Long on my list, the self-proclaimed ‘Capital of Christmas‘ – Strasbourg Christmas Markets were some of my favorite Christmas Markets in France. After a long time I finally took the plunge, rented a car, and drove from my home in Antwerp, Belgium down to Strasbourg, and tackled my fear of driving in unfamiliar cities.
The Strasbourg Christmas Markets 2023 did not disappoint in the slightest. In fact, they kind of blew me away. And this may be a controversial opinion, but I think they’re even better than Colmar Christmas Markets. Only by a teeny-tiny amount though.
The city of Strasbourg is breathtakingly beautiful. Ringed by the River Ill and near the majestic Rhine River, walking around the center of Strasbourg is like stepping back in time. With timber homes that have been carefully preserved, you can easily imagine what life was like hundreds of years ago when this was a Medieval stronghold due to its important geographical position.
Enjoy the Christmas Markets of Strasbourg with a guided tour. Learn the history of Christmas in the region, and how it originated over 2 hours. Explore the markets and learn insider tips and tricks.
Strasbourg Christmas Market Dates
The Christmas Markets in Strasbourg run from 24th November 2023 until the 24th December 2023.
The Christmas Market stalls are operational every day from 11.30 am until 9 pm.
The Grand Sapin has a cute light show on the hour every hour from 4 pm until 9 pm, where you can watch it twinkle and ‘dance’ to the music.
Strasbourg Christmas Markets
There are a number of Christmas markets in Strasbourg that are located around the historic part of the city. You can easily walk between each of the Christmas Markets and is the best way to discover the city of Strasbourg too.
Trust me there is a lot to see in this beautiful city. It’s worth spending at least 2 days to get a feel for the city and not only visit the Christmas Markets but also to visit the city and it’s beautiful streets.
Strasbourg Christmas market map
Place Broglie – Chrìstkìndelsmärik
One of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe that dates all the way back to 1570, once you pass through the large archway you’ll find yourself in a sea of stalls selling sweets, mulled wine, and lots of deliciousness. This was the only place I spotted the divine Grumbeerekiechle (Galettes de pomme de Terre) which are worth a visit alone. You can find out more information about the Strasbourg Christmas Market Food below.
Head to the nearby chalet that is decorated with pictures of celebrities who have visited the Chrìstkìndelsmärik in Place Broglie and enjoy your Christmas Market food.
Place de la Cathédrale
The stalls around the Notre Dame Cathedral are especially beautiful in the evening when the festive lighting is turned on. With plenty of shopping with stalls selling Nutcracker figurines, small traditional Alsatian houses and lots of options for mulled wine, you’ll be entertained for quite some time here.
The backdrop of the Cathedral is especially enchanting, and should you venture a few feet you’ll find an atmospheric street adorned with teddy bears occupying windows and one of the prettiest streets in Strasbourg – Rue du Maroquin.
Place du Chateau
An extension of Place de la Cathédrale that has additional stalls selling jewelry, food and drinks. A gorgeous 2-floor carousel illuminates the Cathedral and makes for a stunning setting.
Home to the enormous Strasbourg Christmas Tree (Le Grand Sapin) you’ll find one of the biggest and busiest spots at the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg. Complete with plenty of places to pick up some gifts, mulled wine or some bretzels, make sure to watch the light show on the hour as the Le Grand Sapin dances to timed music.
the quai des délices
One of the quaintest settings of the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg is along the banks of the River Ill. Head here for sunset and watch the river cruise boats pass by with a cup of Glühwein in hand. The nearby stalls are mostly food and are more tranquil than the large places like Place Kléber.
la petite France
Two markets are worth exploring in this area of La Petite France – Place Benjamin Zix & Place Saint-Thomas. If you have a sweet tooth you’ll find your fix here, and there are more goods such as candles, small ceramic figurines being sold too.
the off-market – Place grimmeissen
If sustainability is your thing, you will LOVE ‘Le Marché Off‘ – this was one of my favorite Christmas Markets in Strasbourg. The stalls have been set up in former shipping containers and sell a variety of vintage clothing, handcrafted ceramics, stationary, artworks, and lots of other incredibly locally produced goods.
Strasbourg Christmas tree (Le Grand Sapin)
I’ll admit I didn’t really know much about Strasbourg before I planned my visit to the Christmas Markets. Let alone about the enormous Strasbourg Christmas Tree, it came as quite a surprise when I turned onto Place Kléber and found easily the tallest tree I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
For reference, I’m a city girl and live in an apartment, but I’d like to think most people would be completely blown away by how enormous ‘Le Grand Sapin‘ aka the Strasbourg Christmas Tree is.
