Holiday Shopping at Europe's Top Christmas Markets

As host to the oldest and biggest Christmas market in France, Strasbourg has brought holiday cheer to its visitors since 1570. Though its heart is by the Cathedrale Notre-Dame and along Place Broglie, the market has since spread throughout the entire city. While authentic Christmas spirit is everywhere, if you thought this market would only offer traditional French marquetry, embroidered tablecloths, earthenware, and bridle cakes, you'd be wrong. While Strasbourg does offer traditional wares, each year the market celebrates a different country's yuletide traditions as well.

This year the theme is "Russian Village," and it is featured in place Gutenberg, which is named for the inventor of the printing press and former Strasbourg resident. Alongside local French crafts, plan on seeing a range of Russian-themed stalls, selling everything from painted eggs and Russian headwear to vodka and blini. When you are finished browsing the multicultural items on offer, head to the cathedral to watch one of over 50 scheduled holiday concerts or visit La Petite France on the riverfront and take a tour of the gingerbread bakery.

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