There was a city that I had been wanting to visit during Christmas for years. Strasbourg! My parents went a few years ago and showed me some photos they took there… The lights, the facades… it was magical in the photos! I loved so much what I only saw in pictures that I knew someday I had to visit this beautiful city… And this year my dream came true!!

Last weekend I went to the Alsace, the French region bordering with Switzerland and Germany. This part of France, known for its great wines, has been disputed and controlled alternatively by France and Germany over the centuries, and this reflects on the culture and architecture of the region. Christmas in the region is magical as well. The timbered-facades get beautifully decorated, the traditional Christmas markets sprout around the cities, there’re are incredible smells of Glühwein / Vin chaud (mulled wine), pain d’epices, gingerbread, chocolate and cookies everywhere, magical lights adorning the streets… OK, it may sound a bit like Christmas in any other European city… But trust me, this region is special… And Strasbourg is the real gem in the region!

The Christmas market of Strasbourg is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest one in France, dating back from 1570. Actually, it’s not one single Christmas market, but a few of them, spreading around all the old town of the city. Some of them have their own thematic, as the one in Place Kléber, where charities have their own stalls. Or the market in Place Gutenberg, where the city honors a neighbor European country (this year it was Finland). Or the most traditional Christkindelsmärik, where Christmas decorations are sold. But there are common things on all of these different markets: the food, the glühwein, the rich decoration of every one of them… all of it in the beautiful setting of the old town of Strasbourg and the small neighborhood of Petit France, with their timbered houses and richly decorated shop windows and the pretty Christmas lights in the shape of angels and gingerbread cookies…

I only spent one day exploring this beautiful city… enough time to realize that I want to come back, in Christmas or any other time of the year! It was a very cold day and I didn’t feel very well, so I didn’t try to make long exposure photos that night… Instead, I tested the ISO of my new camera, and I can say that I’m really happy with the photos I took! The new camera and the f/2.8 lens allowed me to take photos without tripod in very low light conditions without adding so much noise to the images… That’s such an improvement compared to my smaller camera!!

Well, here are some photos from beautiful Strasbourg! I hope you like them!

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/20sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 70mm f/11 1/80sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 50mm f/11 1/500sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 70mm f/11 1/500sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 47mm f/11 1/1250sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/125sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/60sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 63mm f/11 1/160sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 53mm f/11 1/160sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/25sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/13sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/40sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/50sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/3.5 1/80sec. ISO6400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 70mm f/7.1 1/125sec. ISO200
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 135mm f/4 1/250sec. ISO200
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/5.6 1/15sec. ISO2000
Canon EOS 1200D 24mm f/11 1/160sec. ISO200
Canon 1200D 24mm f/11 1/160sec. ISO200


  1. Cada sitio que nos enseñas por fotos lo apunto para ir. ¡¡Muchísimas gracias por compartirlas con nosotros!

    • mercedescatalan

      Muchas gracias, Carmen!!! La verdad es que iba a Estrasburgo con altas expectativas y no me ha defraudado nada… es una de las ciudades más bonitas que he visto! Y con la decoración navideña muchísimo más! Es un sitio muy especial 🙂 Ahora quiero volver en otra época, cuando no haya tanta gente y con algo más de color (y menos frío, jejeje)

  2. Beautiful city Mercedes and well photographed I’m so sorry that you weren’t feeling well that day. Your pictures don’t show it!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne!! Yes, Strasbourg is beautiful and with all the Christmas decorations and markets, the city looked magical!! I had an amazing time exploring the city, even if the cold and humidity made me feel ill that day… So I couldn’t get all the shots I planned, specially the long exposures… but it was really fun anyway! Now I hope I can go again next year! But then, there are so magical Christmas markets in Europe… I want to see them all!! Hehehe! Or maybe next year I will spend more Advent weekends in Germany instead 🙂
      Have a great week, Anne! 🙂

  3. Wow, all those deocrations!!!! So many!!! So carefully done! Nothing like that over here. And otherwise it looks pretty too. Never been there, should go!

    • mercedescatalan

      I’ve always though that Stockholm and Zurich had the most beautiful Christmas decorations… probably because these two cities have very simple and elegant lights! Dublin was a bit dull in that sense… But Strasbourg is totally different! All those lights, and teddy bears, white trees…. they put so much effort and everything looks like a Christmas dream! And the Christmas markets are just adorable! All those nutcrackers, pyramids, nativity scenes… Strasbourg makes you feel like a little girl again! Hehehe now I’m dreading going to Madrid, because there the Christmas decorations are now so modern and so no-Christmas (nothing related to Christianity and baby Jesus, so no one is offended, of course) that it doesn’t feel as warm and festive as here in Central Europe…
      If you can, visit Strasbourg and the little villages in Alsace during Christmas… is magical!!!

      • Looks like the magic was broken… what a world it is!!! 😤

        • mercedescatalan

          I know!! I can’t believe it! 10 days ago I was walking the same streets… and I guess it was just luck what made that this crazy guy decided to shot yesterday and not other day… it’s terrifying!! But what can we do? Stay at home and not go anywhere just in case? Then they get what they want, scare us…

          • True. Humans are such a sad race. I sometimes wonder what the world would be without men. Would women want warfare and killing? I guess there would always be some crazies who would.

          • Do you think it would be better? I think it’s not a gender problem, but cultural and religious… And lack of tolerance and respect. It’s funny how minorities ask for tolerance for their traditions when they live in a foreign country, but you, as the native and part of the majority, have to be afraid to celebrate yours… We live in a strange world and strange times!

          • Yes this problem is due to religion and not blending into society, but so many times it’s men causing other disturbances too.

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