Things to do in Strasbourg, France at Christmas

Strasbourg at Christmas time looks to me like what Dr. Seuss had in mind when he built “Whoville” in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It is literally as if you are stepping into a magical city of lights, abundant, dare I say crazy, Christmas decorations on every single window, the smell of mulled wine wafting through the air, and Christmas music drifting through the picturesque town.

I have created a guide of things to do in Strasbourg at Christmas as well as a guide to the Christmas markets when you visit this magical city.

Strasbourg Christmas Market 2022: 25 November to 26 December 2022.

They don’t call it the Capital de Noël (Capital of Christmas) for nothing. Christmas markets in Strasbourg are world famous, and the giant Christmas tree in the city square might just bring tears to your eyes. The Alsace region of France might just be one of the most beautiful in Europe, but Strasbourg takes the cake when it comes to Christmas. I have put together a list of things to do in Strasbourg, France this Christmas that will make it one of the most memorable and magical ever.

Strasbourg is on the border between France and Germany, and it has indeed changed hands several times over the years. Although now a French city, it still has plenty of German influence. Don’t be surprised to hear German being spoken as you pass through the Christmas stalls. Getting to Strasbourg is easy as it has the second largest railway station after Paris. You can also fly to Karlsruhe, Germany airport which is about 45 minutes away. I often drive or take the bus from my city Heidelberg, Germanyonly about an hour away.

See my picks for the best Christmas markets in Europe here!

Christmas markets

There are not one, two or even seven Christmas markets in Strasbourg. There are ten. For a city of this size, it is downright redundant, but in the best possible way. This city is adorned from street to street with lights, wreaths and ornaments. It is easy to walk around the city to see all the markets in a day or two. The Christmas markets typically start in the last week of November (the 22nd) and end on Christmas Eve (December 24).

The Strasbourg Christmas market dates for 2022 are 25 November to 26 December 2022. After Christmas there are a few markets that are still open.

Of course, there are many Christmas markets around the world, and especially in Germany, but the Christmas market in Strasbourg seems to have an extra twinkle in its eye. The markets represent a time from the past when families came together to celebrate, indulge and share. It is unique that Christmas markets are here and it goes back to the fact that Germany once ruled this area. The Christmas market tradition is distinctly German, so it is special that this tradition still exists in France. You will find the most famous one Christkindelsmärik on Place Broglie, which dates back to 1570, which is one of the oldest markets in Europe.

See my full itinerary for the Christmas market road trip here!

In total, there are over 300 stalls throughout the city, so you’re sure to find one as you stroll along. At the bottom of this post I list all the markets taking place.

Check out the cathedral

That Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most magnificent structures I have ever seen. From the 15th to the 17th century it was the tallest building in the world. Holding onto that ranking during that period means it was an architectural masterpiece and one of the best representations of Gothic art. Go inside to see the beautiful structure up close and see the astronomical clock. Don’t forget to climb the tower for an impressive view of the city.

Of course there is a Christmas market outside the cathedral and it is one of the most historic. You can sip mulled wine as the cathedral bells occasionally ring. Here there are over 100 huts (these are stalls or stands) that offer Christmas decorations, sheepskins, gloves, hot drinks and delicious food.

Eat a German-French fusion

Strasbourg is certainly a good place to be for gastronomic purposes. There are two restaurants that even have three Michelin stars (Au Crocodile and Buerehiesel). Of course, with all this mix of German and French influence, it produced some very tasty food. One of my favorites is The flame watcher also known as tarte flambée. It is a very thin pizza topped with sour cream, finely sliced ​​onion and ham.

The intoxicating smell of the sizzling onions will tempt anyone to try it. There are a variety of options and toppings, so you can find one that suits your taste. A good place to check out is L’Ancienne Douane which is known for their Alsatian cuisine.

Admire the Christmas tree

What is it about Christmas trees that inspires a childlike wonder in all of us? There is something just so magical about the combination of evergreens, lights and ornaments that always fills me with joy. When it comes to Christmas trees in Strasbourg, they have decided that bigger is better. The tree must be at least 30 meters high and tower over the square and be illuminated with 7 kilometers of flashing lights. Located on Place Kléber, it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and every year brings a different theme.

On weekend nights and closer to Christmas you can see live music right next to the tree. There is also ample shopping around and near the square should you need Christmas presents. Just watching the lights light up as the sky darkens is the star of the Christmas show in Strasbourg.

Little France

This is one of the most charming areas to see in all of Europe. It is a historic district of Strasbourg surrounded by half-timbered houses flanking the river. At Christmas, of course, it lights up even more. Walk through the canals to see the 14th-century towers and stroll through the cobbled streets to find traditional restaurants and shops. Don’t forget to stop and take a picture at the Quartier des Tanneurs, one of the best places for pictures in Strasbourg.

One of the best parts of walking around Petite France is the fact that it is so well preserved. Here, of course, you will also find a Christmas market. You really feel like you are stepping back in time. When the bridges light up and glow over the water, you can’t help but feel romantic.

Brief overview of Christmas markets:

Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie is the best known.

Place de la Cathédrale – Strasbourg Cathedral Market.

Place Kléber or “Sharing Market” with the big Christmas tree

Place du marché-aux-Poissons, terrasse du Palais rohan et rue rohan – Outside the Palace Rohan and known for Christmas goodies.

Place Benjamin-Zix is ​​also known as the “Three Kings” market and is located in Petite France.

Place du Temple-Neuf takes place at the Carré d’or.

Place des Meuniers for a smaller market.

Place Gutenberg is often where another country is presented and their Christmas traditions are celebrated.

To find out about Christmas events in Strasbourg check out this calendar.

Where to stay in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is a relatively small city, so you can’t really go wrong with your stay here. However, I suggest you stay in Grande Île, the historic center of the city. Here, all the Christmas markets are within walking distance. I suggest Hotel Gutenburg – extremely good reviews and a fair price!

See even more hotels here:

Check out my itinerary for my Christmas market road trip here!

Find the best Christmas markets in Europe here!

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