As the capital of France’s Alsace region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the European Parliament, there’s plenty to see and do in Strasbourg. With two days you can cover the city’s historic heart, its top sights, the nearby wine region, and, in December, the Christmas markets. Here’s how.
Christmas Market (Christkindelsmärik)
Place Broglie, Strasbourg
Located in the city’s Grand Île district, the annual Christmas Market is a carnival of the senses—little wonder that Strasbourg bills itself as “the capital of Christmas.” Wander the 300-plus wooden chalet-style stalls that sell an array of festive gifts, and sample the fragrant mulled wine that perfumes the market. Spread across numerous public squares in the city’s historic heart, the market also includes performances for children and Christmas light installations.
The Strasbourg Christmas Market, located in a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, features on numerous sightseeing itineraries. Book a small-group or private experience, and let a local lead you through the crowds to market highlights.
Things to Know Before You Go
Every year, the Christkindelsmärik is crowned with its Great Christmas Tree—some annual specimens exceed 115 feet (35 meters).
Be sure to samplebredeles during your visit: the Alsatian cookies are a Christmas tradition and typically flavored with orange and cinnamon, anise, and other spices.
Public bathrooms are available at most of the main market squares.
Due to the crowds, narrow passageways, and uneven surfaces, the markets are not readily accessible to wheelchair users.
Note that security checks are conducted at main entrances to the market.
How to Get There
The Christkindelsmärik is located in Strasbourg’s central Grand Île area, with different sections of the market situated in different areas. Head to Place Kléber to take in the Christmas tree, skating rink, and craft exhibition; see an array of stallholders at Place Broglie; and sample Alsatian delicacies at Place du Marché-aux-Poissons. When the market is open, trams do not stop at certain stations, and the area is closed to vehicular traffic—so it’s best to explore on foot.
When to Get There
The Christkindelsmärik is open for the Christmas season, typically from late November to the end of December, though exact dates vary from year to year. The market is closed on Christmas Day, and hours vary throughout the festive period. Visit by day to browse the stalls and pick up gifts and souvenirs, or visit by night to see the city at its most brilliantly festive.
Alternative Christmas Market Experiences
There’s more to the Christkindelsmärik than shops and ice skating. Seek out some of the market’s lesser-known draws. The OFF Market, hosted at Place Grimmeissen, showcases vintage goods and customized gifts, and encourages mindful consumption, while the Dedicated Small Alsatian Producers Market at Place des Meuniers offers tastes of local delicacies. For a tranquil light show, walk along the newly renovated promenade at Quai des Bateliers.
- Things to do in Alsace
- Things to do in Basel
- Things to do in Zurich
- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Lucerne
- Things to do in Frankfurt
- Things to do in Dijon
- Things to do in Montreux
- Things to do in Davos
- Things to do in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- Things to do in Reims
- Things to do in Munich
- Things to do in Lake Como
- Things to do in Central Switzerland
- Things to do in Swiss Alps