Nestled in the often-disputed Alsace Lorraine, the unparalleled city of Strasbourg is the perfect blend of French glamour and German style. Home to the European Parliament, it's a bustling city that hasn't lost its quaint charm.
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Though anyone could spend 100 lifetimes in France without leaving Paris, taking a day to visit Strasbourg doesn't disappoint!
1. It's surprisingly accessible from Paris
Thanks to the expansion of France's high-speed trains ("TGV"), Strasbourg is now easily accessible as a day trip from Paris. The journey of almost 50o kilometers takes about two hours, each way, from either Gare de l'Est or Gare de Lyon.
If you aren't familiar with high-speed trains, they feel generally like normal trains, but if you're concerned about motion sickness, sit facing the direction of travel, on the lower level of a double decker, and don't play on your phone too much.
2. It's the capital of Alsace
Strasbourg is a relatively large city and the capital of Grand Est (formerly Alsace), with a metro area population of 775,000. Home to the European Parliament and many of the EU's bureaucratic functions, there's a bit of hustle and bustle! There is light rail public transit, if you wish, but the town really isn't big enough to require it.
Strasbourg is home to excellent luxury shopping, along with many quaint boutiques, and the ubiquitous tourist shops, overflowing with items full of German flair. Allocate some time to strolling the shops!
3. Strasbourg Cathedral
Generally held to be one of the most archetypal examples of High Gothic architecture in Europe, Strasbourg Cathedral is stunning in every respect. Situated in a gorgeous, Germanic square, it was actually the tallest building in the world from 1647-1874.
Yes, they did plan to build the second tower but, towers are expensive and here we are! The one-tower structure is now considered a hallmark of the Cathedral.
Entry is free, with just a security check before entry. Take the tour at your own pace - don't miss the Cathedral's iconic astronomical clock (the third the Cathedral has housed- it is currently under construction, which will hopefully end soon!)
4. Food and Beer
Splendid German food, with a French flair, is everywhere in Strasbourg. Thanks to the political and commercial status of the city, nice restaurants aren't hard to come by. I'm so thankful to my friend and former colleague for recommending La Hache, an incredibly quaint lunch spot, right off the river in the middle of town. Maison des Tanneurs, built in 1572, is a stunningly historic eatery, that certainly deserves to be on your list, even if it's just to see its incredible fascade. Make time for some German/French beer in one of the city's many beer gardens.
The center of town - known as the Grande Ile, was the first city to be made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. It won't take long for you to see why that was incredibly well-deserved.
Take a stroll into town and delight in the black and white timber-framed buildings - you can imagine Belle bursting into song amidst the quaint streets.
I hope you'll love Strasbourg as much as we did! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a lovely trip!! xx
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