Day Trip from Strasbourg : The best activities !
Strasbourg is a historic city located in northeastern France, near the border with Germany. It serves as the capital of the Alsace region and is known for its rich cultural heritage, picturesque architecture, and international institutions. The city is the birth place of the national anthem, “Le Chant de l’Armée du Rhin” written by Rouget de l’Isle and that was brought to Marseille by Mireur.
Visit the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Strasbourg and Petite France are two iconic attractions that showcase the charm and beauty of the city.
The Cathedral of Strasbourg, also known as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its intricate detailing, soaring spires, and stunning stained glass windows make it a must-visit landmark. The cathedral’s famous astronomical clock, with its intricate mechanism and daily performance, is a fascinating sight.
Petite France is a historic neighborhood in Strasbourg, characterized by its picturesque canals, half-timbered houses, and cobblestone streets. It offers a glimpse into the city’s medieval past and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can stroll along the canal, admire the colorful houses, and enjoy the charming atmosphere. Petite France is also known for its restaurants and cafes, where visitors can savor Alsatian cuisine and relax in a delightful setting.
Together, the Cathedral of Strasbourg and Petite France embody the historical and architectural beauty of the city, attracting visitors from around the world and providing an unforgettable experience.
Visit the Neustadt
The Neustadt, meaning “New Town,” is a historic district in Strasbourg, France. It was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during the German annexation period. The Neustadt is renowned for its impressive architecture, wide boulevards, and grand buildings, reflecting the architectural style of the time.
Key features of the Neustadt include:
Strasbourg University: The Neustadt is home to Strasbourg University, one of the oldest universities in France. Its main campus, with its beautiful buildings and extensive library, is located in this district.
Place de la République: This large square is the heart of the Neustadt and features a monument dedicated to the French Revolution. It is surrounded by stately buildings and serves as a central gathering place.
Palais du Rhin: The Palais du Rhin, also known as the Kaiserpalast, was originally built as a palace for the German Emperor. It is an impressive example of German Renaissance architecture and now serves as the seat of several cultural institutions.
The National and University Library: The Neustadt is home to the National and University Library, a prestigious institution with a vast collection of books and manuscripts. Its building showcases neoclassical architecture and is worth a visit.
Parc de l’Orangerie: This large park in the Neustadt offers a peaceful retreat with beautiful green spaces, a lake, and an orangery. It is a popular spot for leisure activities and picnics.
Avenue de la Liberté: This grand boulevard runs through the Neustadt, lined with elegant buildings and adorned with trees. It is a pleasant street for a leisurely walk or a drive.
The Neustadt is a testament to the city’s history and architectural heritage, blending French and German influences in a harmonious way. It provides visitors with a glimpse into the past and showcases the city’s cultural richness.
Day Trip from Strasbourg : Explore the European District
When visiting the European District of Strasbourg, there are several key places to explore. Here’s a suggested itinerary:
European Parliament: Start your visit by exploring the European Parliament, located in the Louise Weiss Building. You can take a guided tour or attend a plenary session to witness European democracy in action.
Parc de l’Orangerie: After the European Parliament, take a stroll through the nearby Parc de l’Orangerie. This beautiful park offers serene green spaces, a lake, and charming pathways for a leisurely walk or a picnic.
Council of Europe: Head towards the Council of Europe, which promotes human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. You can visit the visitor center to learn about its work and browse exhibitions on European cooperation.
European Court of Human Rights: Adjacent to the Council of Europe, you can explore the European Court of Human Rights. Discover the court’s role in protecting fundamental rights across Europe through interactive exhibits and informative displays.
European Ombudsman: If time permits, visit the office of the European Ombudsman, where you can gain insights into their role in investigating complaints against EU institutions and promoting transparency.
Place de l’Europe: Conclude your visit at Place de l’Europe, a square that symbolizes European unity. Take a moment to appreciate the European flags and the architectural beauty of the surrounding buildings.
Throughout your visit, keep an eye out for exhibitions, conferences, or events happening in the European District. These can provide further opportunities to deepen your understanding of European institutions and engage with important issues.
Remember to check the visiting hours and any entry requirements in advance, as some areas may have restrictions or require pre-booking. Enjoy your exploration of the European District and immerse yourself in the spirit of European cooperation in Strasbourg.
