I have been blogging for 2 and a half years, yet I have never shared much content about France if any at all. Today is the day I am fixing this and to start I am taking you to my hometown – the beautiful Strasbourg!
I come home for Christmas every year and if there is one thing we are good at in Alsace, apart from wine and food (duh!), it is Christmas Markets. Almost every town and village has one in Alsace. So join me to visit Strasbourg Christmas Market, one of the biggest and oldest in Europe!
Special note: We were in Strasbourg exactly a week after the terrible attack. I wasn’t too sure if that was necessary to mention it but I thought I would acknowledge the situation and give you the context in case it can help assure anyone who may hesitate to go.
There are many squares and streets filled with little wood cabins around Christmas time so my overall guidance would be to simply get lost in the small cobbled streets of the city centre. Wherever you will look you will see Christmas lights, decoration and a sign for some ‘vin chaud’ (mulled wine).
Let me show you some of my favourite parts of Strasbourg Christmas Market, to help you plan your visit. We are starting in La Petite France. This is the oldest neighbourhood of Strasbourg and by far the most charming. The cobbled streets are surrounded by traditional colourful Alsatian timbered houses.
This part of Strasbourg is so picturesque that it has some serious Disney fairy tale vibes. No wonder Alsace’s villages were the main inspiration to the Beauty and the Beast town.
Enjoy the views of the river, admire the local architecture, watch the boats passing through the locks and do a bit of Christmas shopping.
Walking toward the city centre we swung by Église Saint Thomas. Another market fills the church’s square.
We continued our tour via Place Gutenberg, where yet again we found a group of wood cabins. These are reserved for the guest country. Each year Strasbourg invites another country to co-host the Christmas Market. In 2017 it was Iceland and this year Finland was there.
Salmons were being smoked on the square, they smelled delicious but it was only half past ten so we didn’t feel like eating any just yet.
We then went to see one very old lady, the rather giant Notre Dame de Strasbourg cathedral.
It is extremely tall so the traditional houses and the market look completely dwarfed next to it.
We did a quick detour via Place du Marché-Gayot. Insider info: this is a great place to grab a drink in the summer!
Having worked up an appetite we headed to Place Broglie to grab lunch at yet again another market.
If you are visiting Strasbourg Christmas Market you HAVE TO have a tartine inspired by our traditional tartes flambées for lunch. Big and rich, they are great to share!
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the city centre and running errands, ending our daylight visit on Place Kleber where the huge Christmas tree towers.
The sun started to set and the magic of Christmas started to light up in all its glory in the streets of the city. Everywhere we looked Christmas lights were on!
With the sun gone we both agreed that now was an acceptable time to get some vin chaud. We picked red mulled wine but it is traditional in Alsace to also serve white mulled wine, both are warming and delicious!
We walked down toward the river and explored a few more streets.
We ended our visit of Strasbourg Christmas Market at the Palais de Rohan before meeting my parents for a traditional Alsatian winstub dinner at Au Pont Corbeau.