The Capital of Christmas

With temperatures dropping and winter soon approaching, there’s no other place to enjoy Christmas festivities than in Strasbourg, France. It’s one of the oldest (1570) and biggest Christmas markets in Europe and with lights, décor and a gigantic tree, it’s sure to lift your Christmas spirits. Strasbourg is located in Eastern France, near the German border and is the capital of the Grand-Est (formerly Alsace) region. After an overnight 7-hour bus ride from Brussels, we arrived in the cold and foggy town to explore all things Christmas 🎄.

WHERE I WENT

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

There are over 300 stalls and around 11 Christmas markets spread across the town. It’s possible to cover all in a day but to really enjoy the Christmas activities you need at least 2-3 days. Christkindelsmärik is the most famous one and it’s the one I spent most of my time. It’s located in the German quarter and as expected, is heavily influenced by German culture. By nightfall, lights adorned every street and corner of this small city while the atmosphere was filled with the smell of spiced mulled wine.

PLACE KLÉBER

The city’s square which hosts the giant Christmas tree at 30m (98ft) tall.

Strasbourg Tree

SPECIAL MENTION

GARE DE STRASBOURG

A wow factor and quite possibly the most beautiful train station I’ve ever seen in Europe. It’s covered in glass and actually won a Brunel (architect) award in 2008.

Strasbourg Train Station

WHAT I ATE

CURRYWURST & SPAËTZLE

Currywurst and Spaëtzle

A German dish bursting with flavour. Smoked sausage with curry ketchup accompanied by Alsatian egg pasta.

VIN CHAUD (HOT WINE)

I’ll be honest, before visiting Strasbourg, I didn’t know that hot wine was a thing. It tasted strange at first but after 2-3 sips, it definitely took my taste-buds on a journey. Known as ‘mulled wine,’ it is THE drink of Christmas. It originated in the 2nd century when Romans heated wine to keep warm in their battle against the cold winter. Since then, it has become a global phenomenon spreading throughout the world with each country creating their own variation of the drink. It’s made up of red or white wine, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange slices.

WHAT I WANT TO DO NEXT TIME

VISIT COLMAR

The picturesque next-door neighbour of Strasbourg.

Alsace Region

What’s your favorite places to visit before Christmas? Let me know!

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