Strasbourg; the “Capital of Christmas”

Strasbourg isn’t just the economic and cultural capital of the historic Alsace region in eastern France, it’s widely considered Europe’s “Capital of Christmas” – and it’s easy to see why.

Tear your gaze away from Strasbourg’s captivating Gothic cathedral and you quickly become aware of the city’s unique cross-border appeal. A stroll along the old town’s – La Petite-France – winding alleys takes you past elegant French-style townhouses and Black Forest-esque medieval half-timbered houses in equal measure.

Being located just a stone’s throw from Germany, Strasbourg is as famous for its cultural quirks as its historic charm.

Christmas is a big deal around here. So much so that it can rightly claim to be Europe’s “Capital of Christmas”, or “Capitale de Noël” if you’re brushing up on the local lingo. So what sets Strasbourg apart from other destinations at this magical time of year? Simple, the Christmas markets in picturesque surroundings!

The finest Christmas markets in Europe

Strasbourg’s Christmas market – known locally as Christkindelsmärik – pedigree is unrivalled: dating back to 1570 – that’s over four centuries of festive magic – it’ the oldest in France and the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Head to the heart of the Grande Île – a UNESCO world heritage site – between late November and the end of December to discover this winter wonderland. Once there you’ll find a maze of pretty wooden chalets selling everything from traditional Alsatian decorations and gifts made by local craftsmen to gingerbread (bredele) and doughnuts.

Christmas is a time for indulgence, so it’s no surprise the food market does a roaring trade. It smells as good as it looks, thanks to the enticing aroma of mulled wine and festive fare drifting in the air. You can’t leave without washing down the delicious bredele cakes with a drink or two. And there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained too, including baking workshops and a Santa’s grotto unlike no other.

Christmas illuminations

Strasbourg is a picturesque place to visit throughout the year, but the city saves the best for last. In the run-up to Christmas, the streets, houses, churches and cathedral twinkle with thousands of enchanting lights and decorations. From the giant chandelier hanging on the corner of the Grand’Rue and Rue du Fossé-des-Tanneurs to the iconic 30-metre-tall tree in Place Kléber, Strasbourg spares no expense when it comes to bringing its streets alive with Christmas spirit.

Visitors travel from far and wide to gather in Place Kléber in late November to watch the lights being turned on, heralding the start of the city’s world-famous Christmas celebrations. Once there you can channel your inner Torvill and Dean on the historic squares ice-skating rink, which is constructed at the foot of the cathedral each year.

Purchasing a property in Strasbourg

Imagine enjoying a Strasbourg Christmas every year from the comfort of your very own home in or around the city. You’ll be able to browse the markets and marvel at the illuminations to your heart’s content.

Its location in the northeast of France means getting there is a breeze. You can either fly to Strasbourg’s international airport or hop on the Eurostar. Another benefit of its proximity to Germany is the ease at which overseas property buyers can settle in to its sophisticatedly international and multi-lingual surroundings.

Seek help from the experts

To make this dream a reality you’ll want to protect your property buying budget from currency market risk. RationalFX can help you do just that. Our award-winning service is convenient, cost-effective and secure, being fully-authorised by the FCA. You will be assigned a personal account manager who will provide expert market guidance and explain the tools that can help you stay in control of your payments, like a forward contract.

Each day the pound fluctuates in value against other currencies, in response to political and economic news. Your account manager can help you fix a rate for up to two years using a forward contract. So, you can rest assured that the price of your property will remain the same in the weeks or months between making an offer and completing the purchase.