Alsace can be discovered in many ways: through its great wines, by climbing the Grand Ballon or by climbing its castles... But to visitAlsace, and more particularly Strasbourg, during the great period of Christmas markets is a real enchantment. It is to live Christmas, it is to be impregnated with a unique atmosphere, at the same time exciting, intoxicating and sweet: Christmas is everywhere with nearly 300 chalets... And the scent of spicy cinnamon brings back happy memories, and everyone rediscovers their childhood soul. Now it's time for the 2021 edition: "Let's light up the stars"!

Christkindelmärik at Place Broglie

First established in 1570, this is the oldest and largest part of the Strasbourg Christmas market. It is also called Christkindelmärik, which literally means "Market of the Christ Child". It will take you a good two hours to walk through its three long aisles and stroll between the stalls. You can find everything here, the best and the worst! The best: everything concerning the decoration of the tree and the house. The choice is impressive, all the colours, all the shapes, all the materials imaginable are exposed, from the traditional garland in braided straw to the ball with the latest design while passing by the small decoration in wood or tin. The worst thing is the far too numerous so-called Alsatian sandwich shops serving so-called local specialities

The more traditional wooden chalets are located at the back of the market, towards the Opera House. Every year, a new character comes to join the huge Alsatian crib. An advice for agoraphobics or wheelchair users, prefer a visit in the morning, as soon as the market opens, around 11am for most of the chalets

The Christmas market on the Place de la Cathédrale

The Place Broglie having become too small, the market has been extended to the Place de la Cathédrale and the site suits it perfectly. Here we are back to a time long ago when a multitude of shops were located against the walls of the cathedral. This is also an opportunity to discover this site, which is not to be missed under any circumstances! It is impossible to detail all the treasures here, but here are some of them: the astronomical clock, the pillar of angels, the pulpit, the magnificent stained glass windows and the sumptuous organs. This part of the Christmas market is very pleasant; the aisles seem wider, there are few or no French fries and merguez vendors, and everything seems more authentic. Then, in about ten minutes, you can go to the quays and walk along the Ill river to the Petite France. The walk is very pleasant, there are nice shops, and the view of the city from the quays is splendid: the illuminated bridges, the spire of the cathedral...

Alsatian delicacies and specialities

But the epicureans will take the direction of the market of the delights of Alsace, terrace of the Palais Rohan for the market of the delights of Alsace. Gourmands, let yourself go! This is the perfect opportunity to taste the bredele. Bredele are small cakes made only during the Christmas period. Every Alsatian has her own recipe and spends hours in her kitchen making them (there are more than a hundred varieties). Here are some names, in Alsatian of course, for the pleasure of the ears before the taste buds: spritzbredele (the best known), nusseschnitte (with nuts), springerle, butterbredele (with butter), zimetschnitte, pumpernickel. Here, the bakers and confectioners, in addition to offering their products, share their know-how and give some recipes

But the apotheosis is certainly reached during the Advent and Christmas period: on the evening of December 5th, children place some seasonal vegetables (cabbages, carrots, turnips) in a plate that they put in front of their front door in order to attract Saint Nicolas' donkey! Discreetly, the parents remove some vegetables (to push the staging) or drop some pieces on the stairs, and, instead, the child will find a small toy, a gingerbread with a nice picture of St. Nicholas, clementines and sweets. The gingerbread is sometimes replaced by a mannele (translated as "little man"). This is a bun of about 20 cm in size and shaped like a man

At Christmas markets, waffles are more common. There are also all kinds of sweets. Other Christmas cakes include christstolle (a Christmas brioche with fruit and spices and sometimes almond paste) or schnitzwecke (a bread made of many dried fruits: figs, prunes, currants, pears, apricots, nuts).

Strasbourg at Christmas, a real city of light

But of course, there is no Christmas without a Christmas tree, so go to the emblematic Place Kléber. As you enter the square, your eyes are immediately drawn to a huge fir tree, some 30 metres high, beautifully decorated

The right time to stroll around the Christmas market, admire all that Strasbourg has to offer and be totally immersed in the "Christmas" atmosphere (the term is frequently used) is around 5pm, when it starts to get dark. If it's cold, it's even better and if it's snowing, it's great. Strasbourg lights up as soon as the sun goes down (if it has appeared during the day). You will be amazed! From the rue des Grandes-Arcades to the rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Poissons, you can walk under curtains or cascades of stars. The rue des Hallebardes is superbly lit. Everywhere, huge golden baubles shine. All the city's lights are on

In the city centre, the streets, the facades of the houses, the windows and the balconies are richly decorated and compete in beauty for a breathtaking spectacle. Giant Advent wreaths, Santa's sacks overflowing with toys, shoes patiently waiting to be filled, Santas climbing up chimneys... The eyes of the grown-ups shine no less brightly than those of the children. In short, an unmissable getaway as Christmas approaches

Useful information

When is the market? The markets open on 26 November this year and will remain open until 26 December 2021 at the end of the afternoon (6pm). The markets are open every day from 11am to 8pm.

How to get there. By car A4 from Paris (488 km) and Brussels (430 km), A35 from

Lyon (494 km). By TGV, count 2h20 from Paris Gare de l'Est. By plane, to Strasbourg-Entzheim airport

Useful. As soon as you arrive in Strasbourg, get the Programme des festivités de Noël published by the city of Strasbourg; it is available everywhere: it is a mine of information


STRASBOURG TOURIST OFFICE - More information on the site