Even in the pouring rain, Strasbourg managed to wrap me in its charm and make me feel as if I had been placed in a fairy tale. Twinkling lights, Christmas decorations, and the smell of hot wine only added to the appeal of the capital city of Alsace. Strasbourg is home to one of the world’s most famous Marchés de Noël, or Christmas markets. The city is transformed and fills with people from all over the world to come see the miraculous Christmas wonders of the city.
My friend was visiting Paris for the first time and I told her we absolutely had to pop over to Strasbourg in order to see the Christmas market. I also thought it would be great for her to see a city in the Alsace region—the region in France located on the border of Germany. Alsace is known for its picturesque villages and is unique in its mix of French and German influences so it was a perfect day trip to see something new.
As soon as we arrived after our short train ride (and quick power nap!), we decided to hit to the main attraction—the giant gothic cathedral of the city, Temple Saint-Étienne. We wanted to make sure to get through the touristy stuff first so we could spend the rest of the day exploring the markets, drinking hot wine, and of course, eating! I am serious about Christmas markets. I am slightly obsessed with them. I love the hot, hearty food with the options of getting something sinfully sweet afterwards. And I especially enjoy the fact it is mandatory to drink hot wine in order to stay warm as you weave in and out of the stalls overflowing with Christmas knick-knacks.
Strasbourg has several markets throughout the city and I think we just about hit them all. We froze our butts off and had issues staying dry, but it was definitely worth it. I have never seen an entire city place Christmas cheer in every nook and cranny they could find. It officially catapulted me into the Christmas spirit!
We decided to warm up before our ride home and grabbed a typical dish from Alsace— flammkuchen! What more could you want than dough, crème, cheese, onions, and bacon? Oh, that’s right… one last glass of hot wine!
Where is your favorite Christmas market in Europe?