since 1570. I’ll take those as two good signs that it is a market worth seeing! And the experience did not disappoint!
First of all, it is huge! Instead of one market area, there are over 300 vendors in 11 different areas spread around downtown Strasbourg. Each area is well-marked with a map and the different areas are easily in walking distance from each other. Each separate area has it’s own feel and specialties.
One area Place Saint Thomas, is for children and has activities for children through the season. At 1430, 1600 and 1730 there are shows for families. Each show is free, but space is limited. AT Place Dauphine you and the kids can even skate in a large ice rink.
The Place d’Austerlitz area is filled with all types of food from Alsace, this region of France. A dazzling Christmas tree stands in the Place Kléber. It is surrounded by 60 Christmas stalls with information about charitable giving.
One of the most jaw-dropping sites of Strasbourg is the cathedral. This is where the first Christmas markets opened over 400 years ago. Today, the area at the foot of the cathedral is still a Christmas market. It was my favorite part, simply because of the setting. If you have a chance to go inside the cathedral, be sure to check out the astronomical clock.
An interesting historical fact: The Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot was an al-Qaeda plan to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market at the feet of Strasbourg Cathedral during the Christmas celebrations of 2000. French and German police prevented the bombing and thankfully, the event never happened.
Strasbourg shops are open on Sundays through the season, so you can shop at the market and the stores. Many of the restaurants, shops and homes are decorated to match the Christmas market and add to the festive atmosphere.
One of my favorite part of any Christmas market is the gluhwein. It is available in Strasbourg too. As with most Christmas markets, you can pay a fee (1 euro) and keep your cup. The only difference is that the cups are plastic here. Their aim is to be more ecologically sound.
There are many other Advent and Christmas events in Strasbourg through the season. Check the Strasbourg Christmas website for information about concerts, art shows, special tours, and more.
Tips For Your Trip:
Open from 27 November – 24 December, 2015.
Sundays to Thursdays: from 10am to 8pm
Fridays and Saturdays: from 10am to 9pm
24th of December: from 10am to 6pm
Strasbourg Christmas Market Map I’d suggest printing this out and brining it with you. It matches the large maps posted in each of the areas, and will help keep you oriented.
Parking There are many parking garages in Strasbourg. The link also shows some of the parking garages a little ways out, but accessible via tram.
Hotel Cathedrale, an amazing place to stay right on the cathedral square. This article also has more information about the cathedral.