A project I vividly remember from my first french class in undergrad was to create my dream trip to any city in France. For the assignment, we had to buy TGV tickets, book a place to stay, and find things to do in the city we chose.
My partner and I ended up choosing Strasbourg (for reasons I can’t recall at the moment), and while completing the project, my desire to visit the french city grew tremendously. I knew I’d one day have to turn that “dream trip” into a real one.
3.5 years later, I finally had the chance!
Not only was my dream of visiting Strasbourg finally fulfilled, but I was also lucky enough to visit the city for Christmas, which is the best time to go. Strasbourg, is known as the Christmas capital, and during the holiday season, the streets of the city look like they’re straight out of a storybook.
My friends and I booked an Airbnb in the center of Strasbourg for Christmas. The location of the apartment could not have been better. We only had to take a few steps out of the apartment to find ourselves in the middle of the Christmas market. This year was the first Christmas away from home for all of us, but we were all feeling quite fortunate to be able to spend it together, and in the Christmas capital nonetheless.
Christmas Eve was spent exploring the Christmas market (the best part about Strasbourg). Little shops sold everything from Christmas ornaments and handmade gifts, to delicious food and hot drinks. You could smell the mulled wine and sugary pastries as you walked by.
I couldn’t help myself and bought a bretzel (bread + pretzel, which is really a donut) coated in cinnamon and sugar.
The little shops of the Christmas Market lead us directly to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. I’ve seen so many cathedrals in France at this point, yet I’m still mesmerized by the architecture every time I come across another one.
We eventually found the giant Christmas tree we had been told was a must-see after was asking through the Christmas market. We stopped for a moment to enjoy the light show and to listen to a few french Christmas songs. I was amazed by how many of the songs I understood, and by how many others were singing along.
As if the giant Christmas tree and the singing in the plaza weren’t festive enough, many of the buildings throughout the city are adorned with flamboyant Christmas decorations. It almost seemed as if each business was trying to out do one another with their Christmas decorations. I took a few photos of my favorites down below.
Knowing everything would be closed for the holiday, we stocked up on wine and carbs to make dinner that night. The rest of the night was spent eating, dancing, and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. When midnight finally came around, we opened our gifts.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!