Discover the Strasbourg Christmas Market

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The Strasbourg Christmas market is a vast outdoor public space spreads all over the Old Town which sells anything to do with Christmas. It is locally called Christkindelsmärik (Marché de l’Enfant Jésus) and is one of the oldest in Europe. In 2014 and 2015, the Christmas market of Strasbourg was voted “Europe’s best Christmas Market”.


Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas

In 2017, Strasbourg’s Christmas market starts on 24 November and ends on 24 December.

Everyday from 10am to 8pm, the little stalls made of wood (called châlets) will sell decorations, local products and craftsmanship, without forgetting “vin chaud” (mulled wine), Christmas cakes, biscuits and gingerbread.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Christkindelsmärik, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The market’s decorations and illuminations are particularly treated with great care. Sometimes, a market will feature street parades, sound and light shows or bands playing Christmas music.

Strasbourg’s Christmas market is the oldest in France, dating back to 1570, at a time when the Alsatian capital was not even French. In Alsace, it is locally known as the “Christkindelsmärik”, and takes place in the Old Town.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Place Kléber, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

However, due to an important renewal of the Christmas markets in the 1990’s, they have become more linked to a commercial motive, to which some Alsatian markets respond by redefining their appearance. Since the opening of the new high-speed-train between Paris and Strasbourg in 2007 (TGV Est-Européen), which links the two cities within 2.45 hours, a day spent in the capital of Alsace’s market has become an extremely popular outing for Parisians. Strasbourg is a heavily crowded-city each weekend in December, so if you can, it is maybe preferable to go to the villages along the Alsace Wine Route.

In 2014 and 2015, the Christmas market of Strasbourg was voted “Europe’s best Christmas Market” by travel organisation Europe Best Vacation based on thousands of votes through social networks, ahead of famous destinations such as Vienna, Dresden, Nuremberg, Cologne and Basel.


Discovering the Strasbourg Christmas Market

Strasbourg proclaimed itself the “Capital of Christmas”. Despite whether it is true or not (our German friends may not agree with that one as the markets of Dresden and Nuremberg also date back to the Middle-Ages!), the Christmas Market in Strasbourg has certainly become world famous. It is actually spread throughout the Old Town in separate themed-locations:

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Place Broglie, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The traditional “Christkindelsmärik”, is held in Place Broglie. It specialises in Christmas decorations.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Temple Neuf, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The Christmas market of Place du Temple Neuf features the stands of the Carré d’Or Traders’ Association.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Place du Corbeau, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Place de la cathédrale, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The Christmas Market on Place de la cathédrale is famous for its superb location at the foot of the Cathedral. Another market is found in the adjoining Place du Château.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Place Gutenberg, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The Village of Sharing is located in Place Kléber. It is said that the “Strasbourgeois” used to put presents for the poor at the foot of the Tree. Today, more than 60 charities have stalls and invite the visitors to get involved with their generous cause. There you can also admire the 30 metre high Christmas tree which comes from the Vosges Mountains, and whose elaborate decoration changes every year.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Strasbourg Christmas Market: the Petite France district © French Moments

The European village market stands on Place Gutenberg. Every year, Strasbourg honours a particular European country. In 2017, the guest country is Iceland. (in 2009: Russia, in 2011: Switzerland, in 2012: Georgia, in 2013: Croatia, the newest member of the European Union, in 2014: Belgium, in 2015: Luxembourg, in 2016: Portugal).

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Foie gras, Strasbourg Christmas Market © French Moments

The Foie Gras market in the Ancienne Douane, Rue de l’Ancienne Douane where local producers of foie gras organise degustations, cooking and historic workshops.

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Strasbourg Christmas Market: the Petite France district © French Moments

The market of the “Invincible Small Producers of Alsace”, on Place des Meuniers, and “The trading place of the Three Kings”, on Place Benjamin-Zix, both located in the Petite France district.


Find out more about Strasbourg’s Christmas markets on the following links:

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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