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Strasbourg at Christmas Time
If you are visiting France in December and have a couple of extra days, why not jump on a train to explore one of the best Christmas Markets in Alsace? There are beautiful Christmas markets in Paris and other cities in France, but for the quintessential fairytale Christmas market, Strasbourg is the place to go.
Expect over 300 wooden chalets spread around different squares in Strasbourg and offering unique gifts, Christmas decorations, and delicious food in a fairytale atmosphere.
Colmar or Strasbourg Christmas Market? Both Christmas markets are lovely, but Strasbourg is nicknamed the Christmas capital for a reason! The Christmas market in Strasbourg is more extensive, with more sites, chalets, and activities for all ages. Also, Strasbourg is better connected with other cities in Europe than Colmar. If you only have one day available, the Colmar Christmas Market is smaller and easier to visit on a day trip.
Strasbourg Christmas Market 2021 – Dates and Opening Hours
This year, the Christmas Market in Strasbourg will open from 26 November to 26 December 2021. Strasbourg is one of the top places to visit in France in winter, especially during the Christmas holidays, so booking everything well in advance is essential.
If possible, try to visit Strasbourg in November, ideally during the week. There’s always a lot of people during the weekends! Here are the Strasbourg Christmas Market opening hours:
- Friday 26 November, from 2 to 9 pm.
- From 27 November to 23 December: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm, Friday from 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm.
- 24 December, from 11 am to 6 pm.
- 25 December, from 2 to 6 pm.
- 26 December, from 12 pm to 6 pm.
Christmas Market in Strasbourg – Spend at least One Night On-site
The Strasbourg Chrismas Market is big, with many locations. Therefore, plan at least one night in Strasbourg if you want to get the most of it.
The advantage of staying overnight is that you can enjoy the city when the day crowds are gone. Little France or the Cathedral Square early in the morning when everybody still sleeps are wonderful. With two days in Strasbourg, you can also visit some of the city’s tourist attractions.
Finding accommodation in Strasbourg during Christmas will not be difficult as long as you book well in advance. Expect higher prices during the weekends, so here’s another reason to visit the Strasbourg Christmas Market on weekdays.
TIP: Hotel Cathédrale is our favorite hotel to explore the Christmas markets in Strasbourg. It is located in Place de la Cathédrale, within walking distance of all the markets, and it has well-equipped rooms and unbeatable views over the famous Strasbourg Cathedral.
If Strasbourg is part of an Alsace road trip, Comfort Hotel Strasbourg – Montagne Verte is the place to go. The hotel is not far from the center and offers free private parking apart from decent rooms and an excellent breakfast.
For more options, check out this post on where to stay in Strasbourg – the best neighborhoods and accommodation options for all travelers.
Strasbourg Christmas Market by Train
A trip to Strasbourg by train is very easy to plan. The central station (Gare de Strasbourg-Ville) is less than 500 meters from the historic center.
Trains to Strasbourg leave from Paris Gare de l’Est train station, in Paris 10. The distance from Paris to Strasbourg is 438km and count on taking it 2 hours to Strasbourg. Most of the trains Paris – Strasbourg are direct. – Click here to book your train from Paris to Strasbourg.
Trains from Lyon to Strasbourg leave from Lyon Part Dieu train station. The distance from Paris to Strasbourg is 504km and count on taking it 4 hours to Strasbourg – Click here to book your train from Lyon to Strasbourg.
You can travel to Strasbourg with SNCF, inOui, and Deutsche Bahn (from Paris). inOui is SNCF’s low-cost line (lesser space, no internet onboard, only online booking & assistance), while Deutsche Bahn is the German train company. SNCF and Deutsche Bahn offer the same comfort level (I prefer Deutsche Bahn trains, though…) so I would choose based on the prize.
Strasbourg Christmas Market by Car
Do you want to visit the Christmas Market in Strasbourg as part of an Alsace road trip? A car in Strasbourg during Christmas is always challenging!
The Grande-Île is entirely pedestrian during the opening hours of the Christmas market. It is not possible to park in the old town during this period either.
Thanks to the Relais-Tram car parks, you can park your car inexpensively and use the tram to get to the city center. The tram ticket is valid (both outward and return) for all vehicle occupants up to 7 people.
Christmas Markets in Strasbourg – Top Sites
The Strasbourg Christmas Market is huge: you can easily spend a whole day strolling around, more if you participate in the workshops and activities. Actually, it is made up of different Christmas markets, set in different locations.
All the Christmas markets in Strasbourg are located on the Grande Île de Strasbourg – Strasbourg’s beating heart–, set this year in a total of 13 sites hosting more than 300 chalets. But don’t worry, the distances are short, and you can easily walk from one market to another while admiring the Christmas lights and decorations.
The Grande Île de Strasbourg is completely pedestrian throughout the duration of the Christmas market. Use the tram to reach the Grande Ile (Place Broglie station closed) and then walk.
TIP: if you visit Strasbourg for the day, a Strasbourg Christmas Market tour is a good idea. Discover the main secrets of the Christmas markets in Strasbourg with a local guide, and listen to fun and unusual anecdotes and local traditions as you explore the city
Here are the main places where the Christmas markets in Strasbourg are located, the whole historic center is celebrating!
Place Broglie. This square hosted the very first Christkindelsmärik in 1871, and since then, it has been Strasbourg Christmas Market’s beating heart. Place Broglie is also the square where Strasbourg’s Hotel de Ville is located. This year, its façade will light up every day to tell visitors about the characters who inhabit the tales and legends associated with the Christkindelsmärik (from 5 pm, every 40 minutes).
