Holiday season is upon us! Still figuring out where to celebrate? From November 23rd to December 30th, Strasbourg, also known as the Christmas Capital, wishes you the merriest of Christmases, with its festive atmosphere, jaw-dropping decorations, and jovial traditions. Here are six reasons to head toward the twinkling lights of this French city.
For the beguiling Christmas lights
Either you commit to the shine, or you don't, and Strasbourg is very serious about its reputation. The city has made an art form out of Christmas lights, and it knows exactly how to dazzle.
Sparkling wreaths and scintillating tinsel adorn streets, churches, and balconies all over the city. The Door of Lights, flanked by two shimmering bears joined by a starry hoop, welcomes you into Strasbourg's Christmas heaven with its gleaming white and golden hues. Follow the path created by the city to arrive at the 32-foot-high Christmas tree wrapped in a shiny cloak, which is an absolute must-see.
Other beautiful ornaments include a giant chandelier and a crystal-covered tree, which both also contribute to the city's exorbitant electricity bill with their radiant beauty.
© Leonid Andronov/123RF
For the world-renowned Christmas Market
Strasbourg dreams big, and that's why you'll find no less than 300 stalls sprinkled around the city's historical center. Christkindelsmärik, situated on Place Brogie, is filled with picturesque chalets where you can get a taste of traditional Christmas dishes and admire the craftsmanship of local artisans. At the foot of the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral, you'll find the most emblematic part of the Christmas market that both kids and your own inner child will love exploring. Enjoy the many awe-inspiring light shows, indulge in delicious mulled wine, and be immersed into the inimitable magical atmosphere that fills the air and finds its way to your heart.
For an alternative, eco-friendly version of the traditional Christmas market, head to Place Grimmeissen, where the "OFF Market" focuses on mindful consumption, fair-trade production, and green initiatives.
Strasbourg's Christmas tradition dates all the way back to 1570, and the city has managed to preserve the beloved festivities' authenticity for all these years, to the great pleasure of Christmas-loving visitors.
For the mouth-watering traditional food
Butterbredle, schwoewebredle, zimtsterne, makrone, or anisbredle, these words probably mean nothing to you right now, but they'll mean everything to your taste buds. Alsace is known for its German-influenced cuisine, and as the region's capital, Strasbourg doesn't disappoint. From traditional spiced bread to authentic beers, you'll definitely get a taste of the Christmas spirit while strolling around Strasbourg's brightly-lit and treasure-filled streets.
Alsatian food artisans will offer you delectable wine tastings, captivating cooking demonstrations, and engaging baking workshops all over the Christmas market. Hearty traditional food, festive beverages, and delightful scents saturating the atmosphere: that's what Christmas is about!
For the picturesque La Petite-France
At any time of year, La Petite-France is a gorgeous place. But during Christmas, it's another level of magical in Strasbourg's historic quarter. The beauty of its narrow labyrinthine streets, picturesque half-timbered houses, and romantic canals is made even more evident during christmastime. The convivial chatter, crisp cold, ornate tinsel, and scrumptious smells filling the cobblestone streets and the joyous air create a one-of-a-kind ambience that you'll never want to leave behind.
La Petite-France is also known for its multitude of restaurants where you can indulge in authentic Alsatian food in the most charming of sceneries.
© Boris Stroujko/123RF
For the enthralling Museum of Contemporary Art
Strasbourg is a city steeped in history, from its 16th-century Christmas traditions to its medieval old quarter, but that doesn't mean you have to be stuck in the past to appreciate the city's many wonders. Strasbourg is very much a dynamic metropolitan area, replete with modern architectural marvels and forward-looking businesses.
Take a break from exploring the Christmas spirit-infused streets and head to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The avant-garde glass structure organised around a central nave leading to different rooms is very much a masterpiece in its own right. Inside, you'll find a plethora of artworks covering multiple movements including impressionism, cubism, and primitivism. The temporary exhibitions are also always exceptionally well-curated, showcasing the most gripping of creations from the latest artistic craze.