If you would like to visit a European Christmas market like no other, then Strasbourg Christmas markets are certainly worth considering.

Renowned for its festive traditions, this Alsace city turns into what it calls the ‘Capital of Christmas’ in the winter months.

The crown jewel is the Christkindelsmärik (Christ Child Market) with its rich history, lovely festive atmosphere and a unique combination of French and German traditions that promise to deliver an unforgettable festive experience.

Here, the Christmas.co.uk take a closer look at the Strasbourg Christmas markets and its more than 300 stalls to help you plan a fantastic visit.

Where and when are Strasbourg Christmas markets in 2024?

The Strasbourg Christmas markets will be held between these dates:

Friday 24 November to Christmas Eve (24 December) 2024

The only exception is the Advent Village at Square Louise-Weiss which remains open until 6 January 2025.

The markets are open daily from 11 am to 8 pm – though on Christmas Eve, they will close early at 6 pm. They are also closed on Christmas Day.

The markets to be found in Strasbourg include:

  • Christkindelsmärik at Place Broglie: One of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets which dates from 1570. Entrance is via a large arch and there are lots of stalls to enjoy.
  • Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg: This is the closest market to Strasbourg Cathedral which offers a magical backdrop.
  • Le Village du Partage at Place Kléber: This market hosts the famous and very large, well-decorated Christmas tree.
  • International Christmas Market at Place Gutenberg: An interesting visit with its melting pot of cultures – from German sausages to Scandinavian ornaments.

Why visit the Strasbourg Christmas market?

The city’s Christkindelsmärik unfolds across several squares in the historic centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are several reasons that help Strasbourg’s Christmas market stand out, including:

  • French flair and German gemütlich (cosy charm): Strasbourg’s unique location allows you to experience a blend of French and German traditions. Stroll through the market squares and admire the half-timbered houses, indulge in both French vin chaud and German Glühwein mulled wines
  • Great Christmas tree: Visit the spectacle that is the magnificent Christmas tree at Place Kléber – it has been a tradition since 1642. The tree is usually higher than 30 metres in height – that’s nearly 100 feet! – and decorated with thousands of sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights
  • Boat tours: Take a unique perspective on the market with a festive boat tour along the canals. We thought this was a great way to see the city – not many other cities with festive markets can offer this!
  • Festive treats: Along with mulled wine, try the local specialities like bredele – small, melt-in-your-mouth Christmas cookies flavoured with orange and cinnamon. We also liked kougelhopf, a sweet brioche bread with raisins and almonds, and there is flammekueche which is a thin-crust pizza topped with cheese, onions and sometimes bacon
  • Handcrafted treasures: There are lots of stalls and a good number with handcrafted wonders including unique glass ornaments of the city’s landmarks, hand-painted ceramics featuring Alsatian scenes and intricately carved wooden toys from the region. Visitors can also watch gingerbread house making, textile weaving and glass-blowing
  • Entertainment: Strasbourg really knows how to celebrate Christmas and there’s a lively atmosphere with excellent street performers. Local choirs also perform with traditional carols in both French and German.


Strasbourg – The True Spirit of Christmas – The Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in the World

Now here’s a bold claim from the makers of this video, Tourist Channel, but are they right?

From the high-resolution video, we’d be inclined to say ‘Yes!’.

The city is bedecked in lights and the historic buildings really do stand out.

The cathedral also underpins the excellent offering, but it is obviously cold when the film is being made – so, remember to wrap up warm. (It was also snowing for a part of the filming so you will need good shoes/boots to deal with slippery conditions).

There’s no commentary but the video speaks for itself.

There’s a good selection of bars and restaurants and the stalls look impressive.

The stalls by the cathedral are certainly worth a visit with a wide range of excellent products – the wooden creations look great.

The mulled wine stalls also do a roading trade – the steam from the drinks stands out in the cold.

The festive lights aren’t just on the ancient buildings, they also cover the streets to give the impression of walking along a tunnel.

And, we have to say, the massive Christmas tree really is a festive spectacle.

If you are looking for an interesting video to entice you to visit Strasbourg at Christmas, then there’s a lot to recommend this Tourist Channel creation.


The history of Strasbourg Christmas markets

The Christkindelsmärik was originally established as a one-day market for locals to buy provisions for Christmas Eve and for the long, dark winter months that followed.

Over the years, the market evolved into a major tourist attraction while retaining its warm and welcoming spirit. The stalls hold historical significance, and some are passed down through generations of families, adding a touch of authenticity to the experience.

With its four centuries of tradition, this is the oldest Christmas market in France, and one of the oldest in Europe.

It was originally known as the ‘St Klausenmarkt’ (Market of Saint Nicholas) and was held around the cathedral.

However, in the 16th century, the city switched to being a Protestant area which saw the Market of St Nicholas being abolished. It was replaced that year by the ‘Christkindelsmärik (the Market of Baby Jesus) and was held for a few days before Christmas in front of the cathedral – where it is held today.

The market has grown over the years, and it takes over Strasbourg from late November.

There are more than 300 stalls to enjoy in a city centre bedecked with twinkling lights and festive decorations.

Tips for enjoying the markets in Strasbourg

If you like the sound of Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik, then here are some tips to get the most from your visit.

Planning: We would recommend visiting during the week and avoiding the weekends, if possible. The markets do get very busy so book your accommodation well in advance

Clothing: Strasbourg winters can be quite chilly, with temperatures often dipping below freezing. Pack warm layers – thermals, a winter coat, hat, gloves and sturdy boots with good grip are essential

  • Currency: France uses the Euro (€) but we found it helpful to have some cash since not every stallholder will accept cards.
  • Souvenirs: Keep an eye out for unique Alsatian keepsakes including gingerbread ornaments depicting the Strasbourg Cathedral, a bottle of Gewürztraminer wine – a local speciality – or a box of the delicious bredele cookies to share back home.
  • Basic French phrases: Learning a few basic French phrases will be appreciated by locals: ‘Bonjour’ (Hello), ‘S’il vous plaît’ (Please), ‘Merci’ (Thank You), ‘Excusez-moi’ (Excuse Me), and ‘Combien cela coûte-t-il?’ (How much does this cost?).


Strasbourg, France – The biggest Christmas market

The first thing to notice about this video from Travel with Will is how busy the markets are when he films.

Will notices that the queues for mulled wine are long, and there are a lot of German snacks on offer since Strasbourg is close to the German border.

He remains in the main market outside the Cathedral and shows the range of stalls.

The lights are impressive in what he calls a ‘beautiful town’.

He explains too that the houses are half-timbered so the owners could, in years gone past, dismantle them when ownership of the city switched from France and Germany.

There are also a lot of high-end stores and there’s a local dialect that residents use.

Will says there is a lot of police presence, so he feels safe.

However, he does get lost in the large market trying to find the big tree – but is impressed when he does locate it.

Will mentions several times and gives a tip to visit on a weekday – and not in the first week because not all of the festive lights have been erected.

It’s also worth noting that Will has done a video about the lovely Christmas market at Colmar which is just a short journey away.



How to get to Strasbourg from the UK

  • Flying: Numerous airlines offer direct flights from major UK airports to Strasbourg Entzheim Airport (SXB). They include easyJet and British Airways. Flights take from 90 minutes to nearly two hours and prices in December vary from £58 to £100. We found Kayak offered a good range of times and prices from UK airports including Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwick to Strasbourg. There are also some good deals when flying from Birmingham too. In direct flights go from Stansted to Karlsruhe/Baden Baden which takes about 5 hours and 42 minutes. From there, you can travel by bus or train for two hours to Strasbourg.
  • Train: For a scenic journey, consider taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris and then connecting to Strasbourg by high-speed TGV train. This option allows you to experience the French countryside during your visit and takes just under five hours (some trips are longer). Prices vary depending on the time of travel, but the Eurostar site offers return tickets from £160.
  • Driving: Driving from the UK is also possible but be prepared for potential tolls and wintery road conditions. The journey from London is 490 miles and will take 7.5 hours via Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais.
  • Bus: We found prices from £38 on FlixBus but there’s no direct bus from London to Strasbourg – you’ll have to travel from London Victoria to Luxembourg and then Strasbourg. The journey takes around 13 hours and 30 minutes.

Where to stay for the Christkindelsmärik

Strasbourg has a variety of accommodation options, from boutique hotels within walking distance of the market squares to traditional guesthouses and Airbnbs.

