Strasbourg is a city that is both super interesting and incredibly beautiful, but is often overlooked. Located on the French-side of the French/German border in the Alsace region, this busy city mixes merci with danke; medieval with modern; and politics with art. I spent a weekend visiting a friend who showed me the very best of one of the most important cities in Europe (Find out why!). So without further ado, my favourite things about Strasbourg…!
Strasbourg is filled with dreamy streets and canals that are straight out of your Euro dreams. Wander between the timber-framed buildings in petite france, or take in the cityscape with a view over Ponts Couverts.
The focal point of the city is the sandstone gothic cathedral that dominates the city square – it’s actually the sixth tallest church in the world! Head inside to view the intricate and full-size astronomical clock, or climb to the platform at the top for a remarkable view of the city.
Internationalism in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is one of the three locations for the European Parliament (Luxembourg and Brussels are the others). In the Wacken district, you can go check out some of the official EU buildings such as the European Council, the European Parliament, the International Institute of Human Rights and more.
Unsurprisingly, the city has a strong student population, withe France’s second biggest university being world-renowned for its political science, international relations and law courses.
A fun fact about Strasbourg is that you can catch one of the world’s only international tram lines, to the small German town of Kehl, where the signs turn to German, crepes become wursts and cigarettes get cheaper.
Capital of Christmas
Even though it’s pretty damn cold, I would say that Christmas is one of the best times to visit Strasbourg. The city considers itself the “Capital of Christmas”, and to be honest, they do work hard to deserve that title. The Christmas markets have, more than once, been voted the best in Europe! Wander around drinking mulled cider, eating tarte flambée, and make sure you’re there for the switching on of the Christmas tree!
Some might think it’s abit kitschy, but what’s life without a little tacky fun? Over the river, and the German border, you’ll find Europa Land. This theme park is divided up into different “countries of Europe” and is really just pure fun. Ride the rollercoaster in Iceland, wander through the Swiss villages and have lunch in a British pub!
Have you ever been to Strasbourg? Do you have any suggestions?