From elaborate glowing lights hanging across cities, harmonious hymns in the wee hours of the day, and beautiful snow blanketing your surroundings, Christmas is a gleeful experience for so many people across the globe.
Whereas green and red scarves, reindeer, and Santa Claus’ blissful laugh are considered child’s play in many European cities, Strasbourg thrives on this season and was crowned the ‘Christmas Capital of the World,’ for good reason.
Christmas in Strasbourg has always been a remarkable time, and each year it seems to get better and better. And despite efforts by other European cities to put up an equally endearing experience, all roads lead back to Strasbourg.
Strasbourg and the Christmas tradition
With idyllic cathedrals, quaint cobblestone streets, and picturesque canals, Strasbourg has a distinctive old-world demeanor that has long appealed to traditional travelers.
The city in the eastern part of France shares culture, history, and borders with Germany, and its strategic location has seen the city prosper for centuries.
In the 13th Century, Strasbourg was named the wealthiest city in the Holy Roman Empire.
Its shared cultures with Germany and France have also contributed significantly friendly character of its people.
The German culture brings Christian values, love for beer, and philosophy, whereas the French culture brings art, fashion, family values, romance, and chivalry.
The impeccable and unique blend of Franco-German culture has made Strasbourg an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience a slice of the two in one sitting.
Like a heartbeat, Strasbourg has often set the tempo for festivities across the country.
With an idyllic Christmas market complimented by its German touch, old half-timbered houses decorated with fairy lights, classical concerts in churches, and exquisite dining experience, Christmas in Strasbourg has always been a magical experience.
Strasbourg Christmas market
Perched in the heart of the Grande Île in Strasbourg, the Christmas market is one of Europe’s oldest and most visited.
The Christmas market, with an authentic sensory journey, was also named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The market known as Marches de Noel in French and Christkindelsmarik in Alsatian first took place in 1570 and has since been a tradition in Strasbourg.
The market begins in late November and closes in late December. It is a show of might when it comes to fairy lights and decoration, with most buildings having teddy bears and other shimmering Christmas decorations.
The famous Christmas market held at Place Kleber has piqued the interest of many travelers seeking a unique culinary experience while in Strasbourg, thanks to an array of baked foods and drinks.
Take a selfie next to the Christmas tree
Fir trees have long been symbols of Christmas festivities, and Strasbourg was one of the earliest places where they were decorated during the season.
Just like the elated Christmas spirit in Strasbourg, the 30-meter tree shimmering with fairy lights and biscuits is one of the most breathtaking attractions in France and Europe.
With specific dimensions of about 30m, a weight of 7-9 tons, and a trunk diameter of 120cm, a tree is felled from the forests of Alsace, prepped, and brought to the Place Kleber Christmas market.
While there, the tree is covered in 7km of fairy lights, about 40 giant baubles of 65cm, golden stars, biscuits, candles, and illuminated angels.
The extraordinary display of this Christmas tree has become one of Strasbourg’s vivid symbols of Christmas and a tradition that sets the town apart from other Christmas destinations on the continent.
The meticulous and great attention to detail during the Christmas festivities explains why Strasbourg remains the Christmas capital of the world.
From giant Christmas trees and exceptional Christmas markets, the long tradition in Strasbourg will live on for centuries.