However, you will need to bear in mind that Strasbourg is busy all year round, particularly in the run up to Christmas. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your stay:

For budget travellers paying less than £100 per night, then consider Hotel ibis Strasbourg Centre Historique des Bateliers with its central location in Little France; Hotel Victoria in the Neustadt district and close to public transport and Boma Strasbourg Centre which is close to the European Parliament.

Mid-range hotels (that cost between £100-£200 per night) include the Hotel Elysée which is very close to Strasbourg Cathedral and Hotel Rohan in Little France. The three-star Hôtel Gutenberg opposite the cathedral is also a good choice with modern rooms, a spa and a rooftop bar.

If you want to enjoy luxury hotels that cost more than £200 per night, there’s the Hôtel Les Haras Strasbourg, and the Curio Collection by Hilton in Neustadt district offers luxurious rooms with a spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Maison Kammerzell is in Little France with elegant rooms with a rich history and excellent service and the Hotel & Spa Regent Petite France is close to the Cathedral and its historical setting offers a unique experience. Other lovely hotels include Hotel Cour du Corbeau and the Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel and Spa.

Airbnbs offer a good alternative for various budgets and group stays and we found very good offerings scattered throughout Strasbourg – but most are in the city centre.

Prices vary depending on size, location and amenities but we found budget-friendly options starting at £50 per night. Luxurious apartments can cost more than £200 per night.

When searching for Airbnbs in Strasbourg you will find many located near the Christmas markets, particularly in the Grande Île and Neustadt areas.

We would also suggest reading the reviews for the Airbnb you want to stay in and considering too the amenities, such as wifi and washing machines when deciding.

Other attractions in Strasbourg

Strasbourg offers a range of attractions beyond the Christmas market, including:

  • Strasbourg Cathedral: The cathedral is awe-inspiring and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. There’s an upstairs platform for those wanting to enjoy panoramic views of the city
  • Petite France (Little France): Wander through the picturesque Petite France district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its charming canals, half-timbered houses adorned with flowers and traditional shops
  • Palais Rohan: This former bishop’s palace is now home to three prestigious museums: the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Archaeological Museum
  • Parks: Strasbourg offers some impressive parks, including the peaceful Parc de l’Orangerie or the Jardin Botanique de l’Université de Strasbourg.

Budgeting for your Strasbourg Christmas market trip

Here’s a rough guide from the Christmas.co.uk team for the costs you might incur during your Strasbourg Christmas market visit. Please note that these are approximate values and actual costs may vary:

Food and drink: The cost of food and drink at the markets varies greatly but you can expect to spend around £74 per day per adult. You’ll find that snacks like sausages, crepes and pastries cost between £3-£6. Mulled wine is £3-£5 and restaurant meals are £15-£30 per person.

  • Accommodation: Accommodation costs also vary but our guide above shows how much you can spend, if you want to. There are cheap rooms, we found, near the markets that start from £50.
  • Transport: It’s actually quite cheap travelling around Strasbourg, which has lots of trams and buses available. A three-day pass will cost €9.30 (£8) and there are vending machines at most tram stops, and some bus stops to buy them. Single trips cost £2-£4 per journey.
  • Souvenirs and gifts: You’ll find a range of unique gifts being sold and expect to pay – small ornaments: £5-£10 and for larger crafts: £15-£30.
  • Taxis: There are lots of taxis, Ubers and Bolts in Strasbourg. Ubers are cheap, while taxis are £10-£15 per trip.

We think it’s a good idea to set a budget for a trip to Strasbourg – and have a little extra budgeted for those (inevitable…) unexpected expenses.

Other cities or markets to visit

It might be a nice idea to extend your festive experience by visiting other Christmas markets in the region:

  • Colmar Christmas market: Colmar is a lovely town known as ‘Little Venice’ and it has a picturesque Christmas market among the canals and half-timbered houses.
  • Riquewihr Christmas market: This medieval village of Riquewihr offers fortified walls and fairytale charm with an excellent Christmas market of local crafts and delicacies.

We can also recommend adding either Nuremburg or Munich to your festive travel itinerary – both are excellent places to visit for Christmas markets.

Visiting the Christmas market in Strasbourg

We think that Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik offers a captivating blend of French charm, German traditions and a rich historical legacy that everyone will enjoy.

The city offers an escape from the ordinary and it’s worth embracing the magic of Strasbourg for the festive season.

With its festive atmosphere, tasty Alsatian cuisine, boat tours and lovely attractions, Strasbourg promises an unforgettable winter wonderland experience.