Strasbourg, “Capital city of Christmas”

Christmas markets in Strasbourg have to do with history, not just fashion or tourist events. Just think that this year, from Nov 29 and until Dec 31, 2013, Strasbourg is welcoming its 443rd edition of its Christmas market!

2013 welcomes the 443rd edition of Strasbourg’s Christmas market!

The very first edition of the Christmas market under its current name, the “Christkindelsmärik” was held in 1570 outside Strasbourg Cathedral. With its height of 142 metres, the cathedral completed in 1439 was the tallest in Christendom at the time. By the way, while you are there, take some time to visit the cathedral of Strasbourg and the nearby museum of l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame. There is now a fantastic app available in English, free of charge, to guide you through the cathedral and its history. Click and download.

Since 1570, Strasbourg has perpetuated the tradition of the Christmas market.
With the Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is the oldest in Europe and today it is indisputably one of the biggest, by the number of chalets and the variety of the events on offer.

Then Christmas markets expanded through Europe, thanks to the business tradition of Strasbourg, its tolerance and humanism spirit which make up the history and identity of Strasbourg.
With its 11 Christmas markets and a total of 300 chalets, Strasbourg invites you to a wonderful and romantic stroll in the heart of his historical centre (World Heritage).

The giant Christmas tree

From mid-november onwards, the giant Christmas tree becomes a festive focal point of Strasbourg in place Kléber. For 20 years “Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas”, has been offering its visitors the largest natural Christmas Tree in Europe.

The giant Christmas tree on the square Kleber never fails to delight thousands of visitors, both young and old alike.
This year, the crowds are invited to join in the Christmastime spirit of caring and sharing here, with a sparkling and colourful new decor. As tradition goes, in Strasbourg, the inhabitants place gifts for the most underprivileged around of the Great Christmas Tree. It is therefore naturally around the Great Christmas Tree that the Village of Sharing is found. Huddled like the three Wise Kings around the cradle of sharing, the little wooden houses from the 60 charity associations invite us to participate in the collective effort of generosity.
From November 29 to December 31, place Kléber in Strasbourg

The Christmas lights accross the city of Strasbourg

As Christmas approaches, Strasbourg puts on its glad rags. The streets with their imaginatively decorated houses sparkle with countless light and colours.

A trail of light guides the visitor through the town like a huge glowing garland leading down to the cathedral. The 2013 Christmas market will provide Strasbourg residents and tourists with the chance to discover the new illuminations of the main architectural features of the Grande Île de Strasbourg. This area, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, will be enhanced by delicate lighting respectful of the architecture, bringing out all the details.

Download the full program of the Christmas events 2013 in Strasbourg (English edition).

The Christmas concerts

Enjoy a rich and varied musical Christmas. Music by bands, choirs, gospel groups, duos and soloists is performed in the cathedral and the city’s many churches and chapels and by the great Christmas tree in Place Kléber.

How to get to Strasbourg

You would loose your time and your nerves. There are other very practical ways to enjoy the beautiful city of Strasbourg.

Take the train to Strasbourg main station. And from there catch the tram to downtown
Take the train to Strasbourg main station. And from there catch the tram to downtown

Take the train to Strasbourg main station. And from there catch the tram which will take you all over the interesting places. See further down.

Park and Ride
The practical and cost-effective Relais-Tram car parks offer the possibility of parking your vehicle near a tram station and reaching the city centre in just a few minutes, without any traffic or parking hassles.
Relais-Tram car parks are open from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 8pm.
Outside opening hours: the car park is free but you must buy a tram ticket.
Coming from the Riquewihr / Colmar area, stop at the Baggersee car park (from the highway A35, exit Baggersee): 460 spaces
Tram and parking ticket: €3.20
You will be downtown within 15 minutes, Tram lines: A/E.

How to move around in Strasbourg

the tram is taking you almost everywhere in Strasbourg
the tram is taking you almost everywhere in Strasbourg. Here at the Homme de Fer station near place Kleber

Bus or tram : the same ticket and the same price !
One-way ticket (duration: 1 hour): €1.60
One way around ticket: €3
Individual 24 hours ticket: illimited transportation for one person during 24 hours at 4€
Trio 24 hours: illimited transportation for 2 or 3 persons during 24 hours at €5.70
You can buy those tickets at automated machines in the train station when you arrive. Credit cards accepted.
Download the transportation map (pdf) for getting around in Strasbourg by tram and to find the Park-and-ride car parks.

Download the mobile app of StrasMap which offers information about parking, traffic situation, public transport (check your data / roaming conditions with your phone company. Cheapest is probably to buy a local sim card)…


This page is sponsored by Les Remparts de Riquewihr – luxury and romantic holiday homes in the heart of Alsace – ideal base to visit all of Alsace as well as nearby Germany and Switzerland.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. As you say they are signs. Names of destinations and lane numbers or letters do not need to be translated. For the rest, you will find your way in English, German and of course French.

  2. Argentine says:

    When moving around Strasbourg are the signs at the train station translate to English language ? We would like to spend Christmas this year.

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