This guide will walk you through the best Strasbourg Christmas markets for 2020. It contains everything you need to know – opening times, locations, must-try foods and where to stay.
The Christmas season in Europe is my favourite time of the year. The festive decorations, the Christmas spirit, the sparkling lights, the snow – all this brings a little magic in our daily life.
The Christmas markets in Berlin were the first ones that I visited. When it comes to Christmas spirit, Germany wins hands down.
However, there is one place in France, that could compare with the German festive atmosphere. According to some, it even wins first place. This region is called Alsace and it’s the most picturesque part of France.
The Christmas markets are not a traditional French thing. However, you can find plenty of them in Alsace, as this region was a part of Germany in the past.
The first market in Strasbourg (called Christkindelsmärik) took place in 1570 at Place Broglie. Initially, it was open for three days prior to Christmas Eve. Its main purpose was to sell provisions for the upcoming holidays such as spiced bread, candles, herbs, etc.
Although today Alsace is a French territory, the markets are still held every year as a part of a long-standing Christmas tradition.
Where is the Christmas market in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is not huge, so you could imagine that one or two markets are enough for that size of a city. Apparently the French think otherwise.
Thus it’s better to ask how many Christmas markets are in Strasbourg. There are 11 markets spread out across the small city centre! The shortest distance between any two of them is 50m and the longest one – 800m.
The main markets are at:
- Place de la Cathédrale
- Place Kléber
- Place Gutenberg
- Place Broglie
- Place du Château
There are six smaller ones at:
- Place du Marché aux Poisson
- Place du Temple Neuf
- Place Saint Thomas
- Place des Meuniers
- Place Benjamin-Zix
- Place Grimmeissen
When does Strasbourg Christmas market start
The Christmas markets start from 22 November and end on 24 December.
Strasbourg Christmas market opening times 2020
(please note that the dates for 2020 are yet to be announced)
Every day from 11:00 AM to 08:00 PM
Saturdays and Sundays – 11:00 AM to 09:00-10:00 PM
24th December – from 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM
25th December – closed
After Christmas, only the stalls at Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Château and Place du Marché-aux-Poissons are opened.
Where to stay in Strasbourg for Christmas markets
If you’re visiting Strasbourg for the Christmas markets, stay on the Grande Île, the city’s historic centre. This the best location for the following reasons:
- All markets are located within the Grande Île. You’ll be at just a short walk from all of them.
- There are security checks at each entrance to the Grande Île. If your hotel is on the Grande Île, you’ll avoid the inspection of your bag or backpack every time you want to enter the area.
Yet, keep in mind that you’ll have to pass through the security check with your suitcase on your way to the hotel. Thus, if you don’t want your suitcase to be inspected, choose a hotel outside the Grande Île. For me, the better option was to stay right in the historic centre and to pass the security check only once.
For more information, check out my guide to the best area to stay in Strasbourg.
Superb location, next to Place Kléber, where the Christmas tree is. Moreover, the hotel is just a few steps away from 3 more markets and La Petite France. Public parking is possible nearby.
Hôtel Gutenberg is right next to the market at Place Gutenberg. Also, there are 6 more markets in less than 250m away! It’s the perfect place to stay in December to explore the markets.
If you prefer to book an apartment, this the best option. Situated right next to the cathedral, these apartments offer everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Strasbourg Christmas markets 2020
Each market has its own speciality. However at most of them, you’ll find ornaments, all kinds of gifts, mulled wine and of course plenty of tasty local food and sweets.
The best Christmas markets in Strasbourg are at Place de la Cathédrale and Place Kléber.
Place de la Cathédrale
Located all around the cathedral, this market is a must-see, especially in the evening.
This is the place where the big Christmas Tree (Grand Sapin) is. The minimum height of the tree is 30m and it’s provided by France’s National Forestry Office. They start the search for the perfect Christmas tree early in March every year. To get a really glamours shape, more branches from other trees are added.
And finally, the tree is decorated with 7km of twinkling lights, baubles, angels and stars. In the end, it’s all worth it. It was one of the most sumptuous Christmas trees I’ve ever seen!
