Strasbourg Christmas Market
The Christmas Market in Strasbourg is an unmissable event that attracts more than 2 mln visitors every year, with its some 300 chalets spread over 11 sites in the city centre, and dozens of associations participating.
Photo credits to Anna & Michal via Flickr
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Advice for your visit
The table above may not be exact as the attendance is subject to fluctuation, which is not always foreseeable.
If coming just for a weekend: avoid the first weekend after the market’s opening, as well as the weekends taking place during the French school holidays. Better choose the first or the second weekend of December, it is expected to be much less crowded.
The best way to avoid crowds is to come on weekdays in the first half of December.
It is usually less crowded in the mornings, especially at the opening time.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest, though on Sunday evening there are less visitors.
The last week before Christmas is when you’ll see the biggest crowds. Right after Christmas the attendance will fall immediately, and the week between 25/12 and 01/01 could be the best time to visit the place without clearing one’s way among elbows, heads and people spilling hot wine on your coat. On the other hand, there won’t be many festivities left, some chalets will be gone, and the overall atmosphere will be less of the Christmas holiday.
Avoid coming during the week of the European Parliament session (from Monday 15th to Thursday 18th in 2014): the hotels will be fully booked.
Put your warm clothes on: when the sun sets, it’s gets cold very quickly.
Photo credits to Gilles Francois via Flickr
If you have lots of bags or a heavy luggage - you can leave it in the train station’s baggage lockers on the first platform (open every day, from 6.15am to 9.15 pm).
Use the tram network to move around different parts of the city and discover all the markets: with a 24 hours individual ticket (4.10 euros) you can use this public transport an unlimited number of times.
You can get a pushchair at the Strasbourg Tourist Office (free of charge for a day) to move easily around the city with your children.
Christmas Markets in Strasbourg
With Christmas market tents all over the city center, this is where you’ll find the most important ones:
Christkindelsmärik: Place Broglie
The Cathedral Christmas Market: Place de la Cathédrale
The Market of Christmas Delicacies of Alsace: Place d’Austerlitz
The Village of the invincible Small Producers of Alsace: Place des Meuniers
The Trading Post of the Wise Magi: Place Benjamin-Zix
The Carré d’or Trade Association Village: Place du Temple neuf
Other Christmas markets: in Place du Corbeau and Place de la Gare
Other Christmas markets in the Alsace region
The second largest Christmas market in Alsace is the Colmar Christmas market. Open from 21st November to 31st December 2014, it receives more than 170 exhibitors in 5 city locations. For more information and opening hours, click here.
At Mulhouse Christmas Market apart from gifts and local specialties, one can get acquainted with the Christmas Fabric, a fabric created each year for the occasion and which remembers the city’s weaving past. Open from 23th November to 29th of December (except 24th, 25th, & 26th December), offering a big animated event, you can see more here.
Riquewihr Christmas market is known as a very typical one, with traditional and artisanal goods. Open from 29th November to 28th December 2014, it offers a big and unique choice of Christmas decorations and products. More details are available here.
You can choose the Kaysersberg Christmas market for the authenticity of this medieval city. Plan carefully as the market is open only on weekends and a couple of days before Christmas (from 28th to 30th November, 5th to 7th December, 12th to 14th December, and 19th to 23th December), the choice will be much smaller than at Strasbourg’s market, but the products and manufacturers presented are chosen much more carefully, therefore you might be lucky and find an original and unique present not available anywhere else!
There are only 2 weekends when you can discover the Ribeauvillé Christmas Market: from the 6th-7th and 12-13th of December. The peculiarity of this event is that the merchants are dressed in costumes, and you’ll be able to what a number of shows and events in a festive atmosphere. The other peculiarity is that you won’t be able to skip the crowds here, Ribeauvillé attracts thousands of tourists for this occasion!
The Obernai Christmas Market has a moderate number of exhibitors (mostly gastronomical), but it’s in this city that you can find a unique Neapolitan Nativity scene, displayed inside the Saints-Pierre-et-Paul Church.
Photo credits to the Colmar Tourist Office via Flickr
Address and access
The Cathedral is just 15 minutes from the SNCF train station.
Strasbourg-Entzheim International Airport is just 10 km away from the city centre. Up to 4 shuttletrains per hour link it with the Strasbourg train station (reachable in 9 minutes).
Opt for Park-Tram car parks: they enable you to park your vehicle near a tram stop and travel into the city centre by tram (€3.50 for parking + free bus or tram for all passengers in the vehicle). Car parks are open from Monday to Saturday, from 7am to 8pm and on Sundays 30th November, 1st, 8th & 15th December, from 9.30am to 7pm. Car park exits are open 24 hours.