Stade is a Kreis (district) in the northern part of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated at the southern banks of the Elbe river, between the city of Hamburg and the river's mouth. Area 1266 km², population 189,200 (1997). The district's capital is Stade.
The western border of the district is the Oste river, a narrow tributary of the Elbe. The land between the Oste and the town of Stade is traditionally called Kehdingen. East of Stade the landscape is called Altes Land (literally "Old Land"). It is characterised by thousands of fruit-trees.
The cultural centres of the district are the towns of Stade and Buxtehude.