Strasbourg, beautiful at Christmas

Strasbourg

It is said that Strasbourg is the capital of Christmas So if you have a few days free and money to get around, how about discovering it for yourself? This French city of Alsacia, not far from the Rhine, is a great destination at any time of the year but it seems that for the holidays it takes on a special shine.

Beautiful wherever you look, let's know how to celebrate and live Christmas in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Although there is a colorful legend that the city was founded by Semiramis of Babylon, the truth is that It has Roman origins. It was General Drusus the Elder who raised a castrum in 12 BC

The Germans occupied the area in the year 406, It was destroyed by Attila in 451 and rebuilt by Clovis I who in the end baptized it as Strateburgus. The truth is that the city is the main or secondary actor in many chapters in the history of Europe.

It was At the end of the XNUMXth century it was annexed, along with all of Alsace, to the French crown, in the time of Louis XIV, but passed into German hands with the Franco-Prussian War and it was not until the end of the First World War that it returned to the hands of France.

Strasbourg

The Nazis occupied it in 1940 and the French (those who were grouped in Free France) managed to liberate it in November 1944. Since then, Strasbourg has grown and changed a lot and has managed to have a status similar to that of cities like Geneva or New York, in that it It is home to many European institutions such as the European Parliament, Europol, the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights, for example.

Christmas in Strasbourg

Strasbourg

If we add the Christmas charm to the city's historical charms, it is the ideal city to spend this Christian holiday. People say that Its Christmas market is the oldest in all of Europe, dating back to 1570.. That only market today has actually been transformed into 12 markets different ones that are distributed throughout the heart of Casco Viejo.

There are more than 300 stalls to explore, thousands of lights decorating the streets, buildings and trees, and there is no shop that is not decorated with Christmas motifs. The truth is that although there are many places like this, Strasbourg fights for first place.

Regarding the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, They are all in the old part of the city, in turn located on an island in the middle of the city itself. It will be about a ten minute walk from the train station so it is super practical. At the same time, the Old Town is comfortable to explore on foot and is even a recommended place to stay.

Strasbourg

It is true that many tourists do so in the area around the Notre Dame Cathedral or near Kleber Square, but these two places are very touristy and there are always a lot of people. If you like calm or old charm more, then the Casco Viejo is the best.

As we said above, The city has twelve Christmas markets and in total there will be about 300 stalls.. The markets vary in size, but in general terms, except for a couple that are large, the rest are small and can even be considered a market with three or four stalls in a small square.

Whatever, any of them open around 11 am although some may open a little later. They close around 8 pmYes, a little early compared to other European markets, but keep in mind that here the sun sets at 4:30 pm so it makes sense.

Christmas in Strasbourg

What Christmas markets can we visit in Strasbourg? He Kleber Square Market, with its enormous, giant, Christmas tree and symbol of the city, that of Broglie Square, which is said to be the original here, the oldest, the one from the Place du Temple-Neuf, the one of Cathedral Square, one of the largest, that of the Rue Rohan, focused on gastronomy, that of Place des Meuniers, which showcases the gastronomy of all of Alsace, or the Gutenberg Square market.

Now, What can we eat or buy at these Christmas markets? Something that reminds us forever Christmas in Strasbourg. Well, a little of everything: crafts, jewelry, accessories, food of all kinds, Alsace wine (red or white), cider, hot chocolate, regular wine, craft beers, candies, chocolates and traditional ones bredele, some typical cookies from Alsace. Obviously, also sandwiches, baguettes, hot dogs, cheeses and obviously, Christmas decorations.

Where can I take the best photos of the Christmas in Strasbourg? The area known as Carré D'Or she is lovely. It is not far from the cathedral and is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. The streets are lit and decorated "for Christmas" and so are all the shops. It is possible to get lost, so a good meeting point that always serves to find your way is the store. Hansel & Gretel's Maion.

Christmas in Strasbourg

La Notre Dame Cathedral It is the main building, on Rue Merciere and if you can attend one of its masses, you will not regret it. Another place that will give you many good photographs is the Teddy Bear House. Although there are many "Teddy bears" everywhere, it is a fairly common decoration in Strasbourg, one in particular wins the applause. Or rather, it is not a house but a restaurant, Le Gruber. What a place!

La Kleber Square, on the other hand, is the place chosen for the assembly of the Christmas tree huge that is a symbol of the city. Every year it is decorated differently, the leit motivate, so it's never boring. The ideal is to see it both day and night, to enjoy it in both versions.

Christmas in Strasbourg

But beyond the Christmas markets there are many other things one can do in this French city for these special dates: get to know the interior of the Notre Cathedral Women and its great astronomical clock (with automata in action), go up and contemplate the city from above this beautiful Gothic building, learn about the Covered Doors, les ponts couverts, super picturesque, connecting XNUMXth century towers that were part of the city fortifications, walk through the area known as Petite France, with its half-timbered houses, in turn within Grande Île, World Heritage since 1988 or just eat some good ones pretzels anywhere, if they are dipped in cheese, much better.

Finally some data and advice:

  • To visit the markets it is advisable to do so during the week and not on weekends as there are many people. And check the schedules on the city's own tourism website.
  • If your idea is to stay, you should reserve your accommodation in advance.
  • If you have time, get out of the city and see other towns and villages. Colmar, for example, is beautiful.
  • Wear warm clothes because it is cold and it can rain. And don't forget a shopping bag because the trend is not to deliver plastic bags, and if it rains everything you buy will get wet.
  • In 2018, the Strasbourg Christmas markets suffered a terrorist attack which left five dead and eleven injured. As a result of this, there is a lot of security and posts are set up to check people on the entrance bridges to the Old Town. If you carry a bag or suitcase they will inspect you.

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