Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for the Christmas Markets at Strasbourg, France
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Europe has been high on my must see list but it has been difficult with in the past few years with the pandemic both restricting travel and in some cases cancelling the markets all together. Finally, 2022 allowed for the revival of this century old tradition as return to normalcy.
Know before you go
- Getting to Strasbourg is made easy with the extensive train network in Europe. We decided to fly into Paris and then take. a two hour train to Strasbourg. You can also fly into Frankfurt and take trains form there as well. If you are already in Europe or starting your Christmas Market journey in another city, Strasbourg is one of the major hubs and will be accessible wherever you are located.
- Make sure if you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee – highly recommend getting one if not – that will be fine for your trip. You can also take out euros to use as you will find some places that are cash only, but almost everywhere accepts credit cards. Stalls at the markets however will generally only take cash so make sure to hit an ATM when you arrive so you can make purchases.
- Learn basic French or German phrases as a respect to the country you are visiting but you will not have an issue with finding English as many tourist come from all over the world to experience the Christmas Markets.
- Starting in 2023, if you are traveling international to any country in the Schengan Zone, you will have to complete a form prior to arrival, including a 7 euro application fee, for the ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorization System.
Where to stay?
The city is not very large so staying anywhere in the city center will give you accessibility to all the attractions. It is imperative that if you are traveling here for the Christmas Markets – especially on a weekend – that you book accommodations early. Because the city is small, accommodations are limited and there is high demand for visiting Strasbourg during this season. I booked this Airbnb in August and felt like I grabbed the last good spot.
What is there to do?
- The reason for our visit! Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest documented Christmas Markets dating back to 1570 and is dubbed the Christmas Capital of Europe.
- There are over 300 stalls spread across 11 separate markets full of different food and merchants that are just waiting to be explored. The Christmas Markets are open from 1100-2000 each day.
- The stalls are scattered throughout the city so you end up visiting all of Strasbourg just by following the Christmas Markets.
- This was probably the most compelling thing that put Strasbourg on the list – just Google photos – it does not look real!
- Spend time exploring this area, crossing all the bridges, admiring all the architecture.
La Petite France
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
- Stop inside the gorgeous Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg.
- When inside, do not miss the astronomical clock dating to the Renaissance period, suspended pipe organ, and the Emperor Windows.
- Make sure to climb onto the rooftop of the Cathédrale – for a small fee you will get a beautiful view of the city and all the market stalls. as well.
- The city of Strasbourg is surrounded by water which makes getting on a boat a great way to see everything and get your bearings of the city.
- The boat company offers several different tours – we opted for the one that goes out to the European Quarter where the Parliament building is located.
- For less than 15 euro, this is a great way to spend an hour learning about the area.
Wine Tasting in the Alsace Wine Region
- Do not miss the opportunity to learn about the wine region of Alsace famous for producing delicious Rieslings.
- Alsace Wine Tour not only explores various wineries but also some of the towns in the Alsace region.
Extend Your Trip
- Have more than just a long weekend? It is very popular to string together several cities to go Christmas Market hopping!
- The trains make this very easy and stress free.
- Suggestions: Colmar (France) or even cross the boarder into Germany for stops like Heidelberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich or Stuttgart – you can’t go wrong! Every city and town has their own Christmas Market jus waiting to be explored.
Where to eat?
Make sure to treat yourself to make Alsace treats. It is important that you leave time (and stomach space) for the food you want to try at the Christmas Markets. For this reason, I did not over book meals at restaurants. Thank being said, there are a ton of great places to eat heree so I will name a few that made the short list:
- Au Cruchon
- Black & Wine
- La Cloche à Fromage
- Les Chauvins Père & Fils
- La Coccinelle
- Pralines by Mélanie
- Pâtisserie Jaune Citron
This itinerary works very well as a stand along trip or as part of a loner trip exploring the various Christmas Markets of Europe. There is so much to see so if you have more time to explore, I highly recommend it! You could also cut out a day trip and make this a shorter visit if you are going other places. Just know, there are over 300 Christmas Market stalls to see.
|Day 1||Arrive in Strasbourg|
– Boat Tour
– La Petite France
Night at the Christmas Markets
|Day 2||Day trip of choice:|
Alsace Wine Tasting
Night at the Christmas Markets
|Day 3||Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg|