One of the reasons I was so excited to move to Germany was the close proximity of so many countries. This past weekend we visited Strasbourg, France, which is only ~150km from Stuttgart, Germany. This is terribly exciting being from Canada when (not counting the U.S.), the next closest country is Mexico which is still a 5 hour flight! I had heard that Strasbourg was a charming city, but it exceeded my already high expectations and if you have the chance to visit Strasbourg, I can’t recommend it enough!
Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Strasbourg
#1) Visit Strasbourg to see the cathedral of Notre Dame (pictured above).
This gothic style church is truly breath-taking, especially at dusk and is very old. Construction first started on the cathedral in 1015 and it wasn’t completed until 1439, imagine, over 400 years to build a cathedral!
|The Petit France Quarter is beyond charming, with storybook houses lining canals, not to mention the great selection of restaurants that can be found here.|
#2) The city of Strasbourg is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it is the only city in all of France to have this honor, where the whole city is declared a World Heritage Site.
After spending a couple of days wandering around this charming city, complete with swan and stork filled canals, it was clear to us that Strasbourg certainly deserved this honor.
|The European Parliament is another reason to visit Strasbourg. Check ahead for tours since availability depends on when Parliament is in session.|
#3) Strasbourg is also home to the European Parliament, which is a strikingly modern building in contrast with the center of historic Strasbourg.
Tours are available and I think would be very interesting, but we were visiting on a holiday when everything was closed, but a tour of the European Parliament merits another reason to visit Strasbourg.
|On our visit to Strasbourg we saw lots of swans and storks in the waterways which was a wonderful surprise!|
#4) The Bike Paths in Strasbourg
A whooping 500 km of them. More than any other city in France. Bikes are everywhere and are a good option if you are sight-seeing outside the city center, not to mention environmentally friendly and easy on a travelers budget. They can be rented from hotels at reasonable rates.
|I loved the half-timber houses that are found throughout Strasbourg, but especially in The Petit French Quarter.|
#5) Strasbourg Christmas Market
Although I haven’t visited Strasbourg during the Christmas markets, a friend of mine who lived there for six months, said they’re not to be missed and I believe it. Strasbourg is already such a charming city, I can only imagine it at Christmas time.
|Another reason to visit Strasbourg is for the shopping. Strasbourg is famous for its antiques shops, but we also saw lots of high-end French designer stores as well.|
We plan to visit Strasbourg next in December and check out the Christmas markets (sorry J.P. if this is the first you’ve heard about this). I can’t wait!
I’m hardly alone in my love of Strasbourg. Check out Jeff’s post (from EuroTravelogue)to see what I mean: Storybook Villages Come to Life in Alsace, France. Have you been to Strasbourg? I’d love to hear your impressions and things that you would recommend doing there.
|St. Paul’s Church is outside of the tourist district, but it’s a beautiful walk along the river to visit this beautiful church, that is currently being restored.|