Although winter wonders can be enjoyed in the Belgian capital, an escapade to Strasbourg is definitely to consider.
Fun fact: back in 1570, Strasbourg hosted the first Christmas market in Europe and the world. Since then, the Alsatian capital keeps on seducing millions of tourists.
My Christmas tour
There are several key places to find the magical gifts for friends and family or simply to drink a couple of glasses of mulled wines.
The first must-go is Place Kléber. This is the local Grand Place. The Alsatian capital has been very keen to make Christmas inclusive and has decided to offer NGOs the opportunity to set up Christmas stands for years. About 100 foundations will be present this year.
The second must-go is Place Broglie. Dozens of small cottages will offer you a strong overview of the local Christmas traditions. You will surely find the best cookies and Alsatian winter dishes. I highly recommend to order a glass of mulled wine at Chez Mathilde. The best one!
While walking towards the city centre, you will have the opportunity to discover smaller markets near the Cathedral, Place Saint-֤Étienne and even in hidden streets. You will have the feeling the city has been designed for Christmas.
Iceland is this year’s invited Country
During the Christmas festivities, an additional touch of magic takes hold of the city as it discovers a guest country. This year, Strasbourg is welcoming Iceland, the charms of which you can discover at the Icelandic Village in Place Gutenberg.
Christmas in Iceland is celebrated during 13 days, and 13 Santa Claus, known as “Jolasveinars”, are part of it. Instead of coming from the North Pole in a sleigh pulled by a reindeer, the Icelandic “Jolasveinars” live in the mountains and each visit the city in turn, until Christmas Eve, to bring little presents to the children.
Good to know:
The Strasbourg Christmas markets are open until 30 December, from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm from Sunday to Thursday. And until 9.00 pm or 10.00 pm on Friday and Saturday.