The city of Strasbourg is an enchantingly beautiful place to visit in the Alsace region of France. Situated on the French side of the Rhine river it shares a border with Germany. When visiting you will feel like you have been transported into a Disney fairytale with its picturesque cobbled streets and colorful timbered buildings found at every turn.
Climb the Cathedral
The Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre dame is one of the most tallest and arguably one of the most beautiful gothic buildings in Europe. The crypt was built in 1015, and the rest of the building which stands today was completed in 1439. The Cathedral is a place of worship so ensure you are respectful, however it is also a popular tourist destination and visitors have the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower and gaze upon the city of Strasbourg. The views are spectacular, be sure to watch the astronomical clock.
Eat at the patisseries
Due to the city’s close proximity to the German border, the city offers unique food. The combination of airy croissants, fresh baguettes, German pretzels, and butter cookies means you are never too far away from tasty delicious treats while visiting the city. Alsace is the mother and master of all pastries in France, so much so its bread and pastry makers are wanted all over the world for their skill! You will taste the best croissants of your life in this city and region. A must-try pastry labeled as the holy grail by pastry lovers in Strasbourg is an almond croissant made from brioche dough and not puff pastry. French chefs are particular about their pastries and bread and thus you will always be eating quality.
Hop on a boat
There is nothing quite like a view of a city from a boat. With the city’s location next to the Rhine river, it means sightseeing boat trips are in abundance and absolutely worth it. It is a perfect way to get acquainted with the city and should be on every itinerary when visiting. There are plenty of boat companies operating from different locations and offering different things. Read ahead prior to your trip and find out which one is best for you.
Take a wander through the different quarters
Strasbourg is a small city and most tourists do not lead the old town/petite France. However, the city is steeped in so much history that left its mark on different quarters. A visit to the districts that lie beyond Grande Ile are as intriguing as the old town and offers more private places to admire the architecture or snap a few photos without the crowds. There are tours that are available that take you around these locations or you can grab a map and explore these districts at your own pace.
Visit La Petite France
You would not believe this used to be the poorest and smelliest part of the city prior to the 14th century as it is now easily labeled as the most prettiest and most popular part of the city. Located on the west side of the old town on the Grande ile and the small island where the river III splits into three channels. It received its name from the Germans who nicknamed it French disease due to the hospital that was built to house patients with Syphilis, thus the name La Petite France was born. Despite its origins, it is a must-see location for anyone who is visiting Strasbourg.
The Christmas capital of France
If you are visiting Strasbourg during the festive season be sure to visit the oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating to 1570. The city feels magical at this time of the year with the streets lined with lights, everybody partakes in the festivities and all the buildings are appropriately decorated. Truly something not to be missed.