The Strasbourg Christmas Tree soars 30 meters (98 feet) high and has over 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) of lights that adorn its branches! It’s HUGE! It’s one of the most important fixtures at the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and really needs to be seen to be believed.
One of the most interesting facts that I learned about the history of Christmas whilst in Strasbourg, was that the glass bauble we traditionally decorate our tree supposedly occurred during the 18th century when trees were decorated with nuts, biscuits and apples.
A shortage of apples that particular season led to glassblowers from the Meisenthal glassmakers creating decorative baubles to hang up in the apple’s absence. Et Voilà! The Christmas Tree took on a new life.
Strasbourg Christmas market food
- Bretzel – The Alsace region is known for its Bretzel’s (pretzel) and you’ll find a variety of flavors – plain with sea salt, cheese from the town of Munster (I highly recommend this one), and other toppings. They’re everywhere!
- Glühwein – You’ll see signs for ‘Le Vin Chaud‘ everywhere you go. Glühwein or mulled wine is typically a red wine that is served hot with spices such as star anise or cinnamon. You can also find a white mulled wine variety too, as well as apple cider in some of the stalls in the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg.
However, if you’re looking for cute and adorable mugs like the ones found in the German or Austrian Christmas Markets you’ll be very disappointed (I know I was!). Only plastic-decorated cups are found at the Markets and you’ll pay a €1 or €2 deposit for the cup.
- Bredle – you’ll see these adorable varieties of small biscuits/cookies everywhere you go in Strasbourg or Alsace. They are delicious and it’s best to grab a mixture to nibble on. They also make a wonderful gift, but make sure the package is vacuumed and sealed. As they do get stale easily.
The flavors of endless from gingerbread, and butter cookies to anise. You can purchase from the many market stalls in Strasbourg Christmas Markets or any of the bakeries or patisseries around town.
- Grumbeerekiechle (Galettes de pomme de Terre) – Potato rösti’s are some of my favourite Christmas Market food. And I actually only found these in one stall in Strasbourg and they did not disappoint. Offering 3 varieties, original, Emmental cheese or Munster cheese – I recommend the cheesy ones as a must-try. Divine!
- Chestnuts (Le Marron) – Roasted chestnuts are available on pretty much every street corner. I’ve still yet to try them, but they smell heavenly.
- Mannele – A brioche figure typically in the shape of a child. It looks like a doll. Tastes delicious. Can be plain or have chocolate chips throughout it. Traditionally eaten around December 6th when Saint Nicholas (Nick) visits well-behaved children. Sinterklaas in Belgium.
Where to Stay in Strasbourg for the Christmas markets
The best place to stay in Strasbourg for the Christmas Markets is in the center of the city. You can walk out of your accommodation and be within minutes of the markets that are dotted around the town.
- Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa – This gorgeous hotel is just a 1-minute walk from Le Grand Sapin in Place Kléber and is ornately decorated.
- Hotel Suisse – This adorable hotel with a cozy feel is located right beside the Cathedral and one of the prettiest sections of the Strasbourg Christmas Markets.
Alternatively, if you want to save a bit of money consider staying on the German side of Strasbourg in the town of Kehl. I based my stay here and found it super easy to hop on a tram (the D tram) which drops you off in the center of Strasbourg 20 minutes later (Homme de Fer is the city-center tram stop). Hotels and accommodation are a fraction of the price too.
- Hotel Restaurant Schwert – I stayed in Hotel Restaurant Schwert for the Strasbourg Christmas Markets in the German town of Kehl and I found it perfectly fine. Onsite parking, a 5-minute walk to the tram (line D), and it was only a 20-minute tram ride into Strasbourg. Perfectly fine budget accommodation.
Christmas Markets in Alsace
You’ve come all this way to Strasbourg then you’ve got to check out the nearby Christmas Markets of Colmar and the adorable Christmas Villages of Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Kayserberg and so many more!
Colmar is a 1 hour drive from Strasbourg and all the route you’ll find lots of adorable villages that are picture-postcard-perfect. The village of Riquewihr completely stole my heart and is probably one of the most incredible and festive towns I’ve ever been to.
Budget your time to spend at least 2 – 3 days bouncing around these towns. There is a lot to see in the area, and it also happens to have fantastic wine that is worthy of exploring on the infamous ‘Alsace Wine Route‘ that can be explored by car, bicycle or even on foot.
Interested in more european christmas markets?
There are so many Christmas Markets around Europe that are worth exploring. You’d need several seasons to try and cover them all. At least that’s what I’m trying to do!
For more information on the German Christmas Markets:
Read my post and discover the Vienna Christmas Markets too.