Strasbourg – Capitale de Noel

DSC_0825When will there be a better time than Christmas to visit Strasbourg?

I was actually so close to visiting this city during August when we were in Colmar. My dad was too tired of traveling though. I’m glad we didn’t go because if we had, I probably wouldn’t have had the incentive to go during this time. But my gosh, the place is beautiful! The entire city is 200% into the Christmas spirit. Ornaments are hung up everywhere, all the streets are decorated with different lights and different themes…

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Not sure how many chalets they have but its spread out all over the city. As I was walking around at night, it seemed like every 10 minutes, I would bump into a small marche de Noel. The biggest ones are at Place Broglie and in front of their Notre Dame Cathedralewhich by the way, is extremely beautiful at night. The only other time I’ve ever been to a cathedral at night was during Nuit Blanche in Paris. I usually like to visit these places in the morning when there are zero tourists. Seeing it at night though was such a wonder. All the small details in designed were somehow intensified by the lightings. It’s a different experience than visiting it in the morning, which I did as well, before taking the train back to Paris.

Other main gathering points like La Petite France and Place Gutenberg also have smaller themed-Christmas markets if you are looking for less crowded places.

Just a side note though, these markets here close early…at 8pm or 9pm. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. They should last until midnight! Also, the Christmas markets here are more about buying. The food isn’t so great, and I actually prefer Paris’ Champs Elysee market to this one when it comes to food. However, they do have a lot of cool hand-made trinkets that you don’t see in Paris, and some Alsatian delicacies to snack on. Also, the marron chaud and vin chaud is cheaper by a euro haha sounds good to me! Looks like Paris wins the prize for best food and most expensive…

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The city itself takes about 2-3 hours to visit all the main sights. It’s quite tranquil in the morning and very nice to walk around La Petite France and wake yourself up to the smell of fresh-baked bread from the boulangeries you pass by. I stayed at Hotel Graffalgar, and literally right next to it is a small bakery that won the gold medal for best croissant in 2013. I didn’t even notice it until I was leaving the shop. Good thing I also got the viennoise, which was really soft and fluffy! Just what I needed before boarding my two hour train ride. Yeah, it was a heavy carb morning hahah…

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Check out more photos from my FB album here 🙂

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