Hello everyone dear travelers, ready for a new French adventure? Today we are heading to Strasbourg, another big city that will keep us very busy but we are here for that, right? Well, said that, we can’t wait to start this new adventure but first we want to present it.
Strasbourg (which literally means “city of streets”) as you can guess from its name is of German origin because in the past the territory of Alsace was under the dominion of both France and Germany. For this reason, in addition to French language is spoken the Alsatian language too (it will not be difficult to find some bilingual signs). However Strasbourg is a city in eastern France that borders Germany on the left bank of the Rhine and is crossed by the Ill, a tributary of the Rhine river, which expands throughout the city. It is the headquarters, with Brussels as well, of the European Parliament and also the Council of Europe. So the city has a great reputation on the political level. Even on a cultural level Strasbourg is a great city, it houses the University of Strasbourg which is the second most important French University. If you love cinema or music, keep an eye on the events that take place in the city many times a year.
To know more (what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
Well, without losing a second of our time, let’s start our exploration immediately.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg: it is one of the most important churches of the city but also of France, not only for its importance and majesty but also because it is among the tallest buildings in the world and often taken as a reference point for the construction of other buildings around the world. Its style is romanesque gothic and its composition is made of a typical rhenish stone that gives it the reddish color that also characterizes many of the buildings in the city. The interior is no less majestic and contains many relics and important objects including the astronomical clock. What to say except that you will be sure enchanted by such mastery.
- Église Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune: it is a church that rises in the Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune place. Its architecture is very particular as it is very remindf the types of church that we can find in the small neighborhoods of the city. Aesthetically it is very beautiful and and internally very welcoming and also quite big, more than you can expected. This church also has this reddish color due to the typical stones. If you have time and desire to visit other churches, one that we can recommend is that of Saint-Paul, very beautiful, especially inside.
- Palazzo dei Rohan: it is a palace (but not an usual building!) located in the center of Strasbourg, right near the cathedral. Within it we find three museums (which we will slowly get to know) and they are, the Musée des arts décoratifs, the Musée des beaux-arts and the Archaeological Museum. So now you can understand how big it can be and plus its view is on the Ill river. Given its great importance and grandeur it is certainly a must to visit.
- Barrage Vauban: it is a long covered bridge, or better a building, in fact it houses several sculptures. The nice thing about this place is also its rooftop terrace overlooking the Ill river. Furthermore the area was a defensive place and the dam was a barrier against enemies. Go there and you won’t regret it because it’s a really wonderful place.
- Musée alsacien: it is a museum dedicated to all aspects of daily life in pre-industrial and industrial Alsace. Inside it contains finds and a remarkable reconstruction of the interiors of several traditional houses. It also has a rich collection of artifacts that document the daily life of alsatian jews. As for the structure it is very suggestive and fascinating andit also has a small interior patio, all to admire.
- Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame: it is a museum located in the historical building of the Fondation de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame (near the Palace of the Rohan) and is dedicated to the plastic and decorative art of the Rhine territory of the medieval period. It is also famous for its rich collection of architectural elements, works of art, paintings (such as those by Konrad Witz, Hans Baldung and Sebastian Stoskopff) and stained glass pieces from the cathedral and other churches. The structure (of gothic style, of a very remarkable architecture) also has a small garden with medicinal or aromatic plants used at the time.
- Musée historique de Strasbourg: is a museum dedicated to the history of Strasbourg located on the bank of the Ill river, near the Cathedral square. The museum presents political, economic and social history through a collection of objects, paintings, drawings, sculptures, precisely from the period from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Inside the museum there is also a very beautiful and interesting model of the city to give you an idea of how the city is structured.
- Palais du Rhin: it is a building located in the Place de la République (german area of the city). At first glance, what immediately catches one’s eye is certainly its dome, its vast garden (so much that it can be considered almost a park) and its “diversity” compared to the structures seen so far. It is a majestic palace so expect some beautiful and luxurious interior rooms but nothing too excessive, indeed it is all very elegant. Beautiful during the day and even more at night when everything is lit up.
- Musée Militaire Park Franc: history lovers, this museum is for you. It is a place entirely dedicated to the Second World War with various collections and many military means (like tanks). Very beautiful and interesting but obviously you should like this kind of things.
- Pixel Museum: this museum will make everyone agree from the smallest to the oldest. From how you can guess from the name it is a museum dedicated to the pixel world. There are many collections to see, old consoles where you can also test them and play with them. A nice interactive and fun museum.
- Another particular museum is the Cave historique des hospices. What is this? A surprise for all wine lovers: a cantinola, lots of history, wine and tastings, we won’t tell you anything else!
- Osservatorio di Strasburgo: it is an astronomical observatory located on the historic campus of the University of Strasbourg. A very beautiful structure surrounded by greenery and its dome containing the telescope. Inside the structure there is also a museum containing telescopes and other ancient astronomical devices, such as watches.
- Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain MAMCS: it is a museum of modern art (as the very artistic and modern structure suggests). The building houses collections of paintings (including alsatian arts), sculpture and graphic arts, as well as numerous exhibitions organized each year. Think that the museum hosts what was the first painting of the cubist atistic current. Also in the building there is a library, an auditorium for film or concert or conferences. The large roof terrace of the museum houses a cafe.
- Last but not least the famous and important building of the European Parliament (that you can visit). Well, it is difficult for us to explain the importance and beauty of this structure, so we leave it to you to admire and judge, but we are sure you will be fascinated.
Two main theaters in the city of Strasbourg are the National Theater of Strasbourg and the Théâtre jeune public.
And we continue our tour without stopping to not lose even a second.
