Happy Holiday Season!
As a total Christmas nerd, I have to say that FINALLY making it to the Strasbourg Christmas Market after years of dreaming and watching Instagram of all these perfect photos of this magical place! Honestly, I was a little worried that it wasn’t going to live up to the magic, especially with Covid on the rise again. I was worried that it wasn’t going to be AS beautiful as previous years – and it didn’t disappoint!
It was an absolute DREAM!!
I’m going to show you how to navigate the Strasbourg Christmas Markets!
History of the Market
The first markets were held in 1570, making them one of the oldest in Europe and the very first in France. The Christmas Markets have been adding a touch of magic to the festive season for four centuries. Historian Jean-François Kovar gives us an insight into the history and the unique success story behind Strasbourg’s Christmas Markets.
The market continues to grow and evolve throughout the years. Now there are over seven markets all throughout the historical “Grande Île” area of the city. We only hit three of the seven on our first day and trust me that was a lot to ask of an almost 5-year-old walking the whole time. We put down seven miles in a single day!
Why I’ve Been Dreaming of THIS Market?
European Markets in general are known to be amazing and unique in their own ways, but the Strasbourg Markets are the ones you “write home” about. Strasbourg markets are about reconnecting the festive period with spiritual beliefs and culture. Christmas traditions are deeply rooted in Alsatian culture, especially in the countryside. In November, families come together to make bredele cakes. Some families also make their own Advent wreaths. People put up Christmas trees, make a nativity scene, bake spiced bread and prepare hot wine. These traditions are part and parcel of local life right up until Christmas Eve.
There are more than 300 stalls spread over 10 different markets in the “Grande Île” area of the city, which means you need to bring your good walking shoes if you want to make it around to all of them. There are countless vendors for all kinds of fun, handmade, items, mulled wine (a total must – don’t just stick to the red either there are SO many flavors!)
One of my favorite things to do at Christmas markets is to kind of taste my way through all the snacks and treats that are local to the areas and trust me the Alsace region of France has some of the most scrumptious treats.
If you are planning this year the dates are:
November 26th – December 26th, 2021
To learn more information check out their official website: https://noel.strasbourg.eu/en/
Things to know due to COVID
Before going into the Christmas Markets they will check your documentation due to Covid.
What you’ll need:
- Negavtive test within 72 hours of arriving to the market
- Proof of Vaccination
- Proof of Recovery
When you arrive in France with the supporting documentation you’ll need to visit a Pharmacy or a stand at the airport (larger airports have the test and processing sites whereas smaller airports might just have the testing facilities – double-check what is available at the airport you’re flying into). At the pharmacy, they can either give you another test if you aren’t vaccinated or input your vaccine information to the Green EU Covid Pass system and then you’ll have a QR code that you can use for entering the market, eating at restaurants, going to shops, and more!