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What To Expect If You Visit The Strasbourg Christmas Markets

While there were some parts of the Strasbourg Christmas markets that we felt were over-commercialized, like the famous market at Place Broglie (sorry, not sorry), and we didn’t love eating two crepes so bad that we couldn’t untaste them, Caleb and I still agree that Strasbourg at Christmas is pretty freaking magical and you should check it out.

In this Strasbourg Christmas market review, we’ll share things that we think you should consider when you’re deciding if it’s the right market for you and what to expect!

Here’s a video with some scenes from the markets to get the vibe!

YouTube video
Visitors stroll past a magnificent Gothic cathedral towering over a Christmas market, with vendors' stalls offering seasonal delights under a clear blue sky.

What To Expect When Visiting

Chances are that if you’ve stumbled across our post, you’re planning a Christmas market trip and you might be looking for more than just an ultimate guide to Strasbourg’s Christmas markets but you might be trying to figure out if Strasbourg is *actually* worth visiting at Christmas time or if it’s a gigantic tourist trap.

So, pull up a mulled wine (you know, for a cultural immersion..and stuff), and let’s discuss.

Looking for a guide to the Christmas markets in Strasbourg instead of what to expect?
We have that for you right here!

The Good: it’s beautiful and big!

Caleb and I really loved that they have a good variety of small, more local “themed markets” and not just all the supermassive markets where it costs your firstborn to buy a glass of mulled wine.

If supporting local vendors is important to you, you’ll have lots of options and dig these tiny, local markets. The local markets are really quite special, authentic, and magical, and they are something we didn’t see everywhere, which sets Strasbourg apart from other markets. 

A well-lit Christmas market booth nestled under a tree with sparkling ornaments, offering an array of colorful toys and gifts to evening shoppers.

There’s also the fact that it’s the oldest Christmas market in France and one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to 1570. The market started to celebrate the “Christkind” (hence the name Christkindelsmarik), which is an angel that brings gifts to children and has evolved into a super festive Christmas market. If you want to visit markets with history, Strasbourg is definitely up there!

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Strasbourg is also the only palace we saw charity stalls where proceeds went to good causes in France.  We also saw some cans where you can donate your plastic mulled wine cups (a great gift to bring back from markets!) and your deposit goes to charity instead of your pocket. This definitely sets it apart from other Christmas markets and could be a reason to check ‘er out.

There are also MANY markets (around 12), so if you’re short on vacay time and are looking for somewhere to go to hit as many markets in a short period, Strasbourg is worth considering!

Many people in front of the notre dame cathedral at a Strasbourg christmas market

The Bad: it has a different vibe and can be commercialized

We always like to keep our thoughts honest,  so here are the downsides to know about if you visit:

While there are some amazing, authentic-feeling small markets,  a lot of it feels very commercialized, and it lacks some of the friendliness of some of our favorite German markets where it feels like everyone is just there for fun.

We found the Christmas markets in Germany to have more of a “community” feel where everyone comes together to have a good time, which makes the atmosphere a little more festive. While Strasbourg is beautiful and it has a “Christmas” atmosphere, it lacks the charm of the community feel!

It’s also more expensive, and I didn’t feel like there was a lot else to do than Christmas, which may be okay since you did come for markets. 

Strasbourg at Christmas is for you if:

  • You want to experience a city so super festive and Christmas-y. 
  • You don’t mind paying for an experience (Strasbourg Christmas markets are not cheap)
  • You like local goods with a focus on artisanal foodie products like jam, cheese, and wine.
  • Visiting the historical market is important (it’s one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest christmas market  in France)
  • You’re short on time and want to hit many markets in one city.

It’s not for you if:

  • You’re on a tight budget (it’s one of the more expensive markets)
  • Having a lot of people around would ruin the magical atmosphere for you (it’s tourist central)
  • You’re looking for more of that traditional “German’ christmas market vibe. (Strasbourg feels differently.)
  • You want to do some non-Christmasy things (we found Strasbourg in December to be all Christmas, ALL THE TIME.)

How We Can Help You Next:

Did you decide that Strasbourg is worth visiting based off our guide on what to expect? Cool beans!

Now you have to read our detailed guide to the Strasbourg Christmas markets so you can get planning!

So, what questions do you have about Strasbourg?

Other helpful Christmas market posts

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We’ll show you how to plan an epic vacay, have amazing experiences, eat the best food and save some $$!
A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

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