Place Kleber hosts the market featuring international charities, the Village of Sharing.. Some of the organizations featured on this square are Doctors Without Borders and Unicef. Here the focus is more information or homemade crafts The market itself is fairly small, but the Christmas tree is the largest in the city, and provided by the National Forestry Office. There is also an outdoor iceskating rink. Rent some skates and interrupt you shopping for a little while.
Around the corner and down a few alleys, you find a small square with many handmade goods. The food isn't as varied at the stalls, but the surrounding shops will feed any craving you might have. And it’s worth the side trip just for the decorated surrounding buildings.
Place du Marche Gayot, is a very small community market that's all about family participation. There are cooking demonstrations and ornament making, puppet shows and story telling, and all things that bring a family together for the holidays. The stalls are not open quite as long at others in the city, but the cute little square and the interesting activities make this one worth a visit.
Very central, Place Guttenberg has in international market dedicated to a different European neighbor, and her goods and traditions, every year. In 2018 the country was Norway where open roasted slabs of salmon and fur clothing were featured. This year Lebanon and Georgia share the market space.
Of course in the center, and under the spire of the Our Lady of Strasbourg Cathedral, is a very large and very commercial market. Here is where you will find the long line to the famous pop=up indoor Kathe Wolfart Christmas decorations shop. The seasonal street lights in this area of the city are the most impressive as they are true chandeliers hanging over the streets.
There are several small markets very near each other that offer local goods and handcrafts, Alsacian specialties like wines and food are popular as are knitted gloves and hats. And keep an eye out for the little train car selling hot roasted chestnuts.
Off in an unlikely corner of the city is as unlikely a market. It’s called the “Off Market” and here you find your alternative gifts. Everything from eco-friendly wooden toys and soaps, to recycled items sold from a pink shipping container, to organic wine and restaurants. This out of the way market is definitely a do-not-miss if only for curiosity’s sake. I have never seen another Christmas Market like it in Central Europe.
Along with the various markets divided throughout the old city, are decorations and lights that change with the area. Some are elaborate, like around the Catherdral. Some are more of a color change from one street to the next. One street honors it’s heritage of the part of town where barrels were made. There are lights overhead depicting the barrels and permanent cobblestones in the street of a barrel maker.
Strasbourg should be on your bucket list as a destination in itself. During the Christmas season it's a must-see. With the rest of charming Alsace region at it's doorstep and the Black Forest just across the Rhine River, you can get to so many cute towns and villages all decked out for the season. Even if you don't have the time to travel around the area, Strasbourg is worth a full day or two to wander the many markets just in the old city.
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