Located in the Alsace region in France, Strasbourg has a unique cultural mix that comes with being a border town. It only takes 15 minutes to drive to the neighbouring country, so naturally, you can see some direct influences. German Flammkuchen appears on the menu at nearly every restaurant, but it is just as easy to order from the huge variety of French pastries at a local patisserie.  French language sings in the air, though it is not uncommon to hear German too!  Strasbourg has an endless supply of charming streets, half-timbered houses and pretty canals, waiting to be explored.

Check out the Strasbourg Cathedral

This grand gothic cathedral towers above the town square and is the sixth tallest church in the world.  It is remarkably impressive from the outside, especially during the golden hour.  Make sure you take a peek inside too!

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Strasbourg Cathedral

Take a boat tour around the canals

A boat tour is a great option if you have limited time and want to learn more about the history of the city.  You can purchase tickets from the information centre and boats leave regularly.

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Boat tour along the River Ill

Wander the streets of “Petite France”

This historic quarter of the city is full of colourful half-timbered houses, narrow streets, restaurants, bars and bridges.  Take your time to soak in the atmosphere before finding a sunny table on the street to enjoy a wine!

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Historic houses of “Petite France”
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Canals and half-timbered houses in the old quarter

Purchase a variety of indulgent desserts at a patisserie

The options are endless! Feast on creamy eclairs, soft croissants, mouth-watering macarons and savoury quiches.  The French are unbelievably good at baking – it is almost enough to convince you to move to France!

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A window display from one of the many patisseries

Admire the Strasbourg Pont Couverts

This set of three bridges and four towers crosses the four channels of the River Ill and dates back to 1230, when the bridge began construction.  Climb up the steps onto the turfed landing to soak in one of the best views in Strasbourg.

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Strasbourg Pont Couverts

Eat Flammkuchen (or Tarte Flambee)

Flammkuchen is a bit like a pizza, though it is based on pastry instead of dough.  Of course, the French have their own name, which sounds far more elegant!  Whatever you like to call it and wherever it originated, it is hard to stop at just one, especially when accompanied by a local wine.

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Flammkuchen (Image: pixabay.com )

Climb the clocktower for sunset

It is always worth climbing up the clocktower in these European cities – the views are particularly magical at sunset and you get a decent view of the old town below.

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View from the Clock Tower
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Sunset from the Clock Tower

Wander the streets by night

Afterwards, take a stroll along the river by night and enjoy the golden glow of the old houses and the gentle sound of water lapping against the channel walls.

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Strasbourg by night

Whilst the city has passed hands between France and Germany over the course of its complicated history, it is most certainly French today. I was quite surprised to find myself out of place.  My German SIM card took a few days to adjust and, much to my dismay, I had forgotten nearly all of my French from high school and was spluttering a strange mix of German and English, trying to make myself understood.  It was then that I realised how familiar Germany had become!

Have you been to Strasbourg?  What was your highlight?

14 thoughts

  1. Strasbourg is one of my favourite French cities! I spent my year abroad in Colmar, and visited Strasbourg a fair few times while I was living in the region. It’s especially magical at Christmastime with the markets ☺️ I also loved the Musée Alsacien, which provided a glimpse into the traditional way of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How lovely! I can imagine the Christmas markets there would be pretty special. I heard that Colmar is a beautiful city too, though I didn’t get a chance to visit this time. Another excuse to return to the area 😃

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  2. Wow! You’re in Strasbourg?! ❤ I spent a month in Strasbourg and it's indeed a very beautiful city with a perfect blend of Germany and France! Also, they have their own dialect: Alsatian, which was difficult for me to understand. Another beautiful city of the Alsace region is Colmar! Please do visit that place, if you haven't yet! 🙂

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    1. Yes! At least I was there a few weeks ago! What a lovely place to spend a whole month!! That is a relief about the language! It makes me feel better about forgetting all my French – it must have been the Alsatian dialect!! I have Colmar on my ever-extending list of places to visit 🙂

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      1. It’s one of my favourite cities in France! 🙂 Hahaha, yes.. I went there on a French exchange program and the Heads told us that the locals speak Alsatian which is a mix of German and French! 🙂

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