Place de la Cathédrale. This Christmas market is located in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral, one of France’s best Gothic cathedrals. It is gorgeous to explore at night.
Place Kléber. One of the main squares in Strasbourg, it hosts the famous Grand Sapin every year. Thirty meters high, Strasbourg’s Christmas tree is the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Europe, and it is stunning! You will also find numerous chalets, the Village du Partage, and an ice rink.
Place Gutenberg. Strasbourg features a different country every year, and you will find the chalets dedicated to the guest country in this square. The guest country in 2021 is Germany, a country well-known for its Christmas markets. Strasbourg will honor in particular its two twinned cities: Dresden and Stuttgart.
In front of the Palais des Rohan and Place du Marché aux Poissons. Here, you will find the Marché des Délices, with local specialties and food workshops for the little ones. It is the place to taste the traditional bredele, mannele, and gingerbread made in Alsace.
Place Benjamin Zix. Located in famous Petite France, this is one of the most picturesque Christmas markets.
Place des Meuniers. Also located in picturesque Petite France, this market is dedicated to the small, Alsatian producers, with unique, quality handmade gifts ad excellent local products (cheese, beer, honey, sweets).
Place Gayot. This is one of the prettiest squares in Strasbourg. Here, there’s an original Christmas tree and many free workshops for children to create their own Christmas decorations and more.
Place Grimmeisen. Here, you will find the Marché Off, Strasbourg’s social and solidarity market. Discover thirty or so local companies involved in responsible purchasing have united to offer an original, festive, and committed market. This market is aimed mainly at locals, but of course, you will be most welcome.
Strasbourg during Christmas – What to Expect
After one year without Christmas markets because of the pandemic, the Christmas Market in Strasbourg is back with more locations so people can circulate better.
Wearing a mask that covers the mouth and nose is compulsory in all the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg. For the time being, the Health Pass (or your local vaccination card) will be necessary only to access the food courts. This might change if the tax incidence rises over 200 positive cases out of 100,000 inhabitants.
New restrictions in the Strasbourg Christmas Market: the implementation of the health pass at the entrance to places Broglie and Kléber, the increase in restaurant areas subject to health passes, and the closing of the Christmas market, every evening at 8 pm (instead of 9 pm on Friday and 10 pm on Saturday). These measures will take effect on Friday 3 December.
Expect a unique and magical atmosphere, where streets, houses, bridges, church facades, and most beautiful monuments are beautifully dressed with Christmas lights and decorations.
This year, don’t miss Strasbourg’s ‘Star Walk,‘ a light path from Place Louise Weiss to Quai des Bateliers with more than 600 stars hung here and there, highlighting Strasbourg’s historical and architectural heritage. These stars will also guide you through the different Strasbourg Christmas Markets.
In the Strasbourg Christmas Market there’s something to see everywhere, but don’t miss the Christmas illuminations in these places:
- Rue du VieuxMarché-aux-Poissons. Go through the Porte des Lumières to enter the magic of Strasbourg Capitale de Noël.
- Intersection Rue du VieuxMarché-aux-Poissons /Rue Mercière
- Place de la Cathédrale
- Rue des Tonneliers
- Rue des Hallebardes
- Rue de la Mésange
- Rue du 22 Novembre
- Place des Halles
What to Do in the Strasbourg Christmas Markets
Apart from strolling around the different Strasbourg Christmas Markets and soaking up the city’s unique atmosphere, here are the things you don’t want to miss in Strasbourg at Christmas time. Ask at the Strasbourg Tourism Office (17 Place de la Cathédrale) for the full program and times.
- The show ‘1,2,3,4 … Allumons les Étoiles’: meeting every Saturday at 6.00 pm to discover a new light show around the Barrage Vauban.
- Ice-skating, on the rink at Place Kléber
- Guided visits, with different topics related to Christmas in Strasbourg
- Advent shows, every Saturday from 27 November to 18 December at the Village de l’Advent (Place Louise Weiss)
- This year, Germany is the guest country, with a whole dedicated artistic program
- L’Hôtel des Contes’, a visual show, ‘ on the legend of Christkindel is projected on the facade of the town hall every day at Place Broglie.
- Soupe Étoilée Humanis, created by Michelin-starred chefs, and prepared with the help of people in integration at the Village du Partage, place Kléber. The profits from its sale support professional integration activities.
- Noël de la Brocante at salle de fêtes de l’Aubette. Ten antique dealers and second-hand dealers promote the popular arts and traditions of Alsace in all their diversity: pottery, earthenware, tableware, glassware, etc.
- Tour du Monde des traditions de Noël at Cour Saint-Nicolas (3 rue du Parchemin). In the main courtyard of the archdiocese, nicknamed ‘Saint Nicolas court”, discover the many symbols of Christmas in Alsace and around the world.
- The cathedral’s Christmas crib. Presented over 18 meters long, this nativity scene dating from 1907 is a pure marvel.
From the city, you can also visit other Christmas Markets in Alsace on day trips from Strasbourg.
From here, it is very easy to visit other Alsace Christmas Markets by train in Obernai, Sélestat, and Colmar. If you visit the Alsace by car, you can venture to other Christmas markets in Riquewihr, Eguisheim, or Kaysersberg.
You can also take a Christmas guided tour with transportation and spend a fabulous full day visiting beautiful villages and towns decorated for Christmas.
So there you have it, the Strasbourg Christmas Market 2021 guide with everything you need to know to have a wonderful time in Strasbourg at Christmas time.