In the past, people used to put presents for the poor under the tree. Today, there are more than 60 charity stalls, selling souvenirs and food for a good cause. This market is called the Village of Sharing.
Each year Strasbourg dedicates this Christmas village to a different country. During my visit the guest country was Iceland.
This is the biggest market in Strasbourg. It is held in the place of the traditional Christkindelsmärik from the 16th century. Over 100 stalls offer festive decorations, pottery, glass jewellery, handmade toys and many more.
This market sells the best food and the variety is huge. If you look for a place to eat, go there. Also, I liked the mulled wine here most.
Place du Château
This small market right next to the palace is the most charming of all. The stalls are surrounded by half-timbered houses, decorated with bears and festive garlands.
Place du Marché aux Poisson
If you’re looking for some treats, visit the Christmas village at Place du Marché aux Poisson. The stalls are stocked with local wine, beer and tasty food from the region. Don’t miss to try Nut’Alsace, mouth-watering hazelnut cocoa spread (much better than Nutella).
Place du Temple Neuf
It’s a lovely small market for handicraft items in front of a 19th-century church.
Place Saint Thomas
This small market for festive decorations and food is right next to Saint Thomas Church.
Place des Meuniers
The market features products from small producers from Alsace.
Tucked away between half-timbered houses, it sells all kinds of decorations.
It’s an alternative market that features vintage furniture, original handicrafts and organic food.
Strasbourg Christmas market food
At most of the markets, you’ll find the usual stuff such as red and white mulled wine (vin chaud in French), gingerbread and sausages. Besides that, there are a few typical Alsatian dishes that are not to be missed.
Don’t forget to bring some cash with you. Most of the stalls accept only cash and coins.
Bretzel is the French version of the German pretzel. It’s made from brioche dough and comes in different sweet and savoury versions.
Beignet is a pastry made of deep-fried sweetened dough.
Chouquette is a Choux pastry sprinkled with sugar.
Flammekueche is a wood-fired pizza topped with crème Fraiche, bacon and onion.
Choucroute is a typical Alsatian dish. It’s a grated cabbage pickled in wine, accompanied by sausages and slow-cooked pork.
What to do in Strasbourg at Christmas
Every year a big Nativity scene is set inside the Strasbourg Cathedral. More nativity scenes you can find at the courtyard of Palais Rohan and in the shop windows on rue des Juifs and rue Brûlée.
You can find this super cute house with hanging polar bears right next to the market at Place du Château.
I know it’s cold, but don’t miss to take a walk and explore the little streets. The Christmas decoration is truly out of this world. Every shop is decorated with twinkling lights, pine trees and a lot of bears!
What is better than a cup of tea on a freezing cold day? Tea with cheesecake, of course! So take your time and stop for a huge piece of cheesecake at Salon de thé Grand’Rue.
How to get to Strasbourg Christmas market
The central train station (Gare de Strasbourg-Ville) is located less than 500m away from the Historic Centre. You can check timetables and book train tickets online at SNCF official site.
The closest airport is Strasbourg Airport (SXB), located in Entzheim. To get to the city centre just take the shuttle train directly from the airport.
You can also fly to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport in Germany (only 42km away). Check out my detailed guide on how to get from Baden-Baden to Strasbourg.
For the best flight deals see the Lufthansa official site (it’s the largest German airline).
If you’re flying to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport, don’t miss the gorgeous Christmas market in Karlsruhe.
The best Christmas markets near Strasbourg
If there is a place that can compare to Strasbourg, it’s Colmar. It’s a fairytale town, just 30min away by train. There are 6 Christmas markets, all of them in the Old Town. The markets start the last week of November and run till December, 24 (more info here).
For convenient accommodation, check out these great hotels in Colmar.
Find out more helpful information about Alsace in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide France.
Strasbourg Christmas market map
To help you navigate, I prepared a detailed map with all the markets. You can use it during your trip, you only need internet access.
The popular markets are marked in dark red, the smaller ones – in light red.
Find more information on the official website of Strasbourg.