- Petite France: what to say about this wonderful place, it is a historic district of the city and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area is really something wonderful and characteristic; first you will notice half-timbered houses (very similar to the wooden structures that are usually you find in the mountains) then its canals, bars, small shops, bridges and narrow streets and parks such as Square Louise Weiss. Really lovely to describe.
- Grande Île: this isle, so named because it is surrounded by the river, is the historic center of the city and includes the districts of Center-Ville and Petite France and the main sites of interest (Notre-Dame cathedral, Rohan palace, Kammerzell house). Given its beauty and importance, it seems almost unnecessary to say that it is part of the UNESCO world heritage.
- Ponts Couverts: is a pedestrian bridge (classified as a historical monument) where on the sides there are a complex of four towers that were part of the defensive zone of the city. The bridge, located in the Grande Île part, overlooks the Ill river. A very suggestive and picturesque place at most even in the evening when everything is lit up. Amazing!
- Here are the most important streets and squares in Strasbourg: Kléber Square, the central square of the city (a large quadrangular space), takes its name from General Jean-Baptiste Kléber where, precisely, in the central part there is a statue dedicated to him. An important building, located in the square, is the Aubette but there are also many luxury shops located in this prestigious area (classified, among other things as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO). Place Gutenberg, which is part of the Grande Île, with important buildings and a beautiful carrousel in the center of the square. The Place Broglie is another square in the historic center of Strasbourg. It looks like more as a beautiful tree-lined street where you can take a nice walk. Along the way there are also several statues and it is here that the famous Christmas markets take place on Christmas season.
Place de la Cathédrale we don’t think it needs presentations as it owns the Strasbourg Cathedral but also other important building, the Maison Kammerzell. Another important square that is part of the Grande Île is the Place du Château.
- Citadel Park: a beautiful city park, therefore not far from the center. It is a wonderful green space full of trees and ponds. Very suggestive and perfect for a bike ride (another perfect area for a bike ride, with a specific path, is Canal de la Bruche). However this is not the only park, among the other three very nice ones are Parc de l’Orangerie, Réserve Naturelle de l’Ile du Rohrschollen and Parc du Heyritz (more than a park it is a long bridge surrounded by river and vegetation, very beautiful!).
- Le Jardin des Deux Rives: excluded the beautiful paths, the landscape, its bridge (yes, it seems more like a park rather than a simple garden), we want to give greater importance to a the peculiarity of this place. As you can see, the name “garden of the two shores” derives from the fact that it is divided on two different banks of the river, on one side we have Strasbourg, and on the other the german town of Kehl. The two shores are joined by a pedestrian and cycle bridge. What a better place to visit also the german areas?!
- Now we can say that we know Strasbourg well enough so it can be said that it is almost entirely built on water. So what better place for a nice boat trip and see the city from a different perspective?! The boats depart not far from the cathedral and offer two different routes that you will then discover. Super recommended! And if you want to discover the city from another perspective, don’t miss the city tour on the comfortable train, the Petit Train.
- On the other hand if you want to have some fun with friends or relatives, three escape games await you: Dooz Escape Game Strasbourg, A Maze In, The Little Red Door.
- If you will be in Strasbourg on summer season you cannot miss the Achard lake, perfect for cooling your feet and enjoying the magnificent scenery by the lake.
About the night life we can say that it is beautiful and lively (thanks also to the students who populate it), especially in the area of the cathedral, at the Rue des Juifs or even in the Krutenau district. There is certainly more movement during the summer season because there are many shows, outdoor concerts and various parties are held in the canal area.
Therefore among the locals that we find in Strasbourg there are:
- Spyl: disco
- 21 K.ré Shooterloungebar: lounge bar
- KALT – KRIMMERI ALTERNATIVE: nightclub
- Code Bar
- Bar The Aviators: cocktail bar
Now we are ready to enjoy the typical Strasbourg dishes in which there is a perfect mix of french and german tradition.
- Choucroute: it is a dish based on pork and sauerkraut, typical of alsatian cuisine. Well, what to say, it is a dish with a very strong and particular taste, you haave to love it to appreciate it.
- Fleischenschneke: these are meat rolls seasoned with eggs, onions, parsley, salt and pepper, which are rolled with the dough. The dish is served with broth and often accompanied by salad.
- Flammkuchen: this other specialty can be defined a pizza but it is very thin and crunchy, almost like puff pastry (this is due to the cooking method different from traditional pizza). It is usually seasoned with onions, bacon and a cream made of sour cream and herbs, this is the traditional condiment but there are many variations for all palates.
- Kouglof: it is a typical sweet, very present and loved locally. It looks like a donut but with a characteristic shape topped with raisins and almonds. So good!
- Mannele: they are very nice little cookies shaped like little men, very similar to those of gingerbread but very different on the side of ingredients and composition; in fact these nice little cakes are nothing more than soft brioches enriched with raisins or chocolate. The dessert is usually accompanied by hot chocolate or a glass of milk.
- As for drinks there are hundreds of brands and varieties. Among the beers we find: Kronenbourg, Fischer; for wines: Gewurztraminer, Moscato, Pinot Nero.
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
- Les chauvins Pere et Fils: French, vegetarian cuisine.
- Zehnerglock: French, European cuisine.
- Winstub S’kaechele: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Les GaRnements: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Le Rutsch: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Cuisine d’Antan: French cuisine.
- La Coccinelle: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Les Fines Gueules: French, European, Vegetarian cuisine.
- Chez Nous: French, European, vegetarian cuisine.
- Au Cruchon: French, European cuisine.
- Au Crocodile: French, European, contemporary cuisine.
- Verrine & Vapeur: french, vegetarian cuisine.
This concludes our long tour in the city of Strasbourg with the hope that the energy has not abandoned you, because we are close to reaching our next destination which will be… Well ,we keep the secret till next time!
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.
Below we will list the accommodations that you can find in Strasbourg