From 22 November 2019, Alsace will be kicking off the Christmas festivities with the opening of its famous markets. Take this opportunity to (re)discover the region and its traditions in a truly magical setting.
Sweet and spicy aromas, Christmas carols, lights and decorations that glitter in the night... every year as Christmas approaches, the towns and villages of Alsace don their holiday clothes. The region’s Christmas markets are some of the best in France, with festivities beginning at the end of November and continuing to the end of the year.
Bredeles, Gingerbreads, and Pretzels
It all begins on 22 November 2019 in Strasbourg, with the opening of Christmas markets that take over several of the city’s iconic spaces and major arteries with their little wooden chalets. Visitors flock to taste bredele (traditional Alsatian biscuits), gingerbread, pretzels and other edible goodies, or to buy something to decorate their homes or Christmas trees. For a responsible, eco-friendly Christmas, head for the ‘OFF’ on Place Grimmeisser in the Petite France district, where it’s all about recycling and exchange.
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Beyond Strasbourg, all of Alsace comes alive with Christmas markets in December, starting with Colmar and its six themed ones, including one dedicated to gourmet food, graced by the presence of nine chefs. In Riquewihr markets remain traditional, while the spotlight is on craftsmen in Barr and on local produce in Bouxwiller. And for a trip back in time, head to Ribeauvillé where the Christmas market plunges its visitors into the Middle Ages.
Strasbourg: Capital of Christmas
A true secular tradition, the Strasbourg Christmas market was created in 1570. It’s the oldest in France and one of the oldest in Europe. Initially confined to the cathedral and lasting three days, the market has continued to expand and develop, today occupying many places in the city and continuing until 30 December. The markets are accompanied by numerous beautiful decorations and illuminations, including a huge tree erected on Place Kléber, making Strasbourg the ‘Capital of Christmas’.
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