Day Trip from Strasbourg : Discover Colmar
Colmar is a charming town located in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, picturesque canals, and vibrant atmosphere, Colmar offers visitors a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here’s a concise presentation of Colmar:
Historic Town Center: Colmar’s historic town center is like stepping into a fairytale. Its cobblestone streets, colorful half-timbered houses, and flower-lined canals create a romantic and enchanting ambiance. The well-preserved architecture reflects both French and German influences.
Little Venice: One of the highlights of Colmar is the neighborhood known as “Little Venice.” This picturesque area features canals lined with charming houses and colorful façades. Taking a boat ride or leisurely stroll along the canals is a must-do activity.
Unterlinden Museum: The Unterlinden Museum is a cultural gem in Colmar. Housed in a former 13th-century Dominican convent, the museum exhibits an impressive collection of art, including the famous Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald.
Quaint Squares and Churches: Colmar is dotted with picturesque squares and beautiful churches. The Place de l’Ancienne Douane, Place des Dominicains, and Place Jeanne d’Arc are just a few examples where you can relax, enjoy a coffee, and soak in the charming surroundings. Don’t miss the Saint-Martin Church, with its soaring spire and remarkable stained glass windows.
Alsatian Cuisine and Wine: Colmar is renowned for its culinary delights. Sample traditional Alsatian dishes such as tarte flambée, choucroute (sauerkraut), and baeckeoffe (a meat and vegetable stew). Pair your meal with a glass of local Alsatian wine, such as Gewürztraminer or Riesling, known for their exceptional quality.
Christmas Markets: Colmar hosts enchanting Christmas markets that attract visitors from near and far. The markets transform the town into a winter wonderland, with beautifully decorated stalls selling crafts, festive treats, and warming drinks. It’s a magical experience not to be missed.
Natural Beauty: Colmar is surrounded by scenic vineyards, rolling hills, and charming Alsatian villages. Consider taking a short drive or bike ride to explore the idyllic countryside, visit local wineries, or discover other nearby towns like Eguisheim or Riquewihr.
In summary, Colmar is a captivating town that captivates visitors with its medieval charm, canals, rich cultural heritage, and culinary delights. Whether you’re strolling through its historic center, admiring the artwork at the Unterlinden Museum, or savoring Alsatian cuisine, Colmar offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of Alsace.
Taste Local Products from Strasbourg and Alsace
Strasbourg and the Alsace region are renowned for their unique and delicious culinary specialties, influenced by both French and German traditions. Here are some notable dishes and culinary delights you can find in Strasbourg and Alsace:
Choucroute: Choucroute, also known as sauerkraut, is a signature dish of Alsace. It consists of fermented cabbage cooked with various cuts of pork, sausages, and potatoes. The combination of tangy sauerkraut and flavorful meats creates a hearty and satisfying meal.
Flammekueche: Flammekueche, also called tarte flambée, is a thin, crispy pizza-like dish. Traditionally, it is topped with a mixture of cream, onions, bacon, and sometimes cheese. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a popular choice for a light lunch or snack.
Baeckeoffe: Baeckeoffe is a traditional Alsatian meat and vegetable stew. It typically consists of layers of marinated meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb), potatoes, onions, carrots, and herbs. The dish is slow-cooked in a sealed casserole dish, resulting in tender and flavorful ingredients.
Kougelhopf: Kougelhopf is a classic Alsatian cake, often enjoyed for breakfast or dessert. It is a yeast-based cake with a distinctive shape, resembling a tall, fluted mold. Kougelhopf is often flavored with almonds, raisins, and sometimes rum, giving it a delicious aroma and taste.
Tarte aux Fruits: Alsace is also known for its delectable fruit tarts. These tarts feature a buttery crust filled with fresh seasonal fruits, such as apples, pears, cherries, or plums. They are often enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Alsatian Wines: The Alsace region is renowned for its excellent wines. Alsatian wines are mainly white, with notable varieties including Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner. These wines are known for their aromatic qualities, crispness, and ability to complement the local cuisine.
Munster Cheese: Munster cheese, named after a town in Alsace, is a soft and pungent cheese with a distinctive orange rind. It has a rich, creamy texture and a strong aroma. Munster cheese is often enjoyed on its own, in salads, or melted in traditional dishes like tarts or quiches.
These are just a few examples of the culinary specialties you can savor in Strasbourg and the Alsace region. The local cuisine offers a delightful fusion of flavors, reflecting the unique cultural heritage of the area. Bon appétit!