The Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik is the oldest Christmas market in France, dating back to 1570 so it’s no surprise that the city considers itself the capital of Christmas.
Every year, from the last week in November to the end of December, the town gets taken over by all things Christmassy. Shop windows are transformed into winter wonderlands and the streets are decorated with twinkling lights and festive garlands.
The market spreads out across the centre of the town, focused around Cathedral square and Place Broglie where hundreds of stalls sell ornaments, toys, food and mulled wine to keep you warm as you browse.
From St Pancras Int’l, with a quick change in Paris, Strasbourg Christmas market is the perfect destination for a bit of Christmas shopping. This year the market runs from 24 November to 30 December 2018, so get planning now.
The market is made up of smaller, individual markets in different squares and streets across the Grand Ile.
Christkindelsmärik: the main event, craftsmen demonstrate their skill and sell their wares on Place Broglie and around the Cathedral.
Small producers of Alsace market: Small local growers and producers set up their stalls in Place des Meuniers for this delightful market of Alsatian tastes and flavours.
Christmas treats market: food, wine and beer from local bakers, wine producers and brewers at Place du Marché-aux-poissons, around the Palais Rohan.
Children’s World: Place Saint Thomas, great for families.
Sharing village: charities and humanitarian organisations set up here to help those in need overlooked by the stunning 30-metre-high Christmas tree – Place Kléber.
Christmas is where Strasbourg’s cuisine really come into its own. Heavy, warming food is perfect for this time of year and the sugar hit will keep your energy high for hours of shopping in the different markets.
Street food to try from the stands:
Bretzels – soft, bready pretzels
Bredeles – delicious little spiced biscuits in the shape of stars
Knacks – sausages of all sizes and descriptions
Pain d’epices – ginger bread – like a more subtle, firmer version of ginger cake
Vin chaud – mulled wine perfumed with spices and fruit – yum!
A great market for a family break or weekend shopping trip at 2 hrs 1 min from London.
The perfect place for a romantic Christmas break, and just 3 hrs 30 mins from London.
Ideal for a day trip, you can be browsing the Christmas market in just 1 hr 30 mins from London.
A little further afield, but well worth the trip for its traditional, festive atmosphere.
Image credits: © Christophe Hamm/OTSR; © Christophe Hamm/OTSR; © Shutterstock; © Gagliardi Images - Shutterstock; © Eurostar; © CityProjekt Veranstaltungs-GmbH; © Philippe de Rexel/OTSR; © Philippe de Rexel/OTSR